Rhyme of the Day

Various meanderings with a rhyme in there somewhere.

McDonald's Makes Money
john_j_enright
McDonald's is reporting some good financial numbers, due to their decision to sell Egg McMuffins all day.

'"It's one of the oldest items they've had on their menu, and it's still one of the most popular," said Darren Tristano, who is the president of Technomic, a food industry market research firm. "Selling it all daylong was a no-brainer."'

So if it was such a no-brainer, why did it take so long?

Ever since they first started serving breakfast, people have been asking for it later in the day...

And they've been refusing.
Kind of amusing.

Terry Teachout Visits
john_j_enright
It was kind of bizarre, in a pleasant way mind you, to have the national theater critic for the Wall St. Journal, Terry Teachout, visiting my neighborhood. He was at the Beverly Art Center, talking about his play, Satchmo, which is running at the Court Theatre here in Chicago.

His talk was charming and chock full of info that I didn't know.

I read a lot of Teachout's reviews, because I get the Wall St. Journal at home, and because he sometimes reviews Chicago plays. As the paper's "national" theater reviewer he travels around the country a great deal, which sounds like a fun gig, until I remember what a homebody I am.

After too much travel
my fiber begins to unravel.

Isis not ISIS
john_j_enright
People with the ancient name of Isis
currently face an identity crisis.

The Chicago Tribune reports on the plight of women who are named after the Egyptian goddess who now encounter discrimination.

Then there's this poor lady:

'Vilma Lee-Heinzinger owns Facets of Isis, a bead and jewelry boutique in northwest suburban Palatine. She said strangers have come in wondering whether she's affiliated with terrorism. She's also received several threatening voice messages, she said, some telling her to "go back where you came from."'

It doesn't occur to people, evidently, that ISIS the evil organization is generally spelled ALL CAPS, since it's an acronym, but that Isis the friendly deity just capitalizes the first letter of her name.

Before issuing slaps,
check for ALL CAPS.

Jail & My Generation
john_j_enright
I went to see a play called Jail last night, put on by Runaways Lab Theatre. They run to the experimental, and this was a sort of experiential play about Jail, the first 15 minutes of which consisted of our protagonist wordlessly pacing and fidgeting in his space of confinement, which was indicated by tape on the floor.

It's a new piece, but it took me back to the 1960s, I have to say. As did that Bernie Sanders ad the other day, the one featuring the Simon and Garfunkel song about looking for America.

I thought about my "generation" of Americans, which is not really all that homogeneous, but which is lumped together so readily as the Baby Boom. Somehow the term usually seems to be applied to the upper middle class, college-educated portion of that group.

We did better than I feared we would, when I was in college, when people around me seemed so intoxicated with Marcusian ideology. That ideology has not gone away, by any means. It has its strongholds, particularly in the colleges. But my fellow boomers themselves outgrew it for the most part.

There's a theory that people acquire their philosophical outlooks in college, and never review them, but I don't think that's so. I think people reflect continuously on what is right and just. That's where the stereotype of the wizened wise person comes from. You may come out of college thinking that profit-making is evil, but some years spent in a profit-making enterprise often serve as an education in a contrary point of view.

People don't lock down Truth
in the days of their youth.

Flint
john_j_enright
I was reading about the Flint water disaster. It's an interestingly complicated story. Like a disaster movie, one thing after another goes wrong.

Eventually, in the version I read, a scientist informs them that the Flint River water is too corrosive on the town's old pipes and soldered joints, and is picking up lead and putting it into the city's drinking water... and nobody does anything for a while, in a classic case of multi-level bureaucratic inaction.

Now someone is taking a fall:

'EPA said in a statement that Susan Hedman, head of the agency’s regional office in Chicago whose jurisdiction includes Michigan, was stepping down Feb. 1 so it could focus “solely on the restoration of Flint’s drinking water.”'

I've heard the first hint
in the sad town of Flint
was water that came with a yellowish tint.

Consolation
john_j_enright
I don't care for this current crop of candidates much at all.
So I take some solace in the fact that most will fall.

All Mixed Up Reading
john_j_enright
I arranged a little reading of the new play I've been working on, which is tentatively titled All Mixed Up. I had help from some talented actors:

Ashley Renee Clopton as Beth.
Tara Bouldrey as Carrie.
Johnny Westmoreland as Daniel.
Madelyn Tomko as Ada.
Corey Finney read the stage directions.
Megan Renner Rieck was there in a sort of understudy/dramaturg role.

And we had a very helpful audience of about 7 friends. On the bright side, the overall structure seems sound. The ending worked. The sensitive stuff played well. But I need to make sure the subplot resolution is clearer and I could stand to add some more explanatory background material. Not too much more, I think. This isn't as scary as the public reading of my second play, which convinced me I needed a new and different way to end that play.

Lest I neglect to mention
The performance was brimming with tension.

Non Human Therapists
john_j_enright
The BBC reports:

"While it is still uncommon to see turkeys and other animals on planes, more people are turning to animals to help them cope with problems and stressful situations."

Yes, it's the wonderful world of therapy animals, coming soon to an airline seat near you!

Follow the link for a great pic of an emotional-support turkey with its own seat.

To keep myself sane,
I'm adopting a snake.
When I get on a plane,
what great friends he will make!

Can-Do Marketing
john_j_enright
The Atlantic reports:

"Anthropologie, on its website, is selling a trash can. ...the object is covered, subtly and also not subtly at all, in a thin coat of rust."

And - it's on sale for just under 100 bucks!

Don't be a grouch
Dig into your pouch
And pull out some dough.

Your mind may say "No".
But your heart says "Please, yes.
That can is the best!"

New York Values
john_j_enright
I hear Ted Cruz attacked Donald Trump for representing New York values, and Trump responded by praising the values of many New Yorkers.

I suppose they're talking over each other, talking about different things, and it's not like either of them is known for conceptual clarity about "what is really American".

I know that New York can seem a bit foreign to the average American, but I've lived there, and really, underneath whatever weirdness you may encounter, it's a very American place, with some very American virtues, including a lot of "ambition to make something of yourself".

If you visit, you may meet some jerks,
but when it comes to doing the work,
the citizens of New York
know how to turn up the torque.

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