Category Archives: Gimme a Break

Words from the River – Part 1

I stopped in to a liquor store in Eagan, MN yesterday, to pick up some Scotch.  My favorite swill, Clan McGreggor.  They had liters for $12.99 or 1.75 liter for $26.99.  Say What?!?  Bought a small bottle.

Worked at the client’s last night from 6:00 – 11:30.  Drove home in wet, sloppy, snow, but safely.  Had a couple of scotches while watching TV, until suddenly all the channels went away.  Called the front desk.  “Oh, it must be because of the storm.” said the gormless twit behind the desk.  Ha, Storm?!?  This is ef-ing Minnesota, and a little teeny snow storm knocks out their satellite feed??  No excuse if you ask me.

Drove down to Kansas City today.  Currently ensconced in the Holiday Inn at the Country Club Plaza, which if you know KC you know is a tony address.  The Nelson-Atkins is just a short walk away.

Speaking of arts museums, went to the Walker yesterday.  Had to pay the $12, as I left my MAM membership at home (grrr).  Great new building — much different than the last time I was there, maybe 20 years ago.  Had a huge exhibit on Cindy Sherman.  WOW!  Did you read the profile of Lena Dunham’s mother, the artist Laurie Simmons, in the New Yorker recently?  In it, they talked about her knocking around Metro Pictures and other “in” galleries in the 70s & 80s, and she talked about learning to make good looking prints, and what a change that made to her work.  Well, the same can be said for Sherman, a regular member of the Metro Pictures stable of artists.  Her “Hollywood Film Stills” project is amazing, and the later, larger, work is simply arresting.  So glad I got to see the show.

They also have a large installation called Midnight Party, which is a sprawling conglomeration of hundreds of works by over a hundred artsists, mostly pulled from their collection, and arranged brilliantly across several galleries on 3 floors.  Some rooms are given over to curio-cabinet style displays, like a natural history museum, but all art.  Quite good.

My only complaint was that the lighting, in general, was abysmal.  Very hard to appreciate some of the work for all the glare.

I just got home from a fabulous dinner at Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que, in KC, KS.  Here’s about 1/4 of the line of people waiting to order:

Queue at Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que

Queue at Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que

That line twists and turns all the way to the street door.  If it weren’t Valentine’s Day, I was told, the line would be out the door and down the block.  Thank God I was dining alone on V Day, I say!

Here’s my dinner.  I ordered a full rack with a side of coleslaw.  The grill man hollered out, “Special Creamy!!”  I almost blushed. 😉

Special Creamy

Special Creamy

That’s either mighty fine eatin’, or a piece of Christopher Dorner.  You be the judge!

This nice older couple came and sat next to me.  Had a nice little conversation with them until the woman explained, “I talk to two kinds of people in this world; those who have accepted Jesus Christ Our Lord into their lives and hearts, and those who are just about ready to.  Which type are you?”

“I’m the type who doesn’t believe in discussing religion with strangers over dinner.” I replied, and turned back to my food.  What I wanted to say was something witty, like “If we’re going to discuss deeply personal and private matters, let’s talk about masturbation habits, instead.  I’m sure it’ll be way more interesting!” 😉

Now back at the hotel, after trying to navigate dense, cryptic KC traffic and roadways without GPS.  I was currently busy trying not to run down the horse drawn carriages that look like Tiffany Pumpkins festooned with garish lighting, slowly ferrying their cargo through the self-same cryptic streets.  Thank god the other drivers were so busy gawking that they ignore my severe traffic transgressions.

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Careless Courtship and the Fact Challenged

John P. Avlon has it right today:

…”Not intended to be a factual statement” is an instant dark classic, a triumph of cynicism, capturing the essence of Michael Kinsley’s definition of a gaffe in Washington: when a politician accidentally tells the truth.
No wonder “people are taking their comedians seriously and the politicians as a joke,” as Will Rogers once said and Colbert increasingly embodies. But we can’t keep depending on comedians to be the voices of sanity.
And don’t be fooled. There are real costs to this careless courtship of the lowest common denominator. Without fact-based debates, politics can quickly give way to paranoia and hate. Our democracy gets degraded.
Americans deserve better, and we should demand better, especially from our elected representatives. Empowering ignorance for political gain is unacceptable.
Colbert vs. Kyl and spread of ‘misinformation’ | CNN

Hear ye to that! <emphasis mine>

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Making Use Of Local Artisans

Interesting review in the Shepherd Express most recent issue.  Jeff Beutner reviews INdustri Café, which besides its twee spelling indulges in a surfeit of locally produced ingredients.  In this early paragraph Beutner describes some of the local favorites for the cannibals amongst us:

The menu at INdustri Café is interesting and thoughtful. In a nod to Milwaukee, there is a liverwurst sandwich and an appetizer of kabobs made with kielbasa and white cheddar cheese. The liverwurst and sausage are made from local artisans.
INdustri Café Highlights Local Ingredients

Pawn was fortunate enough to have visited INdustri on their opening night, along with buddy T, and thoroughly enjoyed the free appetizers.  One wonders how many artisans perished for that snack.

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The Madoff/Kohn Doppleganger

Bernie Madoff (left) and Sonja Kohn (right)

Bernie Madoff (left) and Sonja Kohn (right)

Irving L. Picard, the trustee seeking redress for victims of the Madoff financial collapse has just filed suit seeking over $19 billion from Sonja Kohn, an Austrian banker he accuses of conspiring with Madoff in the whole house of cards.  Looking at their photos, Pawn posits that this is an understatement.  I believe they are, in fact, either fraternal twins or clones!

“In Sonja Kohn, Madoff found a criminal soul mate, whose greed and dishonest inventiveness equaled his own,” the trustee, Irving L. Picard, said.  Soul mate indeed!  Have they ever been seen in the same place at once?

“In Sonja Kohn, Madoff found a criminal soul mate, whose greed and dishonest inventiveness equaled his own,” the trustee, Irving L. Picard, said.
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Literary Ambassadors

This from the Times today makes one proud of our Foreign Service.  An excerpt:

Cables about Kazakhstan’s high-living leaders are written in a satirical tone worthy of Borat, the fictional (and wild) Kazakh played in the movie by Sacha Baron Cohen.

One described Kazakhstan’s defense minister turning up drunk for a meeting with an American official, “slouching back in his chair and slurring all kinds of Russian participles.” He explained that he had just been at a cadet graduation reception, “toasting Kazakhstan’s newly-commissioned officers.”

The memo concluded: “Who was toasted more — the defense minister or the cadets — is a matter of pure speculation.”

From WikiLemons, Clinton Tries to Make Lemonade | The New York Times

Pawn compliments Secretary Of State Clinton on her so far masterful handling of the whole leak situation.

Far less palatable is the performance of Sen. Joseph “Useful Idiot” Lieberman, whose harassment of Internet and other businesses has led to the eviction of WikiLeaks from Amazon’s servers, PayPal’s payment processing, and a host of other services.  These firms seem suddenly to have decided that reporting from purloined documents is now against their terms of service, although they gladly provide the same services for their media partners, such as the Times, the Washington Post, and others, whose content they host, payment they process, or electronic editions are provided on their Kindles.

Shame of these big businesses of the Internet for revealing how unfree it really is.


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How Fair Is That?

The New York Times is reporting:

The Oklahoma Legislature voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to override vetoes of two highly restrictive abortion measures, one making it a law that women undergo an ultrasound and listen to a detailed description of the fetus before having an abortion.

Strict Abortion Measures Enacted in Oklahoma | New York TImes

In the interest of fairness, Pawn feels we should have similar requirements for prescribing certain erectile dysfunction treatments.  Perhaps mandate that all men be required to listen to tapes of crying babies and change a few diapers before getting those little blue pills…

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