Monthly Archives: May 2016

Afternoon Art Break

“Balcony in the Crimea”
Konstantin Korovin (1910)


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Afternoon Links

This is wonderful

Mullah Mansour’s family is living in Iran. This is my shocked face.

What a dumb time to be alive

We’ve all been there.

You’ve gone too far this time, KSA.

“This election, in other words, has boiled down to a coin toss between a consistent, calculating liar and an inconsistent, compulsive liar.”

A British charity preserves historic architecture as vacation lodging.

France is opening a wine theme park

Dear Christ. Trump, Sanders, and Obama fans. Peas in a pod. Mind-numbingly stupid welfare-staters.

He liked Trump because he thought he would raise Social Security payments, though Trump has made no such promise. “Without that, I cannot survive,” Dave said. “He’s the only guy capable of doing what needs to be done. I like his stand on the immigration. He’ll stop letting all these countries bully us. It’s time to say, ‘No more,’ ya know. I’m seventy-three years old. No one’s taking care of me, I’ll tell ya.”

In the past, he had voted Democrat. His girlfriend, Kathy Manita, had done the same. She was sitting in the bleachers leaning on a cane “because my legs are so bad. Both my knees are blown.” When I asked her how old she was, she replied, “That’s like asking me how much I weigh. You’re a bad boy.” I asked how she had voted in 2012. There was a long pause. “I’m ashamed to say.” I asked her if she voted for President Obama, and she admitted it. She sounded wretched. Dave broke in to say that the only other candidate who appealed to him was Bernie Sanders, “but I don’t believe he’s got a chance. . . . Trump’s going to bury them all. He’s gonna win because he’s the alternative to everything, he’s smart, and he’s not a politician.”

And then you have these people. There’s just no end to the parade of stupid. Increasingly, I care less about Trump than I do about the fact that the American public is too stupid to tie its own shoes.

She spent thirty-five years in Florida, but after her marriage went bad she returned to New Hampshire. One daughter was taken into custody by the state; another daughter was in a methadone clinic. She’d had a tragic life, but when Donald Junior came over to talk politics, she got to what was really worrying her. “ISIS is in every frickin’ state right now,” she said. “Oh yeah, every state. I’ve heard that most of the people who are running Florida . . . a lot of them are part of ISIS.” She cocked her head in the direction of Littleton, her hometown. “Littleton’s an easy target. They’re already here. Oh yeah. They buy a place and then they buy like five houses right there. The families are moving in. And they don’t rent out to normal people like us. Some of them are running the stores.”

She was talking about the Lebanese-owned shop nearby, which had been there, a sign proudly proclaimed, for forty years. But Linda said she slept with a gun under her pillow, a .38 with hollow-point bullets, and that she’d bought a .45 for her eighty-two-year-old mother. She also had a ten-year supply of canned goods in her basement, ready, she said, for when President Obama left office. “I guess that’s when it’s all gonna blow. Stores are gonna be wiped out. Everyone I know, they all got weapons. They’re all stocked on food. You got to protect yourself . . . me and Mom. All our friends are saying, load up with plenty of ammunition, because after the stores don’t have no food they’re gonna be hitting houses. They’re going to take over America, put their flag on the Capitol.” “Who?” I asked. “ISIS. Oh yeah.”

Today in “Things I Told You A Year Ago”

“Donald Trump is epically unprepared to be president. He has no realistic policies, no advisers, no capacity to learn. His vast narcissism makes him a closed fortress. He doesn’t know what he doesn’t know and he’s uninterested in finding out. He insults the office Abraham Lincoln once occupied by running for it with less preparation than most of us would undertake to buy a sofa.”

You’re doing it wrong, idiots.

Mugabe empties his prisons because he can’t pay for them.

Iceland vs. tourists: fitting 1.2 million annual visitors on an island of 330,000 residents

Has Aristotle’s tomb been found?

I agree. Team White Walkers.

Proof that modern/contemporary art is mostly garbage.


Oh Jesus Fucking Christ

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Video of the Day

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Music Monday

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Artwork of the Week

“The Large Bathers”
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1887)


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Poem for the Week

The Gazelle by Rainer Maria Rilke (1907)

Tranced creature: no rhyme or ringing words
can match the pulse that rolls
through you like a charm. Horns spring
from your head, adorning you with leaf and lyre,

and you are your own metaphor,
just as the words of a love-song
are like a drift of rose-petals, closing
the eyes of a tired reader, so as to see you—

four legs pointed, ready
to recoil and ricochet away

but waiting, listening: just as
the bathing huntress heard the forest stir,
and turned, the quivering pool reflected in her face.

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Recipe of the Month

Slow Cooker Garam Masala Chicken Stew with Peas and Potatoes

Ingredients (adjust amounts based on the size of your slow cooker, the ingredient amounts below will fit in a 3 1/2 or 4-quart slow cooker)

Extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
12 ounces (4 small or 2 large) red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh (peeled) ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
14 ounces reduced-sodium chicken broth
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup plain fat free Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons garam masala


Sprinkle the olive oil in a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs, just for a couple minutes, turning once, until brown on both sides. Place potatoes, onion, ginger and garlic in the slow cooker. Top with the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour broth and tomato sauce over all. Cover and cook on low setting for 5 1/2 hours or on high setting for a little under 3 hours. If using low setting, turn to high setting after the 5 1/2 hours are up and stir in the peas, yogurt, and garam masala. Cover and cook for 15 minutes more. If using the high setting, add the peas, yogurt, and garam masala at the 2 3/4 hours mark, cover and cook for 15 minutes more.

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