Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten things overheard at Friday’s Inauguration

No Gravatar

10. “The head of Trump’s inaugural committee says the Inauguration is going to feature a ‘soft sensuality’. Does that mean that, when Trump fucks the country, he’s going to be gentle about it?”

9. “After the Rockettes perform, I hear Trump is going to greet each one personally – in his special way.”

8. “I just hope Trump tweets about this Inauguration with all the dignity it deserves.”

7. “If you’re wondering what that low rumbling noise is, that’s every dead President rolling over in his grave.”

6. “Trump is being sworn in with the lowest approval rating ever! Thirty-two percent! – I mean, that three points lower than Zika!

5. “After the B Street Band, which is the Bruce Springsteen cover band, decided to withdraw from entertaining at Trump’s Inauguration, I heard that the C Street Band, which is the B Street Band cover band, decided to pull out, too. And, as of today, they’re up to the letter ‘L’.”

4. “I hope they wind up with the P Street Band – make that the P Sheet Band.”

3. “With what Trump’s said about delegating responsibility, shouldn’t they be swearing in Mike Pence?”

2. “So, in just a few minutes, George W. Bush will no longer officially be ‘America’s Worst President Ever’.”

1. “I can’t wait until he puts his hand on the Bible and it bursts into flames!”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

diatribespolitics & government

Appraising the Moment: A Cowardly New World

No Gravatar

Since the night of November 8th, when a friend who was watching the returns with me started vomiting and had to go home, I’ve tried to understand (not just explain) what prompted 46% of America’s shrunken electorate to vote for Donald Trump. I’ve failed. What I do know is, we are about to reap the whirlwind – and politically speaking, they will own it. [Read more →]

sportsvirtual children by Scott Warnock

The myth of the college athletic scholarship

No Gravatar

Someday I’ll break the NFL addiction, but it won’t be 2017. I’m nestled in watching playoff football lately, which means I’m also watching a repeated cycle of commercials. Toyota has one in which a hard-working young lad and his parents go through a path filled with bumps and bruises that ends up with a smiling college football coach offering him a full scholarship. That’s some good theater: Everyone’s all teary-eyed that the lad made it! [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump jokes the week before his Inauguration

No Gravatar

10. “They’re having a 20/20 special on Trump’s inauguration that’s forced ABC to push back its premiers of Scandal and How To Get Away With Murder – to make room for the special about Trump called Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder.” – Jimmy Fallon, January 11

9. “Penthouse is offering a million dollars to anyone who has compromising videos of Donald Trump. When he heard about the offer, Trump provided the videos himself. ‘I know a good deal when I see one.’” – Jimmy Fallon, January 12

8. “Donald Trump reportedly paid aides and staffers to cheer and clap for him at his press conference yesterday. Eh, it’s not the worst thing he could pay people to do for him.” – Seth Meyers, January 12

7. “The big story right now is that Russia has enough embarrassing material on Donald Trump to blackmail him. On the other hand, so does anyone who follows Trump on Twitter. ” – Jimmy Fallon, January 11

6. “There’s a story going around causing a lot of strong feelings on both sides. Here’s the deal: there are these troubling allegations that Russia has compromising information on Donald Trump, and for reasons I can’t explain, some are calling it ‘Goldengate’.” – Stephen Colbert, January 12

5. “Donald Trump seemingly dismissed unverified reports that he hired prostitutes to perform golden showers in Russia, saying that he was very much of a germaphobe. I guess that’s why, when he meets beautiful women, he doesn’t grab them by the hand.” – Seth Meyers, January 11

4. “The graphic images in the report are, in fact, shocking. But, you know, anyone who has been in Trump’s apartments already knows that he loves gold: golden chairs, golden bathtubs, golden toilets. Panel, anything else in a bathroom that could be, you know, golden? Three living former Presidents are going to be in attendance at Trump’s Inauguration — George W. Bush, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton — while most other former Presidents wrote back to say they can’t make it because they’ll be busy rolling over in their graves.” – Tom Hanks, January 14

3. “As for this claim that, during a trip to Moscow, Trump paid prostitutes to urinate on the bed, that’s bullshit! Like we’re supposed to believe Trump has started paying people who do work for him?” – Samantha Bee, January 11

2. “The British MI6 agent who put together this information, Christopher Steele, is now on the run. According to The Daily Mail, he was seen fleeing his home yesterday, and asked a neighbor to take care of his cat. Oh, you’ve got to protect the cat, because Trump is known for grabbing the pussy.” – Stephen Colbert, January 12

1. “Everyone admits this report is unverified, and the man is about to be President of the United States, so I’m not going to validate that report by sharing the most salacious details from it. Even the detail everyone’s talking about; you might call it the Number One detail. I think this is just an unfortunate leak that’s making a huge mess. And I know I’m being a wet blanket, but reporting on this is the worst kind of yellow journalism. And even though jokes about this are a golden opportunity, I won’t do it. Not to stay the story didn’t make a huge splash; it did. It flooded Twitter. We’ll keep you up to date as facts trickle in. We have our best researcher working on it; she’s a real whiz. One thing is for sure: the President Elect is a Goldwater Republican who truly believes in trickle down. So I’m not going to make any jokes, not even a wee one. So I’m cutting it off now; I’m finished. Wait, a little more is coming out. But after eight years of listening to Trump make unsubstantiated claims about Obama’s birth certificate, I don’t think it matters if this is true or not, because the fact is, it’s out there, and that means, Mr. Trump, you’re in trouble.” – Stephen Colbert, January 11
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddhealth & medical

Everyone on TV is dying of cancer

No Gravatar

Seriously, every time I watch a show or listen to a podcast, someone is either dealing with the impending death themselves or had a parent who died of cancer when they were young. At some point I might have to just give up and do a media blackout. What I really need is a cancer rating website. The show/podcast/movie gets a C if it contains cancer death, an NC if there is no cancer reference, and a FY (fuck, yeah) if the storyline contains a person who beat cancer and then died of old age. That should be a thing.
While I’m at it, I would also like a restaurant that serves all the food that fights cancer, prepared deliciously. Everything will be organic. There will be no plastics in the room anywhere, not even in the seat under your bottom. No dairy, no meat, no sugar, no gluten. There will be wild caught salmon on Fridays only (moderation, people!) And maybe, on late Saturday nights, when there is a band (with no cancer songs- EVER) they will serve baked potatoes. This place will know how to make broccoli and brussels sprouts taste amazing (without a grill in site. Because carcinogens.Duh.) It will make the most wonderful dishes out of berries and also mushrooms, not together obvs. There will also be more than one organic tea option, maybe more than 20. The real kick, though, what will sell the place to all the cancer peeps and their friends, is the incredible fact that flax oil and turmeric is added to everything, BUT YOU WILL NEVER TASTE IT! I have to stop, I’m getting excited, and this place will not exist.
I need that restaurant. Feeding myself is a part time job. Trying to eat all organic and fresh takes time. So much chopping. So much shopping. Lucky for me I’m also doing intermittent fasting. That cuts out a meal in the middle, though crafting a healthy snack can sometimes be just as laborious. Can someone invent a self cleaning juicer? I’m asking for a lot today. Better start playing my cancer card.
My other part time job is studying cancer. Today I was trying to figure out the results of some follow up blood work (while I listened to a guy on Fresh Air talk about losing his mom to cancer). No more accepting the CBC form with the results and then throwing it away because I have no idea what it means. Now, I actually need to know what it means. Today it meant that my Vitamin D level is just barely in the normal range, so keep up the supplements. My iron indicators have gone up a bit, but not enough. Still anemic, wah wah. My B12 and folate are good, though, so it’s definitely the iron thing. What I don’t understand is why my platelet count went down to normal. Still looking into that. Hey- maybe the cancer is gone?! WEEEEEEE! No more blogs. The End.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingenvironment & nature

Top ten answers to the question, “How cold is it?”

No Gravatar

10. “It’s so cold, your car won’t start running and your nose won’t stop.”

9. “It’s so cold, my aunt accidentally tripped and keyed someone’s car with her nipple.”

8. “It’s so cold, you leave your freezer door open to help warm up the house.”

7. “It’s so cold, throwing a snowball is legally classified as ‘assault with a deadly weapon’.”

6. “It’s so cold, you have trouble jump-starting your penguin.”

5. “It’s so cold, my snowman got frostbite.”

4. “It’s so cold, I chipped a tooth on my soup.”

3. “It’s so cold, a big-rig driver from Alabama froze off his truck nuts.”

2. “It’s so cold, someone stole your aquarium’s four glass sides…and no one has noticed yet.”

1. “It’s so cold, Hell actually froze over — which helps explain Trump becoming President.”
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

ends & oddhealth & medical

First update

No Gravatar

So, it turns out that as far as cancer is concerned, I am not a mutant. No genes that make me necessarily predisposed to get this again. Though I will say that the genetic counselor made sure to let me know it is entirely possible that I am a cancer mutant, and that my particular mutation is as yet undiscovered. That’s a buzzkill, counselor! Apparently, if she were me, she would get a double mastectomy and have her ovaries removed as well. I will cling to as many of my lady bits as I can keep until they truly must go! That’s just how I intend to handle this.

In case you are wondering, I have drastically altered my diet and have begun taking supplements- some recommended by my probable soon to be surgeon, and some recommended by the lovely and talented TCM physician at Thank You Mama (to be fair, the surgeon is also lovely). I am also anemic and have to get that figured out and taken care of.

This morning’s appointment with the doctor was all about lumpectomy vs. mastectomy. No final final decision but I have to make it soon. Next up is to make an appointment to get blood work done- must check my iron again and look at my vitamin D levels with my GP. Then a consultation appointment must be made with a plastic surgeon. That is a sentence that I never thought I’d write! Then appointments for a second opinion, even though I do really like my probable lovely surgeon. I think it’s the right thing to do. This Friday I’ll be at Thank You Mama with my full test results to work up a complete game plan for the things that I can control (like what goes into my big ‘ol piehole).

I’m tired, but I’m trying to stay funny. Every once in a while I think about something that I need to teach the husband to do for the kids, just in case. You know, the mom things that I do. The stuff that just gets done and no one will notice until there is no one there to do it. And then I think: “Fuck it, just let him figure it out!” Ha! Just kidding. Then I push it out of my brain and try to go back to focusing on killing cancer, instead of focusing on the chance that it will kill me.

ends & oddhealth & medical

Now, I guess, it’s real

No Gravatar

I’m the type of person who works things out in writing. I make notes of my thoughts. I make lists. Facebook is the best, I swear status updates are like a combination of therapy and a vehicle for my need to feel like I’m entertaining people. If I didn’t write it down, or put it into font, did it happen? Maybe not.

Recently, though, I’ve been struggling with something that I haven’t shared online, for which I’ve taken no notes, for which I’ve just today started my first list of things to do. It’s been going on since September, really, and I’m just making my first list. Pretty easy to look back at the last few months and realize that I didn’t want it to be happening, but it turns out that I totally have cancer.

I did tell just a few people, family and some friends. My mother I told in person, because, you know, she’s my mom. My husband made some phone calls. I did send a few text messages. In regular life, I don’t do phone calls unless it’s an emergency. Texting is my favorite, but this time I would have rather not been communicating at all. I only told these people because I felt the need to explain why I’ve been avoiding everything and everyone.

The thing is, if you ask me how I’m doing, I will cry. If you ask me if my kids know (they don’t), I will cry. If you tell me that you care about me and will help out with whatever I need (I don’t know what I need), I will cry. I don’t want to cry in public.

I can talk about kids, the crummy school system, our new kitten, this hot and dry winter, the new Netflix series (or The Walking Dead, or GOT), TED talks, and podcasts, but not politics (not this year), and not cancer.

Initially, when we told a few people, it was a relief to not have to pretend anymore that everything is swell and that my new business isn’t quite taking off because I’m just moving slowly (I am moving slowly but I’m not taking my time, it’s totally cancer’s fault and apparently I’m also super anemic). Then I started to have to field phone calls and explain things that I don’t yet understand. I started to have to talk about treatments that I haven’t decided on, and listen to people cry as they tried to deal with things themselves. Opinions are beginning to arrive as well. I imagine that will only increase, and dramatically.

So, maybe this is as good a way as any, or even the best way for me, to share this with people. Hopefully they won’t call me crying, or ask me what I need (seriously, I don’t know. I could use a stiff drink but I read that it’s a no-no.) Hopefully they will still invite me out for stuff, and maybe won’t give me “the face” too much (the one that says: “I’m totally thinking sad thoughts about your cancer right now, I wish you would tell me how I can help.”) If you need to make the face, maybe make it toward my back as I walk to the bathroom.

If you want to know how I’m doing, physically, I have invasive ductal carcinoma in my right breast. It is stage 2 at 2.1 centimeters, though the cut off for stage 1 is 2 centimeters and my doctor initially was referring to it as “stage one, but kind of stage 2.” There is apparently no stage 1.5. The cancer is estrogen and progesterone positive, but HER2 negative. I hear that you really want to be HER2 negative, but when I met with an oncologist and made a joke about having “the good breast cancer” he did not laugh. I guess it’s not that good.

If you want to continue to know how I’m doing, physically or otherwise, you can check back here. I’ll need to keep working out my thoughts, and if you feel like you need to cry about it, you can get it over with before we hang out. Ha! (I do want to hang out, it turns out that people who close themselves off socially when they discover they have cancer tend to have a greater risk of death. My kids need me to live, so text me when you have time for tea. Hey! Maybe that’s what I need.)

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten axioms to get your New Year off on the right foot

No Gravatar

10. You can achieve everything you want, if you’re unambitious enough.

9. Politics isn’t left vs. right, it’s top vs. bottom.

8. Never get in line behind the Devil at the DMV, for the Devil takes many forms.

7. The speed with which a woman says, “Nothing,” when asked what’s wrong is inversely proportional to the intensity of the coming storm.

6. I’ll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one.

5. (for anyone in a relationship) Would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?

4. War is God’s way of teaching Americans geography.

3. The face of a child says it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

2. We don’t negotiate with terrorists, except for the price of the weapons we sell them.

1. If you don’t think it’s all about perspective, just consider the fact that the sinking of the Tiitanic was a miracle for the lobsters in the ship’s kitchen.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

creative writingfamily & parenting

A Poor Man’s Christmas

No Gravatar

Christmas was coming and my father was between positions again. It was the late seventies and well after his temporary gig driving the van delivering flowers in downtown Philly. It must have been between computer-programming jobs, possibly Textronix in Blue Bell and Arthur’s Travel in Center City, the job that would launch him to California and alter the trajectory of his life.

But in the winter of 1978 or ’79, my Dad had nothing. He was broke. I remember him hinting at this, but I don’t have a great sense of feeling any danger because of it. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten Christmas one-liners

No Gravatar

10. Santa’s elves are just a bunch of subordinate Clauses.

9. The office Christmas party is a great opportunity to catch up with people you haven’t seen for 20 minutes.

8. ’Tis the season to awkwardly walk by someone ringing a bell.

7. I once bought my kid a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying “Toys not included.”

6. As Mrs. Grinch said, “His heart wasn’t the only thing that was two sizes too small.”

5. Are we doing “Secret Santa” this year, because I accidentally bought some unsalted butter.

4. I am the ghost of Christmas Future Perfect Subjunctive, and I will show you what would have happened were you not to have changed your ways!

3. The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the naughty girls live.

2. It’s hard to believe, but there are 364 days until Christmas, and people already have their Christmas lights up.

1. I wasn’t planning on giving Christmas gifts this year, but then I heard about those Samsung Galaxy phones.
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinggames

Top ten most dangerous toys

No Gravatar

10. Easy Bake Microwave

9. Mr. Wizard’s Lobotomy Kit

8. Miss Piggy’s Big Bag o’ Pork

7. Black and Decker Silly Driller

6. Gasp! – The Saran Wrap Game

5. Hospital Waste Grab Bag

4. The Chris Christie Home Stomach-Stapler

3. Fisher-Price Choking Hazard

2. Baby’s First Nail Gun

1. The Electoral College
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

virtual children by Scott Warnock

Not letting the toy story end just yet

No Gravatar

First off, I hope my kids don’t read this column before Christmas, although I think I’m safe. Why? In a couple months, I will be living with three teenagers. They have their own interests. The house feels older, more serious. Christmas has followed suit. Presents come in envelopes. They have screens. They’re practical. Simply put, they’re not toys. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten Donald Trump picks

No Gravatar

10. Vice President: Mike Pence, a man who believes homosexuality can be cured by conversion therapy, opposes homosexuals serving in the military, signed the Indiana law making it okay to discriminate against gays and lesbians, believes in abstinence-only sex education, seeks to defund Planned Parenthood, and is a Climate Change denier.

9. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson, the somnambulant former presidential candidate who has publicly stated he doesn’t want to work in government and isn’t qualified to run a federal agency, is a Climate Change denier, and also believes that the Pyramids of Giza were not tombs, but grain silos built by Joseph, the Biblical son of Jacob.

8. Secretary of Labor: Andy Puzder, a fast-food CEO (Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s) who is, naturally, against raising the minimum wage, and fiercely against over-regulation.

7. Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt, a fossil-fuel advocate, a sworn enemy of the EPA, and a staunch Climate Change denier.

6. Administrator of the Small Business Administration: Linda McMahon, a professional wrestling magnate and former wife of World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment wrestler/announcer Vince McMahon, who was aware that at least 40% of professional wrestlers were illegally abusing steroids, resulting in a death rate seven times greater than the general population.

5. Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs partner, who wants to reduce corporate taxes, and has said his number one priority on the regulatory side is to strip back parts of Dodd–Frank.

4. Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross, who formed International Coal Group in 2004, a mining company allowed to be set up free of labor unions, health care and pensions, and who was well aware of his Sago Mine’s safety problems before a 2006 explosion that killed 12.

3. Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos, a fierce proponent of school vouchers that would allow students to attend private schools with public funding, and one of the architects of the Detroit charter school system, which even charter advocates acknowledge is the biggest school reform disaster in the country.

2. National Security Adviser: Michael T. Flynn, who has repeatedly fallen for conspiracy theories and hoaxes, helping to spread the rumor about Pizzagate, the absurd story that Hillary Clinton was running a secret child sex ring out of the basement of a Washington, DC pizzaria, a rumor that led a 28-year-old gunman to enter the pizzeria and fire off an assault rifle.

1. Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor: Steve Bannon, former executive chair of Breitbart News, a far-right news, opinion and commentary website (famous for such headlines as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and “Why Equality and Diversity Departments Should Only Hire Rich, Straight White Men”), who is an admitted member of the alt-right (aka, white nationalism, a movement associated with white supremacism, Islamophobia, antifeminism, homophobia, and antisemitism).
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingends & odd

Top ten one-liners

No Gravatar

10. When my doctor emailed me asking me if I knew my “blod group,” I replied, “Typo.”

9. If you have trouble getting your gecko up in the morning, you may have a reptile dysfunction.

8. When I was young, I used to feel like a man trapped in a woman’s body, but all of that changed when I was born.

7. “Have I made myself clear?” said the chameleon standing in front of the sheet of glass.

6. I intend to live forever, and…so far, so good!

5. I put tape on all the mirrors in my house, so I don’t accidentally walk through into another dimension.

4. I just finished writing a book about poltergeists, and I’m happy to say it’s flying off the shelves.

3. I’m taking a levitation course and, on my very first day I went straight to the top of the class!

2. I’ve started sending Tweets telepathically — so if you think of something funny, that’s me!

1. Two parallel lines have so much in common, it’s a shame they’ll never meet! (although I guess, technically, that’s a two-line joke.)
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

books & writingcreative writing

Excerpt from Auggie’s Revenge

No Gravatar

In 2016, I was lucky enough to have a second novel slip out of the apartment and onto a publisher’s list. Here’s an excerpt you’re welcome to share and enjoy. If it leads to a few sales, I’m grateful; if it doesn’t I won’t sulk. Or, not in public anyway.

from Auggie’s Revenge, chapter 9, “Uncle Sam’s Blood Money”:

But the thought of murder, like most others, drifted away, and I resumed my daily grind. Taking attendance and grading papers. Designing lessons. Lecture or discussion. In class, expounding upon the poverty of philosophy, or at the very least the philosophy of my poverty. Making a jackass of myself in front of undergrads so certain they wouldn’t wind up like the sloppy joker in front of the room.

One afternoon while strolling to the street corner after classes, in the middle of my muddled thoughts on philosophy, Auggie, humanity, murder, et al., I spied a thick wad of bills. [Read more →]

art & entertainmenttelevision

Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life: Episode 4 recap.

No Gravatar

Subtitle: Meg Has Feelings.

Dear Gilmore Girls, I think I speak for all of us when I say: What. The Actual. Eff?

I’m going to insert the Read More tag here so that I don’t spoil things for those who have not seen the ending of Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life. Hold, please… [Read more →]

educationvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Writing, technology, and class mannequin challenges

No Gravatar

Recently, I gave a talk at a high school about how college students today are learning online and with ed tech in general. The audience was parents, and it was interesting to hear how they perceived the learning their children were doing in front of/with a computer and how they felt about it. [Read more →]

art & entertainmenttelevision

Gilmore Girls, A Year in the Life: Episode 3 Recap

No Gravatar

Those hazy, crazy, something days of summer are here and the heat must be getting to those Gilmore Girls because things got cray in this episode.

Recap

Despite trying to convince the residents of Stars Hollow that she’s only home temporarily, we all know that Rory is, indeed, “back” and is signaling her commitment to letting her life go down the toilet via her wardrobe. Out go the lucky red dresses and jaunty circle skirts that attract men in Wookie costumes like moths to flames, in come the leggings and oversized tee shirts. She’s basically becoming Lane. Sad, sad Lane. Rory is bored out of her mind because no one clued her in to the fact that freelance journalists can, you know, work from wherever, so takes on the sad task of reviving the Stars Hollow Gazette. How sad is this endeavor? It’s Lane Sad, that’s how sad it is. It’s so sad that Rory has to enlist her MOTHER to help her deliver the papers around town. I mean, honestly, how big can Stars Hollow be, really? How exhausted can you be, really? You were just on the phone with Logan saying that you were bored, Rory. Then Jess finally shows up like the deux ex machina at the end of the opera, prompting Rory to finally see how very Lane Sad she’s become. He pulls his best Dr. Behr and tells Jo to just write what she knows, already. Oh, Jess. We can always count on you to slap Rory upside the head. Also, Rory is also becoming increasingly worried about Emily’s depression and gets no support from Lorelai on that. Lorelai really is like a child sometimes. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingpolitics & government

Top ten shows on Trump TV

No Gravatar

10. Touched by a Millionaire

9. 8 Simple Rules for Me Dating My Daughter

8. Mad Man

7. Arrested Developer

6. How I Met Your Mother While Cheating On My First Wife

5. Sexist in the City

4. The Fresh Prince of Hot Air

3. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Who Never Pays Taxes

2. The Blunder Years

1. The Amazing Racist
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.