The “ok, this time I just lost track of time” open thread.

That’s all it was!

Chat away, people. (But don’t forget: I’m super busy with work – if you get stuck in moderation, I’ll fish you out as soon as ever I can!)

Standard FYI clause: My rule of thumb is that I wait for 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would usually open a thread (roughly noon, EST), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

205 Comments

  1. Here I thought your six year old self was off mourning, and we should not disturb.

  2. Captain Button

     /  February 29, 2012

    Is there a word for “things that turn out not to be true but live on due to being such wonderful metaphors”?

    I’m thinking of things the slow-boiled frog or Churchill knowing about the bombing of Coventry but doing nothing for security reasons.

    Separately, via FB and cracked.com yesterday, it turns out that Finnish has a word for “Grammar Nazi” which literally means “comma f*cker”. Much better resonances, if you ask me.

    • Aha! And what is this Finnish word? So I know it when people describe me with it.

    • ralphdibny

       /  February 29, 2012

      IIRC, the Inuits really don’t have seventeen different words for snow.

    • helensprogeny

       /  February 29, 2012

      LoveLoveLOVE “comma-fucker”!!! It makes me unreasonably happy! Also, saying “fucker” because we can here in the less formal student lounge.

      • efgoldman

         /  February 29, 2012

        Actually, its only the four-letter verb itself that is clanged by Disqus, unless the rules have changed. Adjectival, adverbial, noun and gerund forms are allowed.
        It was Ms Emily herself that did the research and informed the Hordetariat.

    • comma-fucker is now the official thing i will think in my head when i talk about grammaticasters and the like.awesome.

  3. There are words for people who drop off their stomach-flu-ridden toddlers at day-care and then come into work. They’re just not printable words. The entire day care has stomach flu and oh yeah, so does most of our office. Even the dogs are barfing. I’ve been on the verge for a few hours, trying to hang in there until 5.

    • The last time that happened, I lost ten pounds.

    • corkingiron

       /  February 29, 2012

      Probably a noro-virus – fast (less than 24 hrs.) and nasty and infectious long after you’ve recovered. A parent may sincerely believe their child is no longer infectious since they are over the symptoms.

      • Oh, no, the kid was actively puking when she left her at daycare. And the mother was quite proud of herself for coming to work. Feh.

        • chingona

           /  February 29, 2012

          That’s really wrong. Even setting aside the contagion, which is very serious, that poor kid. The fever rules (fever free for 24 hours – so if they get sent home one day, they automatically miss the next day, no matter how good they feel) can be very annoying when a kid just has a cold or something. My son once had to miss two days of school – and us two days of work – because he ran a very low grade fever as an immune response to a bee sting. But no kid who is puking should be left at day care.

          • Oh jesus. If a mother had pulled that at our preschool, we would have refused to take him and insisted she take him home.

            • chingona

               /  February 29, 2012

              Yeah. I can’t imagine being allowed to do that. And if I’d refused to come get a puking kid? I think I would have been fired from that day care.

    • I have to say, given that noro’s been going around like mad down here in DC, I am very glad these past few weeks that I work at home. Less healthy in terms of vitamin D exposure, perhaps, but way fewer germs than the Metro!

      • MightBeLying

         /  February 29, 2012

        I am supposed to leave for Israel on Sunday and I am SO AFRAID of norovirus. It is going around campus. I think I might make my students wear masks tomorrow. Purell for everybody!

    • taylor16

       /  February 29, 2012

      You’ve really had a hell of a week, haven’t you?

      Hope everyone feels better soon…

    • baiskeli

       /  February 29, 2012

      Ugh!, that is horrible. People need to learn, for God’s sake, if you have the flu or stomach flu, stay home!!

    • Oh my goodness. Hold on there. The hours will pass, I promise!

  4. Anyone tune in for the first Idol live round last night? Or were we all too enthralled with the MI/AZ primaries?
    http://bit.ly/xASkNQ

  5. You fine folks probably already knew about this little gem, but just in case, I’ll share:

  6. Today is Leap Day.

    Don’t forget to move your calendars one day ahead…

  7. David L

     /  February 29, 2012

    To paraphrase something I saw on Twitter:

    Snooki is pregnant. This makes me both despair that a lot of smart people I know have chosen to not have children and gives me a reminder of why people might not want to bring a child into this world.

    • David L

       /  February 29, 2012

      Er, something I said on Twitter. Not just saw.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  February 29, 2012

      My sympathies to the kid.

    • OK, now I am going to throw up.

    • LizR

       /  February 29, 2012

      You know you’ve been staying in the room too often when your roommates watch Jersy Shore when your first thought upon hearing this is, “Wait, who’s the the father?” and potential answers to come to mind. Also none of the answers are good.

  8. MightBeLying

     /  February 29, 2012

    Because I’m recruiting for my dissertation now, time spent reading mommy blogs and connecting to moms on the internet now counts as OFFICIAL research time. I LOVE MY WORK. So. What are your favorite mommy/parenting blogs? Or communities where moms/parents are likely to hang out?

    Bonus points if you can hook me up with the moms/bloggers and get them to link to my study. (I am happy to write guest posts about my research tailored for interested audiences :D). I’m particularly interested in women who are not white/high-income/graduate-school educated. While I’ve gotten great, diverse samples using the same recruitment strategies in the past, for some reason my sample is currently looking like Wellesley, class of 1950. Weird.

    Ze link, it is here:

    goo.gl/Nb5ow

    • My tweet about it was RT-ed 11 times, last I checked, and among the RTers was ABL herself. Bon chance my friend!

    • chingona

       /  February 29, 2012

      Julie at http://www.alittlepregnant.com is pee-your-pants funny and very poignant. It started as an infertility blog but now she has two kids and it’s more parenting stuff. It’s updated very infrequently these days, but she has a large and loyal following. I don’t know how diverse her following is, though.

      I shared it on some various birth-activism type blogs I’m familiar with, but that’s a pretty white world, unfortunately.

      • MightBeLying

         /  February 29, 2012

        Oh my god do I love her blog. She is too famous for me. I do love reading about Ben and Charlie. She has such entertaining kids.

        Thanks for sharing it🙂

    • baiskeli

       /  February 29, 2012

      …for some reason my sample is currently looking like Wellesley, class of 1950

      I’m so stealing this line.

    • mothering.com

      DC Urban Moms and Dads Forum

    • socioprof

       /  February 29, 2012

      II don’t read these much, but here are parents of color blog:
      My Brown Baby: http://mybrownbaby.com/
      http://cocoamamas.com/ (I think she is a grad student, so a sympathetic soul may be here)
      I want to read loveisntenough.com more. It might be a good place for you too.

      • MightBeLying

         /  February 29, 2012

        Thanks! I remember reading things from cocoamamas.com linked to from Bitch PhD but had forgotten about it. Dawn Friedman, who used to blog at thiswomanswork.com before she started graduate school, used to link to loveisntenough.com frequently. If her archives are still up you would probably find them interesting!

  9. chingona

     /  February 29, 2012

    Your twitter feed has kind of a car wreck quality to it. I mean, not your end of things, but your, um, correspondents.

    • I just noticed this – my Twitter feed?

      Well, somedays!

      • chingona

         /  March 1, 2012

        It was earlier in the day. You were threatening to block people and it had something to do with Zionism, which … when the term Zionist is being thrown around as a pejorative and as a synonym for Jew – or at least not one of the few right-kind-of-Jews-willing-to-denounce-everything-about-Israel – I just think, God bless her for being willing to even wade in.

    • intangir

       /  February 29, 2012

      I 100% remember watching that when I was a kid! I totally remember the staircase and the heart weighing ceremony.

      Like that guy says though, over the past 20 years or so I too had kind of thought it must have been some crazy dream because it just seems too utterly bizarre for Sesame Street.

      • Yes! Me too, I have a very clear memory of the weighing the heart part. Even at 4 years old, I’m pretty sure I had some notion of how batshit the entire endeavor was.

    • aaron singer

       /  February 29, 2012

      That’s pretty terrifying. I’m glad I never watched that when I was just a wee lad.

    • You don’t REMEMBER this? I LOVED that when I was a kid! There had been a heroic effort to record it by someone’s mother back in the day, who then magically produced a copy for me and sis when we were small. Watched the tape to death.

      • Somehow, my early-1980s eyes never saw it. I remember the episode where Mr. Snuffleupagus became visible, but not this.

        • I saw the episode where Maria saw Snuffy the first time at my friends house. My mother had to be called because I had such a terrific anxiety attack because Stupid Maria Kept MISSING HIM.

    • I think I do vaguely remember that.

    • taylor16

       /  February 29, 2012

      Oh my god, I do remember that episode, although I’d apparently blocked the details from my memory.

    • efgoldman

       /  February 29, 2012

      Best. Link. Ever.

  10. caoil

     /  February 29, 2012

    Alright Hordeans.
    We ended up with 54 tracks and juuust over 300MB for JHarper2. I split the file into two folders of around 150MB to make the downloading slightly easier. I’ve uploaded them both for him, and he’s back from the hospital for the day and has downloaded 1 and is in the process of downloading the other.

    I am currently uploading to a separate site and will provide those links to the folks who contributed songs – so watch your email later today as I’ll send them out individually.

    Once that is done, I’ll upload again to a different spot (trying to be efficient about bandwidth here) and provide that in an OTAN for anyone else who wants to listen.

    Thanks again, everyone, for taking part. I think he’ll really enjoy them.

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 29, 2012

      Hooray! Thanks for doing the hard work😀

    • Bookwoman

       /  February 29, 2012

      You are a mensch for doing this.

    • You’re the best, sweetie pie. The.best.

    • helensprogeny

       /  February 29, 2012

      You are awesome for doing this. Thank you! And our best to JHarper when you talk/email him. I really hope he enjoys the music and that it gives him some soul sustenance as he goes forward with his treatment.

    • taylor16

       /  February 29, 2012

      Just got your email. Thanks! I can’t wait to listen to them myself. And I hope JHarper enjoys the music.

    • watson42

       /  February 29, 2012

      Thanks again for doing all the heavy lifting for this! You’re the best!

    • baiskeli

       /  February 29, 2012

      Thanks for doing this!

    • Yay! You are awesome.

    • wearyvoter

       /  February 29, 2012

      Thanks! You are the best!

    • UnGrounded

       /  March 1, 2012

      Listened to about an hour and forty minutes while walking today. Finished with “La Dyade”. What a collection! Can’t wait for my next dose tomorrow.

      Thanks so much for doing this.

  11. JHarper2

     /  February 29, 2012

    Guys, JHarper here.
    Really bad day today, so just coming here quickly and then going back to bed.
    BUT!!!
    Today was Horde music arrival day! So I had to come here for a mo
    Caoil who has done stellar work on this project and to whom great thanks are due, sent the files today.
    54 tracks of support and thoughtfulness.
    Some I knew, some I recognized, some I am sooo looking forward to.
    With an index and a listing and good thoughts from all contributors.
    With more time I will write out a more suitable thanks to you all you, but right now I am going to set the player on play and let it play and repeat.

    Again, my great thanks to Caoil, Emily, and Anibundel, and to all the contributors.

    John.

    • MightBeLying

       /  February 29, 2012

      Boo for bad days😦 hope you’re feeling better soon and are able to enjoy the music! We miss you!

    • Yay it’s JH2!!

      Booooo he’s having a bad day…. Big hugs and kisses, my sweetie. I hope the sleep is good.

      (Wasn’t caoil just the smartest to think of this?)

    • helensprogeny

       /  February 29, 2012

      Our thoughts and our music are with thee, friend!

    • I’m glad to see you hear, JH2. Hope things go well with you.

    • taylor16

       /  February 29, 2012

      Hey there, stranger!! Enjoy the music and stay strong!!

    • socioprof

       /  February 29, 2012

      Hugs, sweetie, hugs!!!

    • wearyvoter

       /  February 29, 2012

      Sending good thoughts your way!

    • Sorn

       /  February 29, 2012

      Saw this late, but thanks so much for posting. I hope you enjoy the tunes.🙂

    • UnGrounded

       /  March 1, 2012

      All the best, man.

  12. R_Bargis

     /  February 29, 2012

    Gonzai55, ever since I found out that you’d been to Balticon I’ve been under the sneaking suspicion that we might have some friends in common. As an old Viking once said (hi, DWStallone!), “All roads lead to Markland”. Or, as I put it, there are only so many nerds in Maryland. Do you know the filk/folk group Clam Chowder? (my music teacher was one of the original members) Or do you know anyone who used to be in the Markland Medieval Mercenary Militia? Don’t have to name names, I’m just wondering if you’re another case of the world being Really Small.

    • You have no idea how many nerds there are in Maryland. We are legion. And apparently we’re spawning, lots of geeklets showing up at the cons these days.

      I know of Clam Chowder, may have seen them at some point but I don’t know any of them personally. To my knowledge I don’t know the 4M folk either, but I’ve probably seen them around and just wrote them off as ‘great, more men in kilts who really shouldn’t wear them🙂 ‘

      • R_Bargis

         /  February 29, 2012

        Well, that’s a relief. Sometimes this state feels a little small for comfort in spite of its 5.8 million people.

        Markland was Viking/Battle of Hastings-focused, so they’re more likely to be “men in chain mail and short tunics who really shouldn’t be squeezing into that anymore.”

  13. dmf

     /  February 29, 2012

  14. caoil

     /  February 29, 2012

    In complete and total dork news for today, while I waited for hours as the files uploaded, I rewatched the Feb 29/04 Oscars. I was in LA that weekend at theonering.net’s Oscar Party, where we watched the broadcast on big screens at a venue just blocks away from the Kodak Theatre. And after the Oscars were done, PJ et al came to our party and stayed for a long while.

    What’s rather interesting is how much of the actual broadcast I missed due to being so overexcited and probably doing too much shrieking and hugging of the friends I was with.

    So, in case you were having feelings of being ‘too nerdy’ today, here you go, I’ve already outdone you, so you needn’t worry! ;-p

    • I wanted to go to that party but was in grad school, and therefore had neither time nor money.

      You and I almost certainly crossed paths or at least knew some of the same people in the LOTR fandom a decade ago, whether or not we knew it or remember it. Those days…❤

      • caoil

         /  February 29, 2012

        I definitely put myself a little bit in debt to go to it (and then a con in Pasadena the following year). But it was so worth it. Keep your eyes peeled for details because TORn is running another one next year (and probably 2014). I need to save my pennies!

        I suspect it would be much less than 6 degrees of separation.

  15. carlos the dwarf

     /  February 29, 2012

    One of my closest friends has decided to become a life coach, and is looking for people to coach. I can vouch for the fact that she’s one of the smartest and most caring people I’ve ever known. She’s a great listener and has been a great resource for me in the past, so I can’t recommend her highly enough. If you or someone you know is interested, please drop me a line at carlosthedwarf2 [at] gmail .

  16. Because you will love it and I love you –

    Ugly Renaissance Babies – the tumblr:

    http://uglyrenaissancebabies.tumblr.com/

    (h/t the sister)

  17. chingona

     /  February 29, 2012

    So. My handle. I’ve been wanting to change it for a while. I chose it very quickly on a whim ages ago, and it’s pretty crude in Spanish. I feel kind of weird having this rude, crude handle. It’s a little too “in your face” for me. But I’ve had it for ages, and I’m known by it a whole bunch of places. I also don’t know what I would change it to. My real name isn’t a good option, as my workplace would frown on me spewing my personal and political opinions all over the internet.

    Anyone who has made the change, how did it go? How much effort did you put into letting people know it was you?

  18. David L

     /  February 29, 2012

    A quick knee update and a request for advice:

    I’m now beyond the point that the doctor felt was the bare minimum of flexion that I needed to live a normal life and focusing mostly on strength and possibly getting the range of motion all the way to match the other knee. Yesterday, I finally made it up a full flight of stairs with both legs.

    However, my sleep schedule is kind of wrecked. For the first few weeks I was in physical therapy, I would wake up early in the morning to do some stretching exercises before I went in to go to PT and/or work and I ended up getting acclimated enough to this that I would even wake up without an alarm. For the last month or so, I’ve been loose enough just from going around my normal morning routine that I didn’t need it. However, I keep waking up at oh-dark-thirty and being unable to get back to sleep; my normal routine of resetting my internal clock to run somewhat later (just staying up late enough that I’m in a deep sleep when my programmed wake-up time hits) isn’t doing much. Any ideas from the horde?

    • caoil

       /  February 29, 2012

      Would melatonin work for you? My partner takes it as a (natural) adjunct to her sleeping medication. Or an eye mask, to keep the early light out?

      • David L

         /  February 29, 2012

        I’m waking up pretty well before first light (5:30-5:45, with sunrise closer to 7:00) and I have the windows pretty well blocked because there’s a “safety” light outside my window that’s so bright it would keep me up at night if not for multiple layers of curtains, but I may try some melatonin.

        • caoil

           /  February 29, 2012

          You may also be able to try valerian (if you are not on particular kinds of medication) but the melatonin is definitely very gentle and not addictive.

      • Melatonin has proven to work quite well for both of us. I can tell about 30 minutes after I take it that I’m just really, really ready to go to sleep now, if that’s allzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  19. annprof1

     /  February 29, 2012

    TNC is in Chicago this weekend at the Association of Writers and Writing Program’s Conference at the Hilton. I think he’s talking on Friday. Or maybe Saturday.

    The conference is sold out. But Kitty O’Shea’s at the Hilton is open. The bar will be 9-deep with writers. Drunk writers. And poets.

  20. I was disappointed to discover that Henry Nilsson’s The Point! is not available for download. WTF? I’ve had that stuck in my head for 24 hours, and I BLAME YOU, Horde.

  21. dmf

     /  February 29, 2012

  22. baiskeli

     /  February 29, 2012

    This is a good read in light of conservatives recent increased efforts to police women’s bodies.
    THE “TRANS-V” PROBE … AND OTHER HISTORICAL ATROCITIES
    http://www.blogher.com/frame.php?url=http://kendrahamilton.com/wordpress/2012/02/25/monsters-and-the-old-dominion/

    Also, a really good analysis on the demographic dilemma the Republican faces (and the way they’ve decided to deal with it)

    2012 or Never
    http://nymag.com/news/features/gop-primary-chait-2012-3/

    Of the various expressions of right-wing hysteria that have flowered over the past three years—goldbuggery, birtherism, death panels at home and imaginary apology tours by President Obama abroad—perhaps the strain that has taken deepest root within mainstream Republican circles is the terror that the achievements of the Obama administration may be irreversible, and that the time remaining to stop permanent nightfall is dwindling away.

    The most widely agreed-upon component of any such undertaking was a concerted effort to win back the Hispanic vote. It seemed like a pure political no-brainer, a vital outreach to an exploding electoral segment that could conceivably be weaned from its Democratic leanings, as had previous generations of Irish and Italian immigrants, without altering the party’s general right-wing thrust on other issues. George W. Bush had tried to cobble together a comprehensive immigration-reform policy only to see it collapse underneath a conservative grassroots revolt, and John McCain, who had initially co-sponsored a bill in the Senate, had to withdraw his support for it in his pursuit of the 2008 nomination.

    In the wake of his defeat, strategists like Karl Rove and Mike Murphy urged the GOP to abandon its stubborn opposition to reform. Instead, incredibly, the party adopted a more hawkish position, with Republicans in Congress rejecting even quarter-loaf compromises like the Dream Act and state-level officials like Jan Brewer launching new restrictionist crusades. This was, as Thomas Edsall writes in The Age of Austerity, “a major gamble that the GOP can continue to win as a white party despite the growing strength of the minority vote.”

    None of this is to say that Republicans ignored the rising tide of younger and browner voters that swamped them at the polls in 2008. Instead they set about keeping as many of them from the polls as possible. The bulk of the campaign has taken the form of throwing up an endless series of tedious bureaucratic impediments to voting in many states—ending same-day voter registration, imposing onerous requirements upon voter-registration drives, and upon voters themselves. “Voting liberal, that’s what kids do,” overshared William O’Brien, the New Hampshire House speaker, who had supported a bill to prohibit college students from voting from their school addresses. What can these desperate, rearguard tactics accomplish? They can make the electorate a bit older, whiter, and less poor. They can, perhaps, buy the Republicans some time.

    Reading that article put into perspective the Republican tactics of the last few years.

  23. Some days I read things that are written at Prestigious Journalistic Institutions and I think that we’d be better off under the thumb of the Mole People.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  February 29, 2012

      You performed valiantly in the comments of the McArdle piece today. I commend you.

      • Oy. You people are going to make me wade into McArdle comments, aren’t you?

        • baiskeli

           /  February 29, 2012

          Wander in there for the most creative insult I’ve ever seen (not that I approve of ad-hominen attacks, but still)

          Thank you, Ms. Mcardle, It’s a perspective I had not considered. Not only are you a terrible chef, with poor interior decoration taste, you’re a horror show of a person. With a pervasive cluelessness usually only found in very small invertebrates handling string theory equations.

          • efgoldman

             /  February 29, 2012

            I approve of ad hominem attacks if they’re really clever and richly deserved.
            Anything by Pierce, for instance.

            • aaron singer

               /  February 29, 2012

              Conrad Black called Richard Posner “…a dreary, unreasoning pustule of animus”, according to an article recently linked on links galore site aldaily (run by the Chronic-le of “High”-er Education). As a fan of neither man, I loved it.

    • baiskeli

       /  February 29, 2012

      I just read that article. Good Lord!!

    • Byrk

       /  February 29, 2012

      Craig, why won’t you think of the children. I mean seriously, those poor kids are being forced to go to *shudder* public schools. They may not even be able to spend winter skiing in the Alps and their summer backpacking around Europe finding themselves. Oh the horrors that the wealthy will have to endure.

      Don’t forget that these places are expensive to live, and making less than $300,000 is nearly impossible to live on (despite median incomes near $60K, they don’t count), when you factor in the cost of private schooling, a downtown apartment for your mistress and a golden chalice to drink champagne from.

  24. estos días no lo uso mucho, pero siempre me encantan los dialectos del idioma español. y esta canción es pegajosa, ¿no?

    • Yo comprendo todo pero ‘pegajosa’, la palabra no esta en mi dictionario de espanol.

      • chingona

         /  February 29, 2012

        sticky

        • Hmm, so in this context it would be ‘catchy’?

          • chingona

             /  February 29, 2012

            Yes. Thank you. I understood the sense of it but blanked out on the English idiom.

            • i think i heard my spain-ish friends use “pegadizo/-a” instead, so it might be a regional slang difference. but “sticky” is indeed the idiom for “catchy”, circa 2005 when i last was using my spanish productively. i guarantee there are other ways to say it; i just don’t know them.

              • chingona

                 /  February 29, 2012

                I understood it immediately but don’t think I’d actually heard it before in this sense. On the other hand, I can’t think of what words I have heard used for “catchy” so maybe I’m just not remembering. What’s the region/country?

  25. dmf

     /  February 29, 2012

    http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201202281030
    Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, best-known for films like “Trainspotting” and the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy, joins us to talk about his career and his new film, “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen.

    • You want me to never leave the internet again, don’t you.

      • dmf

         /  February 29, 2012

        just trying to lure you out of the diamond net of twitter, part of a step-down detox intervention, and this bit of bait is so tasty that I can tell you about the plan and still have confidence in the process, but just in case:

  26. Because sometimes you just need a happy moment.

  27. baiskeli

     /  February 29, 2012

    Another factor I’ve noticed with my bankruptcy clients is that a very rich person whose income takes a sudden precipitous drop to a still-pretty-good income can actually wind up in more financial trouble, faster, than a very poor person whose income drops to zero. If you were making $300k a year and spending $200k of it on fixed expenses, and your household income drops to $125k a year, unless you have substantial liquid savings or are able to sell your house and your car and your boat yank your kids out of private school REALLY fast, you’re going to wind up in bankruptcy in a fairly short space of time. A person who was making $18k a year and suddenly finds themselves making nothing, as a practical matter, can often break their lease and move in with mom and get on food stamps until a new job materializes and wind up with only a couple thousand dollars in debt. Not that it’s not still ultimately much better to be the rich person, but the rich person does get hit with a more panic-inducing financial calamity in the short term.

    A comment that Megan McArdle decided to front and center as an addendum to her article about why the rich deserve sympathy too.

    This line

    A person who was making $18k a year and suddenly finds themselves making nothing, as a practical matter, can often break their lease and move in with mom and get on food stamps until a new job materializes and wind up with only a couple thousand dollars in debt.

    Just made me totally mega head-desk. I though of commenting there but it’s a complete logic free cesspool (Craig did, and he bears the scars to prove it).

    So if you’re poor, you have more freedom Freedom is nothing left to lose yippeee!!!!

    Also, I have no sympathy for someone making $350,000 (before bonus) complaining how hard it is to make it in New York.

    • If I made $35,000 a year I’d be ecstatic.

      And no, not everyone can break their lease or move in with family or maybe they don’t *have* family or they have a family with them…I was head-desking right there with ya.

      • baiskeli

         /  February 29, 2012

        I mean, I understand that some areas are expensive. I live in the Boston area (also expensive, though not up to NY expensive), I’m a software engineer, I make a decent living, but we choose not to live right in the city for a number of reasons, one of them being that even though technically I could afford it (if I stretch, and since we don’t have any kids), it would put us too close to the red line (where you’re not saving anything or not saving enough).

        I also have friends in NY who make about what I do and do pretty well. They don’t live in Manhattan, but they live in decent areas.

        When I was dirt poor, I didn’t even have the choice of living somewhere cheaper because I was living in the cheapest place I could find, with 5 other roommates, always one step away from economic catastrophe (in like having 20$ for food for the next 2 weeks). I once got my T-Pass confiscated by an MBTA cop (because a girl I liked convinced me to let her use it and we got caught). I cried bitterly because even though it cost 28$, it meant that I was pretty much screwed for the rest of the month (getting to work).

        One of the things about being poor is that you have precious little choice. You’re so on the edge. Being poor is expensive. Your car (which you need to get to the only job you could find) breaks down, it costs $1000 to fix, you don’t have that, so you buy a used car at inflated pricing because you can afford the monthly payment. There are whole industries (check cashing, payday loans) built on exploiting the fact that the poor have next to no choice. If you’re rich, you have choices, if your income goes down, you have a lot of non-essential costs you can cut without destroying your credit or ending up on the street. Being poor means being desperate, and it is a crime that we have whole industries whose whole business model is predicated on exploiting this desperation.

        One of our cars is old, I recently had to spend $800 on it, I had the luxury of either deciding to fix it (I ultimately did), going carless (a possiblity because I can get to work via train/bus/bike) or buying another used car. When I was poor, that $800 would have sent me into a panic. Now, even though I don’t consider myself rich, I have a cushion.

        I think a lot of people think of being poor as that stretch in college when they were broke and could rely on mummy/daddy, as evidenced by the comment that McArdle put front and center to support her thesis.

        • I think a lot of people think of being poor as that stretch in college when they were broke and could rely on mummy/daddy

          co-fucking-sign.

          • Ian

             /  February 29, 2012

            Definitely. I grew up on stories about how poor my parents were when I was a baby. What that meant was, they lived in a basement apartment while my mother waited tables and father attended RPI. Senior year, there was much agonizing over which lucrative job offer to take. Hard times! People honestly do look back on brief periods like that and think it gives them the authority to talk about what poor people experience and what they do and don’t need. Gah.

            • (Huh, our fathers went to the same school.)

              • Ian

                 /  February 29, 2012

                I grew up thinking that math homework led to a life of toil in the insurance industry, so I didn’t do my math homework. My father used to reminisce about when he almost took a job figuring out ways to get the most boxes out of a giant sheet of cardboard, so really insurance wasn’t such a bad deal. I know now that this was a false choice, and I should have done my fucking math homework.

                • My daddy likes science so I like science too the end.

                • R_Bargis

                   /  February 29, 2012

                  “a job figuring out ways to get the most boxes out of a giant sheet of cardboard”

                  I do that! (I build archival housings for objects and books two days a week) It involves math and tools! What’s not to love?

                  • Bookwoman

                     /  February 29, 2012

                    I just want to say that I’m in awe of people with your skills. Some of my books, and the books and mss. of the people I’ve worked for, thank you, from the bottom of their clamshells and other enclosures.🙂

                  • Ian

                     /  March 1, 2012

                    That’s…not the same job.

                    • R_Bargis

                       /  March 1, 2012

                      The materials I work with can be very expensive so sometimes it’s extremely important that I get the maximum number of boxes out of a single sheet of something. But yeah, it’s not actually the same job :p

        • R_Bargis

           /  February 29, 2012

          My entire adult life has been lean (I can make ends meet because my spouse pays more on the rent than I do), but I’ve always known that if things went really badly I could ask my parents for help and they could spare a few hundred or thousand dollars. Even when things looked really grim I had that somewhere in the back of my mind, and that made all the difference. I was eligible for food stamps and state-subsidized health care after I graduated from college, but I knew that I had a college degree and a good financial savings, and my poverty was a temporary stop on the road to the middle class.

          Has McArdle never worked in a homeless shelter or food bank? I would think the difference would be glaring obvious – it was to me.

    • watson42

       /  February 29, 2012

      “move in with mom and get on food stamps until a new job materializes”!?!?! WTF!?!? Someone tell me what sort of reality McArdle lives in that new jobs and parents with room and disposable income just appear out of thin air? Has she read the news lately? Tried to get a job?

      And “only a couple of thousand dollars in debt”?! if you’re the person in her example and making $18k/yr and just getting by, how long is it going to take to pay back that debt? Considering many employers are doing credit checks as part of the hiring process, how is breaking a lease and going into debt going to help someone get a job?

      Jesus fucking Christ.

      • aaron singer

         /  February 29, 2012

        Yep. I’ve been out of work for almost 18 months and my small bit of debt is growing and I am sure my credit rating is scarily bad, but I had the option of moving back home, and thus am able to have zero expenses. I consider myself lucky.

    • Byrk

       /  February 29, 2012

      It’s far easier to let your boat be repossessed (if it comes to that), downgrade your car to a Honda instead of a BMW, put your kids into public schools and possibly if that’s not enough foreclose on your house and rent something affordable on a $125K a year income (probably something pretty nice nearly everywhere) than it is to go homeless. I know that I can far better weather a significant reduction in income far more than somebody making $18K a year.

      Secondly, the wealthy person has the same damn option of moving into their parents house. Considering that money making ability normally runs in the family, they’ll also be far more likely to have parents that have the means and size of house to make it easy as well.

      Look, for me moving back into my parents house doesn’t mean cramming into their one bedroom apartment, but getting an entire floor of their house to myself and them easily affording the extra food/utilities until I got back on my feet That somebody like Megan can be so god damn blind as to not recognize this is just astounding.

      • Ian

         /  February 29, 2012

        But it’s very traumatic for rich people to move back in with their parents. We know from movies that rich families are all screwed up. Father is distant. Mother is high and has taken a scandalously inappropriate lover. So much is unresolved. Meanwhile, poor families are boisterously tight-knit. They live on love and delicious ethnic foods. It’s more fun for them when they lose everything.

        • aaron singer

           /  February 29, 2012

          So what your saying is, come the depression Lady Sybil and her husband the Chauffeur will have to move back into Downton Abbey?

          That will be interesting, come Season 8.

          • Ian

             /  February 29, 2012

            The funny thing is I’ve never seen that show and I know exactly what you’re talking about.

          • baiskeli

             /  February 29, 2012

            Hilarious!! Now that would be an interesting story line

  28. efgoldman

     /  February 29, 2012

    At least the diocese apologized, which surprises e, but is a positive thing.
    The priest was and is a total asshole.

    • Should we blame Disqus? Let’s blame Disqus.

      • efgoldman

         /  February 29, 2012

        For what, ma’am? I was a typist of questionable accuracy long before I ever heard of Disqus. Or of you, for that matter (but I’m much gladder to have heard of you, than of Disqus).

    • I first read this as “At least Disqus apologized, which surprises me…”

      Which was like, “Well, they should have apologized.”

      Then I realized my brain had twisted the letters around.

  29. Bruce S

     /  February 29, 2012

    Not sure if anyone else has seen this, but one feels that our culture is trying to redefine racism out of existence. Choice quotations:

    “I didn’t send it as racist, although that’s what it is. I sent it out because it’s anti-Obama.”

    “I did not forward it because of the racist nature of it. Although it is racist, I am not that way never have been.”

    http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20120229/NEWS01/120229014/Chief-U-S-District-Judge-sends-racially-charged-email-about-president

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 1, 2012

      Heh. I just posted this on the mini Horde FB page. Again with the non-apology apology, too.