When a battalion & a horde love each other very, very much: Open Thread.

You know what to do! (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.

UPDATE: Shabbat is upon us, but feel free to keep chatting over the weekend! I’ll check in on Saturday night to see if we need a new thread, if this one is too unwieldy to just keep going. Shabbat shalom, one and all!

202 Comments

  1. caoil

     /  March 23, 2012

    Aw, mom, I don’t want the awkward thread! *blushes* *runs to friend’s house*

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      We really need a ‘like’ button. This made me giggle.

      • caoil

         /  March 23, 2012

        I couldn’t help it – it was my instant reaction. My mom tells me that she had some kind of “talk” with me (or “talks”, it’s not really clear) when I was young, but I’ve obviously done a very good job of blocking these awkward discussions because I have no memory of them! At all.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 23, 2012

      I completed the sentence: “they use a condom.”

  2. David L

     /  March 23, 2012

    I’m having one of those “I DID NOT ASK TO BE AN ADULT!” days. Someone locate the fountain of eternal college seniorhood please–old enough to have all privileges granted by law to adults, but young enough to not know better if something goes wrong.

    • Sympathies. I am chafing at responsibility myself today. Like whoa. I just want to go lie in the grass and eat ice cream, is that so wrong?!

      Instead I have to do, like, actual work and shit. And housework. And organizing. And a bunch of errands and things I don’t wanna do and can’t blow off.

      Found a big fat grey hair right next to my forehead the other day, too. I had really wanted to get to the “Respectable” stage of my life before I started going grey but it looks like I’m more or less mired at “disreputable” now and forever. While my job is very much in all ways a job and requires me to behave like a responsible employee, I have a hard time believing I’ve grown up at all when I write about video games for a freaking living. I mean, come on. It’s like I’ve gone *backwards* now. So why do I keep getting older?

      • Screw chores. I’m setting roomba to “suck” after this and going and laying out in the backyard.

      • I noticed a lot more gray hairs on my head after my doctoral qualifying exam last summer. Thankfully they mostly seem to be coming in at the temples.

        • Bookwoman

           /  March 23, 2012

          I actually like gray hair, on both men and women. And I don’t say this because I’m slowly turning gray (and so far refusing to color my hair), nope, not at all….

          • I’ve been going gray since I was 18. I eagerly await my long gray ponytail.

            • Ian

               /  March 23, 2012

              A long, gray ponytail AND a Prius? What’s next, contradancing?

        • David L

           /  March 23, 2012

          At least, if it’s grey, it’s still there.

      • David L

         /  March 23, 2012

        It’s even the good kind of responsibility that I’m freaked out by–“There’s no way I’ve been around long enough to become the subject matter expert on this topic” (except that I am, thanks to a bit of churn in the department.)

      • caoil

         /  March 23, 2012

        Ugh, grey hair. Mine’s been turning since my early 20’s. I still dye my hair, because I’m sensitive to the judgment of others. When you’ve had a store clerk ask if you are your partner’s mother, and you’re only 2 years older than her, it’s kind of scarring.

    • Captain Button

       /  March 23, 2012

      It helps if you have an eternal student trust fund like in Doctor In The House, Doorways In The Sand, or Moving Pictures.

    • koolaide

       /  March 23, 2012

      Filed in the category of ‘really tiny problems relative to the world’

      I’m also having problems being an adult in the TNC thread w/ a particular poster who will NOT let go of making (what I think is) a very flawed comparison w a different protest-type situation.

      • Flag and move on.

        • koolaide

           /  March 23, 2012

          Some one on the internet is wrong. WRONG, I tell you. How can I act the part of an adult in that egregious situation!!!

          • dmf

             /  March 23, 2012

            what does it mean to be right if you have to sink so low to do it?

          • selenesmom

             /  March 23, 2012

            This is what Felix Salmon calls “SIWOTI disease” — after the XCID comic.

            • koolaide

               /  March 23, 2012

              Right. I was referencing the comic in mocking myself.

              • selenesmom

                 /  March 23, 2012

                Well now the thread is mercifully closed after the arrival of only about a dozen trolls so you are saved from yourself🙂

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 23, 2012

      As someone who just spent 4.5 hours of my only day off this week getting her income taxes done, I join you in wishing for something other than adulthood. Sucks, sucks, sucks. On the plus side, my taxes *are* done, everything filed and I’m getting a $400 refund I wasn’t really expecting. So I guess I’ll enjoy the parts of adulthood that don’t suck when and where I can.

      Plus I just had cake for lunch, so my inner 4-year-old is happy too.

      • caoil

         /  March 23, 2012

        CAKE FOR LUNCH WHAAAAATTTT
        I’ll just be sitting over here, jealous.

        • You should ask K Cox what she has for lunch some day.

          You’ll weep.

          • Actually, I forget to eat at all at least 3-4 days per week. And when I do remember, 3/4 of the time I just eat crackers or something. Working from home somehow I lose track of days.

            On the other hand, at the beginning of the week I had girl scout cookies and today I had area’s best pizza. So.😉

        • helensprogeny

           /  March 23, 2012

          I also had some healthy things, it wasn’t exclusively cake. But yes, cake was involved. And delicious. And had you been here, I would have shared some with you.🙂

  3. Hi guys! At doctors, so no links right now. But there’s a Project Runway finale recap, an Idol results thread, a Mad Men retro ads post and three new videos from The Muppets all up on my blog.
    Hope to chat more later when I get home.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      Hope you’re feeling better soon!

    • Be well! Nightmares/anxiety/pain – Be Gone!

      • Home. New drugs. Let’s see if this foray into the cutting edge of modern brain pokery has any effect.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 23, 2012

      Pray you feel better soon, before being shipped back to the Blogging Mines.

  4. So the Trayvon Martin case has me thinking a lot about neighborhood watch. We have one. It’s part of a community association that, as far as I can tell from the people my landlady introduced me to and the people who’ve approached a good friend, is mostly made up of white gentrifying types. I’m a white grad student, so basically I’m in that category too. The community association partners with Oakland PD, which has plenty of troubling history, and which my friend who works in front of a street-facing window sees doing plenty of harassment of black men on the street.

    I’m thinking of joining the community association mostly in the hopes of getting to advocate for better practice, less racism, etc, but I’m not totally sure how. Obviously I’m not going to just waltz in and say “Commander Lobster here to save the day,” but I’d like to know what I could be working towards. Does anyone have thoughts, information, references, books I can read about how community associations can partner with cops to reduce racially motivated harassment, violence, etc?

    • caoil

       /  March 23, 2012

      if you can hold that thought until Monday, I will try to ask a dear friend of mine who is an antiracist educator for any starting points he can think of.

    • Though, you may want to bear in mind, I would pay you to actually waltz into any room, anywhere, and say “Commander Lobster here to save the day.” Maybe you could start out by advocating good potty practice? https://emilylhauserinmyhead.wordpress.com/2012/02/28/when-you-gotta-go-you-gotta-go-a-canadian-musical-interlude/

      (In all seriousness, that’s a great plan, one I’m not sure I’d have to the fortitude to take on. And then I’d be very sorry for not having stood up).

      • Where do you live? Chicago? Next time I visit my grandmother I would be happy to pay you a visit complete with waltzing, saving the day, and Commander Lobster-hood. Type of day-saving up to you.

        • Ooh! I’ll have to think of the kind of day I might need saved!

          Alternatively, if you let me know enough in advance, maybe we’d even be able to plan a Chicago Horde meet-up. Lobster-suit optional.

  5. R_Bargis

     /  March 23, 2012

    I’m house sitting for an aunt and uncle for the next week, so as of today I am the temporary owner of two collies*, a cat, two ball pythons, three fishtanks full of fish, a koi pond filled with some monster koi, and a lot of potted plants. It’s going to be a busy week.

    I haven’t lived in the suburbs or in a building built after WWI for any length of time since I left for college and I’m used to having roommates and housemates, so living by myself in a 1990s subdivision is going to be intensely weird. On the plus side I’ll get to bike to the MARC in the mornings and commute by train (or catch the bus if it’s raining). I like trains.

    *A marvelous border collie and a sweet-but-dumb-as-a-post rough collie.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      Trains are good. What do the pythons eat?

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 23, 2012

        Usually live mice, but they were fed earlier in the week so I’ll only need to refill their water bowl.

        • Bookwoman

           /  March 23, 2012

          Well that’s something to be thankful for. I’m not a squeamish person, and I’m not afraid of snakes, rodents, etc., but feeding live mice to a snake would tax my composure a bit.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 23, 2012

      Keeping fish is weird.
      And seriously, that is a huge amount of livestock. At what point does, “living in suburbia” become “living on a hobby farm/acreage”?

      • I was thinking the same thing.

        We live in the suburbs and we don’t even have a cat anymore.

      • selenesmom

         /  March 23, 2012

        When you get a pair of alpacas.

      • SWNC

         /  March 23, 2012

        I dunno, but I live in a ‘burb-like part of the city (single family detached houses with yards) and a couple of my neighbors have chickens. One family a few blocks over used to have a goat.

        • There’s this amazing little goat dairy in Philly which the owner invited some friends and me to visit. Turned out to basically a large suburban lot — maybe 2 large suburban lots? — with a working dairy housing at least 20 goats. He’d converted his kitchen to a commercial dairy and stacked crates for sick baby goats in the living room.

          A good friend just moved to a suburban house in Boise and is expanding from chickens (which she moved in her rental truck from the Bay) to goats (and chickens) in May. She has a breeder picked out and everything.

    • SWNC

       /  March 23, 2012

      I’m used to having roommates and housemates, so living by myself in a 1990s subdivision is going to be intensely weird.

      If it was me, I’d take lots and lots of really long baths and showers. Having to share the bathroom and the available hot water was the only thing I didn’t really like about having housemates. (Well, that and when you got a crazy housemate.) Hey, and if it’s 1990s subdivision, I bet they’ve got a whirlpool tub!

      Oh, I’d also sing loudly in the kitchen if I was you.

      • R_Bargis

         /  March 23, 2012

        “I’d also sing loudly in the kitchen if I was you”

        Whups, I already do that (so does one of my other housemates). Hey, I gotta practice my parts for chorus some time! My housemates don’t seem to mind the singing, but no button accordion or bones after 10 pm.

  6. watson42

     /  March 23, 2012

    I’ve been thinking a lot about “the talk” that people of color give their children in order to minimize their danger when out in public. It’s so much a part of what you learn as a person of color – that awareness that you’re a problem or under suspicion just for being who you are.

    Even for little things. One of the things you learn/are told is that if you’re under the age of 21 or so, don’t touch anything in a store unless you’re absolutely sure you’re going to buy it. And if you buy something, even just a pack of gum, get a bag and receipt. It’s become pretty common for grocery stores to ask if you want a receipt for purchases under a certain dollar amount; it’s no longer the norm to get one. For a while I couldn’t figure out why it felt *so wrong* that a cashier would ask me if I want a receipt. My reaction is so visceral that I couldn’t articulate it, but my first instinct is: of course I want a receipt, how else will I prove that I paid for this stuff when someone asks? I left my teenage years behind many, many years ago now but this is still a part of me.

    • Captain Button

       /  March 23, 2012

      I don’t have any hard information, but I tend to assume that stores try to push receipts on customers not for the customers benefit, but to discourage the cashier from stealing by ringing up $1.35 for a $1.53 item and pocketing the difference..

      • I read this more as, “Dear god, how can the receipt be OPTIONAL?! How would anyone NOT want it?! Of course I need that!” not that there’s something implied by the clerk in offering one.

        • watson42

           /  March 23, 2012

          Yeah, exactly. When I see people in the store saying “that’s okay, I don’t need a receipt,” I am completely nonplussed.

          • ralphdibny

             /  March 23, 2012

            And yet another permutation of white privilege that I’ve never even considered. I never take the receipt. (And bonus points for the correct use of nonplussed.)

            • Electronic_Neko

               /  March 23, 2012

              Learning these types of things make me sad, but it is beneficial. I thought I had a basic undestanding of the various ways I experienced privilege, but clearly that was only scratching the surface.

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      Thank you for this. I’m very white, and grew up in NYC pretty aware (or so I thought) of the indignities heaped on people of color (not being able to get cabs, being followed around in stores, etc.). But the details you write about are just piercing.

  7. Captain Button

     /  March 23, 2012

    Science fiction geek mode:

    I don’t think I am particularly more enlightened or perceptive now than I was around 1990.
    But I just started rereading Jack Chalker’s The Return of Nathan Brazil and I am not sure if I can keep going.

    Back then I was vaguely aware of some creepy subtext stuff about sex and gender roles in it, but it didn’t really bother me, not in a rather soft SF series.

    But this time around the subtext seems a lot less sub and a lot more text. I keep dropping out of suspension of disbelief because of the thin layer over squik covering everything. And the world-building seems shoddier than I remember.

    Has someone been slipping insight-enhancing substances into my tea again?

    (Digression: I don’t think i am doing paragraphs right these days, am I?)

    • mythopoeia

       /  March 23, 2012

      This entire post reminds me of how I gave up on the Foundation trilogy at age 16 because there were no women in it. I wasn’t trying to look for a proper ratio of men to women in it. I just realized that there were no women in the stories whatsoever and that I simply couldn’t find such a world believable enough to keep reading about it.

      • Captain Button

         /  March 23, 2012

        One shows up as a significant character in the third book I think, but that isn’t saying much.

        • Asimov, as he aged, became a seriously dirty old man. At least, in his fiction. The last few books of the Robot and Foundation series (and the way in which they meet in the middle, which conceptually I loved) betrayes an unhealthy fascination with sexual morés.

          • Captain Button

             /  March 23, 2012

            He published at least one book of dirty limericks, and according to the fan lore I recall, he would be very flirtatious at conventions. So yes.

    • That’s happened to me a lot, especially with Robert Heinlein (Sleeping with your adopted daughter, two female clones of yourself and your own mother when you go back in time! All in one book!) and, to a slightly lesser degree, Neal Stephenson.

      • Stephenson, at least, has grown more conscious of his gender issues as his career has progressed, I feel. I read his books and sometimes shake my head in that, “Ah, nerdboys, sigh” kind of way, but I never have the “FUCKING HELL, WHAT IS *WRONG* WITH YOU” reactions I do when I go through Heinlein.

      • watson42

         /  March 23, 2012

        I remember that Heinlein book. I think that was the one that made me stop reading Heinlein because it was so over the top.

      • aaron singer

         /  March 23, 2012

        So, was Woody Allen a Heinlein fan?

    • I don’t think I ever finished Dharma Bums because I couldn’t get past the part where women where there only for food, sex, or both.

    • caoil

       /  March 23, 2012

      I gave up halfway through ‘To Your Scattered Bodies Go’ because I was having issues with it. There are not enough hours in the day to waste some of them on fiction that makes you mad.

  8. Captain Button

     /  March 23, 2012

    Do we need a new acronym WHWBITWN?

    (Wearing Hoodie While Black In The Wrong Neighborhood)

  9. Ian

     /  March 23, 2012

    Heh. Somebody who is not my boss just sent me an email that ended, “It is no longer up for further debate.” We’ll see about that, won’t we?

    • koolaide

       /  March 23, 2012

      Has this person met you before? Because eventhough I have not met you, I would not end an email to you in that fashion.

      • Ian

         /  March 23, 2012

        I wouldn’t end an email to anyone in that fashion! But yeah, she knows me and should know better. Even before this email I’d told her we’re going to the mayor if she can’t get the job done. This is a small town. We can go to the mayor.

        • Captain Button

           /  March 23, 2012

          Maybe that was just code for “Ok, go ahead and go to the mayor. The number is in the phone book.”

          • Ian

             /  March 23, 2012

            No, she works for us. It was code for “You’re on my turf and I want you to butt out even though I fucked this thing up.”

          • Ian

             /  March 23, 2012

            To clarify, she couldn’t get anywhere with the low-level official and she will be personally offended if we take it higher even though that’s the obvious and appropriate thing to do. Which she should have done already. But won’t.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 23, 2012

      I don’t think that phrase means what he thinks it means.

      I, at any rate, would take that to mean, “its on!”

    • selenesmom

       /  March 23, 2012

      Yikes, that is very brusque. More diplomatic would be something like, “Unless I hear from you otherwise during this week, I’ll consider the matter decided.” But even that I tend to reserve for things like getting an approval on an expense report, not decisions that anyone is likely to feel personally about.

  10. dmf

     /  March 23, 2012

    for fridays and holding on:

    I’m thinking today of how we hold it together,
    arrive on time with the bottle of Zinfandel, a six-pack

    of Scuttlebutt beer, how we cover our wrinkles
    with Visible Lift, shove the mashed winter squash

    into the baby’s mouth, how we hold it all together
    despite clogged rain gutters, cracked

    transmissions, a new explanation for gravity’s
    half-hearted hold. I’m wondering how we do it,

    comb the tangles from our hair, trim the unwieldy
    camellia, speak to packed crowds about weight loss

    or fractals. I’m wondering how we don’t
    fall to our knees, knowing a hardened pea,

    lodged in the throat, can kill, knowing
    liquids are banned on all commercial flights.

    Leaves fall. The baby sucks her middle fingers.
    Meanwhile, the refrigerator acquires

    an unexplainable leak. Meanwhile, we call
    the plumber, open wide for the dental hygienist,

    check each month, with tentative circlings,
    our aging breasts. Somehow, each morning,

    the coffee gets made. Somehow, each evening,
    the crossing guard lifts fluorescent orange flag,

    and a child and her father cross the glistening street.

    “After Reading There Might Be an Infinite Number of Dimensions” by Martha Silano

  11. JHarper2

     /  March 23, 2012

    Observations from Dialysis.
    1. Career paths are not always straight. Today Medical Media came to take pictures of the (now healing) wounds on my legs. I had asked one of the photographers earlier how one ended up in such a position. She said that you go to University to take something else entirely, get hooked on Art instead, fool around a bit with photography in creating art and hey presto the next thing you know you are taking pictures of wounds, ulcers, rashes etc. By the way, she is happy, enjoys her job (the Health District supplies a serious amount of serious camera equipment for her to work with) and still works at her art. But neither art nor medical photography are what she started out to pursue. Humans make plans, God and the Universe laugh.

    2. When Medical Media came this morning I was listening to a compilation album I call, Music from the Horde. So much worth listening to, over and again. Thanks again to all the Horde.

  12. koolaide

     /  March 23, 2012

    Lord. I am about to get into it on fb about a prison rape “joke” that a person I know (and respected) just made. Joy. Why do I expect gay men to be more enlightened about male rape? sigh.

    • Captain Button

       /  March 23, 2012

      My only theoretical contribution is if they play “Prison is supposed to be unpleasant.” card you might try the “So why do we let prisoners have fun raping people?” one.

  13. Just to note:
    1) I plan on seeing Tim Dorsey (the Serge thriller novels) this Saturday at Palm Harbor Library.
    2) I want to make sure we get a big turnout for the Local Authors event at the Wesley Chapel Barnes & Noble store on Sat. April 14th from 2-4 pm, so tell everyone you know in the East Pasco/North Tampa area to show up and BUY MY BOOKS.
    3) Would it kill you people to bring more Republic characters to the Namaadi Corridor server on SW:TOR to join our Lost Battalion of the Horde guild?! Plus, I’d like to see the current members log in, so I can team with people I like… :sniff:

    • Job?

      STATUS UPDATE! (We want to know because we care!)

    • Byrk

       /  March 23, 2012

      I heard a rumor that current players of SW:TOR could give a non-player a week of free play to entice them to purchase and join. I’m not sure if I want to drop a bunch of cash on a game right now, but maybe a week of free play could convince me hint… hint.

      • If Paul doesn’t have any friend codes, I think my husband still has one valid one left.

        • Byrk

           /  March 23, 2012

          I’d appreciate one, I’ve been wanting to try it out but I rarely buy games at full retail these days. It’s typically hard to be patient waiting for sales (I’m looking at you Skyrim and ME3) but on the other hand I can afford to play far more games this way. However, MMO’s are one area where it’s nice to, so you don’t have to grind by yourself for 6 months to catch up with those you want to play with.

          • shoot me an e-mail address?🙂 If you don’t want to leave it in a comment you can send it to my blog email, kcox at your-critic dot com.

  14. David L

     /  March 23, 2012

    Things that seem obvious to me but yet get me weird looks from other people: Carrying around pens with brightly-colored ink (currently in my arsenal: red, green, purple, orange) to mark up documents printed with black text. I can usually skim all of my notes before they finish page 1.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 23, 2012

      My dad did that. Red, Green, Blue!

    • Doesn’t everyone use contrasting ink for markup? I mean, that’s the whole point of the red pen! Although I always liked purple myself, as did many of my high school teachers and college professors. Jumps out more than blue, not as harsh as red.

    • Electronic_Neko

       /  March 23, 2012

      I work in a law office, and one of my things has always been to use colored pens to mark stuff up and make notes on files. Easier to see and much more fun! Why limit yourself to red?

  15. Stupid electronics companies.

    Was online with a customer support (CS) rep (actually, several) for 2+ hours this a.m. trying to get a return authorization for a broken monitor (4 months old. Dead.).

    Freaking CS agents have now taken a week of my time; the monitor STILL DOES NOT WORK, and I still do not have the return authorization. “It’s being sent through e-mail.”

    • It will cost around $85-100 to ship my monitor to New Jersey for repairs. I paid $160 for it. I could have just paid $250 for a better quality monitor.

      Unbelievable incompetence.

  16. Sigh. (And by that I mean: Go peek at the Zion Square thread)

    • dmf

       /  March 23, 2012

      no way jose

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      Ya know, if you would just write a 500-page book for every post, you could avoid leaving out anything important and then no one would ever complain. Easy-peasy.

      • Captain Button

         /  March 23, 2012

        After the Singularity, we will be able to just fork off another version of ourselves at will and give them near-infinite virtual time to write near-infinite amounts of exhaustively thorough analysis.

        People will still just say tl;dr.

    • Captain Button

       /  March 23, 2012

      You are writing about what you want to write about instead of what someone else wants you to write about?

      You Monster!

      • History’s worst, man.

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  March 23, 2012

          It’s like Pol Pot and zombie-Stalin had an illicit love child, sometimes.

          • caoil

             /  March 23, 2012

            Makes you wonder why we even darken her doorstep!

            (nah. You’re pretty far from a monster, Mz. Emily)

          • (You weren’t supposed to tell anyone! Dang it, man!)

            • efgoldman

               /  March 24, 2012

              As long as we keep it from your kids’ you’re OK.

              • efgoldman

                 /  March 24, 2012

                That’s not my gravitar! Where did it come from?

                • No idea. WordPress is being decidedly weird lately, and my capacity for understanding why is decidedly small…!

  17. dmf

     /  March 23, 2012

    gaga who?

    • aaron singer

       /  March 23, 2012

      Janelle Monae’s 2010 album The Archandroid is my favorite album ever. It was released in April or May, I think. That July, I started dating an acquaintance from high school; in September, we saw a Monae & Of Montreal concert; she wasn’t familiar with the latter group, but loved them. Anyway, after that concert she said that I would like Grace Jones. I have only listened to a few songs of hers since then, but I have liked what I heard.

      • dmf

         /  March 23, 2012

        the music was never great but she was a real presence/production and yet rarely seemed artificial/affected, other than a few like Bowie, Laurie Anderson (sp?) and Dylan not many have been able to pull of the persona bit so well, Bono for instance has gotten a bit silly. It will be interesting to see where Janelle ends up.

        • aaron singer

           /  March 23, 2012

          She has said she’s working on a graphic novel and film adaptation of The Archandroid. I would LOVE that.

  18. wearyvoter

     /  March 23, 2012

    Working from home today. Got all the embers that came into email stomped out (at least temporarily.) Got to go offline at 2:30, so now I can hang out over here and not feel too terribly guilty.

  19. SWNC

     /  March 23, 2012

    I have a friend who is currently stationed in Afghanistan, and I’m going to be sending him a care package soon. He’s specifically asked for cashews, coffee beans, pipe tobacco, and hot sauce, but I’d also like to send something homemade if possible. Any ideas for baked goods that would travel well for several weeks? Or is that even feasible?

    • You could try something like, I don’t know, granola. That may be too hippy-dippy for a soldier but that shit never goes bad.

      • SWNC

         /  March 23, 2012

        This particular soldier is a pagan computer geek with a penchant for fine teas. Dude will eat granola.
        Good idea, thank you!

    • dmf

       /  March 23, 2012

      maybe not what you were thinking of, and melted sugar is dangerous, but you could make some candies as they keep/travel well.

      • SWNC

         /  March 23, 2012

        Thank you! What kinds of candies in particular? The ones I make are all sensitive to humidity.

    • If you can do cookies in an airtight container (i.e. a good tupperware) I imagine those would travel well.

      • SWNC

         /  March 23, 2012

        I have some cookie recipes from WWII. I may pull those out and have a look.

    • doginajacket

       /  March 23, 2012

      When my cousin was there he specifically requested no baked goods because there really wasn’t anything that would keep. He did want things like crayons & small toys to give to the Afghan children he saw.

      • SWNC

         /  March 23, 2012

        I was wondering about that. Good to know.

      • watson42

         /  March 23, 2012

        A friend of mine in Iraq said the same thing. We used to send crayons and toys. Also candy and gum. The soldiers could both snack on candy and gum, and give it away to children or as good will gestures when trying to break the ice with adults while in country.

      • watson42

         /  March 23, 2012

        A big toy item was deflated soccer balls (you can ship more when they’re not inflated) and the little needle things needed to pump them up. both kid-size balls and regulation balls.

  20. The world never fell in love with the Afghan Whigs but they should have. When rock fell into the grunge music crapper in the early-90’s, they were single-handedly keeping dirty-ass rock and soul alive. This song has one of those lines that only Greg Dulli could sing:

    Baby, you don’t know
    Just how I lie awake
    And dream awhile, about your smile
    And the way you make your ass shake

    (This has been “Craig gets serious about some music” for this Friday.)

    • ralphdibny

       /  March 23, 2012

      I saw them in Atlanta sometime late 91/early 92. One of those shows that I really wish I could remember better. The few flashes of memory I do have are pretty cool.

  21. caoil

     /  March 23, 2012

    Has anyone bought a tv lately? I think ours is on its way out and it’s going to be an LCD or LED that will be its replacement. But, are ALL tvs now HD? I don’t really want HD – I don’t like the look of it – most of the time the images are too ‘shiny’, like video instead of film. Also I’d have to change my cable service to be HD instead of standard (at least, according to what Best Buy’s website says).

    (This may seem like a very basic question but I’d rather ask you folks than the customer service people in an electronics store)

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      It’s the signal that’s HD or not, not the set itself. Almost every TV you can buy now will be HD-capable, but there’s no reason you need to pay for HD from your cable company. All the channels come in standard definition as well – I can flip from the standard to the HD version of the same channel on my HD TV at will.

      How large a TV are you looking to get?

      • caoil

         /  March 23, 2012

        Thank you for that explanation – it helps a lot! It was the “**Requires HDTV Source” notes on all these pages that threw me. Could they not say, “Viewing in high definition will require you to have HD service” or something equally descriptive? I should hire myself out as a Clarification Consultant for websites.

        I don’t think anything bigger than 32″. They start to get wayyyy too expensive above that. I’m poor, and also cheap, so I’d like to keep it under $250.

        • Ian

           /  March 23, 2012

          Jesus. You can get a 32″ TV for $250 now? That’s a big TV.

          • caoil

             /  March 23, 2012

            That would probably be more of a Boxing Day door-crasher special. Since all we really have is Future Shop and Best Buy (and BB owns FS), there’s not a whole lot of competition. So it all just depends on the sale, type (lcd/led etc) the brand, and the resolution. I think I’ll end up with 24″ but we’ll see.

            • efgoldman

               /  March 24, 2012

              You can buy on line. at both tech and standard retailers, for less. Because of the price, shipping is usually free. And for sets under 30″ or so, they’re surprsingly light.

              Also too, if your reasonably close to your local broadast stations, you can pull in their HD channels over the air. No fee. Usually you add “.1” to the channel number with the remote. For instace, my local ABC affiliate is 6. The over-the-air HD is 6.1.

    • ralphdibny

       /  March 23, 2012

      I’m glad you asked this question. Our TV keeps getting darker and darker, and I’m afraid it’s not long for this world. Everyone makes fun of us for still having a tube TV, but as long as it worked, I couldn’t justify upgrading. Plus, I have absolutely no clue how to evaluate flat screen TVs. Like, “my mom in front of a home computer” level of no clue.

      • caoil

         /  March 23, 2012

        I don’t even know how long my parents had their enormous floor-denting console. I cringe when I think of the number of times they had to move that thing.

        Yeah. I see all the specifications for them, and I glaze over. I need something like a Consumer Reports discussion that tells me *why* something’s important, and then a bunch of ratings where you can just stick to your price range & see the best models.

      • helensprogeny

         /  March 23, 2012

        Our tv is probably 20 years old and still going strong. I bought it second hand for $35 in 2001 when a hotel I was then working for upgraded all its tvs and sold the old ones to employees just to get rid of them. I have no idea what I’m going to do when it finally bites the dust. Horde source, I imagine.

  22. Darth Thulhu

     /  March 23, 2012

    Tucson and Southern AZ Horde:

    Helensprogeny’s Beau. Art galley showing. TOMORROW, March 24.

    6pm (to 8pm)
    6th Street (where it intersects into)
    6th Avenue

    Davis Dominguez Gallery
    154 East Sixth Street
    Tucson, AZ 85705

    That is all.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 23, 2012

      Question for helensprogeny:

      Anything the artist would appreciate in the way of small fun things? (Snapple, Thin Mints, clones of Maru, a Bearcat APC, blue roses, et cetera)

      Since I definitely will not be among those able to purchase wall art, regardless of price point, I figure I might as well bring something little to brighten the moment.

      • helensprogeny

         /  March 23, 2012

        You are amazing, Darth. And very, very thoughtful. Genuinely and truly though, the only thing the artist hopes for or seeks at an opening is your presence. That is gift enough. Probably 95% of the people who show up at any given opening are there just to look. It’s a huge bonus if any of them understand or genuinely appreciate the work.

        And Partner is beyond pleased at the prospect of meeting a Horde member. He’s not a Horder, but he sees how positively I respond to my involvement with this group and hears me talk about what happened at TNC’s today or with the Horde today. And he visibly brightened when I told him Horders might be in attendance tomorrow. So please, you only need to bring yourself (and any friends/relations who might be interested; all are welcome). And your art appreciation mode.

        • Love sent in place of actually being able to go. Good luck!

        • I love openings, and wish I could be there. I’m sending happy thoughts along to you and Partner.

        • Darth Thulhu

           /  March 24, 2012

          Ugh. No call no show at work. I’ve been summoned and am now headed in exactly the wrong direction.

          Have a wonderful opening without.

          • helensprogeny

             /  March 25, 2012

            Oh, noes!! Work sucks. So sorry we missed you. The opening was fun. Maybe it’s time to consider the possibility of a proper Tucson Horde Meet-up.

  23. watson42

     /  March 23, 2012

    Guys, I just found out that my cousin, who is like my brother, has been diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. Best prognosis a year. Complicated by the fact that the closest relative, both geographically and emotionally, to him is my pregnant sister. Dammit dammit dammit. I don’t know how I feel about this yet, but……fuck.

    • mythopoeia

       /  March 23, 2012

      Oh, honey.

      There is a time for lending a hand and listening and supporting and all those things.

      That will come later. Right now this is your time to swear as loud and long as you like. We’re here for ya.

    • selenesmom

       /  March 23, 2012

      Now we need a COMFORT button to go with the LIKE button. Hugs to you.

    • Captain_Button

       /  March 23, 2012

      8~~~-({

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      So sorry to hear this.

    • Ian

       /  March 23, 2012

      Oh, man. I’m sorry.

    • Oh, honey. I know I’m a stranger, but massive hugs to you.

    • caoil

       /  March 23, 2012

      Eeesh. Cancer can take a flying leap. Be as angry as you need to! In the meantime, here is an internet hug. (((watson42)))

    • ralphdibny

       /  March 23, 2012

      There is nothing about this that doesn’t suck. I am so sorry.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 23, 2012

      Fuck cancer. Fuck it gently with a chainsaw.

      Sorry to hear of the prognosis. Prayers, hugs, and best wishes.

    • wearyvoter

       /  March 23, 2012

      Damn. Sending comfort.

    • Oh that’s awful. ::HUGS::

    • COMFORT button clicked. I hope your cousin can fight back, although it sounds real serious, otherwise best wishes that he lives out longer than a year and in relative comfort and lack of pain.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 23, 2012

      Fuck, indeed. So very, very sorry. Sucks, sucks, sucks. Sucks.

    • Join my hugs to those of everyone else. I’m so sorry, and wishing you and all your family much love and support right now.

    • socioprof

       /  March 23, 2012

      I’m so sorry.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 23, 2012

      Damn, Come and talk any time you need to. Ask for whatever support and ideas we can give.
      Damn. That is just so wrong.

    • I’m so sorry.

      /comfort button

  24. I just went insane and applied to work at Buzzfeed as a professional blogger.

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 23, 2012

      GO, ANIBUNDEL!!!

    • Bookwoman

       /  March 23, 2012

      Cool! Best of luck!

    • helensprogeny

       /  March 23, 2012

      Also, too: About time! You’re going to be spectacular.

    • As I said on the twitters:

    • Captain_Button

       /  March 23, 2012

      (crosses fingers)

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 23, 2012

      Go, you crazy madwoman, go! Blog like the wind.

    • JHarper2

       /  March 23, 2012

      Not insane, take a look at your body of work over the past few months. The depth and the breadth of your interests and knowledge put you in the category of must read.
      If Sullivan can have a blogging gig, you should be able to have one.
      Besides, I always cheer for my friends.

    • Yay! Hopefully, this will lead to more Muppets videos.

    • Do they pay?!

  25. Shabbat is almost upon us, but feel free to keep chatting over the weekend! I’ll check in on Saturday night to see if we need a new thread, if this one is too unwieldy to just keep going.

    In the meantime, pleaseohpleaseohpleaseohplease – go check out HappySurge‘s “Definitions for Modern Hating”
    http://www.thesadbastardbar.com/2012/03/definitions-for-modern-hating.html

    It is a thing of glory, I will tell you what.

    • http://www.thesadbastardbar.com/2012/03/more-definitions-for-modern-hating.html

      I’ve been sick so I can’t make songs. But I can still write.

      I appreciate the ‘flogging’, by the way, as Nora hilariously put it.

      • selenesmom

         /  March 25, 2012

        These are great.

        They reminded me of an underappreciated artist I saw back in the day, Cindy Lee Berryhill, so I went to see if she was somewhere I could link her on here. I heard her once in concert in some East Village dive but have never forgotten her.

        I didn’t realize she is married to Paul Williams. She has some YouTube from the 1988 era I was looking for, but it didn’t quite get what I remembered all these years. It must have been a sort of freeform riff. I remember this part:

        Damn! I wish I was a man! I would look naturally important at my office desk
        Damn! I wish I was a man! I would never be mistaken for the receptionist

        But they don’t give you this ending:

        Damn! I wish I was a man! I would think this song was… heavy-handed.

  26. You’ll all like this. Look, I *know* it’s childish, OK? Sometimes we just need a laugh,

    http://wellthisiswhatithink.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/advertising-f-up-of-the-year-4/

    • And I will admit (not without a certain degree shame!), that I LOL’ed.

      As I have said to my son on more than one occasion, one doesn’t ever actually stop being a 7th grader.

  27. caoil

     /  March 24, 2012

    If someone wants to talk Hunger Games (movie), I just got back from it. We can talk spoiler-free in here, or if you want to grab me on FB or G+ that’s fine too. In the meantime…the girl they got to play Rue IS SO ADORABLE.

    Also Stanley Tucci? Brilliant in everything. I don’t know how he does it.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  March 24, 2012

      The actress playing Rue immediately made my stomach lurch, knowing her fate. Great casting, in that her inevitable death was automatically heartwrenching and enraging. Katniss avenging her was deeply, darkly satisfying.

      • caoil

         /  March 24, 2012

        I’m forgetting – did District 11 have that response in the book?

    • I’m going on Sunday, with anibundel and a couple of her other friends. Ever since the trailers and posters — oh hell, who am I kidding: ever since the book — I’ve had a feeling I’ll need tissues when the movie gets to Rue.

      • caoil

         /  March 24, 2012

        Yes. Do bring them. I forgot I would need them, and spent the next 5 minutes wiping my cheeks repeatedly.

      • Bring extras. Marni doesnt know what she’s in for.

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  March 25, 2012

        It’s tissue-worthy. Wrenching

  28. dmf

     /  March 24, 2012

  29. dmf

     /  March 25, 2012