The lame-duck flurry of nonsense

Come Heller high water …

∫ The state House, as part its ridiculous, lame-duck flurry of nonsense, just passed a bill giving A-F letter grades to schools, which is stupid (what else would we expect from the House?). Rich districts will get great grades, poor districts will get worse ones, and then politicians will jump all over the poor districts to “reform” them. Honest to gosh, I don’t see why anyone puts up with being a teacher these days. Hey, maybe we should grade state government. See how they like it.

∫ Is there some kind of never-ending super virus going around? I have had the same violent head cold since before Thanksgiving. Me! The guy who never gets sick! Please, tell me you have it, too, or I’m going to start feeling … mortal.

∫ The only good thing to come from this cold is it’s convinced me to get a flu shot. If a cold can be this bad then I sure as heck don’t want the flu. Illnesses these days seem a lot like the weather — much more extreme than they used to be.

∫ Michael Cohen deserved what he got. But I do feel bad for his kids. They’re adults, but it still can’t be easy listening to your dad confess to major crimes. I hope the media leave them alone. Of course, they won’t.

∫ About the only thing that smells better than a real Christmas tree is coffee. Both would be on my list of Best Fives Smells, along with baking bread, onions and garlic sauteing, and lake breeze.

∫ I’m surprised anyone who lives around here was surprised by GM’s announcement of plants closing, layoffs and buyouts. This is who they are, who everybody in the car business is: boom, bust, hire a bunch, fire a bunch, rinse and repeat. The problem with Michigan is our economy is built upon their sand. We’ve diversified, but not enough. Michigan will be a great state again when the auto companies pull their usual dog and pony show and everyone shrugs because most have jobs unrelated to them. We remain a long, long way away from that moment.

∫ I’ve seen the same creepy ads on numerous news websites. They’re the ones on the sidebar that say, “sponsored by Taboola,” that pretend to be a trashy news story that say a celebrity “lives with his partner in this gorgeous mansion.” Pre-internet, you’d never have seen news organizations accepting that kind of trash. I miss standards.

∫ I get why the HopCat brewpubs are renaming their Crack Fries. But I’ll bet that’s what customers always call them, anyway. They haven’t announced a new name, so I will humbly submit “Irresistifries.” (Hey, I’m not deaf. I hear you scoffing. Let’s hear yours, then).

∫ My Christmas favorites, in no particular order: song: Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”; movie: “Christmas Story” (I was the kid whose mom overdressed him so much I couldn’t get up if I fell down); tree: Scotch pine; cookie: gingerbread (c’mon, is there any other?); moment: Christmas Eve, after everyone’s gone to bed, I sit and stare at the tree lights, intentionally fuzzing my vision so the colors elongate. It’s weird, I know); feeling: watching the kids, even though they’re all in college now, open their gifts; breakfast: Mom’s egg and potato casserole.

∫ By the way, if you’re looking for a fun game to play at the holidays, I recommend Telestrations. It’s basically the old telephone game, with a Pictionary twist. In our house, at least, it’s always good for a laugh because no one can draw for beans.

∫ Pot-smoking may be legal in Michigan now, but I bet the stigma doesn’t change.

“We are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas time.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder.