Your thread – open.

It looks like Ta-Nehisi is still walking hallowed ground, so here ye be! I’m not much at my own desk today, though. If you get caught in moderation – I’ll get you out as soon as I can!



  1. JHarper2

     /  August 11, 2011

    Comes in, looks around, says Hi, where is everybody?
    Went to see Super 8 at the cheap theatre last night. Much better than I expected. Not quite an ET, but better than most I have seen this summer. Some similarities to ET, but differences too. The alien is much more alien, far less interaction between alien and kids. The kids are older too, so are more involved with their own lives. The movie is darker, but some of the darkness is glossed over in the rush to the resolution. Elle Fanning can flat out ACT, Kyle Chandler was not up to his usual standard, but he and other minor characters were not as rounded and complete as they could have been; mostly he was just busy, angry deputy guy. Still, well worth seeing.

    • yeah, aside from the really rushed and kind of silly ending, the movie was highly entertaining. one of the things about movies centered around adolescents that has become increasingly clear to me is that very few of them capture the feel of what it means to be a kid that age. there’s an endearing mix of self-consciousness and obliviousness in teenagers that is hard to represent well on screen, but pretty much every one of the kids–caricatures or no–felt like real people, with real desires and fears. definitely worth seeing.

      • & @ JHarper2 Well now the two of you have just left me conflicted! I hate it when I enjoy a movie until the end and then feel like the ending isn’t worthy of the rest of it — and yet at the same time, realistic depiction of teenaged characters (any characters, let’s be honest) is very tempting!

        I think I’ll await it on On Demand. That’s the compromise these days. That way, if the ending really annoys me, I won’t resent egregious ticket fees PLUS babysitting costs. Cause that sucks.

        • If you were a teenager between 1975 and 1985, you need to see Super 8 and cry your eyes out

    • Super 8 was a lot of fun, I agree. Just go to enjoy it.

  2. My thread may be open, but my meetings are endless.

  3. I had a dream last night about the 2012 Presidential race (it did not go very well). I feel like I care about politics more intellectually right now than I do emotionally – I know that Republicans winning is a Very Bad Thing but I’m so fed up with the whole stupid mess of it that I almost want Mittens or Governor Tex O’Hara or Crazy Lady to win so it can all just burn. But maybe my subconscious cares about this election more than I think I do. I don’t know. I pretty much sat out the 2009 and 2010 cycles (2009 was a governor election here, so it actually mattered). At this point I don’t really see myself being engaged in 2012 like I was in 2006 or 2008.

    • Sorry, after seeing the Bush years and still living through the effects of it, I have zero capacity for let-em-burn thoughts, especially when I’m in the barn along with everyone else.

      • Yeah, there’s that, too. Katy done barred the door, and I’m inside with the cows.

      • I’ll probably snap out of it I guess once there’s an actual nominee who says and believes in actual things. I just feel, more than I ever have before, that our system has some fundamental flaws that are unfixable, and that will continually make things worse no matter what happens.

    • I go through cycles where I’m exhausted by it all — mentally and emotionally — but I am never able to bring myself to say “I almost want Mittens or Governor Tex O’Hara or Crazy Lady to win so it can all just burn.” It just – the Very Badness of it would be so bad, the burning would be so horrible, that I just can’t bear the thought, even as a mental exercise.

      Which is a fancy way of saying, I suppose, that I’ll be dragging my exhausted ass out in 2012, whether I like it or not. I think that being more involved than ever in 2008 has doomed me to a lifetime of door-knocking.

    • Ian

       /  August 11, 2011

      Out of curiosity, what does “sitting it out” mean for you? I seldom do much more than vote and mock my coworkers when they go on anti-tax rants (we’re at least 80% taxpayer funded), so for me “sitting it out” would mean not voting.

      • I always vote, even in off years, because it’s fun. Sitting it out would mean no phone calls, no knocking on doors, none of the stuff that actually makes any kind of difference. And honestly, the chances of me doing any of that stuff in 2012 are probably slim to none, unless the GOP crazy goes totally off the charts. Which it might, of course.

        • >unless the GOP crazy goes totally off the charts

          Totally off the charts? Now how could that possibly happen?! You’re dreamin’, man.

        • Ian

           /  August 11, 2011

          I always vote, too. It is fun, and it’s absurdly easy where I live. I’m not built for the calling and knocking on doors. When you call people, do you really feel like you’re getting people to the polls, picking up votes, etc? I can’t imagine myself ever successfully persuading strangers to do anything.

          • I would never in a million years imagine I could persuade someone to do something they didn’t want to do, but the fact is that a lot of people who aren’t politically engaged genuinely do sort of let elections just kind of pass them by. Especially in a college town, and you can do registration efforts at the same time. One of the major goals in ’06 and ’08 was to get people to register in town, rather than doing absentee ballots, because no one follows through with those.

            • Ian

               /  August 11, 2011

              Registration seems more like something I could do, but I’m in awe of people who can (and are willing to) enter into political conversations with strangers, hoping to affect their behavior. My wife did a little canvassing in 2008, and I think I would rather fight lions.

              • It’s a skill, like anything else. You do it enough times and it becomes easy enough. Most people are pretty terrified of the whole endeavor when they first start, and a good portion of them never come back.

  4. Trying to get to work right now even though I’m at my desk.

    • Oddly enough, I think I understand exactly what you’re saying here. 97% ignoring the internet, my friend.

      • SWNC

         /  August 11, 2011

        But it’s soooo hard. Especially since I’m working on revising forms today. Hard to get excited about that.

      • I did tell you that one of the biggest reasons for getting so much from the writers’ convo was that there was no Internet access?

        I was in withdrawal for two days.

        Last night I sat down in my comfy chair to watch a movie & realized I hadn’t sat down to watch a movie or recorded TV show in over 3 weeks. Too busy or no access to electronic entertainment.

  5. Oh, I wrote a blog post I’m sort of proud of. You guys should go read it.
    /blog flogging


      Who are you, PaulW? Reminding us of your awesomeness and failing to link to it?

      Here, I’ll help:

      • Blame the fact that I’m multitasking? Tomorrow is a half-day at work, which hopefully will be followed by an afternoon of neiceling adorability, I have a lot to accomplish in the job of making my boss do his job.

      • I fail to link because I’m testing your research skillz…

      • “Who are you, PaulW? Reminding us of your awesomeness and failing to link to it?’

        Oh ouch.

    • JHarper2

       /  August 11, 2011

      Good post you made. It might even make a more interesting movie. As noted above I saw Super 8 last night. What JJ Abrams did there with the humanity of the characters and thei r human stories overshadowed the problem of the alien (and made it a better movie).

  6. JHarper2

     /  August 11, 2011

    Dame Cecily Veronica Wedgwood just arrived at my house. Ever since TNC began enthusing about her Thirty Years War, I was reminded how much I had enjoyed that book when first I read it in the High School Library decades ago. (Looking back I think that for a mid sized country High School in the boonies, we must have had an amazing Library.)

    I tried our local city library, but no copies. So I went on the internet. Now I have a book fetish, I like nice hard covered nicely bound and printed books, an expensive addiction. The Folio Society of England ( prints lovely copies of books, on amazing paper with beautiful covers, I’m a fan. So when I found used copies in good condition on line…..I procrastinated, because you know, expense, and luxuries. But I went back to the internet and found two good copies at good prices (little more than a normal hard cover, if one ignore shipping and handling) one in Florida, one in London, England. The one in England was about fifty cents more, but in better shape.

    So I splurged, and sat back to wait. I ordered last Wednesday and today Canada Post brought it to my door. There is a bit of a modern miracle in that eight days from order to delivery, I got a heavy book from London to my door for less than $10 shipping, regular not expedited delivery.

    AND the book is beautiful, Printed covers, maps, the book has barely even been opened, and I am sure, not really read. I wonder about who first owned, did they get it and start it and not like it, did they buy it and then die before they could read it, I wonder what hands it went through to end up in Halcyon Books in London, and then here with me in Regina SK.
    Where will it go after my time, will books still be read in print? Will it be a treasured artifact and example of how beautiful a book can be while being useful and informative too, or will it be something that you can’t even give away, like a printed encyclopedia?

    However that happens, and wherever it has been before, I will treasure and enjoy it now.
    Waves good-bye as he goes away to read heavy book, on cushioned laptop desk.

  7. helensprogeny

     /  August 11, 2011

    A bumper sticker I saw the other day: “I’ll give your president exactly the same respect you gave my president.” So much “other-ing” in so small a space. Sigh.

    • That’s a bumper sticker of shame and sadness.

      • helensprogeny

         /  August 11, 2011

        I just wanted to go up to the elderly gentleman who was driving the pickup on which the sticker appeared and hug him and tell him George Bush was my president too. Also, that Obama is his president. And we all have the right and the responsibility to criticize and complain to and about all our presidents.

        • That’s the ticket. The key thing to tell Americans is (s)he is your and my president because (s)he is our common president.

          The election is one day every four years. Then the way it works you bitch and moan for four years, but it is because our president is in charge, not theirs or mine.

          If you think it’s sides, then you really, really need to be in terror if your side is out of power rather than seeing as the way the system works. Fight to get your viewpoints enacted, and do not let it become an issue of hoping your team captain carries the day. You should be able to pester the most revanchist senator or air-headed progressive representative because they all work for you.

    • Sorn

       /  August 11, 2011

      Where is Daniel Webster when you need him?

    • Here’s the thing: I did respect our shared President, even when I found him abhorrent. I never called him a Nazi (or anything along those lines), and I was genuinely pulling for him to make something, anything work. At a certain point, I began to respect the office, because I could no longer offer personal respect to the man, but I continued to respect the office. The false equivalency drives me nuts. The left is absolutely capable of bad behavior, but it is almost never as bad, and never as widespread, as the bad behavior on the right.


  8. Still not fully recharged from the job interview yesterday. Man, they can be so draining…

    Good news is, City of Heroes is in Double XP weekend! LEVEL UP TANKERS!

    • I’m impressed you did it by Skype. That’s hip. (Can I say “hip”?)

      Good luck to you. Are you still writing your short stories? Are you still reading them to groups?

  9. dmf

     /  August 11, 2011

    • Hi dmf! :: waves ::

      I love this dude, and The 99. I wish it would get more attention.

      • dmf

         /  August 11, 2011

        hey good ee, i’m doing what i can to spread the word if only i knew someone more plugged in than I…

  10. Can I just say that the Horde is responsible for my losing the respect of the local librarians? Because I get so many books and I keep them for so long.