Early open thread.

Boy things sure took a turn for the weird over at Ta-Nehisi’s place yesterday! I was only online for about 87 seconds, all day, but as I went about my business, I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in irritation and were suddenly silenced.

So I thought you might need an open thread already. Because it doesn’t really look like it’s fixed yet, does it? And if the boss shows up, all commenting engines firing – well, whatevs. I’m trying here, people!

xoxo!

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

106 Comments

  1. caoil

     /  August 22, 2012

    But tell us – how are YOU after your long preparations and multitude of guests?

    • Yes, please. We need a party report.

      Katryzna

    • I am (as an Israeli friend once said with great conviction but amusing inaccuracy) illuminated.

      By which he meant “eliminated.” By which he meant “so tired on all possible levels that my body is on autopilot right now.”

      But in a good way! The bar mitzvah and related events were all really, really lovely (except for the WhirlyBall, which was wicked awesome), and the best indication I can give of that is that at one point about 3/4 of the way through the actual Saturday morning services, a friend said to me “You all look so happy!”

      And we also had a very nice time with all the Israeli relatives, who have really enjoyed Chicago. (I made them a couple of show-stopper meals, which was particularly fun for me because I am forever showing up at their houses and being fed and can never return the favor). (One of those meals, by the way, was last night: A Thanksgiving dinner, since I can never invite them for the holiday, and it’s such an American thing. They loved it. Whoot!). The boy and girl went back to school this morning (which – !!), but we have a couple of more hours with the Israelis in the afternoon before they leave to get on their plane, which is nice, because it kind of eases us all into the goodbye.

      All told: Success! And a very minimal and entirely reasonable amount of tears on my part….

      • caoil

         /  August 22, 2012

        It sounds like everything went very well, even if you are tired now! With the kids in school now you can probably sneak a nap or two in during the day to catch up.

        I assume Timmy had fun too?

        • doginajacket

           /  August 22, 2012

          Yes, we would love to see pics of Timmy.

      • Sounds like everyone had a blast! The Thanksgiving dinner thing was a brilliant idea. I may borrow that for the future…

      • efgoldman

         /  August 22, 2012

        So, how many times during the party were police called, already?

        And I’m sure the boy performed above all expectations, being the mensch he is!

      • taylor16

         /  August 22, 2012

        Aww, yay!!

        (Also, I have been eagerly eyeing the dresses on eShakti ever since seeing your tweets this morning. I wish I wasn’t so scared to buy clothes online…sigh.)

      • I keep making an open thread and then kicking it down the road because you are managing to put them up despite yourself.

      • koolaide

         /  August 22, 2012

        Yay! for everything going so well and for your happiness and so forth😀🙂

        Hope you might get a nap this weekend for your recovery.

      • JHarper2

         /  August 22, 2012

        Emily, we always knew you were of the Illuminati, one of the bright ones of our world!

        Congratulations on the weekend and all the rest, great joy to the boy young man. Now you can exhale.

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  August 22, 2012

        This is sweet, and awesome, and heartwarming, and generally restorative of faith in humanity, but it is grossly lacking in updates about Timmy, the Semitic Super Simian with the Kosher Kipa’d Kopf.

        Pray you enjoy the remaining time with the relatives, get your well-earned rest, & get some time to bask in the afterglow of your amazing accomplishment … but please don’t forget future updates for the Timmy Fan Club!

      • watson42

         /  August 22, 2012

        Very cool! I love the idea of having Thanksgiving with people who are visiting that don’t normally visit for the actual date.

    • helensprogeny

       /  August 22, 2012

      Cosign Thanksgiving. It’s an occasion I enjoy so much, I repeat it along about April, just to keep in practice for the real thing. I think it should be a World Holiday: a day of thankfulness and feasting.

      So glad you all had a wonderful time!

      • efgoldman

         /  August 22, 2012

        mrs efgoldman used to roast a turkey with matzah stuffing for seder.

  2. David L

     /  August 22, 2012

    So, anyone know if the Republican Party’s governing documents cover what happens if an act of Nature causes them to call off their nominating convention?

    And if this does happen, anyone want to bet that some Democratic groups will be doing everything they can to get Romney off the ballot if he isn’t nominated by the exact letter of the applicable rules and policies?

    • It would certainly serve the climate change deniers right to have their convention cancelled by Mother Nature! And as for your guess on the Democrats, I’d be disappointed in them if they didn’t at least try.

      Meanwhile, I wish them a nice big Isaac mess. No death or destruction, mind – with the possible exception of Faux News’ satellite truck – but a great big inconvenient logistical soaking wet mess.

      • As someone living in the possible path of the storm, I’m not entirely thrilled this is happening.

        Especially since I’m the one in the neighborhood association responsible for any roofing woes. (my neighborhood is made up of duplexes, and so the roofs are maintained under association budget, and I’m the contact guy for any repair calls… oy).

        • caoil

           /  August 22, 2012

          You keep safe, sir. We’ll keep hoping that the storm is selective and gives you a berth.

        • helensprogeny

           /  August 22, 2012

          I don’t quite know how to break this to you, son. But you might be called upon to take one for the team here.

          (While seconding, of course, everything that caiol said.)

  3. Horde-sourcing:

    My kids desperately want to make movies. (Youngest wants to be Bill Nye the Science Guy when he grows up. Oldest wants to be a writer/director/video game designer.)

    We told the oldest that he could have a video camera for his birthday. He will be 10. I know nothing about video cameras. What is a good camera for a kid that wants to make home movies and then edit them on a Mac or PC? What is a good software package to do that?

    He may be making some Lego stop motion movies, as well as live action.

    • I don’t know the first thing about video editing so can’t help you there, but we gave my boy his Flip Cam for similar reasons on his 11th birthday. I think it’s been a good starter camera for him.

      • David L

         /  August 22, 2012

        Sadly, Flip shut down a year or so ago. It seemed like a whole bunch of people had one, but apparently, not enough to keep the company going.

    • To my knowledge some videocameras come with downloadable software (or a website for software) that can be used for video editing. You should look at starter cameras – inexpensive but capable of basic zooming, portable lighting, stuff like that. Specialty camera stores still dot the landscape, as well as Best Buy and/or Office Depot. There are books at your local library about how to use digital video cameras: usually in the 770 shelf range, but your reference librarian will find the specific Dewey number.

  4. caoil

     /  August 22, 2012

    Emily – I just shared this on fb but bring it here for you (from jezebel today): Rape fatigue and you.

    And then I’ll try to find something cheery to share.

    • caoil

       /  August 22, 2012

      This is not cheery, per se, but it’s funny. Song, via feministing.

  5. David L

     /  August 22, 2012

    I win at adulthood today. I only just realized I’ve had my shirt on inside out all morning. In my defense, there is another shirt that I have which I bought at the same time where all the extra layers around the Polo-type collar are stitched to fall on the outside rather than the inside, and when I went to feel for a tag because I didn’t think this shirt was like that, I didn’t feel one (because it’s screen-printed instead of a physical tag.)

  6. So I totally had a meltdown at my desk when I saw that Lesley’s cat Rufus was dead.

    Grief is weird.

  7. Oh! and FaceOff recaps started today. So yeah–Faceoff!
    http://anibundel.wordpress.com/

    Also, Alan Rickman making tea. And Obama accidentally turning into a teleprompter.

    and at 2pm the new Dr Who trailer, in case you haven’t seen it yet.

    • koolaide

       /  August 22, 2012

      iirc, your recaps got me interested in FaceOff last time it was on. It’s not something I would have thought to watch otherwise but I enjoyed it. I’ll check out season 3 (via whatever episodes are available online).

  8. dmf

     /  August 22, 2012

  9. dmf

     /  August 22, 2012

    hey ee, not sure if the email i sent your way arrived but thought this might be of interest:
    http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/2012/08/21/zionism-from-within-part-1-2/

  10. I was out with friends Monday night until midnight. Good times.

    Got home at 12:30 a.m. and discovered the house was flooded from a broken water line.

    Spent the next seven hours moving furniture, sucking up water with the shop vac, and in general just minimizing the damage.

    Insurance contacted at 8:30; by 10 there was a team out there ripping out my kitchen and family room, setting up fans and dehumidifiers, and in general making even more chaos.

    No access to my work laptop until this a.m.; I came in to find several majordomo mailing lists fighting it out with one another over invalid commands in automated responses–11,200 useless e-mails all saying “Hey mailing list one, that’s not a valid command. Love, mailing list two.” My inbox was so full no one could contact me, and my emergency messages saying I was out of the office never got sent. So that made my boss happy.

    And I had also thawed a 22-pound turkey so I could cook it and have it as sandwich food for the next week–so I had to arrange with a friend to borrow an oven and get it cooked. Picked it up last night at 12:30 a.m.

    Yes. This has been a fun two days.

    On the plus side–ugly vinyl flooring in kitchen is GONE!

    • caoil

       /  August 22, 2012

      Ugly like…1970s stuff ugly? Because that is very satisfying to rip out.

      • Pretty much. And underneath was REALLY ugly flooring from the 60s. “Fake Brick”

        • caoil

           /  August 22, 2012

          …do I even want to know? Fake brick as in patterned vinyl or linoleum?

          Sometimes I wish I’d gone into construction/demolition because ripping out an old, dirty kitchen was great fun. We even found a 1″ x 3″ strip of old yellow/orange/brown shag carpet under the edge of one of the kitchen units!

    • koolaide

       /  August 22, 2012

      ooh. my folks’ house flooded w/ a broken water pipe (from the washer) that happened while they were at work. It sucks so very much. So sorry😦

  11. efgoldman

     /  August 22, 2012

    Why is our chidrens stoopid. Chapter the hundred-thousandth:

    When tasked with writing the graduation speech, her dad said she got her inspiration from the movie “Eclipse: The Twilight Saga.”

    Nootbaar said, “Her quote was, ‘When she first started school she wanted to be a nurse, then a veterinarian and now that she was getting closer to graduation, people would ask her, what do you want to do and she said how the hell do I know? I’ve changed my mind so many times.’”

    He said in the written script she gave to the school she wrote “heck,” but in the moment she said “hell” instead.

    http://kfor.com/2012/08/18/46913/

    • helensprogeny

       /  August 22, 2012

      I saw this and headdesked about 100 times. I hope she sues the school immediately.

  12. efgoldman

     /  August 22, 2012

    Charlie Pierce in full-throated, no snark rant. As always, i wish i could write like that.

    what I’d like to see from the Democratic Party: a full-throated, no-hemming-or-hawing or throat-clearing, defense of a woman’s right to choose. Period. The Supreme Court of the United States decided that a woman’s right to privacy extends to her right to have this particular medical procedure up to a certain point in her pregnancy and, therefore, believe it or not, despite the opinion of you and Jesus, a woman still has that right, and the reasons for her decision do… not… matter and, frankly, are none of your business, or mine, or your pastor’s, or Todd Akin’s. It is solely between the woman, her doctor, her conscience, and her god, if she happens to have one.

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/pro-choice-movement-2012-11944332

  13. caoil

     /  August 22, 2012

    Getting two semi-feral boy cats into carriers is as tough as you might think, and I have a slice on each arm now to prove it. At least Neville will be a bit groggy when he returns, but Mirage is going to be MAD at me for weeks.

    I think I might invest in a pair of falconing gloves.

    • baiskeli

       /  August 22, 2012

      Whenever we take our cats in, the older one is fine, but I’m sure the younger one makes our Vet question her career choice every time he comes in*

      This is also the cat who is hyper and hisses when told not to do stuff, like climb in closets. It’s become a game with me

      Shoo, get out of there Hissss!!!!Young man, did you just hiss at me, go stand in the corner!! Hissss!!, and rears on his hind legs. I’m telling you one more time….

      My friend saw me do this routine and was convinced our cat is possessed and that I’ve lost my mind.

      • baiskeli

         /  August 22, 2012

        My kingdom and First Born Child for an edit button. Bolding and italics fail.

      • David L

         /  August 22, 2012

        My aunt had a cat who was very clear on the fact that, if you were not my aunt, you could fuck off and die, and who was gracious enough to offer the rest of the world assistance with the second part of that action. It got to where the vet taught her how to do the burrito wrap with a towel before leaving the house, because that was the only way where nobody seemed to get hurt (she was also, late in life, somewhere around 20 lbs, which didn’t help matters any.)

    • You can even get them in kangaroo leather. Supposed to be tougher than the other varieties (at least that was the case when I was looking into these things back in the dark ages of the late 90s).

      • dave in texas

         /  August 22, 2012

        I don’t know about the tougher part. I knew a couple of guys who had kangaroo baseball gloves back in the even darker ages of the late 60s, and while it only weighed about half of what a cowhide glove weighed, it wore out pretty quick. Of course, tanning and curing methods may have improved since then, so maybe it is tougher these days.

      • koolaide

         /  August 22, 2012

        Is there not some odd importation rules against kangaroo leather now? Something is tickling my memory banks about soccer cleats…

    • You need to
      1) wear long sleeves next time you wrangle kittehs;
      2) get a teammate;
      3) plan ahead: close all doors to locations where kittehs can hide, trick them into getting cornered in the guest bathroom, and wrap them in towels to prevent their claws from shredding you. It wouldn’t hurt to get your teammate to help with clipping the kittehs’ nails once a month.

      • caoil

         /  August 22, 2012

        I think the sleeves were my big mistake today – should’ve put on a sweatshirt or something. There were two of us wrangling them, but Mirage is super-fast and very strong so while I caught him pretty quickly, he’s a good wriggler and was trying his hardest to get out of my grasp before he got in the carrier. He’s also being quite contrary today apparently and still hasn’t given the clinic enough to check for crystals.

        He’s actually pretty good about his nails, I can do both front ones if I catch him at the right time/place. It’s going to be another few years before I can get him to trust me more, that being picked up isn’t terrible.

      • In our case, the towel burrito is the number one way to end up losing a nose or an eye or something to the cat. We just have to tag-team for the carrier: one holds it vertically, the other drops the cat in and lets gravity do most of the work. Then both of us have to push the madly gripping feet off the edges of the door until kitty goes plop.

        Honestly, training him for the leash was easier.

    • Purrbot turns into a slice-o-matic kitty when it’s time to go in the carrier. She’s not attacking, she’s just desperately sinking her claws into anything that come to paw–blanket, pillow, couch chair, cat-tree, arm, leg, shirt, pants, carrier. It’s like she wants to be made of velcro.

      • caoil

         /  August 22, 2012

        It’s almost funny, except for the spots where it’s painful.

        Meanwhile, the other two fosters trudge in and out of the carriers like it’s no big deal, “oooh, what’s in here, better investigate”.

        • Yesterday it was Sir EatsALot and Trouble’s turn to go. The carreirs came out–HisCat (who went last week) disappeared into thin air. Marshmallow and Purrbot looked alarmed and scampered away.
          I threw a pair of treats in one carrier. Sir EatsALOt hopped right on in after them. The horrified meows when Rob zipped him up were terrible. Meanwhile Trouble watched amusedly from the Cat tree…until Rob turned around, picked her up and put her in the other carrier. Then it was highly irate meows, mixed in with her brother’s lower pitched panicked ones.
          He really was panicking, by the way. When we tried to pull him out at the vet, he peed everywhere in terror.

          • caoil

             /  August 22, 2012

            😦 Oh, the poor little guy! I wish we could pre-drug them to reduce the anxiety. Were they just getting a yearly checkup?

            Well, if all goes well, Mirage will get his Elavil rx and then he will be a little calmer generally. All of the adult cats here were panicking once they heard Mirage freaking out and hissing, so we had to pull Minnie out of the cat tower first to be able to get at Neville, and then his plaintive (and loud) meows started.

            • Yes, this was just the yearly checkup–but ever since we left him at the vet all day once for diabetes testing when he was at his heaviest, the whole carrier experience has been trauma filled. Last time he drooled and foamed.

      • baiskeli

         /  August 22, 2012

        When our wild one was younger I was holding him against my chest (mistake #1). I was also shirtless (mistake #2). Our landlord decided to ring the door buzzer at that moment. Kitty reacted by sinking his claws into my chest. I opened the door with tissues to my chest to staunch the blood. Landlord was just dropping by to say hi.

        The funny thing is that when our older cat was much younger, something similar happened. My wife’s sister (they lived together at the time) had him lying on her chest, my wife’s alarm clock goes off, the cat sinks claws into her breasts.

        Cats + Sudden Noises = Blood

    • watson42

       /  August 22, 2012

      Welding gloves work well for this purpose and available at Home Deopt for cheap. I’ve used mine to wrangle a neighbor’s ill cat, and bats on two different memorable occasions.

      • caoil

         /  August 22, 2012

        Bats! Were you rescuing them from somewhere they shouldn’t be?

        • watson42

           /  August 22, 2012

          Um….yes? Once a bat was flying around my living room and I was trying to chase it out the back door. I was far too slow with a broom, etc. so out came the gloves and I literally dove after the thing. Another time a bat got behind the books on one of my bookcases and wouldn’t come out, so I had to go after it to let it out of the house.

          The bat flapping around woke me up during the first bat incident – I was asleep on my couch. My doctor found a mark on the back of my leg that could have been a bite. The resulting rabies IgG injections and vaccinations were not fun. But I liked being able to tell my landlord he was paying for them since he had repeatedly refused to repair gaps and holes in the walls of the building. He *still* hasn’t fixed a couple of them and I’m not the only tenant who has experienced bats. But at least I’m vaccinated against rabies now. 🙂

          • caoil

             /  August 22, 2012

            Eesh. That’s probably more contact than anyone needs. I want them to exist and eat lots of bugs, but not be flapping around in the house.

            • watson42

               /  August 22, 2012

              Yeah, bats are radically cool, but they really need to stay out of the house. After the first incident I learned that you’re supposed to capture the bat so that it can be tested for rabies. However, that involves killing the bat for a brain sample, so during the second incident I just let it out. It wasn’t behaving erratically, and what bat wouldn’t want to nest in holes in the outside walls of an old Victorian? There are normally bats flying around the neighborhood, so I figured it wasn’t rabid, it just needed out.

    • caoil

       /  August 22, 2012

      Boys have returned, after apparently very complacently getting back in their carriers (home > cat carrier but cat carrier > vet). Neville slunk away, all big-eyed, and Mirage skirted us for a bit but was spotted lounging and grooming, so I think they’ll settle quickly.

      • helensprogeny

         /  August 22, 2012

        So glad to hear this. Poor babies!

      • Darth Thulhu

         /  August 22, 2012

        Glad to hear the adventure concluded without too many hard feelings. Any treats in store for them?

        • caoil

           /  August 22, 2012

          Yes – everyone got a few pieces of the gross that’s-never-being-fed-in-this-house dental food. Neville’s not quite hungry yet post-anaesthetic so he left his on the floor.

  14. Any word on what TNC found out about the DISQUS disaster?

    Meanwhile, I wanted to blog flog this since last night: My two cents about Akin, Republicans, and their pro-fetus agenda. http://reformamendment.blogspot.com/2012/08/for-republicans-it-wasnt-any-sin.html

    • CitizenE

       /  August 22, 2012

      My hypothesis is this: the phrase “Pussy Riot” repeated over and over is just too much for Discus to discuss.

    • What happened is that Akismet, the spam filter Disqus users can enable, went effing HAYWIRE and completely screwed up its blacklist/whitelist. Some other Disqus-using sites also had trouble yesterday (I ran into several vanishing-comment threads at The Mary Sue, although they average a few dozen comments per post rather than hundreds or thousands like TNC).

  15. CitizenE

     /  August 22, 2012

    Centuries hence, when Paul Ryan is a small footnote in some obscure historical text about our life and times, when the drought or heat waves of any particular summer are like the taxes Mitt Romney paid or did not lost in the teeming waves of his amassed fortune, this music will still be alive and vital, and when American culture is referred to, the genius of John Coltrane, not our propensity to twitter in 2012, will be what matters. 18 minute mental health break; click it on, do chores, or relax with your lunch at your midafternoon break: Ole!

  16. David L

     /  August 22, 2012

    I went from Sunday evening to lunch today (about 90 minutes ago) with absolutely no caffeine whatsoever. Then, I had a “medium”, but still pretty large Dr Pepper with my sub and I am now bouncing off the walls with zero attention span.

    • carlosthedwarf

       /  August 22, 2012

      I’d have had an epic headache by Monday afternoon, so my hat is off to you.

      • David L

         /  August 22, 2012

        Three tricks: 1. I cut way back first (without completely intending to; I just gave up having soda around at home), 2. I never set out to go 60 hours without caffeine, so it wasn’t on my mind, and 3. I just attributed the headache to eye strain (my monitor is right by the window, so on sunny days, it can be a little difficult to switch back and forth between the bright background and the not-as-bright screen.)

    • dmf

       /  August 22, 2012

      was that a diet soda or a bit of blood-sugar-magic?

      • David L

         /  August 22, 2012

        HFCS-o-rama. Although I’ve been trying to stay lowish-carb recently and I find that I don’t really have the blood sugar/energy rollercoaster when I’m not so dependent on a big whack of carbs every few hours to remain functional.

  17. zenobiajo

     /  August 22, 2012

    Baiskeli: I am afraid it’ll get worse, and much worse, til the day of the election and perhaps beyond. I do a lot of deep breathing these days :)r

  18. GAH THE PRO RMONEY COMMERCIALS…….. I CAN’T TAKE IT!!!!! #runsfromtheroomscreaming
    (hasn’t my week been shitty enough?)

    • koolaide

       /  August 22, 2012

      I live in a “purple” state. I don’t think I’m going to make it to Nov w/ the ads and so forth. Going to vote as early as possible, just in case…

    • efgoldman

       /  August 22, 2012

      Up here, in the bluer-than-blue MA/RI/CT interface, we’re getting all local so far. Some Obama commercials, but not many; some Mittster PAC stuff, but not a lot. We’re going to get buried in Warren/McDreamy eventually, I’m sure.
      Other than that, we’re getting some old-time fun. This guy really is a plumber! Dead people voting!
      Congressional candidate Anthony Gemma alleged Wednesday that a private investigation he initiated has uncovered voter fraud linked to U.S. Rep. David N. Cicilline, his opponent in the upcoming September primary.
      (Cicilline is my congresscritter; former mayor of Providence and openly gay.)
      http://news.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/2012/08/providence-ri—115.html

  19. CitizenE

     /  August 22, 2012

    I can’t help but think that the possibility of Hurricane Isaac interrupting the Republican Convention is the result of Liberal climate scientists who have used the special exorbitant Federal taxes for the EPA’s clandestine communist czar triad of American hating Muslims that we have been paying for since February, 2009 to create this storm and shore up their Global Warming Hoax agenda. That or God coming to America to make his disapproving statement to our voting population about Gay Marriage and Obamacare funded legitimate rape abortions.

    • wearyvoter

       /  August 22, 2012

      WordPress desperately needs a like button.