OTA (11:00 in my time zone).

…and we’re back. Open Thread away! And even if you don’t regularly comment at Ta-Nehisi’s blog — which you totes should — please feel free to join in!

The rules (here) boil down to: 1) Don’t do stuff you wouldn’t do at TNC’s place, and 2) be a person (which The Raven pointed out is exclusionary, but what can you do. Lines must be drawn!)

While you’re here, take the chance to check out the very, very excellent TNC Web-ring, just to your right. There’s a lot of really good blogging being done by TNC’s commentariat — surprising stuff, unusual stuff, ideas and analysis and fun that you don’t see all over the web in different iterations 12 million times a day (my biggest complaint about the blogosphere: Why are so many of us writing the exact same stuff?)

I won’t be able to be as active in the thread today (I got real work this morning! I know! Ah, the thrill-filled life of a freelancer) but I’m around and if you get stuck in moderation I will get you out as soon as ever I can!

177 Comments

  1. Ok I said I can’t be as active today, but I have to do two things right off the bat:

    A) Check out yesterday’s thread, and if you want to carry conversations over, please do! A few people commented late last night or earlier this morning, and I’d hate for them to go un-read….

    B) FuriousGiorge asked that I tell him how to import an avatar, and I boldly told him I could — but then realized that I’m not sure how you do it if you don’t have a WordPress blog of your own already. Can someone else help him out? He’s promised to leave his bagpipes at home today.

    • furiousgiorge

       /  February 23, 2011

      Bam. Who’s that ugly mug? Wait, I know. Now you people can say hi to me on the street.

      • OMG – no time, no time, but OMG. It’s Giorge! Looking very un-Furious, I must say. Quick, say something smart and shocking and funny, so that I’ll know it’s really you! Yo.

        • Seriously, if anyone put a radar-gun on FG’s snark, he’d go to jail, or, get a major league contract.

        • furiousgiorge

           /  February 23, 2011

          Bill Maher had Kevin Smith on his show on Friday and in a battle of who’s the more insufferable cocksucker that one will be coming down to the sort of minutiae that only the judges notice. (That was the best I could come up with on short notice. I’m not sure why I continue to let Real Time fill an hour of my week, it is beyond fucking stupid.)

          • If Maher or Smith wrote for the Atlantic, Emily would quickly delete your comment.

            • HA! Shut up.

              And yes. But I’m glad I don’t have to because FG is right (though I like KS’s movies a lot. EVEN JERSEY GIRL. There. I said it).

              • I’ll (not) see your Jersey Girl and raise you a Cat Woman.

              • Well, better put your money where your mouth is.

                http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/10/zoologically-correct/5233/

                So it turns out that Maher is a colleague of TNC’s. Therefore, nobody here can say anything mean about him, because we all know what a nice guy he is and it would really hurt his feelings. But I couldn’t find any contributions from Mr. Smith on the Atlantic, so anyone who wants to call him an effing douchebag, pork away, buddy.

                • You hate me, don’t you? I’m just picking up on this.

                  No no no! TNC’s rule is about his “band mates” — aka, the other regular bloggers/”voices”. I WILL BE LOYAL TO THE GENERALISSIMO! (pls to note my last comment, in fact, in reply to TheRaven. Ahem).

                  • You know I’m only joshing you.

                    On an entirely unrelated note, as I was watching the DVD of Max Headroom recently, a show from 1987, I looked at one of the guest stars and thought absently to myself, “That young man looks kinda like Bill Maher.” But I didn’t believe it actually was. For some reason it didn’t occur to me he was even around back then. But as I kept watching, my suspicions grew, so I looked it up, and sure enough, it was a 31-year-old Maher, with brown hair and a ponytail.

                    He plays a crooked TV exec who has a man killed so he won’t squeal about a conspiracy to run literally mind-altering TV programs. In other words, his usual shtick.

                    • I do! No worries. But if you do start to hate me, I’ll know what it looks like….

                      Max Headroom – man. That is some serious wayback machine you got going on there! Perhaps someone should call Mr. Maher and tell him he can step out of it now and move on….

                • If Maher would just admit that the real reason he hates his film “Cannibal Women In the Avocado Jungle of Death” is because Shannon Tweed did a better acting job than he did, then maybe I might tune into his stuff more often.

          • Anibundel

             /  February 23, 2011

            I stopped watching Real Time in 2008, I couldn’t stomach his sexism.

        • How come he’s not wearing a yellow hat?

          Does he need one?

      • taylor16

         /  February 23, 2011

        OMG, a face to put with all of that furiousness?? NO WAY!!

    • Import an avatar to where?

      I picked my current juggling avatar while I was registering for OTB’s commenting system, whatever that was. Then I discovered Disqus allowed me to import it to their system, and to make it universal or something. Now it seems to crop up everywhere I comment, even places where I didn’t know I’d ever registered. I just type in my screen name and blog address and, bam, there’s that cartoon unicyclist again.

      Okay…now I’ve looked over what happened, and it seems OTB used a system called Gravatar, and then Disqus allowed me to import it to Disqus. Why does it show up on WordPress? Because well…isn’t Gravatar a part of WordPress? Or maybe it uses WordPress, or WordPress uses it. I dunno. Maybe you should check out this page to get it sorted out:

      http://en.gravatar.com/

      • Thank you, by the way. (I thought “thank you for this” earlier today, in your general direction, but didn’t have a moment to type the words out at that very moment!) I will look into it.

  2. Anibundel

     /  February 23, 2011

    Today in three year olds we had to turn the lights off and emphasise that dancing does not mean smashing into your classmates. I bit my tongue and did not bring up moshing and confuse the issue.

    • BJonthegrid

       /  February 23, 2011

      Hahaha Until maybe two years ago, every time my boys “danced” they would automatically drop to the ground. They thought they were dancing, but they looked like they were having seizures. Of course someone always got hurt because they never had enough space between the two of them. Irritated the hell out of me! Have fun, but keep the bandaids close by. 🙂

      • SWNC

         /  February 23, 2011

        Heehee! My two-year-old “dances” by running around and around the dining room table.

    • Three year olds invented moshing.

      It was taken to the pits by folks who want to be three, but can’t do to the restraints of time.

    • Rosa

       /  February 23, 2011

      Haha. Today in 5 year olds we discussed how the concept of “hitting” includes headbutting and also whirling around very fast until you accidentally elbow someone in the gut.

  3. dmf

     /  February 23, 2011

    hey k(ate)_bee have you ever checked out the cities grad program @ LSE? if you are still interested in D&G check out:
    http://larvalsubjects.wordpress.com/ where I play the skeptical humanist gadfly.
    http://www2.lse.ac.uk/LSECities/citiesProgramme/home.aspx

  4. Hey folks, what’d I miss? I’m just back from a couple weeks off the grid (a blissful if brutally cold trip into the Alaskan backcountry) and I find the OT moved to Emily’s place again. Were we naughty while I was away? Drama? Gossip? Fill me in!

    • TNC is swamped with work and/or being on the road, so he took a few days off. There has also been some very harsh stuff on the Michael Vick and the Rape discussion threads TNC had up earlier in the week. Also, I snarked about being snarky on McArdle’s threads re: Wisconsin and TNC called me on it for poor behavior, old bean.

      • I’m not getting the connection, really. Paul W does not = bad behavior.

        The Michael Vick thing must have exhausted TNC. Did everyone else notice how he went into patient/coaching mode?

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2011

          I kind of assumed it was the Vick thing too. I thought he was onto something with the racism angle (although I certainly don’t think that explains all the vitriol aimed at Vick from all critics), and it sounded like he was being barraged with the “you don’t know what you’re talking about” thing via posts and emails. God knows how much worse he got than what he posted.

          As a woman who sometimes gets involved in calling out sexism where I *really* think I see it when others don’t, I can relate to how frustrating and demoralizing that can be.

          I mean, I don’t know if that was it, obviously, but I know that sometimes I want a couple of days of quiet when I’ve been feeling attacked or like people just DON’T GET IT.

          • Ian

             /  February 23, 2011

            Whatever it was, I wouldn’t want to leave something like this unattended with my name on top.

          • Anibundel

             /  February 23, 2011

            I think he also accidentally derailed himself with that “Maybe they’ve been abused.” closer. It really confused the issue, with a lot of people misinterpreting that, and getting all in arms over it.

      • Little_Gidding

         /  February 23, 2011

        It takes boatloads of self-control to stay off of that last topic, but it really is necessary. And the stronger one’s feelings, the more necessary it becomes.

    • Ian

       /  February 23, 2011

      What part of the state were you in? Did you get the storms and the 50 below?

      • I was in Yukon-Charley (via Fairbanks), with, yes, plenty of -50. I think I beat the storms out, they were sort of behind me as I was driving home I believe.

    • Thanks for the updates, folks. I didn’t get deep into any of the Vick threads but I sensed they got pretty hectic.

  5. Tomorrow I take my silly kitty Page in for surgery. She has a lump on her side that the vet wants removed (the tests didn’t come back positive for cancer, but the lump doesn’t show signs of being inflammation from her booster shots).

    I am afeared for my silly kitty. I know she’s going to be terrified of going back to the vet. I know there’s always risks to surgery. I just… I want her to be okay. 😦

    • emrgncyp

       /  February 23, 2011

      Our kitty had lumps that turned out to by cysts. You should ask your vet about that.

    • Tuna. Fish.

      She will forgive & forget.

      • Anibundel

         /  February 23, 2011

        We bake plain chicken whenever we need forgiveness treats because someone had to stay overnight at the vet.

  6. BJonthegrid

     /  February 23, 2011

    I am knee deep in the Wisconsin thing, but I do have a request to all, more specifically to Emily. Do you have any suggested readings on the Israeli/Palenstian conflict. I confess to severe ignorance. I think I found out two days before George Bush that there were Sunni and Shiite Muslims.

    After watching almost a month of AJE, I think all the protesting is going to keep spreading. It is bound to have a big impact there, which means America will be involved. I get plenty on how different people feel about it but I don’t actually know “what happened”. I don’t really have a side, I just wanna know.

    Thanks for the OTAN. Nice to read everyone.

    • Don’t forget people, in lieu of wasting money on Lost Battalion gear, send in orders for pizzas to be delivered to the protesters in Wisconsin.

      • BJonthegrid

         /  February 23, 2011

        Don’t talk bad about my coffee mug! But yes, Ian Pizza is doing good work! Ps. Hi Paul

    • Really quickly – of course I will recommend myself!

      Here’s my The Basics piece: https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/israelpalestine-the-basics/ It’s not completely up-to-date, but in the sense that everything old over there is new again, you’re not missing much. Here’s a piece in which I bemoan just that fact: https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/where-angels-fear-to-tread/

      At the end of each you’ll find links to reading lists and advocacy organizations. If the links to those don’t work (sometimes they don’t! FYWP!) just let me know.

      • BJonthegrid

         /  February 23, 2011

        Thank you teacher.

      • I was silent because I was reading this. Now I’m silent because I have no idea what to say. This has been going on forever.

      • Have you done a guest post(s) on TNC’s blog? You KSA, as defined by the fed’l gov’t, seem real appropriate for commentary on middle east / north Africa right now.

        • … he hasn’t asked me to…?

          I really can’t express how much I’d love to. He did recommend me a few months back — a full-bore: “You should be reading this woman” — and that sent me over the moon (where it also sent my hit count for a day or two) and I do always feel a little sad when I find he’s going away and hasn’t tapped me…! But then I also figure: Who am I?

          I mean, no really, honestly: I’m a very, very wee fish and he has a great wealth to choose from among professional writers (that is: paid for their bylines. I’m still professional, I suppose!), and many of his commenters are heavily into stuff that he blogs about a lot, so they are a very good fit for him. Cynic, for instance and Andy_Hall. He did say something once about not knowing what to say about Israel/Palestine so he doesn’t go there, and I do wonder if he wouldn’t want to irritate Goldberg (watch me stick to my own rules about talking about the other Atlantic bloggers. JUST WATCH ME) — but at the same time, I would seriously doubt that it’s even crossed his mind.

          • I think you and Andy are comparable – similar educational background, expertise in an area not within your day job. Andy walked into a developing situation, TNC’s burgeoning interest in the Civil War. (BTW, having watched every minute of his Grand Rapids talk, it struck me that TNC has – perhaps unwittingly – used the Civil War to rediscover history itself. He’s on his way to becoming our foremost history teacher, or more accurately, philosopher of history. The specifics of the ACW and even slavery are receding a bit as the more basic theme of “why this all matters, right now” comes to the fore).

            We’ve got a brand-new developing situation. Goldberg, international journalist that he is, doesn’t have an exclusive on the middle east. You’re based in America’s #3 market, a city internationally regarded as mecca to immigrants, with Czech restaurants, a sizable Polish community and many other enclaves. America’s biggest Arab/Islam metro isn’t too far away. I haven’t seen a single thing in the press about what Detroit’s 200,000 middle eastern people think about struggles to establish democracy. The middle east situation affects American culture, always influenced by immigrants. TNC writes on culture, Goldberg doesn’t. Our culture is affected by economics (which gets short shrift) and given the recently twitchy price of oil, our diminished national economy could be in for another beating, all because most people in the middle east want democracy and a few do not.

            Just sayin’

            • And as luck would have it, it actually is my day-job. I just don’t get to attach my byline to it anymore…. Look, I will not argue. I would love the opportunity, more than I could possibly say. But it’s his house, and I rather imagine he’s got other things on his mind!

              I have decided, though, that for my own sanity I’m going to try to find an established locale.

              Hey Horde: Any thoughts? Name-brand blogs that might welcome a essayist who is as comfortable writing about cultural mores and domestic politics and really loud music as she is writing about Israel/Palestine? Thoughts, recommendations, emails to send to powerful and well-placed friends…? (And if you say “HuffPo,” I will surely slice you off at the knees).

    • SWNC

       /  February 23, 2011

      I have *got* to stop reading about Wisconsin and do actual work. It’s really, really hard for me to tear myself away from this story for some reason. I keep getting sucked into reading, if not participating, in very unproductive arguments. Sigh–I really just need to not visit The Atlantic on days when TNC isn’t blogging. It’s bad for both my productivity and morale.

  7. 1.) Cat is awesome. He might actually get to be named Guybrush even though Husband initially vetoed. We shall see.

    2.) Head is all right, despite bourbon-inflected Tweets last night.

    3.) New cat + lots of drinking + the kind of food you eat after lots of drinking = didn’t sleep much last night. 3rd or 4th night of that, all for different reasons. Do you think anyone will mind if I sleep under my desk?

    • furiousgiorge

       /  February 23, 2011

      This is why I don’t do Twitter. About once every two weeks or so, there’d be a burst of tweets about all the people and things that I think are awesome, and then silence for the rest of time.

      • Heavy-drinking happy hours aside, it’s turned out to be a useful tool for a small set of reasons:

        1.) The quickest, best, most accurate road and Metro information in DC. You can find out more about where the accidents or train service suspensions are in 30 seconds on Twitter than by reading every traffic blog, listening to the radio, and watching the TV reports combined.

        2.) It turns out that the “networking” part of “social networking” actually, um, works. By talking about the stuff that interests me and staying up-to-date on the community, I’ve somehow ended up with first-degree connections to a number of people with way more power and influence than I have, and have even made meet-up plans with some of them for PAX East.

        And those two got me using it enough to fall into the bad habit of #3, which is: all the other crap.

        • furiousgiorge

           /  February 23, 2011

          I think Twitter is neat. I’m just too lazy to use it. Like Facebook. I have one of those too, haven’t checked it in at least a year.

      • On the TweetDeck you can sort the people you follow into columns. This way the serious conversationalists and info providers can be separated from the small talkers and silent-types through the use of lists you create yourself. Works both on phone and desktop.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2011

      I found out that I didn’t get one of the jobs I interviewed for yesterday, which led to lots of soul-searching, less despair than I was expecting (hence the soul-searching about whether I’m really pursuing the right line of work, if I’m not really disappointed about the loss of a job) … and a bit of drinking. And a mind whirring too quickly to sleep much last night.

      So I hear you on the lack of sleep, and I’m with you. Climb under your desk, and I’ll let you know if your boss comes by. We can switch off in an hour, okay? 🙂

      • Ian

         /  February 23, 2011

        Sorry to hear about the job. Glad you got to do some drinking.

      • SWNC

         /  February 23, 2011

        I’m sorry to hear about the job. They’re fools to pass you up.

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2011

          Thanks, guys. I have no right to complain, really. My part time job more than pays the bills. It’s just weird to be thinking about going in a different direction than I’ve been groomed for throughout my graduate school training.

          Ah, adulthood. I don’t think I’m ready for it yet, and I’m in my 30s.

          • JHarper2

             /  February 23, 2011

            Big LIKE of REGRET for your news. Fingers crossed on the other interview for you. Keeping plugging away, while keeping your eyes open for other directions.
            Stay strong. By the way, what was your Drink of Disappointment?

            • taylor16

               /  February 23, 2011

              A little bit of Merlot, followed by some of my current favorite beer (Bell’s Winter White Seasonal).

              Really, without the poor night’s sleep, I would have been fine. However, with the every-hour-on-the-hour starting awake thinking “OMG! Go research jobs NOW! It is 3am and you are otherwise employed but you need to go NOW!!!” … let’s just say I’m a little bit tired today.

              Oh well. Tomorrow’s a new day.

      • Do I remember right that you are applying for academic jobs? Whether or not you are, I’m sending you good wishes and sympathy. But academic jobs … wow. That’s such a hard row to hoe, even in good times, which these obviously are not. Hang in there – you only need one good job, no matter how much rejection you face in getting to that one.

        • taylor16

           /  February 23, 2011

          Yes, academic jobs. Which seemed like a great idea, given that I’m in a really well-respected department and I do fairly well here. I really do think that if I pluck along at it enough and apply EVERYWHERE, I’ll get something in the next year or two. I am pretty good at my job, albeit not a rock star.

          However, I had an epiphany yesterday that I don’t love academia SO MUCH that I would take a job at any school, anywhere. The job that hired someone else was one I genuinely really wanted, and I am much less enthused about the second job in terms of location, salary, workload, etc. I’ve actually found myself hoping that the second job DOESN’T offer the position to me, because I really don’t think I’d like the students or colleagues or area very much.

          And what hit me yesterday is that if I’m not so attached to academia in and of itself, I should apply to a wider range of jobs inside and outside academia. Which is just unheard of in my department, which is why this was a bit of an epiphany to me. In my department, they push us to go academia or bust, and that any academic job is better than any “regular world” job. That’s great for some people, but I’ve been working in the real world for years, and save the particular industry I work in, I don’t mind a “regular” job. It has taken this sequence of events – getting rejected for a job I’d love, and finding that I’d rather work at my part-time office job for another year than take the other academic job I interviewed for – to open my eyes to that.

          So I’m about to start casting a wider net for jobs until I find something that I (and not my department or people in my discipline) feel really excited about. Job #1 was that way, and I didn’t get it. But I’ll find something else. And in the meantime, at least I can pay my bills. 🙂

          • That’s terrific! Yay! It’s really good to hear that you’ve had that epiphany.

            I spent seven years after grad school in crappy academic jobs before I ended up in the one which has been perfect for me, ten years ago – wonderful location, delightful colleagues, awesome graduate students, and generally lovely undergraduates too. Plus, a regular paycheck! Not that I can’t still complain, but you know, on the whole I won the academia lottery.

            And it is a lottery. So much depends on luck, and on willingness to work in horrible conditions and in isolation. Despite my current state of glee and gratitude about the job I have now, I am not sure that wasting those seven years of my life was worth it.

            So I try to make sure that my graduate students know that my regard for them has everything to do with their work, and nothing at all to do with what jobs they do or don’t get,and hope your colleagues and your profs do the same for you. Given the current state of the job market (in my area of study, there are something like 2.5 new PhDs for every new tenure-track job, and it’s much worse in some related sub-disciplines)it would be crazy to think otherwise.

            It sounds like you will be fine no matter what, but here’s wishing you luck!

          • Dex

             /  February 23, 2011

            You seem like a really grounded person. Pay attention to what your life priorities are and be suspicious of all those who recommend their own life choices as a means of justifying their existence.

            I make significantly less money than many of my fellow alumni, but I live in a city that I love with the woman that I love, work at a job that I enjoy, and make more than enough money to get by. This is what works for us, but chacun à son goût.

            • Looking around for the like button for this … drat. LIKE! LIKE! LIKE anyway.

            • taylor16

               /  February 23, 2011

              “Pay attention to what your life priorities are and be suspicious of all those who recommend their own life choices as a means of justifying their existence.”

              Spoken like someone who’s been through a Ph.D. program… 🙂

              Actually, my husband and I have always had a long-standing desire to live in Chicagoland, and just finished about an hour long conversation about whether I should start targeting my search geographically to any relevant jobs that are in Chicago (or Detroit, since our family and friends are all there), since we’re pretty sure those are the two places we’d be happiest. It just goes against everything I’ve seen in grad school or from colleagues to target geographically, rather than what is the “best” job I can get on paper. But it feels more right than contemplating a move halfway across the country to pursue some job that might look great on paper but that I might actually hate.

              So we’ll see … perhaps I really will be around for future Chicago Horde meetups!! Haha…

              • SWNC

                 /  February 23, 2011

                That is remarkably sensible. Life is so much more than a job. You might have the best job ever, but if you’re a city gal stuck out in the country or living thousands of miles away from your family if you want to be close to them, you won’t be happy.

              • CHICAGO CHICAGO CHICAGO CHICAGO CHICAGO…..

          • Ian

             /  February 23, 2011

            “In my department, they push us to go academia or bust, and that any academic job is better than any ‘regular world’ job.”

            After I finished my grad coursework and my TA ran out, I took a job driving campus shuttles so that I could keep my internal hiring status at the university. A few people from my department reacted normally, but for some of them, it was like I had stabbed them in the eye. There were professors who made rude comments to me about it every time they saw me, for two years. It was amazing. Of course, if I’d taken up their offer to adjunct, that would have been fine in their eyes. It didn’t matter that the shuttle job offered fair pay with scheduled raises, good health and retirement benefits, job security, and union representation. Adjuncting, of course, offered none of that. And eventually the internal hiring status allowed me to get my current job, which features helicopter rides and a south-facing office with a view of the Alaska Range. (Hey, it seems like I’m still angry at those people!)

            My point is, do what’s best for you. Leaving academia is not failing.

            • Whoa, those eye-stabby profs! If I could write a mean review of each and every one of their grant applications, I would. What world do those people live in? Do they not understand that students are human, with regular old human needs such as insurance and also paying the rent? There are many more students in all of our grad programs than there are going to be tenure-track jobs. That is a fact, and it is not going to change anytime soon, and when it does it will probably change for the worse. Why don’t people who work in universities understand this?

              Sorry to rant at you – you’ve obviously long since figured this out for yourself. It’s just, this crap drives me crazy, especially from people who really, really ought to know better.

              • SWNC

                 /  February 23, 2011

                I think that many–though certainly not all–professors view academia as something close to a holy vocation rather than a job. I suspect it helps many of them deal with the utter crappiness of the current academic job market. If someone gets sick of the endless adjuncting and leaves the field, it’s not because they made a realistic assessment of their own needs and situation, it’s because they weren’t worthy. I made a considered decision not to pursue my PhD (which I don’t regret for a minute), but I work at a college in a staff position. It’s an attitude I encounter a lot.

                • I think this is often true with this kind of prof. It’s also my experience that they very rarely feel as though whatever they’ve attained is good enough – they can be full profs at Harvard and still feel like failures because they didn’t get to be president of the AHA, or whatever. It’s a smallness of spirit that leads to treating other people shabbily, which is especially awful when they have power over those other people.

                  I know similar kinds of nasty attitudes and cruddy behavior go on in all kinds of workplaces and every trade, but I hate to see it in my own profession. Which maybe only means that I myself wish academia was something like a holy vocation and not just a regular job …

                  • I have to step into the thread just to say: This is a big part of why I loved my graduate school experience so much. Or rather: The opposite of all this.

                    I did Middle East Studies at the University of Chicago, and we were pretty much the only happy graduate students we knew. The vast majority of the staff and faculty acted like and treated each other and us as fully formed humans, and oh.my.God. It was just great. I loved it. When I had my first baby in the middle of it all and my 2-year program became a three year? All anyone said to me was: “Congratulations!” When the vaunted Rashid Khalidi (now holding the Edward Said Chair at Columbia) met my 6 week old, he looked at me, looked at the baby, put down the enormous sandwich he was eating, wiped his hands, thrust them toward me, and said “Gimme.”

                    I was lucky.

                    • I’m so glad! And yet it saddens me that you (correctly) feel that your positive experience makes you “lucky” – why can’t everyone’s experience be like this?

                      Some of us (staff and faculty both) work very hard in the graduate program with which I am associated to make our students’ experiences as humane as possible. But not all my colleagues agree with this approach. I can’t understand why they think that treating students badly will make the students write better dissertations, but they do seem to believe it.

                • Ian

                   /  February 23, 2011

                  The ones who acted badly were not the ones I would have expected to. It said a lot about how they viewed people who are not professors. It’s small of me, but now I enjoy knowing that my own travel budget exceeds their whole department’s. It’s something I can savor as I lean back in my swivel chair and gaze at Mt. Deborah. I’m doing it right now!

            • taylor16

               /  February 23, 2011

              Your experience with the shuttle bus driving is EXACTLY what I have experienced since I picked up my part-time job in medical billing years ago. Which, like you say, offers a steady, fair income, reasonable hours, and job security that doesn’t require me to scrounge around for random scraps of research money every semester. But since it’s outside academia, the disrespect and disgust I’ve gotten for it is UNBELIEVABLE.

              I’m in my 30s. I got tired of not being able to pay my bills. I don’t apologize for that. I’m still finishing my academic work on schedule, and have taught 3 different classes for my department WHILE holding down this part time job. But since I supplement my income, I am seen as less serious and less dedicated since I am unable to attend, for example, our Friday seminars.

              I’m sorry, I value my sanity and financial stability above impressing faculty members I don’t even work with …

              All of these things have, unsurprisingly, contributed to my dislike of academia.

              • Ian

                 /  February 23, 2011

                “But since it’s outside academia, the disrespect and disgust I’ve gotten for it is UNBELIEVABLE.”

                A lot of these people, they’ve never been out of school. They’re messed up. It reminds me of the line in The Wire when that guy tells Bunny Colvin, “It’s clear you ain’t cut out for the private sector.” Which is true of me, too, but it’s much truer of them.

      • Dex

         /  February 23, 2011

        Fear not. I’m sure you’ll get a job. The waiting is terrible, though. As someone who has sat on both sides of the table, you should comfort yourself in knowing that you’re probably in the top third of applicants because you actually have social skills. Trust me: a year or two from now, you’ll be interviewing candidates for hire and you’ll be saying to yourself, “so THIS is how I got a job. I won it by default!” I still haven’t yet figured out how to deal with that realization.

    • how old is the cat? kitty age or adult adoptee?

      • Adult, but barely. He’s right around a year.

        He’s clearly slightly under the weather (cat sneezes are funny and pathetic at the same time) and not fond about the whole neutering-and-stitches thing, but he still comes out and says hi when one of us goes in the office / spare room (where we’re acclimating him)a dn trades purring for head scritches. And he’s eating, and drinking water, and using the litter box okay so I think he’ll be just fine.

    • anibundel

       /  February 23, 2011

      I love the idea of naming him Guybrush. Monkey Island II was the first game I actually spent money for on the PS3 for myself. That is all.

  8. PLEASE NOTE

    I also meant to say that if you’re not on the TNC blog roll (either I never caught you, or I kicked you off for highly infrequent blogging…) and want to be, let me know and I’ll add you back the first chance I get to do a little housekeeping around here!

    • Thanks for reminder. I’m way over ue. Got a bunch of post ideas, but no time. Hmmm…wonder how writers do it?

  9. Re-posting from my livejournal

    Via Al-Jazeera 3.59pm: Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose security forces crushed protests against him in 2009, condemned state brutality against protesters in Libya. He said on Wednesday:

    How can a leader subject his own people to a shower of machine-guns, tanks and bombs? How can a leader bomb his own people, and afterwards say ‘I will kill anyone who says anything?’

    I get the sense he’s asking “How can I do this, and get away with it, because I’d really like to”. You’re next, Ahmadinejad.

    Also, my livejournal is sinboy.livejournal.com . Feel free to link away 🙂

  10. Quote of the Day

    “We have to have a certain understanding of our context to operate, but that doesn’t require expert witnesses”

    Kenneth Cuccinelli, Attorney General of Virginia, in a NYT article on his zealous pursuit of Dr. Michael Mann, a leading climate scientist.

    What qualifies Mr. Cuccinelli to drag Dr. Mann and the University of Virginia into court?

    Why, the same grounding in science needed to sue the EPA, which Cuccinelli himself describes as…..”basic reading”

    I’m thinking Cuccinelli suffers from behavioral health disorders, such as Prius envy.

    Time article….http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/science/earth/23virginia.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hpw

    • Anibundel

       /  February 23, 2011

      UHF. That man makes me embarrassed to be a Virginia resident.

  11. 11. This needs Furious Giorge’s expertise

    Has anyone done a Google image search on Qaddafi? I’m not sure Google even existed the last time Qaddafi was newsworthy. Go ahead and do a search. With no intent to minimize the seriousness and suffering in the Libyan situation, doesn’t a screen-full of Qaddafi look like a hammy caricature of a tyrant? The man is a sartorial disaster, his facial expressions are burlesque. It’s like Qaddafi, the Image was dreamed up by The Onion. If Qaddafi wasn’t a murderous thug he’d have a place of honor in the SNL Hall of Fame, right next to the Czechoslovakian Brothers. Better yet, put him by the Land Shark.

    TR

    • I am always sort of darkly amused in that I’m-going-to-hell way to think that the real Qaddafi looks, to me, like Fred Armisen doing an over-the-top Qaddafi impersonation.

      • Anibundel

         /  February 23, 2011

        Perhaps Ghaddafi has been dead for a while and they hired Armisen to cover for them?

      • socioprof

         /  February 23, 2011

        Thought it was just me.

    • furiousgiorge

       /  February 23, 2011

      There used to be a tumblr or something about men who look like old lesbians.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2011

      He always looks so much like Fred Armisen to me that I can barely even look at him. I feel like I’m watching an SNL imitation of a tyrant and have to suppress the urge to laugh at him.

      • You know, I always thought Ahmadinejad looks just like Steve Carell. I can’t believe no one has pointed it out, or that Carell hasn’t tried to play him on a skit.

        • Ian

           /  February 23, 2011

          My wife hates Steve Carell, but she finds Ahmadinejad to be way hot.

          • taylor16

             /  February 23, 2011

            I’ve actually always thought Ahmadinejad is kind of attractive.

            I chalk it up to my general attraction to thinner men with dark hair. But regardless, it always makes me feel dirty.

        • Huh! That’s why I can’t stand Steve Carroll. couldn’t put my finger on it.

      • Dex

         /  February 23, 2011

        I actually think Qaddaffi is funnier than Armisen, although the former is most likely unintentionally funny. Armisen is like anti-funny, wherein funny matter is annihilated anytime he encounters it.

  12. Where is Mr. Wartenberg?

    Today in Great Victories for Libraries:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/books/23jefferson.html

  13. Speaking of Wisconsin, anyone get the prank call that Walker got from the Buffalo Beast? Basically, the Beast called him, claiming to be “David Koch” and getting the WI gov to talk the sh-t for 20 minutes.

    During which Walker admitted to planning on tricking the absentee Democrats to come back to the state under the pretense of negotiating, only to get the Senate to call a quorum first chance they got and force the anti-union bill through.

    Basically, the call was proof that Walker’s a lying scumbag.

    At first, I felt this was dangling into Breitbart territory: where the Far Right “gonzo” team goes “undercover” by pretending to be pimps and tricking low-level employees of a hated organization (ACORN, Planned Parenthood) into saying embarrassing sh-t, usually editing the comments in a way to make them look worse. As the day has progressed, and when evidence that Walker was planning to back-stab the state Democrats like that, I took a different view. This is different that Breitbart because 1) Walker is not low-level, he’s a key player in a major political battle of the hour, 2) the conversation doesn’t seem edited to make Walker sound worse than he already does, and 3) Walker should have been able to verify who it was he was talking to over the phone (what, no caller ID? the fact that “Koch” didn’t say anything unusual that would make a man go “Hey, you never talked like that before”? Something should have tipped Walker off…). Also, and this is something I learned from both my dad and from the movie The Godfather: never let anyone else know what you’re thinking. Blabbing like that only trips you up later.

    To everyone who voted Republican in 2010: are you SURE you hate Obama and the libruls so much you want back-stabbing idiot greedheads in charge?

    Before this, I didn’t think there could be a worse option at governor than the guy in my state, Rick “MEDICARE FRAUD” Scott. Now… I see he has a twin, alike in temperament and ambition and folly…

  14. taylor16

     /  February 23, 2011

    Things seem to be heating up in my current state of Indiana. I just hope the Dems stick to their guns:

    http://www.salon.com/wires/us/2011/02/23/D9LIL6180_us_indiana_democrats_boycott/index.html

    State law prohibits them from doing anything unless the Democratic legislators are in house. But the Republican leader is telling them to just stay in Illinois indefinitely, he’s not giving in? They had better stay put. I’ll kick in money for a hotel room.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2011

      Oh, and to those interested in our governor, Mitch Daniels, as a potential 2012 presidential nominee? He came out saying that the Republicans should drop the union-busting bill so that the legislators can get back to business.

      I don’t like him, and I’m not convinced he’ll stick to his moderate/reasonable tactics if he went for the presidential nomination. Still, watching Walker in WI and Scott in FL has been instructive. I might send him an email later saying “thanks for being relatively sane!”

    • You’ve heard of this story? IN deputy attorney general Jeff Cox tweeting that WI cops should use live ammunition?

      http://motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/indiana-official-jeff-cox-live-ammunition-against-wisconsin-protesters

      His blog, unsurprisingly, is no longer on Blogspot.

      (Okay, gotta run now. Thanks for doin’ this, Em!)

      • taylor16

         /  February 23, 2011

        Wow, no, hadn’t heard that.

        Here’s hoping the AG does his job and fires the guy. He’s a Republican, but aside from being one of the AGs who is suing over Obamacare, he generally lays pretty low and has actually done an okay job of looking out for the regular people of Indiana. Hopefully that will entail not allowing the regular people to be subjected to threats of violence from government officials as wel.

        • what’s scary is that this assistant AG has been writing like that on his blogs and tweets for years, by the sound of it. It’s only taken this latest outburst where people are paying attention… guy might want to talk to a union rep about defending his ass from getting fired… 😉

          • taylor16

             /  February 23, 2011

            Ahh, irony. 🙂

            It reminds me of the Michigan AAG case, where he was running around stalking that gay college kid for months and months on end.

            I mean, no doubt it’s easy to keep your online life separate from work and keep your boss in the dark about it. (I say as I post daily from my desk at work). But you’d think after it reached a critical mass of crazy, someone would notice.

            Then again, I guess “noticing” and “speaking up when the guy’s boss is also an anti-Obama (or anti-gay in the case of Michigan) Republican” are two different things.

        • As of 4:30 pm today, that AG lost his job. No word yet on if he’s going through his public union to file a lawsuit for wrongful termination.

    • socioprof

       /  February 23, 2011

      As an Illinois resident, I am proud that my state is a respite from the stupid for my neighbors to the north and east.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2011

      Proud of my state x2 today. This is especially welcome news, given the fact that it looks like I’ll be hanging around a bit longer than originally expected.

      The “Right to Work” bill has been killed at the urging of our more sane Republicans based on the Democratic opposition. Thankfully Mike Pence does not speak for all Indiana Republicans:

      http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0211/50047.html#ixzz1Eo4S9BwR

      And the “live ammunition” assistant AG has been fired:

      http://www.theindychannel.com/news/26969006/detail.html

      Way to go, Indiana. I make fun of you as a transplant from the north, but it appears you’re saner than your northern neighbors (WI and MI), this week at least.

    • wearyvoter

       /  February 23, 2011

      They seem to be holing up in Urbana,IL and the room rates are fairly reasonable there. 🙂

  15. Another reason to envy New Yorkers is….donuts?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/23/dining/reviews/23unde.html?src=me&ref=general

    Chicago, waddaya’ got?

    • deep dish pizza so greasy it can clog your arteries just by being in the same room with you.

      • Hey!! We have the Cubs!

        Oh… right.

        Well, anyway, I’m not envious of NYC in the least. I’m one of those craaaazy Midwesterners who likes the Midwest just fine, thank you very much.

    • No way, man, they can tart up donuts as chi-chi hipster pastries all they want, I’ll stick with L.A.’s real man’s donuts. It doesn’t get any better than Donut Man in Glendora, and there are a ton of mom & pop donut shops all around Southern California who turn out good, honest donuts. Truth be told, that article lost me when they said they concentrated on yeast instead of cake.

  16. Today in porn producers….

    * He’s described as an “extremely vain” man who either received excessive Botox treatments or suffered a stroke.
    * He was also rumored to have a botched hair implant procedure between 2008 and 2009.
    * He’s a “hypochondriac” who demands that his doctor visits be videotaped so he can get second and third opinions from other doctors.
    * He travels everywhere with a posse of Ukrainian nurses, the senior member being a “voluptuous blonde” named Galyna.

    Sorry, my bad. Just some Atlantic Wire bullet points on Qaddafi.

    Confusing!

    • *He’s described as an “extremely vain” man who either received excessive Botox treatments or suffered a stroke.
      –> That explains why on his speeches why it looks like his lips aren’t moving!

      * He was also rumored to have a botched hair implant procedure between 2008 and 2009.
      –> That explains the hats.

      * He’s a “hypochondriac” who demands that his doctor visits be videotaped so he can get second and third opinions from other doctors.
      –> Fourth doctor: “Uh, what about the first three doctors you visited?” Q: “I had them shot. Now. Fix my hairline.”

      * He travels everywhere with a posse of Ukrainian nurses, the senior member being a “voluptuous blonde” named Galyna.
      –> Under other circumstances, I would note “Who WOULDN’T?” But I prefer brunettes (long story) so I won’t go there.

  17. Woohoo!

    Even though it was vetoed in the first round, it has come from behind and it is official: we named the cat Guybrush. 🙂

    (For those who are not geeks or gamers, Guybrush Threepwood is the video game mighty pirate wannabe whose avatar I use on Disqus.)

    • anibundel

       /  February 23, 2011

      WHOO HOO! Now all you have to do is discover what he really makes you want to call him when he’s jumping on the coffee table.

      • Little_Gidding

         /  February 23, 2011

        I thought that when they jumped on the coffee table, their names always became Catapult. At least in my family.

        • Is “argh-no-MY-bacon-get-away-you-oh-damn-you’re-cute-okay-but-seriously-off-the-table” too long?

          • anibundel

             /  February 23, 2011

            It’s only too long if you’re not ok with kitty stealing your bacon while you’re talking.
            Also? When it comes to protecting bacon(chicken/steak/pork/cheese/etc) from kitties, aluminium foil is your friend.

            • Little_Gidding

               /  February 23, 2011

              The cat I had from when I was 7 or 8 up through college wasn’t interested in human food, with the sole exception of olive tapenade. No interest in liver, meat, etc., but would eat your olive tapenade. She was more the “stick my head over your book so you can’t possibly read it, because it’s taking attention from me” type.

              My parents’ current cats seem to view human food as recreation. They will steal cherries, blackberries, fingerling potatoes, cherry tomatoes, anything remotely round, and use them to play “cat soccer” all over the floor. This has resulted with streaks of berry juice all over the kitchen and dining room floors, and all over the stairs. But they’re so cute that it’s hard to stay exasperated with them for long. They also do a lot of climbing up high and knocking things over, but my parents did name one of the cats Tenzing, so they kind of asked for it.

    • I protest! I am indeed a geek!

      Just not a gamer. You shall not take my geek status from me! But I appreciate the geek-to-geek translation. (Yay for happy kitties and happy homes with happy, well-named kitties!)

    • enstar

       /  February 23, 2011

      LIKE LIKE LIKE A MILLION TIMES

  18. I am dying to know what you all think of the Obama admin’s decision to stop defending the consitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. I know what I think, which is YAY! and ABOUT TIME! and also, that this is one of the three things about which I said a prayer as I dropped my ballot in the mail in 2008. I am moved and grateful and even though I know that there is so much else going on right now, it seemed right to stop for a breath and mark this beautiful moment.

    • taylor16

       /  February 23, 2011

      Agreed. This was wonderful, fantastic news. YAY!!! Indeed.

      • anibundel

         /  February 23, 2011

        Between this and Maryland about to legalize gay marriage, it gives me hope.

    • even though I know that there is so much else going on right now, it seemed right to stop for a breath and mark this beautiful moment.

      This is exactly it. I got a nice surprise chunk of work today and so have been absolutely scrambling, but I did take one moment, and intend to take a longer one (to read the DoJ’s announcement http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2011/February/11-ag-222.html thoroughly) to do just that. Good news, very, very good news — and in a time of such confusion and frankly fear, it’s very welcome.

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2011

      I’m obviously pretty thrilled. Illinois just gave the thumbs up to SSM and now this. Though I’m married to a woman, we made sure that our officiant was also down with Teh Gay when we got married back home in Montreal in ’08. It makes us feel better about the possibility of raising kids down here. Honestly, we love this country, but the gay thing is kind of a big deal to us.

      I hate to be skeptical, but I’d love to have been a fly on the wall leading up to this decision. Somehow I don’t think it was quite as straightforward as that presented by the DoJ.

      • I ❤ Canadian marriage equality. When my (male) partner and I moved to Canada, I asked the HR person at my new job if it would be a problem getting benefits for someone to whom I was not married. He giggled for a while, and then he said, you're not from here, are you?

        • Dex

           /  February 23, 2011

          I’m cracking up about this because I often do an impression of a Kansan’s reaction upon finding out who/what I am (I believe in SSM, I’m in an interracial marriage, believe in universal healthcare, believe in the racial, gender, and sexual equality; you know, all the burn-in-hell-type stuff), and it always involves this long, drawn-out, exaggerated southern accent, “you’re not from here, are you?”

          I think I threw them off because I’m mister clean-cut white boy and they always saved their best bigoted conversation starters just for me. I felt so special!

          • It’s hard to imagine a context in which “you’re not from here, are you?” could fail as a punchline.

            But wow, it was such a relief to move to Toronto where I could let my freak flag fly. I mean, some of my best friends are in Kansas (literally) but … yikes.

            • Dex

               /  February 23, 2011

              Going to the mall in T.O. is so bloody refreshing. Chicago is allegedly diverse, but it feels like three cities defined by race at times. My wife and I just can’t help but remark at all the different people crammed into the public spaces in Toronto. I remember turning to my now-wife several years ago during a brief respite back home away from all the dirty looks and stares in Indiana and commenting to her: seriously, are there any couples here who AREN’T interracial or gay?

              • HAH! I have said that exact thing while hanging out in a crowd at the Caribana parade. There are places I’ve loved with almost an equal level of ethnic diversity – L.A., Brooklyn – but there’s no place like Toronto for actual integration. And I get to teach classrooms full of those students from all over the world, and all of them different from each other and me in so many other ways … it’s blissful. Sometimes exhausting, but always fun.

              • (Come to Oak Park! Come to Oak Park!)

            • Dex

               /  February 23, 2011

              Oops. Should clarify: I lived there for three years; these weren’t fictional encounters. Although, honestly, people never actually said that quote. It was mos def implied, though.

              • Oh, no worries – I figured you did live there and experience all that. I lived for a while in darkest rural Pennsylvania and really did have someone ask me that one time. It’s just – I just didn’t want to sound contemptuous of all Kansans, because some people I really like are living there right now.

    • Boehner is already complaining that Obama “is trying to distract us by bringing up a controversial issue that most Americans don’t want to be bothered with.”

      This is while he and his party are going after abortion rights with phase plasma rifles in the 40 watt range.

      This doesn’t even count as… how do you spell that Yiddish word for “ballsy”? Anyway. It’s less that that it is stupid and hypocritical.

      • >how do you spell that Yiddish word for “ballsy”?

        You probably have “chutzpah” in mind. The problem is that “chutzpah” is a noun. To make it into an adjective, you say “chutzpahdik,” but that hasn’t really caught on among goyim. So you can just give him a Chutzpah Award.

    • Obviously a good decision. Obama really does know the right things to do, the challenges are always timing & communication in the face of unreasoning opposition, shallow media and a politically illiterate polity. This decision convinces me that Obama carries a list of must-do decisions and waits for a global distraction to sneak a few over. Qaddafi putting a shiver into Wall Street? Cue the death of DOMA.

      • OH MY GOD. That’s it!!

        I have been thinking since before he was elected that the man could be like Lincoln, who did exactly and precisely this kind of thing, waiting and waiting and waiting to get one by, or grab the singular perfect moment that would never come again, or….

        I think that’s exactly what he did. It’s certainly what he’s done a good handful of other times…. Wow. Thank you so much for pointing that out.

  19. furiousgiorge

     /  February 23, 2011

    Also, apropos of nothing, this is always the theme song that plays for me when I come to your blog.

    • That makes me intensely, very, very happy!

      “Whenever I’m in doubt about things I do
      I listen to the high street wailing sounds in a queue
      I go out for my walking sailing social news
      Don’t let it get me down I’m long in the tooth”

      Dudes thought they were long in the tooth! Ha! At the same time, I could do with a bit more harmony in here….

      • Craig

         /  February 23, 2011

        Yeah they were, like, 25. But then again, when you’re from Manchester I think you come out of the womb long in the tooth (it is, or at least it most definitely was in the late-70’s, pretty much an enormous shithole.)

  20. anibundel

     /  February 23, 2011

    Ok–cranky pissed. I applied to a company–we won’t say who, but they are well known, and if i referenced their memorable commercials you would know exactly who they were. These were the people who after I sent in an application, sent me a link to fill out a “questionnaire” which wasted an hour of my life–a whole bunch of true-false high school focused questions that were subtle as a hammer through a brick wall and written at a 6th grade level to boot. The whole enterprise insulted my intelligence.
    So now I get an email from them telling me how interested they are, and click this here link and it will take you to a place to schedule a phone interview.
    Except when you click, there’s no slots available today, and you cannot click forward or backwards in the calendar. This despite the emails entreating tone to HURRY HURRY lest all the slots be filled!!
    I am torn between insulted by this rote computerized idiocy and stunned at the level of basic incompetence displayed. Either way, I am not only certain I do not want to work for them, but I feel vindicated in my choice to not use their services in my everyday life, and probably now never will.
    /rant

    • when a company’s HR department cannot be bothered to leave a 1-800 number to call in case of emergency, I don’t worry about and look for work elsewhere.

      What also hurts that company is I bet you will be telling your friends not to do business with them ever.

      • Anibundel

         /  February 23, 2011

        Let’s just say I wouldn’t be surprised if the Viking hoards were running their hiring processes.

      • Ulysses, Not yet home

         /  February 23, 2011

        “downsized” (the first time) in ’03, I have submitted several HUNDRED on line applications. I haven’t seen a “If you are having difficulty, please call…” for five years or more. I suspect the employment environment probably plays a part in this. With potentially hundreds of applicants calling for a particularly desirable position (and encountering the same fault), 800# costs can quickly mount up. Plus they probably don’t give a shit…

  21. CitizenE

     /  February 23, 2011

    Late to the discussion, but this is for you Emily: Yemen Blues, a band featured in the upcoming Jewish Music Festival in SF: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kSVLYP2I194&feature=player_embedded

    As usual the hat tip goes to Alastair Johnston and his never failingly turned on world music web site: http://www.muzikifan.com

  22. Anyone even tried to load an atlantic-blogger’s page this afternoon?

    They won’t load, for me.

    And it isn’t the Hoard. . .

    • Anibundel

       /  February 23, 2011

      Only Sullys, and it was a refreshing struggle… Though I chalked that up to trying to navigate on my iPod, and there prolly being a mobile site loading issue…

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2011

      It’s been ongoing for the past couple of days. It feels to me like a traffic issue, but I’m not sure.

    • wearyvoter

       /  February 23, 2011

      Same here. I thought our new and “improved” firewall at the office was doing its thing again.

  23. Wow,t his has gotten kind of out of hand hasn’t it? Or do the substitute OTANs usually get up to 120+ comments+

    Frankly, I just don’t/haven’t have/had the stamina and time to keep up with many of the threads anymore. When stuff tapered off around 100 comments per, life was easier… now GET OFF MY LAWN!

    On an unrelated note: has anyone flown United lately? Is it as bad as I’ve heard? Flying from Oregon to Montreal with wife & kids Friday and I.Am.Not.Excited. Trying as hard as I can not to dread the flight with kids. If it was straight through I’d be more OK… but this one is PDX->SF->Ohare->Montreal. Bleh. And “no meal service”…for 10+hours in the air!??

    • Dex

       /  February 23, 2011

      Wow, talk about your milk run itineraries! I think United sucks mainly because they fly heavily out of/through O’Hare. On the bright side, there are lots of places to eat in the airport.

      Not sure how familiar you are with Montreal, but my wife hails from there, so if you are looking for any recommendations, feel free to ask.

      • We’re going to stay with my sister-in-law, so I was planning on letting her do the thinking :).

    • It’s crazy I tell you! (I say this with a thick Israeli accent, because this one time, as we were circling the airport trying to off-load my brother, my normally hardly-accented husband busted out with that sentence with the thickest accent you ever heard and I’ve been mocking him about it ever since. It’s in the family lexicon now).

      Anyway: It’s crazy, I tell you! Back in the summer I would close these threads and open a new one at about the 50 comment mark. This would usually take about two days. Doing this maintained the illusion of movement, and also, because I hadn’t figured out how to make the format a little more Disqus-like (a thing which took me approximately 67 seconds yesterday), they were a lot harder to read and keep up with. And good thing I figured that last bit out yesterday, because holy crow!

      Re: United, I’m flying them on Saturday… but I am going Chicago to DC with no stops and (hold on to your hat) NO KIDS, so I’ll only be able to sympathize, not empathize. As someone who regularly flies across the ocean with kids though (Chi -> Israel usually = 14/15 hours in the air + lay-over) I can only tell you what you already know: Bring a lot of food and a lot of stuff to do. And alllllllllll your patience. Good luck my friend!

      • Well, it sounds like they still let you take food on the planes eh? I know what one of our carry ons will be full of…

    • Little_Gidding

       /  February 23, 2011

      I last flew United in October, but it’s been a while since I had to make connections (between living near several hubs and a dearth of vacation days, direct has ended up being both cheaper and easier pretty much every time I’ve flown in the last two years). It’s not so bad, except for the bag check fees. And those permeate far beyond United, alas.

      The answer to lack of meal service is buying over-priced airport food during your connections and eating it on the plane. O’Hare has some pretty good bagel places that do lunch/dinner-type pizza bagels, or it did three years ago (when I regularly connected there). I’ve been doing the airport food option for the last 6+ years, with exceptions only for when crossing the Atlantic and when on the other side of it, and it works for me. The food is edible, even if you pay ridiculously much for it.

      Still, rough trip with that many switches. Ouch! I’ll be doing a 3-leg trip in one direction this summer (DCA->JFK->LHR->ARN), and I had thought that was bad, but it really pales in comparison to the idea of 3 legs with kids.

      • wearyvoter

         /  February 23, 2011

        The Corner Bakery at ORD has some decent snacking stuff, depending on your mood.

      • The way back is much easier, only the one stop in Chicago… I think we just got screwed on the flight out and there wasn’t a 1 stopper available. We fly very rarely – in fact we’ve taken to driving the 10-15 hours for our last two California trips. We’ll see how the airport food thing goes :).