E.T. and the anxiety attack


Last night, I watched E.T. from start to finish. I can’t remember the last time I did that. I do remember that the first time I tried to watch E.T., things didn’t go so well.

I freaked out right around the time E.T. was found sick in the ravine, white and almost dead. If memory serves correctly, I ran out to the bathroom and barely succeeded in puking up a box of Hot Tamales and soda (25% chance it was Dr Pepper, 75% chance it was Mr. Pibb, way back before Pibb Xtra was a thing).

I’ve always chalked it up to being scared. I was a scaredy-cat as a kid. I’m told that when the family went to see King Kong at the drive-in, I hid in terror on the floor of the back seat. I could be misremembering someone else’s memory there. But the point is, I was a chicken. And I just fueled my imagination with books about Big Foot and ghosts and aliens.

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It’s election season: Let’s play ask a politician!

As a recovering journalist, I know that working journalists love nothing more than other people telling them how to do their jobs, especially folks who never covered that particular beat. I was never a political reporter, so maybe I shouldn’t be writing this. After all, I don’t have the level of expertise it takes to pitch tons of soft-ball questions to continue my access to a politician and the occasional hard ball designed to make me look cool in front of the other reporters. Or something something something Russia.

The thing is, politicians pretend to be public servants but rarely act like either a servant or a member of the public. There is also a certain breed running around screaming about elitists–and then jumping in a limo or first-class to make their next meeting. So I’ve come up with a list of questions all politicians should be asked. I’ll be honest, I first came up with these because of Donald Trump. And this list is a hell of a lot more fun if you imagine Trump successfully answering ANY of them. But the questions should work for any politician of either party–particularly incumbents.

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Eating Louisiana: A few photos

I’m home in Louisiana for the holidays. And that means food. Lots and lots of food. How has it gone so far? Let me show you.

1. Fried shrimp platter from Soileau’s in Opelousas, eaten upon completion of 25 hour drive from New York.

2. Sunday morning breakfast. Boudin and cracklins from Ray’s. (Billy’s boudin recipe, though.) Donuts from Mikey’s. I ate a lot more than what is on this plate.

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Carrying on in the face of terrorism — and jackasses

Yesterday morning while on the way to work, I stopped to take a couple of photos. One was a lovely shot of lower Manhattan. The other was of a handful of helicopters hovering over the city like buzzards over a carcass. There’d been a bombing in the subway, so every news outlet in the tristate area had eyes in the sky to provide viewers with one-of-a-kind shots of NYC rooftops.

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Donald Trump is the father of us all

“Who ya gonna believe? Me or your own lying ears?” Photo by Gage Skidmore

So Donald Trump is now suggesting that actual audio tape of him talking about grabbing women by the cooter could be fake. This even after he previously admitted that it was his voice on the tape and that he did, indeed, say those things.

Sure, previous Liar in Chief Bill Clinton tried to weasel himself out of a corner by arguing over the legal definition of “is.” (And I wouldn’t put much past either of the Clintons when backed into a corner. Those two are like badgers.) Those were different times, though. Hell, we didn’t know that we were supposed to believe all women, all the time. Apparently, Hillary didn’t either. She especially didn’t believe the ones who accused Bill of nonconsensual attacks and rape.

But in this case there is actual audio proof AND a confession from the man himself.

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Debriefing: Marine Corps Marathon 2017

One of these things is getting creaky, old, and doesn’t cooperate anymore. The other one is my body.

Sometimes you run the race you trained for. Sometimes you run the race you wish you’d trained for. The latter will get you into trouble.

Last weekend, I ran the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. All season long, I’d harbored hopes of another PR (that’s personal record for you non-sporty types; for the Brits, yes, it’s the same as Personal Best).

A PR would have meant completing the race in under 3:59:39.

I finished in 4:41:03.

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Don’t Taint Your Run! A Marathon Packing Checklist

Pro tip: For better results, bring a matching pair. Failing that, bring one for the left foot and one for the right.

So you’re not only doing something as foolish as running 26.2 miles on your day off, you’re going out of town to do it. Since your already-addled brain has probably been made worse by a combination of Taper Crazies, race anxiety and stress over that one stupid thing at work, I thought I’d help you with this packing list for your out-of-town marathon.

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