Hitchens in Texas »« Why I am an atheist – Radek Szyroki

Comments

  1. The Laughing Coyote says

    Esteleth: Dunno about all babies, but my ex’s baby also dances. Even before she walked.

    Also, grownups sing to themselves too. Sometimes.

  2. Esteleth says

    @slignot, the music thing is actually incredibly profound. An acquaintance who specializes in early development told me once that when babies don’t sing to themselves, it is a cause for concern.

    I haven’t seen High Fidelity – what is the monologue you speak of?

  3. The Laughing Coyote says

    What I find interesting about babies singing and/or dancing is that it seems people tend to think of these things as a sort of conscious, learned thing people do. But then we have small babies who seem to do it instinctively, and to me that makes it look more like some sort of natural behavior humans have evolved, not so far removed (but still a bit different) from the song of birds and humpback whales, or the various displays animals put on. Almost all human cultures have music and dance in some form or another.

    For me at least, the next natural question would be why such behavior would evolve.

  4. says

    @Esteleth What I quoted was the very opening dialogue in the movie; alas the Youtubes are blocked here, so I can’t find a clip of the beginning for reference. High Fidelity is one of my favorite movies because of a particular sense of pacing and well done dialog. It also routinely breaks the fourth wall.

    That’s actually very interesting on early development. I know very little, not having kids of my own or having taken any early childhood development classes. I do remember my parents telling me I always sang to myself, and they’d often hear toddler-me singing myself to sleep.

  5. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Confession: I’ve never understood dancing. Well – let me clarify. I get ballroom dance, belly dance, ballet – they’re skills. They’re things you learn how to make your body do, and then that in turn trains your body to do other things better, which is either the point or beside the point depending on who you are. And they’re beautiful to look at. And you work toward improved mastery, which sometimes comes with performance. I get all of these things. But I’ve never understood people getting together in a room and dancing for the fun of it. Someone told me there was expression and communication involved, and that it was fun. I don’t get that. After a lot of attempts at explanation, I’ve concluded I just can’t grok it.
    *shrug*

  6. Cannabinaceae says

    Thanks to all for kind words about the new puppy. To steal a phrase from a friend: “A puppy is like a personal trainer who promises to shit on your carpet if you don’t exercise properly”.

  7. Esteleth says

    @slignot Ah, okay. It’s a good little speech!

    The thing about development makes sense if you think about it:
    -singing is an essentially universal behavior from a very early age.
    -for a baby to not sing, several options present themselves as to why (1) abuse: they have been repeatedly punished for singing, (2) deafness: they cannot hear themselves or others sing or make music, (3) abnormalities in the vocal cords, throat or mouth: they are incapable of making the sounds, or (4) neurological abnormalities: there is something wrong with their brains.

    @Laughing Coyote What you’re wondering about is evolutionary musicology – an actual area of study. Various theories are out there, from it being related to language development – after all, in many species singing is how all auditory communication is done – or in pattern recognition. Others prefer the “cheesecake” model (which has to be the most hilariously named model in biology).

    One theory that I (personally, not an expert on this) suggests that music, originally, was the way that the young and its primary caregiver (the mother, in most species) communicated, and this spread. Note how a caregiver talks to a infant – singsong tones.

  8. Esteleth says

    Grumble. Left a word out – the last paragraph should say, “One theory that I like…”

    I hate it when I produce word salad.

  9. The Laughing Coyote says

    CC: I think I understand why most people dance, but except for a few school dances when I was a kid, I simply do not do it. I can’t get into it. I suspect because no matter what, I’ll always be a tiny bit ‘out of tune’ with whatever group I’m around.

    What people don’t seem to get with me in those situations is that just because I’m not joining in on the dancing myself, and sitting somewhere just ‘doing my thing’, and talking to whoever comes by to talk to me, doesn’t mean I’m not still absorbing the ‘happy vibes’ from them and having a decent time in my own way.

  10. The Laughing Coyote says

    Esteleth: There are many ‘theories’ I have, but none of them I’m particularly attached to. It could be that singing helps ‘train’ the memory. I notice that effect when I sing to myself…. songs I’ve memorized just seem to flow on their own in my mind, tunes prompting words and vice versa. This I suspect is responsible for the maddening, hellish tendency for certain songs (usually not good ones… the kid’s Barney DVD for example…) to get wedged in my head sometimes.

    There’s also the most ‘obvious’ explanation (‘obvious’ if you assume evolution just boils down to ‘mate successfully’), that singing and dance is a mating display. I doubt it’s that simple, but um, I’m not seeing any evidence to say it ISN’T (sometimes).

    I like your theory too, because I observe said singing communication with my own eyes fairly often (ex and the kid).

  11. says

    deafness: they cannot hear themselves or others sing or make music,

    Even deaf babies sing and babble. But they stop because they’re not getting a feedback.

    Someone told me there was expression and communication involved, and that it was fun.

    I like it. I often close my eyes and simply ignore that there’s a world around.
    For the kids it seems natural. But on the other hand I’ve danced with them since they were born, when they started to walk we sang those dancing rhymes and stuff.

  12. Esteleth says

    @Giliell
    Indeed. A deaf baby will initially sing and babble, but will stop while their hearing peers continue due to lack of feedback.

    It isn’t just singing/not singing in a duality either. Tempo, tones used, how frequently the baby sings and for how long are also important.

    The first hint that my parents had that I was autistic was when I sang to myself for hours on end at about a year old. The fact that I rocked back and forth in time was another clue.

  13. Dhorvath, OM says

    Classical Cipher,
    It wasn’t something I got young, throughout highschool and in to university the only part of dancing that I got was the desire to move to music that I enjoy. I could do that as easily riding a bike, running, or doing the dishes. Rhythmic action with an emotional charge provided by the song, so dancing was a lonely thing and dancing in a group was basically the most antisocial social activity I could imagine. Everyone doing their own thing, together, but far apart. It should come as little surprise that I didn’t seek out opportunties to dance in groups, (although I didn’t avoid them either.)

    Something has changed, how I perceive others maybe, and now it’s something I can appreciate. The thrum of the floor as people hit it with their feet hits mine; the dance floor breathes – some songs an inhale, others and exhale – as people join for a song here, a set there; seeing motion that follows a different beat woven together, some people dance shy, others assertive, some on their feet, others on clouds. It’s a very visceral experience, but it is also full of input and when I try to take it all in as I used to I lose track of the whole. I am rambling.

  14. says

    Speaking of music and misery… I love this song. I’m becoming increasingly obsessed with Leonard Cohen.

    =======

    CC: I feel much the same way about dancing; not that I’ve ever attempted much. When I was a first-year undergrad I went out to clubs, because that’s what first-year undergrads are supposed to do… but I never figured out what part of it (paying tons of money to get in, paying tons of money for drinks, attempting to dance badly to distorted loud tuneless music, being unable to talk to anyone because it’s so loud, feeling increasingly ill from drinking too much, making excuses and leaving as early as possible, etc.) was supposed to be “fun”. I eventually learned that I wasn’t the only person who felt that way, and, by and large, made friends with people who hated clubs as much as I did. (I entirely endorse the sentiments of this excellent article by Charlie Brooker.)

    I can entirely understand the appeal of dancing as a skill and an art form, for those who have a talent in that area. But for average uncoordinated people like me, I’ve never understood how exactly it’s supposed to be an entertaining activity. :-/ Oh well.

  15. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I never went to clubs. By the time it was expected, I was pretty well aware that I would not like a club. I occasionally went to parties because they were on my first floor, and I didn’t like that very much.
    Boo on clubs.

  16. Sally Strange, OM says

    Life is rhythm. The universe itself is expanding, like a pulse. The differentiation from nothingness is time. Things change. Gases coalesce, condense, solidify. Solar systems form. Evolution happens. Our hearts beat. We inhale, exhale. The world thrums with the beating of billions of other hearts. Stars grow old and fade away. Everything pulses.

    That’s just me waxing rhapsodical. Gilliell, stop making me cry! I’ve done it enough already today.

    Music is such an important part of my life. It’s a good thing I have a band to play with now. So, off to rehearsal. Laters.

  17. Dhorvath, OM says

    I would dispute that phrasing Walton. I am not going to say that any specific person should try clubbing so that they know what they are missing, life is too short for those arguments. However, to say that there isn’t anything there to miss is a stretch.

  18. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    One of my favorite memories of my son as a baby was when he was less than a year old. I always danced with him, because my mom always danced with me and it seemed like the thing to do with a baby, and he loved it. So one day I had left him in the living room while I was in the bedroom on the same floor, and suddenly I heard the living room stereo kick on to a swing album. He had figured out how to open the glass cabinet door (for the first time) and work the power button.

    I hurried back into the living room intending to scold him a little and save the stereo from him, but he looked up at me with a huge, overjoyed smile and said “Dass!” (dance) and of course the only thing I could do was pick him up and dance with him.

  19. says

    I have to run, but I’m probably not going to be around a lot tomorrow. We have a horrific state-of-the-company address thingy that is mandatory at one of the company’s hotels. Besides it almost certainly being boring, I’m feeling vaguely anxious about making sure my appearance meets stupid conservative-corporate standards.

    I’m happy to be wearing my nicest suit, but I’m antsy about the other shit. (I love suits and wish women could go to a suit store/tailor/etc. and have affordable, well-made suits generally women-shaped that you can have slightly altered just like men.) My hair is long again and I’ve lost the knack for most elegant arrangement. I feel like I have to put lots of effort into being made up, which I generally only do when I want to do something fun. It’s that damned idea that you’re not really professional or well groomed without perfect hair, makeup, nails.

    This is the sort of Mormon company where its owned by a single mormon family, most of the employees are LDS, and whatever non-discrimination is supposedly allowed for in the law is total fucking bullshit; our HR director used to be a muckety-muck at the LDS church offices but had to slink off here on a favor after having an affair with a woman he’s since married. Naturally, he’s morally the best glowing Mormon you’ve ever seen, having re-gained church status and enforcing his church standards on everyone in general. It’s an uncomfortable place to work, but there are some very nice people here, and the work is good for me right now. *SIGH*

    I worry that upper management will see me as expendable. I wasn’t supposed to be here nearly this long (former department head left to start his own business). The company president told me that they were getting rid of my department and that I’d be archiving my job away (didn’t happen, they gave me more stuff to do).

    The last time we had any kind of official word from the company on its stability, we got a letter around Christmas telling us “thanks for working here, please don’t leave until we fire you.” (Got rid of a entire retail arm of the company that year.)

  20. Dhorvath, OM says

    My son likes to dance, but he is shy about it. He will dance if I do so first when we are together, but not everytime. He won’t continue dancing if he was doing it and I try to join in.

  21. Dhorvath, OM says

    Slignot,
    That would make just about anyone apprehensive. Sorry to hear you are feeling it push you on your attire and grooming. Hugs for now and let us know how this turns out.

  22. says

    @Dhorvath, will do. Of course, the company has actually been spending money, so I’m pretty sure they’re not going to tell us they’re laying anyone off, so that’s nice. If only they’d spend some money on the refineries so we don’t have any other accidents on decades-old equipment.

  23. The Ys says

    As an Aspie, have to say that I really hate nightclubs. I’m not fond of concerts anymore, either – too many people crowded in too close. Too much noise, too much overload. I can’t stand it when people I don’t know touch me or even just accidentally bump into me on public transit. Argh.

    I do enjoy some types of dancing, but I prefer fencing. I used to love playacting the lightsaber duels from Star Wars, and then the fencing duels from Three Musketeers (Richard Chamberlain version) and The Princess Bride. And then I started teaching fencing…LOVE it! It’s so much fun to smack people with swords.

    My husband’s trying to teach me to swing dance. I have trouble with it because he’s supposed to lead, and I’m used to fencing, where it’s a solo thing and I am my own lead. It’s tough to separate out my need to move under my own control and just relax and having fun with the dance.

  24. Pteryxx says

    I’m Aspie-ish too (yay variable presentation), and I love raves and loud dance clubs, as long as I can hang out at the margins and not be expected to converse intelligibly with anyone. Heck, I once fell asleep in front of the speakers at a KMFDM concert. Dancing… not so much. For some reason I’m a lot more comfortable matching my moves to an opposing player than a dance partner.

    Re music and human minds in general, I recommend “Musicophilia” by Oliver Sacks. He gets rather meandering and long-winded, but oh, the stories.

  25. First Approximation, Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All says

    Looking forward to Operation Bring Endless Thread to Meatspace.
    First we take Rhinebeck, then the world!

    (The Cyberspace Endless Thread is probably going to be quiet this weekend though.)

  26. Just_A_Lurker says

    I’ll be a lot more sad when Sir William Scrambledeggs passes on.

    He’s been cracked for years and that’s no yolk.

    It was his son, Sir Humpty Dumpty’s death that pushed him over the edge.

  27. Cannabinaceae says

    Dancing. Music.

    Totally unscientifically, I think that music (and dance, by a sort of extension) is, or taps almost directly into, mentalese, or the native language of the brain. I have yet to understand how people can listen to music while they work or do concentration-requiring tasks, unless they simply want to tune out the world without really paying attention, or to put up an implicit “do not disturb” sign. When I listen to the kind of music that gets me off, it takes me away into some alternate universe incompatible with, say, dispensing concentrated sulfuric acid or setting up a block of PCR reactions. I can’t listen to music that doesn’t get me off.

    Dance, in essence, can be as simple as tapping your foot or wiggling to the music, or just moving your head around. “Dance” with moves and such – don’t do it myself, but I’m not too embarrassed to just shake my booty like an incoherent drunk person shouting nonsense in a foreign language. I can’t bear to watch organized dance like ballet etc. unless the troupe is essentially almost perfect (in which case it is like music that takes me to another universe). The slightest asynchronous gesture or other imperfection glares out at me to the point where I have to turn away, like trying to watch the Taliban take their artillery to ancient sculptures.

    Granted, my perceptions are shaded by The Cerebral Code by Bill Calvin, and various works by Stephen Pinker.

  28. Tethys says

    Dance

    I never really have enjoyed club dance. I’m sure self consciousness and not wanting to attract attention is a big factor.

    I love partnered dance with my favorite being swing dance. It took me a long time to master the basic footwork, and even longer to relax and learn to follow. Following just goes against my personality. A cocktail or two helps immensely.

    That said, a good dance is nearly as bliss inducing as good sex.

  29. Algernon says

    Well, believe me, you haven’t missed anything worthwhile.

    I just tried to think of something to counter this, but I can’t really.

    It can be fun to dance yourself transcendental with your friends though.

  30. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales

  31. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I can’t dance. I couldn’t even dance when I had knees.

    My fingers know where the beat is; I’m an adequate musician….but my feet are stooooopid.

    I can march, though.
    -

    It could be that singing helps ‘train’ the memory.

    Thanks to Schoolhouse Rock, I can, if necessary, sing the Preamble to the Constitution.

    And now, Conjunction Junction is singing in my head.
    -

    It’s a good thing I have a band to play with now. So, off to rehearsal.

    I has an envy.
    -
    *hug* for slignot.
    -

  32. Sally Strange, OM says

    It makes me sad that so many people are too self-conscious to dance. It really is a joyous activity. I’m going to play music for a contra dance tomorrow night. Contra dancing is just walking in patterns, mostly circles, rhythmically, while holding on to someone else. I’m tired…

  33. The Laughing Coyote says

    Sally Strange: I suppose I would be sad, if dancing was something I’d previously done and enjoyed and didn’t or couldn’t anymore for whatever conceivable reason. But dancing has never held a huge interest for me.

    Woodcarving. Drawing. Hunting. Dealing with animals. making stuff. Reading. Riding horses. Learning about subjects that interest me. These are all things I enjoy doing, and can do fairly well. I grasped these things quickly. (in the case of riding horses, scary-quick. I had quite the crash course in horses, let me tell you). They make and have made me happy. Dancing clearly makes other people happy, but it holds no interest for me, and I don’t really miss whatever goodness other people may be getting from it.

    Playing a musical instrument on the other hand…. now there’s a talent I’m fairly certain I’ll never grasp, and that makes me kind of sad. But only a little sad, perspective after all, I do enough other things that other people tell me they wish they could and can’t that I cannot complain.

  34. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I dance. A lot. And I’ve been told I’m fairly good.

    Mind you these people are usually pretty fueled up on various chemicals at the time, and frankly so am I so take that for what it’s worth.

  35. Tethys says

    “Some people seem to think that good dancers are born,

    but all the good dancers I have known are taught or trained.”

    - Fred Astaire

    Sally

    I am self conscious dancing alone or in a group of women at a club because of the need to keep an eye on who may be watching in a meat market type atmosphere.

    I’ve never felt that way when going to swing night at various venues.

  36. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Harold Camping Hedging his bets.

    this is pitiful

    Doomsday prophet Harold Camping is once more predicting an apocalypse, and apparently we don’t have long left. The 90-year-old California radio mogul has pointed to October 21 on the calendar, by which date he reckons it will “probably” all be over.
    But this time around he is not warning of souls burning up and ascensions to heaven from the sidewalks of Manhattan. Instead Camping, the owner of the Family Radio Network, believes it will be a much quieter affair.

    “I really am beginning to think as I restudied these matters that there’s going to be no big display of any kind. The end is going to come very, very quietly, probably within the next month. It will happen, that is, by October 21,” he stated in a recent radio recording.

  37. says

    It could be that singing helps ‘train’ the memory.

    Entirely possible. I know I have an easier time remembering things that are in verse, and an easier time still remembering song lyrics.

    Could someone explain the Fast Fourier Transform in a song, please?

    ####

    Got three grades back today: Made a 44/50 on an Architecture paper, 4.5/5 on an Architecture paper proposal (nobody got a 5), and 92% on an Algorithms test (for which the class average was 55%).

    So obviously I’m not stupid. (At least not as stupid as I think I am.)

    But I gave an absolute trainwreck of a presentation in Algorithms last week. Highlights include me (supposedly) telling the instructor point-blank that he was wrong (I definitely didn’t intend it that way; I was *asking*) and throwing in a random “I like turtles” (something of a running joke among a group of friends, all of whom were in the class).

    And then I bombed the Image Processing test yesterday.

    *sigh*

  38. onion girl, OM (Social Worker, tips appreciated) says

    Must sleep, Rhinebeck will eat me. Or something.

    OGVORBIS:

    Totally didn’t even think about this, but our route up tomorrow has us passing within spitting distance, sorta, of your stomping grounds. I can’t remember what day it is in Ogvorbis-land, but shoot me an email and maybe we can catch up for lunch: oniongirlsays at gmail dot com.

  39. says

    @Benjamin
    Sounds better than my 78 score for my electricity and magnetism exam.

    Curse you infinite cylindrical shells and 50 minutes time limit!

  40. says

    I used to be able to dance. Not Dance, but dance. I could do it by myself on a crowded dance floor. Only a few times, but I could let my Ya-Yas out.

    I danced a bit when I was a teenager, but then didn’t think I could dance until I started running sound. If it’s good, it makes your butt move.

    My problem on the dance floor was/is that I have a sound engineer’s mind so I’m constantly running thru the instruments and I jerk to different grooves.

    I probably look stupid. When you don’t care, you have a good partner.

  41. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    @ Richard

    I sincerely hope it’s a lot better now than it was then. I think this was during the height of the Arpartheid backlash, so I can’t imagine it being worse.

    I personally never heard about the kidnapping or murder specifically of bank staff. I do know that the banks did remain in the Jo’burg CBD in spite of it being run down and criminal (not political violence). Things are looking up in that area, but there is still a long way to go. I cannot imagine being scared to move through the area nowadays (though I would be careful at night). It would certainly be more dangerous for a foreigner than a local.

    Though the people in Jo’burg are very friendly, I would recommend Cape Town for study. Some areas are no-go, and you must make inquiries from the locals. I used to live in Woodstock, and my black colleagues (who came from a rough township) were always worried for my safety. I lived there about two years and was never attacked. Again, I think things are much better even there. I don’t see how a student at UCT should be under more threat than a similar student in USA.

    @ Sally

    What is your alma mater, may I ask?

    I have two. University of kwaZulu-Natal (Engineering) and Techniesche Universiteit Delft (Architecture). I also started my studies in town planning (I passed all the design elements with flying colours) but just couldn’t handle the cost, exhaustion and the homesickness , so headed back to SA before completion. In spite of this, a large part of my work nowadays consists of town planning. It is also also the part I enjoy the most. So it turned out OK in the end. (Gilliel, take note.)

    @ The Sailor

    a peace that escapes me on land.[stop woo]

    Stop woo? The real woo stops the minute you hit the water.

  42. walton says

    It makes me sad that so many people are too self-conscious to dance.

    I don’t fall into that category… I just dislike dancing, am very bad at it (having no spatial awareness or sense of rhythm), and see no reason to bother. :-/

    There are lots of things I wish I could do; I’d love to be able to sing well, for instance, and I wish I were less inept at mechanical tasks. But dancing isn’t something that’s ever interested me.

  43. chigau () says

    First Approximation, Stormageddon, Dark Lord of All

    (The Cyberspace Endless Thread is probably going to be quiet this weekend though.)

    So the rest of of can talk about them behind their backs.
    (NO. Not even remotely jealous.)
    (Not. At. All.)
    (really)

  44. Sally Strange, OM says

    To me, singing, dancing, and playing my instruments are all pretty much the same thing. Using my body for self-expression.

  45. walton says

    I’ve danced with a man, who’s danced with a girl, who’s danced with the Prince of Wales

    I’m glad I googled this and discovered that it’s a song lyric. (And that it was composed in 1927 and refers to His late Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, not to the present Prince of Wales. I have no idea whether Prince Charles enjoys dancing.)

  46. kristinc, ~delicate snowflake~ says

    I just found out my friend who has supposedly been on a “liquids only” fast and who has not had “any solid food” for 3 weeks isn’t counting soup of any kind as “solid food”. Including chunky soups full of all kinds of vegetables, potatoes etc.

    She also thinks that putting soup through the blender “pre-digests” it.

  47. Sally Strange, OM says

    @ Walton & TLC

    You guys don’t sadden me. Dancing doesn’t interest you. But I think many people would enjoy dancing if they could get themselves to do it without overthinking it or worrying about a meat market type of thing. Because dancing, especially in a group with live music and a band that’s tuned in, can be one of life’s great highs. There’s also playing in an orchestra that’s perfectly tuned and balanced, moving as one organism. I imagine it may be similar to what sports teams feel when they’re perfectly in sync with each other and totally dominating the other team. Something about our heritage as social primate makes us go, if you will pardon the expression, apeshit over experiences like that. Except when it doesn’t. It’s fascinating really, and I can’t help but wonder if that buzz is also active when humans engage in ritual behavior, which is, as I noted before, another form of collective art creation.

  48. David Marjanović, OM says

    Obviously not caught up.

    It makes me sad that so many people are too self-conscious to dance. It really is a joyous activity. I’m going to play music for a contra dance tomorrow night. Contra dancing is just walking in patterns, mostly circles, rhythmically, while holding on to someone else.

    The fourth sentence contradicts the second.

    I agree with the fourth and disagree with the second. I can’t find any fun in the scenario described in the fourth sentence, or in any other kind of dance. I lack all desire for making artificial movements – and they are artificial: dancing does not come natural to me.

    I’ve never sung to myself, at least not since I grew a memory around the age of 3. I hum, whistle, and do a lot of other things, but I don’t sing when I’m alone.

    I have no problems with rhythm, and I’m perfectly happy with my body coordination.

  49. says

    I received a bit of a cultural insight from love interest into the somewhat disturbing Thai tradition of women cutting their unfaithful husband’s penis off and either flush it down the toilet, feed it to the ducks, or, if the woman has some love left for her spouse, she might wrap his severed schlong into a banana leaf, and accompany hubby to hospital. It was a lovely evening.
    I was going to visit the reclining buddha today, but it is pouring down and thundering, so it’s OJ in the exec lounge instead. I hate my tablet, it’s f’ing useless for blogging.

  50. raven says

    Posting this here in lieu of any place relevant. This 10% drop in median household income and largest in “several decades” means within my entire life.

    This is why people are angry enough to hit the streets.

    Marx said economics runs everything else. He ovestated his case but not by much. As David M. pointed out once; Scrooge McDuck: Money isn’t everything but without money everything is nothing.

    The full 9.8 percent drop in income from the start of the recession to this June — the most recent month in the study — appears to be the largest in several decades, according to other Census Bureau data. Gordon W. Green Jr., who wrote the report with John F. Coder, called the decline “a significant reduction in the American standard of living.”

    Median household incomes in the USA have declined for three years in a row, according to the US census bureau.

    Corporate profits meanwhile have recovered quite nicely.

    From a corporate standpoint, the Recession was over years ago. From a labor standpoint, it never ended. Most people I know are labor not corporations.

    This explains the pervasive anger out there in the real world. People know first hand that things aren’t going well or getting better. For people. Corporations are doing just fine.

  51. chigau () says

    I’m listening to very old James Taylor and would like to offer everyone here and on other threads a very large *hug*.

  52. theophontes , flambeau du communisme says

    @ Rorschach

    [love interest] It was a lovely evening.

    Vertel, vertel,… desnoods leggen wij geld bij! (Us nosey parkers with no sense of privacy or propriety want to know all the juicy details.)

    I hate my tablet, it’s f’ing useless for blogging.

    I always suspected they might be overpriced and useless. Am I right?

  53. Gen, The Longest Tealdeer and Word Salad Factory Extrodinaire says

    @Sallystrange: I’m so sorry to hear about your problems accessing the care you need! I think that what they said to you is absolute bullcrap. I would also happily donate $10 if that would help you out at all.

    @Rorschach: 0.o I literally don’t know what to say to that. That’s just… words can’t describe how horrified I am.

    As for TET – The Global Edition: YES PLOX! I’m so jealous of all of y’all who get to actually meet! I work at a university that started out as a training center for preachers of the reformed church and used to also be an explicitly christian institution. It has been “secularized” for almost a decade now supposedly, but the mandatory religiosity still permeates anything, including the TOU for the computer networks. I can be disciplinary actioned for browsing Pharyngula as it’s a non-christian site. Needless to say, I’m the only atheist I know.

    I browsed the We are the 99 percent site last night and ended up going to bed crying.

    Dancing: Yes, I’m one of those people who are too self-conscious to enjoy dancing. I dance when I’m alone, just like I’ll sing when there’s no one to hear me.

  54. Pteryxx says

    worth a read:

    Sometimes the monster gets loose

    But sometimes the little monster I have chained in the back of my mind manages to get free anyway. I have checks in place and people monitoring me to ensure I don’t exercise for more than an hour each day. But last night I went out late and worked out hard. Immediately I got the storm of endorphins letting me know that even though the day sucked that everything was ok. I kept pushing. I knew I should stop but I couldn’t make myself. This was safe, comfortable, and I was combating my own reflection.

  55. Therrin says

    Gen,

    I can be disciplinary actioned for browsing Pharyngula as it’s a non-christian site.

    Tell them you just come here for the ads.

  56. John Morales says

    Rorschach,

    I received a bit of a cultural insight from love interest into the somewhat disturbing Thai tradition of women cutting their unfaithful husband’s penis off …

    That might be just informative, or it may be a subtle hint, were things to get serious.

    Dancing? I’ll prudently spare everyone my opinion about it.

  57. chigau () says

    John Morales

    Dancing? I’ll prudently spare everyone my opinion about it.

    Before you are permitted an opinion, we should see some video. Of you. Dancing.
    (teehee)
    (no one who lives has seen ME dancing)

  58. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    Dancing – love, love, love it. One of my many regrets is never having learned any kind of steps, ever (especially swing and, to a lesser extent, r&r) – but am still blithely convinced I look good doing it (though I have no idea if this actually has any truth to it whatsoever – or not). Never get to do any.

    Music – I honestly don’t think it would be stretching a point too much to say that it has saved (certainly utterly transformed) spawn#2′s life – music therapy was one of the first things that helped with severe communication disorder, being all about communicating without words, and it’s now the one great thing #2 excels at (among so many things kids do/have to do and which #2 finds difficult). It’s beyond-words wonderful for a kid who finds so many essential kid things extremely difficult to have one thing they are actually good at.
    .
    Can’t remember who posted about it here at Pharyngula, but I’ve just seen my first non-Pharyngula mention of the insane, irrational and profoundly woman-hating Mississippi Personhood Amendment. I hadn’t realised (or taken it in) that even some Democrats in Mississippi are supporting this garbage?!

  59. says

    Good morning

    clubbing and dancing
    What I hated about it were asshole-men. The last time I went to a regular club was in Manchester and I ended up placing Mr. on the dancefloor (he doesn’t like dancing, he moves as if his feet were glued to the floor and it’s just not fun for him) and dancing around him after I’d lashed out at the umpeth guy to keep his fucking hands to himself.
    After that I only went to the monthly special gay club night. Much better. The women who were interested just asked and the heterosexual men who were there respected women at least to the extent that they didn’t just grab them.*

    *That club night is organized by the local branch of the LGBT organisation. Straight people are very welcome, but asked to pay an extra buck that goes to the AIDS foundation.
    There’s usually a fairly large number of straight people there, exactly because they value the atmosphere that is not loaded with toxic masculinity

    Babies and music
    My firstborn would start “dancing” in my womb whenever I turned on the music. Well, it’s hard to tell if they’re kicking because they’re pleased or because they’re in stress, but one CD I listened to very often, and that would make her extra-agile was Bruce Springsteen “Matamoro River”.
    Last summer, when we were on a one hour trip, Mr. put that CD into the CD player. Suddenly, my daughter announced from the back-seat:
    Daddy, I really like that music, can you turn it up a bit?

  60. Just_A_Lurker says

    Mattir, did you get my email? I understand if there’s nothing to say since I can’t go or you are busy, but I just wanted to check. My luck, I’d screw up your really easy email address lol

  61. says

    Algernon @ 257,

    To answer that question, over here when you are triaged your vital signs are documented on arrival to the ER, and you get triaged accordingly.So for example if you c/o palpitations, and your heart rate is 80 with a normal BP, then we just don’t get terribly excited. ER staff can tell whether you are dying or not. Most of the time, anyway…:-)

    wrt the tablet, let’s just say I have lost too many posts and comments to inexplicable “enter” button black holes, and you don’t even have to worry about attempting to copy&paste anything on it.
    Dinner soon, I have to say that without love interest pointing out to me the potentially lethal ingredients in the foods I have ordered, I could have been dead already. I smell genetics at work, when one homo sapiens can bite into a chili without even noticing, while another member of supposedly the same species feels like a Buddhist monk set on fire.

  62. Haruhiist says

    Did anyone else who filled out the poll listed here get an e-mail thanking you for support and asking for donations?

    Apparently, regardless of what you voted for, you support their cause if you filled in the poll. They’re calling it a petition just to coopt my response.

    Which is why I so excited to have your signed petition!

    With it, I will prove to Congress that the American people still hold traditional family values dear.

    What? I never said I supported you! Lying for Jeebus. Yet again.

  63. ChasCPeterson says

    My daughter and I went to a music fest last month and she refused to stand next to me because I insisted on ‘dancing like an awkward white person’.

    touche

  64. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Hey, more fun times at home. Dad secretly drinking brandy (rakija, actually, but wiktionary says the closest thing in English is brandy) in the morning again. It’s really stupid to sneak drinks from a bottle stored in a wardrobe with very creaky door. I can hear it from the other side of the apartment. I even came in the last time I heard it, about an hour ago, and saw him just standing up with the bottle still on the floor beside the open door. Nice. I’m sure it works especially well with his heart medication. Thank hell he’s going back to work next week. He doesn’t really have much chance to drink then.
    I wouldn’t really call him an alcoholic, but sneaking drinks (even if only sometimes) isn’t really a good sign. Especially because he used to drink when he was off at our garden out of town on weekends. I don’t think he does it any more, or at least as much as he used to, but it’s still worrying.
    And I can’t tell mum because she’ll just get upset, but will never confront him about it.
    So, if anyone has read this, thanks for listening. No one else to tell it to, really.

  65. says

    Haruhiist:

    Did anyone else who filled out the poll listed here get an e-mail thanking you for support and asking for donations?

    No, because I used an old e-address which is no longer valid.

  66. SteveV says

    Haruhiist:
    Yep, I got one of those too!
    From a lying sack of shit calling himself Eugene Delgaudio.

  67. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Apparently, regardless of what you voted for, you support their cause if you filled in the poll. They’re calling it a petition just to coopt my response.

    Shit. I put in a nonexistent e-mail address, but that obviously doesn’t matter to them ([email protected] if I recall correctly). Unfortunately, I signed with a real sounding name. Should have written Fuckity McFuck or some other obvious fake.

  68. says

    That kind of drinking pattern suggests he has a serious pattern.

    I sound like I’ve been drinking. Sheesh. Should read: That kind of drinking pattern suggests he has a serious problem.

  69. Haruhiist says

    SteveV:

    Yep that’s the one. I’m not sure how to get them to realize I oppose their cause. Then again, these are seriously deluded people, so trying to get through to them might be a waste of time anyway..

    Seriously, the mail even mentions what they call a ‘Thought control bill’. Wtf?

  70. SteveV says

    I tried sending a complaint to the address in the email, but it bounced straight back as ‘undeliverable’
    However, this one seems to be ‘live’:

    [email protected]

    I sent this:

    Subject: Dishonesty
    1. I’m not American.
    2. I have no idea why you think I signed your petition.
    3. Kindly remove my name from any petition.
    4. Your intolerant, homophobic rants sicken me.


    Steve V

    But I’m sure the Horde can do better!

  71. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    I take it he’s resistant to getting help?

    Help for what? He was just checking that the bottle hadn’t mysteriously disappeared while no one was looking.
    (We have a lot of plums, so he makes his own slivovica (plum brandy) and we keep some in the apartment for gifts or some older guests, because rakija used to be the drink you offered to visitors. I use it for cleaning silver jewelry – it’s pretty strong.)

    Just like that police officer who gave him a ticket and took his driver’s license for half a year made up the number. He didn’t really drink that much. Well, that was a couple of years ago, but he drank every weekend. That was just the one time he got caught.

    The denial is strong in him. In everything. He can say something and the next moment yell at you for making it up if you repeat what he said. When it comes to something serious, like the alcohol, he just gets more defensive.

  72. says

    I would. That kind of drinking pattern suggests he has a serious problem.

    Me, too.
    Sounds like my mum. And actually, you sound like I did for a long time.
    I’d also claim that, since she wasn’t always drinking, and since she wasn’t drinking at work, she wasn’t an alcoholic.
    And yes, doing stupid things thinking that they were clever things also sounds familiar.
    When my mum is drinking she’s kissing me somewhere behind the ear not really touching my skin so I won’t smell the alcohol.
    Of course, I notice where I’m getting my kisses…

  73. says

    Beatrice:

    The denial is strong in him. In everything. He can say something and the next moment yell at you for making it up if you repeat what he said. When it comes to something serious, like the alcohol, he just gets more defensive.

    Shit, I’m sorry. That has to be very stressful to deal with, to say the least.

  74. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I’m glad I googled this and discovered that it’s a song lyric. (And that it was composed in 1927 and refers to His late Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, not to the present Prince of Wales. I have no idea whether Prince Charles enjoys dancing.)

    Funny Walton, When I posted that I actually thought you’d be the one to either know what it was or to find out.

  75. says

    beatrice
    Oh shit, that sounds hard.
    But alcoholism doesn’t depend on the concrete amount you drink. It doesn’t depend on whether you drink regularly or only at the weekends, it depends on whether you can let go and how much it controls you.
    And if he’s already lost his driver’s license due to alcohol and still doesn’t think there’s a problem, there definetly is one.

  76. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Thank Caine and Giliell,
    You’re both probably right. Mum once told me that he used to drink more when I was little, going for a drink during lunch break and after work. When I heard it, I convinced myself that because he only had a drink or two and never really got drunk, it probably wasn’t that bad. He probably isn’t the only one in denial.

    Shit, I’m sorry. That has to be very stressful to deal with, to say the least.

    Well, that kind of behavior is normal for him when he’s completely sober. He can say pretty hurtful things and then claim that we’re making it up. Or comment on something trivial, and when it later comes up, get mad at me for claiming he said something he didn’t. Yes, it’s stressful.

    I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday, because it all piled up, so this today doesn’t really help. Especially with him going to visit his brother tomorrow. There’s his heart to worry about, the rows he’s going to have with his brother and sharing a drink with this neighbor and that neighbor and a bit later with some other person from the village who heard that he’s there.

    Wow, this sounds more depressing in writing, all of it together, without all the denial that I put in while decidedly not thinking about it.

  77. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Thread bankrupt, but I just gotta bounce in and say that IT’S MY BIRTHDAY!

    Now I’m off to bake a cake. :)

  78. Beatrice, anormalement indécente says

    Happy birthday, Audley!

    Giliell,
    She always worries about dad starting to drink too much again, but never really says anything to him. I think she’s so sure nothing she says or does will help, she rather maintains peace in the family, such as it is. I’m not really sure there is anything either of us can do. Confronting him openly is useless because he will flat out deny everything, and reasoning with him is impossible. Most we can do is keep an eye on all the alcohol and try to hint on the incompatibility and dangers of drinking alcohol while using medications. Oh, and I think the gets a bit embarrassed when “caught in the act”, so that might give him some incentive to tone it down (or just try to hide it better *sigh*).

  79. says

    Music. Dunno. It’s not something I can come up with even half-baked conjectures on what it’s good for, how it works, why we need it/whether we technically do…

    Anecdotally, tho’, I’m pretty sure I do, at any rate. Like yes, need it, all of writing it, playing it, hearing it…

    All of this, too, aren’t particularly provable things, either, however. All I know is: at one point, quite some time back, when my life just got too complicated and full, I made this weird resolution just to stop messing around with it altogether (apart from listening to/collecting CDs). As in: sold the instruments, stopped writing it, stopped playing it…

    It wasn’t meant so much as any kind of manifesto or nothin’. It was mostly a ‘simplify your life’ thing. Coupled with the thought that hey, I have other creative outlets, and honestly, I don’t think I’m ever gonna write another Beethoven’s Ninth or even Twist and Shout anyway, and I was actually kinda a duffer on a lot of the instruments I’d tried to then, so like it’s any great loss to anyone. Seemed to me, too, that in totality, I’d just spent so much time learning instruments, noodling with this and that thing, and it was time to say enough of that, let’s move on…

    And, seriously, it’s like I really couldn’t keep that up–that I was even kinda naive to imagine I could. Really got to miss it. Did go some years without an instrument in my place, but seriously, it got to be almost like this bottled up feeling. Like there’s all this stuff that apparently needs to get out, and mostly, it’s tones, strings plucked, words and music. In retrospect, I think I might as well have imagined I could go without breathing indefinitely; it felt a little like trying to hold my breath too long, after a while.

    I read this author commenting on writing, once, and she said this thing about people who say they need to write, and she said look, she thinks that’s bullshit, that no one needs to; it’s just this arty ‘tortured/driven artist’ pose people like to strike, bit of a meme that got popular (my paraphrase, but I think it’s fair). Half believed it at the time I read it, and seriously, claiming I actually need to, it’s not something I think I would have said, either…

    But now I get to thinking: I wonder if she ever actually tried going without, herself?

    I think, just from watching people, that people generally need to express ‘emselves. All part of the simple fact, maybe, just that we’re social animals. They’ve got maybe different needs about levels and means, and even whether there’s anyone much even listening, but they still need to get something out there, all the same, one way or another. And maybe if there’s bits of your brain that are trained to/have learned to make tones, put ‘em together, that’s one of the routes that deeper urge is going to be pushing on, even if you consciously try to close that channel, thinking, naively, that it’s hard to see why there’d be that particular need, exactly.

  80. says

    beatrice
    Well, I can understand her. You can’t make the person change and if all you do is lose by mentioning it, you’re not doing any good, especially not to yourself.
    But it’s good that she sees there’s a problem.
    I can tell you, asking your other parent if he thought that she’d been drinking again and being told to shut the fuck up, alcohol isn’t the problem (although nobody can ever say what the problem is that isn’t alcohol) is not helpful.
    *hugs and chocolate if you want them*

  81. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    (The Cyberspace Endless Thread is probably going to be quiet this weekend though.)

    So the rest of of can talk about them behind their backs.
    (NO. Not even remotely jealous.)
    (Not. At. All.)
    (really)

    Me, either.
    Not even a little bit.

    I mean, just because they are going to be getting together and having a good time with Phellow Pharyngulites of congenial (and non-evangelising) attitudes, whereas I, OTOH, am staring a trip into Darkest Oklahoma straight in the teeth, I am not envious at all.
    Honest.
    *heavy sigh*
    -

    There’s also playing in an orchestra that’s perfectly tuned and balanced, moving as one organism.

    Oh, yes.

    The most seriously buzzed I’ve ever been in my life (without involving prescription drugs, that is) was in exactly those circumstances.

    It was a “religious” experience. :D
    -

    For no particular reason:
    who remembers this?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago_Tylenol_murders
    29 years ago!!!

    *raises hand*
    I do.
    -

  82. opposablethumbs, que le pouce enragé mette les pouces says

    composed in 1927 and refers to His late Royal Highness the Duke of Windsor, formerly Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, not to the present Prince of Wales.

    I knew dat (well not the exact details – just very vaguely when, really, because) I know the tune :)

    @ AJ Milne I think what you said about people’s need to express themselves and/or communicate rings very true.

    @ Beatrice, fuck but that’s hard. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this shit :(

  83. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Thanks for the birthday wishes, guys! My birthday cake is in the oven and I’ve gotta say, using a stand mixer cut the prep time in half. For once in my life, I’m running ahead of schedule.

    If any Rhinebeck sheep and wool folks are around: I hope you guys have a blast this weekend! If somebody (*cough* Mattir *cough*) could give out hugs from me, that would be great. ;)

    Mr Darkheart and I will be spending this weekend with Josh, the Fire family, and Sally Strange. Beer and cake, fuck yeah!

  84. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    *hugs* and sympathy for Beatrice. And it sounds like realio trulio alcoholism to me.
    -
    Happy birthday, Audley!
    *chocolate cake & confetti*
    -

    And, seriously, it’s like I really couldn’t keep that up–that I was even kinda naive to imagine I could. Really got to miss it. Did go some years without an instrument in my place, but seriously, it got to be almost like this bottled up feeling. Like there’s all this stuff that apparently needs to get out, and mostly, it’s tones, strings plucked, words and music.

    Yes.
    I went something like 10 years without playing anything, and apparently I needed it. It came out in increasingly distressing dreams, which stopped abruptly once I started playing again. Well, all except the oboe-deprivation dreams; those didn’t go away until I acquired another oboe. Ya see, ‘way back when we moved from Oklahoma (*gesture of aversion*) to Missouri, most of our stuff was moved in boxes stacked on a flat-bed with improvised sides; we were driving through the most impressively dense, what-landmarks? fog I’ve seen before or since, and I wasn’t sure if I’d seen something fall off or not. Turned out…it had, and as ill-luck would have it, that box contained my oboe and all associated music. It made me sad, but no use crying over spilt milk, and it wasn’t as if the oboe was my best instrument anyway, I still had the clarinet and the flute…. I had no idea that it would matter so much.
    -

    @cicely, Oklahoma’s only a few hours away from Dallas. >_>

    True, and that’d be a lot more fun than I expect to have, but it’s going to be tight (money-wise) as it is. Maybe, after I get my ass paid off….
    -

    No, I totally didn’t cry into the applesauce I’m making for dessert.

    I, for one, believe you.
    :P
    -

  85. Pteryxx says

    @cicely: fyi, I have driving capability and I can scrounge. J’sayin.

    That goes for whoever else is near Dallas, too, btw.

  86. Richard Austin says

    What was that old saying? “A friend is someone who walks in, when the rest of the world walks out.”

    Yeah, that.

    Re: Dancing

    I don’t dance in clubs. It has nothing to do with being self-conscious. I just find that, when I’m on a dance floor with the music loud enough that you can feel it vibrate through you, and all the people bouncing and moving, and all the strobes and scanners and spotlights, and all the heat and scent – I just close my eyes and cease being. I don’t dance because I’m not there: the part that’s “me” gets so wrapped up in the sensation that everything else is motionless. I love the sensation, but there isn’t anything left to dance.

    I’ve talked before about how I have days where I can’t stop “extrapolating” (for lack of a better word) on things, where small little sensations seem to get magnified into amazing tapestries of light or sound or smell. Well, there are certain songs that induce that sensation. To me, they feel like being hit by a wall of sound: where you’ve got simultaneous sound at all audible levels. One example is a song called “Waveform” by the group Concept; “The Great Gate at Kiev” from Pictures at an Exhibition comes close as well. There are probably half a dozen songs on the Alan Parsons Project’s “Try Anything Once” that do it as well. The effect only really works with a good sound system, where you can feel the music, though a set of headphones with decent bass can somewhat approximate it.

    That’s why I listen to so much techno: I’m looking for that “hit”, that sensation. I just have to make sure I’m not required to be a “normal person” for a while afterwards.

  87. Gen, or The RadFem of Dhoom says

    Giliell, that’s wonderful news!

    Happy happy, Audley!

    @Beatrice: I’m sorry you have to deal with that. These things are so hard to deal with! My grandfather was an alcoholic. He recovered when I was in my teens, but recently their middle son moved in with them again after a divorce. Said uncle is also a raging alcoholic, and got my grandfather drinking again. :’( I know it’s unfair to blame it all on my uncle, I’m just SO angry at him!

    Of course, one can’t talk about this to either of them (DENIAL is huge, just like you said), and both are irritated at the other’s alcohol consumption. GRRR.

    @Caine and Just_a_Lurker: Thanks for that other thread. Honestly, profoundly, thank you.

  88. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    When I was younger and lighter, my dancing could get rather violent. Back in 1985, Fishbone played on my campus. At the time, I was not familiar with the band. Within minutes, not only was I moving, some people were backing away from me. Ripped the jeans I was wearing.

    Good times.

  89. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Years ago, I had a friend who wrote music reviews for one of the alternative papers in Chicago. One year, the Old Town School Of Folk Music had, as part of their annual festival; The Mekons, Richard Thompson and Patty Smith. As anyone who paid attention to the music I link to can guess, this is my version of Nirvana. My friend wrote a review of the show and pointed out one woman in the crowd who, during one song by Patty Smith, was doing three different dances at the same time. He later told me that the woman was me.

    How sweet.

  90. Sally Strange, OM says

    Janine, sounds like a good time to me. Love Fishbone, though I was never a hardcore fan (a bit before my time–I was 8 in 1985). I ripped the armpits out of my vintage prom dress at my junior prom because I was dancing so vigorously. Also because those vintage dresses were made for women with no shoulder/arm muscles.

  91. Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart OM, liar and scoundrel says

    Janine,
    Awesome! (Although they’re both the “Ogre” link. :P)

    Funny story, this is my 30th. So it’s half applicable.

  92. says

    Well this is probably mandatory, now.

    In other news:

    It came out in increasingly distressing dreams, which stopped abruptly once I started playing again. Well, all except the oboe-deprivation dreams; those didn’t go away until I acquired another oboe. Ya see, ‘way back when we moved from Oklahoma (*gesture of aversion*) to Missouri, most of our stuff was moved in boxes stacked on a flat-bed with improvised sides; we were driving through the most impressively dense, what-landmarks? fog I’ve seen before or since, and I wasn’t sure if I’d seen something fall off or not. Turned out…it had, and as ill-luck would have it, that box contained my oboe and all associated music. It made me sad, but no use crying over spilt milk, and it wasn’t as if the oboe was my best instrument anyway, I still had the clarinet and the flute…. I had no idea that it would matter so much.

    Heh.

    And wow. I don’t think I’ve ever had that instrument-specific sorta craving, call it what you will… But now you mention it, I think I can totally see how that could happen…

    Me, more specifically, I can get a certain thing I just want to hear on that instrument. In my head, y’know, and dammit, if I don’t find the thing, tune it, and do it, it’s just gonna bug me for days, like an itch not scratched, or a muscle pull I didn’t stop and take the time to massage out.

    I don’t, either, recall anything that dramatic in dreams or the like, and can’t say I really think it significantly screwed up my life beyond that feeling of needing to get things out, do them because they were in there, y’know…

    But again, now you mention it, honestly, I’m not sure. Do kinda suspect I’m on a more generally even emotional keel when it hasn’t been too long since I was actively creating something, playing something, but I’m not sure it’s so dramatic an effect anyone else would even notice. And either way, I’m pretty sure it’s at least also a bit two-edged, since, actually, the creative process itself is kinda weirdly painful, or even the refining process, learning a new thing, making it sound right, sometimes, when I’m right in it… Probably doesn’t always make me the easiest person to be around, when things aren’t going anywhere I like…

    But in a parallel with physical exercise, I think that may be short term pain, long term gain. As in, sure, it’s a bit exhausting, possibly even quite nasty while you’re getting it done, right then. But longer term, yeah, it probably evens things out a bit. If only through that whole what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger thing.

    Complicated. I used to think part of the reason I have this conflicted antipathy about playing/writing was just that my musical education was a bit… I dunno, I always kinda hated lessons, formal instruction, anyway, especially around instruments. Used to think against all expectations, listening to my own progress (my family was kinda insanely musical) I just didn’t have those genes or something…

    But more lately, I’ve been thinking: probably I always would have this love/hate thing going, anyway; this is no teacher’s fault (tho’ I think there are a lot of things about musical education as it’s sometimes practiced which, at worst, seem almost calculated to squeeze the love of it right out of you), nor is it some quirk of me specifically that I take instruction about as well as does the average spoiled brat. Nor is that all bad, that there’s parts of it I actually transiently hate. Nothing actually worth doing is all gravy. So your fingers hurt, so you listen to that recording and thing ‘ugh’ a hundred times, and wonder whyinhell you do this stupid stuff a hundred times until you find that sweet spot, and it speaks to you, and you’ve actually satisfied yourself you’ve made it work, well enough, finally. This is the way of everything interesting.

  93. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    SallyStrange, The Flaming Lips played an outdoor show on my campus in the spring of 1988. At the same time, a high school was having their prom in a building outside where the Lips were playing. It had to been an interesting night for the kids.

    I spent the entire show slam dancing with an other woman. Had no idea who she was, she was not a student. That was fun!

    Ode To CC-The Lips live in 1988

    The Ceiling Is Bendin’

  94. ChasCPeterson says

    [kw*k]
    I (well, a band I was in at the time, the Jaywalkers) opened for Fishbone once. Those guys were/are completely nuts.

    Also one of my former TAs has a kid whose father is one of the Flaming Lips.
    [/kw*k]

  95. Dhorvath, OM says

    Just_A_Lurker,
    Ha! Humpty Dumpty made me laugh.
    ___

    It makes me sad that so many people are too self-conscious to dance.

    Dancing clearly makes other people happy, but it holds no interest for me, and I don’t really miss whatever goodness other people may be getting from it.

    Having played on both teams I want to be very clear that I wasn’t arguing for people to appreciate something that they don’t find appealing, but to try and express the difference between how it once seemed to me and how it appears now. As TLC points out, he has many things that he enjoys doing, as I would imagine do all of us, and trying to tell someone that they should take time away from those things that they already enjoy to try something like dance solely because some people really enjoy it, well, I don’t know if that’s what we want.
    ___

    chigau,

    (NO. Not even remotely jealous.)(Not. At. All.) (really)

    Yeah, hey, come sit over here. Cicely too. Want some cheese?

    What’s that? Sure, I can pass the wine, no problem.

    We can have our own party. And I am envious.
    ___

    kristinc,
    Soup is unfood.
    ___

    Giliell,
    We dance at couples oriented events, it’s a different vibe. I can only imagine how the creepies would throw a fine night into the red.
    ___

    Beatrice,
    Hiding his habit? Yeah, I might reconsider the alcoholic thing. So sorry you have to deal with the difference between what he thinks and what you know. Hugs if you want ‘em.
    ___

    Rev BDC,
    Is that a pet in SW:TOR?
    ___

    Audley,
    Here, have some eCake. It’s low calorie so it’s kind of tasteless, but I made it just for you.
    ___

    There’s also playing in an orchestra that’s perfectly tuned and balanced, moving as one organism.

    Oh, yes.The most seriously buzzed I’ve ever been in my life (without involving prescription drugs, that is) was in exactly those circumstances.

    I have had this in a variety of circumstances, flow as a group experience is pretty rewarding.
    ___

    Giliell,
    Lean on him. He’s there for it.
    My tears missed my keyboard.
    ___

    Richard,

    I’ve talked before about how I have days where I can’t stop “extrapolating” (for lack of a better word) on things, where small little sensations seem to get magnified into amazing tapestries of light or sound or smell. Well, there are certain songs that induce that sensation. To me, they feel like being hit by a wall of sound: where you’ve got simultaneous sound at all audible levels. One example is a song called “Waveform” by the group Concept; “The Great Gate at Kiev” from Pictures at an Exhibition comes close as well. There are probably half a dozen songs on the Alan Parsons Project’s “Try Anything Once” that do it as well. The effect only really works with a good sound system, where you can feel the music, though a set of headphones with decent bass can somewhat approximate it.

    I have music like that, sometimes I stop breathing for a bit because that is enough to push it away. It would be pointless to list everything, but this: Sheep is a consistent hit. The computer speaker that can keep up with my listening system hasn’t been heard by these ears, so my apologies if it loses something in the translation. Density.
    I don’t perform, the only music I make is playing CDs, but living without music is an idea beyond me.
    ___

    Janine,

    My friend wrote a review of the show and pointed out one woman in the crowd who, during one song by Patty Smith, was doing three different dances at the same time. He later told me that the woman was me.

    I have had moments like that, but it seldom lasts. I can’t surf that wave for long.
    ___

    Oh, well, songs with dance in the title? Sure, I like this one.
    Dance Mother

  96. Dhorvath, OM says

    Rev BDC,
    You did post a dog in an AT:AT costume, yes? I thought it would be a cute pet for one of the classes in the upcoming MMO.

  97. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Rev BDC,
    You did post a dog in an AT:AT costume, yes? I thought it would be a cute pet for one of the classes in the upcoming MMO.

    OHHHH sorry.

    There’s all kinds of “companions” in SW:TOR. I’m actually looking forward to the game. More so than any MMORPG since Vanguard. Let’s hope it does better than Vanguard did.

  98. says

    SW:TOR: is Star Wars The Old Republic, though I don’t know if it’s referring to the comic or the video game. Also not entirely clear what the remark is about anyhow. Pets in TOR, that brings Rakhghouls to mind..

  99. Dhorvath, OM says

    Err, Janine, I don’t actually watch videos, I just listen to them in another tab. I will check in the future lest I put other icky stuff up.

  100. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    @cicely: fyi, I have driving capability and I can scrounge. J’sayin.

    Pteryxx, I appreciate the offer. :)

    I’m afraid that this is a (dis)pleasure trip to 1) find and pay our respects at the grave of a good friend, whose family couldn’t find our phone number to tell us he was dead until it was something like 5 months too late (and placing on his headstone a purple d20 in lieu of flowers, ’cause he was a maniac for dice, and had a footlocker-sized Rubbermaid tub full of ‘em), and 2) fetch back my late mother-in-law’s china and such-like, because if we don’t, The Husband’s sister will sure enough sell it at less-than-fleamarket prices, and we’d a whole lot rather keep it in the family. Item 2) involves doing an overnight with s-i-l, one of the most vigorous evangelisers I personally know, who will undoubtedly take advantage of the opportunity to try (again!) to “save” us.

    So, friends and roaming countrymen, please prey for me…you know, when the MRAs flock thick (*snerk!*) and fast. Prey for me.
    -
    One of my sharpest regrets is that back in college, I never took any of the music composition/theory classes. Oh, I can compose…a bit…on computer…with a sheet of scales and chords right in front of me; but it’s a slow, painful process, and I haven’t been able to “get it” on my own. Possibly if I tried something like this?
    -

  101. Esteleth says

    Well, I’ve had a banner day today. I put the finishing touches on my thesis and booked the room for my defense. *dances*

    I ALSO found out that the paper (first author) I submitted to [Big Journal] got accepted! Yay! *dances more*

    …and now I need to find a job. Eep! I was wondering if I could beg ask for advice in this quarter. My advisor has a collaborator, whose projects are mostly Awesomely What I Want to Do. I’ve talked to this collaborator, and he’s sorta-kinda implied that if I want to jump labs post-graduation, that he’s cool with that.

    So, uh, how do I go about doing this? Should I shoot him an email and ask flat-out if said sorta-kinda implications are real? I’m kinda flailing here.

    *looks at clock, observes that it’s ALMOST 4 pm*

    Alright, beer time! Anyone want one?

  102. Dhorvath, OM says

    Cicely,
    I will curse, splutter, and steam in your honour this weekend. The only saving is getting away from people like that.

  103. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I ALSO found out that the paper (first author) I submitted to [Big Journal] got accepted! Yay! *dances more*

    Omg you win! Eeeee! *hug*

  104. says

    All right, I’m finally returned to my normally scheduled workday, only I only have half the day to accomplish what I want to get done!

    So the presentation wasn’t quite so boring as I expected, but we had plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle, “isn’t Mormonism great!” The good thing is apparently that the company is not just decently solvent, but we’re almost as financially solid as we were in 2007. (Unlike the scary graphs of huge unprofitability where the net loss in 2009 was bigger than this year’s anticipated profit.) So no jobs being gotten rid of, and for the people who have benefits (read: not me), they are actually improving them somewhat. More profit sharing, better/cheaper health insurance, increasing 401K matching, etc.

    Some of the highlights of the presentation itself included:

    *Starting off strong by demonstrating how Mormonism is woven into all the management culture, as well as fun anecdotes including openly religious messages by company owners.
    *After standard stuff covering how we’re expanding the exploration/production portion of the company, corporate officer gets on a ranty soapbox about how frakking wells is absolutely safe and fine.
    *Turns out all those people who have methane in their wells are either extremely rare victims of other companies’ bad well designs, but more often they already had methane and were just waiting for a chance to “cash in” against the poor defenseless oil companies. Yes, really.
    *Then we moved on to our typically aged refinery operations, you know, the ones that we’ve had to pay something approaching $100 Million in property damage repairs this year alone.
    *But our refinery operations are really great and safe, because the only statistics I’m going to site are how large effective production has been and how many reportable injuries we’ve had in the last four years.
    *Bonus points for acknowledging we’ve had a “little fire problem” but it’s really not a big deal.
    *During a later portion of the speech, officer talked about a pipeline from Salt Lake to Las Vegas and called it the “saints to sinners pipeline.”
    *Didn’t talk about the safety of pipelines whatsoever, and this seemed like a rather glaring omission, since every other topic had discussed safety.
    *Lots of stuff about branding that doesn’t really matter to us in any real way.
    *No discussion of huge sections of the company (specificaly hotels, resorts and ranches) because they don’t make money, but they’re nicer to have, bum around in and invite other rich people to visit.
    *Employees were scolded if they didn’t have a company card or purchase company brand fuel.

    I feel crazy overly made up today (I’m wearing eye liner and only sometimes wear mascara to work), but considerably less anxious than I was about it yesterday. I was able to get all the green paint off my arms and out of nail crevices (we’re painting our house) after lots of scrubbing. Happy I can go back to my normal professional attire/grooming next week. I was vaguely anxious that there would be some sort of move to eliminate my real estate functions after this news, but it looks like I still have plenty of job security for now.

    If only I didn’t sit right on the path hypocritical HR head takes to his desk, things would be great; of course, it would be great if the conservative dress code was enforced equitably among Mormons and non-Mormons who he doesn’t like (like me), but that’s just dreaming.

  105. says

    Happy birthday Dr. Audley Z. Darkheart!
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    IME, people who are good at creating things of whatever form are compelled to do it. Compelled as in compulsion, it wakes you up nights, it startles you in the shower, at inappropriate moments it takes over your mind. You have to do it.

    It does not necessarily make for a good time, or financial remuneration. It’s hard work with no guarantee of success. But ya gotta do it.

    And when you get that paragraph, that melody, that drawing, that painting, that computer program … just right? You have a moment of bliss. And then you’re back to the woodshed striving all over again.

    For me the synthesis of my artistic desire and my tech brain came together with doing sound. Live more than recording.
    It was a calling. I was nervous before almost every show.

    A fellow sound engineer commented on it once when he saw me pacing back and forth in the booth right before my act came on. I told him that’s what gave me my edge. I didn’t want to take it for granted.

    And when the night worked? It made the hair on my arms stand up. Being tuned into your band, the audience and having the tools & skills to connect the two is pure joy.

    And when the night didn’t work? I felt like a fraud.
    You’re only as good as your next show.
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    The At-At is very good, but that poor dog. I say whippet, whippet good.

  106. Dhorvath, OM says

    slignot,
    Well, that’s a relative relief in any event. Glad to hear your painting is going well, (that is what paint on you arms means, right?) So apparently Esteleth is on beer duty if you want a drink, otherwise, well, Fridays are good for most people so kick back and relax a bit this weekend.

  107. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    Compelled as in compulsion, it wakes you up nights, it startles you in the shower, at inappropriate moments it takes over your mind. You have to do it.

    Yep. This. Perfect.

    I once had to run – and keep in mind, I don’t run – to my house from the park because I had to write right that second. That story is still one of the best things I’ve written and I was in high school when I wrote it. It took over my brain. When that happens, it feels like being seized by something outside of me, and I had some stupid woo beliefs for a while because of it. Then I figured out that brains can just do that.

    It’s super cool.

  108. says

    Esteleth, conga rats!!! Being first author is quite an accomplishment.

    IRT how to jump labs? I recommend casually running into your prospective boss in the hallway and have a chat with them about it. Do you think your current boss would have a problem with that?

    This advice may not be worth the photons I generated. I work in an exceptional environment, all our labs share everything. We just want each other to succeed.

  109. Pteryxx says

    IME, people who are good at creating things of whatever form are compelled to do it. Compelled as in compulsion, it wakes you up nights, it startles you in the shower, at inappropriate moments it takes over your mind. You have to do it.

    It does not necessarily make for a good time, or financial remuneration. It’s hard work with no guarantee of success. But ya gotta do it.

    And when you get that paragraph, that melody, that drawing, that painting, that computer program … just right? You have a moment of bliss. And then you’re back to the woodshed striving all over again.

    YES THIS.

    Everything I’ve read from artists talking about creating, whether writers, actors, illustrators, musicians or dancers, consistently says it’s something you MUST do. Even down to my own experience.

    Elizabeth Moon told me you just learn to roll with the flashes of creativity as they come, and hopefully, have a spouse who will make sure you eat.

  110. Esteleth says

    Sailor @660,
    Running into prospective boss in the hallway would be kinda complicated, as his lab is 200 miles from the lab where I am now.
    I don’t think my current boss would have a problem with it at all – as I’m in the home stretch to graduation, every third question out of his mouth (after “Did you make the edits I suggested to Chapter 3?” and “Did you get copies to the rest of the committee?”) is “So, how’s the job search coming?”

    I’ve written an email, to send to the prospective boss, but I haven’t sent it yet. It goes like this:
    Hi, Dr. [Name],
    I’m am working on my thesis (I will be defending in December) and am thus thinking about what I’ll be doing after graduation. I remember that when we talked at [meeting], you seemed to imply that there might be a position for me in your lab after I graduate. Am I remembering this correctly? If so, is this offer still on the table? I would be interested in working with you if it is.
    Thank you,
    [Me]

    Uh, does that suck? I’m super nervous I’m coming across wrong (yay social anxiety plus Aspie plus overwhelming fear of failure!) and am flailing. Also: attaching my CV, yes/no?

  111. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    *confetti and champagne* for Esteleth. :)
    -

    I will curse, splutter, and steam in your honour this weekend. The only saving is getting away from people like that.

    Thank you; I appreciate it. Pencil it in for Monday/Tuesday (and, pessimistically, Wednesday) if you can, though, because that’s when we’re staging the Return to Heck. I’d like to think we’ll get in and get out again quickly, but there’s always some damned thing….
    -

  112. says

    @Dhorvath, we’re working our way around the house a little at time. It’s impossible to do without getting some on you, but I don’t know what I would do without a paint sprayer. We got a decent section done last night after work until we lost the light. Pictures I have online are almost a week old, but we’re getting there.

  113. Dhorvath, OM says

    I can paint for hours and get none on me. I don’t know as it helps my speed any though. Never tried a sprayer, it’s rollers and brushes for me.

  114. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Dirty deeds
    Done dirt cheap

    I am very sorry. Please forgive me.

    Oh, I just saw an ad for Jack And Jill. First, I could never understand why Adam Sandler became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Second, did anyone ever wanted to see him in drag?

    sigh…

  115. says

    @Dhorvath, I’m usually fine and tidy if it’s a nice flat surface with rollers and brushes, but the rough cedar siding does not lend itself to that approach. The gap between boards is narrow and decently deep, so brushes would be incredibly time consuming. Plus it’s a lot of surface area to cover and a sprayer makes it go much faster.

    I’m continually finding reasons to resent the previous owners of our house, and the paint is a big one. Any sane person (I think) understands the importance of priming something like wood siding before just throwing some paint on it. But whoever painted the house didn’t seem to know primer existed. We had to replace a number of boards on one side and re-staple/tighten/glue/caulk everything else before priming. Their laziness made the pre-painting work agonizingly slow. I can’t imagine trying to strip off that much flaking paint if I hadn’t been able to borrow a powerwasher.

  116. The Laughing Coyote says

    Oh, I just saw an ad for Jack And Jill. First, I could never understand why Adam Sandler became one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. Second, did anyone ever wanted to see him in drag?

    I used to think Adam Sandler was riotously hilarious. Then, one day, I realized that Adam Sandler had been playing the exact same character in all his movies. A borderline mentally-challenged manchild, usually with a violent temper, who gets made fun of by people, beats the crap out of them, and somehow always gets himself a hot girlfriend by the end. Throw in some Rob Schneider, old grannies swearing and/or doing other things sweet old grannies aren’t supposed to do, gross out humor, and a ‘villain’ that somehow has to be made more unlikeable than Sandler himself, which is a stretch, and you have a Happy Madison Production.

    I realize he’s tried to branch out since then, but while Jim Carrey can be amazingly sincere and likeable when he’s not making ridiculous noises and faces, Adam Sandler always seemed just kinda ‘there’ in those roles. I kept waiting for him to hock a loogie or fart in someone’s face or punch someone in all his ‘serious’ roles. In ‘Click’ or whatever that movie was with the magic remote, they went and fulfilled my expectations.

  117. Dhorvath, OM says

    I don’t do comedy movies if I can help it, but among my all time lows was Billy Madison.

  118. says

    Re: comedy movies, it certainly feels like my parents skewed my tastes powerfully. I remember my brother-in-law insistently telling me that everyone would love 40 Year Old Virgin because it was just hilarious. Meh.

    The entire realm of awkward comedy in general leaves me cold.

    There is currently one movie I want to see. Local theater here has Dale and Tucker vs. Evil playing, and I missed it at Sundance this year. Looking forward to seeing it.

  119. Therrin says

    SW:TOR

    Got to try a friend’s account last weekend. Didn’t have enough time to get to specializations, but the opening storyline was good. Very impressed with the voice acting, some of the sarcastic rejoinders had me laughing. The biggest question I was left with is how the Sith empire could possibly exist. They seem more interested in killing each other and their recruits than actually being productive (yes, I’m aware it’s fiction).

    The space combat is crap. It’s like the gummi ship weirdness in Kingdom Hearts, playing along this cool game then suddenly not-at-all-related slapdash.

  120. says

    Prepping is always the most time consuming chore of painting. Painting, whether brush or (my favorite) spraying is the fun part. I love seeing the coats go on, flashing, and then putting another coat over it.
    +++++++++++++++
    Janine, at least you didn’t just Youtube to the AC/DC song. I happen to like that song but I kinda resent it when folks just put links to Youtubes w/o explanation, because I can’t d/l them from home, and I shouldn’t from work.
    +++++++++++++++
    Esteleth, can you ask your current boss to write to him for you? He wants you to succeed, or maybe you can write it and have your current boss send it.

    Your current email would not grab my attention if you sent it to me or my boss.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    There is no reason involved with Adam Sandler or Pauly Shore, to be in show bizness.

  121. The Laughing Coyote says

    I didn’t ‘love’ 40 year old virgin, but I didn’t despise it. I liked it more than I thought I would, actually.

    Among comedy movies though, my ‘guilty pleasure’ is Dumb and Dumber. Most of it’s nostalgia, I watched that one lots as a kid, but any time I catch that movie on TV I find myself enjoying every second. Not necessarily laughing out loud anymore, but still very much liking it. I really love the soundtrack too. Does anyone else?

    But as mentioned, that’s the difference between Carrey and Sandler IMO. One is actually LIKEABLE when he’s not clowning… the other, well, comes off as a douchebag.

  122. says

    @The Sailor, I totally agree about the first coat of painting. I’ve always found it cathartic to paint. I used to volunteer to paint flats for sets in high school because there was something wonderfully centering about losing yourself in a rhythm of painting little overlapping x’s. (Done to prevent any brushstrokes being visible under obviously very bright lights.)

  123. Dhorvath, OM says

    The Sailor,
    How much info do you want? I generally just put a song title on any youtube links, are you just asking for artist or more background to determine interest?

  124. says

    Jim Carrey can act. Sandler and Schnieder cant. JMHO.
    ++++++++++++++
    Yo, Weather Channel, I can tell it’s not 80 Deg (F) and 3 Kts of wind. It’s 65 and blowing 15-25. Why don’t you hire someone to look out the window?

  125. Rey Fox says

    but among my all time lows was Billy Madison.

    Ugh, no kidding. That movie set a low bar for comedy for years to come. I think it took Judd Apatow to bring the standards back up a little.

    Cinematic comedy is pretty often underwhelming, which is kind of sad since television comedy can be great. Maybe it’s the burden of having to sustain a three-act 90-minute plot.

  126. Rey Fox says

    Meet the Parents is my personal standard for bad comedy though. At least Sandler’s earlier films didn’t pretend to be for anyone above a room temperature IQ. But apparently, I, as a functional adult, was supposed to laugh at the painfully hackneyed and predictable situations in Meet the Parents. And it made millions and spawned two sequels.

  127. says

    I’ve always been of the opinion that you can tell a lot about a person by the type of media they like. Taste in movies seems like it reveals a lot about someone, although I sometimes worry what people think when they look at the list of films that spouse and I have so far collected and deposited on our home server. There are some bad movies in there.

  128. The Laughing Coyote says

    For me, no comedy movie or TV show can possibly come close to the levels of hilarity I get from watching squirrels fight.

    Once I was watching two squirrels in a brawl that eventually found its way fifty feet up a tree. One squirrel knocked the other clean off the branch, and it fell all the way down hitting branches all the way. When I went to investigate, the squirrel jumped to his feet and ran back up the tree, so it’s OK to laugh at it.

    I think part of the humor is the way squirrel battles always look sped up. I should also note that if it wasn’t something happening in nature, and instead something staged by bloodthirsty humans, it wouldn’t even be a tiny bit funny, but that pretty much goes without saying.

  129. Dhorvath, OM says

    Rey Fox,
    I like Ben Stiller, as a supporting player, but MtP was wretched. Another film that friends were sure I would like and hated. I can tell a lot about how well people actually know me based on what they think I might like.
    ___

    Slignot, there is plenty there I own as well.

  130. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Esteleth, stop by the Pharyngula Saloon and Spanking Parlor, Patricia, Princess of Pullets, Proprietor, for a free grog or swill. If you pass your orals, you drink free that night with a reserved room upstairs guarded by the Lilac Berets™ of the Pullet Patrol™ if you give us your vehicle key or transporter pass. Remember to breath before the orals start…

  131. The Laughing Coyote says

    While I’m on the topic of squirrels, watching the douglas squirrels where we camp tease my cattle dog is also a riot. The squirrels KNOW they’re pissing her off. No, I’m not anthropomorphising excessively. There’s simply no simpler explanation for why the squirrels mock and tease her and whip her into a predatory rage. They know full well they can just zip up a tree and chatter at her from the branches, so they’re always trying to sneak past her or taunt her into chasing them.

    I ate a douglas squirrel once, but they’re now permanently on my ‘not-prey’ list. They are far better entertainment than meat. Yeah, I know it’s a bit arbitrary and self centered of me to decide it’s ‘wrong’ for me to kill an animal just because it makes me laugh, but I can’t help it. I just love those little assholes.

  132. Rey Fox says

    I’ve had a hummingbird feeder up for more than a week now, and the liquid level in it is now down more than halfway, but I haven’t seen a single hummer.

  133. Esteleth says

    Sailor, I talked to my advisor, and he’s agreed to contact the collaborator. We’ll see how it goes! :D

    Nerd, I’ve already had a few bowls of grog, and have moved on to this beer here. Can I tempt you with Ommegang’s hennepin?

  134. says

    @Rey Fox, that’s too bad, but if it’s only been a week, I wouldn’t despair. I’ve found that if it’s the first time I’ve put a feeder up in that place it does take a little while for them to find it. And seasonal migration/nesting and the like have a huge effect on consumption. During parts of this year I was refilling every 2-3 days.

  135. Sally Strange, OM says

    there is just something funny about small animals being ferocious.

    Reminds me of a Jack Russell terrier mix I once knew. Her name was “Jazz,” and she was extremely territorial. It was really funny to watch her make a beeline for some enormous wolfhound innocently shambling down the sidewalk, growling and barking. The big dogs’ expressions were always hilarious, too–helplessly bemused, I would describe it as.

    Congrats to Esteleth! I’ll have a drink, but later–after the gym and my gig tonight.

  136. Birger Johansson says

    “The entire realm of awkward comedy in general leaves me cold.”

    Then you are missing out on John Cleese. His best performances have been about awkward situations and embarassment. I like black humour like in Doctor Strangelow or -to choose a vastly different example- Shaun of the Dead.

  137. The Laughing Coyote says

    One must never underestimate a jack russel terrier. They hold their own against bigger dogs easily. On the farm I used to work was a little JRT named ‘Angel’. A spoiled pet of the owner’s 15 year old daughter. Sometimes, she’d bite the poor patient old german shepherd on the face and ‘hitch a ride’. I have no idea how that dog put up with it. She also enjoyed teasing the horses, and could literally sneak out of any enclosure on the premises, no matter what steps we took to prevent it.

    She was always sickeningly sweet to people though. I can’t possibly call her a bad dog, she was just a dog in the wrong environment.

  138. Inane Janine, OM, Conflater Of Arguments says

    Audley is not the only one with a birthday. Here is Kirk Cameron. To be fair, I do not know nor care if it is today or an other day. I just am highly amused by the photo.

  139. John Morales says

    Esteleth, that email looks pretty good to me.

    A couple of things: I personally dislike the initial “hi”, it’s (at best) redundant; and “I’m am” indicates some degree of carelessness.

    (Good luck)

  140. The Laughing Coyote says

    a good friend of mine was talking to me about hearing John Cleese on the radio, lamenting the pronunciation of his name in america.

    “When you americans ask for cheese, you don’t say “Give me a block of Cheece””

    (highly paraphrased and distorted through retelling, I’m sure)

    So apparently “Cleese” is pronounced like ‘Cheese’.

    As for awkward comedy, I admit to not having watched much of Cleese, but he does it in the way that only the British can from what I can tell. Special case. Most awkward comedy leaves me cold as well.

  141. John Morales says

    PS

    Also: attaching my CV, yes/no?

    IMO, no.

    (If there is any interest in your proposition, then it will be requested as part of due process)

  142. The Laughing Coyote says

    Dhorvath: Not… quite. http://terriermandotcom.blogspot.com

    This guy is one of the most opinionated bloggers I know, but I have to say I agree with his opinion of dog show breeding. My family used to be a major fan of german shepherds, and the first dog I ever knew or had in my life, Old Cujo, was a gigantic gentle beast of a german shepherd. Quite a few photos of baby-me reclining against his side.

    We’ve watched the breed slowly degenerate into ass-dragging show dogs, with mental problems and odd disjointed looking hindquarters that offer absolutely no advantage to what the dog’s supposed to be doing. Belgian shepherds, fortunately, still seem to be well built.

  143. Dhorvath, OM says

    Hey, saw the Avengers trailer, all the way through I am just, like, gimme my Hulk. Took their sweet time about it, but now I am juiced.

  144. Algernon says

    I’ve always been of the opinion that you can tell a lot about a person by the type of media they like

    Really? Like what kinds of things?

  145. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Got to try a friend’s account last weekend. Didn’t have enough time to get to specializations, but the opening storyline was good. Very impressed with the voice acting, some of the sarcastic rejoinders had me laughing. The biggest question I was left with is how the Sith empire could possibly exist. They seem more interested in killing each other and their recruits than actually being productive (yes, I’m aware it’s fiction).

    Uh oh. NDA breaker.

    I’ve been signed up since they announced it and pre-ordered when it was announced and still no Beta invite.

  146. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Nerd, I’ve already had a few bowls of grog,

    Sacrilege committed at a second rate saloon. Grog is only served in titanium tankards to withstand the corrosive, but intoxicating nature, of aged grog.

    Oh, I haven’t tried New York stuff, but I like Bell’s Porter, which I drink when I visit my mother across the Lake.

  147. Classical Cipher, Murmur Muris, OM says

    I was trying to get the place where you buy a bus pass.
    I walked all over Westwood looking for it, increasingly miserable and fuzz-brained from the lack of caffeine (I’m trying, doctors, I’m trying).
    So finding out that it was less than 400 feet from where I started looking and that it had closed before I started looking came as kind of an unpleasant shock to me.
    Waaah.

    Also, I just looked over to the Annoying thread. I was making a genuine effort to only read the good stuff, because I was looking for the thing that J_A_L and Caine and Gen were talking about above. But then Mercurial Muse showed up.

  148. John Morales says

    TLC, because you wrote:

    As for awkward comedy, I admit to not having watched much of Cleese, but he does it in the way that only the British can from what I can tell.

    It’s a tour de force by Cleese (who both wrote it and starred in it), and also an English-American joint enterprise.

    (Also, IMO, a very, very funny exemplar of what has been termed “awkward comedy”!)

  149. Therrin says

    Uh oh. NDA breaker.

    Technically it was a stress test, so they should have been thanking me for logging on at times he couldn’t. -.-

    I’ve been signed up since they announced it and pre-ordered when it was announced and still no Beta invite.

    Supposedly they’re doing invites for weekends, the closest I’ve gotten is an email apologizing for two other emails that were sent in error (that I never received anyway).

  150. says

    CC:

    Also, I just looked over to the Annoying thread. I was making a genuine effort to only read the good stuff, because I was looking for the thing that J_A_L and Caine and Gen were talking about above. But then Mercurial Muse showed up.

    It starts here: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2011/10/13/stuff-that-annoyed-me-this-morning/comment-page-1/#comment-99362 and goes on for a while. You’ll need to scroll through some other conversations going on inbetween. :)

  151. John Morales says

    PS ObSnippet: Archie reciting in Russian from A Fish Called Wanda

    [less than ninety seconds' worth]

    (The situation has been carefully set-up previously; e.g. Wanda gets turned on by “exotic” foreign languages (her boyfriend (who is himself using her as she is trying to use Archie) uses Italian), and she’s trying to seduce mild-mannered Archie as part of a scheme. Here, he’s succumbed and breaks out of his shell, only for a rather awkward moment to manifest.)

  152. Esteleth says

    Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

    Got Chinese takeout and happily stuffed myself with rice and beef with broccoli, then I bit into my “vegetarian” spring roll and promptly had to spit out a whole fucking SHRIMP.

    Dammit if I wanted a shrimp spring roll I would have ordered one. >_<

    Sigh.

    Pass that grog over, Nerd. I need a tanker truck of it.

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Pass that grog over, Nerd. I need a tanker truck of it.

    *passed on tankard*

  154. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Dhorvath, re 666–yeah, but turn it over, and you can pretend it’s a fiscal policy.

  155. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    WRT comedic movies–I am a glutton. A Fish Called Wanda, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, GalaxyQuest. Hell, I even laughed once during Spaceballs.

    I’ve loved everything Christopher Guest did–from “This is SpinalTap” to “For Your Consideration”. (BTW, anybody know where I could get some “My Dinner With Andre” Inaction Figures?)

    I just love to laugh at movies–but you do get some really strange looks on a crowded Indian Airlines flight to Delhi when you laugh at the father getting sucked up by the tornado during the first scene of “Twister”.

  156. says

    A_Ray:

    WRT comedic movies–I am a glutton. A Fish Called Wanda, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, GalaxyQuest.

    I love all those. They do set the bar high though, which is good. I’ll add Les Visiteurs to that list, hell, I’ll even add the ‘merkin version, Just Visiting.

  157. says

    Hell, I even laughed once during Spaceballs.

    I thought Spaceballs was hilarious. For some reason, Young Frankenstein didn’t catch me. Maybe I should watch it a second time to see if maybe some of it clicks.

    And I don’t like “awkward comedy” either. Napoleon Dynamite was painful to watch, for instance.

  158. Dhorvath, OM says

    There is something about Mel Brooks I don’t get. Hardly surprising considering how much other comedy I just don’t find funny. Oh well.

  159. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    I was trying to get the place where you buy a bus pass.
    I walked all over Westwood looking for it, increasingly miserable and fuzz-brained from the lack of caffeine (I’m trying, doctors, I’m trying).
    So finding out that it was less than 400 feet from where I started looking and that it had closed before I started looking came as kind of an unpleasant shock to me.
    Waaah.

    Once upon a time (5:30 a.m., give or take) in Oklahoma (*gesture of aversion*) The Husband and I were driving to a funeral, when our van burned to the ground, after which many pointless and annoying deeds were done. Among the most pointless and annoying was the inordinately long and bitter search for transportation back home. The police dropped us off at a convenience store in Afton, just as the newspaper carrier was filling the paper machine, but some while before opening time. The obvious options were the bus, or a rental car. Enterprise Rent A Car had been running commercials alleging that you could rent a car one way, so we found their address in the phone book and settled down in the convenience store to await their posted opening time of 8 a.m. We hiked to their lot, about 2 miles, or it could have been a bit more (but the important thing here is that my knees were in the process of going over to the Dark Side, and landing on them in a ditch entirely failed to please; anyway, walking was painful to a completely unnecessary degree), only to find out that the commercials had lied; no one-way rentals were allowed. We then looked up the address of the Greyhound Bus stop…and found that it was back at the convenience store we’d started from; so we had to turn right around and walk the 20,000 miles (it could have been a bit more) back there, to just barely make it in time to catch the bus. (Interesting fact: Greyhound buses no longer stop at all of their scheduled stops. Unless the ticket clerk calls the bus driver, already en route, and tells hir that there’s someone who’s bought a ticket, they just go on past.)
    -

  160. chigau () says

    cicely

    Unless the ticket clerk calls the bus driver, already en route, and tells hir that there’s someone who’s bought a ticket, they just go on past.

    Shit! Back in the old days, in southern Alberta, at my gas-station stop, they put out a flag. Any Greyhound going by stopped.
    jeez. Thank goooness for modrun conveniences.

  161. cicely, Inadvertent Phytocidal Maniac says

    Hi everyone from the gathering at Rhinebeck! many crazy people having much fun here, jealous?

    No.
    Not at all.
    Not even a little bit.
    .
    .
    .
    *Pbbbbbbt!*
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Yes.
    -