Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newt Gingrich, Etta James, and a Lasagna Sandwich

I've had three topics in mind to blog about lately. Since I couldn't decide which one to focus on, I'm writing about all three.

I'll start with Newt Gingrich.

Like a lot of people, I caught Newt's angry exchange with CNN's John King at the beginning of last Thursday's Republican debate in South Carolina. Moderator King asked if Gingrich wanted to respond to allegations by a former Mrs. Gingrich that Newt had wanted an open marriage. Newt went off on King, condemning the question and the entire media industry. The audience cheered wildly, multiple times.

After watching this clip, there was no doubt in my mind Gingrich would win the South Carolina primary. Whatever your political persuasion, it's hard to deny this was an electrifying moment of television. And I believe that's exactly what both King and Gingrich counted on. I suspect King knew perfectly well that asking the question the way he did would ignite a Newt-tron bomb, which would then turn the moment into a viral Internet video. And that's good for CNN. At the same time, Newt calculated, accurately, that he would get big applause for taking King to the proverbial woodshed and, by extension, all journalists. The exchange, as it played out, between them was a win-win for both.

I must admit, Gingrich's flash of anger was fun to watch--to a degree. But the explosion eventually devolved into a tirade, diminishing what had come before. Also, King should have framed his question within a larger political context to give it relevance to the debate, in my opinion. Otherwise, the question as he phrased it came across as self-serving and pandering. A politician's private matters should remain their business and not ours, except when they publicly take one stance while doing the exact opposite. So maybe King should have said, "Hey Newt, at the time you were crucifying Bill Clinton over that whole Monica Lewinsky thing, you were allegedly asking your wife for an open marriage. What's up with that, dude?"

A moment of silence among married couples, please

Speaking of marriage, let's move on to Etta James. Married couples everywhere should share a moment of silence in honor of the powerhouse singer, who died last week at 73. How many weddings have you attended where the first song the bride and groom danced to was James' ballad At Last? She raised the roof with Tell Mama, I'd Rather Go Blind, A Sunday Kind of Love, and I Just Want to Make Love to You, among many others. She had a rousing, gritty voice, a cross between Billie Holiday and Aretha Franklin, and yet it was distinctly her own. 

And finally, that lasagna sandwich

Last Saturday night, Nick and I had dinner at our friends Bob and Kurt's home. Bob served his excellent homemade lasagna, leftover from Christmas. In honor of Paula Deen, we made lasagna sandwiches--stuffing the lasagna between two slices of cheesy garlic bread. Decadent? Wait until you hear the dessert: homemade chocolate cake and homemade chocolate chip ice cream.

The next day, I didn't eat until 4 p.m. And when I stepped on the scale at the gym, the scale wagged its finger and said, for everyone to hear, "Oh no you did-n't!"

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  1. Jim,
    I've been in this same predicament so many times, too many subjects to write about. I don't understand some people who say "What will I write about in a blog?" I NEVER have that problem, in fact sometimes I also write about several subjects in a blog, thus disobeying the BLOGGER RULE of staying focused on ONE SUBJECT PER BLOG.

    You are right on the mark about the Newtron Bomb at the CNN debate. It was a win-win for Newt and Jon King. I'm not a Newt fan but I have to admit a guilty pleasure in seeing him go off on Jon King and showing Mittens what a man with balls does, even though I don't agree with him on anything and he's a hypocrite to top it off.
    About Etta James, yes she was one of a kind. I'm still not over the death of my all time favorite: Dinah Washington.

    And Miss Dean...what can I say but you mean you and your friends didn't deep fat fry that left over lasagna?

  2. What do Newt Gingrich, Etta James and Lasagna sandwiches have in common?

    Absolutely nothing, but somehow it works here. :D

  3. Thank you for your investigation into the Lasagne Sandwich. It is difficult work, but somebody has to do it. Your work has saved many lives already.

    PS The scale at your gym is kinder than the one at my gym. At my gym there is an audio component in the scale that barks out "Hey! One at a time!"

  4. Miss Dean's trying to kill that girl on her show, isn't she...

  5. I think it sometimes work to blog about many things, and sometimes it doesn´t.
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    At the moment i have around 30 subscribers,and of course i want more. That´s in the nature of a true blogger.

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    Hope that you will like it!