Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten things Donald Trump has to say about the person he loves the most

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10. “I say not in a braggadocious way: I’ve made billions of billions of dollars making deals all over the world.”

9. “Nobody knows the system better than me.”

8. “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me.”

7. “Nobody would be tougher on ISIS than Donald Trump.”

6. “I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.”

5. “Nobody respects women more than I do.”

4. “I could be more presidential than anybody.”

3. “There’s nobody bigger or better at the military than I am.”

2. [when asked who he speaks with consistently about foreign policy] “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

1. “Nobody loves The Bible more than I do.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingdrugs & alcohol

Now that Dos Equis is retiring The Most Interesting Man In The World, top ten favorite facts about him

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10. He has won the lifetime achievement award…twice

9. If opportunity knocks, and he’s not at home, opportunity waits

8. Once he ran a marathon because it was “on the way”

7. He can speak Russian…in French

6. He once won a staring contest with his own reflection

5. He lives vicariously through himself

4. He bowls overhand

3. Even his tree houses have fully finished basements

2. Once, while sailing around the world, he discovered a shortcut

1. When a tree falls in a forest and no one is there, he hears it
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

politics & government

Trump-Cruz wedding rocks presidential race

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Love, like a large bear, is unstoppable, as the surprise marriage of leading Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and Ted Cruz proves.

“Lyin’ Ted is now Lovin’ Ted,” Trump declared at the joint announcement of their union, before resuming gazing deeply into his soul mate’s squinty eyes.

“Same-sex marriage is fundamentally illegitimate, lawless, unconstitutional… and absolutely wonderful!” Cruz squealed as he attempted to run his hands through his life partner’s lustrous orange-y mane.

Leading political analysts acknowledged they were surprised by the development.

“The data did not indicate this,” said statistician Nate Silver. “Then again, there’s one event all my fancy numbers can’t predict: love. Come back to me, Sarah!” [Read more →]

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Improve your kids? Maybe. But, ruin them? Ah…

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Every now and again I get myself invited to a dinner or cocktail party. At such an event recently, talking with a few good friends about the complexities of having kids, we came to a jarring and perhaps disheartening conclusion.

[Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads The Undoing by Averil Dean

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The Undoing by Averil Dean begins with one drastic action and no explanation. Julian is alone and does something nearly unthinkable. The interesting thing, for the reader, is that it is entirely out of context – there is only the vaguest of hints about how we came to this point. Then we jump back a day, to see what brought Julian to the edge. Then we jump back 5 years, then 3 days before that, then a year before that. As we hopscotch through time, we begin to get a sense of the characters and events.

Celia, Rory, and Eric have been inseparable since childhood, growing up in the tiny Colorado town of Jawbone Ridge. Celia and Rory were raised as siblings (her father married his mother); Eric is Rory’s best friend and Celia’s sometime lover. They did not have easy childhoods – there were abusive parents, family secrets, desertion and death – but these three damaged people had a bond that helped them survive it all. They eventually follow Celia’s long-time dream of buying the abandoned Blackbird Hotel, planning to turn it into a B&B. Instead, the three old friends end up dead, shot to death in the hotel. Who was responsible and what pushed this relationship to the breaking point?

I love the way this story skips through time. I love the way that just when you think part of the story is becoming clearer, a new bit of backstory makes you rethink everything. There are so many threads to unravel! Dean does an excellent job of weaving the disjointed bits of backstory into an ending that completely changes the way you will view the first few pages. It kept me engaged; I read the book straight through, starting in a departure lounge at the Cleveland airport and and finally finishing over dinner at JFK.  There was no way I was going to put this one down – I needed to know how it ended! There’s not much greater praise for a novel.

My copy of The Undoing was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge by the good folks at MIRA Books.

undoing

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump epic fails

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10. Trump Steak. On March 8, 2016, Donald Trump arranged a display table covered with steaks, bottles of wine and water, and a magazine, to show just a few of his many successes, countering what Mitt Romney had said about his businesses. But nowadays, there is no such thing as Trump Steak. There used to be, in 2007, when they were sold through the Sharper Image catalogue, but they were discontinued because, according to Sharper Image’s then CEO, “We literally sold almost no steaks.” Ironically, the steaks on his table bore the logo “Bush Brothers.”

9. Trump Wine and Trump Water. Despite his assurance at his press conference that Trump Wine is “the largest winery on the East Coast, I own it 100% – no mortgage, no debt – you can all check, you have to go check the record, folks – in fact, the press, I’m asking you please check,” when the press checked, they found the website for Trump Wine stated, “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.” The bottled water is nothing more than generic water with Trump’s name slapped on it.

8. Trump World Magazine. This magazine, which came out four times a year beginning in 2007, was never a big money maker, and its publisher, Niche Media, pulled the plug in 2009. What he held up was an annual brochure called The Jewel of Palm Beach that promotes some of his properties.
[Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads In Wilderness by Diane Thomas

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I am woefully behind on reading and reviews, but this is a great story to get me back on track. In Wilderness by Diane Thomas is a fascinating story told with a beautiful, poetic writing style. I was immediately drawn to the characters and the lyrical way the story is told made it a real pleasure to read.

It’s 1966 and Katherine Reid is dying – an unidentifiable, wasting illness that the doctors cannot put a name to and can do nothing to stop. Her life has been slowly disintegrating for the last four years, a series of tragedies, leaving her on her own with her failing health. She can’t keep food down. She is growing thinner and weaker, fading away, and the doctors can’t offer her any solutions.

One doctor tells her how, a hundred years ago, they would have told a patient like her to try a change of scenery, take a grand tour of Europe, live a little before the end. This gets her thinking. On impulse Katherine buys an isolated cabin in the North Carolina wilderness. She plans to hike in with a duffel bag full of food and warm clothes, the few things she will need in the weeks she has left. She chooses it as her place to die.

Instead, she begins to get well. She can keep food down, she’s getting stronger, and she is enjoying the quiet isolation of the forest. But when you’ve come to the wilderness to die…and then you don’t…what do you do next?

Danny is barely out of his teens and crippled with PTSD. After his discharge and a horrifying incident in California, he came to the wilderness to get away from people and his fear of what he might do. He watches Katherine as she works in the garden, as she walks to the privy, he sleeps by a chink in the cabin wall, where he can hear her breathing. When he finally storms into her life, it’s just a matter of time before he can’t keep his demons at bay.

Katherine’s story is compelling all on its own. I was amazed at her strength and thought about how satisfying it must be to choose the way you will go out; so few of us are able to do that. Danny scared me from the moment he appeared on the page. The stalking was terrifying, even moreso since Katherine doesn’t even know she’s being stalked. Their meeting was inevitable and I found myself holding my breath, waiting for the clash that had to be coming.

In Wilderness is an intriguing story and a pleasure to read. My copy was provided free of charge through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer Program.

wilderness

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Now that penis size has become an issue in the current Presidential race (thanks to Mark Rubio and Donald Trump), top ten nicknames for Presidential penises

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10. President Abraham Lincoln: The Rail Splitter

9. President George W. Bush: My Weapon of Mass Destruction

8. President George H. W. Bush: The Idiot Producer

7. President Jimmy Carter: Peanut

6. President Bill Clinton: The Troublemaker

5. President Harry S. Truman: The Fuck Stops Here

4. President Ronald Reagan: The Big Gipper

3. President Theodore Roosevelt: The Rough Rider

2. President Lyndon Johnson: Johnson’s Johnson

1. President Richard M. Nixon: Tricky Dick
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writing

Lisa reads Baggage by S.G. Redling

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This was a great airport book – totally took my mind off delays, screaming kids, annoying airport tv, etc. Instead, while I was reading Baggage by S.G. Redling, I could spend my time yelling (just inside my head) at Anna, who really hates February:

Over the years, terrible things keep happening to Anna Ray on February 17. First, there was the childhood trauma she’s never been able to speak about. Then, to her horror, her husband killed himself on that date.

Well, maybe this year will be different. Anna has moved to West Virginia and taken up a new job at Eastern Allegheny College. She spends her days counseling art majors – helping them with their schedules and their career goals, getting them into internships and art competitions – with her bubbly boss, Meredith. Her cousin, Jeannie, has come to town to help her make it past this anniversary. Jeannie was her savior and her rock growing up, one person she could count on in the mayhem of her childhood, and she is determined to take care of Anna. They hit the town and drown their sorrows and memories of bad Februaries past, but it doesn’t help. Anna heads off to work in the morning to find one more reason to hate the winter months: there has been a murder on campus…and Anna may be a suspect.

Anna is so pitiful that it’s hard to hate on her. Her life is a mess. She drinks way too much. She lives in a shitty apartment and she’s a pretty lousy housekeeper. It’s clear that she has never really dealt with the mess in her childhood. But you have to cut her some slack – it’s been less than a year since her husband committed suicide and anyone would have difficulty coping. Anna’s solution to every problem is more wine; she buys 6 bottles at a time to save trips. She loves her work and the students she helps, she likes the faculty members she works with, but now one of them may be a killer.

This is a good little mystery. It’s easy to connect with Anna and feel for her tragic story. There are plenty of twists and turns — Jeannie has a history at the college; Karrmen, one of Anna’s students, is in a really rough place; there may be an unrequited love interest to deal with — and some of them were not what I expected. Jeannie and Anna have a very realistic relationship. Any two people who have been so wrapped up in each other’s lives will know what buttons to push; everything will not be sweetness and light. And while I kept wanting to smack Anna around, sober her up and drive her to a psychiatrist, I also wanted to hug her and make her a home-cooked meal. The details of her past, which come out in bits and pieces, are pretty tragic.

This was a very quick read and a great choice for mystery lovers – read it while it’s still February!. My copy of Baggage was an Advanced Reader Copy, provided free of charge. For more on the author, check out her Facebook page.

baggage

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

A word about the profit clubs

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Another wrestling season comes to a close. What will I do with all my free time? More importantly, what might those little wrestlers do? Here’s a note I sent to the parents in my wrestling club, Palmyra Junior Wrestling. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

St. Patrick’s top ten complaints

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10. Every St. Patrick’s Day, when they dye the Chicago River green, it just looks like pond scum

9. People always making fun of the size of his shillelagh

8. Still awaiting remake of Darby O’Gill and the Little People

7. On his day, number of people fraudulently claiming Irishness just to get a kiss

6. Compared to Saint Nicholas’s helpful elves, St. Patrick’s leprechauns are nothing but a bunch of drunken troublemakers

5. After you’ve heard “Top o’ the mornin’ to ya” a few million times, you’d kill for a simple “Hello”

4. Only saint whose name is associated with massive hangovers

3. When St. Patrick’s Day revelers get sick on green beer, they look like Linda Blair

2. Hasn’t had his Blarney Stone kissed in years

1. Snake bites
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writing

Lisa reads Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey

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I’m coming to this series a little late, I’m afraid. I read Sandman Slim by Author and immediately thought of half a dozen people that I just knew would love it. Problem is, most of them have already read it! But if you aren’t familiar with this series, about a magician/hitman returned from Hell to seek vengeance on the folks who sent him there, it’s not too late! We can get caught up together.

Sandman Slim is a little like another series I started recently – Hounded by Author. Both deal with the hidden world, the people and powers that most of us do not see and are not aware of. Jack Stark – known in Hell as Sandman Slim – is a magician, someone with natural magical ability, which lets him see and manipulate this hidden world.

Sub Rosas are the secret people who look just like you, but are different. They bank where you bank. They stand behind you in line at the coffee shop. They panhandle you for the money you suddently and inexplicably have to drop into their grimy hands. Some of us also talk to the dead. Some see the future, some trade souls like baseball cards, or bribe angels for a peek at God’s to-do list. Mostly, Sub Rosas are the people that regular people aren’t supposed to know about. It’s not that we don’t like you; it’s that you have a habit of burning us at the stake when you notice us.

Slim’s magic circle – the group of magicians that he worked with – betrayed him. They sent him to Hell, making him the only living man there, owned by Azazel, one of Lucifer’s generals, entertaining the minions by battling demons in Hell’s arena. But he killed his owner, stole an important artifact and escaped from Hell. Now he’s back in LA, looking for revenge on the people who sent him there.

Slim is a great character. He went to Hell when he was pretty young and spent 11 years there; in a lot of ways, he’s stuck at that age. He’s still an impulsive kid and it shows in the decisions he makes. But he is dead-set on revenge and the people he’s after are dangerous.

I’m trying very hard not to think about anything I’m doing. Of all the iffy things I’ve ever done in my life, I’ve never had to ditch a body before. While it’s giving me a migraine right now, I think the fact that I’m not an expert at corpse says a lot of good things about me and my life choices.

There are some great characters in this for Slim to play off and there are also some great plot twists. I love Kadrey’s descriptions – they are so much fun!

In eleven years, no one’s painted anything or cleaned the pool. There are things wiggling down in the stagnant backwash that I don’t even remember seeing in Hell. This is where David Lynch groupies go to lose their virginity.

I may have gotten to this series a little late, but I will be getting caught up quickly. For more on the series, check out Kadrey’s website. This copy of Sandman Slim came from my personal library.

sandman slim

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump contradictions

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10. (in his 2000 book The America We Deserve) “I support the ban on assault weapons and I support a slightly longer waiting period to purchase a gun.”

9. (in 2015) “We have a lot of people that are killed by guns, but I’m a big Second Amendment person. You know when the prisoners escaped up in New York, which was a tragedy in itself, people who were against guns said, ‘Thank God we have guns.’ I don’t want to do anything to violate the Second Amendment. To me the Second Amendment is very important.”

8. (in 1990, re the war on drugs) “You have to legalize drugs to win that war. You have to take the profit away from these drug czars.”

7. (in 2015, when asked if legalizing marijuana in Colorado was a good or bad experiment) “I say it’s bad. Medical marijuana is another thing, but I think it’s bad, and I feel strongly about that.”

6. (in 1999, on Meet the Press) “Look, I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject, but you still — I just believe in choice. Again, it might have a little to do with a New York background, because there are some different attitudes in different parts of the country … but again, I am strongly for choice, and yet I hate the concept of abortion. I am pro-choice in every respect, but I just hate it.”

5. (on Laura Ingram’s radio show in 2011) “Who said I’m pro-choice? Look, I’m pro-life. I’ve said it. I’m very strong there. And, I’m strong on pro-life.”

4. (in 1991, when Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke ran for governor of Louisiana and got 55% of the White vote) “I hate seeing what it represents, but I guess it just shows there’s a lot of hostility in this country. There’s a tremendous amount of hostility in the United States.”

3. (in 2000, when Trump said he wouldn’t seek the Reform Party nomination because he felt the party was self-destructing) “Well, you’ve got David Duke just joined – a bigot, a racist, a problem. I mean, this is not exactly the people you want in your party.”

2. (in a 2000 press release) “The Reform Party now includes a Klansman, Mr. Duke, a neo-Nazi, Mr. Buchanan, and a communist, Ms. Fulani. This is not company I wish to keep.”

1. (when asked, on February 28, 2016, to say he didn’t want the vote of David Duke or other White supremacists) “Well, just so you understand: I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay? I don’t know what you’re even talking about with White supremacy or White supremacists, so I don’t know….I know nothing about David Duke. I know nothing about White supremacists, and so you’re asking me a question that I’m supposed to be talking about people that I know nothing about….Honestly, I don’t know David Duke, I don’t believe I’ve ever met him, I’m pretty sure I didn’t meet him, and I just don’t know anything about him.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten things overheard at last night’s Oscars

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10. “Excuse me, Miss. You dropped your implant.”

9. “The montage of dead actors at the Golden Globes is a good indication of who’ll still be dead tonight.”

8. “Explain to me again why Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! isn’t up for anything.”

7. “I heard Travolta’s date to this thing is Adele Dazeem!”

6. “How ironic that they’re holding the Oscars during Black History Month.”

5. “Hey, look! Charlene Theron’s arm grew back!”

4. “Damn! I had Paul Blart: Mall Cop in the Oscar pool.”

3. “I only hope I live long enough to be included in that In Memorium segment.”

2. “I love that new ‘anatomically correct’ Oscar; it’s so much easier to carry!”

1. “I really feel sorry for Stallone. First, they completely ignore his work in Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, and now this!”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

No private school leagues? NJ Ed Commish might have missed an opportunity

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I challenge you to a football game. Here are my rules: You have to pick eleven players from your block. I can pick anyone (including, if I like, a player on your block). Let’s go! [Read more →]

all workBob Sullivan's top ten everything

Top ten most recent jobs I’ve held (with a nod to Stewart Francis)

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10. I was a trampoline salesman… off and on.

9. I worked as half a horse at Disneyland, but quit while I was a head

8. I was a trapeze artist…but I was let go.

7. They wouldn’t believe that I wasn’t a thief when I was working as a school crossing guard – but all the signs were there

6. I worked in produce, which wasn’t exactly rocket salad

5. I tried being a mime…but now I can talk about it…
(Ever since my best friend became a mime, I haven’t heard from him)

3. I manufactured clown shoes…which was no small feat

2. I had to quit my job at the helium gas factory – I refuse to be spoken to in that tone!

1. I sold loose onions – until I got the sack

I’m not sure why I never got that job at Microsoft – they never answered my telegram
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingliving poetry

Top ten favorite lines for a Valentine’s Day poem

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10. A sonnet mailed while we two are apart,

9. Just like the first one that I sent to you!

8. Professing all the Love within my heart,

7. And all my sadness you are out of view!

6. Not soon enough, we’ll finally reunite:

5. A blaze of glory as we become One!

4. With Heaven’s guidance, we will see the Light!

3. And gaze into a face just like the sun!

2. Some things must be believed before they’re seen,

1. As I believe in you, Beloved Maureen!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Work-life balance

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This week, I’m simply sharing/linking to an article I published a couple days ago in The Chronicle of Higher Education about a topic that, in many ways, underlies many of the pieces I’ve written here over the years: work-life balance.

ends & oddMr. Sean goes to Washington

Chris Christie: why only the unemployed should run for president

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New Jersey is a state that once had a governor reveal during a single press conference:

  1. He was resigning.
  2. Because of an affair.
  3. With a man.

For most states, this would be plenty to process, but our suddenly former governor didn’t even mention that the man was about to start suing him for sexual harassment and that their falling out stemmed from that man, an Israeli poet, losing his job as the state’s homeland security adviser, a $110,000 a year position for which he had virtually no qualifications beyond the aforementioned affair with the governor.

That was the administration of Jim McGreevey.

Former presidential candidate Chris Christie wishes he could rise to this level of professionalism. Disastrous as McGreevey was as New Jersey’s governor, he still has one big edge over Christie: he occasionally spent time in New Jersey. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten upcoming sequels

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10. Fast & Furious 8: Even Faster & Furiouser

9. Alvin and the Chipmunks 4: What a Load of Chip

8. Frozen 2: Another Batch of Earworms

7. Naked Gun 4: Where’s O.J.?

6. Schindler’s List 2: The Groceries

5. The Seventh Sense

4. Weekend at Bernie’s 3: What’s That Smell?

3. I Still Know What You Did the Summer Before Last

2. Star Wars 8: The Force Goes Back To Sleep Again

1. Rocky ?: Even We’ve Lost Count
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.