Open thread?

It looks like Ta-Nehisi is off doing… something, possibly writerly, possibly family-ly, but he hasn’t updated since Saturday, so in order to keep my beloved Horde from watching their own head asplode, I am opening a thread. Have at it, and tell your friends!

UPDATE: Of course within moments of me posting this, TNC showed up at his place. Still no open thread, though, so who knows!



  1. Too late. *is asploded already*

  2. Holy crap I’m having a Monday!

    This is, for the record, the first Monday I’ve ever had. It is rather unpleasant. I do not wish to have one of these again.

    In other news, The New Jersey Turnpike laid a trap for my BFF, and nearly killed her. I am really quite done with the State of New Jersey, and demand someone subtracts points from Slytherin for this outrageous behavior.

    MY de-facto SIL did do me a solid and send me pictures of niecelings, feeding and changing the diapers of their respective baby dolls though. So there’s that.

    • A) I’m so sorry for your Monday-ish Monday! As my sister the midwife tends to say: The sun rises, the sun sets, this day will end, too.

      B) “Subtract points from Slytherin” made me LOL in the most genuine of senses. (And I hope your BFF is ok!)

      C) You say “pictures of niecelings, feeding and changing the diapers of their respective baby dolls” and yet do not provide links or whatnot? What kind of friend are you?

      • The pics are in my email. I think if i put them on the internet for general consumption, my SIL’s head might explode. (She’s not even on FB.)

        • Dag nabbit a person like myself! Well then. I’ll just have to enjoy your enjoyment vicariously. Perhaps I’ll look at a picture of my then-4 year old son breast feeding his baby dolly to make up for it.

  3. So Guybrush Threepwood Cox, Mighty Pirate Cat, has this way of trying to knock the bedroom door down overnight. It damages him, it damages the door, and it displeases the humans. When he really gets into it, it’s usually between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. The first human (me) gets up around 6:15 – 6:45.

    So when he gets into it I just take a couple of his toys and toss them into the office and shut the door behind him. For a couple of hours it’s no biggie (I’d never do it all day or all night, but he never uses his box at that time of day / night) and half his favorite spots in the apartment are in there anyway. (Though not his current favorite, the punch bowl on top of the fridge.)

    I guess he’s figured it out. This morning at 2:43 a.m. I grumblingly got out of bed. As soon as he saw me, he purred, wound himself around my legs, and then promptly trotted into the office, where he sat, purring, in the middle of the floor and waited for me to shut the door on him.

    This cat… he is such a strange beastie.

    • I am confused why you don’t just let him come in and guard you while you sleep. At least there’s only the one of him, so there’s not a fight when a second one thinks the first one’s had the shift long enough and ought to shove off.

      • Because he doesn’t sit still. He plays with my earrings, tries to play with my engagement ring, claws at Husband’s feet, or pulls down the entire rack on which trousers (both of ours) are kept. Oh, then there’s the knocking over of glass items, chewing on the TV (that we seldom use), and playing with the power cords and carpet edges under the bed.

        Those all come with cat ownership. Mainly the issue is that Husband is juuuuust allergic enough that we have been instructed to keep cat dander out of the bed & away from pillows as much as we can.

    • your only option is to put him in his own room away from your bedroom. or better still declaw his front paws.

      • The office -is- his own room, when I put him in there in the wee small hours of the morning. And even if we believed in declawing (we don’t), it wouldn’t help — there’s a 1.5″ gap under the bedroom door, under which cat arms and legs and tails appear, and he rattles the door.

        (We did actually just go to Home Depot and get a piece of weatherstripping, basically, but it’ll be another week or two before I can install it.)

      • Declawing is inhumane. If Drake didn’t have front claws, how would he save himself when he fat ass slides off the couch, or when he tries to roll on his belly for petting forgetting he’s perched on the edge of the furniture?

    • helensprogeny

       /  August 8, 2011

      My cat, who had the run of the house and a cat door through which she could let her self out or in at any time of the day or night, used to regularly come and sit by my head and pat my face with her paw at 4am or thereabouts so that I would get up and feed her. Which actually meant getting up and shaking the cat food which was already in the dish (and always available to her, 24 hours a day), setting it back down and then dragging my ass back to bed. We do many, many things for love of cat. I think they just get bored if they’re the only ones awake in the middle of the night.

  4. Hope TNC is alright.

    By the by, I have a job interview with a Maryland Community College this Wednesday! I need to configure my Skype! I need to iron my shirts! I need to teach my cats to dance on-webcam! AAAAAAAAAAAAAA.

    • A) GOOD LUCK!! Fingers, toes, and all possible crossable body-parts crossed!

      B) I think he must be fine – within minutes of me finally thinking that I might take matters into my own hands, he posted something. So it might just be the four of us chatting for a bit until he gets an OT up…!

      • Maybe he’s on vacation.

        Can he do that?

        • Welllll

          • helensprogeny

             /  August 8, 2011

            I think he mentioned the other day that he’s touring Gettysburg for the magazine. So I think he’s out of town having Civil War explorations, which is probably, from his viewpoint, a lot more interesting and compelling than supervising our OTAN conversations. Still, I have the OTAN withdrawal going on, so I’m deeply grateful to you for opening your living room to us again. An amazing and gracious thing to do. This Horder appreciates your couch!

            • “which is probably, from his viewpoint, a lot more interesting and compelling than supervising our OTAN conversations.”

              How can that be? Live meandering vs. virtual babysitting?

              My head asplodes.

            • :: pats cushion ::

              Sit here with me!

    • helensprogeny

       /  August 8, 2011

      Congratulations on the interview!! All cross-able body parts are crossed here too and appropriate libations poured out to various and sundry gods and goddesses of employment on your behalf. I saw over on the FB page that you have a Skype issue and sadly, I can offer you nothing toward a solution. I iz a technology ignoramus. But I really want to see the dancing cats when you get that organized. Good Luck on Wednesday!

    • SWNC

       /  August 8, 2011

      Yay! Sending good job thoughts to you!

    • corkingiron

       /  August 8, 2011

      Best of luck Pawl! Let me know if I can help. (Bad James Cagney voice) “You want I should bust some heads?”

  5. corkingiron

     /  August 8, 2011

    Props to Devin_mb yesterday for his spirited defence of a progressive agenda midst so many trolls. Also to keyboarder for doing what they could to have a vigorous, but civil, discussion. THere’s no place like Horde…..

    • corkingiron

       /  August 8, 2011

      Should have mentioned it was on Yoni’s post. There. Now I’m sure I make perfect sense also too.

      • So glad you came back and added this! I was looking in the absolutely wrong place.

      • Ian

         /  August 8, 2011

        (I think Devin is a she.)

      • taylor16

         /  August 8, 2011

        Wow, nice job to devin. But gosh, does that solidify how much I prefer staying in the safety of the Horde. I mean, “only a Progressive would think of punishing someone for success?” WTF???

        My blood pressure rises whenever I read beyond the posts anywhere else at the Atlantic. Sheeeesh.

  6. Ian

     /  August 8, 2011

    Finally back in Fairbanks. Some photos of Atka, if anyone is interested:

    • YAAAAYYYY!!! Snoopy dance for coming home!

      Also, are you kidding? Have you met us? Of course we’re interested! :: clicks ::

    • SWNC

       /  August 8, 2011

      Glad you’re home!

    • helensprogeny

       /  August 8, 2011

      Hey, glad you made it back. The pics are beautiful!

      • Ian

         /  August 8, 2011

        Thanks, I’m glad you like them. I would have liked to take many more pictures of people, but I haven’t spent enough time there to be doing that yet.

    • taylor16

       /  August 8, 2011

      Those pictures are great. I cannot even imagine living somewhere like that … 80 residents???? … but it certainly does look beautiful.

      • Ian

         /  August 8, 2011

        I have a copy of the telephone directory. It’s one side of one sheet of paper. As recently as the 80s, there was only one phone on the island. I think it was at the schoolteacher’s house, so s/he controlled who could make phone calls and when.

  7. helensprogeny

     /  August 8, 2011

    Am I missing how you “like” a comment here? There are so many things here I’d like to “like”, yet I cannot see the way to do it. Anyway, consider the whole thread “liked”.

  8. Hi all, sorry I’ve been such a stranger of late. The job search and lack of a job is killing me, and all I know is to work harder at finding something.

    Anyway if anyone is interested my best friend, who’s a middle eastern studies major in Emily’s fair city, just started a blog because he’s working his way through a few philosophers. He’s a smart dude, and I figure horde members might like a little speculation along these lines.

    • SWNC

       /  August 8, 2011

      You know, much as we love you, you are allowed to have a life off the Internet. 😉 No apologies needed.

      (Thanks for the link, and luck on the job search.)

      • helensprogeny

         /  August 8, 2011

        No. Sorry, no time off the OTAN. I mean, really. Where are your priorities?! 🙂

    • Oy, good luck honey…!

  9. SWNC

     /  August 8, 2011

    The next person who claims to be a “big picture person” in my presence will get a smack upside the head. My institution has waaaaay too many “big picture” people and not enough folks who will roll up their sleeves and plunge into the messy, boring, detailed morass of actually making stuff happen. No, we don’t need any more blankety-blank “visioning sessions.” We need to, y’know, make sure that all of the classes actually have a space to meet in.

    • The truth is that big-picture people should also care about details. God, or the Devil depending on the outcome, is in the details. “Big-Picture” people who won’t either get their hands dirty, or delegate responsibilities and hold people accountable, have other issues to work with.

      Sounds like you have too many cheifs and not enough Indians. My sympathies.

    • taylor16

       /  August 8, 2011

      Ohhhh, universities. I have so many thoughts … so many thoughts. Most of which are probably left trapped inside my own head. 🙂 Hope things get better…

      • SWNC

         /  August 8, 2011

        Oh, they will. Mostly because my butt is out of here as soon as I find another place that will take me.

    • visioning no, really now, sessions…?

      That is a wonderful way to help me feel better about never going into academia. I thank you

  10. SWNC

     /  August 8, 2011

    On the bright side, it did give me my latest brilliant plan. I’m going to a SWAT team of super-competent, totally on top of it, Joan Holloway type secretaries/admins. Hire us, and we will descend upon your institutions and organize the ever-loving f*ck out of it for you. Anibundel, are you in?

    Thanks for the sympathy, Sorn (who has diagnosed the problem succintly) and Taylor16.

  11. first day of the new semester today. seriously, as much work as it can be, teaching has to be one of the most beautiful jobs in the world. even two months from now, in the middle of the semester, when everyone is snippy and burnt out and hormone-crazy and tired of sitting in class all day, i will say the same thing. i will say it in a hoarse voice, with desperate eyes and coffee veins, but i will say it nonetheless.

    happy monday to everyone.

    • This makes me so happy. The idea of those who teach actually loving their jobs, coffee veins and all, makes me very happy indeed.

    • corkingiron

       /  August 8, 2011

      But you need a visioning session to get the big pict…OW! My computer just slapped me upside the head! How do you do that?

      Seriously – I was once asked by a visiting consultant to describe my personal educational vision. I said: “I would like my students to know something when they leave my classroom that they didn’t know when they came in……” I got a blank stare.


    You really should check out the TNC Blogroll/Webring over to your right. Your fellow Horde members do some pretty wonderful things in their own spaces.

    (And if you have a blog or tumblr and aren’t on the roll/ring but wish you were, just give a holler and I’ll add your name toot-sweet!)

  13. Oh, and of ALL THE DAYS IN MY LIFE that OTAN isn’t up, it’s today. I wanted to share some good news. But – tomorrow is another day.

    In the meantime, I am staring at a business card of someone I thought I’d never ever meet. I’m pole-axed with dread in that the next step is to – gulp – contact them. At their request.

    Gotta go back to the real job tomorrow. SIgh. It was a wonderful weekend.


      A) you must tell us

      B) Contact the person! No gulping! And then tell us WHAT THE HELL YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT!

      • Oy, I’m being coy. (See? I can talk smack Yiddish.)

        There is this agent. She wrote a book on how to write books. I have that book. I’ve read that book. I’ve used that book. I’ve typed up a MS based upon that book. I have that MS to this day.

        I was too much terrified of what might happen if I met her, and found a way to meet her assistant. (I figure her assistant might not be so terrifying, wielding only maybe 8 Swords of Doom instead of 10.) Instead, she showed up herself.


        She was actually quite kind and open and kept her disbelief about my pitch to a polite wryness.

        And she wants to see the MS – and she wants me to pass it on to someone else, too.

        So I’ve been sitting here for two days with the card on my desk and have not yet sent the MS. Because you know as long as I haven’t sent it I can’t be rejected.

        I know – really know – that in the business of publishing it’s about the product. It’s not luck that gets you published as much as doing a good job on the product. (The product has to sing.) I know that.

        Still, it feels like luck. And it feel like I’m pushing that luck if I send the MS. Because up to now I’ve been lucky because the stakes have been small – lucky to find a writing group, lucky to work out a plot, lucky to get time on an enormously long bus ride to and from work to write and write and write, lucky to get connected to the assistant.

        And now this next step is not luck. It is talent and achievement, and this is where it all happens.

        Well, in a few more hours I will have crossed the bridge, sent the e-mail, and I’ll be content with what is. Right now it’s the what-will-be stage.

        True fact (well, someone told me): 80% of writers suffer from clinical depression. The other 20% just can’t get out of bed to answer the questionnaire.

        • helensprogeny

           /  August 8, 2011

          You, sir, are AWESOME!!! And I beg to differ (sort of). While, yes, your MS does have to be strong, you also have to be really, really lucky to get things going. Lucky in just exactly the way you are now being lucky. There are lots and lots of really good writers who never get published because they don’t have the kind of luck you’re having right now. So please be sure to grab your luck with both hands and make it give you everything you deserve and want. Kudos for being willing to put yourself out there and take the risk you’re taking. It requires a LOT of courage. Know you have the support of the Horde (well, those of us who are here – not that I presume to speak for everyone, but you know what I mean) behind you as you punch “send”. And Keep Us Posted on what happens!

          Also, thanks for sharing!

        • o_O!!

          That is wonderful, exciting, delightful news! All the best as you take your step forward!

          (Also, did you know that good writing is 3% talent and 97% ignoring the internet? I’m sure there’s a correlation somewhere between the depression figures and the internet figures…).

          • “Also, did you know that good writing is 3% talent and 97% ignoring the internet?”

            So true.

            I thoroughly immersed myself in the convention because there was no internet. The barbarians!

            I AM GOING TO SEND IT TONIGHT. Or I will be dancing in the moonlight. Naked. With pictures to follow. I promise.

            • Aghhhhh! Wow, good luck man! That is so very, very exciting. I have a feeling that clicking on “send” won’t seem quite momentous enough…!

            • corkingiron

               /  August 8, 2011

              Why can’t you do both?

    • helensprogeny

       /  August 8, 2011

      I’m with Emily. You must tell us! You cannot drop the “good news” teaser and simply vanish! The Horde requires satisfaction. Plus you can tell it again at TNC’s later. (Please. The suspense is killing me.)

    • OK, the dice be cast and all that.

      I have “completed” six previous MSS and in each case I just stopped at some point, saying “this is as much as I want to do because I don’t like it.” And those MSS are laying about somewhere, bloated, stinking carcasses.

      But with this MS I find that I want to keep adjusting & tinkering & trimming & smoothing. I don’t know if that means I’m fussy or that the MS is not truly “done.”

      • GAH – good luck! Let us know your progress! I’ve got the goosebumps right here.

        • Thanks. I got my first response…it was a polite acknowledgement from one of them that (a) they had received it and (b) they were looking forward to reading it. SO I MADE IT PAST THE BOZO BIT.

          I feel like Sally Fields: “YOU LIKE ME! YOU REALLY LIKE ME!”