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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.

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195 Comments

  1. dmf

     /  May 10, 2012

    • Blog flog!

      There’s stuff! On my blog! I’m sure of it! It might even be worth clicking on!
      I would post a link, but I’m on my phone.

      • Captain Button

         /  May 10, 2012

        I Should Have Been A Blogger

        Tyrion Lannister, Rock Star

        Game of Thrones: A History
        (GoT backstory extras on youtube>

        Lady Gaga On The Simpsons

        American Idol 11: Top 4 “California Dreamin’/The Song I Wish I Wrote”

        • PS You are a good and loyal pal, that’s what you are.

        • Your Rock My Socks.
          The AI recap has a video of Joshua Ledet doing James Brown. it was, in the words of another blogger, one of the top ten all time Idol performances. I’m not sure I’d go quite that far without a reviewing of some key moment from the past to do a measure up, but it was still really quite something.

  2. A piece by me on Ross Douthat’s passive-aggressive congratulations to gay marriage advocates for successfully stigmatizing their opposition, and how he ignores both the case for gay marriage and the considerable stigmatization and demonization his own own side has engaged in.

    • SWNC

       /  May 10, 2012

      Great piece.

      Douthat says, “I can’t help but be impressed by the gay marriage movement’s ability to transform the terms of the marriage debate so completely and comprehensively.”

      When on one side you have loving, committed families wanting the right to have their families acknowledged and on the other side you have people who cannot articulate any argument that doesn’t boil down to the belief that “My version of God doesn’t like it,” it’s not hard to see which side is going to be more persuasive.

  3. Lizzou

     /  May 10, 2012

    Trying to find a way to deal with the fact that my mother-in-law has put me on her email list… which consists of xenophobic, occasionally racist offerings. Grrrrr.

    • GMail filters are a beautiful thing.

      (I have one explicitly for my mother-in-law. Messages from her bypass the inbox and go straight to her tag. It’s nested under “family” and it’s got a poo-brown label, which may be juvenile but hey, it’s my inbox.)

      • Lizzou

         /  May 10, 2012

        Will have to investigate this… thanks!

    • dave in texas

       /  May 10, 2012

      I have a cousin that used to forward me lots of those idiotic emails that always seem to be making their way amongst the wingnuts. I bookmarked Snopes and simply made it a point to refute all the noxious BS arguments with facts. She stopped sending me all that crap and now limits her emails (to me, anyway) to family pictures and such.

      Now admittedly, this took a couple of months, but it was eventually successful. Good luck.

      • Lizzou

         /  May 10, 2012

        Thanks. The thing is, my MIL is French. The emails have to do with Muslims and such. When I first encountered her point of view and what she thinks of as “funny and clever”, I thought I had wandered into “the cultural vortex of non-understanding that shall never be overcome.” But, after 2 years here, I finally allowed myself to admit – it’s wrong. Period. Just plain wrong. Her English and personality are not at a level I want to engage with on this subject, so I’m kinda stumped:/

    • koolaide

       /  May 10, 2012

      You could change your email address.

    • wearyvoter

       /  May 10, 2012

      My f-i-l does the same thing to my husband. He opens the email just long enough to see how many thousands of forwards there are. If the “to” line is a screen deep, the email gets chucked to spam.

  4. JHarper2

     /  May 10, 2012

    So, birther queen Michelle Bachmann holds Swiss citizenship. Doing Romney’s swiss bank accounts one better, Michelle actually is swiss and has been since 1978 when she married Marcus Bachmann. She claims that she has only been swiss since March when the wedding was belatedly registered with the swiss authorities, but in actuality swiss citizenship vests automatically with the marriage.
    Today Minnesota can feel a little bit better about itself. Michelle Bachmann isn’t really theirs.
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76142.html

    • I am kind of completely flummoxed as to why this is a story.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 10, 2012

      Pure speculation on my part, but I assume this is so they will have somewhere to flee to when the Commie Liberal Muslim Atheist Inquisition starts rounding up all Republicans and putting them in camps.

      • caoil

         /  May 10, 2012

        You forgot to put Gay in the list there!

      • chingona

         /  May 10, 2012

        Sound of Music style?

        • Captain Button

           /  May 10, 2012

          Yeah, like that.

          Now I am remembering the backstory of David Brin’s Earth where the defining war of the 21st century was the Helvetian War to get the Swiss banks to stop with the secret accounts.

    • Electronic Neko

       /  May 10, 2012

      Well, I hope the fact that she is a dual citizen and that she claimed she was an Iowan when running for president plays poorly in her attempt to get re-elected to Congress. I’m tired of having this woman associated with Minnesota. I think it’s ridiculous to claim dual citizenship makes a person less loyal to the US. But if it causes the crazy people in her base to reject her this time around, I will be extremely pleased.

      • Electronic Neko

         /  May 10, 2012

        Ha. She is renouncing the Swiss citizenship in order to make it clear she is a “proud American” – http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0512/76175.html

      • helensprogeny

         /  May 10, 2012

        I’d personally have no problem if she moved to Switzerland. Permanently. Let them deal with her.

        • R_Bargis

           /  May 10, 2012

          From the Atlantic article “Switzerland Ponders Michele Bachman’s Dual Citizenship”:

          The widely-read daily Tages Anzeiger homed in on Bachmann’s “hardline” stance on immigration and debt reduction. “Bachmann leads the House of Representatives of the arch-conservative Tea Party faction that wants to fight with radical cuts in the public debt of the United States,” reads the paper.

          Switzerland is not exactly a tolerant, liberal paradise. For instance, in 2009 they banned the building of minarets in Switzerland. Yet I do not think they realize exactly what Michele Bachman and her ilk’s brand of conservatism entails. It would be fun to watch them find out.

  5. I wrote up a review of one of my favorite cask-strength single malt whiskies, Arran Sherry Single Cask:

    http://cocktailchem.blogspot.com/2012/05/whisky-review-arran-sherry-single-cask.html

    It’s an utter beast in the flavor department and I’m really interested to try some of Arran’s other single cask expressions to see how different barrels change the flavor of the whisky.

  6. koolaide

     /  May 10, 2012

    Trying to decide whether or not to make a big stink with the manager at the car dealership I just (well, a week or so ago) bought my car from. I HATE scheduling a mtg and making that sort of “you suck” meeting. I’m out of energy and determination for dealing w/ unpleasantness.

    They’ve now reached their three strikes. The first strike was how rude the finance guy was on day 2 (ie after I’d bought the car on day 1) when I brought my old car in & wanted (as agreed earlier) to transfer my plate. My mother was appalled.

    Second strike was really a foul off then strike when it was discovered the car I’d been told when I bought it had remote entry did not have that feature (they agreed to install it free of charge but that means taking a day off from work–it happens tomorrow).

    The third strike is that I just found out they ran my financing through a bank we’d specifically discussed/agreed NOT to use. I had someone with me each time so I’ve got back up on the conversation. Now, it may be that the finance guy has no control over which bank the dealer sells my financing to. But if that’s the case, he had zero business promising me that he could control it.

    So, student loungers, what shall I do? Call the dealership manager now to make an appointment for tomorrow during the service call or never deal w/ them again w/o telling them?

    • What’s the issue with the bank? This will guide my advice.

      • koolaide

         /  May 10, 2012

        When I was deciding whether or not to finance through the dealer, I asked which banks they used. I was given a list of 4 or 5 banks. Chase and WellsFargo were two of them. I said “I do not want to do business with Chase or WellsFargo.” The finance guy asked what the problem was with WellsFargo and I said a couple of things. He said “ok” how do you feel about X or Y and I said, those are fine. He said “ok.” I got paperwork yesterday that WellsFargo is my lender.

        As I said, he may have no control over who the dealership uses. If that’s the case he should make zero promises to me in front of a witness.

        • Are your issues with WellsFargo significant enough for you to renege on this payment plan?

          • koolaide

             /  May 10, 2012

            I’m going to re-finance w/ my credit union on my own. I’ve already decided that. The issue at hand is how or whether to bring my multiple bad interactions with sales staff to the attention of the manager when I am at the dealership tomorrow.

            • Gotcha. Given that you are going to refinance, I would say absolutely bring it to their attention. Bring it all to their attention. On the one hand you don’t have much ammunition because you did buy a car, but on the other hand you’re never going to buy a car with them again and you’re going to warn everyone you know never to do business with them and you’re going to give them explicit name-checking negative reviews on every website you can find.

              Right? Of course!

              (This is what you’ll tell them, is what I’m saying.)

              • koolaide

                 /  May 10, 2012

                Last week I was certain I had the energy for such a figurative fight slash uncomfortable meeting. But today? after the events of Tuesday (in from NC) and the kneejerk attacks on my state all over the freaking web?

                Yeah, my energy is low. I just want to hide under the covers.

            • Dex

               /  May 10, 2012

              Honestly, I think you’d just walk away frustrated. You also want to make sure that they get your keyless entry installed before you raise a stink. ianal, but unless it’s written specifically into your contract, I’m not 100% certain that they’d be obligated to install it, given that you’ve already taken the car off the lot. I’m sure it varies widely by state whether or not they consider a verbal claim a binding contract. Car dealerships suck for the most part, especially ones that deal in used cars. What’s more, they know that they suck. Some take pride in their suckitude and force their employees to suck in order to make their numbers better. I have found that the worst offenders tend to be the financing people, but that’s a limited sample.

    • Dex

       /  May 10, 2012

      I think it varies state-by-state, but I believe that many areas have lemon laws specifically related to cars, which I think gets you 30 days of protection. The problem you’re up against is that there really isn’t anything wrong with the car, so I’m not sure if the lemon law would even apply.

      I’m a bit confused here. You’ve already got the car but haven’t paid for it yet? I’m wondering how you end up being able to take the car off the lot without having signed for financing and finding out which bank was providing the financing, or was this something that you discovered after the fact? If they’ve already set the financing in, my guess is you’ll have to pay some fees to close out that account and open a new one. All banks pretty much suck, so I guess I wonder whether it’s worth it to you to pay extra fees not to be at those two specific banks.

      • koolaide

         /  May 10, 2012

        Well, this is a major dealership — their primary business is new cars — and this used car was certified by Toyota and it came with a warranty that wasn’t the junk extended warranty dealerships try to add on after the fact to make money. That was one of the lures for me to this particular car (low price for a certified Toyota Corolla 2009 w/ low mileage).

        And your point (what would I get out of the meeting) is one reason I’m now ambivalent. I’ll present my “one member of your staff was incredibly rude and two members were not truthful. so my entire customer experience sucked” He’ll look at me and go “ok. so what do you want me to do about it?” And I’ll say…I have no idea what I’ll say. My anger about the car experience has been dwarfed or overwhelmed by the election stuff.

        • NealH

           /  May 10, 2012

          And I’ll say, “I just thought you would be interested to know how your staff treat your customers.” He’ll either thank you or there will be awkward silence. Then you leave.

          Hopefully your Corolla will be as good a car for you as my Corolla was, at least until I passed 140K when it developed a wicked shimmy and then the wheel (not the tire, the wheel) came off backing out of the driveway. Fortunately, we were just backing out of the driveway as opposed to on the highway and fortuitously, it was only about 3 or 4 days before the new car we had already bought was to be delivered.

        • helensprogeny

           /  May 10, 2012

          Also consider a negative report to the Better Business Bureau. Plus everything Sara said. Sometimes just taking action against dickwads can help you feel better/more empowered, even though you know it won’t go anywhere. At least you’ve had your say and you haven’t allowed them to be the sole voice of the narrative.

          Also too, sometimes the energy just isn’t there. Whatever you do is okay. Sometimes walking away is the best thing you can do for yourself.

          • doginajacket

             /  May 11, 2012

            I’d like to put in a plug here that it’s not a bad idea to check with the BBB before you go to a car dealership. An acquaintance of mine recently took his newly self-restored classic car to a big-name dealership in town and asked them to just detail it for him. Apparently the “technicians” took it for a joyride and somehow completely trashed his transmission. When he called the BBB to make a report they told him that the dealership already had 16 complaints this year for similar incidents.

  7. osbenz

     /  May 10, 2012

    Offensive Lineman Jacob Bell is abruptly retiring* today. This quote offers some chilling context:

    “… now we are hearing the doctors and everybody saying, ‘Did you get a ding? Did you see stars? Did you feel hollow for a second? Did your vision go out?’ Well, if that’s the case, then are we going to consider those concussions as well, because if that’s the case, I don’t know about you guys, but we did that on probably every series, you’d feel something like that.

    “So if that’s a concussion, have we had three concussions, or have we had 100 concussions?”

    I have long felt some shame for quitting football amidst my sophmore campaign in college. I feel better about it now.

    * http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/7915185/retired-jacob-bell-picks-health-nfl-paycheck

  8. What do we think about this “I Was A Teenage Bully” thing? I mean, it fits obviously. But does it give us any insight into Mittens’ character now? Does it say anything about the man he is, and who he will be as President? I’m still working on my thoughts.

    • koolaide

       /  May 10, 2012

      His statement after the fact bothers me more. Many of us were @ssholes at one point as kids–not that it makes poor behavior as kids acceptable. But the non-apology apology schtick as an adult? That’s no good. And the “if I did anything” part was equally crappy as the non-apology.

    • carlos the dwarf

       /  May 10, 2012

      I don’t give a shit what Romney did in high school. I don’t want to judge anyone (or be judged myself) for the things we did when we were that young. On top of that, we don’t need to go back forty years for examples of Romney’s callousness when we see it on the campaign trail on a daily basis. We should judge Romney’s character today based on the things he does today–and aren’t those bad enough?

    • I do think that how he handles it today matters. I mean, we’ve all been assholes, we’ve all done things we wish we could undo — sometimes because at the time it was just the thing everyone expected of you, but now you wish you had known better.

      What matters to me is how people talk about those things now, and the way he’s talking about it is hardly inspiring. I don’t think I’d choose not to vote for someone on something like this, but it does give me the creeps.

    • I don’t think it tells us anything about him that we didn’t already know. But it’s kind of interesting to see an example of “teenage bully grows up into self-absorbed, completely-unhampered-by-compassion adult.”

  9. caoil

     /  May 10, 2012

    Based on the title of this post, I am picturing you (Emily) doing a bunch of bouncing about the room, clapping and being generally happy and excited.

    • Captain Button

       /  May 10, 2012

      I was picturing something more like a PA system alarm while all the red flashing lights drop out of the cieling and everyone scrambles to remember the emergency procedures.

      • caoil

         /  May 10, 2012

        Ha! Your way is funny too, but involves substantially less sugar and cake than mine (as I was picturing a birthday girl sugar high kind of moment).

      • And so we see into the souls of caoil and Captain Button

        • Captain Button

           /  May 10, 2012

          Only if you can find a computer old enough to read the eight inch floppy disk I backed it up on.

          • caoil

             /  May 10, 2012

            Or the punch cards.

          • damnitwhere’sthedamnlikebuttononthisdamnblog?

          • efgoldman

             /  May 10, 2012

            Only if you can find a computer old enough to read the eight inch floppy disk I backed it up on.
            When I was at the radio station, mid-late 80s, they bought exactly that: a Wang with 8″ floppies, to do payroll and scheduling. Those (and their DEC PDP rivals) were called “mini-computers”. They came with a special accessory belt on which the IT guy (there was always just one, in those days) could hang an onion.

            Or the punch cards.
            The Wang replaced an old IBM behemoth with a keypunch and a card sorter.

            • It’s comments like this that cause me to file you under “punchcard nerd” along with my dad.

              • efgoldman

                 /  May 10, 2012

                After he retired from the Army in ’68 or so, my dad went to work for Honeywell as a tech writer (later an editor). We had boxes of punch cards in the house forever – they were our universal note and memo pads, bookmarks, whatever. I think my parents still had some when they retired to CA, and later to FL.

      • David L

         /  May 10, 2012

        I am reminded of a sound effect that a morning radio show used around here to cover up them dumping the delay when a caller (or sometimes one of the hosts) said something they shouldn’t have which featured lots of sirens and buzzers and a voice repeating “naughty word… naughty word… naughty word…”

    • JHarper2

       /  May 10, 2012

      I pictured her picking up the room, fluffing the pillows, vacuuming the couch, putting out the dishes of candies and nuts, and muttering OPENTHREADOPENTHREADOPENTHREAD, again an open thread, and I just got the place cleaned up from last time, and we have company tonight for dinner, and I have to drive the boy to x and the girl to y and they’re in opposite directions, and a post to finish and now another blinking open thread!
      Arghh Open Thread.

      • SINCE YOU MENTIONED IT:

        The girl is in fact on the comfy couch right now, as we type, for the following reason:

        She got some really weird, random knee injury that came on suddenly last Thursday in the middle of school, out of nowhere, while sitting at her desk. We went to immediate care that afternoon and they basically went “Huh!” and sent us home to ice it and keep it up & give her ibuprofen, and go to our GP if it didn’t get better.

        On Monday it hadn’t gotten enough better for me to feel confident that she was really on the mend, and then, out of nowhere, as she started to hobble up the stairs to bed, it suddenly got worse again and she collapsed on the stairs. It’s essentially not gotten any less painful, and occasionally more so, since then.

        On Tuesday afternoon we saw the GP, who ordered x-rays that didn’t really show anything, so she told me to get Maya (oops! aka: The girl) to an orthopedic doc within 24-48 hrs, which we just did this morning. That doctor is as confused as everyone else and has ordered an MRI, and we’re kind of just waiting around now to get the insurance company’s permission to get that done.

        The one good thing that the latest doctor has already done, though, is give her a much stiffer, full-leg brace, which is an immediate relief for her. The knee hurts to the touch, and is clearly damn-near excruciating when bent. She hops on one foot as much as she possibly can, because even the slightest walking pressure hurts.

        She’s been home since Tuesday and will be for the rest of the week now, but she rediscovered her DS yesterday, which is a good thing!

        And I want to add that for a kid who is really not known for her stoicism – she’s found her stoicism. Man oh man, I could see how much the doctor was hurting her today, in her eyes and in the set of her little mouth, and she held it together so that he could examine her with straight-up courage. I’m amazed and impressed and can’t stop telling her how brave she’s being.

        Also, in related news – Mortals make plans for the month of May, and the universe laughs.

        • Dex

           /  May 10, 2012

          So, you’re saying that having her in football really helped with the toughness?

        • Taken her to the crunchy alternative doctor yet? Because I know an amazing chiropractor in the Western suburbs. Saved my knees and the rest of me for four years.

          • Not yet. We’ll see what the MRI & that doctor say first – but you know me, I’m open to crunchy!

            • I do! And honestly, chiropractors aren’t crunchy. When I used to see this guy he was an employee of the Rehab Institute of Chicago.

              If you decide you’re interested please get in touch. I would love to hook you up with excellent care while sending this guy some business.

        • JHarper2

           /  May 10, 2012

          Ouch for the girl, 8? is much too young to be too stoic. I hope the docs find the cause or at least a way to ameliorate the pain.
          Just tell her that you will make sure none of the more boisterous students (Carlos, Eric, Sara) don’t juggle her by accident and you will keep clumsy JH2 and his cane from tripping over her and causing her distress.

          • Look, she thinks I’m weird enough already, all right?😉

            And re: stoicism… There’s being little and crying because that’s what you do when you’re little and sometimes when you’re big and that’s ok because stuff hurts.

            Then there’s her. Bangs herself into the doorjamb, for instance, on the way into the kitchen and then again on the way out -> wailing, sobbing, “THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!!”

            (Well, in fairness, we did not long ago convince her that the line “the worst day” was not necessarily strictly accurate and we would be of more use to her if she stopped using it on the regular and provided us with a more nuanced view of events. But that’s pretty much been her approach all along…!) (Bless her!)

            • efgoldman

               /  May 10, 2012

              “THIS IS THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE!!”
              Eight is awfully early for that.
              But vicarious sympathy from 1600 miles away.

            • JHarper2

               /  May 10, 2012

              Look, she thinks I’m weird enough already, all right?
              You mean she doesn’t know that for months she has been sharing the couch with all her mom’s imaginary friends?

              • No.

                And don’t you go telling her!

                (Actually, we had socioprof et al over for pizza and cookies recently, and when they’d left, the girl — who’d had a lovely time with sp’s lovely boys — went “Where do you know her from again?” And I went “Well, you know I comment a lot on Ta-Nehisi’s blog?” And she went “Oh, right.” So “Ta-Nehisi’s blog” is kind of like an actual place in our family’s lexicon. But the imaginary friends on the couch thing? SHE KNOWS NOTHING).

        • David L

           /  May 10, 2012

          I had something very similar back in the day. Just went to stand up after social studies class and it was hellaciously painful to walk. After several doctor visits and an MRI that left everyone scratching their heads, the symptoms disappeared just as suddenly as they appeared.

          • As we say in Hebrew: Please God on us.

          • doginajacket

             /  May 11, 2012

            I also had unexplained severe knee pain somewhere around that age, the doctor labeled it “growing pains,” and reluctantly authorized an ace bandage and Tylenol. It did eventually get better, but I’m glad they’re taking your girl’s pain more seriously.

        • socioprof

           /  May 10, 2012

          Oh, hugs from kiddo#2 to The Girl. I’ll tell him to be gentle with her.

          • She mentioned him to me just today! On the way back from the doctor’s, even. I believe she was re-enacting his rendition of the ABCs. And then I told her what she calls his dad, and what he has called you on occasion, and she looooooooooved it. : )

            • socioprof

               /  May 10, 2012

              Awwwww.

              His daycare has a sizable Latin@ staff and child population, so now his dad is Uncle Dad’sname Papi. I am either Uncle Mommy or FIrstName these days. When I tell him that I’m not Uncle Mommy, he goes back to FirstName with a giggle.

              • Heh! I think I would stick with “Uncle Mommy” personally. It has a real ring to it!

      • By the way, this is what i pictured too.

  10. Captain Button

     /  May 10, 2012

    So Obama is in trouble because he has lost the votes of all the black religious conservatives who would vote for Obama-publically-waffling-about-gay-marriage-when-everyone-knows-he-favors-it but WON’T vote for Obama-publically-supporting-gay-marriage.

    Both of them.

    • Any political calculation this far out from the election revolves around the twin questions of money and time. As in, how will this change donation patterns, and how will it change the enthusiasm of (potential) campaign volunteers to work for the President over the next 6 months. If his position on gay marriage causes a certain subset of black evangelicals to dial back their efforts he help re-elect him, that will have a tangible effect on the campaign. My assumption is that the Obama team crunched the numbers and decided that the effect will be negligible. But I don’t know, especially if you take the point of view that Obama’s announcement is only partially politically motivated, and is partially (or even mostly) motivated by his own conscience.

      • carlos the dwarf

         /  May 10, 2012

        I think Obama just earned himself tens of thousands of youth voters who would have otherwise stayed home. Data is not the plural of anecdote, but the last time I saw my Facebook feed BLOW THE FUCK UP like it did yesterday was Election Day ’08.

        • Ditto. Obama’s liberal base has been depressed for a long time now, and his rhetorical defense of gay marriage is a big, big booster.

      • chingona

         /  May 10, 2012

        Flip side is you probably get more donations and more volunteers from gay people and people who are just happy with him taking this position. To the extent that it’s political, I think he’s making the same political calculus he made in confronting the Catholic Church on contraceptive coverage. As someone firmly in the target audience on the contraception issue, there’s a gut-level “this guy gets it” reaction that reminds me why he really is better than the Republican, even when he’s disappointed me on any number of issues. I think that kind of connection to voters has political value.

        • David L

           /  May 10, 2012

          It definitely increased donations. I saw a stat that the campaign made over a million yesterday afternoon alone.

        • It’s not just gay people. It’s pro-people contributing as well.

          I’d be sending money if I had a job to fund my support.

          • It’s not just gay people. It’s pro-people contributing as well. <- That.

            (…how'd the interview go…?)

      • The number of blacks who are anti-gay are outnumbered by the number of blacks who are pro-people. And for the right reasons.

        Overall, I doubt this changes a lot of votes around: people who were staunchly anti-gay were already opposed to Obama for Multiple Choice Reasons like “He’s a Socialist Fascist Secret Muslim Racist Who’s Gonna Steal Our Guns While We Sleep And Replace Them With Tofu”. And the pro-people crowd already had little incentive to rush to Mitt Romney and his need to genuflect before the feet of his Far Right Wingnut Overlords who’re already openly opposing women’s health, all healthcare, Medicare, normal care, school care, etc.

        What this does do is stimulate the base of the party. The biggest fear is that voter turnout in 2012 could be weak, and if enough Dems sit at home that a small turnout would favor the Republicans like it did in the 2010 midterms. This one simple announcement has turned it all around: while the FOX-Not-News crowd will clearly hammer Obama for it, they were going to hammer him anyway; but now the Democratic voters – especially the young voters he needs – have a POSITIVE reason to turn out the vote.

    • chingona

       /  May 10, 2012

      It’s kind of funny. If you had asked me a week ago, I would have said there is no way that anyone who openly supports gay marriage could be elected president. Now, it seems terribly obvious that this just won’t be a big deal. If Obama goes down, it won’t be for this, and coming clean (avoiding the obvious pun there) seems to have several political advantages to it.

      • stephen matlock

         /  May 10, 2012

        What helps, too, is that Mittens is the former governor of a state with SSM. So that’s two of Obama’s principles that he at one time endorsed (SSM, Healthcare) that he now is mealy mouthed about.

        I expect at any moment now Mittens will come out against the BoSox.

        • chingona

           /  May 10, 2012

          Definitely. If the criticism of Romney is that you never know where he really stands, I really see only an upside to the president just admitting to what everyone suspected he believed anyway. I see it as strengthening what previously a weak spot for the president, more than opening up a new weakness.

        • efgoldman

           /  May 10, 2012

          I expect at any moment now Mittens will come out against the BoSox.
          Not hard. They are now completely unwatchable and unlikeable. You can actually buy tickets day-of-game at face price or maybe better. It doesn’t help that their “sellout” streak has all the credibility of Pravda, back in the day.

  11. carlos the dwarf

     /  May 10, 2012

    PS Emily, thank you for hosting an open thread where I can curse with impunity.
    Love, carlosthedwarf

  12. caoil

     /  May 10, 2012

    I finally picked up my Christmas presents (that my parents sent me) from my sister’s place yesterday. A book on mason bees! All of my bees have hatched now but this will help me care for them when the new cocoons are in place in a month or two. They also bought me Roger Ebert’s memoir, which I’m looking forward to reading. New books are very exciting.

    • JHarper2

       /  May 10, 2012

      Please tell us more about your bees. I worked in my youth part time for a farmer who kept bees as a side business to his grain farm. I loved extracting the honey from the frames with an old manual hand crank extractor. That’s when I first learned about honey that was not pasteurized and with a bland flavour profile. I learned that canola and buckwheat honeys tasted entirely different from each other and from clover honey, and loved the deep intense colours of the buckwheat honey.

      I later had a friend who had been a bee keeper until increasing sensitivity to stings made him quit. He went into candlemaking and taught me the joys of the smells of the unfiltered wax as it burned. He also made the most amazing candle holders so he could sell his customers something to burn his candles in, thus generating recurring candle revenue. They were things of wrought iron beauty.

      When I was quite young there was a apiary that put up comb honey in little aluminum trays, that stuff was just the best.

      So please, in the name of sweetness and light, tell us about your bees.

      • caoil

         /  May 10, 2012

        Mine are much simpler. They’re not honey-making bees, they’re pollinators. There are varieties of mason (also called orchard) bees around North America. They’re a bit smaller than a standard bee, are more of a bluish colour, make their nests in holes (in trees, or bee houses if you provide them), and they don’t sting.

        The male bees emerge first, and spend a few weeks alone until the females emerge. The females drop pollen and nectar in the nest, followed by the egg. They make a mud seal to lock the egg in separate from the others. The egg will hatch about a week later, and starts eating the pollen. The larva cocoons, pupates, and then develops into an adult bee which goes dormant until the following spring. You can actually store the cocoons in your fridge over the winter to help protect them from mites and keep them dormant until you need them.
        http://www.beeguild.org/mason.htm

        The house I had for them last year was much less efficient as the cardboard tubes were too hard to remove from the house itself. This year I bought them a new one that will be much easier to clean, so I should have a better result in terms of survival.

        So, the short version is, they’re awesome bees and if you have room for a little house for them, you should get some!

        • JHarper2

           /  May 10, 2012

          Thank you so much. Bees are awesome.

          • caoil

             /  May 10, 2012

            I have a growing appreciation for them. I was always just scared of them for years, but now, living in a house with fruit trees in the yard, I am rather more friendly towards them. I do what I can to keep the wasps away (in a non-chemical way) but I try to put out lots of summer flowers for the bees. I think I need a big, identify-this-bee book to know what else is zipping around my yard. In particular there are these giant, round, mostly black bees that come around in the summer, and I love them, because they’re just sort of doddery (I think of them as being like Dim from A Bug’s Life) and gentle. They look like a bee I would draw, with a smiley face.

  13. Captain Button

     /  May 10, 2012

    Why does Tywin Lannister’s sneer at the legend of the origin of the Night Watch remind me so much of Viktor’s sneer at the Corvinus legend about the origin of vampires and werewolves?

    It isn’t the same actor, I just checked.

    (Talking about the Game of Thrones series and the Underworld movie.)

  14. Counting the seconds until my lay-off begins. There is little I hate more than sitting in the office with nothing to do.

    Except scholarship applications. I really, really need to get on those.

    • koolaide

       /  May 10, 2012

      I just clicked your name to check out your blog…and I’ve made a request at the library for the Power of Habit book you mentioned. Looks interesting. So, thanks for the indirect recommendation🙂

  15. Emily, carlosthedwarf, other Jews, help me: what is the difference between Hasidic Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews, and Lubavitchers? Growing up where I do I sort of osmoted that every dude with a top hat and side curls was a Hasid, but I think that is not true. And now I’m reading a Times article about the ultra-Orthodox community in Brooklyn shielding molesters and they’re using the words ultra-Orthdox and Hasidic interchangeably and I feel like those words maybe don’t mean what they think they mean?

    • Captain Button

       /  May 10, 2012

      I’ve forgotten most everything I ever knew about this but I think you are right that they are different things. Hasidic I think is a kind of mystical offshoot based on the writings of Bal Shem Tov*. Maybe.

      * “Of Good Name”, again IIRC.

    • chingona

       /  May 10, 2012

      Squares and rectangles. Hasidic Jews are one kind of ultra-Orthodox (which is, I’m pretty sure, not a term that they would use to describe themselves). Lubavitchers are one kind of Hasidic Jews. Hasidic Judaism was a mystical movement. There are any number of sects out there, of which Lubavitch is one. Lubavitch tends to be kind of evangelical, though just toward other Jews. They try to get secular or more liberal Jews to do more mitzvot, and they also have houses on college campuses and in popular tourist places all over the world to host Jews on the Sabbath and on holidays. (Also called Chabad.)

      There are non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox Jews. They are usually called “haredi,” which has a similar origin to the term “Quaker.”

      • (I knew about Chabad and the evangelizing of Lubavitchers! Point one for the shiksa.)

        …. Okay. So it goes like this: Ultra-Orthodox contains within it both Hasidic and haredi Jews. Within Hasidism, there are Lubavitchers, Satmars, etc.

        • chingona

           /  May 10, 2012

          Think that’s right.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haredi_Judaism

          This wiki has a pretty good explanation of what might be, as the kids these days say, problematic about “ultra-Orthodox” as a term (both from a liberal and a haredi perspective), though I doubt the term is going away anytime soon in English.

          My impression has always been that non-Hasidic ultra-Orthodox are called haredi and the term doesn’t generally refer to the hasidim, but I’m not 100 percent on that.

      • aaron singer

         /  May 10, 2012

        I believe you are correct in that the Lubavitch movement is a subset of Hasidic Judaism, which is itself a subset of Ultra-Orthodoxy, but I do not think that Haredi and Hasids are necessarily two different groups. Wiki lists Haredi as being made up of Hasidic Judaism Hasidic Judaism got it’s start, as you say, as a mystical movement in the 17th or 18th century (I forget which) in Ukraine. Wiki lists other Eastern European Orthodox sects as well as Sephardic Orthodoxy as falling under Haredi. From what I understand, Ultra-Orthodoxy and Haredi are synonymous terms.

    • MightBeLying

       /  May 10, 2012

      Emily will come school us in a minute but my understanding is that ultra-Orthodox is a more generic term, and Hasidim and Lubavichers are specific types of ultra-Orthodox.

      • That’s pretty much exactly what I was going to type! But unlike chingona, I’m pretty sure that “Haredi” (which kind of means “awe-struck”) = what we call in English “ultra-Orthodox.”

        • chingona

           /  May 10, 2012

          I’ll definitely defer to you on that.

          • Weelllll, it’s not my forte, so you know. Grain of salt and all.

            • chingona

               /  May 10, 2012

              The more I think about it, the more I think I ended up with that impression because when people are talking about hasidim, they usually say hasidim – cause there is a specific term – and that’s why I thought haredi was a different thing. But wikipedia agrees with you, and so does aaron, so I think I am wrong.

  16. That was the first mixed religion funeral I’ve attended. It was fascinating.

    • koolaide

       /  May 10, 2012

      Say more, if you don’t mind. I’m always interested in how mixed faith folk work their liturgies for important events.

      • Can when I get home. Still out in BFE Virginia with only my phone for Internet.

      • Ok, now I’m home.
        This was BFF’s step dad’s funeral. Stepdad (Rusty) was a jazz musician, and a baptist, but a funny sect of baptist where they don’t wear awesome hats. (Very disappointing.) His marriage to her mother was his second, after his first wife passed away. He had ten kids from that previous marriage. TEN.
        So the majority of the “family section” were baptists from his first marriage. Generations of them. All told the “family section” held 90 people once everyone was seated. One for every year he was alive on this planet. Quite an impressive feat.
        Many of the jazz community and producers that came to the funeral were Jewish, as is my BFF’s mother and all of her friends. So the place was, I would say, split 60/40 Baptist/Jew. Their were two preachers on hand (both sons in laws of the departed) plus one rabbi, who was instrumental in producing the last six of Rusty’s albums.
        Most of the funeral itself was music–tributes to Rusty, singing along to songs he’d written, or listening to members of his band do tribute pieces. Then the sons in laws got up and laid some Baptist preaching on us. I think I speak for all the Jews in the room to say it was powerful theater, and awe inspiring to see that sort of preaching done live.
        The hardest part was at the cemetery. Baptists, it turns out, don’t watch them put the body in the ground. Jews? We not only watch, we then take turns dumping shovelfuls of dirt on the coffin before getting around to the prayer service. So there was this weird moment after a pair of accappella gospel numbers from all the baptists while 50% of those in attendance dropped flowers on the casket and left, while the other ten percent retreated to a safe distance and stared at us while the flowers were carefully shifted to the far end of the coffin so the dirt wouldn’t knock them off, and the casket lowered so we could do our thing. Conscious of the audience, after the prayer, the rabbi did a English translation for those who don’t speak Hebrew.
        The baptists did wait to pray over the food until all us Jews returned so no one started eating without us except for the great grand kids who couldn’t be made to wait.

        • koolaide

           /  May 10, 2012

          Condolences, again.

          Thank you for the description. It does sound fascinating and like it balanced everyone’s beliefs & needs. It’s always interesting to me how different Christian congregations balance the eulogy vs preaching parts–I’ve found it varies even w/in denomination. Some groups are famous for their altar calls even at funerals (pretty much #2 on my worst things that a pastor can do at a funeral) and I’m glad these Baptists were respectful of the Jews in tha house.

          My mom was an adult the first time she went to a funeral where those attending were able/asked to physically help bury the dead (as opposed to having the cemetery workers do it). She was very moved and decided then that that’s how she Thought It Should Be Done even though that wasn’t what she’d grown up doing. She’s also big on the open coffin viewing but b/c that’s what her town/side of the family has always done.

          • helensprogeny

             /  May 10, 2012

            Good lord, what could be WORSE than an altar call at a funeral? (I almost hesitate to ask.)

            • koolaide

               /  May 10, 2012

              Someone saying less than kind things about the deceased in the eulogy/homily. If the person was an ass everyone at the funeral probably already knew that.

              There’s no reason to say the deceased was great and wonderful if they weren’t but also no reason to point out/re-hash old injuries/fights/wounds or generally point out that they were an ass. If nothing nice about the person can be said at the funeral then (imo) skip the eulogy (especially eulogies that could go bad by relatives) and if a homily is required (like at many Episc. services or various types of Catholic or Lutheran) then preach something for the living about comfort & new life/beginnings & about whatever biblical text was read.

              • helensprogeny

                 /  May 10, 2012

                Okay, this makes sense. It also never occurred to me that anyone *would* say anything bad about the deceased at his/her funeral. Because it’s kind of a rule, isn’t it? That no matter how big a fuck up you were or how big an asshat, your funeral is the one day in your life when people have to be nice to you. For a minister (or anyone else) to do otherwise is pretty much off the charts.

                • chingona

                   /  May 10, 2012

                  I think there is a real grace in being able to deliver a loving eulogy for a difficult person. I’ve heard a few over the years that were amazing for the way that they really captured the person but in a very charitable way.

  17. David L

     /  May 10, 2012

    Things that I find funny but probably shouldn’t: In Texas geography, Pandora is right next to Nixon.

    The town of Smiley is also very close by, but sadly the school district there is Nixon-Smiley, not Smiley-Nixon, which would have become one of history’s greatest unintentional oxymorons.

    • David L

       /  May 10, 2012

      Also, to clarify: Part of why I feel like I shouldn’t find this funny is that I learned this because the National Weather Service is talking about tornadoes “near Pandora, or 5 miles west of Nixon.”

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 10, 2012

      Smiley-Nixon would be awesome.

  18. LizR

     /  May 10, 2012

    There’s a very interesting post by Staranise over on dreamwidth discusses how well Game of Throne captures real women’s experiences in the Middle Ages. The huge take-away for me is that Martin left out convents. In the real Middle Ages they didn’t just exist and have nuns in them, they were a major safe haven for women and source of female power. The exact extent of that power varied a lot depending on time period, region, and how much local power the church hierarchy had.

    On the really powerful side of the scale there are cases of convent heads openly defying bishops and then becoming saints (see Radegund’s wikipedia page for info on this kind of thing). On the less powerful end of the scale convents served as places that women could go to get protection and work when they were unable to get married, or when their husbands died. Part of the reason that convents sometimes had local political power was precisely that aristocratic women from powerful families who weren’t married or whose husbands had died often ended up in them.

    While I do think that Martin’s depiction of women interacting with politics in a bounded society is very good, I think that the substitution of prostitution for convents weakens the force of the story for me. I’d give an arm and leg to see Melisandre’s story-arc rewritten with her as a Radegund-esque charismatic religious figure who is emphatically not banging Stannis. No aristocratic woman in Game of Thrones would ever get any real power by leaving her family and going into a whore-house, but the same was not true of convents. It would have been a limited power, difficult for women to navigate, and slightly at odds with the male power structures, but it was an option that didn’t require a total overthrow of gender roles or a turn to seduction or a life of total victimhood. It’s a dimension of the ways that real-life women navigated bounded societies that I would have loved to see Martin tackle, especially given all of the interesting religions in the books.

    http://staranise.dreamwidth.org/321550.html

    • Captain Button

       /  May 10, 2012

      There is stuff in the books that I recall sounding like convents, but they don’t come up in the story much. There are definitely “nuns”, the septas. But the only ones we see in the series are Septa Mordane, Sansa and Arya’s governess and the “Silent Sisters” who are the undertakers of Westeros.

      There is a littel more stuff with them in the 5th book, as part of the church/state conflict.

    • SWNC

       /  May 10, 2012

      “In the real Middle Ages they didn’t just exist and have nuns in them, they were a major safe haven for women and source of female power.”

      This is a great point. More than once, I have thought that if I had to live in the Middle Ages, I would definitely want to be nun. If for no other reason than that my risk of dying in childbirth would plummet.

    • cofax

       /  May 10, 2012

      Speaking of women in GOT, Abigail Nussbaum has a brilliant post about an unexamined cost of producing the new “gritty” television: just as dead horses are the cost of doing business in the racing industry, traumatized and humiliated actresses are the cost of doing business in cable television.

      I suspect not all the women on the cast are comfortable pretending to be raped and murdered on what seems to be a regular basis…

      • LizR

         /  May 10, 2012

        Oh, that was a really interesting post, thanks for linking it. I definitely feel like exploitation has been ramped up for the tv show, both because there are actual actresses involved and because we’re seeing incidents that didn’t happen in front of pov character in the books and compressing storylines. I don’t recall the Osha and Theon stuff in the book – there was another female character who played that role and that bit happened off screen, not in front of the pov character. Sophie Turner and her parents at least had a chance to know what was coming for Sansa by reading the books before they signed up and hopefully were allowed to make an informed decision and not pressured into having it occur on screen. But not every actress on the show necessarily went in thinking that they were going to have get naked or a do a bunch of sex scenes or rape scenes, and we’re close to every major actress having done at least one of those.

      • SWNC

         /  May 10, 2012

        Haven’t read that particular post yet, but Agibail Nussbaum is fabulous. Even when I don’t agree with her, her writing always makes me think.

    • chingona

       /  May 10, 2012

      Are you familiar with Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz? She was a Mexican nun in the early colonial period, the illegitimate child of a nobleman. She was exceptionally smart and nearly entirely self-taught, but she chafed under the social constraints of the time, which prevented her from studying at university. She entered a convent, but then had to deal with the church hierarchy trying to shut her up. One of her most famous works is a very arch letter in defense of women learning and writing. She has a very well known (in Mexico) poem called “Hombres necios que acusais,” a poem against men “who accuse women of the things they (the men) cause.” She asks who is worse, the one who begs for the fall or the one who falls after begging, which for the 1670s, seems downright proto-feminist. And then, under relentless criticism from the bishops, she abruptly stopped writing in 1693, two years before her death in a plague, and agreed to undergo penance.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juana_In%C3%A9s_de_la_Cruz

      • LizR

         /  May 10, 2012

        I hadn’t heard of her since I’ve mostly studied Europe with a smidge of China, but she sounds awesome, thanks for bringing her up!

  19. The state of captioning at movie theaters in this country fucking sucks. I’m pretty certain that The Avengers is going to be a no-go for us, just like the Hunger Games was.

    • Lizzou

       /  May 10, 2012

      That really fucking pisses me off. My mom was deaf, and the last few years of her life were made more sucky cause she couldn’t enjoy movies that she soooo wanted to see. That was 8 years ago, so I was hoping the situation had improved by now!

      • The theaters have dragged their feet like crazy on it. At our local multiplex (which is the only one within 100+ miles that offers captions) they do a single open captioned film at a time, subject to the vagaries of Regal corporate wisdom. And what seems to be happening is that if a movie is popular, the open captioned reels stick around in bigger cities for longer engagements, and just don’t make their way here at all. Our theater was advertising the Avengers for this weekend until Tuesday, when it suddenly changed to The Lucky One, and now next week we’re getting Dark Shadows. So either they’ve skipped us entirely, or we’ll get it once every single other person has forgotten that it exists.

        • That’s some bullshit nonsense right there.

        • efgoldman

           /  May 10, 2012

          I have no idea how the tech might work, but it seems to be pretty easy to turn stuff like captions on and off with a digital projections system. Hell, every TV sold in the last 20 years had that option ,maybe because of a statutory requirement.

        • carlosthedwarf

           /  May 10, 2012

          TTMLIS: What does “open captioned” mean?

          • Open captioned means the words are displayed directly on the screen. So anyone who’s watching the movie sees the captions. The TV shows that you watch are closed captioned because you have the choice to turn them on or not.

    • Dex

       /  May 10, 2012

      I don’t go to a ton of movies, but I’ve never been in one that had subtitles unless it was foreign language. I didn’t even realize it was an option.

      You know what would be great? If they had a heads up display, sort of like Google glass, that would allow a viewer to watch the movie and see the subtitles on their own. It wouldn’t be perfect, but it would alleviate the need to have special film or designated theaters where subtitles could be shown. All the person would need is the pair of glasses and a way to either download or stream the subtitles. Since the studios are going to produce the subtitles anyway, it shouldn’t be that expensive to create a subtitle-only channel/track.

  20. What a difference three years make:

    Maybe he meant to say “fierce apathy.” Or “fierce antipathy.” Because if this shit is “fierce advocacy,” Mr. President, we’ll take benign neglect. Obama’s Justice Department filed a brief late last night seeking the dismissal of a legal challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act in a federal court in California. Obama didn’t have to do this. Other presidents have refused to defend laws that they believed were unconstitutional or unjust. But Obama is defending DOMA….

    UPDATE: Not upset yet? Obama’s DOMA brief compares gay marriage to child rape and incest. States refuse to recognize the marriages of uncles and nieces or adults and children, argues the Obama administration, therefore there’s nothing unconstitutional about states refusing to recognize a marriage between two consenting adults who aren’t related to each other.

    Looking back I can understand the 8th Dimensional Chess angle of Obama’s pretend evolution, but this particular episode still seems rather much, like The Boss going along with the bad guy setting off a nuke in Metal Gear Solid 3 in order to maintain her cover.

    Though I guess it worked, didn’t it?

    • People keep getting surprised by Obama’s Long Game (even Sully, who f-cking created the idea). He’s led the Republicans and Far Right haters out by their noses to a certain point and then WHAM turns direction in a way that leaves them exposed for the idiots and hypocrites they are.

  21. carlosthedwarf

    Did you see this? Peter Beinart explains, in under three minutes, why only a Palestinian state will allow Israel to live up to its Declaration of Independence:

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/05/09/liberal-zionism-101.html

    Send it to all your friends! They’ll thank you!

    (I promise not to always and forever hunt you down with this stuff. Really).

    • carlosthedwarf

       /  May 10, 2012

      Sorry, Emily, I’ve been away from my computer for a few hours, and now I am on a train, where the internet is slow and crappy. I really appreciate you continuing to send me this stuff! When my life slows down a little bit, perhaps as soon as this weekend, I will write more about this and you will get to see it.

    • carlosthedwarf

       /  May 10, 2012

      Also, if there’s stuff you want to send my way, you should feel free to email me. I will email you so you have it.

  22. Dex

     /  May 10, 2012

    News from the normally-boring Canada: this morning in Montreal, a coordinated effort saw smoke bombs set off in Montreal’s metro (subway) system. The locations were apparently chosen to maximize disruption to the morning commute. The entire system was shut down for several hours as police investigated.

    Montreal has seen a lot of protests by students allegedly protesting tuition hikes. No link has yet been made to the protesters, but the general public is inclined to lean in that direction, not least of which the protesters had been disrupting transit specifically as part of their protests prior to this. If a direct link is made, these protests are toast, both within and outside of Quebec. Prior to the Mumbai and Madrid train bombings, people may have shrugged this away as a prank, but that window closed long ago.

    Few people support the protesters as it is, as the provincial economy is in tatters after years of irresponsible government by alternating governments that work feverishly not to upset the separatists, and Quebec students pay the lowest tuition in North America.

    I’ve got a bad feeling about this over the long term.

  23. koolaide

     /  May 10, 2012

    Because the RCC didn’t made enough American RCC folks mad enough when the censored the nuns, they’re now investigating the Girl Scouts and could attempt to censor parish sponsored troops.

    • I guess they ran out of Boy Scouts.

    • Dex

       /  May 10, 2012

      I have to hand it to the Pope. He’s a real dick, but I didn’t realize at the time he was selected just how awesome he would be at destroying the church. Bravo, bad man, bravo. Dogspeed.

    • SWNC

       /  May 10, 2012

      You have got to be fucking kidding me. Because Jesus wants you to spend your time harassing an organization whose main purpose is to help little girls?

    • At what point does Rome alienate the whole of American Catholicism to where they schism, and American Catholicism – with women bishops, married priests, and respect for the law and freedom of ALL religions – takes its rightful place at the national table?

      C’mon, Pope boy, I dare ya to excommunicate the lot of us. I DOUBLE DARE YA.

      • koolaide

         /  May 10, 2012

        You mean The Episcopal Church?😉

        More seriously, there already are some Independent Catholic dioceses/parishes around. I went to grad school with a woman who has since been ordained as a Catholic priest. She is (obvs) forever pointing out to people that “Catholic Church” isn’t the same as the RCC.

        But yeah, first the nuns and now the Girl Scouts? Way to fight the stereotypes about hating women in leadership, RCC leadership.

    • efgoldman

       /  May 10, 2012

      First go after the nuns, now the Girls Scouts. There won’t be a female left in the church in a few years.
      Even my 80++ mother-in-law, a lifelong, habitual catholic who still sings in the choir (badly) every Sunday, has become a CINO. She condemns the red beanies whenever it comes up.

  24. Sending kudos to the NPR Gift Shop. I ordered a couple Mother’s Day presents Tuesday afternoon and had them shipped slow/standard rate. They arrived today. Most excellent.

    • I wish the sandbox we ordered for the nieclings 3rd birthday was coming from NPR. The party is Sunday…we’re not sure it’s going to arrive in time. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    • I placed an order for some whisk(e)y on Tuesday. They actually had it packaged and at FedEx within a handful of hours. They charged me an arm and a leg for shipping, but I’m still impressed.

  25. By the by, I got a gift card for B&N for 50 bucks for my birthday this week. I wanna get your ebooks people! Start listing them here so I can downloads…

  26. stephen matlock

     /  May 10, 2012

    OH for dumb. Obama is in town – right up the street. If I go to the corner office, I can see the Paramount Theatre.

    This explains all the police detail in the bus tunnel this a.m.

    /finally puts the pieces together.

  27. neighbors73

     /  May 10, 2012

    Beautiful day here in Chicago—thank goodness, because I had seventy 7th graders riding bikes out on the lake front path. It was perfect!

    • David L

       /  May 10, 2012

      Isn’t 77th Grade a bit long to be keeping people in school?

      • neighbors73

         /  May 10, 2012

        it’s a tough one to write out…is 70 seventh graders better?

        • chingona

           /  May 10, 2012

          Much better.

        • David L

           /  May 10, 2012

          I have to admit that if I wasn’t an auditory person that I read to myself in my head, I wouldn’t even have thought of it.

          Threescore and ten seventh graders? It certainly makes it impossible to be ambiguous.

      • stephen matlock

         /  May 10, 2012

        70 seventh-graders?

        I dunno.

        Chicago Manual of Style, where are you?

  28. Ian

     /  May 10, 2012

    Brain fried. I got nothing. Here’s a three-legged bear:

    http://www.adn.com/2012/05/10/2459623/3-pawed-grizzly-appears-at-denali.html

  29. wearyvoter

     /  May 10, 2012

    My seasonal job in the wonderful world of ESL test grading came to a close last night. (Service is not connected with Pearson; it’s a much smaller, locally owned outfit.) End of season is always bittersweet. I will miss the extra income, but this project has been going for close to 3 months, and I am at the charred end of the fried-crispy scale.d

    In other news, tomorrow is my birthday and I very conveniently scheduled my annual checkup to coincide. After the physical, I go for the squish-o-gram. (They hold my asthma meds hostage, so I have to go in eventually. Otherwise, I swear I’d only do this every two years.) I have been largely avoiding cheese and dairy for the past four weeks to keep the cholesterol numbers down. (My HDL is fine and in triple digits; it’s the LDL that needs to come down.) All hail oat-based cereal, hot, cold, or lukewarm.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 10, 2012

      Wow, you really know how to celebrate! 🙂 Hope you have a very happy birthday anyway. And good numbers! (Also cake. Or pie. Or both.)

      • wearyvoter

         /  May 10, 2012

        With my schedule this spring, it’s the best timing I could come up with. I’d planned to take the day off anyway, so this lets me split the difference across vacation and sick time. Pie sounds good. Dutch apple pie, heavy on the cinnamon. Warm. Possibly with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. That would hit the spot more than nicely. (Have to keep from thinking about that for the next several hours. Also have to take care of a fasting blood test for blood sugar and cholesterol tomorrow, so my cut off time for eating tonight was two hours ago.)

    • You need some of the clinical-quality drug my boss has a half a kilo of in his office. It stimulates the liver to absorb and excrete cholesterol, which reduces LDL without changing HDL.

  30. Tomorrow, we are interviewing a teacher for a 5th grade English job. She included a writing sample riddled with errors and full of muddled sentences. At one point, she used “insure” instead of “ensure.”

    What. the. fuck? You don’t have to be a brilliant writer to be a good English teacher, but you must have basic competence. I am not a great writer and I try not to get too twitchy about small mistakes, but her personal statement is comically bad.

    • helensprogeny

       /  May 10, 2012

      How did she score an interview with a writing sample that bad?

      • Ian

         /  May 10, 2012

        neighbors73’s post could just as easily be about our university president. Everybody was talking about the errors in his application. They were bad, and there were a lot of them. For whatever reason, we love to hire retired generals to run our university system (second in a row). Two years later, faculty union is gearing up for a no-confidence vote. He’s been exactly what we should have expected him to be. Did I mention that my health care costs will be going up by a couple hundred dollars a month at the start of the next fiscal year?

      • neighbors73

         /  May 10, 2012

        My theory is that maybe my division director is just looking at resumes and not reading the personal statements at all. There was a weird one last week, too. They are so bad, in fact, that I speculated that the previous candidate must have accidentally sent a draft.

        I struggle with this. I don’t think I’m a very good writer, partly because years of teaching middle schoolers to write has had some sort of massive, dumbing down effect. BUT, I feel like I know my quirks and try to correct for them. Not to mention that most of my writing is informal writing here on the internet. A personal statement should be a person’s most polished and professional writing. The insure/ensure woman also used the word “ever” as a modifer 5 times in the first 2 sentences (ever changing, etc). Her conclusion was, almost to a word, exactly the same as her intro. I could go on and on…

        I don’t like the English teachers in my department who are assholes about the writing of other adults. It often feels mean-spirited and churlish. However, this writing sample is truly, spectacularly awful. Bah.

        • If absolutely nothing else, you should be competent enough to get someone else to proof read your personal statement. And know enough to make sure they’re the kind of person who will actually catch errors.

        • We got a resume for our open position with a cover letter that read

          “Cover letter–
          create one here.”