Thursday Evening Open Thread: He’s Certainly Earned It…

… and it may actually distract the Twitchykin from attacking Hillary, at least for a few hours on Saturday. Per The Hill:

Obama is celebrating his 55th birthday Friday night with a star-studded celebration at the White House, with Beyoncé and Jay Z attending. Kendrick Lamar, the president’s favorite rapper, will also show up, according to the New York Post.

R&B star Usher will perform for the first couple and their guests.

It’s Obama’s last birthday as president, and he is planning to go out in style.

Several stars from the worlds of entertainment, sports and music have scored an invite. The guests include comedian Ellen DeGeneres, singer Stevie Wonder, Vogue editor Anna Wintour, singer and actress Jennifer Hudson and basketball legends Magic Johnson and Alonzo Mourning…

The party is taking place one day before the Obama family leaves for its annual vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Obama’s birthday falls on Thursday, and he is keeping things strictly business, according to his public schedule…

Happy birthday, Mr. President, and may nothing more immanently serious than Donald Trump’s campaign interrupt your vacation.

What else is on the agenda as we prepare to wrap up another busy week?

Biennial Selfie and House Update

Still fat, more gray. I tried to smile.


Who owns a house? This guy.

So I went to the house and was in for a little surprise. The former owner left his dog in there for months (which we knew), but he had supposedly removed it after the neighbors and my mom called the game warden. He said he did, but apparently took it out and put it back in and told no one. So when I went over to change the locks, I was greeted with a very sad and emaciated dog.


He’s a very sweet old dog, doesn’t bark and is starved for attention. I gave him a tiny tiny bit of food because you have to be super careful with how much food you give a dog who has gone through this, and will give him some more tonight, as well as plenty of water. Unfortunately, he has shit all over the entire house and there is dog hair everywhere.

Tomorrow I am taking him to my friend the vet to see if he can be saved or if it is more humane to put him down, and if he can be saved I guess I will just pay the vet to do everything that needs to be done and my sister’s animal rescue in Pittsburgh is going to take him and get him the home he deserves. Everyone in town is just livid and furious, and the older lady next door who had been feeding him when she knew he was there almost broke down in tears. If I see this asshole I am going to have to really exercise a great deal of self control so that it does not become a felony encounter.

I’m new to this adulting stuff, so I hired a real estate attorney to deal with all the paperwork, and in the short term all I am going to do is get the yard taken care of and powerwash the fence and the house because the neighbors have suffered enough. Phase two will involve a dumpster and ripping out all the carpet and basically just deep cleaning the entire property until it is sanitary enough to work in.

After that, electrician and plumber, my friend is a contractor and will have him look at a few things, and when that is done, I will start painting. Since I am starting new, I have the luxury of actually choosing the colors for the interior, so that is nice. Then the flooring. It’s a 1910 house so I am hoping underneath there is some hardwood thick enough condition that hasn’t been refinished 100 times and is good enough for another sanding and finishing. If not, I’ll explore options.

I’m mentally exhausted. This is more excitement in one day than I usually have in six months barring personal injuries, which, I’ve noticed, come less frequently now that I am sober.

Thursday Morning Open Thread: Rejoice (But Keep Working, Too)

And TIL (today I learned) something that might come in handy for people, as the election gets closer:

(I know I know, but the Washington Post is still the company paper for the town whose industry is national politics. And there’s lots of worthwhile reporting apart from the more obtuse columnists — I’m very happy with my own paid digital sub!)


What else is on the agenda for the new day?

Back from Denver and Prepping for Japan


Hedgehog and me, hanging out.

Back from my Colo trip. Had lunch with Hedgehog, during which we discussed Russian history and literature from a mushroom and other perspectives, and also the differences between SCA and LARPing. And traded pics of our cherished furkids, of course!

Next week we’re (my partner and I, not Hedgehog and I, although that would be fun, too) are going to Japan to tourist along with my stepson, who is ending a three-year gig as an assistant English teacher with the JET program. JET is a great program that pays decent (for entry level), is well run and mentored, and gives you great international experience in a truly fascinating place. So if you know a soon-to-be or recent grad with a yen for foreign experience, they might want to check it out. I believe the JET people give preference to those who major in something related to Japan or Japanese, but that’s not essential. (Howard had zero Japanese but lots of sports and other leadership experience.) They’re big on “character,” and of course they’re looking for people who will do well in an unfamiliar environment surrounded by new people.

This is a great option for recent grads, especially in a down economy. I believe they aim for geographic and experiential diversity, so those from the flyover states may actually have an advantage over coastal / Ivy types. (Howard’s cohort also included people from Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa; and people from outside the U.S. may also have an advantage.) You can stipulate where you would like to be placed—I’m guessing many candidates say Tokyo, Kyoto, or Osaka—and your preferences will be taken into account, but you must be willing to go where placed.

And recent horrifying tragedies aside, Japan is probably the safest country to visit, so any helicopter parent types reading this can relax. (Unlike my mom who, when I called her up from Italy during my first Euro trek, thirty years ago, asked me if there was anything to eat. “Yeah, Mom, it’s Italy. They have food.”)

Anyhow, last year when we visited, we saw Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Hiroshima. (A highlight was the Ghibli Museum, dedicated to the works of anime superstar Hayao Miyazaki.) This year, we’ll be driving a rental car around the mountainous Tohoku region north of Tokyo, which also happens to offer some of the best onsen in Japan. (Onsen, a.k.a., Japanese baths, are the best thing in the world, assuming you don’t mind scrubbing your privates amidst a roomful of strangers doing the same.)

Tuesday Evening Open Thread: Good for Sen. Sanders

Of course, he had some serious backup…

Apart from another long evening watching the convention, what’s on the agenda?

Added bonus, tonight:

Friday Morning Open Thread

President Obama began his scheduled meeting with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission — running some fifteen minutes late, at about 5:15am EDT — with a quick update on what little is known at the moment about the snipers at the peaceful protest in Dallas. Summary as I understand it: Right now all we know for certain is that five police officers have been killed, three suspects are in custody and a fourth one dead. Gonna be a busy, horrible day in another week whose chieftest virtue is that it’s almost over.

Apart from trying to ride the chaos rather than letting it ride us, what’s on the agenda for the day?

Mary G. Update

Spoke with the dispatched in California and help is on the way. Someone else had already called right before me.

You all are good people.

BTW- I called my own 911 first thinking they might have a faster way to get in touch, like a 911 network or something. The conversation went like this:

Dispatcher: 911, what’s your emergency?

Me: I don’t have an emergency personally, but a friend fell in California and I need to call 911 in San Clemente for her. Do you know the number for 911 there?

Dispatcher: Umm. 911.

Me: That’s not helpful.

Dispatcher: Yeah, you’re going to have to look it up.

So much fail.