Open thread until the inevitable betrayal.

Ta-Nehisi Coates, man. Dude’s leaving us guessing these days! Well, that’s his constitutional right. In the meantime, it’s yours….

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.

 

135 Comments

  1. For people who are not so into gaming but wonder what all the nerds are talking about, check out Lore in a Minute for background on a bunch of popular game franchises.

    Also hilarious if you *do* play those games.

  2. JHarper2

     /  April 24, 2012

    Went to the surgeon’s office for follow up post op checkup. I’m all good he says. He also says that he doesn’t want to see me any more.
    Well the man has done two major and two less major* surgeries on me. I understand what he means. He is a delightful person and in my opinion and that of most hospital staff I have talked to, an excellent surgeon, but I don’t want to see him any more either!

    *Another one of my surgeons says that there is no such thing as minor surgery when it is done on you. Minor surgery is surgery on other people.

    • caoil

       /  April 24, 2012

      Huzzah for good results! And for having a surgeon with a sense of humour.

    • David L

       /  April 24, 2012

      I remember saying to my physical therapist that it must be odd to be in a job where you measure success by the customers that don’t come back.

      Then my surgeon told me to “come back in thirty or forty years for a replacement.”

    • koolaide

       /  April 24, 2012

      Yay for good post-op check ups.

    • I’ve had this feeling in my own, much less dramatic medical life — practitioners I’ve really liked and really, REALLY hoped to never see again.

      Yay for you and your healing and your doctors’ good work and just generally: Yay!

      • caoil

         /  April 24, 2012

        The most wonderful doctor I ever worked for or with was a leukemia/bone marrow transplant specialist. I hope I never need to see him, but I wish some of his awesomeness would rub off on some of the other docs in the hospital.

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 24, 2012

      Excellent news!

    • socioprof

       /  April 24, 2012

      WHoo-hoo!!!

      I had a similar conversation with my orthopedist after I broke my foot.

      • I was so glad you finally saw, and were reduced to weeping by, my comment re: my cream puff. A good taunt is really lost if the tauntee never sees it.

        • socioprof

           /  April 24, 2012

          When I drove by what I thought was our spot on my way home from Trader Joe’s a few minutes ago, I had to fight back the tears as the feelings of betrayal, resentment, and utter sadness came back in a sudden rush.

          JK–but I did think about stopping for a chocolate croissant, which Kiddo#1 just turned me on to.

    • Sorn

       /  April 24, 2012

      Whoop.

    • Heh. I had a nice chat at a pet show with a veterinarian from a 24 hour emergency hospital. I ended the chat with ‘and I hope I never see you again’ and she said ‘same here’ and we both knew what we meant!

  3. caoil

     /  April 24, 2012

    If there’s going to be an inevitable betrayal then I need a couple of dinosaur figures to goof around with until that point.

  4. dmf

     /  April 24, 2012

  5. koolaide

     /  April 24, 2012

    I can’t possibly be first, can I? nawww.

    I’m all about vote against the amendment stuff in NC for the next two weeks. There are ways for non-NC folks to help. I don’t want to flog the cause too hard but I can provide suggestions if you want…

    http://www.publicpolicypolling.com/main/2012/04/momentum-moving-against-nc-amendment.html

  6. JHarper2

     /  April 24, 2012

    In other Canadian news, Canada’s most conservative province yesterday rejected the right wing party in their election and instead re-elected The Conservatives. The Alberta electorate rejected the Canadian equivalent of the Tea Party and instead elected the Republicans.
    This is a good thing.

    • caoil

       /  April 24, 2012

      I think none of us ever expected to be saying that out loud.

      • JHarper2

         /  April 24, 2012

        I know, hurrah, hurrah, the conservatives beat the really conservatives!
        Small victories, small advances. If the BC Liberals can be conservatives, (see below) will the Alberta Conservatives turn into liberals?

        • caoil

           /  April 24, 2012

          It’s all part of my overall plan to turn the entire country orange. It sure is taking a while, though. *phew*

          • I cannot tell you how much I love that I understand what you said here.

            Canadian Learnings, FTW!

            • JHarper2

               /  April 24, 2012

              The Liberal Premier of Quebec? He is the former leader of the National Conservatives. The Federal Leader of the Liberals? A former NDP Premier,
              The leader of the Federal NDP, a former Liberal Cabinet minister.
              Jack Layton’s dad was a Conservative Cabinet Minister.
              Underneath our bland polite exterior, we can be a little complicated!

              • aaron singer

                 /  April 24, 2012

                Sometimes I think Canadian politics are complicated and difficult to understand, then I read about Australia, who had a Prime Minister completely disappear and his body was never found.

    • corkingiron

       /  April 24, 2012

      I was relieved to watch those results last night. Edmonton has a Jewish Mayor. Calgary has a Muslim Mayor. I just couldn’t believe Alberta would go wingnut on us. What I found most interesting were the viral videos young people made – saying, in effect – we can live with conservatives – but we don’t want these fnckers! Seemed to work.

      It will be interesting to see if the results put some wind into the sails of the BC Liberals, facing their own threat from the far right. (Note to American friends – in BC – Liberal – and BC for that matter – does not mean what you think it means. Please don’t make me explain – it will be painful for all concerned.)

      • efgoldman

         /  April 24, 2012

        What percent of Alberta voters are in the two cities? I’d guess, very high.

        • efgoldman

           /  April 24, 2012

          :::sigh:::
          Meant to include the following quote, for context:
          Edmonton has a Jewish Mayor. Calgary has a Muslim Mayor.

          • corkingiron

             /  April 24, 2012

            Both cities are close to 1.2 million – with Calgary a little bigger. Alberta’s total population is about 3.7 million. As for percentages, it was my understanding that there would be no math!

            • David L

               /  April 24, 2012

              Hint: 1.2 is within a rounding error of one-third of 3.7.

            • efgoldman

               /  April 24, 2012

              Lots of people in that part of Canadia are disguised as wheat fields and mountains.

  7. My wife is playing Draw Something against like a brazillion other people and I am playing against her and also Laura M. who hasn’t made a drawing in a couple of weeks. So my point is, if you’re looking for a Draw Something buddy, you should look for FuriousGiorge, you guys.

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 24, 2012

      Thanks – I missed this on the radio. I loved her ‘Life in the 30s’ column that she wrote for the NYT back in the day; even though it came in for criticism at the time as being too ‘soft’ or ‘mommy-oriented’, or some such nonsense, it spoke to those of us who became parents around that time. Now blogs on the subject are everywhere, but back then It was very refreshing to read articles by a woman who had dealt with the same issues I had or was about to encounter. And not in the pages of a women’s magazine, but in the Times. It felt almost subversive.

  8. David L

     /  April 24, 2012

    You know, there is something that feels not quite right about paying extra for overnight shipping when it turns out that the origin is 3 1/2 hours away by road, so standard shipping still gets it to you the next day and you basically paid an extra $12 for the privilege of having your order go to the front of the queue.

  9. carlos the dwarf

     /  April 24, 2012

    I’m making my way through Beinart’s Crisis of Zionism this week. It’s an excellent, excellent book. It really captures the ambivalence that I, and a lot of Jews of my generation, feel towards the modern Jewish culture that we were raised with. His broad point is that Jewish leaders have embraced a victimhood culture that fetishizes the Holocaust and ignores the fact that Jews in the United States and Israel are as powerful today as they’ve been in a couple thousand years. I’ll have more to say as I get further in to it.

    • dmf

       /  April 24, 2012

      he seems to be on the right political track but when these conversations wax theological, in the sense of what is True to being Jewish, I have a hard time seeing how people aren’t just idol-izing their own preferences, politics is what we make of the world and we should own it as such.

      • carlos the dwarf

         /  April 24, 2012

        I’m certainly not trying to make a theological point, and, from what I’ve read of the book so far, neither is he. In fact, one of the points he does make is that most non-Orthodox Jews don’t engage with Jewish theology anymore in any significant way.

        • dmf

           /  April 24, 2012

          my sense was that he is trying to make the case that there is something imperative about being a liberal democracy for Israel as a Jewish state.

          • carlos the dwarf

             /  April 24, 2012

            As I understand his argument, you’re partially correct. I think he makes the moral case that the settlements need to go–but he makes it based on principles that aren’t explicitly Jewish. He’s not basing his argument around the Tanakh or the Talmud, he’s basing his argument on principles of human rights that are pretty universal in the contemporary Western world.

          • chingona

             /  April 24, 2012

            Full disclosure: Have not read the book. Might well not get to it for some time. I think I agree with you in theory about idol-izing your own preferences, but given the terms of this particular debate, I think there is some value in defending a liberal democratic Jewish state on theological grounds. (If he does that. The two of you don’t seem to entirely agree on whether he does or does not.)

    • You know he’s my editor at The Daily Beast now, right? It’s very cool to to have my wagon hitched to someone with his visibility saying things that I’ve been saying and thinking and feeling in my kishkes for years now.

  10. koolaide

     /  April 24, 2012

    Today’s google doodle amused me.

  11. dmf

     /  April 24, 2012

    has anyone read http://onpoint.wbur.org/2012/04/24/etgar-keret ? is he worth checking out?

    • My husband loves him. For some reason, I’ve never read him, but not for lack of interest.

      • dmf

         /  April 24, 2012

        thanks I’m not much for “fabulist” writing but I’ll check it out.

  12. wiredog

     /  April 24, 2012

    One of the finest works of internet trolling that I’ve read in some time:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/04/gender-reveal-parties.html

  13. Jacques Brel for today’s Tunes for Tuesday.

    That is all.

    ed: Here, have a link: http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

  14. caoil

     /  April 24, 2012

    I don’t know if any of you saw on the Hairpin that the Khan is more popular than perhaps he realizes? (Nicole mentions his book but then down in the comments more people chime in excitedly about him)

    • “Foreskin’s Lament” is even better in audiobook form because Auslander has such an engaging delivery.

      • dmf

         /  April 24, 2012

        that’s an entertaining and revealing book, I also enjoyed TNC’s book but mostly I think b/c I “knew” him in the wider frame of his blog and not sure that it holds up so well on its own, his new book seems to be a much more mature work.

    • corkingiron

       /  April 24, 2012

      “Big juicy chess club brains” – in the comments re TNC. could BJCCB become a new way of describing the Khan? Will it get be the ban-hammer? Soooo tempting!

      • helensprogeny

         /  April 24, 2012

        A little “zombie” isn’t it?

        • Principal Skinner wasn’t a zombie, just a cannibal.

          (When I grow up, I want to be a principal, or a caterpillar.)

          • Never mind, I got my Treehouses of Horror mixed up. Definitely a zombie. Still want to be a caterpillar.

            • When my boy was but wee, he wanted to grow up to be a mouse.

              PS I do understand that you were making a very specific reference, but really, my opportunities to mention my son’s old goal are limited and I must grab them where I can.

              • You really think you have to apologize for putting an actual human face on a Simpsons quote? YOUR SON WENT THROUGH A RALPH PERIOD THAT IS AWESOME.

      • caoil

         /  April 24, 2012

        I think it’s usable, because you can cite the source of it! 😉

  15. helensprogeny

     /  April 24, 2012

    So, it was the slaughter of the innocents in my kitchen this morning. Ants. I’ve had a smallish invasion for several weeks, which I’ve tolerated. They’re small and they don’t want much and I have plenty and they aren’t going to hurt me, they’re just a nuisance. And I hate killing things that won’t actively, you know, kill me. With ants, this propensity is exacerbated by my fairly recent discovery that all the ants we see are female. As a female myself, I feel a certain solidarity and sisterhood with them.

    Also, I don’t want to go the toxic route in the kitchen, right? Spraying nasty toxic shit around?

    But this morning, I finally caved and sprayed everyone with some kind of nontoxic cleaning product I found at Trader Joe’s. I feel so bad about the ants. But it was really getting ridiculous. I will no doubt spend my next life as an ant for my sins.

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 24, 2012

      No need for spray. If they come back, get some Terro ant baits. They’re very small plastic boxes which you put around the infested area. The ants feed on them and take the poison back to their nest. Within 48 hours you’ll have no more ants, and you haven’t put anything toxic on your surfaces.

      • SWNC

         /  April 24, 2012

        Yeah, the Terro ant baits are the best!

        • R_Bargis

           /  April 24, 2012

          Terro ant baits for ants, and borax powder (which is pretty harmless so long as you’re not licking it) sprinkled where your cabinets meet the floor or at the very back of your counter for roaches. Works like a charm.

      • efgoldman

         /  April 24, 2012

        We’ve used various brands of ant baits for years. I never see a foraging ant going into or out of one. Raid Bug Barrier sprayed all the way round the outside foundation, and inside the basement where the wall meets the joists, seems to do better. There are other brands of the same stuff.

        • Bookwoman

           /  April 24, 2012

          It may depend on the type of ant. We get the tiny sugar ants, and I’ve seen them in the bait.

          • efgoldman

             /  April 24, 2012

            It may depend on the type of ant.
            All of ours have six legs and antennae,and come in various sizes.

          • Sugar ants!! Sugar ants are my absolute nemesis. They swarm over two things in the house, both unacceptable – the wet cat food, so the cat complains, and the nightguard I have to sleep with in my mouth. I can’t spray either of those things, obviously. And I have yet to find the ant bait that does anything with them.

            So I do an awful thing: I find their burrows outside, under the sidewalk; water them until the burrows flood and they start evacuating their children, and then I Raid the lot of them. I feel really really bad… until I think about them going after my nightguard when I’m still wearing it. /gag

    • Liquid soap kills ants. I used to kill them with Dr. Bronner’s. It’s some kind of weapon of mass destruction – they thrash around and look really unhappy. My bf accused me of torturing them. He said it would be more merciful to just smash them. But I’m the passive-aggressive type..

    • Bookwoman

       /  April 24, 2012

      And I hate killing things that won’t actively, you know, kill me.

      Clearly you did not grow up with cockroaches.

      • helensprogeny

         /  April 24, 2012

        Oh, I forgot to mention that cockroaches are the exception to this rule. I will even kill baby cockroaches. Cockroaches are fucked. Plus, they spread disease, so technically I can think of them as something that would at least hurt me.

      • Startling the living heck out of me by running across my hands while I’m typing is killing me.

    • SWNC

       /  April 24, 2012

      I feel your pain. I am entirely fine with animals of all kinds–outdoors. But if you come in my house and eat my food? Oh, no, my little friends. That will not stand.

      • Ian

         /  April 24, 2012

        This winter I managed to clear up a vole infestation without killing a single one. I made the most excellent live trap. This would not work for ants.

    • middling

       /  April 24, 2012

      We’ve had really good luck with vinegar. Ants lay down, and then follow, scent trails. If you remove the ants currently in residence (one good vacuuming or wipe-down) so they can’t go home, and scrub all surfaces with vinegar to eliminate the scent trails, they don’t have a path to follow back to your kitchen. A fresh wipe-down with vinegar every day or two helps keep them away. It’s worked well for us, but I admit we never had to try it on a major ant-horde invasion.

      • SWNC

         /  April 24, 2012

        Oooh, I will try this! Thanks for the tip.

        (Part of my problem is that I have a young’un at the age where she leaves stickiness wherever she goes. The ants *love* it. I like to imagine her as their god-queen.)

    • enstar

       /  April 24, 2012

      cosign on the suggestions above: soap to wash them away, vinegar to scrub the counters and everything down–and i also use spray around the outside of the doors and entrances to the house.

    • David L

       /  April 24, 2012

      I made the mistake of leaving a couple of cake crumbs and a last sip of Dr Pepper sitting on my desk all weekend. Ants everywhere. But getting rid of the food has seemed to be enough to get them to go away.

    • Byrk

       /  April 24, 2012

      I’ve rarely had luck with anything but an exterminator. It could be that I live in a warm weather place where the ants stick around year round, but I’ve never gotten rid of an infestation by any home remedies. You know it’s bad when water left in a sink is attracting ants. I now just pay to have the outside of the house sprayed a few times a year, and I never see ants anymore. I was mostly ambivalent about them, until I saw some ants crawling on my infant son and decided that wouldn’t do.

  16. Sorn

     /  April 24, 2012

    For Jharper and anyone else with an apreciation of American Roots Music:

  17. cofax

     /  April 24, 2012

    Woot! I’m going to see Springsteen tonight!

    … that’s all I got. But that’s enough, right?

    • That is a great deal more than I have. I am also extremely jealous.

      • cofax

         /  April 24, 2012

        I’m stoked. Rumor has it the shows on this tour are three hours long! And the set lists over on Backstreets look pretty good.

        I’ve been bopping at my desk to the new album all morning…

  18. Ian

     /  April 24, 2012

    Ron Paullian at the lunch table: “The only difference between the Republicans and the Democrats is the Republicans want to kill wolves and the Democrats want to kill babies.”

  19. chingona

     /  April 24, 2012

    Prompted by the ant discussion above, I wanted to tell an ant story from my Peace Corps days. In Paraguay, they have a kind of army ant called tajyi ne. They are very attracted to any kind of meat or fat and if you are careless about, say, your cooking grease, you will find your house overrun within minutes. But sometimes, they just happen to be on the move. Large spiders will flee from them. I once saw the cricket colony that lived in my foundation gather at a safe distance as the ants ran in and out of their tunnels. They looked like refugees watching their town burn. It was creepy, but damn if your house wasn’t clean as a whistle and totally bug free after they passed through.

    One night, I awoke to what sounded like a light rain falling, but the noise wasn’t quite right. I grabbed my flashlight and saw that an entire wall of my house was swarming with ants. The sound I had heard was the pitter-patter of their little feet. I knew from past experience that they would not go through water. I had a pitcher of water by the bed that I had brought from the well just to have for the night. I poured the water around my bed, tucked in the mosquito net and waited, listening, in the dark.

    When I went into the kitchen in the morning, I found a few stragglers had been left behind. Five of them were on the round lid of my tea kettle, going around and around and around, each one following the one in front of him. There also was a single line of ants going up and down the wall. I noticed that every 10th ant or so was much bigger than the others. I knocked one of the big ones off the wall with a piece of straw and all the other ants just scattered, running helter-skelter in every direction. Without their leader, they didn’t know what to do. It was fascinating.

    • Genuinely, absolutely fascinating and also deeply creepy. ‘Scuze me, I think I’ll go hide in the shower for a bit.

      • chingona

         /  April 24, 2012

        Next time, I’ll tell you about the frogs. I have actually been the victim of a plague of frogs! Frogs in on my head and frogs in my bed!

    • koolaide

       /  April 24, 2012

      It is a fascinating story for me to listen to or read about. And to be very thankful I never experienced it b/c then fascinating would not be the word I used.

      ::shuddders:: ::shudders::

      • koolaide

         /  April 24, 2012

        argh. faux eta: individual bugs can be fascinating. but a swarm? no thank you. Much like I watched a fascinating documentary the name of which I’ve forgotten about a rat population bloom that followed bamboo fruiting in southeast Asia. Thank goodness I don’t have to encounter rats in large numbers but I really enjoyed learning about it in the abstract.

        • chingona

           /  April 24, 2012

          The jungle, it teems with life.

          • When my daughter went through a blessedly brief “AAAGH BUGGGSSS!!!” period, I finally started saying “It’s their world. We just live here.”

    • Dex

       /  April 24, 2012

      Wow. What a fantastic story.

  20. chingona

     /  April 24, 2012

    *on* my head. Not in my head. They were very real.

  21. stephen matlock

     /  April 24, 2012

    Posted this elsewhere in the Secret Playhouse Where Emily Does Not Wander, but I’ll post it here as well:

    I did not make the cut for the next round for the Amazon Breakout Novel Award. I think I gave it a good shot, but in the end, the book didn’t meet their expectations.

    The “official” review was as follows (I use quotes because there were several reviews, but this one counted):

    ABNA Publishers Weekly Reviewer
    There’s a lot happening in this overwhelming story, to its detriment. Henry Valentine is 13 and is consumed with baseball, his job as crossing guard, and the potential threat of the black community that is a part of his town. Set in 1952, racism is fully present in the Texas town of Windmill. After an altercation with Benjamin Clark, who is black, Henry finds himself becoming friends with Ben who is the last person anyone ever expected him to be friends with. When Henry witnesses the aftermath of Ben’s murder, he begins to change in ways that he doesn’t understand and those around him can’t handle. With corrupt politicians, an affair, a lynch mob, riots, counterfeit money, a hurricane, and a hitman, there are too many elements in this book to truly appreciate what could have been a touching story of friendship and breaking barriers. Ben and Henry, the touchstones of the story, are charismatic and nuanced individuals, bogged down by the multiple plot points.

    So, I’m actually pleased. I would not reduce the plot complexity, because I use the plot elements to explore the development of a boy into a man in a world that throws people, events, and disasters at him. The essence of fiction is not that it is a real world, but that it is believable world: would Henry, 13, act the way he does as one thing follows another?

    Next steps: I’m still working on the book. I’ve changed about 20% of it since I first entered it into the contest, and I’m still doing some minor editing. I’m going to be sending it out to agents now, and then presenting it at an authors’ conference in July. If I get no nibbles by September, then I think I will go with self-publishing (smashwords, kindle, and so on).

    It was really fun to get to this point; it’s a disappointment not to move further, but I’ll still be working on it until it goes “live.”

    • carlosthedwarf

       /  April 24, 2012

      Can you say more about these authors’ conferences? How does one find them/join them?

      • stephen matlock

         /  April 26, 2012

        Sorry – for some reason (USER ERROR) I didn’t get notified of your question.

        There are magazines full of writer conference ads (Publishers Weekly, WriteNow, and others publish them). I am also part of several local writing groups, so we talk about them. I was told about this one last year in February (2011) and I signed up; I pitched my book to four agents and got nibbles from all of them, but in the end nothing came through. So then I found out about ABNA (Amazon Breakout Novel Award), and I submitted it; I got to the quarter finals (one of the top 250 entries internationally), but then got bounced at the semi-finals (when it’s reduced to 50 books).

        I’ll keep pitching until it sells or simply self-publish.

    • Thanks for letting us know, and I’m really glad to hear your reactions. Onward and upward! And keep letting us know.

  22. Ian

     /  April 24, 2012

    Watson42: If you’re around, hope you’re doing better. My first 3 walnut uke necks are coming along. I’ve got three nice, square blanks with good, clean 15-degree scarf joints. Just have to do some layout and then I can start carving.

  23. Ian

     /  April 24, 2012

    So. It looks like the new version of Disqus replaces the like button with the option to vote up or down. So now we’ll have a carrot and a stick. Dislike.

  24. Ian

     /  April 24, 2012

    Also, only four layers of nesting I think. It’s ugly. Also, it’s gone. It was there for five minutes, with a message that said “You are test-driving Disqus 2012.” May it never return.

  25. chingona

     /  April 24, 2012

    Yeah, I have an active enough imagination to know that not everyone likes my comments and a tender enough ego that I don’t need any thumbs downs substracting from my thumbs up. Dislike indeed.

    • I am totally curious about how many people actively hate me. I bet it’s a lot. I hope it’s a lot.

      • chingona

         /  April 24, 2012

        It could be a contest between you and Erik.

      • Ian

         /  April 24, 2012

        It won’t show you that. It just shows the up votes minus the down votes. So the best comments–the ones that please a lot of people while pissing off a lot of other people–will look like nobody felt one way or the other about them.