Chapter 101: COVID Chronicles

July 7, 2020

By Karen

Day 118

A Fun Escape to Song and Dance

Over the weekend I got lost in three musicals to forget for a few hours COVID and Trump’s exhausting hate and ignorance. No matter what the reviews say, every time I see these movies, I find something new about them and love them even more.

Mel Brooks’ masterpiece The Producers starred Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick, with Uma Thurman for sex. I noticed a bit player named “Kiss Mee-Feel Me,” one of the little old ladies who finance Max Bialystock’s flops, was Andrea Martin, aka Aunt Voula in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (a comedy I love).

This number, “Betrayed,” performed by Lane near the end of the movie, gives a synopsis of the whole show and is as close to a tour-de-force as it gets…

Next I visited Chicago with Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere and Queen Latifah. I’d forgotten how good this was. And this time I was surprised to see in the small role of Fred, Roxie Hart’s lover whose murder in the beginning gets the whole story rolling, Dominic West, who later went on to greater things in the series, The Affair, which I highly recommend. Here’s the Chicago finale…

And finally, I went back to 1776. It was released in 1972, the year came to Virginia. I must have seen it after I got here, because a line that’s always stuck with me came in a scene between John and Abigail Adams, discussing how John brought Thomas Jefferson’s wife Martha to Philadelphia to help Thomas get his rocks off so he could focus on writing the Declaration of Independence.

Abigail: How do you suppose she managed to get away?

John: Well, the winters are softer in Virginia.

Abigail: And their women, John?

John: Fit for Virginians, but pale, puny things beside New England girls.


Anyway, TCM ran the restored full version and it includes “Cool, Cool, Considerate Men,” a number that was cut at Richard Nixon’s insistence.

If you view no other clip in this post, WATCH THIS. Imagine the performers are Trump’s Senate enablers in wigs and tights, led by Mitch McConnell…

Cougars, Stay Away from Chicago

April 21, 2008

By Adele

On April 14, police in the north side of Chicago killed a 122-pound, 2-year-old male cougar in a hail of bullets after they put him in a no-win situation by trapping him in an alley.

The cat might have been an escaped pet, but most likely he had come 1,000 miles from the Black Hills of South Dakota. He crossed several state lines through populated areas where many people reported seeing him, and had managed not to get in trouble with the law until he reached Chicago. Then, as is too often the case in Man vs. Cat, his reward for being a resourceful survivor who wasn’t bothering anyone was a violent death.

Cougars were a threatened species protected by the government. But now they’re crowding each other out of their rapidly-dwindling natural habitat. Young males often roam off in search of territory they can call home before one of the older males kills them or they feel compelled to mate with female relatives. Incest grosses them out.

Animal lovers said the cougar should have been tranquilized and relocated. Others said he needed killing because he was “real close to a grade school” and might have attacked a child, although he hadn’t previously shown any aggression toward humans.

Cougars are misunderstood cats with a bad reputation they don’t deserve. People also call them mountain lions, pumas, or panthers. In 119 years, there have been 108 cougar attacks on people, with only 20 proving fatal. Given a choice, cougars would avoid humans altogether.

Dogs, on the other hand, are reported to kill about 26 people a year in the U.S. alone. But you don’t see the police cornering and shooting them while they’re just going about their business, do you?

So Chicago feels safer because it rid the world of one smart cat who was only hoping to find his place in the world.

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