Open Thread for all who should require such.

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.

273 Comments

  1. Death. All death. MCA, Sendak and my BFF’s stepfather.

    And it’s raining.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      Hugs, tea and kitties to you.

    • COMFORT Button cl… wait. Sendak DIED?!?!

      (rushes off to Wiki’s Death column)

      NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

      • I posted an RIP on my blog.

      • His death was the lead story on NPR at 9am. When they started out with the usual intro for a death, in the lead, I was actually relieved to find out it was Sendak. (I was afraid it was some major political figure that might cause major upheaval in the world.)

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      I am so sorry, ani, honey.

    • Hugs sweetie. Sorry I missed this in my rush to post about more frivolous things.

      • It’s ok. I’m not concentrating at work at all right now. I went and took her out for lunch, since she was having a “get these people far away from me” moment, and then she left to go home and deal with her mother and make arrangements. Funeral’s most likely Thursday if she acts fast enough. Shiva will start Saturday. Her mother lives pretty far out in MD, so it’s going to be a haul. *ugh.*

        • The friend who helps bring tea to people at the Shiva and clears plates and puts out fresh boxes of kleenex and answers the door is one of the most blessed people in all of Judaism. You’ll do what you can, and they will be so very, very grateful for it.

        • doginajacket

           /  May 8, 2012

          So sorry, my condolences.

        • wearyvoter

           /  May 8, 2012

          Sending comfort and condolences.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 8, 2012

      8~~~-({

    • koolaide

       /  May 8, 2012

      Comfort to you & your friend.

  2. Some thoughts:

    1) I had to go buy my own birthday cake. I told mom “Hey, for birthday time this year can we get cake?” Hadn’t had cake in years… but still, no cake. So I bought a basic Publix cake, got some gel topping to spell out Hafpy Dirtthday (so I can’t use a gel stick!), and ate a slice for today. yay cake.

    2) Did Mitt Romney just try to take credit for the auto industry bailout? If I were Obama, I’d sue Mitt for libel or slander or SOMETHING. Damn, that idiot lies and thinks no one’s gonna call him on it. Time to call Romney on it.

    3) The key thing is GET THE VOTE OUT. Get people registered to vote and ready to vote this November. And not just to keep Obama in the White House: They gotta vote to throw the crazy-ass Republicans OUT.

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      “Hadn’t had cake in years”

      Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute. Does not compute.

      • Eh, I don’t even remember the last time I had cake for my birthday, because I’m just not that fond of normal cake. However, there are a few places in town that do mousse cakes that are simply divine.

      • JHarper2

         /  May 8, 2012

        Happy Birthday and good luck on Thursday.

      • Well you know – this. Exactly and precisely this.

      • ICE CREAM AND CAKEY CAKE!
        ICE CREAM AND CAKEY CAKE!
        ICE CREAM AND CAKE! DO THE ICE CREAM AND CAKE!
        ICE CREAM AND CAKE! DO THE ICE CREAM AND CAKE!

        • socioprof

           /  May 8, 2012

          I hate this little ditty. Kiddo#1 does not.

          • R has it programmed to go off as the first part of the two-tiered alarm clock system. The second part is a cock crowing so loudly it usually scares the cats out of the room.

      • R_Bargis

         /  May 8, 2012

        “Hadn’t had cake in years”

        Makes perfect sense to me. If I’d been thinking ahead for the wedding the spouse would’ve had his beautiful, traditional white-frosted chocolate/red velvet cake and I would’ve had bride pies (key lime, apple, and pecan) because I really don’t like cake but I fucking love pie.

        • Lizzou

           /  May 8, 2012

          I definitely prefer pie to cake!

          • R_Bargis

             /  May 8, 2012

            I’m surprised that wedding pies haven’t become the Next Big Thing now that cupcake cakes are so 2010. Imagine: several delicious pies with beautiful white meringue or elaborately-cut in a pretty tiered pie tray. DELICIOUS.

            • Google it. I think you’ve just identitfied the next cutting edge trend.

          • efgoldman

             /  May 8, 2012

            I definitely prefer pie to cake!
            Some years, mrs efgoldman makes me a pecan pecan pie – with over a pound of pecans – for my birthday. Sticks one candle in the middle.

            • efgoldman

               /  May 8, 2012

              makes me a pecan pecan pie
              She puts in a lot, but one “pecan” is enough.

            • She loves you, doesn’t she?

              • efgoldman

                 /  May 8, 2012

                Yes. She’s a terminally foolish person.

        • TEAM PIE.

          • helensprogeny

             /  May 8, 2012

            I play for both teams.

    • Happy Birthday, and good on ya for insisting on some cake. Far, far preferable to Death. (Personally, I usually go with ice cream cake. Most recently I got a Grinchy one, added bonus of a Christmas-season birthday.) Hope the cake was YUMMY!

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      Yay for cake! I’ve been baking my birthday cake for myself for donkey’s years. That way I always know I’ll get something I want.

      Though it’s nice for others to enter into the spirit of things too. My partner does it by helping me eat whatever I’ve baked.

      Happy Birthday!

    • I bought one of those store gels to write on a giant cookie I made my husband (before he was my husband) a couple of years ago and it came out “harpu blugnad.” Those things just suck. “Hafpy Dirtthday” looks pretty good in comparison.

      Also, harpu blugnad to you!

    • SWNC

       /  May 8, 2012

      Happy birthday, Paul!

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      And Happy Birthday/Hapfy Dirtthday!!!

      Have you ever checked out the website/book Cake Wrecks? It features misspelled gems such as the one you describe, only these are typos done by bakers.

    • Yay cake!

      Happy Birthday and/or Dirtthday!

    • caoil

       /  May 8, 2012

      Happy Cake Day tooooo youuuuuuuuuu!

    • Happy Birthday!

    • BJonthegrid

       /  May 8, 2012

      Happy Birthday! Get an ice cream cake! Kills two birds with one stone.

      • Courtney Jones

         /  May 8, 2012

        I’m glad you said it. Ice cream cake is the best-est!!

    • Courtney Jones

       /  May 8, 2012

      Happy birthday!

    • koolaide

       /  May 8, 2012

      I had a pie for my birthday celebratory food last year. But I definitely don’t miss out on cake🙂

      Happy birthday, Paul. May this new year be kind and full of goodness for you.

    • watson42

       /  May 8, 2012

      Happy birthday! Cake is always a good thing. One year I asked for cheesecake. Alas, I was in CA and I was expecting a NY style cheesecake (I had moved from NY the year before). It was still good, though. 🙂

    • koolaide

       /  May 8, 2012

      Re: #3

      Elections REALLY do matter. And there REALLY is a difference btwn the two parties. See: NC 2010 state elections.

      The GOP took over the state leg. And not only are they taking our schools to the crapper, this amendment is on the ballot. Certain GOP members had tried since about 2004-2006ish to get it through the house. The state Dems (not a wildly progressive bunch) kept it from getting to the floor or on the ballot.

    • R_Bargis

       /  May 8, 2012

      Haaaaaaapy birthday! /hands balloons

    • efgoldman

       /  May 8, 2012

      So I bought a basic Publix cake…
      When we used to visit my late parents in FL, we loved the Publix bakery in Pembroke Pines. Run by three or four older ladies, it was and is the best supermarket bakery I’ve ever experienced.
      Oh, BTW, birthie hapday!

      • Publix as a whole does an excellent job across the state with their bakery. Whatever secrets they’re using, they’re damn good at it.

    • wearyvoter

       /  May 8, 2012

      Happy Birthday, fellow Taurus/Taurean/whatever the heck they call us.

  3. JHarper2

     /  May 8, 2012

    It has been raining, but now the sun is shining.


    • Ian

       /  May 8, 2012

      Sorry, but it seems to be raining again.

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      I took kiddo#1 to his drum lesson last week where they were playing a video performance of Nina Simone in concert. I was all excited to introduce him to one of my favorite singers. As one song ended, the next began. It was Mississippi Goddam. He’s playing air drums and then he gets this look on his face as he listens to the words. So here I am, explaining lynchings and Jim Crow laws in the music store. Add this to the movie theater (had to explain what a nigger was after seeing Red Tails) Target (had to answer his question on why White people wanted to own people who looked like him) and the parking lot (had to reassure him that we could eat at the restaurant we were heading to for dinner one day around MLK day) as random places the boy learns the fraught history of the Black experience in the US.

      • efgoldman

         /  May 8, 2012

        I took kiddo#1 to his drum lesson last week…
        No higher parental love than to raise and encourage a percussionist.
        Is your basement soundproof?

        • socioprof

           /  May 8, 2012

          Basement? What basement? You must be talking about the playroom formerly known as my office? Which is right next to my dining room/new office. What makes this even worse is that my brother played drums when we growing up. Percussionist is his day job so I can’t even dissuade the kid from playing by suggesting that there is no future in it. I knew exactly what I was in for when I signed up for his signing up for lessons and I did it anyway. Mom Of The Year is in the house. Awards, praises, accolades, cakes AND pie are always welcomed.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 8, 2012

        I find this comment completely heartbreaking.

        Aside from the drum lessons, of course, which are awesome.

        • socioprof

           /  May 8, 2012

          Kiddo takes it all in stride. He asks, I answer, he says “okay”, and then tells me about his desires for dessert, inventions he’ll create, space, superheros, and/or the fact that “the third grade is a pretty mysterious place”.

          • helensprogeny

             /  May 8, 2012

            Because you are an awesome mom. Clearly. As the drum lessons abundantly demonstrate.

          • “the third grade is a pretty mysterious place”.

            Well that’s just the damn truth.

      • Wow, girl, how did I miss this before? That’s a whole lot of public education. Wow.

  4. JHarper2

     /  May 8, 2012

    The wordpress elves are oppressing me and preventing me from bringing the sun.
    I had the wordpress elveses.

    • You made me laugh, which is nice, but I don’t know what you need me to do! Please to be clearing up my confusion, and I will help.

      And I think you “hate” the elves, no?

    • There, did I fix it?

      • JHarper2

         /  May 8, 2012

        All fixt.
        The elves thought that I didn’t want to post, I wanted to subscribe to comments? They sent me an email that said if I don’t respond they will never bother me again!

        They sent the same email last week.
        I do believe the elveses are recruited from customer service at the cable company.

  5. POTUS is in town today. The city is FREAKING. OUT. My office mate is married to the head of Traffic for our local police, so her fam has been stressed-out for a couple days. I can understand that.

    Everybody else? CALM DOWN.

    (20+ yrs in DC made me a little jaded? Nahhhh)

    • Added: Best thing about this visit? The Governor’s quote: “There’s something called upstate New York … New York is not just New York City, but New York is also upstate New York, and it’s also Albany and Syracuse and Rochester and Buffalo, and they’re doing very cool, exciting things.”

      Yessss!

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      Yay for POTUS visits. FLOTUS was in Tucson recently and it was awesome. Not that I got to see her or anything, but still.

      • carlos the dwarf

         /  May 8, 2012

        I’ve seen POTUS. And FLOTUS. She’s good. He’s fucking ELECTRIFYING.

        • helensprogeny

           /  May 8, 2012

          I actually made plans to see POTUS when he was in town for the memorial after the Gabrielle Giffords shooting. But it was such a fucking circus I figured I’d end up standing in line for 5 hours just to sit in a stadium and watch him on a tv screen (since the seating in the arena where the memorial was held was limited). So I stayed home and watched him on my own tv screen instead. *shrug*

          But AZ is potentially (and astoundingly) a swing state this year, so we may get a visit or two. I’m hopeful.

          • carlos the dwarf

             /  May 8, 2012

            I got lucky, that during my brief career as a low-level political operative, I worked on races that were Dem-hold priorities, so we had fundraisers with both of them that I got to attend/work at.

            • aaron singer

               /  May 8, 2012

              Yeah, I worked on a congressional race in the Chicago suburbs in 2010, we had a fundraiser with a couple other campaigns with FLOTUS. She’s quite stunning, but I thought she seemed an awkward speaker at least for political fundraising purposes.

    • If POTUS swings by, tell him to hire more librarians.

    • neighbors73

       /  May 8, 2012

      NATO is here in Chicago in 2 weeks. It’s like Obama x 40. And since McCormick Place is inbetween my workplace and my home…I’ll be taking a personal day Monday. I literally don’t think I’ll be able to get there—at least not in any way that’s reasonable.

      • Ooh, I can relate. I remember the Nato50 summit in DC back in the day. The street grid was shut down, but did our office close? Nooooo…Did any of the legal staff show up? Nooooo…..I feel your pain, my friend.

  6. Jane

     /  May 8, 2012

    Hi, all! I haz a gardening question. Anybody got suggestions for part-shade plants that take up a lot of space? I put day-lilies into the sunny area, and have transplanted a couple of hostas and bleeding-hearts into the really shady areas, and have a big space in between that may be populated by the underpants gnomes. What to put in there??

    (I have a sixpack of lobelias, and two columbines already in the ground, but other suggestions would be great.)

    • Dex

       /  May 8, 2012

      Hostas will eventually take up a lot of space as they grow and are split. I just planted three types of lamium under our bush, but it musts be edged if you don’t want it to take over everything. I haven’t grown it before, but there’s a fair amount in our neighborhood and it looks gorgeous both with and without blooms. I really love the variegated leaves.

      I’m not sure where you live, so I don’t know whether either will grow in your area. We’re redoing our back yard (which, really, is closer to a postage stamp than a yard) this summer and the plan is to scoop up plants off of craigslist. People give away plants or sell them dirt cheap all the time

      Some images of lamium here in case you’re not familiar:
      https://www.google.com/search?q=lamium&hl=en&safe=off&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=6mipT-vvEYntgge4l_HPDg&ved=0CJ8BELAE&biw=1294&bih=772

      • Jane

         /  May 8, 2012

        Thanks, Dex. No, I hadn’t heard of lamium; usually for variegated leaves it’s hosta or coleus. I’m in zone 6b, i.e. we’re just past last risk of frost as of about a week ago.

        I had no idea you could get plants off Craigslist! Great idea.

        • Dex

           /  May 8, 2012

          Whoops. Just realized that I wrote my post as if you hadn’t planted the hostas. Of course you wouldn’t have planted them if they wouldn’t grow in your area!

    • Do you want annuals (the trusty impatiens) or perennials (I assume)? Bleeding heart and astilbe, Solomon Seal, japanese painted fern and ginger do well for me but they are slow to spread. Creeping jenny works if it’s coverage you want. Bishop’s weed also.

  7. helensprogeny

     /  May 8, 2012

    I’m seriously considering (to the point of putting wheels in motion) taking the whole month of June off. In all my years of working, I’ve never done such a thing.

    • Do. It.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 8, 2012

        It’s mildly terrifying on multiple levels. But if I can get all of my bosses to agree, it’s gonna happen.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 8, 2012

      This is known as a vacation.
      It is entirely normal.

      • SWNC

         /  May 8, 2012

        For Canadians, maybe. Taking a whole month off is not something that often happens for us poor schmucks down here.

        Go for it, helensprogeny!

    • WOOT WOOOOOOT
      In other words, do it.

  8. In other news, I caught our pee-culprit red-pawed. and it was the last kitty I every would have suspected.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      It always is.

      • It was distressing for all involved. I shrieked. She squeaked and ran.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 8, 2012

      You have a cat called The Butler?

      • no.
        She’s called the Purrbot.
        Seriously–I would have guessed HisCat, or the OutdoorMarshmallow…or even Troublemaker or FatOne before I ever guessed our non-litterbox user was the gentle chocolate-peanutbutter face I set to autopurr just before I fall asleep every night.

        • helensprogeny

           /  May 8, 2012

          I’ve been forgetting to tell you: my partner loves the name Purrbot 5000 so much he wants to steal it for a painting title.

          And who knew she came with autopurr?

          • it has an auto shut off after 20 minutes from last pet, but sometimes it doesn’t work and she purrs all night.

            • helensprogeny

               /  May 8, 2012

              This is an awesome white noise for sleeping.

              • Is the painting of a chocolate peanut butter faced kitty?

                • helensprogeny

                   /  May 8, 2012

                  It could be. Right now it’s a theoretical painting, since he was waiting for me to ask you for permission to use the title (which I’d forgotten to do until today.) But since he’s in a very heavily abstracted phase just now, it seems unlikely. Though he has created several cat paintings over the years and my sense is that he is probably headed back into representational work fairly soon. So I will lobby in that direction. (Though, truth be told, the paint gods are always in charge. Partner just channels.) Assuming, of course, you and the Purrbot don’t mind.

                  • ed note: I’m finally home and can approve this comment! I’m ellaesther, and I approve this comment.
                    Some pictures to help:

                    String! I like String!

                    A photo posted by Ani Bundel (@anibundel) on

                    My best friend

                    A photo posted by Ani Bundel (@anibundel) on

                    Friday Night Purrbot

                    A photo posted by Ani Bundel (@anibundel) on

                    Chocolate Peanut Butter Face!

                    A photo posted by Ani Bundel (@anibundel) on

                    You only thought this was your shawl…

                    A photo posted by Ani Bundel (@anibundel) on

                    • helensprogeny

                       /  May 8, 2012

                      OMG! LOVELOVELOVELOVE! She looks enough like my *ahem* former kitty, the inestimable Roberta (who is gone but never forgotten) to be a sister. Though Roberta was long haired. I will definitely pass these along to the artist in question (who just walked in the door). Perhaps they will spur him to representational production.

                  • whoops. I tried to post links to her for inspiration, but the wordpress elves ate it because I forgot that if it’s more than links of three, let it be.

  9. JHarper2

     /  May 8, 2012

    Peace is breaking out between Canada and Denmark.
    Story Here. http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2012/04/11/matt-gurney-move-over-syria-canada-and-denmark-are-ready-to-talk-peace/
    Main quotes:

    The National Post has learned that Canada and Denmark are apparently this close to hammering out a deal over Hans Island, the vitally important strategic chokepoint that has kept these two warrior nations on the brink of mutual annihilation for the last eight years. With a little luck and perhaps some Annan-style shuttle diplomacy, our long national nightmare might soon be over.

    The plan is brilliant for its simplicity. There will be no exchange of atomic energy monitors, no prisoner swaps, and no gradual pullbacks to the positions the countries held on the first day of the costly conflict. Neither side will have to disarm its military forces or surrender commanders for war crimes trials. Instead, the deal under discussion between Ottawa and Copenhagen would take Hans Island, a rock roughly a square kilometre in size and — get this — simply divide it in half.

    Clearly, such a conflict would serve the interests of no one outside the arms manufacturing community. It is imperative that the world’s diplomats focus their efforts on where they are truly needed. The rest of the world’s problems are clearly small fry next to the simmering hostility between two advanced democratic NATO allies pitted against each other over control of a contested pebble located somewhere north of nowhere. Because clearly, this is an issue that no two nations could reasonably be expected to figure out on their own.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 8, 2012

      Will this boost pre-war tourism of Rockall?

      • JHarper2

         /  May 8, 2012

        The English View.

        A dissent from Ireland

    • kateislate

       /  May 8, 2012

      Hurray!

      I wonder if this is happening because we are tightening ties with Greenland? Maybe some good-will has been built.

      I know it sounds goofy but I imagine that there are a bunch of people in offices downtown (unless they’ve been moved out already) for whom this will lighten the workload. And now I’m wondering if the person in charge of this war got DRAPed and so as per union rules they had to stop fighting the war.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 8, 2012

      I dunno’.
      It didn’t really work for Cypress.
      Of course, Turks and Greeks are a little more excitable.

      • dave in texas

         /  May 8, 2012

        I once had to break up a fistfight in the kitchen at a restaurant where I worked here in Austin when the cook (Greek) found out that the new dishwasher we had hired was a Turk. Says (or rather screams) Nick, “I cannot believe you would hire a Turk to work in the same kitchen as me.” Screams the Turk (whose name I’ve forgotten), “If I had known there would be a Greek here, I would have brought my gun. Screams me, “You two shut the fuck up!” Pretty original on my part, don’t you think? Two really nice guys. Unless they were in the same room.

        I’d say excitable is putting it mildly.

        • chingona

           /  May 8, 2012

          On the other hand, it probably doesn’t take much to be more excitable than Canadians and Danes.

          • Lizzou

             /  May 8, 2012

            Damn it, WHERE is the like button!!!

    • stephen matlock

       /  May 8, 2012

      It’s about time. I was going to visit Hans Island for the sea air, but the idea of full-fledged battle scared me away.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 8, 2012

      Both sides should cede the Island to the Duchy of Grand Fenwick.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      Monty Python has been visiting Canada again.

  10. doginajacket

     /  May 8, 2012

    Somebody here (I think) recommended Mur Lafferty’s books. I just finished Marco and the Red Granny which was pretty good–kind of like the Hunger Games with grownups, but different enough that I still wanted to read it and see where she went with it. Short enough to fit in between work and puppy care. My thanks to whoever made the recommendation.

  11. Dresses I bought last night:

    null

    (oops – sorry so big!)

    + a floor-length, sleeveless chambray dress that I can’t show you for I appear to have bought the last one!

    Seriously this site has made me so happy!! The prices! The customizing! (I’m adding cap sleeves to the green one, as they’re all meant for the bar mitzvah weekend [August – I got worried about the dresses early – I know you ladies who are not a size 6 feel me…] and I don’t like going sleeveless to services).

    I got a $20 gift certificate for registering… but I have to use it within a week! I may have to buy another dress. Damn it!

    • LOVE. THESE. I wear dresses all summer; need more. My current collection of sundresses needs help. What’s the site?

      • Sorry, for some reason I thought I had a link! I would never be so cruel.

        http://www.eshakti.com/default.aspx

        Also, I found a promotional code: May125 for (wait for it) a 12.5% discount. I can’t tell you how long it took me to figure that out.

        • SWNC

           /  May 8, 2012

          I am now desperately wishing I had occasion to order the red belted poplin and the Eternal Sunshine dress.

          • I could invite you to the bar mitzvah? But then the dress would have an added travel expense….

        • kateislate

           /  May 8, 2012

          CLOTHES IN MY SIZE.

          SHIPPING TO CANADA.

          These two things never occur together. I am filled with a delight that is difficult to explain. I am going to have dresses. Pretty, pretty dresses. Oh holy crow.

          • You see my excitement.

            I’m right on the edge between two sizes, and finding something just right is near impossible. BUT THIS.

            So glad about the Canada part! : )

            • R_Bargis

               /  May 8, 2012

              Customizable bust! Finally, dresses that will fit properly without me having to wear several inches of heavily-padded bra!

              • Lizzou

                 /  May 8, 2012

                *raises head, look of hope and incredulity* You mean, I’m not alone?

    • You appear to have quite a number of birds on it. Nice dresses, though.

      • Well, I liked the birds you see. So that’s a good thing.

        • socioprof

           /  May 8, 2012

          As a Mo Willems fan, I must know if you plan to also have a bird on your head?

          I am also thinking that a nice fascinator would set this off quite nicely (I fantasize about wearing fascinators at times, plus I am procrastinating, so in addiiton to cleaning grease off the stovetop, I am now doing google image searches for bird fascinators).

          • As a Mo Willems fan, I really, really must! As soon as the dress arrives, I must go buy a bird for this purpose. (Oh man, how I do love those books!)

            A bird fascinator…. would really surprise my spiritual community!

            • socioprof

               /  May 8, 2012

              It would so fly (no pun intended, really) in the old-school Black church where HATS. ARE. A. THING. I’m buying tickets to Crowns–a musical running at the Goodman on the role of Black women in the Black church/community and the hats they wear as a representation of who they are–for my mom’s birthday next month. http://www.goodmantheatre.org/season/Crowns/

              • Courtney Jones

                 /  May 8, 2012

                I saw Crowns several years ago and loved it. Great play.

                I also went to college in Memphis when COGIC used to hold their convocation there. It was awesome to go to the local IHOP around the corner late at night and see all the various hats. Luckily for me, now St. Louis is the site of annual convocation and I get to continue my hat watching activities.

                • socioprof

                   /  May 8, 2012

                  There are few things more interesting than church hats. I have a copy of the coffeetable book that I bought years ago, so I’m looking forward to seeing this come to the stage. I love going to the theater with my mom. I always treat and chose one of my favorite restaurants for afterwards and I feel like it’s my contribution to showing her both a new experience as well as the adult me that her and my dad’s hard work, efforts, and encouragement helped to produce.

                  • Courtney Jones

                     /  May 8, 2012

                    My mother used to scrap the little bit of extra we had to take me to the theater from time to time when I was growing up so now, I too like to try to treat her to a few theater trips with dinner afterward. It’s something I hope I have a chance to do with my children (when I have them, maybe, someday).

            • socioprof

               /  May 8, 2012

              Also, there is a new Mo Willems book that kiddo#2 just got–The Duckling Gets a Cookie. Much to The Pigeon’s chagrin, The Duckling gets a cookie simply by politely asking for one. No bargaining. No haranguing. No whining. No brattiness. Just a polite request. Fancy that.

              There is a video from PNN (Pigeon News Network, of course) about these developments that you must watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nURTUmLSYd8

              • SWNC

                 /  May 8, 2012

                We need this book in my house–STAT.

    • I have a lunch I have to go to at a Very Fancy Hotel next month. The kind where they used to not allow me to enter via the front door because I was a worker bee, nor let me use the “guest” bathrooms, instead sending me back into the bowels of the kitchen to use the “staff only” bathrooms.
      I think i might need one of these dresses to celebrate my newfound ability to enter via the front door. Sans truss.

      • There’s your answer! The prices are really good – each of the above was either $59 or $69.

        !!

        And they customize! (First order customization is free, after that a piddling $7.50).

        • I really like the orange butterfly one. Except that it’s orange,

        • Courtney Jones

           /  May 8, 2012

          Customization for people like me who are height challenged. Where has this site been all my life.

      • The Mayflower?

        • The Omni. (Mayflower doesn’t have staff only loos. It does however have one of the worst loading docks to load in through in the history of ever.)

    • These are gorgeous, and I can imagine all of them looking lovely on you.

    • SWNC

       /  May 8, 2012

      Those are gorgeous! I love the cut of the blue one, and I adore the colors. (I don’t do neutrals.)

      • THE COLORS.

        They’re all deep and reallyreally mean to be the colors they are. None of this wussified/hipster beige + pastels. COLORS.

        • I assume you’ve bought from them before?

          • ….no.

            I’m very nervous that I’m going to be disappointed!

            But I’ve read good things about them online, and well, the return policy is good, too.

            I’ll let you know if I need to retract my enthusiasm!

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      Verrrrrrrrrry purty. The green especially.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  May 8, 2012

      Is this your first kid to be Bar Mitzvahed? You must be feeling the nachas already! Mazel Tov! [Also, that green dress is pretty fantastic.]

      • Yup! Naches and, you know, generalized weepiness. Depending on the minute!

        He’s doing great, I have to say. Really committed to the process, even while admitting that it’s not always easy or fun. He’s a good ‘un.

    • koolaide

       /  May 8, 2012

      ooh. pretty. It has been a long time since I bought real new clothes.

      in truth, I probably could use a serious wardrobe makeover. but I’m HORRIBLE at shopping. Not that great about finding decent clothes that also make me look decent. and I don’t have the $$ to drop on a wardrobe makeover.

    • watson42

       /  May 8, 2012

      Wow. those dresses are gorgeous. I love the green one especially.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 8, 2012

      they’re all meant for the bar mitzvah weekend….
      Have you ordered the fountain pen yet?

    • neighbors73

       /  May 8, 2012

      I just ordered the orange one w/butterflies (I figure I’ll have to wear a sweater with it since I don’t do sleeveless, but I couldn’t resist!) and some denim-y one with some kind of pattern down the front. We’ll see!

      • A) Yay! Yay for pretty frocks!

        B) but, but, but – you could have added sleeves! I did to my green dress. If you go to the order page, you’ll see the options below the sizes. (If you want to, maybe you could call tomorrow and add them?)

        PS I can see why you couldn’t resist. That’s really cute.

        • neighbors73

           /  May 9, 2012

          I thought about it, but I actually like to wear light sweaters over dresses, so I feel okay about it. Plus, I think it will break up the orange near my face—not sure that color is going to work on me, so it will make it more “skirty”.

          • Oh well then! I can perfectly understand all of that. Carry on! (And let me know if you love the dresses. I’m on pins and needles about my own…!)

  12. David L

     /  May 8, 2012

    Two things on the weekend kerfuffle over same sex marriage:

    1. Axelrod was right that Biden didn’t say anything that was inconsistent with POTUS’ position on same-sex marriage–as long as you don’t consider use of the word “marriage” a right or privilege of marriage. Separate but equal civil unions has pretty much been Obama’s stance since he hit the national scene. (For the record, I’m of the opinion that “separate but equal” is a contradiction in terms no matter what you’re talking about.)

    2. The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein pointed out on Twitter that Obama is speaking at the same Barnard commencement where Freedom to Marry’s Evan Wolfson will be given a “medal of distinction”. Let the speculation begin…

    • Do I have to?

      I hate this sort of speculation. It’s so hippie-dippy. The President’s position is whatever his record says, and even beyond that, it’s not clear how any sort of public change in his stance could have any effect on the practical realities of gay marriage in this country. At the margins a little bit, but the work is being done in one place he has no power (the states), one place he has little power (the legislature, as long as the Democrats don’t control both the House and a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate), and one place where he has a decent amount of power and has already been a supporter of gay marriage (the courts).

      • David L

         /  May 8, 2012

        The way it looks to me is this: Obama pretends that he isn’t really in favor of gay marriage, the press pretends you can’t see right through the position he has, the LGBT groups pretend to be okay with a president who’s okay with gay marriage but doesn’t talk about it.

        • Ian

           /  May 8, 2012

          This sounds a lot like my family.

  13. socioprof

     /  May 8, 2012

    I am procrastinating. How much am I procrastinating? I am cleaning grease off the stovetop (cursing the husband out the whole time since this is his job). I am avoiding writing and grading so much that I am cleaning grease off the stovetop. Please help.

    • David L

       /  May 8, 2012

      I dunno. The “procrastinating so hard I’m actually working on other things and not just being lazy” is actually beneficial sometimes.

    • Ian

       /  May 8, 2012

      Are these finals and/or final papers? Because you will feel so fucking good when you don’t have to look at those things anymore.

      • socioprof

         /  May 8, 2012

        Both/and. I also need to construct a final for one other class. I have a student who gets to take it early b/c for some reason, there are baseball games scheduled during finals week.

        • socioprof

           /  May 8, 2012

          And b/c he is taking it early, that means that I actually have to have the thing finished days rather than hours before the scheduled final.

          • David L

             /  May 8, 2012

            I remember one professor’s comment while distributing bubble sheets to the class: “I was procrastinating on writing your final, so I thought about giving you an essay question because it would be easy to write. Then I remembered that all I need to do these days is drop off everything off at the testing center and they’ll even put it into [the online gradebook].”

      • corkingiron

         /  May 8, 2012

        Yeah – eventually. When I was teaching, it took me about three weeks after the final marks were submitted before I stopped feeling guilty about not marking something. That guilt was like an eleven-month long ear worm.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 8, 2012

      I had a housemate in college who procrastinated by baking, lots and lots of baking: cookies, breads, cakes, tarts. Wonderful wonderful procrastination. Then she would write the papers at the last minute and no more baking.

      If you are cleaning grease instead of baking, I think you are doing it wrong.

      • socioprof

         /  May 8, 2012

        Baking was last weekend. Cooking was last night.

      • SWNC

         /  May 8, 2012

        This is me. My friends who lived with me in college still reminisce about my stress-baking.

    • BJonthegrid

       /  May 8, 2012

      As soon as I am done in this OTAN and finally put away the clean laundry and clean my kitchen……I’ll see about helping you. *back to the thread to see what else I can comment on instead of doing my chores*

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      So, the stovetop is clean(er). Copper pot scrubbers, 409 spray (sorry Mrs. Meyers, I love for for most things, but the grease accumulation just laughed at you), and bamboo skewers for the corners were quite effective in this effort. Now, should I tackle the outdoor furniture or dust before the school bus gets here. Since there is the kiddo’s homework, the gym,dinner, drum lesson, and a two-year-old who revels in the twoness of his life to deal with before the arrival of tonight, I’d say I’m in the perfect position to be stressed as hell by the time I actually must handle any professional responsibilities after the boys are in the bed.

    • Makovnik

       /  May 8, 2012

      I am right this moment enjoying a brownie that’s the product of procrastination baking by my wife last night, who did eventually finish writing that final exam. Both the exam and the brownie are excellent.

      • socioprof

         /  May 8, 2012

        I must not let my 8-year-old see this. He’s already requested that I make brownies for Mother’s Day (as a gift to my mother and sister and not as work for me) and I don’t want him to figure out another argument by which to convince me.

  14. Kind of freaking out. I have to present to my class tomorrow about a book I read. I have to give this thing in Chinese. My topic? The complexities of stigmatized field research in ethnological studies, like Mexican sex workers or witchcraft in Australian indigenous society.

    On the other hand, I get to say things like “Mexican hookers” in a graduate level research seminar, so hey. Ima be as crude as possible.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      Solidarity on freaking out. I’m doing my own quiet version of it here.

      But good luck on your presentation. Sounds very cool. And ++ for crudeness.

  15. BJonthegrid

     /  May 8, 2012

    Mother’s Day is coming up. It’s been about five years now but on May 8th two police officers on my department were killed while in gated parking lot of their police station. The male was just about to leave for vacation and the female responded to his getting shot while sitting in his vehicle. The shooter had lots of mental problems and decided to stake out the officers in a field near the station. He didn’t know who he was shooting, just cops. Very sad.

    Anyway, the female police officer was buried the day before Mother’s Day. I chose to work so others could go to the funeral – my squad was also working the day of the shooting. The next morrning was Mother’s Day and it was a miserable cloudy and rainy spring Day. My husband was guarding the male officer who was still in ICU, he later also died from his injuries. I told my kids about the shooting and how two little girls would have to spend Mother’s Day the day after burying their mom. My kids were maybe 5 & 7, I’m not even sure they understood what death meant, they just sorta stared at me.

    I finally told my kids that Mother’s Day had always meant I got gifts & cards and maybe a break from cooking but I wanted it to mean something more now. I want Mother’s Day to be a day of fun with the people who made me a mom. So I asked my nerds what could we do that was fun. They said Kings Dominion. So we drove 45 mins to walk in the rain, ride rides and eat funnel cake. To this day, everytime we go down rollercoasters we scream “Vicky!” in honor of PFC Vicky Armel and her little girls.

    • corkingiron

       /  May 8, 2012

      (o).

    • JHarper2

       /  May 8, 2012

      After my brother died, I found this, and copied it out. I keep it in my wallet always. When it wears out I write it out again.

      When you remember someone who has died, it is a form of prayer for them

      I am glad that Vicky Armel and her girls are kept in your thoughts.
      And that you remember to take time to cherish your family.
      J.

    • Oh man, that is the most awful and wonderful Mother’s Day thing I think I’ve ever read. Tears down my face.

      I don’t do roller coasters, but I’ll find some chance to yell “Vicky!” on Sunday.

      • BJonthegrid

         /  May 8, 2012

        I was crying when I wrote it now the idea of you screaming Vicky on some random activity is making me laugh. We’re going to the National Gallery of Art and maybe to the Newseum this Sunday. As usual I will tweet pictures.

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      Oh, BJ… This is so beautiful and sad.

    • SWNC

       /  May 8, 2012

      You are just the best, you know that?

      • BJonthegrid

         /  May 8, 2012

        I do now, wondering why everyone else kept it such a secret. Hahaha🙂

  16. caoil

     /  May 8, 2012

    Ugh, you guys, this place is driving me bananas this morning. In related news, I have been given grapevine information (from a reputable source) that the intent is to phase out our department in about the next 2-3 years. The calls would go to Toronto instead, and I don’t exactly know who would do the physical work, so I chuckle evilly about how well this plan is going to work out (read: poorly). Do I stick around in the meantime and wait for the severance pay? I’ve never been paid out of a job before. Or is it driving me too crazy and I should leave sooner?

    • Ian

       /  May 8, 2012

      Start looking. You don’t have to take anything, but it’s good to have options. I’ve worked on a floor where pretty much everyone knew the end was nigh. It was not fun.

      • caoil

         /  May 8, 2012

        I think everyone around me is already quite demoralized (from other things that have gone on) and to a person, the day staff is about ready to head out the door. Hearing that the chopping block is coming is almost a relief, in a way, because it gives us something firm.

    • BJonthegrid

       /  May 8, 2012

      I am so sorry to hear this. Not knowing what you do or where you live, I am wondering while working do you need to go back to school for your next career? If you started now, you could be done by the time severance kicks in and you’re job searching. Hoping the economy will be better also.

      • caoil

         /  May 8, 2012

        Thanks. In a nutshell, we do word processing in a legal environment. I have pretty transferable skills, it’s just waiting for the right combo of location, salary, hours, duties. At my age I’m pretty fussy about those things since I don’t want to be anyone’s appointment-keeper anymore.

        • BJonthegrid

           /  May 8, 2012

          In that case, start loooking now., everyone else will.

    • koolaide

       /  May 8, 2012

      (comfort like button would be clicked if there was a like button)

      I would start looking now. In this market it could take that long and if the time you heard (2 yrs) is correct, at least you’ve got time to maybe be a bit picky. Good luck.

      • caoil

         /  May 8, 2012

        If this *%$#(&@+ phone rings one more time, I’m going to have to cut something. Like the cord.

  17. Rand-Along Update: The best scene in Atlas Shrugged makes clear the kinship between Ayn Rand’s late fiction and trashy horror movies.

    http://objectionism.blogspot.com/2012/05/i-spit-on-your-train.html?m=0

    • I love it. It turns out that Ayn Rand books basically read like a parody of Ayn Rand books. I sort of had that assumption, but it’s nice that you are documenting it.

    • What sort of mind writes something like this:

      The man in Bedroom A, Car no. 16, was a humanitarian who had said, ‘The men of ability? I do not care what or if they are made to suffer. They must be penalized in order to support the incompetent. Frankly, I do not care whether this is just or not. I take pride in not caring to grant any justice to the able, where mercy to the needy is concerned.’

      Not a single word of that makes any logical sense. It is not just a straw man, it is the motherfucking wicker man. Nothing in the neighborhood, the city, the country or on the same planet of a usable point can be gleaned from it except for the window that it provides into one person’s descent into madness.

    • watson42

       /  May 8, 2012

      I’ve been wanting to comment on your posts over there and for some reason I’m not able to. I don’t have a registered profile anywhere except with Discus which might be the problem. Is there any way to comment without a profile?

      • Thanks for pointing that out, I went and fixed it. It turns out the default setting was for registered users (of what, I’m not even sure). My other blog I had set to open comments, and so I had assumed it would carry over when I started the new one. Bloody Blogger.

  18. I have a lot in common politically but almost nothing in common as far as musical taste with a certain group of you that I will tag as the “folkie Lillith Fair weirdos” except for basically one artist. And it feels like her sort of day today. It’s raining, but the sun’s out. It’s cool, but not cold.

    (I motherfucking love Kate Bush, for serious. She is so weird.)

    • Ian

       /  May 8, 2012

      I’m not trying to get you to like stuff that you don’t like, but you’ll find some fantastic weirdness in Childe ballads and early blues and stuff like that. (Furry Lewis: Mama get your hatchet / kill the fly on your baby’s head.)

      • Ian

         /  May 8, 2012

        “Child” doesn’t have an “e” — it only seems like it should.

    • Kate is marching to a drummer only she can hear. Most of the time the results are awesome. (I’d really like to forget the video for ‘Experiment Four’, however, got nightmares from that.)

  19. A: What is this place?

    B: Here are a couple little things I wanted to highlight. Mentioned on my newly reborn blog.

    A short little snippet on Amendment 1

    And an exhibition announcement for the Thesis Show at NYAA, where I went to grad school.

    Do HTML codes work here?

    • A) This is my place! : ) It is but wee, but it has comfy couches. I tend to think of it as the student lounge to TNC’s rather more impressive university.

      B) HTML codes work.

      • I know what it is, silly. I was playing dumb, as this is the first time I’ve actively tried to contribute.

        • …oh.

          /blushes

          Terribly sorry about that! I can usually spot silly at ten paces. Perhaps you were eleven paces away.

      • JHarper2

         /  May 8, 2012

        According to rumor tboth he virtual and actual couches are comfy, and emilyelf is the hardest working elf in the commenting board tool facilitation business.

    • SWNC

       /  May 8, 2012

      I like your snippet. According to several co-workers (I voted early), there are lines at the polling places today–unheard of for a primary. I’m taking that as a good sign, since it’s all going to come down to turnout.

      • The only glimmer of hope I got was when the GOP nomination race ended. I imagine it would have won by 20 or 30 points had the GOP voters had a nominating reason to show up (There’s a reason, after all, that it’s on a primary ballot where there are probably 5 or 6 GOP candidates for president and only one Democratic candidate one). But I don’t see much reason for hope–beyond the hope of a quick challenge, which really isn’t the kind of hope it would need.

        • SWNC

           /  May 8, 2012

          Here are the two hopeful things that I am holding onto.

          A surprising number of Republicans and faith organizations have come out publicly against the amendment–that would not have happened even 5 years ago.

          And work against the amendment has generated a ton of energy and alliances among different groups. I am very hopeful that this energy can be channeled into meaningful political action after the primary.

      • koolaide

         /  May 8, 2012

        I’m at work but following various fb feeds. There seem to be reports of long lines in some places.

        For those folks who aren’t scared to call strangers, there is still time for you to help us in NC. Call voters in NC via the Courage Campaign

        Remember when *every* one thought MS would pass that “personhood” amendment? There’s still hope NC can defeat this amendment.

        • David L

           /  May 8, 2012

          I saw a report not too long ago that people in some precincts were erroneously (and, hopefully, unintentionally) being given the ballots for the people who turn 18 before November 6 and are thus eligible to vote in the primary but not on Amendment 1.

          • koolaide

             /  May 8, 2012

            I saw a report about that on fb, too. Hope folks make sure to get the proper ballot.

        • In 2008, there were insanely long early voting lines all over metro Atlanta, where I live. McCain one the state by a healthy margin. North Carolina is a bit different than Georgia, but on a primary ticket in which the president is running unopposed? It was designed to pass. Hopefully, it won’t.

          • koolaide

             /  May 8, 2012

            Of course it was designed to pass. The only way the state leg. was able to secure enough votes to get the thing on the ballot in the first place was to have it on the primary ballot and not in Nov. They did not have enough votes to get it out of the leg. when the GOP majority were originally trying to put it on the Nov. ballot.

            But national groups who support equality nationally being pessimistic on the front end of the election didn’t help. It only really got national attention in the last week or so. People here knew it was winnable IF there was a big, sustained push by everyone.

            • I didn’t mean for that to sound snippy or condescending. If it did, I’m sorry. I just meant that the deck was stacked against opposition since the lack of a Democratic race for the nomination meant voting against became the only reason for most of those people to show up. Add to that that so many people don’t understand the language of the amendment, and you’ve got a near unwinnable situation.

            • SWNC

               /  May 8, 2012

              Exactly. It really feels like the big national groups have decided that Southern states are not worth bothering with. Because it’s not like there are gay families below the Mason-Dixon line or anything.

              • Just sayin’, I think the line is the Potomac River, not the Mason-Dixon. Being as Maryland & DC passed SSM and were gay-friendly before that.

                • SWNC

                   /  May 8, 2012

                  But my point is that there are gay citizens here. Families who have chosen to live here and raise their children here. They shouldn’t have to leave their home in order to find equal protection under the law.

                • koolaide

                   /  May 8, 2012

                  I tried to leave this comment alone but can’t. Look at this map and tell me again it is just states in the south or below the Potomac that legislate against marriage equality. Hint: It isn’t.

                  • I’m still depressed when I see “Yes on 36” stickers here in Portland. And that was a fight we lost back in 2004. Hopefully it’ll get changed sooner rather than later, but that’s what I point to when people say that Oregon is full of pinko commie liberals.

              • koolaide

                 /  May 8, 2012

                @SWNC, it’s like every one assumes that all southerners everywhere are hicks who hate while all other states are beacons of justice and light for all minorities. GMAFB.

                (yeah, looks like I’m about the enter the anger phase of my emotional rollercoaster relating to this election & the current NC legislature)

    • socioprof

       /  May 8, 2012

      His book is awesome for those of you who haven’t read it.

  20. Just found in a fax to my mother from Israel in 1994: “I could get addicted to this instant communication!”

    It’s really only been a very short while that we’ve lived this way, people.

    • .-. — ..-. .-.. -.-. — .–. – . .-.

    • aaron singer

       /  May 8, 2012

      I went to college in the fall of 2002, without a computer or a cell phone.

      • efgoldman

         /  May 8, 2012

        I went to college in the fall of 1963, with stone tablets and an onion hanging from my belt.

        • Hold on, I thought onion distribution came with age.

          THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING.

          • efgoldman

             /  May 8, 2012

            I went to music school. We were hipper.

      • I started undergrad at the same time you did. I had a computer, but no cellphone. When I finally got a cellphone circa 2005, the fact that a free phone had a color screen kind of blew me away.

  21. Ian

     /  May 8, 2012

    Just got to look at a seismogram of a bear destroying a station. A wiggly dying cry for help. So comically sad. So expensive.

    • watson42

       /  May 8, 2012

      I find this incredibly funny.

      btw, how goes things in uke fabrication? (Does one use the word fabrication with wood?) Metal and I are not getting along lately – too distracted by the rest of my life, I guess.

      Also, completely OT: I wanted to say thanks for stepping in last week in the Chinese-culture-accept-beating-your-kids discussion. One of the few days I had the wherewithal to drop in on an OTAN and I just had to back away ’cause I really didn’t have the resources to deal, much less get involved.

      • Ian

         /  May 8, 2012

        You know, in the course of stepping in I screwed up in all kinds of ways that, on rereading, sounded almost as bad as the thing to which I was objecting. Just don’t have much practice talking about that kind of thing. Anyway, don’t feel bad about not stepping in yourself. How tiresome would it be to feel like you had to do that?

        My wife and I are about to close on a house. I’m afraid it’s going to bring uke building to a standstill while I set up the workshop and deal with house stuff. The new place is, to say the least, a project. We’re buying it mainly because we like the location. The house itself is a typical Alaskan owner-builder disaster. It’s a very sturdy post-and-beam deal with all other details botched completely. At some point we’ll have to decide whether to renovate or tear it down. In the meantime, I need to make it livable. Yikes.

        • watson42

           /  May 8, 2012

          Congrats on the house! Having a choice of renovation or demolition seems a little…extreme. For what it’s worth, some friends had bought a house that looked like a bomb had hit it (for instance you could see sky between the bricks on the third floor where the mortar had fallen out), but the bones of the house were sound. They (plus friends) spent a couple of years working on it, and it turned out gorgeous. I think for the first eight months the shower was basically a showerhead stuck on the end of a pipe in a corner of the bathroom-to-be with plastic sheeting covering the walls and a drain in the floor. At least we had hot water after spending the day ripping out walls or putting down floors. 🙂

          • Ian

             /  May 8, 2012

            I’m sure the house can be saved. The question is, does the house deserve to be saved? For example, it would have a nice view if the fool who built it (I know this guy–he’s a fool) had rotated it 20-30 degrees and put windows on the correct side. Stuff like that. I look at the house and land and think, “Beautiful things could have been done with this. And instead you did this!” But the land is great. 10 acres on a dead end that likely to remain a dead end forever. Only two miles from my office. Cheap because it’s in a permafrosty spruce bog, but the house is on a raised ridge of loess so it’s relatively dry and stable. If there weren’t so much nice wood in the house, I think we’d pay it off and have the fire department burn it down. Maybe I’ll feel differently once we’re living there.

        • 1) Congratulations!

          2) Good luck!

    • chingona

       /  May 8, 2012

      That’s awesome/awful. Are you a seismologist? My mom is a seismologist who has worked in a lot of very remote areas, and she often has to meet with local community leaders about siting the station, keeping it safe, not messing with it, etc. One time, she went out visit a station in Pakistan and found that the village had taken its duties so seriously that they had stationed a guard dog, basically right on top of the station. Fortunately, no damage to the station, but lots of messed up data.

      • Ian

         /  May 8, 2012

        That’s hilarious. Maybe the dog didn’t mess up the long period response?

        I’m not a seismologist, but I work in a seismology lab. No science background whatsoever. It’s a long story. We need to do more of the kind of work your mother does. Most of our remote stations are not in populated areas (lots of mountaintop sites, helicopter access only), so we don’t have to worry about people. But we have a number of sites in remote villages, places off the road system, and my boss really needs to let me work with these communities instead of the racist, antisocial asshole who’s doing most of that work now. Vandalism is incredibly rare, but this guy is convinced that “drunken Natives” will tear anything apart in their search for booze. (Yes, I’ve talked to HR about this.) So instead of cultivating relationships with people who are handier than we are (they live in the middle of freaking nowhere) and could do a lot of basic fixes on our equipment for us, he avoids talking to them and will fly 1000 miles to swap out a freaking power supply. Your tax dollars at work.

        • chingona

           /  May 8, 2012

          You were in the Peace Corps, right? That kind of reminds me of a certain kind of volunteer who thinks they could get, say, so much forestry work done or so many latrines built if they just didn’t have to deal with these stupid people. And just missing the point by a thousand miles.

  22. stephen matlock

     /  May 8, 2012

    They made me WORK today.

    It’s almost made better by them buying pizza and cokes for lunch. Even though–technically–I cannot eat that stuff, still, I managed.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      The NERVE. I hate it when they make me work. /sympathy

  23. stephen matlock

     /  May 8, 2012

    W/r/t friendships:

    I copied this from The Atlantic (TNC’s place) maybe a year ago. I have never forgotten this post; I think I’ve memorized it:

    ================================================

    My closest friend died June 10, 2009. She was 62 years old. She dropped over dead of an aneurysm in her brain. No warning.

    We express ourselves differently now than women did in the 19th century, but I’m wondering if I really felt differently or feel differently. She and I met when she was 16 and I was 18, on our third day as freshmen at Stanford University. She was a little tiny thing, but very determined. She announced to me upon our first meeting that we were to be friends, and she was certainly right about that.

    We were separated almost all our lives. After we graduated from Stanford, I got married, and she moved to Massachusetts, where she too married. We never used the telephone a lot….she didn’t ever have money, and long distance was expensive, back in the day. Then, it was paper letters. (When she died she left an entire box of my old letters.) Then, email. When she died, we were emailing about twice a week.

    Her daughter told me that she didn’t think her mom would have survived, if something had happened to me. I’m still trying to figure out whether I have survived the corresponding loss. I realized after she died that at any given time I spent perhaps 65% of my interior time composing letters to her. I’d see something that would interest her (she was supremely intelligent); I’d see something we’d discussed (and there was almost nothing we didn’t discuss in those 46 years).

    Or I’d think of some argument I’d made that I wanted, now, to nuance, part of that endless, reiterative, lifelong conversation. Without her I don’t know what I think, any more. I’m married to the love of my life; we have four adult children and four grandchildren so far. She too was married, and has three grown children, and now a grandchild she didn’t live to see. We’re not talking sex here, people. Was it love even? Or was it identity?

    I can’t write long emails any more, not to anyone, or long letters. All the letters were to her. I never talked about her; my husband was surprised, when she died, at my reaction. She talked about me all the time, apparently….. The Zen folks tell a story. Once there was one who played the harp skillfully, and a friend who listened skillfully. Then the listener died. The musician cut the strings, and never played again.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 8, 2012

      Thank you Stephen.
      My youngest brother was my best friend. On the day he died most of the joy went out of my life.

      • stephen matlock

         /  May 9, 2012

        JHarper – I’m sorry.

        I have a few close family members, and a few close friends. I lost my best friend in jr. high. It took me 40 years to find another one.

  24. enstar

     /  May 8, 2012

    i’m not sure whether to feel insulted, or impressed, that the parents who came in and met with me and my department chair today about my class had a detailed plan written out for how i could become a better teacher than the (apparently) shitty one i am now. it even has suggestions for how to leverage it into a master’s degree, if that’s what i wanted to pursue. it’s pretty impressive work.

    • Ian

       /  May 8, 2012

      I trust you’re working on a powerpoint showing them the path to better parenting.

      • koolaide

         /  May 8, 2012

        I do not have enough likes for your comment, Ian.

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 8, 2012

        I was going to send the man a hug, but this kind of revenge is so much more productive.

  25. corkingiron

     /  May 8, 2012

    Emily! Help! WordPress is acting weird today. No matter how many times I turn off email notifications – or even if I log out – it insists on filling up my inbox with all the comments. What can I do to fix this?

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 8, 2012

      My god, it’s as though some weird elf virus accompanies the Horde, infecting whatever system we happen to be commenting on.

      • I get that, too. Every single comment in the thread is sent to my inbox. I haven’t been able to turn it off.

        I’m starting to like it. It’s sort of a Horde symphony.

    • No idea.

      It did this to me the other day TWICE OVER. Which is to say – I got all the comments (as is right and meet, as it’s my blog), then I got all the comments again (as is incredibly unnecessary when you’re talking about 200-300 comments).

      I will look into it though! For you, Canadian Friend.

  26. chingona

     /  May 8, 2012

    http://www.npr.org/2012/05/08/152248901/fresh-air-remembers-author-maurice-sendak?sc=fb&cc=fp

    NPR put together pieces of several Fresh Air interviews with Maurice Sendak over the years, on the occasion of his death. I nearly wept several times as I listened to this in the car. I had not realized how dark his early life was, though perhaps it shouldn’t surprise me. I also hadn’t realized he was gay. He talks about being sick a lot and spending a lot of his childhood in bed, looking out the window, and hearing his parents talk about how he might die. He notes that this was before antibiotics, when there really wasn’t anything to be done except wait and hope. His father was the only person in his family to leave Poland, and every last one of his paternal relatives died in the Holocaust. This weighed terribly on his parents and on his childhood. His Brooklyn neighborhood was mostly Jewish and Sicilian, but he didn’t realize the Sicilians weren’t Jews. He thought they were happy Jews and that maybe after his bar mitzvah he could chose to join that sect instead of the dour one to which everyone around him seemed to belong. The version that aired ended with a pretty recent interview with a very frail Sendak saying, “Live your life. Live your life. Live your life.”

  27. dmf

     /  May 8, 2012

  28. neighbors73

     /  May 8, 2012

    today was 5 pounds of shit in a 3 pound bag. And that was before I came home and somehow created a geyser of red wine that sprayed all over the kitchen ceiling (thank you, bleach.)

    I did order some cute dresses (who knows how they will actually *look* on me, though) from Emily’s site above.

    Now, I’m planning to immerse myself for a few hours in the new Sookie Stackhouse.

    • Oy oy. Well, at least the days is at an end…?

      And thank the heavens for easy cleaning remedies.

    • Sorry you had a bad day. I guess a lot of the bad karma I generated last night must have cascaded across the planet somehow.

  29. ellaesther

     /  May 9, 2012

    Test

    • Ok, I just logged out of the blog, used a different email and user name, and was able to comment. It went to moderation (and I, in all my wisdom, approved it) but it let me comment.

      SO IF YOU ARE HAVING PROBLEMS COMMENTING – maybe try changing a letter in your name or some such?

  30. ellaesther

     /  May 9, 2012

    Test the second

    • fake

       /  May 9, 2012

      another test

      • Ok, apparently once you’ve commented with a particular username or email, it wants those two to line up again. This might not be so if you’re working from different computers but I can’t check that at this point.

        IF YOU’RE HAVING PROBLEMS COMMENTING all I can suggest is use a different email address if you have one, and change your username a bit. I’ll see if I can come up with a more useful solution.