TNC -> DC? This thread -> open.

The mother ship has abandoned us, but at least this time he sent up a flare. Not like last week when we had to wonder nervously if he’d simply forgotten us all together only to discover that he had…! But no! Let’s not speak of it, I can’t go back there!

Or, in other words: Ta-Nehisi isn’t blogging today. All-day Open Thread at ellaesther’s place! Whooooo-hoooo! ALL ARE WELCOME TO JOIN IN – we’re a friendly crowd, we TNC commenters, and only occasionally drink the blood of newbies. Rules? Here, and perma-linked above, should you need them.

PS: Don’t forget to wander about the place to see if there’s anything else you like! I mean, I got your cute flower girls, your fury with Israel, your racism within the feminist movement, your funny people, and oh so much more! Really, it’s quite the potpourri.

316 Comments

  1. Thank you, Emily, it’s not such a cold, lonely world, after all.

    Summary of last night’s debate:

    Romney: more military, might makes right.

    Perry: Drill, baby, drill. Subsidize energy, but not green energy. And forget regulation.

    Cain: 999 is not off a pizza box, but I’d deliver a pizza to Alan Greenspan any day.

    Bachmann: I’m a federal tax lawyer/I’m from the private sector/I’m a mother/I’m confused.

    Gingrich: You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch.

    Paul: Austrian economics will save the day.

    Santorum: Me, me, me, ask me a question. Listen to me. It’s all about me. And strong families, where the wife stays home; in Latin, that’s the root word for economy.

    Huntsman: Don’t slap tarriffs on China, or they’ll say QE2’s currency manipulation and it will start a trade war.

    • Now I’m sorry I missed this. Just kidding, I’d rather drink battery acid than watch these lunatics again.

      What channel was this on? Is there like a 24-hour GOP network that I’m not getting (obviously, I get Fox News)?

      • Reply threaded wrong: Bloomberg network. We have no TV, we watched on-line. Technology is not yet smooth for this.

      • wearyvoter

         /  October 12, 2011

        Sully was under the influence of vicodin last night, owing to a spill that he took from his bike or something. I think that helped him through live-blogging the debate.

        • Once upon a time, as someone who likes to think of himself as an informed voter, I guess I would have tried to catch at least a handful of these. There could have been a chance that, given the right circumstances, I could have voted for a Republican. But really, these people are insane. I’m not going to vote for any of them, so why waste the time? I can watch sports or play video games or fucking eat a jar of paste instead.

        • helensprogeny

           /  October 12, 2011

          Sully watches and live-blogs so I don’t have to. Seriously, the man should get a fucking medal for having to suffer those things. My partner was all hot to watch the first debate; I dissuaded him. The political season is young; there is a long way to go. I suppose at some point I will catch one of these things live, but there are so many of them to choose from, it’s not yet time.

          Plus, I agree with Craig. These people are insane. I can’t bear to watch.

    • Forgot Bachmann’s witticism: “With 999, the devil’s in the details.”

      I’d been waiting for that. Cain’s reaction indicated he’d been expecting it, too.

    • Bless you. Now I don’t even have to watch any video.

      • I’ve tried to watch the others, and could not. Too much glitz in the production, as if it were a sporting event. Though the candidates themselves were wince-producing, Charlie Rose and crew were actually pretty awesome, asking tough, simple questions instead of gotcha questions, and (believe it or not) trying to follow up on non-answers; to push back against some of the bs.

        Reminded more of the good ‘ol days, when debates were conducted by the League of Women Voters.

  2. I don’t mean to boast, expect that I actually do, but I caught TNC feeding a troll last night. And he stopped. And thanked me. And completely vaporized the dude from the thread.

    I promise to use my power only for good.

    • was that the fool who suggested BJ wasn’t black?

      I winced, I moaned, I resisted the scolding of. I considered coming back and saying, “You have no idea how funny this is, and that’s the funniest thing of all,: and it was gone. There was a sweet comment by our dear EllaEsther/Emily. There truly is good in this world.

      • That’s the one. I briefly felt like Batgirl to TNC’s Batman.

        • taylor16

           /  October 12, 2011

          I admit that I caught that thread really late last night, while I was too tired to contribute. I eye-rolled at that comment to BJ and kept refreshing, waiting – hoping – that someone would post a snarky reply. I know it’s against the rules, but come on!! It was just dangling there!!!🙂

          So TNC did it, huh? I have to admit, I’m a little proud. I agree that troll-baiting is wrong, but the one-off snarky reply followed by a quick banning is always fun to see.

          • He didn’t reply to that one, but further down there was some blather about “so, is Herman Cain black, then?” and he replied in short, knife-sharp fashion — & I just couldn’t! Having learned from my buddy Craig, I looked at the commenter’s “history” of five comments, saw their content, and went “uh, boss, I think this is DNF territory.” My only regret is that in vaporizing the guy, TNC also vaporized my moment of glory.

            • There’s one piece of the DNF snark left, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/10/the-president-is-black/246520/#comment-332228205

              I sometimes wonder how much of this only the General sees; I hope it doesn’t corrode the soul too much.

              • “I sometimes wonder how much of this only the General sees; I hope it doesn’t corrode the soul too much.”

                That does concern me. He doesn’t seem to get angry often, and I don’t know if he just sloughs this kind of stuff off or internalizes it and silently fumes.

            • taylor16

               /  October 12, 2011

              That thread got really amazing really quickly for the amount of people who were claiming to be white, who apparently knew what qualities constitute a truly black person … and who falls into what category.

              Seriously, it was about 11pm and I was exhausted and waiting for my husband to get home, and I was basically physically restraining my arm from typing sarcastic comments. Heh.

              Kudos to you for your moment of glory!

            • I did not remember that that was a thing I taught you, but I am glad. Sometimes someone will say something that seems crazy but maybe I’m just misinformed, so I dig through their history to see if my instinct is right. But you can always tell if someone’s a serious person or just a piece of shit, the likes especially will give the game away.

              • You saved me in just this manner not long ago from some anti-Zionist/possibly anti-Semitic piece of crap, and I was so, so grateful.

          • stephen matlock

             /  October 12, 2011

            1. I was very, very proud of myself that I not only recognized it right away (Yay! I’m learning), but I also did not respond even with the knowing “hey, you are a troll” comment, because I know even that adds to TNC’s load of moderation/review.
            2. I don’t know what DNF means. Do not follow? Do not flag? Dorky Nerf Fnorker?
            3. Why do I compulsively number things? I think I’m letting my job spill over into my witty personal comments.

            • Do Not Feed (the Trolls). (Though I like “Fnorker”).

              I spent a few months at this here blog in which it seemed every other post was a list. Yesterday in my Gilad Shalit post, I started with one list, added another, and then had to admit that that probably wasn’t a very good idea, and was reduced to editing and actually writing. I know – the humanity!

              • corkingiron

                 /  October 12, 2011

                I propose we adopt “Fnorker” as a substitute for DNF. It will certainly confuse them if nothing else. Also too, it is impossible to pronounce it in any way that doesn’t indicate a level of contempt.

                • What I love most here is the vision of you (a man I cannot even envision, come to think of it) sitting in your desk chair, trying out various ways of saying it, out loud.

              • 1.0 I like lists
                1.1 Embedded lists in lists, too
                1.2 They look professional
                2.0 But this is wrong
                2.1 Because there is only one sublist entry
                3.0 What my English teacher taught me
                3.1 Sublists are two or more entries
                3.2 Like this

                It’s compulsive. My wedding was a little over the top, I’m just sayin’.

                • corkingiron

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  In my present occupation, a:
                  1. “list” generally precedes a:
                  2. “sink”.

            • watson42

               /  October 12, 2011

              Whenever I see “DNF” I think of the auto racing term – Did Not Finish. IT took me a while to realize it meant Do Not Feed in internet-speak. 🙂 I keep wanting to come up with a clever racing/troll pun, but my imagination is clearly not up to the job!

        • wearyvoter

           /  October 12, 2011

          Either that, or River zapping the Silence.🙂

    • stephen matlock

       /  October 12, 2011

      You say that now, but remember Lord Acton’s dictum.

      Because I can’t.

      • That makes two of us, bub!

        • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility.

          No, that’s not it.

          Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.

          And Absolut Vodka, neat, is great after the first two shots, but with three all bets are off. I know this now.

    • baiskeli

       /  October 12, 2011

      I came late to that The President is Black thread. I read the comments, and then came across this gem

      I understand. But I’m not hinting that Obama is not black. What I’m saying, rather straightforwardly, is that his ideals seem more entrenched in values that stem from Kenya or Nigeria.

      I was very amused that suddenly 2 countries thousands of miles apart (Kenya and Nigeria) apparently share the same ideals, and that those ideals are also shared by Obama (and thus render him less black).

      While I pondered that comment and typed up a reply (I type in Textpad and then paste after being burned too many times by the Disqus post eating monster), I suddenly realized (horrors upon horrors) that the thread was closed. I’ve been re-checking that thread like a lab rat pressing a lever waiting for the thread to be opened so I can respond to that one commenter.

      So I gather there was a minor troll infestation (not that the comment above was one, just a really dumb one) and what I saw was the edited version?

      • Wait – you mean to tell me that the people and culture of Nova Scotia are not the same as New Mexico? That Nairobi and Lagos might be … different? That a continent of >1 BILLION people might have different cultures?

        You are freaking me out.

      • corkingiron

         /  October 12, 2011

        I was so looking for you on that thread! I doubt TNC will reopen it, but I’d love to see your comments on the next OTAN if he doesn’t.

        • baiskeli

           /  October 12, 2011

          I was all dressed up with no place to post. But yeah, her comments were rather weird.

      • Dex

         /  October 12, 2011

        Yeah, I was pretty livid about that comment. Interestingly enough, that poster was banned back when we were talking race issues surrounding the London riots. In that conversation, she suggested that TNC was a fool for asking people what was going on in London, because as a black American educated at Howard, he should know full well what was causing the riots in London, and that cause was 100% race. (?!?!?) TNC lowered the boom on her like I haven’t seen him do to almost anyone else. I was really taken aback, actually, but then she was pretty insulting to him, and it was a long day that day, so…

        Basically, he said something to the effect that his blog existed so that he wouldn’t ever sound as stupid as her. Or something like that. No idea why he rescinded the banning, but I don’t get the feeling that she’ll be with the community for long.

        • baiskeli

           /  October 12, 2011

          I didn’t realize she’d previously been banned, but I guess it makes sense now. I think I remember that banning now that you mention it.

  3. MightBeLying

     /  October 12, 2011

    Yay for the open-thread-before-noon-at-Emily’s-place! If TNC’s place is a dinner party, this kind of feels like brunch.

    I’ve been lurking on the threads lately because I have NO TIME AT ALL but would like to pop in to vent for a minute. OH MY GOD I HATE EVERYONE. I hate the people who dictate my syllabus so that I have a million assignments to grade and no flexibility on deadlines so that I can’t spend more time working on things that my students are still struggling with. I hate students who send me an email on Tuesday to say ‘oh BTW I will be out of class on Thursday because of the holiday and I can’t do work Wednesday through Saturday so what will you do about those 3 assignments that I have due over that time period?’ when my syllabus clearly states that I need to be informed about absences due to religious observation during the first 2 weeks of class so that I can, you know, figure out what I’ll do about those 3 assignments you have due. And I hate my clinical supervisor who sprang something on me last Thursday while I was working at another site who emailed me at the crack of dawn today to tell me that this is a teamwork oriented place and she expects people to work even when they are not here and when she says ‘jump,’ I should jump. Even if I’m, you know, meeting with other clients at another site at the time she asks me to jump.

    In other news, it’s raining and I might have PMS.

    • O_O.

      Brunch is my favorite meal, bar none! It’s a bit fancy, you spruce up a bit for it, but the whole set-up encourages lengthy, rambly conversations and much laughter. And I almost always like the food better than dinner. And sometimes you wear a pretty yet comfy dress. Yay brunch at ellaesther’s! On a day on which you hate everyone, you have made me very happy, and for that I thank you.

      Re: the student, I really think there should be consequences. The syllabus states it clearly, and he knows he’s been a Jew for some time now, I presume — he should have told you. Hell, I told my kids’ teachers two weeks ago, and one of them is in third grade! So however you handle it, I think it needs to involve that young freshman learning a lesson (as long as, in your note, you make VERY CLEAR that there is a provision for absences caused by religious requirements and dude failed to abide by that provision. You don’t need to be sued, I’m guessing). Re: you clinical supervisor, all I can say is >: ( — because I don’t even understand people like that, like, at all.

      Other than that, my PMS ended yesterday (…), and I feel your pain.

      • MightBeLying

         /  October 12, 2011

        I like brunch so much more than anything else I have to do today. Maybe I will just bail on everything and go find some pancakes.

        I honestly think the religious observance element of this situation is a red herring. The student is struggling and I’m having trouble figuring out how to help her. I think she is really overwhelmed and not managing well – hence things like “oh right I’m not going to be able to do work for a while and oh shit I didn’t plan for this and get my work done beforehand.” That’s a much bigger problem than needing to miss a few classes because all of the Jewish holidays this year manage to conflict with my class.

        I just worry that having the religious observation thing mixed in is going to make it harder for me to communicate with her – I also get a sense that she’s in the stage of religious identity formation where she may be apt to view any consequence of this as punishment for meeting her religious obligations, rather than how she handled the situation. (She is a first-year student who took a year off between HS and college to live in Israel, and my impression is that she became much more observant/conservative during that time than she had been – so she is adjusting to her new religious identity and practices. I could be totally off here since I’m going on limited information but the situation has a feeling of newness – and rawness – to it. I am trying to tread carefully.)

        • Oh you! You’re being very wise and careful and that’s a really beautiful thing. Ok, no hammer. But how to help? I’ve no idea.

          I was struck by this recently, that when 18 year olds go off to college, they think they’re adults and independent — but the good professor are actually still looking out for them and the fact that they’re just barely not children anymore.

          • MightBeLying

             /  October 12, 2011

            Oh, god, my students are BABIES. One of them was talking about his girlfriend coming to visit and he looks about 12 years old and my inner grandmother wanted to tell him “you are too young to have a girlfriend!” But he is very sweet and smart and I’m sure he makes a great boyfriend. Just, ack. They let these kids go off with no adult supervision and they’re all up doing their homework at 4 in the morning and none of them are eating their vegetables and I worry about them.

            • It really weirded me out when I realized that I had a decade on some of the freshmen at my alma mater.

              But I have always thought that college really needs a semi-optional “Living on Your Own 101”. There are all sorts of things that seem obvious to people only a few years older, but require a lot of fumbling around if no one has ever told you.

              • I’m also hugely in favor of making sure kids have some away-from-home experience of longer than 48 hours BEFORE they go away to college. Sleep-away camp, exchange programs, shipped off to a country aunt and uncle’s for the summer… ANYTHING, wherever possible, to get them out of the “my parents’ house is how everything works and someone here will take care of it for me” bubble before they’re let loose on some university campus as freshmen.

                (For me it actually was a university campus, for 8 weeks, the summer I was 16. And it was tremendous. I did some smart shit and some stupid shit but none of either particularly troublesome, and I got to college at age 18 absolute leagues ahead of most of my classmates in being able to cope with daily stuff.)

                • socioprof

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  I started college when I was 16. As a parent now, I cannot fathom how my parents let me do that. My mom says that were it up to her, I wouldn’t have but my father and grandmother convinced her to let me go.

                  I am thinking of letting my son start sleepaway camp during Summer 2013 and my heart is racing now at the thought of his being gone then.

            • MightBeLying

               /  October 12, 2011

              Point in case: One of my students just referred to 50 Cent’s “Get Rich or Die Trying” as “old school rap.” I do not even know what to say to this.

            • taylor16

               /  October 12, 2011

              I doubt that homework is all they’re doing at 4am….

              When I taught, I would end every last class before a “party weekend” with a 30 second lecture about being smart, and safe, and telling them that I did NOT want to read their names in the paper on Sunday afternoon…

              It is kind of funny how you watch them making stupid decisions and you just think …oh, if only your parents knew what you were doing out here all by yourself!!!!!

              • socioprof

                 /  October 12, 2011

                Ha! I do the same thing. I call it my “have fun, but come back” speech.

                • corkingiron

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  My students took to calling it my “blessing” – and would often refuse to leave class on a Friday afternoon until I had given it. It went like this:

                  “It’s the weekend – and whatever I say, some of you are going to go out and do stuff you know you’re not supposed to. So while you’re at it, just remember that somebody loves you….
                  Not me of course; but somebody must.”

                  To which they would reply “Ahh Sir, we know you love us”.

                  WHich was, in fact, true.

              • mythopoeia

                 /  October 12, 2011

                Ha! That is exactly what my high school chemistry teacher did every Friday. As class ended, she would draw herself up to her full height (probably 5’4″ in heels), raise her index finger, stand by the exit, and proclaim “No front-page news!”

              • efgoldman

                 /  October 12, 2011

                It is kind of funny how you watch them making stupid decisions and you just think …oh, if only your parents knew what you were doing out here all by yourself!!!!!

                Oh, i think most parents know, even if the kids think we/they don’t.
                I mean, when my kid was born I didn’t forget the first 36 years of my life, and I certainly didn’t forget the stupid and borderline dangerous stuff I did from early adolescence through college. We (mrs efgoldman and I) were very fortunate that the child had a lot of innate common
                sense. For instance, she knew she was gonna get drunk at college, but she fixed it so she was in a safe place, with people she knew and trusted. Whereas when i was in college, and for a couple years after, I only drank to excess, and was f*cking-a lucky that i didn’t kill myself or someone else.

                and I)

                • Eh, given some of the kerfluffles at my alma mater, it sure seemed like the parents had been drinking from the River Lethe.

                  Even weirder, I remember the one of my classmates telling me that her father had attempted to throw away the box of condoms in her dorm bathroom on the day she moved in. But then her parents had also told her that she got to date two guys (her choice at least) and had to marry one of them.

    • Right then, it’s a nice cuppa tea and a chocolate croissant for you?

  4. I need to remember to prep my blog images at home. It’s one thing to sneak some word assembly into the work day but Google Image Search for gaming-related topics (and ESPECIALLY gender or women in gaming related topics) is a minefield. Even *with* SafeSearch on.

    • Oh my good lord now that I’ve kind of gotten into following the Comics Gender Wars, I can imagine. Very, very clearly.

      Bosom of Catwoman, anyone?

      • Even worse: in games where the female characters are actually rendered with clothes and potentially even with plausible proportions, there are HUGE modding communities out there dedicated to providing code you can run alongside the game that will make the women appear pornified. It’s amazing how many of the search-based hits to my blog come there looking for nude mods.

        So if you put in an image search for a character like Miranda Lawson, Veronica Santangelo (who wears armor and a cowl for gods sake), or Lara Croft, what you end up with are a lot of nekkid boobies and compromising positions…

        • These kinds of things always boggle my mind. Isn’t there already enough free nekkidness on the internet without going to all that trouble?

        • taylor16

           /  October 12, 2011

          I don’t know if I want the answer to this question, but do these guys actually play the game with the naked characters? Do they play one-handed, then?

          • Quantum Fetish Mechanics.

            If you can imagine it, someone is into it.

            • efgoldman

               /  October 12, 2011

              Quantum Fetish Mechanics.

              And a new tagline for The Horde is born!!

          • That is a question to which I have never desired to learn the answer.

            But I guess yes to both.

            • Just to be that guy, always remember that everyone is turned on by different things, and as things to be into go, this particular fetish is pretty much entirely harmless.

              • …that doesn’t mean that K & I are are required to actually imagine it….

                Ahem. We all choose our choice, and that is fine. More power to… whomever.

              • Truth be told, I have no problem with what people do in their fanart, fanvids, or fanfic. It just annoys me that in the very small, very rare handful of games that DON’T have hugely sexualized female characters, the very first thing the community does is… sexualize the female characters.

                • taylor16

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  It makes me sad to think that a little gamer girl who wants to find a photo of her favorite female character to put on her desktop or whatever might run across a bunch of that stuff. Similar to the “sexualized comic book character” article Emily posted a few weeks back.

                  I mean, it’s one thing to create your own little image on your own computer/console to enjoy privately or among friends. But as you say, automatically sexualizing every female character and throwing the photos all over the internet is a totally different thing.

                  • People share things because they want to feel part of a larger culture, even if that larger culture is “looking at video game girl boobs”. I guess it’s hard for me to lament this sort of thing because I think the larger picture here, that the internet has opened up avenues for people to explore themselves sexually that never existed before, to share with others and, yes, eroticize things that most people consider unerotic, is pretty alright. Yes the down side is real and yes, it comes all wrapped up in all sorts of tricky gender issues and everything else, but all-in-all it’s a revolution I support.
                    And all of this is way too much writing in response to throwaway discussion about internet weirdos but, I don’t know, talking to you people makes me irritatingly verbose sometimes so dick joke.

                    • taylor16

                       /  October 12, 2011

                      Yeah, this is understandable. I guess, f*cking feminist that I am, I always revert back to “but little girls will get get the message that they’re only worthy as sex objects” first if they see that the first move of men is to sexualize their favorite kickass female characters … but in general, I have no problem with porn or fetishes or other sex-related stuff, so….

                    • corkingiron

                       /  October 12, 2011

                      Well, if you include “Tommy Tinkle” in that dick joke, you might help Taylor 16 cheer up.

                    • taylor16

                       /  October 12, 2011

                      @corkingiron, I totally cracked up when I read that.

                      Being overtired apparently turns me into an 8-year-old boy. Good to know.

                    • It’s not like that guy’s parents did anything wrong. He could have been Joey Tinkle or Bobby Tinkle. Any Tinkle is basically fucked no matter what.

                    • taylor16

                       /  October 12, 2011

                      I think it’s the alliteration that was getting me. My mental image was suddenly a character in a children’s book about potty training.

                      Again … me = 8 years old today.

                    • I guess that’s true. Tommy Tinkle is the kid in the book that teaches your kids to use the bathroom.

                      Tommy Tinkle had to go number 2. Does Tommy Tinkle go number 2 in his pants? “No! Never!” says Tommy Tinkle. “I use the potty like a grown-up!”

    • That’s why blogging fashion is so hard, it’s not easy to do the picture search at work.

  5. socioprof

     /  October 12, 2011

    Whoo-hoo. I thought that I’d actually have to do some work today for lack of a place to shoot the breeze. Thanks so much for opening the doors to your place, Emily.

  6. Where’s the like button?

    The elves feel need their tools.

    (Has anyone every tried to set up a disqus blog? Care to share the story?)

    • Sorry, it’s the one big draw-back of Brunch at Ellaesther’s. No like button. On the other hand, you can curse all you want, without even having to resort to gerunding!

      • reached to like, but it was not there. . . we are such creatures of habit.

      • Weirdly, disqus lets me curse all I want over there. I should take advantage of that while it lasts, I guess….

      • stephen matlock

         /  October 12, 2011

        Funny, I’ve never seen anything here that I would click “Like” for…

        /ducks and runs

        • helensprogeny

           /  October 12, 2011

          You’ll find yourself in the corner with Erik and Corkingiron if you’re not careful.

          • corkingiron

             /  October 12, 2011

            (grumblegrumblegrumble) ….Erik started it……

          • corkingiron and I might have fun. We could share medical stories and swap pharmatceuticals. Maybe whinge at the whipper snappers, or catch them with our canes.

    • Disqus is actually really easy and efficient to run on most other blogs that allow the install. The word filter issue we have at TNC’s has to do with the Atlantic’s mod filtering settings rather than anything inherent to the commenting software.

      (The random placement at the bottom of the post if you happen to reply “wrong” is all Disqus, though.)

      • efgoldman

         /  October 12, 2011

        Also, for some reason, my work IT site blocking system doesn’t like disqus. Maybe it hates elves. So I can see the main post, but can’t comment or read comments. Very frustrating, as I find the OTAN one of the best parts of my day, every day (yes, even when you chillruns go off on a Dr Who or My Phone-Like Device is Better Than Yours thread. Now get off my lawn.

        • taylor16

           /  October 12, 2011

          I just discovered the other day that by installing a different internet browser on my Blackberry, I can now read and comment on Disqus from my phone.

          My husband and I are heading to Detroit on Friday, and he is doing the drive up there. Prepare for six hours’ worth of poorly typed, probably misplaced comments from me, all!!😀

        • , for some reason, my work IT site blocking system doesn’t like disqus

          It’s on a block list by (at least) one of the big filtering services. My employers block disqus comments, too, although periodically there will be a day when it slips for some reason. So I usually read the comments on my phone, which is a PITA.

          • Do you put humus in it?

            /sorry
            /couldn’t resist
            /leaving now

            • AlexBlake

               /  October 12, 2011

              Um, Em, dear heart, I believe you meant Hummus, that yummy chick pea based foodstuff. Rather than say Humus, which I use in my plant bed.

              /i don’t wanna be “that guy” but…

              • Well, if we’re going to be pedantic, I meant חומוס

                But you cretins don’t read that language, so I had to lower myself, you see.

                And yes, you are quite correct. It says so, right here on the hummus I just had for lunch. #sigh

                • AlexBlake

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  Hee. cretin indeed. sometimes I doubt my abilty to read English.

                  And I if I hadn’t had hummus for lunch, I wouldn’t have gotten it right.

                • corkingiron

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  Did you know that the word “cretin” came from the Greeks, because the people on Crete believed that Zeus was born on Crete, and was a lesser God to their Goddess….and the Greeks couldn’t handle that level of blasphemy.

                  I rock at being pedantic!

                  • I will not stop saying the word cretin to protect the feelings of any lingering Zeus worshippers! I draw the mother-fanucking line!

                  • “Crétin” (Old French) / “crestin” (Swiss French) / “chrétien” (Std. French) is actually the root for “cretin,” although St Paul’s quote about Cretans being untrustworthy is certainly interesting and adds a backformation that is almost accurate. You Canadians. Making stuff up since 1756.

                    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/cretin

                    • corkingiron

                       /  October 12, 2011

                      Thanks.

                      (pffft. Clearly a Zeus-head…..)

                    • David L

                       /  October 12, 2011

                      So does this mean that it’s OK to call former Canadian prime minister Jean Chretien a cretin?

                    • Your WordPress needs to give your elves their tools – this is so much in the margin that I cannot make a scathing reply to corkingiron.

                      I have a 24″ wide screen, and most of it is two blank grey columns, with a tiny white column in the middle, with an even tinier, growing-ever-smaller stacked set of boxes with the comments in it.

      • If only wordpress allowed disqus on their free blogs.

    • David L

       /  October 12, 2011

      I know… what am I supposed to do all afternoon if I can’t obsessively reload to count my likes?

  7. Holy shit. I can’t even.

    I know I complain about my MIL a lot. It’s because she’s an unpleasant person and I dislike her intensely. But today she hit a new low.

    It’s my husband’s birthday. They’ve been on the outs since an incident this summer, but when it was her birthday back in September, he sent her a card and a $30 Amazon gift certificate, which was very good of him. She called him to thank him and they had a brief, terse, but civil conversation.

    She’s pretty much broke, so he wasn’t expecting a gift at all: just a Facebook message or an e-card or a phone call or even a text message or e-mail. Some acknowledgement of, “Hey, you’re my only child, it’s your birthday, good luck with that.”

    Instead, she sent a $1 (not a typo; one dollar) Amazon gift card. Without e-mail or message or comment of any kind, through any medium.

    As far as I read it, she’s being deliberately disrespectful, like the jackass in a restaurant who leaves his pennies and a snide note for the waitress just to prove he didn’t forget the tip, but instead wanted to stiff the server on purpose. She is so like that. Ugh.

    • MightBeLying

       /  October 12, 2011

      Dude, what a bitch.

    • Are you sure her last name isn’t Dursley?

    • taylor16

       /  October 12, 2011

      Wow. That sounds like an story someone could put in an encyclopedia to illustrate the concept of “passive-aggressiveness.”

      Does she live near you guys?

      • 450 miles away. (And I’m glad for every inch…)

        • taylor16

           /  October 12, 2011

          God, thank god for that.

          I swear, I thought my mother was passive-aggressive and would get upset at me for weird, pointless things. I’m going to give her a big hug when I’m back in Michigan this weekend, for *only* not speaking to me after my wedding for four months because I didn’t take one photo that she wanted before the ceremony. Sheesh, that sounds downright sane and reasonable now…

          • You and me, lady, we need a sofa and a bottle or six of wine and a big long bitchfest…

            • See, I just cut mine off. Felt a hell of a lot better for it too.

              • taylor16

                 /  October 12, 2011

                I admit that my relationship with my mom is far better, now that I complied with her four months of radio silence and showed her that “okay, fine, you don’t want to talk to me … I am fine with this and more than happy to have no relationship with you unless you start acting like a grownup.”

                It certainly wouldn’t work for some people, but for my mom it seemed to be just the thing to snap her into a “taylor is a grownup and punishing her is not going to work anymore” mindset, which I can deal with.

                The four months were pretty liberating, though.

                • The third time mine decided to institute radio silence, for the crime of insisting she meet me halfway, rather than entering into her reality wholesale, I decided it was time to get off the merry-go-round. That was in 2008.
                  She wrote me this summer to say my dad is having surgery, and wouldn’t I start talking to her again, because he missed me? I wrote back that if Dad wanted a relationship with me, he knew where I was.
                  That wasn’t the right answer apparently. Haven’t heard anything since.

                  • taylor16

                     /  October 12, 2011

                    Ugh, that sucks. But I’m glad that she leaves you alone and that it makes you happier and more grounded to do so.

                  • I’m glad you’re able to make choices that amount to choosing life. Choosing your own sanity over someone else’s demons is a very wise thing.

    • stephen matlock

       /  October 12, 2011

      1. Ugh.
      2. Absence sometimes makes the heart grow fonder, but it always helps in keeping one’s distance from one’s relatives.
      3. Obvious words of encouragement: no one can hurt you without your consent (and obvious caveats).
      4. Not-so-obvious words: these are the only tools she has left to control him/you, and they’re not that effective.
      5. She’ll always be a mother (noun) but she can choose to make that an adjective.

      I’m sorry to hear about this situation, because the people in the relationship are more important than these kinds of problems. Seriously. We have each other for such a short time. We should just enjoy each other more and let this kind of stuff pass by us. But then, I’m a thousand miles away from my relatives…

      • MightBeLying

         /  October 12, 2011

        “5. She’ll always be a mother (noun) but she can choose to make that an adjective.”

        *snort* I’m not sure I interpreted this the way you meant it but HAH.

      • Husband actually does an AMAZING job of handling her about as well as a person could, but I can tell it hits him really hard because she is, after all, his mother. And because she’s been manipulating him for, as of today, 28 years and although he’s done an absolutely tremendous job standing back and separating himself from it and from her over the last 10, it’s still a big hurdle to get over. Deciding he doesn’t give a fuck about his mother makes him feel like a horrible person, because of course she raised him to be considerate of and responsive to others’ needs. (There’s an irony…)

        Anyway, thanks. I just needed to vent, because she’s awful and I’m not going to bend his ear for an hour with how awful his mother is on his own birthday.

        • helensprogeny

           /  October 12, 2011

          Family shit is just hard. My own family is so deeply fucked up that I’ve been estranged entirely from them for over a decade. (Though my brother and I have been in the process of reconnecting in the last 2 years, with varying but generally positive degrees of success.) It was incredibly hard to make the decision to disconnect from them and it was a process too, pretty much one family member at a time over several years. But ultimately, my own mental health was the most important thing and when it became clear that I couldn’t have both my own sanity and a relationship with my family, I had to choose myself – because if I don’t, who will?.

          It’s still really hard sometimes, though much, much better now that I’m at least in touch with my brother. My sister recently tried to Facebook “friend” both my brother and I (he’s also estranged from everyone else, for the same reasons I disconnected) and we both decided not to respond, because we could tell from her posts that she’s still pretty much in the same place she was last time we talked to her – which is incredibly sad, because it means she’s still caught in the horrible web of family dysfunction which my brother and I have escaped (to the extent it’s possible to do so) by disconnecting.

          The last contact I had with my mother was a letter in July 1993. I assume she’s still alive because no one has emailed me to let me know she’s not (she’s 85). But I don’t really know for sure. I’m sad about this every day. But I also know that if I’d maintained contact with her, I would likely be dead by now – so sad here is really the healthy choice.

          So I have a massive amount of sympathy for you and your husband. These things are (for me at least) the hardest things life asks of us. Really, truly: good luck with the situation. I hope she is able very soon to make better choices about how she engages with both of you.

      • socioprof

         /  October 12, 2011

        LIKE!

    • socioprof

       /  October 12, 2011

      Ouch. She and that so suck!!!

      This story reminds me of the year my m-i-l “forgot” me at Christmas. Hubby and I weren’t married then but we were living together and had been dating for 5, 6 years at that point. We were at her mother’s house and everybody was opening their presents, save for me. Her relatives started looking and wondering what she’d gotten me, so she went into the back and gave me one of the gag gifts from the dollar store that she had gotten for her grandkids. Yeah, that was the last time I visited on Christmas. She got a little better such that by my birthday a few years later (which is four days after her husband’s), she gave me a silver bracelet she’d just bought for herself but had yet to wear. Yeah, that was the last time I went to her house. I have not seen my mother-in-law in about 5 years. It’s funny how my headaches went away around that time. I would get a killer headache three or four days before a planned visit and the headaches would last for three or four days afterwards.

      • efgoldman

         /  October 12, 2011

        I would get a killer headache three or four days before a planned visit and the headaches would last for three or four days afterwards.
        I think you have found the only *legal* antidote.
        Homicide still being frowned upon in most places.

        • socioprof

           /  October 12, 2011

          I was not going to jail for her and I ultimately decided that divorcing her son would mean that she won. So it was better that I stay home.

          I found that as I would fantasize about how I would dramatically curse her out, grab my child, and hope my husband was quick enough to jump in the car before I sped off. So it was better that I stay home.

          Hubby and the kid used to visit regularly but as she never wanted to reciprocate, that dwindled. She threw such a tantrum two years ago that she and hubby stopped speaking for a while and are just starting to exchange conversation now. My in laws met the baby (who will be 2 in three weeks) in August.

      • But… but… YOU ARE AN ABSOLUTELY LOVELY PERSON!

        I mean, I’ve even seen you up close and personal a couple of times and can attest to the fact that you know how to use cutlery and are polite to wait staff!

        My gracious. What is wrong with people is what I would like to know.

      • jordantsd

         /  October 12, 2011

        My mother is scared of my wife for some reason in a way that makes other spouses in the family jealous. Everybody is wondering what her secret is, and I think it’s that my mother knows I will cut off contact if she behaves poorly. It’s really her only weakness, which I’ve figured is due to a deep love for her children and grandchildren.

        It doesn’t work for everybody, my brother usually sides with my mom instead of his wife which explains why there’s more drama there. I’ve tried to coach him that you have to at least when talking to mom, not let her know you think she’s right.

    • If I were him, I would use that $1 for her Christmas present this year.

    • baiskeli

       /  October 12, 2011

      Jesus, that is rude!

    • Things I do not understand:
      {Family dynamics, light (wave|particle)}

      You will likely never change her. And I won’t give advice here.

      I’m sorry it’s like this. In all the craziness of my family, I’ve never, ever had to go through this, and I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to plainly speak when things were going wrong.

      I wish you all the best.

  8. corkingiron

     /  October 12, 2011

    Thanks for opening up Em. TNC closed the “President is Black” thread – but I wanted to tell you that the discussion you had with Ekapa yesterday was so thoughtful, polite and mind-bending; a true representation of good people negotiating turbulent times together. It is just such a pleasure for me to be able to eavesdrop. Thanks.

    • It was funny – I’ve been having huge sleep issues lately, mostly related to some non-scary health issues that are currently in the “being fixed” stage (it involves my g-i tract. I’ll spare you. For now.) and where I am in my monthly cycle, and I found myself up at 4:15 am.

      I could tell I needed to engage my brain for a few minutes so that it could then get my body out of whatever rut it was in (trust me, this makes sense), and I decided to go ahead & reply to the response about American segregation, rather than wait until a more reasonable time of day. I did so, and ten minutes later was back in bed and asleep.

      And now I’m so grateful because comments are closed and I wouldn’t have been able to respond, & I would have been left hanging there looking like I thought Jim Crow was the name of a licorice or something!

      • stephen matlock

         /  October 12, 2011

        Sorry to hear about the health issues. I know it’s an old saw, but when you have your health, you have everything. I’m grateful for medical technology (and other methodology) that helps us figure this stuff out quickly, whereas in the past we would be brought low by simple things. (Ten years ago I had a hard night sleeping but no real pain; I was at the doctor’s at 9:00 a.m., and by 1:00 p.m. I was on the operating table having an inflamed/blocked gall bladder/bile duct removed.) So I hope you get this all fixed soon. Because your health – it’s important.

        • caoil

           /  October 12, 2011

          In the words of Count Rugen: “Get some rest. If you haven’t got your health, then you haven’t got anything.”😉

          Seconding Stephen’s comments, though, and sending you get-better-soon wishes.

        • First of all: O_O re: your sudden-onset surgery! Yikes! So glad you’re fixed!

          And, re: me, it, um, involves a parasite. That may well have been around for decades. And waaaaay more fungi than a person should have in her g-i tract. And completely out-of-whack bacteria. Etc.

          And the crazy thing is that I was actually thrilled with the diagnosis (if not so much with the method of testing. I’ll draw a veil over the kit I got in the mail…), because I had this complete “A-HA!” moment when my naturopath told me. I think we’ve uncovered the source of a lot of small, niggling things that add up to not-so-niggling that have been dogging me for years.

          She’s worked wonders with me in the lingering aftermath of my adrenalectomy (7 1/2 yrs ago, the problem at the time not being my adrenal but the huge [non-malignant] tumor that had grown on top of it, but now I’m functioning with only one adrenal & it turns out we’re really engineered for two!) and all but cured my misdiagnosed plantar fasciitis (with – dare I say it? – acupuncture! And strategically injected lidocaine), so I have complete confidence in her and the protocol she’s got me on — it’ll just take some time. And she warned me that my sleep would get effed up, which actually helps a lot in the middle of the night….

          • helensprogeny

             /  October 12, 2011

            Yea, acupuncture! And (I’ll say it) naturopaths! So sorry for your woes, though. Sucks, fer sure.

            • Indeed. Both examples of things she’s helped with are problems that had been dragging me down/causing me pain for years, and conventional medicine had thrown up its hands (re: my foot, this is almost literal — I got the “These fixes haven’t fixed it? Bummer. Well, I guess you’ll just have to live with it then” response) (and we now know [because of some old scarring and what she’s found and how the whole thing has been healing and what no longer hurts at all] that it’s not even plantar fasciitis but is all the result of a nasty thing that happened to my ankle when I was FOUR). (No, really).

              And thank you! I’m actually so happy to be fixing it that I can’t complain much.

  9. David L

     /  October 12, 2011

    I posted this late yesterday in TNC’s OTAN, but I’ll repeat here for those of you who didn’t see it:

    Gay rights pioneer Frank Kameny died yesterday. He has one heck of a story and his passing probably won’t get the attention that he deserves from the mainstream media (MSNBC currently has it as the bottom story in the small-print links on their “politics” section.)

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/2011/10/11/longtime-gay-activist-frank-kameny-passes-on/

    • taylor16

       /  October 12, 2011

      Wow, thanks for that. I saw a blip somewhere that a gay activist had died, but had never heard of him before. What an impressive man.

      • Nora Carrington

         /  October 12, 2011

        I knew him a bit, back when I lived in DC the first time (78-80). He was irascible, and irreverent, and utterly fearless. He also had exactly 0 patience with anyone who wasn’t as fearless as he was, which made him a somewhat lonely activist.

        I think it’s hard for folks to remember/realize just how genuinely scary it was then to be gay and out. Not like before, not like the 50s and 60s, but absolutely nothing like now. Hell, I’ve mostly forgotten and I lived through it!

        • GO WATCH THE IT GETS BETTER CLIP I POSTED AT THE TOP OF THE BLOG.

          No, really, you must watch it.

          • Wiliwili

             /  October 12, 2011

            that vid is amazing. like you, i kinda wanna go buy a washer now. or maybe i’ll break the one i have and just call the whirlpool repairman. he always seemed so sad.

    • helensprogeny

       /  October 12, 2011

      Thanks for this. I missed this completely. RIP, Frank.

    • Wow. I’ll read up and post an obit later today. I figure: If you’re a social activist hero in America, you’re an American hero, and that makes you my hero, too, even if our communities don’t overlap.

      (There’s this great children’s picture book out there that pairs Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel with Harvey Milk as American heroes. I love that book, man).

    • socioprof

       /  October 12, 2011

      I heard this on NPR this morning and was sorry that I had no clue of who he was and what he did until he died. The story ended with the news that the head of the agency that fired him 50-odd years ago formally apologized a couple years ago. The head of the agency is openly gay. We’ve come so far and yet, there is still no federal remedy for workplace discrimination for those who are LGBT.

      • This was how I felt when I learned about Fred Shuttlesworth and Derrick Bell. I’d never heard of either, and that made me really sad, because: Wow. That’s why I wrote that post about them – I figured I probably wasn’t the only person like me who had heard their names for the first time that day (if at all).

    • David L

       /  October 12, 2011

      Also in the world of nonmajority sexuality, Harvard’s wrestling team had a mass display of their status as allies on National Coming Out Day.

      http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/10/12/coming-out-wrestling/

      (Aside: Can we please pick an acronym already? The article used BLGTQ, which is not an order I’ve ever seen before.)

      • Hey! That’s so cool! “Some dudes marry dudes. Get over it.” “Some kids are gay. That’s ok.” I HAVE THE CHILLS OVER HERE!

        I always go with LGBT because as a fanucking feminist, I enjoy the opportunity to put the ladies first. Then someone made me realize I should add the Q. So now I say “LGBTQ” except in my own blog’s categories, because for some reason, WordPress won’t let me edit that category’s name. Not sure that helps, but there’s my answer.

        • David L

           /  October 12, 2011

          At one point, I think it was something like GLBTQQI, the last two standing for “questioning” and “intersex”, and then there was GLBT* in the late 90s with the asterisk representing everyone else who thought they should be included but weren’t. Then just when I thought it had settled into “sometimes ‘LG’, sometimes ‘GL’, sometimes ‘BTQ’ sometimes just ‘BT'”, this article comes around.

          At first, I actually read “BLGTQ” as “BLT GQ”, which sounds like a food truck serving very simple sandwiches with high-quality ingredients.

  10. Greetings all, and thanks to Emily for keeping the home fires burning.

    Someone asked me to link to my “potato” post on my blog today, so here it is:

    http://seasonalontariofood.blogspot.com/2011/10/we-dig-potatoes-and-few-other-things.html

    • taylor16

       /  October 12, 2011

      YOU are the person with the seasonal Ontario food blog!! I could NOT remember who it was, and just spent probably an hour looking for it last week because I wanted to try out some recipes. I did find it and bookmarked it, but could NOT remember who it was who posted it or whether you still posted at TNC’s.🙂

      I will probably start trying out some of your recipes over the next few weeks. I’ll leave some comments and tell you how things turn out!

      • That’s me! Hope you do try some out, and please give me feedback both + and – if you try something. I’m trying to put together a cookbook (or 2, heh) this winter and getting input from other people is SO HELPFUL.

        • taylor16

           /  October 12, 2011

          I definitely will give feedback! I’m out of town this weekend and probably won’t be in the mood to wrestle with a new recipe for about another week, but I’ll let you know how it goes when I do!

    • caoil

       /  October 12, 2011

      Yay! Thanks for this, Ferdzy. I will read it at home tonight/bookmark it so I have a reference for next season.

    • I really have to update my TNC blogroll/webring don’t I…? I think I’m missing sara_l_r there, too.

  11. Nora Carrington

     /  October 12, 2011

    Hi all. I have nothing useful or interesting to say, but am extremely glad ya’ll have both.

  12. stephen matlock

     /  October 12, 2011

    Yes, I’m busy today – I’m in between meetings and phone calls. But I do pay attention. I’m listening, even if I’m not looking at your or acknowledging your existence.

    Got to fly! Just for my edification I have to run to a meeting in another building 8 blocks away. At least it’s not raining for now.

  13. David L

     /  October 12, 2011

    I just did something that is either good-crazy or bad-crazy and I can’t decide which. I’m signing up for a 3-mile obstacle course/race with such things as a cargo net climb, a crawl through a mud pit under barbed wire, and a sprint up a hill followed by a slide back down on mud. (These things seem to be getting really big in the Austin area, but I don’t know whether they’re much more than curiosities elsewhere.)

    This fall, I got re-involved with my old college fraternity as alumni advisor, and they’re planning on having a bunch of guys competing, so I decided to join them. I’m not in the greatest of shape even though I’ve come a long way from where I was a year ago and I have a little less than 6 weeks to prepare, but I think that I’m a lot stronger–both physically and mentally–than I give myself credit for and it doesn’t seem impossible. It just seems like it’s really going to push me to my limit, which I suppose is kind of my point in doing it. In some ways, a lot of my 29th year has been the sort of self discovery I wanted to do at 18 but was too depressed and/or uptight to do. I’ve really been putting my house in order–physically, mentally, and literally. (Actually, not so much a house as an apartment in that last case.)

    I’m also trying not to think about how much easier the bit of a crush I have on the guy who’s organizing our participation made it for me to be persuaded. He’s actually just a bit older than me, but he spent most of the last decade in the Marines and has a body to match (as opposed to my spending way too much of the last decade in the drive-thru at Jack In The Box with a body to match) so I’m not expecting to keep up with him.

    • Good luck on your race! Those obstacle course race thingies are all over the place. I think we had one recently in the NYC area or have one coming up. Either way, I think they look like an awesome amount of fun and I totes would have signed up for one if I was further along in my running training than I am now. But crawling through mud with a former marine may have been enough to sway me, also. I’ve also in the middle of my own re-discovery of strength, both mentally and physically. It’s amazing how much you can change in such a short time.

      • David L

         /  October 12, 2011

        Austin was scheduled to have another race last weekend (“Tough Mudder”, which is, IIRC, entirely in knee-deep mud) but it was cancelled because we had a fairly heavy rain which added up to more in 24 hours than we got in the previous six months combined. That’s ironic on so many levels.

    • Those kind of look like fun, but I’d want to do them during the summer when getting hosed off at the end wouldn’t induce hypothermia.

      • David L

         /  October 12, 2011

        I think we tend to get the early/late ones down in the southerly latitudes for that reason.

        On any given day in mid-November, there is a not-insignificant chance that the weather will be warm enough at mid afternoon (I start at 2:00 pm) that the hose-down will be cool enough to feel good. There is also a not-insignificant chance that the weather will be cold enough that the well water used for the hosedown will feel good because it’s warmer than the mud I was just crawling through.

        I’m planning to keep a change of clothes and a towel in the car for the post-race if it’s at all chilly that day.

        • David L

           /  October 12, 2011

          I got curious and looked up the temperatures the last few years. Highs on the exact day I’m running have ranged from 68 to 81 over the last five years, but if you look at one day either side, that range grows to 55 to 93.

          • Sounds a bit like the “Worst Day of the Year Ride” here in Portland. It’s held in February on what is historically the day with the worst weather during the year. But a number of years when I’ve been here, it was gloriously sunny.

    • watson42

       /  October 12, 2011

      That sounds like a lot of fun. As for a crush contributing to doing it, why the heck not? You don’t need One True Reason to participate in something that sounds like a pretty cool event. Plus, I’ve discovered at least one long-lived hobby, and a pretty amazing group of friends because of a long-ago crush. You never know where things will lead you.

      • While I have watched one of these (“Warrior Dash”) I haven’t yet participated.

        Good luck. You’ll have a blast. And you’ll get pretty dirty.

        • David L

           /  October 12, 2011

          This particular race is is, in fact, Warrior Dash. We had a bunch go out and work last year as a fundraiser and apparently they thought it looked fun enough that they were willing to pass up a four-figure sum into the chapter account to run it instead.

      • David L

         /  October 12, 2011

        I got a lot more okay with it when I realized in the time since I posted that original that, mostly, the Marine’s power of persuasion went mainly into getting me willing to give something I was already interested in (but otherwise a little unsure about) a shot because I want to show off for him, even though I probably would have said something about not being in good enough shape if anyone else had asked. Also, there are way worse things to be doing to get the attention of a guy I’m attracted to than something that will give me an ego boost if I achieve it. (Believe me–I’ve done a ton of them, which is why I have red flags ready when it comes to being attracted to straight men. I’m still digging myself out after spending way too long in an unrequieted-love thing where I was willing to let friendship with that guy substitute for an actual healthy relationship.)

    • Wiliwili

       /  October 12, 2011

      i ran my first (and likely only) marathon at 30 just because it was something i promised myself i’d do by 25. heh. prior to training for that i’d never run more than 4 miles. i was really proud that my body lasted to mile 18, then sad when i realized i had 8 effing miles to go. i walked the rest on will alone. i’m 32 now and over the last few years i’ve been “putting my house in order” as you say. i’ll just say this, we’re all capable of a lot more than we think.

      if it took a cute marine to get you to sign up so be it, but kick its ass for you

  14. caoil

     /  October 12, 2011

    Helensprogeny – I see you are here today! I put up a note in the open thread yesterday for you, and Emily kindly ‘mentioned’ you so that you might get an email notification, but we didn’t see you. So, I’ll drop it here in hopes you’ll catch it. I promised you some low-sugar/alternative sugar dessert recipes and I have them ready to go (in a Word doc). How would it be best to get them to you?

    • helensprogeny

       /  October 12, 2011

      Oh, you are too kind! Thank you for this. Yeah, I’ve been working a lot lately and have missed A LOT of OTANS, much to my dismay and disgruntlement. I haven’t even opened yesterday’s thread yet, nor did I get Em’s email notification, which is a mystery but I’m delighted to blame it on disqus. How’s about I send you a Facebook “friend” request and once we’re “friended” you should be able to email me.

      • caoil

         /  October 12, 2011

        That should work like a charm. If you’re in the TNC group you should be able to find me no problem (I go by Karen Ell there). Otherwise I am on gmail and you can always just send me a regular old school email (tindomiel At gmail Dot com).

      • caoil

         /  October 12, 2011

        And…done!

  15. efgoldman

     /  October 12, 2011

    Just testing to see if HTML works here.
    bold
    italic

    quoting of blocks

  16. First they killed my need to be on time.
    Today they are killing my need to be efficient.

    I know I should be concerned, but instead I’m procrastinating making these binder labels.

    • efgoldman

       /  October 12, 2011

      Except for the money, don’t you sometimes wish you were back with the three-year-olds?

    • wearyvoter

       /  October 12, 2011

      I call those “first, do no harm” projects. I save those for days when my head is staging its community theater production of the opening of the ark scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Today is the dress rehearsal. Rain rolls in later today, and my in-head barometer says we’re going to be boomy and drenchy soon.)

      • I found that the new crazymeds have severely reduced my brain’s ability to maintain it’s meticulously constructed fantasy world. On the one hand, that’s good, because I’m present and aware in my life at all time. On the other hand. I’m present and aware at all times in my life. Including traffic jams.

        • (Gave ya a “d,” so as to render “goo” as “good.” ‘Cause I love ya).

        • As I was mentioning on the open thread yesterday, it really is a shame how little we understand about neurobiology. For goodness sake, taking lithium has profound effects on the brain! Someday hopefully we’ll know enough to make significantly more targeted therapies, but right now they mostly seem to be sledgehammers that hit a bunch of stuff that we don’t necessarily want to hit.

          • I always think of the moment in The Terrible Star Trek Movie Involving A Whale in which Bones discovers that a woman in the hospital they’re in for some reason (I’ve erased most of the movie from my mind) is on chemotherapy. His eyes bug out and he says something like “Barbarians!,” gives her a pill, and she’s healed.

            Aside from the fact that in so doing he blew the fucking Prime Directive to smithereens, I have that scene in my mind all the time. Because someday, that’s what we’ll do.

            • The thing is, chemotherapy is barbaric. With a few exceptions, the entire idea is to cause damage to DNA that will kill dividing cells. Since cancer cells will presumably be dividing faster than the cells around them, the cancer should die more quickly. But everything else is getting attacked as well. Hence all your hair falling out and the GI troubles (the mucous lining is constantly being rebuilt to keep you from being eaten alive by industrial-grade acid). But unfortunately cancer is super-duper complicated, so even the more targeted therapies usually have side-effects and the cancers they treat often develop resistance because there are so many different pathways that can generate the same signals.

              Which is all to say that I’m glad I don’t do cancer research. It’s gotta be tough to put in years of work for incremental improvements in treatment.

              • This is, in microcosm, the problem with Western medicine, I think. It does a good job at preventing death (as my naturopath recently said “If I’m having a heart attack, don’t come at me with needles!”) and that’s a really, really good thing.

                But in dealing with chronic or long-term stuff? It’s not got such a fab track record.

            • “Drilling a hole in his head isn’t the answer; the artery must be repaired!”

              For some reason when I was in middle school, that became, like, a motto with some of my nerdliest friends.

              Also the Star Trek movie with the whales is one of the awesome ones. AWESOME I SAY.

          • watson42

             /  October 12, 2011

            I’m sorry I missed the OTAN yesterday after my post – a health emergency distracted me. As a (non-practicing?) neurobiologist myself, I can’t help myself when it comes to commenting on CNS drug development. 🙂 Plus, I HATE it when I hit-and-run post.

            What has really struck me was recently learning that some SSRIs cause birth defects. That’s not something I would have necessarily expected even though the drugs and their receptors are notoriously promiscuous.

            • I hope you’re ok! And SSRIs cause birth defects? Wow. I’m just thinking of all the women who start taking them because they have PPD, and may very well not be done making babies. That’s very disturbing information.

            • Damn, hadn’t heard about that. But yeah, I guess it’s not entirely surprising. Just took a peek at the Wiki page for serotonin and it looks like it plays a pretty significant role in bone and cardiac development, so throwing a reuptake inhibitor into the mix during development would probably lead to a lot of disregulation.

              And what I’m coming to understand the more I learn about medicinal chemistry is just how flexible the proteins that we target are. The one I work on, thyroid hormone receptor, opens up and then closes down on ligands, so mimics with surprisingly large groups appended to them will still fit into the ligand binding site and activate the receptor. So even simple stuff like bis-phenol A will activate TRs. And estrogen receptors for that matter. Small molecules can get into all sorts of weird places.

  17. Wonderful things:

    1) The Tracy Chapman song that dmf left on the Gilad Shalit post: https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/gilad-shalit-prisoner-exchange-intial-reactions/#comment-8816

    2) Great comic illustrators do Mother Goose, at Boing Boing: http://bit.ly/qv6mDp

    and 3) The It Gets Better video I just posted, produced by… Whirlpool Corporation (!): https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2011/10/12/good-stuff-whirlpool-corporations-it-gets-better-video/

  18. taylor16

     /  October 12, 2011

    (1) I find the level to which people freak out about outages in their electronic devices to be insanely stupid. Blackberry is down for a lot of people today – no chatting, no email. Texting and phone calls are working fine. And people are freaking the f*ck out.

    Calm down, people. We all got by just fine with just phone calls and texting and using our actual computers to check our email … I think we can survive a day of this.

    Technology seems to be making us helpless. Or overprivileged. Or something.

    (2) I must be overtired today, or perhaps I have reverted to the age of 8. Because I just came across the name “Tommy Tinkle” at work, and laughed for about five minutes straight. Why yes, I am an adult professional worker; why do you ask?

    Weekend, hurry, please….

    • taylor16

       /  October 12, 2011

      Oh, I should say that I know the “no work email” thing is problematic for lots of folks at work. But seriously … it’s technology. It breaks down. It’s widespread and there are news stories about it, so if anyone asks why you didn’t get their email you can point then to a news story. And it’ll get fixed.

      In the meantime, if you’re whining about “Blackberry instant messaging” being down and threatening to leave … but texting is working fine? Calm down.

    • Louis CK – Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8r1CZTLk-Gk

      You’re welcome.

      • taylor16

         /  October 12, 2011

        That … that made my entire day and mood better. Yes!! Thank you!!!!!

        • Sometimes the husband and I just say that one line to each other. “Everything’s amazing, and nobody’s happy.” The world always shifts into a better place!

    • David L

       /  October 12, 2011

      And here I am considering going home on my lunch break to install the new iOS update…

      (Actually, I think that a big part of the reason most of the technology-type people I know with smartphones go for iOS or Android is the fact that they aren’t so dependent on a single vendor in the way that BlackBerry devices are.)

      • taylor16

         /  October 12, 2011

        Yeah, you know, I actually like my Blackberry but I think I will probably switch to an Android phone when it’s time, because it does get a bit glitchy and I’m kind of reay for something new.

        But like the video Emily posted above shows, I just want to scream sometimes: “Your problem is that your insanely advanced technology that normally takes 5 seconds to transmit is now taking one full minute! (or whatever tiny little glitch they’re complaining about). Calm down!! Things are still awesome for you!!”

        All the freaking out on Twitter re: Blackberry today is annoying me. “That’s it, I’m switching!” Really? Because you have to open the text application to send jokes to your friends rather than sending an instant message that accomplishes the EXACT SAME THING? Cry me a river.

        Man, I am a crab today.🙂

        • helensprogeny

           /  October 12, 2011

          Oh, as the Resident Luddite here on these threads, I am so with you on this, sister!

      • Hum… I guess there is a new iOS update, but it requires iTunes 10.5. When I updated iTunes a while back, it borked the sound on my computer, which forced me to revert. I’m wary, but hopefully the issues will have been fixed by now.

  19. Awesome: Robin Hood storms a mortgage bankers conference in Chicago.

    I work downtown (not in Chicago) and there is an Occupy protest right by my office. As I walked past last night on my way home, there was a huge drum circle going, the sound so loud and so rhythmic that you could feel it reverberating in your ribcage. As I was walking, I saw ahead of me two women dressed as private security, and one of them began to shimmy along with the drumming. It was kind of awesome.

    We don’t have any big financial institutions here, and I think the protestors are the usual crowd who turn out for everything, but every little bit helps.

    • The thing about living in DC is, it’s really hard for a protest to be noticeable, because “drive around the protest” is as common an instruction as, “Ten minutes late due to motorcade.” There’s always a group of angry, sad, misled, or disenfranchised people somewhere with signs in this town…

      • Exactly. In this town the response to “Protesters!” is: “Again? Don’t these people have jobs? I have to get to work!”

        (This goes along with my theory that people in DC don’t think the economy is really that bad because they sit on 395 every morning.)

  20. Hardcopy of The Atlantic at the Post Office this a.m. Perusing as I ate my lunch, I come to pg. 121:

    The Atlantic Commemorative Issue, Dec. 6.

    Essays by Louisa May Alcott, Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ralph Waldo Emmerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Walt Whitman, Ta-Nehisi Coates . . .

    Just sayin’

  21. Ian

     /  October 12, 2011

    I think my boss is in decline. I mean, he’s healthy, and he’s not very old, but he’s reached the point where his convictions have become caricatures of convictions, and it’s keeping us from getting shit done. Yesterday, for example, he was complaining that most of his technicians lack skill Y. So I said:

    “Why don’t we arrange a training session where X (who can do Y) gets everyone started on this, so at least they have a foundation.”

    His reply:

    “You know, that’s a red flag to me. Any time an employee starts talking about training, that’s a big red flag. I don’t want people who need to be trained.”

    He’s not joking, either. For example, we do some work on towers, and he won’t even allow people to attend tower-climbing trainings. Dude’s eligible for retirement. How do I get rid of him?

    • O_O

      I’mma go with “quickly.”

    • taylor16

       /  October 12, 2011

      Don’t you work for a government agency? No tower-climbing training seems like a pretty serious violation of … something. That would open him/your organization up to a lot of potential liability issues.

      Um, perhaps that’s your avenue?

      • Ian

         /  October 12, 2011

        Sort of, yes. It’s a university group with mostly public funding. I could and probably should file an unsafe work environment report with risk management, but that won’t change the overall dynamic except in bad ways. The tower climbing is only the most senseless example. We work with specialized software and equipment–stuff that almost nobody knows about before they come to work here–and he just wants everyone to independently figure it all out. But I need to cut myself off before I write a book here. Point is, dude needs to retire. He’s a harassment case/corruption probe/dead employee waiting to happen.

    • For example, we do some work on towers, and he won’t even allow people to attend tower-climbing trainings

      Wow, that’s a major safety issue. Is there a safety coordinator that can be consulted? Most agencies have one.

      • Ian

         /  October 12, 2011

        There is. I could file a report detailing a range of unsafe practices that all lead back to his management. Then we’d have a series of meetings with risk management followed by a witch hunt in my office looking for the person who reported him. Can one go to OSHA with something like this? That could bring major fines. But safety isn’t even my main issue. He’s basically got advanced Get Off My Lawn, and it’s making us ineffective. A competent manager could do good things with our funding.

        • Do you have a good relationship with any managers in lateral departments? Someone to whom you could explain the situation and ask for support? You don’t want to go over his head (that can result in backlash), but you do need to do something if he’s interfering with the functioning of the group–and, in the end, costing the university funding.

          In fact, can you compile a report showing losses directly attributable to his errors/mistakes? Numbers are good.

          • Ian

             /  October 12, 2011

            That’s a good idea, and it’s something I should do. Telling people this stuff won’t help right now. He’s already universally hated, but he brings in so much money that nobody will stand up to him (he can’t waste the overhead!). But yeah, I need to start tracking the waste in case something like that should come in handy later. Waste is a subjective thing, so that by itself won’t get me anywhere. I tried this whistleblowing thing once before, with another PI and a misuse of funds so egregious I thought it was a slam dunk. Wrong.

  22. TWO QUICK QUESTIONS:

    1) Does anyone have a link to sara_l_r’s blog?
    2) Do my comments show up in a different color for everyone, or just for me?

    Thank you and don’t forget to tip your waiter.

  23. anyone here doing National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo)? Giving a heads-up that I will attempt to finish a novel this November.

    • Oh dear, not me. Non-fiction all the way, baybee.

      But I wish you a hearty bon chance!

      • Just to let people know, the website’s been updated for the 2011 event. Previous NaNo writers will need to update their statuses and such.

    • I’m doing NaNoWriMo again. I’m still editing the one from last year, but I’ve been shopping it around & have had a few nibbles of interest from agents.

      This year the novel topic is Los Angeles in 1962-1965. From the Cuban Missile Crisis to the burning of Watts.

  24. AlexBlake

     /  October 12, 2011

    So, over in my world.

    About a month ago, I had wisdom tooth surgery (remove 3) on a Tuesday. (aside, now republican economic theory makes a ton more sense). The first two days went spiffy. I hadn’t even used much advil, let alone the Oxycodone. And then, I woke up with screaming pain on Friday. I used all my Oxycodone before I could get back to the oral surgeon on Monday. apparently, my gums separated from muy jawbones, leaviong 1/2 inch on the left, and 3/4 inch on the right exposed bone in the back of my moth. I got another scrip for pain and some antibacterial/anticeptic mouthwash, and basically sat curled up in a ball for another week. So that put us toward the end of the month.

    We were going to gaming on Thursday night 29th. And got a call on our cell phones. My mom drove 10 hours with my grandma for a surprise visit. My wife had a summer cold/sinus infection while I was dealing with my dental problems. We hadn’t done dishes in a while, let alone have washed the sheets for the guest bed. We hadn’t cancelled any of our plans. “Oh, I thought we had talked” mom says. I was good to see mom and grandma, but both of them are constitutionally incapable of making any decisions about food. “what do you want to eat?” “Food.” Thanks a bunch. They’re gone now, and I only pissed mom off once, when she tried to take pictures as my wife was leaving for work on Monday.

    I’m a bit sad that we finished up our current Saturday 4e “horror serial” campaign. (we had 4 separate games, with 4 separate characters, one Zombie Apocalypse, one Werewolf Forest, one Haunted House, and one Village of the Damned, switching between each at dramatically appropriate moments.) Eventually we got to good old Barovia, and found out that we were in Ravenloft. We assualted the castle, finally fought Strahd, and finished him off. We only lost 4 characters while doing (so in that fight.) Everyone lost between 2 to 5 overall the entire campaign. I lost the very first guy, and the very last one.

    But, that means new campaign. We’re starting Paizo’s kingmaker campaign. At the moment we’ve got Artificer (arcane healer/buffer), Ardent (psionic healer/debuffer) Paladin/Warlord (defender/buffer), Paladin/Bard (defender/debuffer), Bladesinger (controller), Warlock (striker) and an as yet unknown character, but it’s probably a Ranger of some sort. I’m glad we got the last, buecause a lot of the campaign is going to be wilderness exploration. Heh.

    • AlexBlake

       /  October 12, 2011

      Note: Big fingers + new keyboard = Epic Typing Fail.

    • Good lord man. GOOD LORD. I might not have managed to not put my mom and grandma on the curb. I surely would have been surly!

      There’s so much to reply to here, but as someone who has no wisdom teeth left, has had at least 6 (probably 7) root canals, two extractions, and is about to be assessed on the “crown extension vs. implant” question without ever really being frightened of any of it (at a certain point in my mid-20s, when I hadn’t seen a dentist in a few years and learned I required 18 fillings, I kind of just gave in to the shitty hand genetics had dealt me) — you have introduced me to fear. OH MY GOD.

      Well.

      /bucks up

      I’m glad you’re feeling better!

      • AlexBlake

         /  October 12, 2011

        They almost ended up at the local motel. The Orkin guy yesterday said, “man, you should have said you were in Gatlinburg for the weekend.”

        In general, my wife and I are pretty clean, so quick run through and we had the floor cleaned up enough. We used the spare sheets on the computer room spare bed, and well, just made do with the couch for mom. We’ve got a comfy couch, so not a real problem. And Mom vaccuumed and did some dishes, so it wasn’t a total waste.

        And, no fear. Part of the problem is that my family is prone to gum problems. So, having the gum separate, while problematic, is highly uncommon. As an aside, they did one of those 360 degree x-rays, where they put your head in the bubble and move the camera. “Man, you have a big head,” said the nurse. “Isn’t the first time I heard that one.” And later when the doctor looked at the x-rays, he said, “you’ve got a thick skull’. Me, “not the first time for that one either.”

        And as for pain, it was about as bad as when I got my hand smashed between two blocks of wood, slightly worse than when I popped my MCL and way less than my kidney/bladder infection where they had to go in through the front and remove some scar tissue. Which the urologist said is the closest a guy can come to the pain of giving birth.

        No fear. You’re way tougher than me.

  25. Sorn

     /  October 12, 2011

    Hey all,

    I need a book recomendation. I’m about half done with Vine Deloria’s Custer Died for Your Sins (N.B. Read this book it’s one of the best things written about Indians in America), and I need a good overview of the gilded age in America. I’ve already started a good, but dated ecconomic history book, Industry Comes of Age: Business, Labor and Public Policy, 1860-1897, but I need something a little more current. I was thinking that Robert Weibe’s Book The Search for Order, or Richard Hofftadter’s Social Darwinism in American Thought would make usefull follow-ups for reading, but as both books were published circa 1960 I could use something a little more current.

    Does Anyone Have any Ideas?

    Also I wanted to thank everyone for the book recomendations on the development of an ‘Indian” Identity in relation to the broader white culture. More on this to follow, but the reading has proved fruitfull.

    • Stop telling me to buy books! AUGH. I’ve actually just been thinking a lot (for reasons I’m not clear on but may involve reading 1491 a few months ago, followed by our August trip to Cahokia Mounds) about the American Indian experience and wanting to understand it better, and….

      Sigh. I’ll add it to the list.

      HOWEVER, do recall that this crowd is smaller than the one at TNC’s. My fingers are crossed that you’ll find help here, but you may need to re-post in tomorrow’s official OTAN.

      • Sorn

         /  October 12, 2011

        Yeah I know the crowd is smaller here, but DMF and others are here, that I don’t see much of anymore since I haven’t had time to blog, and I figured it was worth a shot.

        Also, Custer Died for your Sins is short and relatively cheap. It’s an interesting read, somewhat dated because of when it was written, but still insightfull. I’ll re-post on the official OTAN, but in some ways it’s more conversational here, and the presence of those who were “present at the creation” of TNC’s place means in some ways it’s more comfortable here.

        • 🙂 My couch is a very nice place, I agree.

        • dmf

           /  October 12, 2011

          sadly dmf knows squat about the gilded age outside of the imagined worlds of henry james, any thoughts on grad school?

          • Sorn

             /  October 12, 2011

            Ya, I have good news on that front, but it’s contingent on my getting a better job and being able to save up the money to move.

            • dmf

               /  October 12, 2011

              been there, more than once actually but that’s a whole other thread, where might you be headed?

              • Sorn

                 /  October 12, 2011

                Just up the road to Missoula, but there’s a chance that it would all be paid for.

                • dmf

                   /  October 12, 2011

                  excellent, hope it all works, out what dept?

                  • Sorn

                     /  October 12, 2011

                    I’m going to apply to both the History and the Anthro departments. Since, (if I make it in by the fall of 2012) the VA will pay for one M.A. I’m hoping that I can squeeze two out of them if I ask for forgiveness rather than permission. The catch is I have to do it all by february, which means that I need a better job by the end of this month so I can take the GRE by the end of November and then line up my letters of recomendation and so forth.

                    Here’s to hoping.

      • Sorn

         /  October 12, 2011

        One other thing, How was Cahokia? I’ve read about it in Jack Weatherford’s book Native Roots, but it would be interesting to get your perspective.

        • I found it absolutely fascinating, but I think that was because I’d read 1491 already. If I hadn’t, with two kids along and in the heat of that day, I’m not sure I would have grasped the enormity of it. (Which, by the way, is not to question the museum and so on — it’s a statement about my own limitations. I think they do a pretty good job presenting the place, and they have a terrific iPod tour).

          If you ever go there, make sure you go via Chicago, so we can hang out a little!

      • You people and your books. Look what you made me read. And note that the first book (this list is in chronological order with the most recent at the top) is TNC’s first autobiography, which I checked out on 8/15/2010. (And these are just the books I was prompted to read from his blog and his readers. It doesn’t include the DVDs and CDs, and it doesn’t include the dozens of books I bought.)

        I really blame him for being a beautiful and wonderfully honest writer. His book and his blog are included in the things which started this whole journey.

        Stacked by my bedside right now (some because I’m researching my novel):
        When Race Becomes Real : Black and White Writers Confront Their Prejudices
        The Race Card : How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse
        Cold War Civil Rights : Race and the Image of American Democracy
        12 Angry Men : True Stories of Being a Black Man in America Today
        Slavery by Another Name : the Re-Enslavement of Black People in America
        A Dream Deferred : the Jim Crow Era

        From the 14 months:
        Nixonland : the Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America
        The Michael Eric Dyson reader
        Oneness Embraced : : through the eyes of Tony Evans
        The History of White People
        Brotherman : the Odyssey of Black Men in America
        Freedom Summer : the Savage Season that Made Mississippi Burn and…
        What This Cruel War Was Over : Soldiers, Slavery, and the Civil W…
        Black Is a Country : Race and the Unfinished Struggle for Democra…
        The Lynching of Emmett Till : a Documentary Narrative
        The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr
        Meditations of the Heart
        “What shall we do with the Negro?” : Lincoln, white racism, and C…
        Sundown Towns : a Hidden Dimension of American Racism
        Confederates in the Attic : Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil …
        Even Sinners Have Souls Too
        Preaching with Sacred Fire : an Anthology of African American Ser…
        The Warmth of Other Suns : the Epic Story of America’s Great Migr…
        Destined to Witness : Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany
        The Souls of Black Folk
        Jesus and the Disinherited
        Reconstruction : America’s unfinished revolution, 1863-1877
        Inequality by Design : Cracking the Bell Curve Myth
        The Autobiography of Malcolm X
        What Hath God wrought : the Transformation of America, 1815-1848
        A Short History of Reconstruction, 1863-1877
        Battle Cry of Freedom : the Civil War era
        Why I Believe There Is a God : Sixteen Essays by Negro Clergymen
        The Killer Angels
        Slow Fade to Black : the Negro in American film, 1900-1942
        Ragtime
        The Campaign for Atlanta & Sherman’s March to the Sea : Essays on…
        Dream City : race, power, and the decline of Washington, D.C
        The Beautiful Struggle : a Father, Two Sons, and an Unlikely Road…

        • Sorn

           /  October 12, 2011

          It’s funny how, as a community, the horde is a batch of readers who, quite possibly, would all be much happier without the internet, except we wouldn’t be able to swap book recomendations, and conversate.

      • You might like this SciAm article about large villages in the Amazon (does require a subscription to read the whole thing, though).

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=lost-cities-of-the-amazon

    • ralphdibny

       /  October 12, 2011

      Well, I can advise against Cashman’s “America in the Gilded Age,” unless you like bullet points.

      I’ve heard good things about Rebecca Edwards’s “New Spirits.”

  26. dmf

     /  October 12, 2011

    ee afternoon flashback

    • The Style Council are a crappy band that I am totally fascinated by. You can sort of hear the hints of what Weller was aiming for, and he never lost his touch as a songwriter, but everything about it was just do deeply plastic and off-putting. Weller is my favorite example of a guy who was better off working within the confines of having to collaborate with good-but-not-great musicians. Given the freedom to have everything in his head come out exactly on record like he wanted it to, it became overwrought.

      • dmf

         /  October 12, 2011

        what do you expect from brit pop? gotta go a little more to the fringes of the UK to get to the real deal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ra1jNtqDI_k&feature=related

        • Well that’s pretty great. The Jam is one of my, maybe 10 favorite bands of all time. So, I don’t know, I sort of lament the existence of the Style Council even though I realize that they were an inevitability.

      • ralphdibny

         /  October 12, 2011

        I do enjoy a few Style Council songs, but I hear what you are saying. The same thing happened to Sting, I think–British musician known for sanding the rough edges off of the punk movement who becomes more and more influenced by Motown and jazz, which you would think would be a good thing, but results in something that sounds dangerously close to soft jazz a la Kenny G.

        • David Byrne, although he’s made some vaguely decent music (well, I guess just that most recent album). Old rock guys like to grasp at that One World shit with their fat little wrinkly hands.

        • dmf

           /  October 12, 2011

          too much yoga and money, sad that some great jazz/soul fusion by way of ska was the roots of the Police but when you start to live the lush life…

  27. caoil

     /  October 12, 2011

    Oh! An exciting thing happened on G+ the other day!

    I added Jo Walton to my ‘following’ circle a few weeks back, along with a handful of other authors I like. I got a notification the other day that she had added me back! It’s probably just to a circle of ‘fans’ or whatever she’s called us hangers-on, but still. It was very exciting.

  28. I found a new place to live and am moving in tomorrow! Wheeeee!

  29. My etrog* and lulav** were just delivered to my front door – thump.

    I challenge any of you to beat that level of excitement!

    *Jew thing
    **another Jew thing

    • The three year old who watches his older brothers shake the lulav, and cannot WAIT for it to be his turn next.

    • The only thing that I really retain in my memory from Sukkot is that weird little Not A Lemon thing. I couldn’t remember which one it was though (it’s the first one, for those too lazy to Google.)

      • Sukkot is actually such a great way to scratch that “but those other kids get to drag this crazy thing into their house and decorate it!” itch, I honestly don’t understand why more Jews aren’t all over it, at least while the kids are still at home. And I say this as someone who grew up doing that “dragging the crazy thing into the house” deal, and was a little sad that my own kids wouldn’t get to have that piece of fun in their lives.

        You build this flimsy little hut in your backyard/on your porch, you decorate it with bright lights + whatever lovely or kitchsy things have grabbed your fancy + handmade decorations that the kids have been gathering since their first year of Jewish preschool/Hebrew school, you eat out there in all kinds of crazy weather and even sleep out there if you want, giving it a huge air of adventure and excitement — Sukkot is, bar none, my favorite holiday. All four of us love it. (AND we have a sukka kit that goes up in 40 minutes flat, so it’s not even onerous on any level. Except when it rains and you have to spread the bamboo mat that serves as the sachah [roof] out in the basement to let it dry completely before you roll it up and put it away for a year. Because – beware the mold!)

        • It does seem pretty bitchin’. There was a sukkah at the synagogue but, seriously, who wants to go there? Still though, that Not A Lemon thing is pretty weird.

  30. corkingiron

     /  October 12, 2011

    This is for Taylor 16 – wordpress won’t let me reply to your alliteration comment. I have to get this outta my head or I’m going to go crazy:

    Little Tommy Tinkle
    Saw a star that didn’t twinkle
    And he thought it was a wrinkle
    In the fabric of time.

    So he didn’t even thinkle
    when he tinkled on that wrinkle
    That Tommy Tinkle’s wrinkle
    Was just proof of Einstein.

    I’ll be here all week folks….

    • taylor16

       /  October 12, 2011

      Awesome!!

      My data entry kid was actually the one who pointed the name out to me. I think this might be hanging in his cubicle tomorrow…😀

  31. taylor16

     /  October 12, 2011

    Today in medical billing: I got the claim paid for the guy with the huge laceration in his nether regions, whose insurance tried to say he should travel hundreds of miles back home to get treated.

    That’s right, insurance companies … I f*cking WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • taylor16

         /  October 12, 2011

        This is going on the bulletin board in my office!!

    • Ian

       /  October 12, 2011

      That was very decent of you.

      • taylor16

         /  October 12, 2011

        If I think there is the slightest chance I can get a claim paid for a patient … like in an instance like this where treatment was clearly – CLEARLY – medically necessary, I will always appeal for them. Always. My job is to get the money from the insurance companies and make them act right, not to force the patients to deal with it.

        Also, I think of my job as a giant game of “taylor v. the insurance companies.” When I win an appeal, it’s like I beat a level. It keeps things more interesting, and I may or may not announce to my coworkers that “I win!”
        🙂

    • /doffs cap to you

    • helensprogeny

       /  October 12, 2011

      Congratulations! Always knew you could do it! And as someone who has hated insurance companies for a very, very long time, I think you have the most awesome job in the world. Gold stars and champagne toasts for you….

      • taylor16

         /  October 12, 2011

        Oh, I appreciate the sentiment, but it’s not the most awesome. No. My salary adds to the massively inflating health care costs, and most of my days are spent either having frustrating conversations with idiotic insurance reps or talking to patients about how they can possibly pay their thousands of dollars in medical bills. I’ve talked to a patient who told me she was going to have to cash out her 401(k) to pay for her mastectomy. We have patients who are still sending in $10/month on surgeries that happened 3 years ago. Last week, I got a death notice on a patient who died in his home after deciding not to go to the ER on our doctors’ recommendation following a head injury, because he had a high-deductible insurance plan.

        It’s not a great job. But I make my peace with it because I am determined to work for the patients (and okay, the doctors), and to make sure the insurance pays every penny that they are supposed to. And sometimes you get a win, like today.

        And hell, I’m grateful to have a job. The least I can do is to do it well and help patients out.

    • brook10

       /  October 12, 2011

      that’s pretty amazing. lucky patient!

  32. This weekend, we’re going to NYC, attending a geeky computer-music conference. (Hangin’ with the programmers to the techies to the stars.)

    Free time, I’d planned to visit the garment district, yarn shops, and MOMA.

    BUT.

    Instead, I’m going to Occupy Wall Street.

    Think I’ll make a sign that says:
    “Fleece sheep, not People.”

  33. David L

     /  October 12, 2011

    Spotted this image on the web. For some reason, I want to see an endlessly repeating animated GIF of this moment.

    • David L

       /  October 12, 2011

      On reply, looks like only Emily gets to post images.

      The image in question:
      oreilly west

      [ed.’s note: DONE!]

      [ed.’s other note: I was wondering when someone would get jealous!]

      • baiskeli

         /  October 12, 2011

        Hilarious!!!!

        Now I have to go read what that was about.

        • baiskeli

           /  October 12, 2011

          Just watched it. I want my brain cells back.

          • David L

             /  October 12, 2011

            In a rhetorical fight between O’Reilly and Smiley and West, there are no winners.

  34. Rhialto

     /  October 12, 2011

    Hi Em. Just wanted to pop in and say thanks for the OT. You’re such a dear.

  35. corkingiron

     /  October 12, 2011

    This is for David L – cuz wordpress won’t let me reply to certain posts:

    Feel free to call the Shawinigan Strangler a cretin – but don’t say you weren’t warned….

    http://www.poetv.com/video.php?vid=70667

    • JHarper2

       /  October 12, 2011

      Ah, yes, the days when they RCMP were there to protect the people from the Prime Minister.

  36. brook10

     /  October 12, 2011

    Hey Auntie Em! Thanks for the open thread. Nice to come home at the end of a long day and read what everyone is been up to.

  37. AlexBlake

     /  October 12, 2011

    This week in someone elses’ 4 year old grandkids.

    Little girl spent a week at other grandparents house, a lot of it playing on the slip and slide.

    When she got home, she asked to play on the slip and slide. They don’t have one.

    Mom realizes that the little girl is whooping it up in the kitchen. Goes in to see what’s going on, and finds the linoleum with liquid on it and the little girl sliding around. The little girl isn’t big enough to have reached the sink, so mommy doesn’t know where the water came from.

    So she asked the little girl. “I peed,”

  38. Wiliwili

     /  October 12, 2011

    so i will be unable to check TNC’s open thread tomorrow til late, but for you, sara_l_r and others i thought i’d add this here for you to maybe repost there tomorrow.

    might i introduce ryan gosling + fuckin feminism: http://feministryangosling.tumblr.com/