30 Comments
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Happy new year, Rebecca! Haven’t seen the Crown, but loved your comment and I could almost hear the accent. Just curious, what’s horrific about the Mac & cheese board?

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It's silly, Michael, but I have a real 'thing' about boards! I like food to be presented on a plate or platter or serving dish - preferably glazed or glass - something I can chuck in the dishwasher! 🤣

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There’s nothing silly about dishwasher-safe dishes, especially if you’re the one doing the dishes.

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My husband and I were just recently reminiscing/cringing about the days of "Freedom Fries". I love that your culture references don't go over my head, leaving me feeling simultaneously young and hip and incredibly old. 😋 I definitely would like to see more mustaches in the White House. But not before I see a half dozen or more uteruses in there.

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References to freedom fries used to be so fresh, then they went stale, now they're retro. Well, maybe not retro because lots of folks under a certain age don't even know what we're talking about. But one thing we should be talking about is getting more women in the White House, whether those women have facial hair or not.

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If they're over a certain age, they undoubtedly will. And that is to be celebrated. ♀️🇺🇲💪

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I celebrate that certain age every damn day!

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❤️❤️❤️

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Mitch McConnell as the unity boogeyman is the lateral thinking we need to save the nation. I knew you were ready for think tank duty.

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Sign me up!

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Jan 11, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

My heart started beating faster when I read the headline “Charcuterie News.” But now I am wondering. While I do want that mac n cheese board right here right now, is it really a charcuterie board just because the lady says so? What qualifies as charcuterie these days? Almost anything it seems. I feel perhaps we need to TIGHTEN THINGS UP.

Also, I do wish there were a Cobb Salad Bowl. That would be some good tv.

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I think you're right, Anne! Charcuterie is gonna jump the shark, if it hasn't already. Time for some dang standards. Also, let's make this Cobb Salad Bowl happen! I figure all we need is a big bowl and a Cobb salad.

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I agree with this take. I watched the video, and even though I said I dig the idea, it's not a charcuterie board. It's a bowl of mac & cheese with a messy pile of toppings. That doesn't quite have the same ring though.

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Jan 11, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

Interestingly enough, Grover Cleveland continued to wear a mustache in part to conceal he’d had a top secret surgery -on a yacht just off the coast! The surgery was top secret because he needed to remove a cancerous tumor in his jaw and back then that would have ended his presidency. Politics!

Back in the day, we had a family tradition called “The Toilet Bowl” wherein we played a game of “Calvinball” (football maybe, but actually any game, wherein the rules could be randomly changed so that a particular side/team would always have the advantage and win) in our backyard which was a very small, very bowl shaped, ankle twisting plot of fescue. Everyone (neighbors , friends, grandparents, toddlers) was/were? encouraged to join in and as long as your team could manage to get a ball (sometimes a football other times a croquet ball or even a badminton birdie… we didn’t care) past the swing set and into a trash can… you had a chance of winning! (A roll of toilet paper!)

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The Toilet Bowl for the win! Also, thanks for the fun facts about Cleveland! I think facial hair was more common for presidents in the 19th century, but for some reason modern Americans insist on shaved presidents. Weird, right?

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Every Michigan alum knows the Gerald Ford trivia. It's part of the Michigan football indoctrination process: one of our former players became PRESIDENT!!!

2. I think a small tweak to this could make it more palatable: "Why my MAGA-loving FIL is actually a Radical Leftist."

6. I kinda dig the mac & cheese charcuterie board. Seems kid friendly, so I might try it out.

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You’ll have to let us know how the Mac & cheese board pans out. I suspect it’ll be a hit with the kids. As for Michigan football, I’m wondering which Wolverine will make it to the White House next?

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Will do!

While Michigan's had a surprising resurgence on the gridiron, I'll go off the field and choose Jia Tolentino.

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Hi Michael; Happy New Year!

1. Pretty good - best linguine and clam sauce ever (Italian Christmas eve).

2. Warning: if Prince Harry is teaching us anything, it's tread lightly with weird relatives. I suggest referring to your FIL as "an unnamed MAGA crazy who's related to my wife." Or not.

3. No. He would have been a better President without the "WIN" buttons.

4. He might, but a false beard would be better, to cover that nonexistent chin.

5. How about the "Moe Howard Haircut Bowl"?

6. Nope.

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Happy new year! Before your comment, I would’ve said prince Harry had nothing to teach us, but now I think you may be correct about treading lightly when it comes to weird relatives and their beliefs. Also, love Moe Howard Haircut Bowl!

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Jan 11, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

Welcome back, Michael!

Sure, I’d be interested in reading a weird MAGA belief every so often. I think it’s fine to agree with the occasional non-destructive position of an extreme right winger. A broken clock is right twice a day. For example, while I think Josh Hawley is an insurrectionist piece of crap, I agree with him that copyright should be returned to 56 years (though his actual proposal to do it was garbage).

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Thanks, it's good to be back! And now that I'm back, I'm going to have to make peace with the fact that I also agree with Josh Hawley about the broad strokes of copyright reform. Basically, whoever took all those pics of him cheering on the insurrection should only have the copyright to those photos for a reasonable amount of time that encourage art and makes it possible to earn a living from said art, as opposed to the current system, wherein copyright lasts as long as Walt Disney lawyers and lobbyists say it lasts.

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I’d be curious to read some of the weird things your father-in-law believes, though maybe that would get too political? I don’t know. However, if anything can reduce the poisonous sting of noxious beliefs, it’s probably your sense of humor 😊

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Thanks Tali! Still noodling on this feature.

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The only thing I know about Gerald Ford is this:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=1tX6jdoruH8

All time great sketch

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That is a great sketch! Don't know why I've never seen it before. It reminds me of a Sacha Baron Cohen bit where his Ali G character pesters some famous newsperson about pre-recording really important news stories like plane crashes.

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Hey Michael great post as usual. Especially given you talk about politics which for a political science student's bread and butter lol. Definitely in terms of weather you guys got it good with spending Christmas in Florida. Compared to hear n Canada where Christmas is usually celebrated during freezing cold temperatures (-25 was the temperature for Christmas 2022). Definitley shocked that you're father in law thought Mitch McConnell was a Democrat, although I guess if he's from the election denial or culture war issue wing of the Republican party, they probably think anyone who has a divergent opinion on those issues are "left-wing to them".

Anyways never knew you were a hockey fan, you don't see much of them in the States compared to here in Canada. I'm just hoping the Edmonton Oilers can reproduce that awesome playoff run like hey did last year. The city was electric when it was happening. Also too many good players on the Oilers side.

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Thanks Fahim! Sorry I missed this comment when you made it. I'm not much of a hockey fan. I like the sport and I even covered it for my college newspaper, but I don't follow the NHL too closely. That said, my father-in-law loves hockey, and I'd rather talk to him about hockey, or car racing (a topic I know nothing about), or politics. So my motto when in Florida visiting my in-laws is "Go Lightning!"

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Jan 12, 2023Liked by Michael Estrin

Nothing special for the holidays. Dinners at home. Watching the fireworks on New Years Eve.

The Toilet Bowl has been suggested, but in line with the post, The Kraft Mac and Cheese Bowl.

No plans for a Mac and Cheese Charcuterie, but at my wife's suggestion, we used some left over take out spaghetti and made it into a strange but tasty Mac and Cheese dish the other night.

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Happy new year, Michael, and wow, another fabulous read - thank you! But a mac and cheese charcuterie board? The HORROR!

It's reminded me of an episode from series 2 or 3 of 'The Crown' that I was watching over Christmas, and the Queen Mother had the following line spoken in the actress's most cut-glass and Englishest English accent:

'This macaroni and cheese is delicious!'

It might well have been delicious, but that dish has been called 'macaroni cheese' (sans the 'and') in UK since time immemorial, with the 'cheese' part of the name being rather more adjective than noun.

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