Over Coffee

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It’s only gotten worse in the past 20 years, Vince! This is an interesting little series from 1993 that I will begin here today. I don’t think it has ever run on the Web site; maybe you can tell me. It generated a lot of interest when it appeared in newspapers though. It seems a lot of people could identify with having a special friend at the office.

90 responses to “Over Coffee”

  1. I have an all-female staff, so I can’t have a “special friend” at the office. If I did, all the others would be drawing straws to see which one got to neuter me. Figuratively. I think.

    Besides, I wouldn’t do that anyway. As I once said, having an all-female staff is like having multiple wives, except that I don’t get to sleep with them. 🙂

  2. Chris:

    How about “your ‘most valuable players’ freedom”? Pigeon-holing takes many forms; honors students are real people, too, not just nerds or dweebs.

    Peace, emb

  3. eMb, it’s also called “Shag, Marry, Kill” for the less profanity minded, and can be quite funny sometimes. I was at one gathering of lady friends (all of us over 30) where we played using characters from Shakespeare’s plays.

  4. If I am recalling correctly, this particular series was a “Road Not Taken” moment. As I watched events unfold, it looked like Our Bard would indeed be following another mantra of the ’90s. But at the last second, he veered away and never looked back. I am very, very grateful that he did, and it has made all the difference.

  5. About the time this series originally ran I was working as either the secretary to the shipping manager or was the assistant manager of the shipping department, depending on how my boss was feeling on any given day. I was more or less the office wife, as I was the one to make the coffee, make sure there was milk in the mini-fridge, and dust the boss’s desk. I also had to listen to the boss complain about his wife always taking the kids to visit her parents in New York and staying for a month at a time. I drew the line at helping him with his “problems” while she was gone though.

  6. Before Loon became a work from home wife, I would have lunch with her assistant occassionally just to keep our calendars in sync.

    Jean, might be wife was gone alot because hubby wasn’t good at ‘problem’ resolution. 😉

  7. A good friend of me and my wife was Sr. Andre’, a Benedictine nun who taught for 15 years in the college English dept. One time Sr. and I were off to a statewide across-disciplines writing workshop at another college, and Sr. and I stopped for some reason at the hospital’s med-surg floor where wife was head nurse. Wife introduced Sr. as my ‘office wife.’ Some of the RC nurses there were scandalized. Sr. loved it.

  8. Bryan – I originally read your post as ‘Comic history has just been made: within the past hour the probe Philae…” and I thought you were linking to the xkcd “live” comic. It’s a fun read, especially if you have time to go back and click through the 130+ live panels (it doesn’t really take that long.)

  9. When Mike was a salesman on the road all the time he spent so much time in West Texas that I always joked he had a family in Amarillo that we didn’t know about because they saw him more than I did.

    Sometimes that isn’t a funny joke, of course, as it turns out to be true.

    Love, Jackie

  10. Quick explanation of sudden absence. Mike has a tumor/cancer in his thoracic spine, along with dozens of others now because his previous cancer center stopped treating him abruptly and in 90 days he is suddenly ridden with them. We have been trying to get back into treatment, get tests run.

    Suddenly the pain got so severe and he was losing ability to breath. I talked to everyone I could get on phone and best advice I got was to load him in ambulance or car and get him to ER. Which I did, the ER of hospital we like and where most of his doctors are part of a group. (Except the cancer ones and somehow he was not going to the group he had asked to be sent to that was part of the hospital)

    Within minutes he was in ER hooked to monitors, tested, admitted and being treated. In hours he had a new oncologist and received treatments, pain management, medications. He has now been sent home and has an entirely new oncology group, the one we’d asked for back in March. We will drive in daily for radiation and we have a meeting with chemo doctor Tuesday.

    I need some sleep but I think I am angry at myself as well as the first group because my logical mind knew what they were telling him was impossible. But my emotional mind wanted to believe they had enacted a miracle, despite knowing better.

    Rant over. Now we really do need a miracle or at least we have concerned and caring physicians which was what we wanted from the beginning.

    Love, Jackie

  11. Want the Village to know I went back and read every single post and so nice to hear from so many voices. I especially want to thank our servicemen and women, their spouses, their parents, all who have served our country. When I came out of the hospital parking lot today I saw that ubiquitous “Happy Veterans’ Day” sign and asked myself, couldn’t they just say “Thank You”?
    I know that having never known a father because he died before I was born in WWII it has always seemed a somber day, although I am also thankful for those who did survive and served.

    JJ has always done some extremely appropriate strips in honor of veterans and I thank him for them all. Bill Mauldin was a great hero to me as a kid and growing up, and we have talked a lot about the classic strips like “Steve Canyon” that featured military personnel.

    Good night and God bless, Love, Jackie

  12. Jackie, I am truly sorry to hear about Mike’s setback. With you having been silent for over 48 hours, I was afraid that something like that might have been going on. I am, however, happy that he is now being treated by physicians in whom he and you obviously has confidence, and who just as obviously have great concern for his well-being.

    Needless to say, he will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers, as will you and the rest of the family. And there is certainly no reason to be angry at yourself for having hope. Continue to do so.

  13. Jackie: A sad account, but often true. My thoughts and prayers. A nurse where I volunteer has gone through initial chemo, and seems CA-free, but you don’t really know for some time. She gamely worked when she could, head scarf and all. Now she is short & curly haired. The curly thing is common. She is a day-brightener, as are many of the OR nurses. Don’t see her every Tue., as they rotate positions in the OR suite, and also hours. 23 scheduled surgeries yesterday, + 3 walk-ins.

    God bless, emb

    P.S. “Sometimes that isn’t a funny joke, of course, as it turns out to be true.” That, of course, is the plot of ‘The captain’s paradise’, with Alec Guinness in the title role. Neat movie. Also enjoyed ‘The Lavender Hill mob’ and ‘The man in the white suit.’

  14. Went to a talk by a Holocaust survivor yesterday, at an ELCA church. She was <10 during the ordeal, but she and her parents all survived [almost no relatives did] and made their way to NYC after VE Day. Has written several books, and lived long enough in NYC to have a mixed German/NYC accent. It is good to hear the 'mother tongue', one version or another.

    My cleaning lady suggested that we go, and have dinner first. All on the up & up, hubby and son were deer hunting, daughter staying w/ somebody. I said I'd buy supper if she drove [I avoid night driving]. Got the better of the deal. Green Mill was feeding vets free. Remembered to figure in a 20% tip of the original total.

    Today I managed to find a new home for my feisty cat. Loved him, but biting problems, and it is a relief not to continually wonder what the cat has done while I was out, or out like a light.

  15. Mike’s hair has grown in curly and thicker, more like tight ringlets.
    He had gained back almost all his lost pounds, since he was really fit, he didn’t have any to lose. He is going to try to keep up his walking and water exercises but this will be hard with radiation daily unless we switch to the St. Johns’ Wellness Center, as his wellness center is 25 miles south of us. I am certain he is eligible to attend the St. Johns’ center as well.

    By the way, for all the senior citizens among us, if your hospital has a wellness center, they also usually have very reasonable rates to exercise, use facilities and they are trained in working with older bodies and those who have or are ill, much better to help us than the ones tuned to young, fit bodies. I say that because when I was young I went to exercise centers with a pack of Playboy Bunnies (for real, not a joke) and then I went to one that had a lot of entertainers (not sure in what field?) but I am now old and unfit and I need someone who is going to care if I drop dead if I walk a 1/2 mile!!

    Thanks for the care and concern! You guys are my support group.

    Love, Jackie

  16. Apparently if I go a day without commenting the forum forgets my name. Oh well. When I saw the movie “Sweet Home Alabama” I thought that the coon dog cemetery was a bad joke but it is a real place. Having pets I understand now that a family member can have any number of legs. The tombstones in the cemetery range from a now unreadable piece of wood to a large slab of granite. I have a large piece of granite in my garage ready to be cut into three pieces and engraved. As my current life expectancy is probably about what theirs is the question becomes where do I bury them, but the best answer is on my stepson’s property in Abama. As he has has

  17. What are multiple rabbits? A hutch? I thought that was where they lived? A clutch? I thought that was when they were shot and in a handful to be skinned?

    Too tired. The one in Hawaii had a no bras to exercise in, au naturel and no clothes/suits in whirlpools, saunas or pools. In retrospect that seems sort of suspect?

    This wasn’t very appealing to older clients, so lots of fitter bodies. But required nudity has never been a rule anywhere else I have ever exercised. I think even now it was strange.

    Good night Ghost.

    Love, Jackie

  18. You can see from the above that the comment was not finished. The cursor began moving all over the screen and would not obey the mouse. Battery going bad? Someone or something taking over my computer? I managed to get it over the “submit comment” button long enough to get out of it. Is my provider going offline? I’ll click on submit and see what happens.

  19. Jackie, sorry to hear about the turn with your husband.

    EMB, I was surprised by the number of restaurants offering free meals to veterans. We are visiting my daughter in Grand Junction, CO. There was a much higher emphasis on Veterans’ Day here than there ever is in Austin.

  20. A group of bunnies is called a “herd”. So let me revise my comment…“A herd of Playboy Bunnies.” Now there’s *really* a phrase to conjure with!

    And what was the exercise place in Hawaii called, anyway? The Olympiad?

    That reminds me…did I take my blood pressure meds today? 🙂

    Seriously, that does sound pretty suspicious. If it were present day, I can almost guarantee the place would have been equipped with hidden video cams. And may have been then.

  21. So glad that Mike is receiving better care now, Jackie. I friend that I used to work with had bile duct cancer over two years ago. After surgery, chemo, and radiation all seemed well – except it left her permanently disabled and no longer able to work. Yesterday she found out that her cancer is back and is now in her lymph system. You and Mike will be in my prayers.

  22. Jerry, we didn’t forget. 🙂 You told us you were going away for a while, and when you came back you checked in…saying you were tired and still catching up. Glad you’re back! Hope the implant isn’t causing you trouble, and that you and the cats are all here a long time.

  23. Jerry in Fl, we are all glad to see you back. Llee is right, as usual. I will be thinking of you and the cats; hope your computer gives you no more aggravation.

    Dear Jackie, your friends here are all much concerned about Mike’s health and your responsibilities. Our loving wishes for great improvement! Take care of yourself and please be sure to take all your medications. You need to stay strong, for Mike; and your mother too.

    Much love from your friend in New Hampshire,

  24. So many Village friends… so many concerns… yes, I pray for all of you going thru troubles.

    Jackie… RE your comment that we are your support group – At one time, I had lunch quite often with the clinical director of the mental health agency where I work. At one conversation regarding my needed “sister fix”, she stated that if everyone had as supportive family/friends, there would be no need a lot of the mental health services. So – go ahead! Share, rant, whatever! We are here for you, and we care. Prayers and hugs…

  25. Jackie:

    Maybe they think it’s equally weird to require clothes. The clothing optional sunning area in the Englisher Garten in Munchen does not seem to require nudity, but most folks there are naked.

    Peace, emb

  26. And Jerry – we have not forgotten you! We just trust that you will check in when you can. I love the movie, Sweet Home Alabama, but it has been a while since I saw it. I don’t remember the reference to the coon hound cemetery. Methinks it is about time I saw the movie again!

    And to all, I echo emb’s benediction… peace…

  27. Galligio, that’s what I was trying to do tonight! We have a temporary ice sheet here in the California central coast area, and this week was its opening. Tonight was my first time playing hockey since March. Yayyyy! My sore muscles aren’t saying that, though.

    Tuesday morning, the SLO County Band played our annual Veterans’ Day gig, and the main speaker was way better than normal. She had recently gotten out of the USAF, and despite a stellar career there, was having trouble finding civilian employment, as have many returning veterans. I only wish the audience had been younger, and included more small-business owners who could have heard her talk. Among the points she raised are that the veterans are trained and experienced at making quick and accurate decisions under pressure.

  28. Good morning Villagers…

    Jackie, I figured you were busy with doctors’ appointments these past couple of days. Please know that you have great support and love here in the Village. As I have said before, packing eggs is not rocket science, so my mind tends to drift and it often drifts to here. I will keep you and Mike in my thoughts and prayers….Amen. And I am glad your daughter is staying with you.

    Now, Jerry, I wondered why you didn’t post yesterday regarding the coon dog cemetery, but I figured you were busy….so what were you doing that took precedence over posting 🙂 (I’m teasing you)

    and GR 😉 don’t ever change….herd of Playboy Bunnies indeed, you’re such a slut puppy.

    Well, little Kyler didn’t last long yesterday. He had an early day and no nap. He didn’t want to eat, he was contrary, only wanting sweet tea to drink. So I sat him down beside me and started reading to him and he fell asleep at 4:30….I laid him down. And that was it for the rest of the night. His mom called and I told her he had fallen asleep. I asked her if she wanted me to wake him up as he probably wouldn’t sleep when he went “home”. No she said, he was fine. Thankfully….I was a tired puppy too.

    ya’ll have a blessed day, truly


  29. I remember visiting some distant cousins in Russellville Arkansas (whom I bore a striking resemblance) and we drove through Booger Hollow with a sign that read “Booger Hollow- Population 7, counting 1 Coon Dog”

    We always referred to a group of bunnies as a “bunch” Like as my Mom would used to say: “A bunch of dumb bunnies” She never thought of that in a racial term, but sadly some folks did, so she refrained from that phrase in public.

  30. sand, that’s just it-I didn’t want to know whether he was good at “problem resolution” or not! And, the company had moved from Haupaug NY to Kennesaw, Ga, and Wifey really hated being in Georgia and away from her parents. She coped by taking the kids up to visit a lot.

  31. I wonder if the kids have gone to France yet. I wonder if Gene is still planning to go for his masters in horticulture. I wonder if he and Mary Lou are still diligently working on growing precious little things from lovingly planted seeds.

  32. Site’s been offline for a few hours, for all of us judging from time of last post.

    Predicting lows 0 F-single digits above, highs 10-20F next few days. Few ” of snow on ground, enough that we got plowed out overnight. Welcome to n. MN.

    Peace, emb

  33. emb – I caught up earlier 4-is EST, but had nothing to add. Family drama and storage dilemmas took my attention away. According to my local Facebook friends, if I were to look outside, I’d see s**w as well. (I don’t approve of such language. 🙂 )

  34. “s**w”: Lovely.

    BTW, this is the difference btw. local winter and astronomical winter. It looks ~ local winter is here to stay, but one doesn’t know. Peace, emb

  35. Yep, I also noticed the inability to get this page during the afternoon. Glad it’s back.

    Jackie, Jerry, and others (including relatives) with medical concerns whether you’ve mentioned same or not: May the Almighty grant you some medical news for which you’ll truly feel thankful this month.

    Tardy: indeed, thanks a bunch/herd/group to all you vets for your services.

    Required nudity in some public facility? Never heard of such, but they’d never let me in, anyway, unless the proprietor had severely impaired vision! Medical people & facilities charge patients for the peeks they – the people & facilities – take….

  36. Beer bread in the oven getting golden brown.

    Forecast for tomorrow morning…100% chance of sub-freezing temperatures and thick-sliced French toast.

    Debbe 😉 Jean dear 😉

    What c ex-p said, Jackie and others. Still praying for you and yours, Jackie.

  37. I thought the suddenly-changed-story-line of 9CL seemed vaguely familiar, and the dialogue indicates that it is indeed a rerun from when Juliette was between husbands. As does the fact that, as I recall, she was really bitchy when she was between husbands.

  38. OK, I confess…I cut off the heel slice of the fresh-out-of-the-oven loaf, slathered it with real butter and orange marmalade, and ate it. And I glad; glad, I tell you!

  39. GR6: You do realize that is Ruth’s mother, not Edda’s mother, who remarks about the ‘two cup sizes’ and such.

    Today’s two TIPs: The TIP comic is Mark Gertler’s ‘Queen of Sheba’, which I will try not remember when reading The Song of Solomon. The BlogSpot is a Renoir nude that I gave up searching for after 70 pp. of 32 images / p., many of them different prints of the same original. I find neither Gertler’s style nor his model as attractive as the Renoir.

    Probably would have not valued Renoir’s title if I had found it. He has dozens simply titled ‘Bather’, ‘Two bathers’, ‘Nude’, ‘Large nudes’*, etc. *They seem no larger than many of his others, but there are four in the painting. He has one model, Gabrielle Renard#, whom he names. One item is ‘Gabrielle with open blouse.’ She does well so attired. The TIP BlogSpot nude is slimmer than most, closer to my taste.

    #No idea if Gabrielle is related to the founders of Fox News, or the furrier, I.J. Fox. I.J. Fox used to advertise via sky-writing above Manhattan: ‘I.J. Fox furs.’

  40. emb, the title i found is NU DEBOUT. Chrome has a handy feature where you can right click on an image and a box will pop up with options. One option says Search Google for this image. That’s how I got the title here. You can also highlight names, etc and right click and then have the option to search Google for those.

  41. GR6: Problem is I need to renew my Gocomics payment, and forgot to go to 9CL online since Sunday. Is it a rerun? I’ve followed 9 CL since back when the Strib still ran the comic, and don’t recall any visiting prof like this. I think the Strib dropped it during the cello in Belgium fling: (‘I’ve just cured [what’s his name)’s hiccups.’)

    After all, Juliette is a faculty member again, and may be as bristly as ever on the job. Using idioms/phrases like ‘You must be . . .’ leaves an opening for the quick and bristly. My wife was rarely bristly, but she loved an opening like that. Maybe that’s where I got it.

  42. My problem with GoComics is they have messed up their subscription database and lost mine! I renewed it in October with an end date of 10/19/2015. I’ve emailed them and included a PDF of the payment confirmation… and I have to advise you, emb, to double check your payment records.

  43. Perhaps not, emb. Seemed strange she would be aggrieved over encountering a “squeeze” of her ex’s, since she’s been remarried for all these years. And it seemed quite an abrupt change of scene and story. Also, I thought she was still farming.

    For some reason, “bristly” made me think of “not well groomed”, but I’ll not go there.

  44. Good morning Villagers….

    GR 😉 …..Heathcliff and jugs, you’re good 🙂

    So, Mark, noticed you’ve been gone a couple of days, have you returned from “The Endless River”?

    Have to work both Saturday and Sunday…too many weekend help want off…oh well, need the money as I need new tires and my Isuzu goes into the shop to get winterized…..and I have little Kyler three evenings next week…….somebody cry me a river…..(there’s a song there 🙂 )

    Jackie, I pray your daily travels are safe.




  45. Haven’t had time to read posts yet, site was down when I got home from Tulsa late yesterday afternoon but I was so tired I went to sleep and slept for 12 hours straight!

    Mike is staying positive, the radiation takes 10 minutes and we don’t see chemo doctor until next Tuesday so things are going better. He got a pain patch to wear and we picked them up, along with back up oral pain meds.

    We drove around looking at some fall foliage and he decided we would go out to Gilcrease Museum for lunch. Very white table cloth and avant garde menu, beautiful windows that look out over the hills and trees. Mom was wearing a stained sweat shirt and a jacket with huge hole. I said what the heck?

    Mike wanted to eat their bison/buffalo burger which he and mom’s late baby sister had loved. Mom doesn’t eat anything too weird and I looked at menu and decided the buffalo chili and the buffalo burger was maybe only thing she’d eat! She got thru the chili but we brought buffalo patty home to the dogs.

    In case you are ever in Tulsa, we have two world class museums, the Gilcrease and the Philbrook. Gilcrease has fabulous Native American collections and we walked right through one of main galleries to get to restaurant. Mom was having chest pains again, so she didn’t see any of it. I am going to go buy a “transport chair” so she can get pushed. Problem is who to push it?

    Love, Jackie

  46. Note to Ghost, the Buffalo Burger had bacon jam on it and now I HAVE to make some for Mike. I mentioned you had given me recipe and I printed 18 pages of comments and still didn’t get the recipe printed. He doesn’t find comments like that amusing at all, so I told him I would google one.

    The infamous nude when in wet areas of exercise facility was located at the Hilton Hawaiian Village hotel. I doubt many of the tourists complied? I am not sure it was even open to them? Also not sure why no bras, since you’d have a lot of flopping unless you were fairly firm! And yes, I suspected some kind of recording even then but I wore so little at the beach it didn’t seem to matter anyway.

    I missed you guys when the site was down. I found JJ’s Luddie strip yesterday really touching and sweet and yes, I cry and get upset at animals and cats killed on the road.

    About 9CL, abrupt is right and rerun is right too I am sure. I figure the papers or the syndicate pulled the plug.

    Love, Jackie

  47. Debbe 😉 Well, her jugs were the first thing I noticed. 🙂

    Today’s another day I’ll be ignoring the comments on TDS. I’m sure it will be all about I-love-online-banking, I-hate-online-banking, online-banking will lead to TEOTWAWKI, you’re a stupid-old-fogy-if-you-don’t-use-online-banking, etc.

    Jackie, I suspect that if it had been your decision, Martine would have still ended up getting butt-stroked in the head.

    So, am I correct in suspecting you went to the beach 96% naked? Since I lack enough info to do the math, that’s just an guesstimate. 🙂

  48. Three teeny tiny little patches connected with a set of four strings. I think they were called string bikinis in those days? They were minimal to avoid arrest for public nudity. Didn’t hold up a thing.

    I keep telling the story about me running down the beach when Mike got stung by a gigantic jelly fish and the top came off which I did not notice except the tourists did apparently. I couldn’t figure out why everyone was staring because I was running?

    About the bacon jam recipe?

    I figure the syndicate has declared to Brooke to end the 9CL Bill-Martine strip and wind it up and Brooke is trying to figure out how to do so and send it in to syndicate who will then decide if they run it or not? Because this happened so suddenly without a bridge, I think syndicate, or else poor Brooke is in a hospital himself?

  49. Here you go, Jackie; fixed that for you.

    Now, time to go take my BP meds…again. 😉

    A Recipe from Ghost’s Kitchen

    Bacon Marmalade


    1 lb Bacon
    1 White Onion
    ½ Cup Brown Sugar
    ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
    2 Tbsp Whole Grain Mustard
    Fresh Cracked Pepper


    1. Prepare your ingredients. Cut the bacon into lardoons. Finely mince the onion.
    2. Add bacon to a large sauté pan and turn to high heat. Cook until the bacon is crispy and perfectly browned. Turn off the heat.
    3. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon from fat. Drain some of the bacon fat from the pan, but leave ¼ cup of bacon fat in the pan.
    4. Place the bacon fat back on the stove top and turn to medium heat. Add the minced onion and cook until the onions are tender and caramelized.
    5. When the onions are finished cooking, add the brown sugar and cook until the sugar has dissolved and started to make a caramel.
    6. Once the brown sugar is bubbling, add the apple cider vinegar and mustard. Cook until the vinegar has started to evaporate.
    7. Finally, season with black pepper and add the crispy bacon back to the pot. Stir together and then remove from the heat.
    8. Let cool and then transfer to an airtight container and keep refrigerated.

  50. Ghost – Your bacon marmalade looks similar to a recipe I’ve saved but not made yet. It was shown served as an appetizer with slices of brie on crostini. While looking at various recipes, I also came across one where they made a panini with the marmalade, turkey, brie, and apple. They all sound delicious. Guess I know what I’ll be making this weekend!

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