1. says

    hrrm. Portcullised.
    As Pteryxx and Blacksmith note, your own health, mental and otherwise, comes first. That permitting, though, you’re always welcome here, and your presence improves the place. *hugs*


    Also, I took a “career development” class this semester and half of it was basically apologia for this. >.>

    Color me unsurprised. Any type of course relating to ‘business’ will inevitably be based on such apologia.

  2. rq says

    What everyone else said.
    Very glad to see you here, but take care of yourself. *hugs*


    I would like to take this moment to wail about the political situation in my country.
    That is all, thank you.

  3. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    Thanks, all, for the well-wishes.


    Who is Eric Youngstrom?

    The future Eric Oldstrom?

  4. theoreticalgrrrl says

    It’s nice to be able come here and vent safely. ;) My comment in the last thread stopped me from saying something that might have started an argument on Facebook with a cousin that I’ve always gotten along with.

    @Crip Dyke,
    I know several Athenas, a couple of Aphrodities, and even a Zeus.

  5. says

  6. rq says

    Two things:

    1) I got my camera back, and it works;
    2) New Colleague (who was also Rape Apologist Colleague and potential Asshole Colleague) is now Former Colleague, and I don’t even have to feel bad about it – he failed the proficiency test (which isn’t hard to do… so I guess he really wasn’t qualified?).

  7. cicely says

    Three things:

    1) Yay!
    2) Also yay!
    3) Anybody know anything about alleged spraying of alleged sulfuric acid in the alleged sky?
    (I am exceedingly dubious about the source of this allegation, who tends to right-wing conspiracy theories…and who asks, “why?”, in conspiratorially theoretical “tones”.

  8. says

    Sounds like a variation on ‘chemtrails’, which is a conspiracy theory that holds that the the vapor trails left by high altitude jetliners are a diabolical means of spraying chemicals over the U.S. This is done by unspecified government agencies for unknown but clearly nefarious purposes, per conspiracy theorists.

  9. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Back from the party already. I listened to the speeches, sneaked out with colleagues while others were eating, had one beer and left.
    They were a bit surprised, but I hope this won’t make them dislike me. I’m just too weirded out with so many people around me, people I hardly know.

  10. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says


    Anybody know anything about alleged spraying of alleged sulfuric acid in the alleged sky?

    I heard this one back in the 1980s. During the fight about acid rain, some letters were printed in our local paper which were all variations on a theme:

    1. The Evil Liberal Democratic Commie Ecoterrorist Environmentalists want to destroy most of humanity so nature can survive.

    2. The so-called acid rain is caused by the ELDCEEs spraying sulfuric acid in the sky to create acid rain so the ELDCEEs can blame the innocent coal plants that provide really cheap electricity and shut them all down so we have to go back to nature.

    3. Proof? Look at the fluorocarbons and smog scares which were used to eliminate the US Auto Industry and everything that came in cans.

  11. says

    One thing I enjoy about living in Taiwan is that christians (and abrahamic nonsense period) is rare to nonexistent. Other westerners I work with are freaking out, but it doesn’t bother me in the slightest that I’ll be working next Wednesday, just as long as I get New Year’s off. To people here and to me, it’s just another day. I always hated “christmas” and boxing day mostly because of the boredom, not the religion.

    What does suck is that this coming Chinese New Year is a rarity. Usually, they come on the weekend or early in the week, so we get nine days off straight, Saturday to Sunday. Not this year. This one comes late in the week, so we get only six days, from Thursday to Tuesday. Bleah.

    CNY is the only time that religion in Taiwan annoys me. Fireworks give me headaches.

  12. brett says

    I really hate getting a nose bleed when you already have a cold . . . and a habit of secretly picking for nose gold. Ohhhh, so tempting, but I shouldn’t do it, it could bleed again!

  13. says

    Good news! Marriage equality in New Mexico!

    New Mexico has held a unique position in the larger fight over marriage equality: it’s the only state that hasn’t taken a firm position on whether same-sex couples have equal marriage rights or not. Of the nation’s 50 states, 49 have either allowed or prohibited same-sex marriage – with New Mexico as lone holdout.

    This afternoon, the state Supreme Court settled the dispute, ruling that marriage rights apply equally to all. From the ruling:

    “Prohibiting same-gender marriages is not substantially related to the governmental interests advanced by the parties opposing same-gender marriage or to the purposes we have identified. Therefore, barring individuals from marrying and depriving them of the rights, protections, and responsibilities of civil marriage solely because of their sexual orientation violates the Equal Protection Clause under Article II, Section 18 of the New Mexico Constitution. We hold that the State of New Mexico is constitutionally required to allow same-gender couples to marry and must extend to them the rights, protections, and responsibilities that derive from civil marriage under New Mexico law.”

  14. theoreticalgrrrl says

    It sort of ties in with the list I shared earlier, that it takes such an effort to be nice or respectful to your woman.

  15. says

    Good evening
    Yes, I will take my cold to bed soon, I promise.
    But since school is already over (fortunately the after-school daycare is still open for the whole day because college is still going) we can sleep a little longer than usually.


    2) New Colleague (who was also Rape Apologist Colleague and potential Asshole Colleague) is now Former Colleague, and I don’t even have to feel bad about it – he failed the proficiency test (which isn’t hard to do… so I guess he really wasn’t qualified?).

    Let me translate into MRA-speak:
    A poor man was hunted from his job by evil feminists because he didn’t have the adequate politically correct opinions on alleged female superiority.
    Did I get that right?

  16. David Marjanović says

    Yay! Chocolate-covered pouncehugs! ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    *hugs all over the place*

    rq, thanks for the link to the choir competition! Must be the first time I hear Latvian spoken or sung. It’s interesting. :-) Turns out that Wikipedia’s description of how ģ and ķ are pronounced is exactly right, even though it looks like it couldn’t possibly be. :-þ

    Also, beautiful music. :-]

    and adding


    That’s an oil company.

    (And a lake-turning-desert east of the Caspian Sea.)


    Popularized by The Lion King II.


    Huh. Where is that from?

    I’m sorry for every Kevin there is.

    Also Jennifer and Jessica. And Justin.

    gender-neutral name I love: Vanja

    Nickname for both Ivan and Ivana. This happens a lot in Slavic languages.

    So a 80-years-old neighbor is called Mery.

    What, with y?

    3. I feel free to wear a wide variety of clothes, from jeans to skimpy shorts to dresses as appropriate, without fear of ridicule.

    Which is it? As appropriate or without fear of ridicule?

    Beautiful name that got ruined by stupid company using it for their product: Ariel.

    Oh, there are countries where the product is considered a Zionist conspiracy, because of Sharon.

    AFAIK, it means “my lion is God”.

    And Krešimir is all kinds of awesome!

    I can’t figure out what it means, though. Help! :-)
    It was the name of four kings of Croatia from 935 onwards.

    I guess I just look like a Jelena.

    That happens. Long, dark blond hair?

    Lindgren book about Emil from Lenneberg (sp?)

    Lönneberga! :-)

    Vanja is the only non-gendered name used here that comes to mind.

    Is there no female Saša?

    Here in descending order are the top 25 girl names in France for 2013: Emma

    Has long been popular because it’s prounced the same as aima, the literary way to say “has loved”. *780° eyeroll*

    Emil is popular here, too, but not stigmatized. It has a lot to do with social class. Since those who name their boy “Emil” after Lindgren’s character are usually middle-class people who enjoyed an upbringing with books, that rubs off.

    Except that, for (bizarre) fear of confusion with another literary character named Emil, that one was “translated” to Michel. Michel aus Lönneberga.

    I see, we will never fight about a guy. Your “hot lumberjack” leaves me pretty cold. He looks like he’s got not clue where to turn on the chainsaw which is good because he’s half-nekkid and therefore unfit to wield one. It’s like the pictures of almost naked women wearing a hardhat and holding a hammer. They make no sense to me. I want nakedness in a context where it makes sense.

    + 1

    We went with Mackenzie for Daughter’s name. I think it is pretty gender neutral

    Seeing as it’s a surname, it doesn’t come with an inbuilt tradition…

    (Unless you want to go literal, in which case it begins with “son of”.)

    Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) wants kids to learn early in life that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. To make sure they absorb that lesson, he’s proposing that low-income children do some manual labor in exchange for their subsidized meals.

    Because there are waaaaay too many jobs in the world.

    Ok, am I just being hyper-sensitive now or is this obnoxious:

    Wow, that’s bizarre. I’m, like, totally making an effort! Appreciate me already!!!

  17. theoreticalgrrrl says

    Have you ever tried zinc lozenges for a cold, Giliell? It seems to work for me when I feel a cold coming on. It usually stops it when I take it in the beginning stages, or it lessens the symptoms when I have a full on cold.

  18. says

    More financial shenanigans:

    Just under two months ago, when the $13 billion settlement for JP Morgan Chase was coming down the chute, word leaked out that that the deal was no sure thing. Among other things, it was said that prosecutors investigating Chase’s role in the Bernie Madoff caper – Chase was Madoff’s banker – were insisting on a guilty plea to actual criminal charges, but that this was a deal-breaker for Chase.

    Something had to give, and now, apparently, it has. Last week, it was reported that the state and Chase were preparing a separate $2 billion deal over the Madoff issues, a series of settlements that would also involve a deferred prosecution agreement.

    The deferred-prosecution deal is a hair short of a guilty plea.[…] we once again have a situation in which all sides will agree that a serious crime has taken place, but no individual has to pay for that crime.


    There’s only one thing to say about this “reluctance” to prosecute (and the “fear” and “concern” for lost jobs that allegedly drives it): It’s a joke.

    Yes, you might very well lose some jobs if you go around indicting huge companies on criminal charges. You might even want to avoid doing so from time to time, if the company is worth saving.

    But individuals? There’s absolutely no reason why the state can’t proceed against the actual people who are guilty of crimes.

    […] the markets generally would rather see the government punish criminals than not.

    […] crude Ponzi schemers like Madoff (150 years) and Allen Stanford (110 years) drew enormous penalties – essentially life terms for both – while no one from any major firm has drawn any penalty at all for abetting those frauds.

    That’s an enormous discrepancy, life versus nothing. […] It was possible to throw them [Madoff and Stanford] in jail without exposing widespread corruption in our financial system.

    […]the federal government is not interested in getting to the bottom of our financial corruption problem. […] Our response was different. We gave 150 years to the main guy, and now it seems we’re quietly taking a check to walk away from the rest of it. It’s not going to be a surprise when it happens again.

  19. says

    A&E just committed suicide…/snicker tee hee:

    I read that you are indefinitely suspending Phil Robertson from Duck Dynasty after he quoted the Bible and said that the homosexual act is sinful. I get it, guys. I do. You punished the Christian guy for being a Christian because you got some angry emails from a bunch of whiny gay activists who lack the spine and maturity to deal with the fact that there are still people out there who have the guts to articulate opinions that they find disagreeable. In so doing, you’ve kowtowed to a pushy minority of vocal bullies who don’t even watch your channel, while the fan base of the one show that keeps your entire network afloat.

    Really? We’re the bullies?

  20. says


    Menina, Huh. Where is that from?

    Don’t tell me I fould a piece of language you don’t know ;)
    It’s simply the Portugese word for “girl”.
    When I was a kid I went to Portugal with my parents. One day we stopped at the roadside to buy fruit and veggetables from an old farmer. He gave me an orange (No, I don’t know why he had oranges in summer) and called me “Menina” and it stuck in my head.
    It’s also an archaic Spanish word for (noble) girl as in Velazquez’ Las Meninas
    We actually thought it would be an “easy” name, since you pronounce it the same way you write it, but as people don’t know it they are literally unable to understand it. I’ve witnessed this many times: She gets asked her name, says it loudly and clearly, gets asked again, answers again and then people shake their heads and turn to me.


    Have you ever tried zinc lozenges for a cold, Giliell?

    I don’t even know what that is, but zinc is on my long list of daily supplements anyway.
    I actually blame my GP, because she mentioned how little infections I had since we got that damn thyroid under control on Tuesday and on Wednesday I was sick.

    Also, friends of us just had a baby girl! Yay! 7 weeks early, but that was actually a success since the poor mother had had to lie down since week 20. And I will finally get rid of the girl-coded stuff!

  21. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    So, I went to the office holiday party. I had this conversation:

    Me: Hey, [Administator], when is that progress report you want me to write due?
    Administrator: Yesterday.
    Third Person Nearby: Well, that sounded awkward.

  22. yazikus says


    I’ve witnessed this many times: She gets asked her name, says it loudly and clearly, gets asked again, answers again and then people shake their heads and turn to me.

    There is a winery I know of called Mannina, and I’m guessing it is pronounced the same way as Menina? I think it is a lovely name.

  23. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says


    3) Anybody know anything about alleged spraying of alleged sulfuric acid in the alleged sky?

    It probably popped into the forefront of people’s minds because of The Colbert Report. He interviewed David Keith last week and made a vague chemtrail joke. Transcript here.

    I’m reading Night Watch now and find myself getting a bit weepy every other page or so. This is so silly, but gah. It just keeps hitting me in the gut.

  24. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Esteleth, I read it once years ago, but I hadn’t read the rest of the Watch books at that time and I don’t remember it very well. So it’s a much more tense read this time. I remember just enough to have a sense of foreboding in various places.

  25. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    sense of foreboding

    Yes. That is an entirely appropriate feeling.

  26. David Marjanović says

    Don’t tell me I fould a piece of language you don’t know ;)
    It’s simply the Portugese word for “girl”.

    I had no idea :-)

  27. says


    I remember just enough to have a sense of foreboding in various places.

    Now you have the background to realize the degree to which every possible outcome is one that justifies it. Monstrous Regiment is the only other Discworld book that comes close in terms of average punches right in the heart per page.

  28. Bicarbonate says

    Mellow Monkey @ 31

    What is Night Watch?

    Giliell, Menina is really nice on the tongue. I call my kids all sorts of names that sound a lot like that, lots of m, n and a, but also some ooos, like Mouna, Maïmouna, Mami, Maminette, Mimi, Mina and Nina and Ninette.

    Also, there was actually a study done her on the name Kevin. It’s hard to get a job if you have that name. It’s also difficult to get your name changed legally but after the study came out it is now easier for Kevins to change their names.

    rq Could you re-post the link to your concert?

    theoreticalgrrrl Yeah, it’s kind of like “He’s a really great guy. He only hits me sometimes. I’m so lucky.”

  29. says

    Night Watch is one of the Discworld series, the sixth to focus on the City Watch of Annk-Morpork. Ankh-Morpork in turn is one of the largest cities on the Disc, and the center of a great deal of plot-relevant action.

  30. Bicarbonate says

    Dalillama Thanks. I’ll look it up. Haven’t read (not willingly that is) any sci-fi or fantasy (is that what Discworld is?) since I was a kid aside from Doris Lessing’s space opera that I loved loved loved.

  31. Crudely Wrott says

    Hello, hello, and I know nothing. Maximum ‘ruptness. So sorry. May you all be well.

    As many of you know I recently lost a daughter to that black hole called death. Yes, she is still dead. Some subset of you are aware that I like bugs. Thus, this —

    I have a female wolf spider in a small plastic box. She seems to be content yet I cannot shake the notion that she’d rather be in the larger box enclosed by the atmosphere, thin and vulnerable as it may be. The plastic has the advantage here. Funny how that goes, the walls that we impose inside the walls that exist without, beyond our ability to restrict access to ourselves. As if we had power.

    Well, I feed her regularly with the living bodies of lesser bugs that fall to hand and her enthusiastic feasting informs me that despite the artificial boundaries that I have imposed on her she is content and, well, happy. Happy within the limitations that I have imposed but that’s another story.

    Lately there has been a dearth of off hand foodstuffs; seems that nom-nom bugs have dug deep and gone to sleep. Why, just the other day I turned over debris and fallen limbs for a half hour and found but one poor cockroach. She ate it with what I interpreted as gratitude. I try hard not to anthropomorphize her delicate self but that’s hard, as anyone who has drafted a critter to be a companion will know. Those of you who have marveled at small critters will understand.

    Worrying about her diet, I consulted the Yellow Pages. (Yes, still a valuable resource!) Found a store that sells fishing tackle and, more germane, fish bait. I bought her a couple dozen crickets. She absolutely loved the first one! Embraced it fatally. Took it into her little hidey hole that I made for her. The others crickets are now eking out a living in a bucket. Their health, and thus their foodiness, prompted me to wonder, “What do crickets eat?” Google was my friend. I found out that crickets are omnivores and like most kinds of decaying vegetation though they will eat meat and each other in extremis.

    Now, Google, as well as Ixquick (which doesn’t record anything you ask it or try to sell you cheap shit), gives lots of results to inquiries. Most of them are eminently ignorable but, now and again, a jewel appears amidst the rubble. Here, then, is one that unites my dear little girl with my dear little arachnids. I offer it to you so that you may smile even as you wipe away a tear. So you are drawn closer to me and I closer to you.
    To An Insect by Oliver Wendell Holmes, 1831. (One hundred and twenty years before my birth. Time is nothing except when it isn’t.)

    I love to hear thine earnest voice,
    Wherever thou art hid,
    Thou testy little dogmatist,
    Thou pretty Katydid!
    Thou mindest me of gentlefolks,—
    Old gentlefolks are they,—
    Thou say’st an undisputed thing
    In such a solemn way.

    Thou art a female, Katydid!
    I know it by the trill
    That quivers through thy piercing notes,
    So petulant and shrill;
    I think there is a knot of you
    Beneath the hollow tree,—
    A knot of spinster Katydids,—
    Do Katydids drink tea?

    Oh, tell me where did Katy live,
    And what did Katy do?
    And was she very fair and young,
    And yet so wicked, too?
    Did Katy love a naughty man,
    Or kiss more cheeks than one?
    I warrant Katy did no more
    Than many a Kate has done.

    Dear me! I’ll tell you all about
    My fuss with little Jane,
    And Ann, with whom I used to walk
    So often down the lane,
    And all that tore their locks of black,
    Or wet their eyes of blue,—
    Pray tell me, sweetest Katydid,
    What did poor Katy do?

    Ah no! the living oak shall crash,
    That stood for ages still,
    The rock shall rend its mossy base
    And thunder down the hill,
    Before the little Katydid
    Shall add one word, to tell
    The mystic story of the maid
    Whose name she knows so well.

    Peace to the ever-murmuring race!
    And when the latest one
    Shall fold in death her feeble wings
    Beneath the autumn sun,
    Then shall she raise her fainting voice,
    And lift her drooping lid,
    And then the child of future years
    Shall hear what Katy did.

    And now is Christmas. May it be merry for all. Even for the dog botherers. (Makes rude sound with lips and tongue then grins widely.) The preceding period and close parenthesis is a one eyed grin, pirate like. I usually do it like this: ;^> by which I mean a congenial, in fact, conspiratorial, wink of mutual confidence. Hope you catch my drift.

    I’m probably going to be gone some more for some more time. Grief is a strange land; there is so much to explore. The lay of that land is often unaccommodating; so uneven, so rough, so tangential to experience. Whoops! Here comes another moving hill sloping downwards in a left handed fashion. Sideways slipping is disorienting. Without the assistance of the icy ground I grew up on, slipping I go now. My feet, which are both my foundation and my motivation, are gliding in unfamiliar directions.

    Oh, feets! I stand upon you and, failing all else, must stand ever. Precarious and trustworthy; such a wild and wondrous ride. Don’t worry, Diane, I’m catching up and will join you soon! (Sooner than he’d rather, he says, grumbling into his beard.)
    Please, love one another. It’s the finest thing you’ll ever do. It is what sustains us.

  32. Bicarbonate says

    thank you Crudely Wrot. I promise to love.

    It may be strange to say but that was so beautiful.

  33. says


    Discworld is indeed fantasy, with a generally comedic and parodic bent, initially of older fantasy, but increasingly social commentary. I recommend reading Guards! Guards!,Men at Arms ,Feet of Clay, and Jingo before Night Watch, though. I’d also advise you give The Colour of Magic,The Light Fantastic, and Sourcery a miss entirely; much of the humor is lost without having also read a whole bunch of early-20th century sword and sorcery, and people I know who haven’t tend not to enjoy them very much.

  34. yazikus says

    Crudely Wrot,

    Grief is a strange land; there is so much to explore. The lay of that land is often unaccommodating; so uneven, so rough, so tangential to experience. Whoops! Here comes another moving hill sloping downwards in a left handed fashion. Sideways slipping is disorienting. Without the assistance of the icy ground I grew up on, slipping I go now. My feet, which are both my foundation and my motivation, are gliding in unfamiliar directions.

    This so beautifully describes how I’ve felt the last year and a half. I lost someone too, and still I feel like I have no idea how…. how to be, do, life, laugh, cry.
    I’m so sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing.

  35. Bicarbonate says

    Dalillama, thanks for the tips I was going to ask you. I looked it up on Amazon and some commenter said Night Watch was the 28th or 29th in the series and I thought, uhhm, uh-oh, maybe not gonna read this. I’ll have to be hospitalized for several months starting in January. I won’t be able to bring a computer (things get stolen) and don’t have a smartphone. Maybe these books would be good? Can you read them through the haze of morphine? Are they the kind of thing that keeps you reading so you can forget where you are?

    If you like hugs as much as bugs, I have many to offer.

  36. Crudely Wrott says

    Hello, Bicarbonate. Nice to meet you. Really. Nice.

    I do like hugs. In fact, they are as food, nourishing, satisfying, sustaining, necessary.

    Wanna know sumpin’? I actually put out my arms and enfolded you just now. Not virtually. Really.

    How cool is ‘at? Cool as bugs, eh?

    Yazikus, may you find a place to store your loss. A place that is secure and secret. A place for which you have a key should you ever want to visit; to turn it over in your hands and remember. To do so is to love. Endlessly . . .

    And, Dalillama, thanks. Big hugs back. You always (ALWAYS!!) make me smile. Someday. Meat space. I wish.

  37. says


    Maybe these books would be good? Can you read them through the haze of morphine? Are they the kind of thing that keeps you reading so you can forget where you are?

    Well, morphine makes me wretchedly ill, so I can’t speak to that, but they’re definitely gripping reads that keep you immersed, whether in the world or the humor. The paperback editions are usually about US$7-8 new, or about half that in a used bookstore. I recall that I missed one, The Fifth Elephant also involves several of the Watch characters, and takes place before Night Watch, although I don’t think there’s any spoilers. The Watch books continue with Thud, and then Snuff, the newest Discworld book but one. If you don’t think those 8 will hold you (and they might not, they can be quick reads), Pyramids, Small Gods and Moving Picturesare standalones that don’t have any required background, although Moving Pictures introduces some supporting cast who will be important later. The Truth and Monstrous Regiment are also mostly standalones, but will be improved by having read at least some of the Watch books first, and being read in that order. Mort is a good introduction to Death, but Reaper Man is where he really shines (there’s some serious tearjerkers in that one too). That path then leads to Soul Music, introducing his granddaughter Susan, who also has a major role in the later Death books, Hogfather (another standout book) and Thief of Time. Eric will introduce you to Rincewind the cowardly Wizzard[sic](he stars in the first three books, but as I mentioned you’ll probably want to give those a miss). He comes back in Interesting Times and The Last Continent. The Lancre Witches are almost entirely unconnected to the other plot threads, as they reside in the small kingdom of Lancre, but there are overlaps and crossovers. We first meet the incomparable Granny Weatherwax in Equal Rites, and her best friend Nanny Ogg appears in Wyrd Sisters, along with Magrat Garlick, who remains the youngest of the coven through Witches Abroad and Lords and Ladies . The witches continue in Maskerade (Phantom of the Opera references abound), and Carpe Jugulum. Going Postal introduces Moist Von Lipvig, who continues in Making Money. I strongly advise that you’ve read most of the Watch books, as well as The Truth first, though. Unseen Academicals is about entirely new characters, and probably qualifies as a standalone, but you’ll benefit by reading the Watch books, Soul Music, Moving Pictures, and at least one of the Rincewind books first just for background. Sorry for the wall o text.

  38. Crudely Wrott says


    U haz bugz? How mani? Can git thiz wun sum? I can taks gud pitchures uvem.
    I really suck at “cute speak”. Sorry for the grating innocuousness. Cloying, innit? And drippy and all . . . really, sorry.

  39. says

    Crudely, I was introduced to these feelings in 1981 when my sister and I survived an electrocution that my father didn’t. The best I can offer is that time dulls it. Eventually. Mostly. Sorta. I think the approach you’re taking is about the most mature and loving one I can imagine.

    I lied. The best I can offer is more of those hug-things. I can even stand almost to my full height today. Just don’t squeeze my left side lower, k? It makes me jump, and jumpiness is Mega-Bad Juju for my spine old dorsal boneyard. You’re beautiful.

    Og, I hope you’re here as much as you’re able to and want to be. It’s a better place when you’re in it, in my opinion, and yeah, I know yours might differ just now. That’s okay too. I wish just one minute, just thirty seconds, that you could see yourself as the rest of the Lounge does.

    And that’s all i’ve got in the sitting-up pool of resources for this couple of hours. Love yas all.

  40. Crudely Wrott says

    Oh, CatieCat, how I love to hear you. And how I identify with your poor old spine. Would that we went on all fours, eh? Turn that sucker upright and it goes all caflouie, cattywompus and sideways and such. *Hugs* and commiseration.

    I’ve lost three parents, all that I ever had. Now a child. Like you said, time dulls the sense of loss but lately the thing that is mostly dulled is my mind. It keeps circling back to the moment I first heard that my baby was gone. I am trying to break that cycle, doing so with the acknowledgement that once I put my heart back together it will be whole again, it will be just as good as it has always been but there will be a bit missing, a bit that once (and still) gives joy and assurance of some kind of future.

    I never assayed such a situation. Now I do. I resent the imposition. It isn’t fair.

    (But it is. What is the half-life of a human? Surely less than we’d assume, shorter than one’s own life should one be as fortunate as we who live so long, so long . . . so long.)

  41. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    There can be no equivalence in this, loss, grief and mourning are far too personal for that. There can of course be empathy and understanding, oh, and eloquence, such profound eloquence.

    Thank you for sharing that. I believe that shared pains are lessened just as shared joys are increased, and those benefits accrue on both sides of these interactions. Small though those benefits may be.

    At my mother’s funeral just a scant few eternally long months ago I stood before her congregation and explained what this one atheist does about loss. I’m pretty sure I already wrote about this, but just in case you missed it, and on the off chance it may help I’ll repeat it.

    For me, grief is love transformed by absence. I love my mother, present tense. Just because she’s no longer here to receive that love makes not a whit of difference. So what do I do? I’ll never see her again, that loss is permanent.

    What I do, with such a tidal rhythm of success and failure, is to remember that I am not the only one who loves. I’m surrounded by a sea of loving ties, real feelings, demonstrable and powerful, that run from one person to the next. I remember that as best I can. I nurture those ties between others as best I can. I try to make it as easy as possible for everyone withing my horizon to love and be loved. And in this way I work an alchemy of emotions, I transform my grief back into the love from whence it came.

  42. says

    The night my father died, I remember waking up at about 2am, and wandering outside, because I’d heard a bunch of teenage girls laughing. A couple of doors down, someone was obviously having some friends over for the night.

    I stood under the window for an hour, just listening to life continue. I think it saved me. It gave me the perspective that though my day, my year, my life, had been busted up so awfully, all around me were other monkeys, doing their monkey thing, grooming and socializing and sleeping and eating and shitting and arguing. Despite that it made me feel also isolated – knowing that eavesdropping was as close as I could get, that night and for many months after, to ordinary interaction – it also reminded me that I’m just another monkey, wondering where the next banana or handful of crickets is coming from.

  43. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Cat was dashing in front of me, stopping in my walking path, and twisting onto back, gazing up:

    I haz some cutes! U wantz some?

    When I continued walking? Do it again.

    Apparently it’s like a dairy cow desperate to get rid of the excess milk.

    No, reallies. I haz cutes. U shud take themz!

    2 much cutes for one kitteh. I rub themz off on u nao?

    Sigh. If I didn’t have to go down to the states tonight, I’d be rubbing a kitten belly right now.

  44. Crudely Wrott says

    FossilFishy writes, so piercingly beautifully, this:

    What I do, with such a tidal rhythm of success and failure, is to remember that I am not the only one who loves. I’m surrounded by a sea of loving ties, real feelings, demonstrable and powerful, that run from one person to the next. I remember that as best I can. I nurture those ties between others as best I can. I try to make it as easy as possible for everyone withing my horizon to love and be loved. And in this way I work an alchemy of emotions, I transform my grief back into the love from whence it came.


    Oh, yes. This.

    Thank you, friend. You have captured the essence of loss and turned it into gain. Those who have gone before you would be glad and heartened even as I am. Now we know where our hope resides.

  45. says

    Now, the perfect response to feeling a little down: playing a little of How the West was Won Saved from Zombies. Yay PS3 therapy. MM and I figured out last night that I’m not going to be able to go down and visit my family – her and her other partners, and their other partners – because the doc says to spend ten or twelve hours on my ass and immobile is a good recipe for needing a very special wheeled present for the season, all my own, and maybe for good. So I’m staying here in Soviet Canuckistan.

    Fortunately, a few different folks around here among my friends host Orphans’ Dinners (all comers welcome), so I won’t be alone alone, just sleeping that way. MM will be up to visit shortly after Arbitrary New Solar Orbit Day (ANSOD, one of my favourite holidays; one of my friends said it sounded like a feast of some obscure mediaeval saint – Saint Ansod of the Hangover or something).

    All the hugs and such.

  46. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    [Opens new tab. Carefully, carefully highlights, ctrl c’s and returns to present Lounge.]

    Pteryxx (from previous thread)

    I’m so sorry for mangling you nym. Three stories that might be relevant:

    As I lay in hospital waiting to be discharged I took a photo of my recently repaired knee and sent it to my niece and nephew. We’d been discussing just what an Uncle was for exactly not long before I decided that bipedal motion wasn’t enough of a challenge. This is what an uncle is for I told them, to set a bad example to be avoided.

    Back in grade 12 my English teacher gave us a hundred word spelling and comprehension test. She wanted to see just what she had to do to get those of us going on to uni ready for it. I got around 97 of the definitions correct, and spelled only around 46 of them right. She said she’d never seen anything like it.

    Many years later I had been promoted to managing a book store. This was before the ubiquity of personal computers. We did all the basic bookkeeping on spreadsheets that were literal sheets of paper. I often ended up taking the damn thing home and doing it in the evening where I could have a beer to hand and somewhere to walk away from its columnar evilness.

    One such evening my mother called in the middle of me struggling to make it all balance. She heard the frustration in my voice and asked what was wrong.

    “Oh I’m just doing the paper work and it’s fighting me. I keep writing things down wrong and having to figure out if the error is that or just bad addition.”

    “Well you’re dyslexic, so take your time. You’ll get there.”

    “Oh…..wait, what!?”

    “You’re dyslexic. Don’t you remember that remedial class you had in elementary school?”

    “That’s what that was!? All I remember is being pulled out of class, being marched to the basement and going into a room next to the boiler room with its big, scary steel door. I had no idea what I did in that room and never really wanted to know.”

    Ah the things one learns about oneself, twenty years after the fact.

    Now, my dyslexia is very mild, and these days I cope just fine, so long as spell check is available. :)

  47. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Therapist recommends long-term group therapy. She says that by participating in a caring community over time, and by having people support you who aren’t paid to support you, but are also not necessarily entwined in your life such that your functioning is necessary for theirs (partners, co-workers, kids, etc.), I mitght have a chance to develop a healthy respect for myself.

    I didn’t tell her that I already had a place of people not dependent upon me, where I can contribute, where I receive appreciation, and where long term interaction only makes it all the better.

    Of course, I still spend too much time hating on myself, but if the point is to experience community in order to develop a better feel for my true value – strengths and weaknesses – I don’t think I need a $10/week copay.

    Unless, well, maybe my internet connection is about $45/month, so there’s that.

  48. cicely says

    Why, yes, David, and I have a *chocolate-covered pouncehug* right here with your name on it!

    Mellow Monkey: Thanks! That Colbert Report transcript was exactly what I needed!
    *extra hugs with your choice of condiments*

    *pouncehug with extra pounce*
    (And *sprinkles*.)

  49. Crudely Wrott says

    I have a place just like the one you describe, Crip Dyke. It’s right here. I pay my (surviving) daughter and SIL two hundred dollars per month to haunt the garage (really, it’s so cozy and sufficient!) which includes my ticket to the InnerTubes which includes this place right here. I consider myself lucky and, at times, clever and precocious for being able to mingle and dissemble here.

    While I freely admit that any cleverness and precociousness is really embodied in the hive mind I still stand in awe of the wonderful fallout of the Lounge and the Loungelings that lurk therein.
    Since I am threadrupt and will probably be so for a while, has Oggie posted lately? Is Oggie OK? I really miss his train stories.

  50. cicely says

    Crip Dyke:
    Oooh! Oooh! Pick us!
    *jumping up and down, hand waving in the air*
    Granted, we cost $5 per month more than your co-pay…but would any mere meatspace therapy group have as good a chance that you can find someone on-deck, 24/7?
    I think not.
    Plus, we’re funny.
    And we have *hugs*.
    With or without chocolate.

    Crudely, we have heard from Ogvorbis, and he is alive and…somewhat battered and bruised, but still Our Oggie.

  51. Crudely Wrott says

    Thank you, cicely!!!!

    I don’t know who has the bestest *hugs* between you and carlie and innumerable others but yours are extra specially yummy good warm and welcome.

    Watch your USB for ricochet hugs just about . . . now! ‘Ware extra pounceness and confetti. ;^>

  52. Crudely Wrott says

    Crudely, we have heard from Ogvorbis, and he is alive and…somewhat battered and bruised, but still Our Oggie.

    Oh, good.

    Hey, Oggie. Stand fast and stay with us. We love you. Say, what can you tell us about the 1225 that provided the sound effects for the movie Polar Express? Seems there was a close call there . . .

  53. cicely says

    So far, the gluten-free gingerbread cookies I’ve tried have proven to be made of sadness and disappointment.

  54. chigau (違う) says

    I have had a long fucking day.
    I am having some wine and a bath while I catch up.
    Anyone care to join me?

  55. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Oh-no. Took a look at the weather forecast for Chiwaukee area, and looks like a quick trip to stock up on liquid consumables tomorrow morning is in order. Then check the snowthrower to make sure it will start. They are predicting “up to several inches” of snow accumulations starting Friday night and all day Saturday, through Sunday morning.

  56. says

    Crudely Wrott and FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist)

    I, too, have known profound and, in a way, damaging loss not so far ago. Your words are deep and have touched me.

    Here I am, trying to move code into production and now I’m sitting here thinking about what ya’ll said. (well, that and typing…and maybe a smidge of crying)

    Thank you for sharing.

  57. Crudely Wrott says

    Ah. New Mexico is on board. Go here.
    This boringly hetero male celebrates common* sense and common compassion. From the article:

    Justice Edward L. Chavez said in a ruling that none of New Mexico’s marriage statutes specifically prohibits same-gender marriages, but the state’s laws as a whole have prevented gay and lesbian couples from marrying. The justices said same-sex couples are a discrete group that has been subjected to a history of discrimination and violence.

    “Accordingly, New Mexico may neither constitutionally deny same-gender couples the right to marry nor deprive them of the rights, protections and responsibilities of marriage laws, unless the proponents of the legislation — the opponents of same-gender marriage — prove that the discrimination caused by the legislation is ‘substantially related to an important government interest,'” Chavez wrote.

    *tugs Lynna’s coattails*

    Ya know, treating others as we would have others treat us really works. Just watch.
    *common: general, widespread, normal, accepted as business as usual.

  58. Crudely Wrott says

    @Ye Olde Blacksmith Spocktopus cuddler:

    I grew up around a forge and an anvil. The ringing still rings in my ears. Such a useful note, the music of invention.

    I suppose that living is like being the billet upon the anvil, under the hammer. In earlier years that would seem an undeserved state of being. These days it seems fitting for it is unavoidable and, moreover, is what shapes us.

    The kindly ministrations of the hammer empowers me to give counsel to my grandsons, to whom it seems unkindly imposition but will, in time (always fucking time), be the counsel that they give to their grandchildren.

    And so it goes, Billy Pilgrim. And so it goes,

    Plus (drum roll) children are, in fact, grand, notwithstanding generational separation. They are us barging into the future.

    May your hammer rise and fall effortlessly and may your anvil ring with grand, spreading smiles.

  59. says

    A tonic for those of us who struggle with paying the rent, I don’t know what hit me tonight, but all of a sudden I’m hunting for, and finding, the perfect music for when you’re feeling poor: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer. George T and those Delaware DeSTROYahs. Oh yeah.

    “And the landlady says, ‘well, that don’t confront me none’
    Long as I get my rent next Friday
    Well, a Friday come, and I ain’t got no rent.
    So out the door I went.”

    I lift a ceremonial bowl…er, glass of wine, I mean, yeah, that’s it, wine…to the eternal verities: mean-spirited rentiers and their need for way mo’ money than they oughta. Yuh-huh.

    Sleepy time. Fagged to the bone. No, not like that. Night, Loungierie.

  60. says

    Some good news. The next generation stands up for equality!

    Students at a Catholic high school in Washington state staged a rally on Thursday in support of their vice-principal, who is reportedly being forced out of his position for marrying a man.

    KING-TV reported that students at Eastside Catholic High in Sammamish called for the school to retain Vice-Principal Mark Zmuda. The school contends that Zmuda violated church teachings when he married his partner Dana Jergens in July 2013. Zmuda’s last day is scheduled for Friday.

    The protest, which drew around 300 students, reportedly began as a sit-in in the school cafeteria but moved to the parking lot, where demonstrators chanted, “Keep Mr. Z.” Zmuda, a 13-year veteran instructor and administrator, also coaches Eastside’s swim team.

  61. says

    May your hammer rise and fall effortlessly and may your anvil ring with grand, spreading smiles

    Most gracious. Thank you.

    I’ve often related smithing to life. The fire burns but also helps. The hammer hits hard, but can shape beauty too. The billet is only hot and malleable for a short while, then it becomes cold and hard. Reapplication of heat and it is malleable again.

    I hope that came out right. I may have had a bit more wine than intended. :)

  62. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Crudely – *many pouncehugs with loving support and chocolate*


    So far, the gluten-free gingerbread cookies I’ve tried have proven to be made of sadness and disappointment.

    Gluten-free baking is a tricky business. I don’t know if these suggestions will help, but I read in a book on gluten-free baking that you need to use butter for most recipes (rather than oils or other substitutes) and you should use room-temperature eggs. In a pinch, Betty Crocker makes an excellent gluten-free cookie mix. The cookies been very popular whenever I bring them to an event.

    Based on my growing experience in this area, I generally find that gluten-free baked goods do not match up to their gluten-based counterparts. I’ve started looking for gluten-free items I like that I do not see as substitutes for something else. That said, more products and recipes are becoming available daily, so there is always hope of finding things that you like, eventually anyway.

  63. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    What, with y?

    Yes. Confuses the hell out of post service and billing companies, so she also gets post to both Mary and Meri.

    And Krešimir is all kinds of awesome!

    -mir is a common ending in traditional Croatian names (Branimir, Trpimir, Zvonimir)
    Croatian wiki says (early, might translate in the evening when I come back):

    Etimologija imena Krešimir je već dugo upitna. Uvriježeno je mišljenje kako je to složenica od dvije riječi: imperativa „krijesti“ ili „krijesiti“ u značenju „iskriti“, ali i „buditi“; te od riječi “mir”. Po tomu bi Krešimir značilo „Onaj koji svijetli u miru“ ili jednostavno „Prosvjetitelj“.

    No, postoji i mišljenje kako Krešimir dolazi od latinskog „Cresmur“ (tal. „Cresimare“) u značenju „Krizmati“, tj. U obliku glagola „Cresimi“ što znači „primati sveti blagoslov“. Što je još jedna potvrda kršćanstva hrvatskih vladara.


    That happens. Long, dark blond hair?

    at the time, middle length light brown/mousy hair

    Is there no female Saša?

    Yes, I just didn’t think of it

  64. says

    To any cat lovers:
    Any clue why cats sometimes lick, then gently nibble your fingers? I have one cat who does it pretty much whenever I pet her. She doesn’t bite, just nips once, maybe twice…then licks again.

  65. says

    I don’t know, but I’ve always thought it was something like this with my two…

    hmmm.. that smells tasty
    *lick* *lick*
    oh, that is actually my human, not the tasty thing I thought it was
    hmmm.. that smells tasty
    *lick* *lick*
    oh, that is actually my human, not the tasty thing I thought it was
    hmmm.. that smells tasty
    *lick* *lick*
    oh, that is actually my human, not the tasty thing I thought it was

  66. says

    I only have my two (of about 7 years) as data points and no training in biology, animal psychology, etc.
    I don’t think it is so much memory as it is concern. Mine seem to be so finely honed to predation that most (or seemingly all ) of their thought processes are geared towards that end. They, both, seem to be preternaturally aware of the foodstuffs (or potential foodstuffs) around them and less so about anything else.

    Welp, the second wine bottle is empty. It is after midnight. Time for sleepies with the two aforementioned predators, the rat “dog”* and Honored First Wife.**

    *tiny Pomeranian
    ** of 18 years now and counting

  67. says

    Did ya’ll see the new American Atheists ad?
    I like it!


    I’m just now catching up on the Lounge. Everyone else has said it so much better than I could, but I hope you know how much you are loved here. We are all happy to have you around, no matter when, how much or how little. We have your back. We support you.

    You are not a failed human being.
    You are an amazing human being.

  68. says

    It’s just as well. I am almost completely a red wine guy (save the occasional Moscato). I love me a Shiraz, Pinot Noir, or Cab/Merlot blends.
    (the intent behind your comment is very much appreciated :)

  69. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Thank you Tony, Ye Olde Blacksmith, yazikus, and Crudely and anyone I missed.

    Ye Olde Blacksmith

    Have a little music to help you in the coding mines. (a bit dated but still fun)

  70. says

    Good morning
    Well, I’m feeling a bit better.
    But, children!
    Usually I wake them at 6:30 and then I need a crowbar to get them out of bed. Now, school is over and I don’t have to be in college that early, so I set the alar to 7 am. Guess who was up at 6 am ??!!!

    You’re a wise man, you know?

    *big fluffy hugs*
    Remember that those saying nice things to you aren’t lying any more to you than you are lying to the people you compliment.
    Your life is fucking hard right now and it’s easy to hate oneself for not fulfilling all the expectations we have for ourselves.

    Dunno, how do you pronounce that winnery?
    Her name is pronounced with clear, meadium-short vowels.
    Me with E like in “get”, only a little longer, Ni with the I like EE in sweet (that’s also the stressed sylable), Na with an A that doesn’t exist in English. Like A in car, only a more closed sound and more to the front of the mouth.

  71. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Goodnight YOB. May your dreams be fiery.

    Goodnight to you all, wherever you may be, whenever you may sleep. And may we all rise refreshed, renewed and ready once again to face this maddening, sorrowful, complicated, intriguing, wondrous, joyous world.

  72. rq says

    There is so much eloquence in these comments that appeared here overnight, all I can leave is *hugs* and *appreciation*. And *wine*, though it’s too early for a bath (I don’t even know if chigau is still in there).
    Crudely Wrott
    (Just misspelled your name as “Curefly”.) It is lovely to see you, and to read you, and to know that you are, if not well, then you are. *hugs*

    Giliell @21

    A poor man was hunted from his job by evil feminists because he didn’t have the adequate politically correct opinions on alleged female superiority.

    Are you psychic or something??? One of his lines of protest was that it is difficult to fit into a female collective (never mind that we already have two men – cis, straight – working in the lab) and that they’re always gossiping and spreading stories about him. This is not made up… :/ He has a hard time accepting that he just couldn’t do the work. He’ll be at the christmas thingy today, we’ll see how it goes (to be honest, he terrifies me just a little bit on some undefinable level).

    re: choir music
    Here (I hope it works, sometimes it’s a bit sticky), and starting from 1.34.00 or so, my choir gets on stage. The others are also excellent, by the way – these are all (or at least most) of the top-ranked amateur choirs in the country. :)

    Good morning! ;)

  73. rq says

    Oh and Giliell re: children, beds and crowbars
    I know that story! It’s from the same book as the one we heard this morning:
    Last night, Husband and I couldn’t decide whether to take the kids to their kindergarten/daycare today or not because of Things and it would certainly make it easier but it’s their last day, etc. … We never actually decided, because we fell asleep in mid-conversation.
    So this morning, Husband wakes up just after 6, and more or less decides that no, he won’t take the kids, because they’ll want to sleep in anyway, they’re always so exhausted and most mornings they’re very intent on staying in bed.
    My mistake: I said you have to at least ask them.
    And what do they both answer?? Yes, of course we’ll go!!!
    We spent the next 15 minutes in a blizzard of crying, getting dressed and “No, I really, really want to go!!!”, with Youngest adding his panicky, bark-like cough as counterpoint (yes, he’s going to the doctor again today).

  74. says

    I tried. I could doze a bit while being treated to the cuddles and kisses and stories of Rattie, Wasserplantsch the otter, Schnuffel the dog and Moffel the hippo. If the little one is woken up she’s as grumpy as can be. If she wakes up by herself she’s a bundle of energy and cheerfulness which I find about as appealing in the morning as fish guts that were left in the sun all day.

    Not psychic, just used to the routine by now.

  75. bassmike says

    Hi everyone. I’m probably disappearing now until the New Year. I can’t see myself having time to check on the lounge until then unfortunately. I hope you all have as good a time as you can manage and stay safe.

    Special hoiday hugs to everyone who wants/needs them.

    See you on the other side.

    Here are some cookies (contamination-free) and I leave you with my lot playing an X-Mas tune.

  76. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Hello all! I’m just leaving the office for our Xmas lunch and probably won’t be logging on again until after New Years, so I just wanted to wish everyone a merry Christmas/Saturnalia/Decemberween/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, and a Happy New Year. Enjoy yourselves, I’ll talk to you all in the New Year.

  77. carlie says

    Beautiful sentiments, all.
    My hugs and love to everyone who has lost, everyone who is grieving, everyone who is facing trials of finances and stress and relationships and self-doubt and day-to-day annoyances.

  78. rq says

    Best wishes of the season to those logging off until the New Year – I hope you have many a good time and lots of cheer in this season, may you spend it disease-free and surrounded by the people you wish to see around you. *hugs* and *cookies* and *mulled wine*

  79. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    Tony @90:

    You are not a failed human being.

    And this is where I keep coming back.

    Joe Paterno ran a clean college football programme. He donated (usually anonymously) millions of dollars back to the school and to community programmes, initiatives and projects. He maintained a high graduation rate for his athletes. Many of his athletes were pursuing very difficult majors (engineering, biology, physics, pre-med, food science, etc.), majors usually not associated with student athletes, and he encouraged this. By all accounts, he was a model of what a major programme football coach should be.

    And the one time that he had to make a real decision (do I hurt my football programme or do I passively enable a child molester) he chose to protect the football programme. At that moment, he failed at being human. Making the choice to allow another to suffer is wrong. He will be remembered for that decision for decades.

    The one chance I had, I failed, too.


    Went to a funeral on Wednesday — full eucharistic mass. Our park’s superintendent died late Friday night. He was a really good man and I am still a little shaken up. Sorry.

  80. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis, you are right about Paterno. But may I suggest that if you were to consider the case of a child, a ten-year-old, physically and psychologically abused and forced to act as part of the abuse that child was suffering at the hands of an adult, you would not see them in anything even remotely like the same light as Paterno?

    Please, Og, take care of yourself and remember a ten-year-old is not the same as an adult in a position of very considerable authority.

  81. Silva says

    Hey, maybe somebody here can help me. I’m looking for some spider research to donate to. Population surveys, behavioral studies, whatever. Preferably something in the New England area, if possible. This Christmas, I have a spider gift-giving theme with my niece and nephews – they’re all getting plush spiders, and I’d love to give them donation cards to go with the toys.

    But my Google-fu is failing me – I’ve found a spider survey in Colorado, which is nice, but the only local studies I’ve found have been already completed and/or terminated.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to locate a spider research project, and quickly? Unfortunately, my research project is on Eastern Spadefoot Toads, the wrong phylum entirely, and my study is so piddly and underadvertised that I doubt a random person would ever find it.

  82. Bicarbonate says

    I hate Christmas. I dread it all year. If there’s any time I think of running away, taking on a new identity in some country where nobody knows me and leaving no trace, it’s this time of year.

    I am sad to see so many checking out. I will log on briefly after the holidays to say hello. I wish all of you the best, both for those who love and those who hate this time.

  83. says

    Happy Caitie this morning, received a couple of CVs to edit. They’re not big projects, but between them they’ll bring me a hundred or so, and that’s not sneezin’ money, for me.

    I like doing CVs for new postdocs. They’re always so cute about it, basically struggling to adjust their self-perception from that of the supplicating student (the usual and appropriate pre-doc attitude) to the potential valued colleague. It’s fun to push them to be egoists, to be more confident, to drop the GPA and emphasize the research/teaching goals, to approach the reviewer with an attitude of “I, too, am a scientist, and you want my research in your department!”

    Also, of course, ruthlessly hacking whole paragraphs out of their teaching and research statements, and chopping out banal statements (“Teaching Assistant duties: taught classes to undergrads, graded papers and exams, provided office hours” – all struck out, these are obvious to any potential colleague, who’s got plenty of experience with what TAs do!). I managed to bring one of the two down from 7 pages of CV to 4.

    Now back to the next one. Then back to ghostwriting for the Naughty Academic.

  84. says

    Oh, my apologies, Og, should have remembered I’m not dealing with my usual crew of all-academics (my clientele). A CV is a curriculum vitae, otherwise known as “a resume, but for toffs”. It presents the educational and research achievements of an academic, for use in applying to positions.

    Usually as sessional lecturers, because what has seven hundred years of tenure taught us? That sessional lecturers are cheaper and more afraid, therefore more willing to put up with shitty treatment, which is of course the goal of any university. Or, rather, any university administration.

  85. rq says


    My ignorence is well known.

    I choose to remain ignorant of your ignorance.

    I’ll also be around throughout the holidays, except for a couple-day stretch where we have to head out to the country. But this year my Younger-Middle Brother is coming to visit, so we’ll be spending the important dates here, first christmas in new house! Yay!
    Also, kids are old enough to make this a science-y christmas – microscope + telescope as family gift (because I’ve always wanted a telescope and Eldest has been asking for a microscope), and since the two older ones have been talking about growing up to be inventors (and dinosaur scientists, and car mechanics, and professional singers, and skeleton and bobsleigh sliders, and chefs, and…), I bought them an awesome kids book about Leonardo da Vinci, complete with popup pictures of his inventions.

    They have 7 page CVs???
    Wooow… I’m glad for the work for you, though. :) Not spittin’ money, at all.

    May I offer you some *hugs*? Like I said, I’ll be around maybe a bit less than usual, but probably about the same.
    I’m less excited about christmas as such as the idea of holidays and less run-around stress.
    And I like my siblings and see far too little of them, so even an extra one for a few days feels like a big thing, even though I just recently visited this brother in London.

  86. says

    In previous threads I posted about Darrell Issa’s road trip during which he promotes lies about the Affordable Healthcare, and during which he leaks documents to the media, documents he has personally edited so that less than the truth gets out. Here’s his latest bit of dumbfuckery:

    … House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Texas) has hosted ridiculous “field hearings,” and it’s why his office leaked this story to ABC News yesterday.

    Nearly three months after its launch and as millions of Americans log on to shop for health plans, has still had serious security vulnerabilities, according to documents and testimony obtained exclusively by ABC News.

    There have been “two high findings” of risk – the most serious level of concern – in testing over the past few weeks, the top Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) cybersecurity official told the House Oversight Committee on Tuesday in a private transcribed interview.

    It’s a “vulnerability in the system,” CMS chief information security officer Teresa Fryer told the committee of one of the issues.

    To be sure, that sounds alarming, but we’ve seen plenty of reports based on leaked partial transcripts, “obtained” by news organizations from Darrell Issa’s office, most of which turn out to be misleading – or completely false.

    So I checked in with Democrats on the House Oversight Committee, who said “key details” from Teresa Fryer’s transcript “were omitted” before it was leaked to ABC. It’s true that security testing uncovered a recent vulnerability, but Issa’s leak left out relevant facts: there have been no security breaches, the vulnerability was identified and fixed, and Fryer sees the security measures in place as “best practices above and beyond what is usually recommended.” …

    Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), ranking member of the Oversight Committee, said, “Chairman Issa’s reckless pattern of leaking partial and misleading information is now legendary for omitting key information that directly contradicts his political narrative….This effort to leak cherry-picked information is part of a deliberate campaign to scare the American people and deny them the quality affordable health insurance to which they are entitled under the law.” …

    Yes, ABC covered the faux story. ABC updated their coverage later, after the damage had already been done.

  87. says

    rq: Yep, 7 pages. Of which four were just publications; the guy is a CompEng postdoc, seven years out, so he’s had a number of research projects, collaborations with industry, and conference proceedings from given papers, that kind of thing. Huge pubs list. I skimmed a page out of the 4 pubs pp, by removing things like impact scores and descriptions of the journals’ positions in the field, on the ground that a colleague interviewing in the field would know full well what the journals’ values were. Cut the list of “CV highlights” from 27 lines on 9 points, to 6 lines on 3 points. Took out all the stuff about the tasks performed as a TA (classes, grading, office hours, mentoring), and a bunch of other stuff which had been covered in the cover letter, like pubs/lectures winning several awards, that kind of thing.

    My philosophy is to make it as short as humanly possible, and to try to avoid any repetition of material. The cover letter, CV, and research and teaching statements are only one page each, ruthlessly. I aim to make the CV as easy on the reviewer as possible: all the most important and special things about the applicant at the very top, with things they’d peruse later as you get further into the process further down. Strip out all padding that isn’t basic good manners. Individualize for each position applied to (“My research in Completeness Detection in Automated Heaters for Yeast-based Comestibles would be well-suited to complement Professor $NAMEHERE in their work on Analysis of Paraeidolic Heat-Infused Bread Products, and to contribute to the PHIBP Centre of Excellence on campus”).

    In a way, my feminism informs my editing: be empathetic. Read your CV like you are the hiring person: give yourself thirty seconds to look through the high points, and decide how many other CVs it would be able to beat in making it to the short-list pile. If that number is smaller than the number you think will make the application, cut, cut, and cut some more.

  88. rq says

    This is my dedication to the Lounge.

    translation of chorus:
    And I don’t care
    that in this world
    we haven’t met,
    And I don’t care
    because I know that people like you and I
    are only a few* on this globe.

    (The rest is typical love song. ;) While nice, not for all of you.)

    * Original words say ‘two’, but we’re more than two in the Lounge.


    When I have to apply for work in Canada, can I apply to you to look over my CV? I don’t know if it will be soon or ever, but it sounds like you’d do a good and fair job of cutting it to pieces and making it look good. :)

  89. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Re: CVs.

    Mine is currently 5 pages long.

    Though I’m soon going to completely re-write it and make it a nurse’s resumé.


    I think I’m going to do what I heard of someone doing: listing my Ph.D. and publications under “hobbies.”

  90. Dhorvath, OM says

    CV? Hell, I don’t even resume. Some industries are not terribly formal. I suppose that says something about the work I do, but I do not envy anyone having to sell their person on paper.

  91. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Oooh! Oooh! Pick us!
    *jumping up and down, hand waving in the air*

    1st, already done .

    Granted, we cost $5 per month more than your co-pay

    2nd, that’s only in months having fewer than 31 days, and it’s not a full fiver except in february.

    Plus, we’re funny.

    3rd, the kindergartner in me wants to say, “But I haven’t seen your face!”

    Ah, the days when casual cruelty passed as humor. Those were the good ones, don’t you think?

    And we have *hugs*.

    4th, hugs are good.

    With or without chocolate.

    Well, chocolate. That sort of erases any lingering doubt right there, doesn’t it? If you’d put that first, no enumeration would have been necessary.

  92. says

    So, CD, you’re saying that if one wanted you to visit, a telegram reading “CHOCOLATE STOP SEE YOU SOON STOP LOVE CAIT FROM PHNGLA” would suffice?

    *makes notes* (after six attempts to type it! Tpyos must love me especially today)

  93. Dhorvath, OM says

    I fix bicycles, the pedal kind, and it has been my experience that no one who enters a bike shop with a resume gets hired. On the other hand, I have but to talk bikes and almost inevitably offers come my way, “So, where are you working?” It’s very casual.

  94. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    And it appears that my iPod has bit the dust. Right before a trip to Florida. I keep resetting the iPod, restoring it, and then it won’t sync. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!!!!!!!!!

  95. yazikus says

    Re: CV’s
    My firm is hiring (or just hired someone) right now. The person we ended up choosing had an excellent resume, outstanding letters of recommendation, and has been unemployed since this last spring. I’m wondering why the hell no one else has snatched them up? They also only asked for a relative pittance for pay and were so grateful for benefits. The job market is seriously fucked up right now.

    It just started snowing, the small swirly kind of flakes that dust everything. It is lovely. But it is supposed to rain later, so I suppose I’ll wake up tomorrow to sheets of ice covering everything.

  96. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @CaitieCat, #135:

    I believe it would require a “FULL STOP” at the end, but otherwise, yes.

  97. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Without a “FULL STOP” I would only sit there waiting expectantly for more details on the chocolate.

  98. says

    Chris Mooney has decided that Obamacare will produce more atheists.

    …societies that are existentially secure—meaning that people have access to health care and a strong social safety net, that there is a strong rule of law, but also that they are not facing deadly diseases or natural disasters—tend toward less religion and also more tolerance of atheism. …

    Mooney uses the word “amazing” way too much when describing the research he uses to back up his conclusions. If you are allergic to overuse of “amazing,” steer clear.

  99. says


    I just had to walk down to the store, to use the ATM and get myself some cash for A Person’s visit later this afternoon. A Person who brings me medicines.

    Discovered that New!Cait is considerably less mobile than Old!Cait. Ironic, since it’s being old that has made New!Cait in the first place. As in, I walked to the store. Whose sign is 100m from my balcony. It’s a small store. I had to wait for a minute with the ATM because it was being stupid, or I couldn’t read, or something.

    By the time I got back to my lobby, I had to sit on the bench there before I could finish getting home (i.e., use the lift), and wait for the pain to subside a little.

    This is perplexing. Literally 10 months ago I was playing goalkeeper for my indoor team, and was the top keeper in my division besides (fewest conceded, most clean sheets, best save percentage despite div-lowest shots against, we had a good defence). Now walking 200m in 15 minutes is almost making me cry with how much it hurts. And I’ve had all my meds, yes.

    Wow. I’m beginning to think even my Life Goal (circumnavigation multiple times!) is receding from my reach. At the moment, if it weren’t on trains as much as possible, I don’t think I could do it. :(

    I guess I could go Oslo-St.P-Vladivostok-Shanghai-Mumbai-fly to Ankara-train to Lisbon – fly to London? But I doubt I could travel through all of Africa as a lone disabled woman by train, and even South America would be hard to manage that way.

    Can’t be cars, because they force too much immobility. And planes are binary journeys – you’re at Point A, you’re at Point B. For me, travelling is about the travelling, so I’m more likely to go analogue.

    I need to write and sell my Great Novel soon, I think, if I want to get my Goal accomplished: seeing as much of the world as I possibly can. I’ve seen most of Western Europe, courtesy my fine salary and regular weekend trips when I was in the military, though Eastern Europe has been missed completely, for the same reason (security clearance + travel in Cold War “enemy” countries” = bad for Caitie).

    And I’ve been through much of Britain, over many visits home. But I’ve never been to Africa, or south of the US in the Americas, and I’ve only been to Hong Kong and Thailand in Asia.

    Sadly, I doubt I’ll ever be able to see Australia, unless someone I know has a big boat I could go on. :(

    Disability sucks. :(

  100. yazikus says

    This is from a letter to my local paper, so much ridiculousness!

    We really do need to get some competition in our educational system. We really do need to get a voucher system in place where the money follows the parents’ school of choice for their kids.

    Penalizing parents by making them pay twice for their child’s education is immoral and probably illegal. If there are lawyers who want to do something right for this country, they should file a class action against a system that requires parents to pay twice for their kids’ education. It should be illegal, and all parents who are double-paying should be reimbursed from the states coffers.

    Don’t you think parents may want their own values and morals reinforced in the school room, rather than some young (or old) teacher who has his own political agenda?

    Parents know this stuff is going on and we pray that somehow our influence will be enough to get our kids through all the text book alterations and all the influential teachers’ philosophies that may not reflect what we want our kids to learn in school. How about the facts when we know them and the best guesses when we don’t have the facts? And let’s leave in the books things about America’s astounding achievements and accomplishments that make her the greatest country in the world.

    Some people are wanting us to believe that Hitler didn’t exist because he did such evil things. It is some of these same people who want us to believe that Christ didn’t exist either, and I suppose it’s because he did such good things.

    The only problem with having an example of goodness is that now we have a way to gauge evil. If a gauge doesn’t exist then we will not have a way of knowing the difference, so the answer is to do away with the gauge? Actually they tried that once and it didn’t work.

    The best most-recent example of this is “you can keep your old insurance if you want to.”

    Obviously this is not the truth and that is why Christ came, to help us know the difference. He said, “I am the way, the truth and the light.” This seems to be pretty scary for some, but only if they don’t tell the truth.

    Let’s get some competition back in our schools and let’s teach all the history all the time in all the schools.

    Seriously? Christ came because Obamacare????

  101. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    If there are lawyers who want to do something right for this country, they should file a class action against a system that requires parents to pay twice for their kids’ education. It should be illegal, and all parents who are double-paying should be reimbursed from the states coffers.


    just as it should be illegal to make the parents of children going to school pay for the children’s schooling at all. If the children want so badly to be educated (or even just avoid the truancy penalties) let them pay for school themselves.

    Also, If I don’t ride the bus, I shouldn’t pay for it. Likewise what is with my federal tax dollars going to buy armor for troops? I’m not a troop. I don’t need armor.

    And research? Anyone who wants to read an article on mars or have data from a probe can just pay $100k per article or per 1 day of data from one instrument. Pretty quickly we’d have the money to send those probes paid back, and future ones could be done with reasonable capitalization without borrowing from unwilling tax payers who don’t want to risk it if interest in mars science wanes.

    This whole system of a “government” with “socialized costs” is a multi-trillion dollar boondoggle.

  102. ImaginesABeach says

    Re: Kelly Barnhill. I read Iron Hearted Violet a few days ago. It was excellent. If you like YA fiction, go read it. Plus it puts money in one of the right pockets.

  103. yazikus says

    If the children want so badly to be educated (or even just avoid the truancy penalties) let them pay for school themselves.

    With some republicans currently suggesting children who can’t afford school lunches be forced to do manual labor and saying things like

    West Virginia State Del. Ray Canterbury said during a floor debate on a school lunch bill: “I think it would be a good idea if perhaps we had the kids work for their lunches: trash to be taken out, hallways to be swept, lawns to be mowed, make them earn it. If they miss a lunch or they miss a meal they might not, in that class that afternoon, learn to add, they may not learn to diagram a sentence, but they’ll learn a more important lesson.

    (bolding was mine) are we really that far away from that? Not as far as we think, I think. It is horrible.

  104. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ImaginesABeach –

    wasn’t one of the things Barnhill discussed the need for maintaining the distinction between YA and “Middle Grade” or “Middle Reader” books?

    i think she says that her stuff is “middle grade”.

    Just FYI.

    The distinction wasn’t something of which I was consciously aware, though I knew Powell’s had separate sections for more than just “picture book” and “YA”. I only bring it up because Barnhill cares about the distinction, and I try to defer to self-identification and, failing that, expert-identification over my own categories. In this case, I think I’m deferring to both at once – the best case.

  105. cicely says

    Hekuni Cat, I figure that the quality and quantity of gluten-free products’ll probably follow the same pattern as low-fat, or low-sodium—as it becomes clear that there’s a market for it, more R&D time and money will be put into it, because profit!—but for now, we seem to be about at the stage where “chocolate” diet foods were twenty years ago. The “chocolate” tasted completely unlike chocolate, and the “bread” at present is a cruel mockery of actual bread.
    It’s just that at this time of year, I’ve always enjoyed the seasonally-available gingerbread. So…sadness and disappointment. Garnished with resignation.


    See you on the other side, bassmike.

    Merry Squidmas, Thumper, and a Happy New Beer!

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis…and what opposablethumbs said.

    My ignorence is well known.

    We are all differently ignorant.
    (Even Later)
    My condolences on the loss of your iPod. *removing imaginary hat*
    “Atoms to atoms, rust to rust….”

    *hugs* for Bicarbonate.
    “It’s the most horrible time…of the year!” doesn’t sell many records/cassettes/8-tracks/CDs/DVDs.

    chigau, I’ll be here, too.
    We can keep each other company, and drink up all the *beverages*!


    So, CD, you’re saying that if one wanted you to visit, a telegram reading “CHOCOLATE STOP SEE YOU SOON STOP LOVE CAIT FROM PHNGLA” would suffice?

    *aside to CaitieCat*—Do you think that’d work? Even on non-telegrammatic communications?
    Light…or dark? Nuts? No nuts?

  106. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Light…or dark? Nuts? No nuts?

    Allergic to dairy STOP Must therefore be dark STOP I love nuts but have enough among my friends STOP Therefore don’t need nuts in the chocolate STOP Prefer the chocolate in the nuts STOP See what I did there FULL STOP

  107. cicely says

    *soft, gentle hugs* for CaitieCat.
    Sharp mobility decrease is Made of Suck and FAIL.
    Disability simulataneously sucks and blows.


  108. says

    To contribute to the discussion up-thread about education, specifically public education:

    … Organizers of the Day of Action – the Opportunity to Learn campaign, the nation’s teachers’ unions and numerous community organizations – amassed more than 120 press hits on the 100-plus events that occurred that day.

    The multiple events amounted to “the largest coordinated action to reclaim the promise of public education in recent memory,” according to a statement from the American Federation of Teachers.

    Stories from people across the nation told of how students and communities are being undermined by an assortment of policy mandates that have been branded as education “reform.” …

    … there is widespread evidence that public education has become a rallying point for a huge cross section of the progressive community, including labor leaders, educators, clergy, members of immigrant communities, civil rights activists, representatives from grassroots student and parent groups, and community organizers.

    So apparently, one of the foundational principles of progressivism, a right to a free and viable access to quality education – a real “left-wing … fantasy” if there ever was one – is now broadly perceived as being at risk.

    It was CAP, after all, that recently proclaimed mayoral direct control of schools – a position also embraced by Republicans – as an appealing “alternative” to the traditional governance of democratically elected school boards.

    Tell that to citizens of Chicago who’ve been in the streets protesting mass school closings engineered by Mayor Rahm Emanuel. …

    As with economics, the Washington Consensus on education has been an illusion all along, and Democrats, including the Center for American Progress, need to snap out of it.

    … experienced political insider Mike Lux observed that the “battle” for the soul of the Democratic Party “isn’t between progressives and centrists” at all, but “between the biggest special interest corporations in the world … and those of us who want to confront and rein in their power.”

    …America’s education policy has largely been driven by the big money of Wall Street and private foundations.

    But now the real impacts of the education reform agenda are starting to play out on the ground. Americans are awakening to the catastrophic effects of the “reform” movement. And they’re responding by making the fight for public schools another front in the broad grass-roots struggle for equality of all kinds….

    Salon link.

  109. says


  110. says

    More from the Salon article, link in comment #161:

    School vouchers that enable families to redirect public funds to private schools and privately operated charters are not something in any way progressive – and not just because they don’t appear to do anything to improve academic achievement.

    As Stephanie Simon recently wrote for Politico,

    “In Milwaukee, just 13 percent of voucher students scored proficient in math and 11 percent made the bar in reading this spring. That’s worse on both counts than students in the city’s public schools. In Cleveland, voucher students in most grades performed worse than their peers in public schools in math, though they did better in reading. In New Orleans, voucher students who struggle academically haven’t advanced to grade-level work any faster over the past two years than students in the public schools.”

  111. rq says

    :O Crip Dyke
    I love the illustration in your link @158, the one with trolls. It looks awfully familiar, though, in a weird way.
    (Should all comments to you be prefaced with chocolate, as well?)

  112. says

    Amusing infighting among Republicans, it’s become an ever expanding category of news. Take for instance, the case of plump Glenn Beck calling Chris Christie “fat” — as if weight mattered more than policies.

    Chris Christie is a fat nightmare. He is a nightmare.” — Glenn Beck

    Beck went on to call Christie a “progressive” and “not a conservative,” but only as an afterthought to being fat.

  113. cicely says


  114. yazikus says

    Hi Ogvorbis,
    Are you planning on cooking up something delicious for the holidays? I do enjoy hearing about your culinary exploits.

  115. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says


  116. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says



  117. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    (Should all comments to you be prefaced with chocolate, as well?)



  118. says

    I love that cartoon, CD. That specific one.

    Because I swear to the Uncaring Universe, my mother and I had that very same conversation. I had the TV dismantled on the living room floor (I wanted to see how it worked; I was also very lucky, as I had not yet learned the word ‘capacitor’ or why they say ‘do not dismantle your TV you jackass’ on the back). She came in and asked me what I was doing. I think I said “Really?”

    It didn’t end well.

  119. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says



  120. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    Attention: For Sale: One 13″ mid-2012 MacBook Pro. Currently running OS X 10.9.1. 2.9 GHz Intel Core i7; 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3.

    Under extended warranty until 2015.

    Included is a bluetooth keyboard, bluetooth mouse, VGA adapter, advance-slide-remote thingie, an extra power cord, and a bag to put it all in.

    Um…$600? OBO?

    (not joking. seriously, someone make me an offer.)

  121. rq says

    I’m sure glad someone was smart enough to invent real punctuation, none of this wordy stuff y’all have been throwing about tonight.

  122. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    I’ve always, when reading Discworld books, read that oath (in my 174), as delivered by Carrot, in the voice of the sergeant in Guthrie’s Alice’s Restaurant.

  123. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says



    I think I missed something. Where did you come up with a southeastern United States accent?

  124. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says


    I’ve been known to say that IRL. I grew up in the Midwest.

    Sometimes I wish I’d been able to maintain Plain Speech for longer than 30 seconds without dissolving into giggles.

    It is quite clear, as it maintains the thee/you split that Modern English has tragically lost.

    *random confetti* and *model trains* for Oggie.

  125. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says


    I hold on to my ‘y’all’ that I picked up in the Cumberland Valley. Much classier than the ‘youse guise’ of local dialect.

  126. says

    Absolutely, what Esteleth said. “Y’all” or “Yas” or “Youse” or whatever the local (usually working-class, for some reason?) variant is, is a useful marker for us sometimes, in determining the distinction between singular and plural second-person.

    I didn’t know you did trains, Og. I have some lovely N-scale stuff shut in a couple of boxes in a closet, awaiting the day when I can dedicate enough space to build my Little Middle-Earth railway. I need more steam power, and some old streamliner cars, mostly. I’ve got a reasonable set of freight stock I can repaint.

    I tried getting involved in some local setups where they have group operation on layouts, but they were basically “No GurlZ Aloud” clubs, and I got rapidly tired of the constant sexist crap.

  127. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I love y’all, but consider “all y’all” an abomination before the gods of my personal preferences.

  128. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    Esteleth and CatieCat:

    I ‘do’ trains. But mine are 12-inch scale models.

    Though I do have a bunch of n-scale freight and early diesel-electrics at home. Someday I will build a dream railroad from Williams, AZ to the Grand Staircase. Of course, I would need a garage. And money. And time. And competence. So not for a while.

  129. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    Crip Dyke:

    but consider “all y’all” an abomination

    How would you feel about


    ? Or is that just getting silly?

  130. says

    @184 Og: Ooooh, 12″ scale. Nice. Takes talent, that. I like “n” at least as much because it means I have to do a whole lot less work in making the scale and detail perfect. :)

  131. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Oggie, #185:

    That, my dear, is what we call “creative license” and is both acceptable and silly.

    Don’t forget, however, that I will yank your license at my whim.

    Lawyers came up with “Creative Comments” solely, like most legal tools, so law students can thoroughly and arrogantly misuse them.

    This, in turn, gives those admitted to the bar lots of money for laughing at clients and asking them: “A law student said that?”

  132. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Is anyone in portland with a vehicle today?

    Like, maybe Dalillama?

    I have a good offer on my car, but have to get my crippled body back from the sale to my friend’s house.

    I can take a cab, and possibly take transit (though I’m worried about the amount of time I have), but it would be a good excuse to randomly impose myself on someone, and then give them a cup of tea or a voodoo donut as payment that still saves me money on a cab.

  133. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    Crip Dyke @187:

    but wouldn’t a lawyer use a lot more words for ‘creative license’? Possibly because, like Dickens, they are paid by the word? (Yeah, I know the whole billing hours thing, I’m trying to be funny (because it is far better than curling up on the floor and crying))

  134. rq says

    I have stolen in when addressing the Lounge in the collective. Because ‘guys’ is problematic and annoying, ‘all of you’ is too long, I’m not a fan of the sound of ‘folks’ (makes me think of a group of seniors, I don’t know why), and so I’ve settled on ‘y’all’. :) I use it only in the plural indeterminate.

  135. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Running out to pick up Pizza. Will be back in 1/2 an hour to check for responses.

    then going out to pick up some warm, fuzzy socks as presents for the holiday I created with my best friend, “Woolly Sock Day”.

    That day is today.

    WSD is celebrated by cozying up to someone/s delightful, exchanging socks, obtaining a hot beverage, and then reading things aloud to each other while sipping said beverage comfy in one’s new socks. Original WSD involved about 18 people, a huge vat of spiced cider, and miscellaneous coffees and teas for those too good for apple-based beverages. Every year since has been a good one.

  136. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    jHoly beejeezus, I said “Creative Comments” when I meant “Creative Commons”.


    Well, you are free of my spamming for a 1/2 hour while I pick up the pizza.

  137. rq says

    Also, I dream of having lots n lots of trains running around the room, buzzing away and shooting sparks every now and then. The kids would love it, too (YES THEY WOULD). I always liked that electric/metallic smell of them (the trains). But alas I’m no specialist. [/weird]

  138. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    Well, you are free of my spamming for a 1/2 hour while I pick up the pizza.

    Mmmmm. Spam pizza. With pineapples and teriyaki sauce.

    No. Not kidding. Try it.

    Or not.

    Damn, but I’m useless today.

  139. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    My 194, use cheddar or asiago cheese — sharp cheese, not mozzarella.

  140. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says

    opposable thumbs @110:

    I’ve been doing everything I can to not respond (no, not a jab at you, just me trying not to deal with reality in any way possible).

    Yes, Paterno was an adult when he made that decision.

    I was twelve (I moved east at the beginning of my sixth grade year at 12 1/2). I know that he had told me, again and again, that this is what men do to girls and when I could do it to a girl I would no longer be a girl, I’d be a man. And it was still wrong. And will always be wrong. No matter how much I try to lie to myself, I know that I failed.

    And now I’m going to go off in a corner and cry. Sorry.

  141. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    You never need to apologize here for crying. Crying is an appropriate response to the damage done to you.

    I’m still here. You still have my hand.

  142. opposablethumbs says

    What an unmitigated total fucking piece of putrescent shit Ray Canterbury must be. Worlds (or words, which is what I meant to type, but somehow worlds seems even more appropriate) really do fail me. People can be so fucking evil. And I bet he sleeps really well at night too, all snug in his illusion of self-made superiority built on the backs of everyone he and his parents and grandparents and great-grandparents ever exploited.

    I wish I had a drink to take the taste of banal evil out of my mouth. ::spits::

  143. opposablethumbs says

    That was in response to Yazikus at #154. Just realised I didn’t refresh. Going back to read what I missed now.

  144. opposablethumbs says

    Ogvorbis, I would be glad if you would do me the good turn of accepting a lot of hugs that I would like to send you.

  145. Jackie wishes she could hibernate says

    Crip Dyke,
    How about “all of y’all”? (Said “All uh y’all”) This is useful for letting your kids know that each and every one of them needs to come inside, as in “All of y’all get in here”. It also allows a group to know approximately how many of them can fuck off, as in “Fuck a bunch of all of y’all”. I’m sure it’s used in other ways, but those were the first to come to mind. ;)

    Hugs and beer for everyone who wants some! <3

  146. carlie says

    Og – and we will sit and cry with you, for the ways other people affected you, and we will hold your hand.

    I grew up in the midwest where “you guys” was the plural. I don’t like that, so I’ve shifted to y’all on purpose. I also do use all y’all, which comes in quite handy.

  147. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    If I could give one gift, and only one gift this year I would give you Ogvorbis the ability to see yourself as we see you.

    We know your history, we’ve seen how it affected you, how it still affects you and yet here we are, offering hugs, caring, loving even, if I may be so bold. Just as there is not a cell in your body that remains from the poor, abused child hat you once were, you are no longer that child in your actions. Despite how it feels, despite the fucking evil programing your abuser implanted in you. Whoever you were, you’re not that person now.

    The Ogvorbis I have come to know would be welcome in my home. I would not think twice about him interacting with my child, regardless of the circumstances. That I wouldn’t hesitate to trust you with the center of my emotional universe should be evidence of how I feel, and yet I fear that that evidence is not sufficient.

    Please understand, in an intellectual way if that’s all your emotions will allow, that I mean it when I say that you are one of the good ones.

    Be well Oggie.

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ready as we can be for the ice/snow tonight and tomorrow. If the driveway is a pile of slush Sunday, I can wait a day, get the single digit temperatures to solidify the snow, and snowthrower will laugh at it as it removes it with ease.

  149. Pteryxx says

    folks, take a look at Twitter #HasJustineLandedYet 15 minutes and counting. This may be the most epic racism call-out.

    As she embarked upon a long flight to Africa, PR staffer Justine Sacco issued this tweet. At best a darkly ironic self-deprecation that could never fit into 140 characters, it resulted, within bare minutes, in an internet-wide scandal. Even as the plane is still in the air–Sacco presumably oblivious–there is a hashtag, #HasJustineLandedYet, a parody account, @LOLJustineSacco, a fake movie poster, and, God help her, a whole entire New York Times article, replete with a stunned disavowal from her corporate employers.

    and from twitter:

    Journalist & media eagerly waiting to greet Justine Sacco at the airport in ‘Africa’. lol #HasJustineLandedYet


  150. Pteryxx says

    to clarify:

    Nick Taylor ‏@nickandhisvoice 39m
    @Qoh_Rah Is that real? Please tell me that’s real. I need it to be real.

    Raghe ‏@Qoh_Rah 36m
    @nickandhisvoice lmao. I wish it was real. It’s supposed to be a meme. :)

    Nick Taylor ‏@nickandhisvoice 34m
    @Qoh_Rah Damn. That would have been the best. Still. Less than an hour! #HasJustineLandedYet

    Michael Foley ‏@michaeldfoley 12m
    @Qoh_Rah @ginavergel7 If only this were real. Then again if only hers wasn’t. t-minus 7 mins

  151. Pteryxx says

    Bradley Bowen ‏@bradleybowen 5m
    Awesome. RT @AIDSPol: Contribute to our new JUSTINE fund to fight for a cure for AIDS: #HasJustineLandedYet

    Nina L. Diamond ‏@ninatypewriter 7m
    Follow my South Africa media list: … South African media is tweeting about #JustineSacco #HasJustineLandedYet

    and multiple shout-outs to @funkybrownchick for filling the hashtag with HIV education:

    kate ‏@kate_675309 32m
    @funkybrownchick love that you’re making something positive of this clusterfuck by getting some education out there. Thank you!
    Retweeted by Twanna A. Hines

    Twanna A. Hines ‏@funkybrownchick 4m
    QUESTION: Can I see a video of a hot dude putting a condom on correctly? ANSWER: Fuck yeah! … #HasJustineLandedYet

    Go, internet, go.

  152. Pteryxx says

    Anonymous ‏@YourAnonNews 56s
    The @AidforAfrica site crashed due to traffic overload. When it comes back up, consider a donation. Do it for Justine! #HasJustineLandedYet

  153. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    ‘m surprised no one has gotten to this yet.

    I was crying when I heard the news early last night – maybe 10, 11.

    A fucking **catholic school** is getting its ass kicked **by its own students**.

    I can’t express how much I love this. Why? Because

    1. A gay guy who lives with his partner **got hired by the Catholic church** as a **vice-principal in a Catholic school!
    2. Queer marriage actually exists
    3. That man actually married his parter!
    4. The Catholic church fired the guy, because gay marriage actually exists, or they wouldn’t have been able to fire him for that. But let’s note that he was actually married! And was actually hired in the first place, even though he wasn’t married with a woman he pretended to love while secretly cruising parks for sex.
    5. The kids were pissed because **kids at a Catholic school think queers oughta get married**
    6. It became a scandal that the Catholic Church fired a gay guy from a position as a role model for Catholic children b/cuz gay.
    7. Yes, that really became a scandal.
    8. The media is totally covering it and
    9. one of the student organizers is totally kicking butt on the topic, speaking knowledgeably about **queer marriage** and the arguments therefor, with confidence and the weight of moral authority.
    10. The weight of moral authority? Behind queer marriage.

    As they say:

    Holy Shit!
    Man Walks On Fucking Moon!

    And I am not nearly the oldest person on this forum.

  154. cicely says

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis.
    I wish I could offer more.

    YAY the gay marriage ban in utah has been struck down by a federal judge!

    Leading, inevitably to…wait for it!…polygamous gay marriage!

  155. says

    Sexual harassment in the comic book community.

    MariNaomi’s first-person testimony of being sexually harassed onstage during a convention panel made the rounds of the comics blogsphere Thursday like lightning. Heidi MacDonald wrote about it at The Beat, and shortly afterward veteran writer Scott Lobdell outed himself as the person MariNaomi was talking about and publicly apologized. Usually when Heidi speaks on an issue like this, I don’t have much to add, but what struck me about the incident is that it’s a textbook case of something that happens to women all the time, and that many men, even those of good will, don’t always understand.


    Sometimes there are things that you don’t see, that you don’t understand, because they’ve never happened to you. You may not see what the big deal is, but it’s a big deal to the person it’s happening to. It’s infuriating to be put down, ignored, made fun of, in any circumstances, and that happens to women all the time, from getting yelled at on the street to being ignored or passed over for a job because we’re not one of the guys. We lose a lot of time and energy being angry about it and getting over it and moving on. It would be helpful if the men who never would do those things would nonetheless understand that it happens and listen to us when we talk about it. And from that, learn what it is and call people on it when they do it

    The author discusses privilege without using the word (I wonder if that was a conscious choice), and also others calling out bad behavior.

    There are only 7 comments to the article, and suprisingly, they are not what I’d have expected. While not “I stand in awe” comments, they aren’t what I’ve come to expect in response to articles on sexual harassment.

  156. says

    How’re all ya’ll doin’ tonight?
    ::looks over at Crip Dyke::

    I live in Florida. Pensacola to be exact. If you’re driving through…

    As for your #198…I agree with FossilFishy. I wish there were some way you could see yourself as we see you.

  157. says


    Leading, inevitably to…wait for it!…polygamous gay marriage!

    You must have missed the news.
    Homosexuality leads to bestiality, not polygamous gay marriage.
    Phil Robertson informed the world recently of this startling new fact.

  158. cicely says

    Tony!, I was referring to the recent (yesterday? the day before?) report that Utah’s laws criminalizing polygamy are unconstitutional. Combine that with striking down the gay marriage ban, and….

  159. rq says

    Good morning, and have a mathy christmas! (See? Math and numbers are fun!)

    I think ‘hardened slush’ is ice… Are you sure the snowblower will take care of that???

    Crip Dyke
    So there is hope in the world! That story put tears in my eyes. I hope it ends in the best possible way!

  160. rq says

    That’s Squid 1: cartoons 0.
    I sit down to watch a distraction-free squid video, and suddenly I’m surrounded by curious eyes and lots of questions, even though their favourite morning cartoon is on…

  161. says

    Following up on skeptifem’s post @202:

    When it comes to marriage equality, Utah isn’t just another “red” state. Rather, the Beehive State opposes equal marriage rights with an intensity unseen in most of the country.

    And with this in mind, this afternoon’s federal district court ruling in Utah is going to cause quite a stir.
    A federal judge in Utah Friday struck down the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, saying the law violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees of equal protection and due process.

    “The state’s current laws deny its gay and lesbian citizens their fundamental right to marry and, in so doing, demean the dignity of these same-sex couples for no rational reason,” wrote U.S. District Court Judge Robert J. Shelby. “Accordingly, the court finds that these laws are unconstitutional.”

    The AP report added that the court found Utah’s ban, approved by state voters in 2004, violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment. …

    For what it’s worth, Judge Shelby is an Obama appointee, offering another reminder as to why fights over judicial nominees are so important.

    So what happens now in Utah? One assumes the state will appeal the ruling to the 10th Circuit, rather than allowing itself to become the 18th state to embrace marriage equality. In the meantime, my colleague Laura Conaway alerted me to the Twitter feed of a Salt Lake City writer who is, literally as I type, trying to marry his same-sex partner, taking advantage of the federal court ruling.

    There were huge lines of same-sex couples to get married last night. They wanted to be legally married before the State of Utah had a chance to appeal the ruling.

    Me and my new husband!! My polygamous Mormon great grandparents would be so proud!

  162. says

    Coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune:

    … the Utah attorney general’s office appealed the decision to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver and also filed a motion asking Shelby to stay the ruling while it seeks to defend Utah’s Amendment 3.

    “The federal district court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right has never been established in any previous case in the 10th Circuit,” it said.

    The appellate court handles cases for Oklahoma, Kansas, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. The New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed the right to same-sex marriage on Thursday.

    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert released a statement that said he was “very disappointed an activist federal judge is attempting to override the will of the people of Utah” and said he would work with Acting Attorney General Brian L. Tarbet “to determine the best course to defend traditional marriage within the borders of Utah.”

    Meanwhile, any marriage licenses issued before a possible stay is granted will be valid, …

  163. says

    I’m quiet (until now, because novel posts are my Thing, apparently) because of an unexpected happy result.

    My doc was talking with me, last time I was there, about how I actually use my meds (as opposed to how she prescribes their use). This led to a few changes she suggested (I LOVE MY FUCKING DOCTOR SHE IS SO AWESOME! she suggests, not requires!), among which was that she could prescribe me a new muscle relaxant, baclofen. I read up on it, and it does sound like a better choice: unlike cyclobenzaprine, the one I’ve used for several years, baclofen appears to show very low tolerance issues, meaning I won’t have to need increasing doses.

    Also, it appears to be effective in making me sleepy, at the current dose. I’m experimenting with dosing, which is a bit tricky because it’s got a short half-life (2h – 4h) from my 24h p-o-v, so I need to find appropriate levels for work-time, rest-time, and sleep-time. But finding something that can make me sleepy is like a freaking Cthulhumas miracle. We’ve tried so many different soporifics, but so many seem to operate in the same channels as opiates that we’ve had little luck, since opiates are my mainline pain defence. Finding one by accident is awesome.

    Also also, it’s covered by the welfare drug plan, unlike the cyclo’prine. So my monthly med costs just went down by CAD75. That is a HUGE benefit to me right now.

    I love my doctor. She’s been such a good ally in my learning how to cope with my disability as it’s advanced. She’s come to trust me implicitly with prescriptions, giving me six-month ‘scrips for things that in the US, must be reconfirmed every month by law (thankfully not here…yet). She never gives me shit about my weight; when I have an annual checkup, she will mention that, yes, probably, my pain level would be lower if I were less heavy, but that she also understands how difficult it can be to get reasonable weight loss when the disability gets in the way, and besides, she’s probably about a 40 BMI herself, despite being fit and healthy. She’s like a wee apple doll (she’s about 160cm, maybe 90kg?).

    She’s also part of a practice of six doctors, all women, all explicitly feminist, and who cover for each other as needed, and who even do freaking house calls if that might be needed. She’s seen me through almost my entire transition, too, providing referrals to others as needed for that. When I came there, I asked if she would be able to have a word with the staff to ensure they always used the right pronouns for me (I wasn’t able to change my ID until 12 yrs after transition), and she did – scheduled a staff meeting for everyone, and laid it out clearly, and they’ve never once gotten it wrong, not even temps. They always have medical students in their clinic, whom they’re teaching to be good feminist doctors.

    I lucked out utterly, they opened the practice just as I was looking for a new doc. She has made my life a liveable place for a long, long time. I dread the idea of about 15 years from now, when she might well be of a retiring age (she’s about the same age as I am, just short of 50). I’ve been with her nineteen years now.

    Now, back to work, scribbling for the Naughty Academic.

  164. says

    From the comments in the Salt Lake Tribune:

    Do you really think business and careers would survive in an oppressed society? What freedoms are you talking about? Shouldn’t people be able to express their beliefs and not be called a bigot? I believe that marriage is ordained of God and that it is to be between a man and a woman.
    Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from criticism.

    Denying a class of people equal protection under the law is more than expressing your beliefs.
    If you worship a god who is a bigot then you are a bigot..
    Don’t want to be a bigot then resign your membership in your whites only country club.
    So the fact that traditional marriage has been just that for several thousand years, that all religions have advocated it, that it was, until recent scientific advances, the only way to have children of your own, that at least 90 percent of people would not want to marry someone of the same sex — so those aren’t “rational” reasons? But re-interpreting some part of the Constitution to square it with a “trendy” opinion, IS rational?
    Just as the decision by this activist judge overturned the people’s vote, his decision can be overturned, also. Yes, the deviants are having a good time tonight in Utah, but as is evident by the ‘Phil Robertson/A&E’ uproar, the tide is turning and it’s turning fast. P. S. All the haters that want to respond – go right ahead – I don’t read them!
    I can tell you from personal experience that a religion can really screw with your mind when when your god is a bigot, and you are not. Answer to this? Terminate your Mormon membership.
    The U.S. is sinking fast, just like the Roman Empire did.

    The rights of gays to marry is equal to the rights of people to marry their horse.

  165. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says


    I think ‘hardened slush’ is ice… Are you sure the snowblower will take care of that???

    The problem with slush is that the mechanical energy from the augurs tends to melt it some more, so the slush tends to stick to the exit chute entrance. That requires multiple stops to clear the chute entrance, which can be dangerous as it is near the final impellers designed to throw the snow.

    In actually, the ability to go through frozen slush depends on how wet the slush is prior to freezing solid. If totally saturated without air pockets, it is a block of ice, and the main augurs will just slide over it. If the slush is porous with air pockets, the resulting ice is porous and friable. The augurs will break down the material, and since it is a pulverized solid, send it out the chute easily.

  166. says

    Ex-mormons post comments made by their mormon friends and relatives (still posting about marriage equality having come to Utah, however briefly):

    … she [ex-mormon’s mother] was excited because this was a clear sign of the Second Coming. According to her, legalizing gay marriage will inevitably destroy the “traditional family” and then the end-times will be upon us. She is now convinced that she will live to see Jesus return to Earth.
    “the American second Civil Wars are about to begin. Why don’t we just make rape and murder legal too?”

  167. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Lynna, thanks for sharing this. This really is a potential game changer. It is exciting the inevitable backlash will be ugly.

  168. Nick Gotts says

    The U.S. is sinking fast, just like the Roman Empire did. – some numpty quoted by Lynna@232

    Actually, the Roman Empire sank extremely slowly: I’d date its decline from around 180 CE, the death of Marcus Aurelius and accession of his foolish son Commodus, and it didn’t actually disappear until 1453 CE. The USA should be so lucky!

  169. says

    Ex-mormons have noted that most of their mormon friends and family are suspiciously silent about the gay marriage ruling in Utah. The general consensus is that LDS church leaders have not yet told the sheeple what to think or to say.

    A few ex-mormons have had conversations with their TBM (True Believing Mormon) relatives:

    … TBM mom said: “Well, one of the apostles said in the last general conference that even if it (gay marriage) is legal, it’s still a sin. It’s still wrong.”

  170. a_ray_in_dilbert_space says

    Nick Gotts,
    The German word “Kaiser” and Russian “Tsar” also derive from the Roman Caesar. In particular, the Russian Tsar always viewed himself as the legitimate successor to the Caesar as well as the preserver of the true church. One could thus argue (and Isaac Asimov did) that the Roman empire was with us until 1917 or 1918!

  171. says

    Coverage from one of Utah’s mormon-owned, mormon-run TV stations, KSL:

    … Bill Duncan, director of the Center for Family and Society at the Sutherland Institute, said he wasn’t necessarily surprised by the ruling, based on questions he said Shelby asked at an oral argument hearing on the issue. Still, that doesn’t make the ruling “any less disappointing,” he said.

    “Because the baseline holding is that two-thirds of voters who approved the amendment in 2004 were acting irrationally, and that’s hard to swallow,” Duncan said. “There’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution requiring states to change the legal definition of marriage. The judge elevated his own thinking on a divisive social issue and turned it into a constitutional issue.”…

    “The federal district court’s ruling that same-sex marriage is a fundamental right has never been established in any previous case in the 10th Circuit,” office spokesman Ryan Bruckman said in a statement. “The attorney general’s office will continue reviewing the ruling in detail until an appeal is filed to support the constitutional amendment passed by the citizens of Utah.”…

  172. says

    Hi there

    *leaving fluffy hugs*
    I’m still in the grip of teh cold and nose spray is slowly losing its efficiency which drives me up the wall.

    Yay for awesome doc

    So, we got #1’s written diagnosis, which includes ALL the medical details about EVERYTHING.
    This includes ALL the information about the pregnancy.
    This means that wherever I hand in that diagnosis people will read about the sad state of my pussy during pregnancy. I am not amused. How on earth is this relevant and why does anybody have to know?
    I seriously consider blacking that out. It’s very personal and very intimate.

  173. says

    More coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune, this article includes a video interview with Michael Ferguson and Seth Anderson, the first same-sex couple legally married in Utah.

    Like lots of other couples, they showed up for their wedding in hoodies and T-shirts. The announcement of the ruling came so late in the day, and is so sure to be fought on appeal, that gay couples rushed to the courthouse in whatever they were wearing at the time.

    An hour after the first marriage, around 4 p.m., it was hard to walk through the halls of the Salt Lake County offices without interrupting somebody’s nuptials. Among those officiating marriages were Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker.

  174. says

    Humor from Salt Lake commenter, Henry Drummond:

    First of all I think it is important that we do not gloat over this to our Republican friends or our Mormon neighbors.

    Please – It would be in bad taste to speculate on whether or not Gale Ruzicka had a stroke when she heard the news.

    It would be especially bad taste to hope that she did have a stroke.

    I also don’t think its necessary to note the irony that John Swallow, who led the charge against Gay Rights in the State Legislature, is probably going to jail while those he persecuted are getting married across the street. So quit bringing it up – OK?

    Its also not necessary to point out that the Republicans who used the Gay Marriage Ban to pander to the fears of the public are now looking like unprincipled hate mongers.

    And finally just because all rational people knew this law was unconstitutional when it was passed NINE YEARS AGO does not give you the right to say “I TOLD YOU SO.”

  175. says

    Some Utah county offices are opening on Saturday in order to marry gay couples before the lawyers file appeals on Monday. This note is from ex-mormon “MJ.”

    “Weber County Clerks office will open this afternoon for two hours for those who wish to get a marriage license in Weber County. Ogden Mayor Caldwell said he will perform marriages today as well. Congrats Weber County!”

    Davis and Weber county are doing gay marriages today and I heard that Salt Lake county will be doing them as well. `

    Utah county is waiting for more direction from the church… Um the State.

  176. says

    Here’s the official LDS church response to the gay marriage ruling in Utah. It contains three lies:
    1. That the Church treats all people with respect
    2. It implies that the Church has always supported marriage between one man and one woman “a woman
    3. That the Church is “consistent”

    The Church has been consistent in its support of traditional marriage while teaching that all people should be treated with respect. This ruling by a district court will work its way through the judicial process. We continue to believe that voters in Utah did the right thing by providing clear direction in the state constitution that marriage should be between a man and a woman and we are hopeful that this view will be validated by a higher court.

    Hella long link poo from the Mormon News Room.

  177. says

    Additional info for gay mormons in Weber County, (from ex-mormon “MJ”):

    Weber County Clerk’s office: They will open from 1 to 2 pm, anyone in line at 2pm will be served. The front doors will not be open, so you have to park in the garage, and go in the entrance from the garage. The address is 2380 Washington BLVD. The garage entrance to the Weber Center is off of 24th street.

  178. Nick Gotts says


    You could go even further, and argue that the Roman Catholic Church is in fact the Western Roman Empire! The self-styled “Holy See” is a sovereign state, with its sovereign territory located in Rome and Latin as its official language; one of the Pope’s titles, Pontifex Maximus (it is not included in the Pope’s official titles, but appears on buildings, monuments and coins of popes of Renaissance and modern times) was also one of the titles of the Roman Emperors; the College of Cardinals chooses the new Pope as the Senate, at least in theory, selected the Emperor and the Pope appoints Cardinals just as the Emperor appointed senators; the mainly-Catholic area of Europe overlaps to a very large extent with the western Roman Empire, and its divisions into diocese and archdiocese parallel the administrative divisions of the later Roman Empire.

  179. opposablethumbs says

    I get very depressed at this time of year lately. When I was a kid we had what many of us would call a typical xmas – my parents were atheists, my grandparents were atheists, we are all atheists, the whole extended family as far as I know are atheists. Go a bit further back than three generations, and there are a sprinkling of rabbis on one side and protestants on the other. So, of course we had feasting and presents and lights and a tree and all those things, no religious bollocks, presents came from parents, and we had a good old round of family tensions, infighting, griping, complaining, affection and togetherness all mixed up together. And too much washing-up.

    Now, my OH – atheist, but brought up in an xtian (though proudly anti-clerical) family – goes ballistic at the thought of doing any of those things. (Except presents for the kids, because it would be mean not to, and maybe something very slightly fancier to eat than usual; those are OK). No lights, decorating, tree or actually wrapping the kids’ presents. The kids are resigned to it. I think it’s a shame to miss out on the cultural trappings which are fun and not xtian in origin anyway.

    And now it’s too late.

    Scuse me, feeling a bit S.A.D. here (or just a bit sad, really).

  180. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says



    I’m somewhat familiar with that kind of situation. My father always made a huge problem of celebrating Christmas when I was a kid, because he’s not religious and despises Catholicism in particular.
    Fights about silly non-religious things like presents and decorating a tree got too much so I resigned myself to just making the littlest possible deal out of it. Of course, he always liked the part about sweets and nice lunch, and resented us when one year we decided to forgo the entire Christmas thing for the sake of some fucking peace for the holidays.

    Now, we make some sweets and a nice lunch, but have no decorations and mum and I just buy something for each other. It’s kinda sad, but I’m used to it.
    I’m sorry it’s hitting you so hard, but I understand… mostly, since I never really had a big family Christmas.

    I forgot where you work, but maybe you can do something Christmasy there? I got to hang the lights on the tree at work, and it made me as happy as a little kid.

  181. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Dalillama and Beatrice. Hugs and holiday wishes back! I feel a bit better for having complained to a sympathetic ear as it were, so I appreciate it very much. I think we may indeed be in a very similar situation in some ways, Beatrice – so herewith a tree and lights to you via USB! (if only, eh. Wouldn’t it be fun if we really could send each other things like that instantaneously :-) ).

    I probably always took it for granted that the festivities had nothing to do with religion because there simply wasn’t any anywhere around when I was growing up (and this is a pretty secular country). Whereas my OH probably feels strongly about avoiding all the trappings because he comes from a country where Catholicism still has a lot of power and influence, and I guess he finds them oppressive in a way that never occurred to me. I’m not really sure if that’s how it is, but maybe something like that.

    I work from home, so not really! It’s not so much that I miss it for myself, but I think it would have been nice for the kids. Oh well, never mind – they’re getting/have got something nice each, and they certainly know they’re loved :-)

    All my best wishes for a happy solstice to you both and to the whole Horde! x

  182. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Happy holidays to you too, opposablethumbs.

    Well, if we could send each other things for real, you’d be getting some mulled wine right now. And I hope you’ve left some of those lights for yourself!

  183. ledasmom says

    Modified good news:
    One of my short-short stories made it past the first selection round at the magazine I submitted it to. According to the email they sent me fewer than 10% of submissions do, but they end up rejecting half or more of what’s left, and of course it is a short-short so even if it sells it’s not going to bring much in. But at least it is confirmation that I can write well enough that editors might look at my stuff without laughing, which is the most positive feedback I’ve had so far. So I am choosing to be moderately happy about this.

  184. rq says

    I find I’m kind of going the opposite way – my dad was very explicit about having religious Christmas – despite having a tree and some lights (though never as many as the neighbours) and presents (though never as many as my friends at school), he was always very insistent on reminding us about the True Meaning Of Christmas!!!!! (Babby Jebus and the Star and etc.) But we’re a lot more liberal with the kids (even though we still have ‘winter solstice man’ come by, just to have some ‘surprise’ presents).
    And then last year we went to visit my parents on christmas day, and it was all – Jesus’ birthday this, True Meaning that, it’s not all about the presents, etc. … Even though it’s never been all about the presents (family time, the arguing, the eating, and – yes! – the washing up, seeing people you only see once a year… isn’t all that enough??). And I realised how much I actually disliked that way of ‘celebrating’. What’s wrong with some lights? Some presents? It’s not like they gets piles n piles on a daily basis… Church might be nice, if I knew a local one with a pretty service with good music and dramatic fire effects (the one where I grew up did a fantastic midnight mass) – we could go, for fun, like going to the opera. But… I like to make this holiday about my family, not the supposedly holy one.
    I hope your OH can see the beauty in some lights and a tree, since they are after all pagan symbols about the impending end of the Eternal Night and the Return of the Sun!!

    *more hugs*

  185. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, rq! Have a big helping of hugs yourself :-)

    I personally really like the idea of enjoying the pagan symbols – bright colours and lights and a feast and presents when it’s dark and cold outside – what’s not to like!? Maybe a bonfire … you can’t beat a good bonfire :-)))

    And congratulations to ledasmom! That’s the most fantastic form of feedback!

  186. says

    Yay! Ledasmom
    Opposablethumbs and beatrice
    You are officially invited here. I’m a 4th generation atheist and I just loooooove Christmas, so you can all come here and help decorating the tree and wrap presents
    It’th traditional!

  187. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I find x-mss annoying, but I’m in a family where the kids had a tradition of xmas that would be mean of me to take away at this point, and they’re too young for me to say, “I’m happy for you, it’s not my thing, so I’ll be over here playing civilization until you’re done with all the xmassy/santa stuff.

    So now I’m a participant in xmas. Oh, well.

  188. carlie says

    opposablethumbs – I get sad at Christmas. I grew up with a large, religious family, and Christmastime was a big blowout. Lots of reverence, lots of “this holiday is IMPORTANT” reinforcements, traditions of Christmas eve candlelight church services, round-robin treks from one side of the family to the other with bonanzas of gifts everywhere opened by passels of cousins. (There is some rose-colored bigger than life nostalgia tinting these memories, but for me as a kid it was pretty awesome.). And then I grew up and moved away, and my kids get… none of that. Church is still touchy, spouse goes to the Sunday morning and sometimes brings the kids, but they don’t go to the kids’ pageants and special services, and we don’t make a big deal of it. It’s just the four of us, no other family. Gifts are over in a few minutes, even faster if stuff from grandparents didn’t make it in the mail in time, nice dinner a few hours later, other than that it’s kind of blah, from my perspective. The end of semester seems to get harder and harder each year, so we don’t get decorating or general hoopla-building even happening until the week of, and now that the kids are teenagers there’s not even santa stuff to excite. It’s not awful, but it rings pretty hollow for me.

  189. rq says

    Congratulations to ledasmom!! That’s some awesome start news, and I hope your short-short makes the final cut, too!

    Crip Dyke
    Oh, well. :( I hope when they’re old enough, you can do a bit of the christmas stuff and then a whole lot of the civilisation-playing!

    It’s the whole lights-in-the-dark aspect that I love the most.
    And considering this year’s weather, a bonfire isn’t such a bad idea after all – I think I’ll actually suggest it to Husband (a fellow pyro), who will surely agree!
    (I’ve never had roast chestnuts… Are they good??)

    Good night, Giliell!


    I think this year’s crossover pepperbread/chocolate/dried fruit confections that we’re making as gifts are the best everrr… Just ate a pile of experimentals, and mm mmmm, I saved a couple for y’all, who has a USB open?

  190. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    How’re all ya’ll doin’ tonight?
    ::looks over at Crip Dyke::

    Very busy – family holiday weekend now, last night driving for the ferry. Not a lot of time then or for the next few days.

    But I’ll drop in as I can. Love y’all .

  191. says

    Giliell, thanks, and good night to you!

    opposablethumbs, I too have been very S.A.D. lately, though the upswing of this med change is definitely making me feel perky. And it’s only the first day! So that’s cool. But my history of cultural winter solstice as a kid was very much that of someone in deep poverty: it was almost inevitably a time when I got to be deeply envious of the other children. Since we had usually only moved into the area within the previous six months, I often didn’t know very many kids well (being the youngest, after skipping a year early, was Not Helpful), and we usually only got one or two presents a year for the occasion, matched by another around our birthdays in August. It got better after we moved to Canada in 76, but better in the upper-part-of-working-class at first, later for my mother and her second husband to finally ascend to a reasonable middle-middle before he left her in the mid-90s, long after I’d been disowned anyway for transition.

    Anyway, it’s not a big interesting time for me, I find the constant repetition found in so many seasonal songs to be really irritating (I’m badly subject to earworm infection, and that’s an awful thing to combine with symptoms of OCD). Erch, even writing that has put the winter wonderland song in my head. AGH! Must…sing…FYC!*

    Oddly, I seem to have a habit of finding partners who love the holiday very much. I try to be unGrinchy, because who wants to pee on their partners’ parades? But I’m not a huge extrovert**, so when the occasion becomes fodder for large get-togethers, I find it rapidly exhausting. One place where the disability becomes a help: I do not have to offer an excuse when I say I need to lie down somewhere, thus not forcing people to feel companionable and that they need to remain and be chummy when I’m adding horizontal to my day.

    I wonder if baclofen has any volubility enhancement qualities? I do seem to be a bit blogorrheic today. My apologies.

    * My only consistent (if imperfect) defence against earworming: I need to sing, out loud, the chorus from Fine Young Cannibals’ She Drives Me Crazy, until the earworm stops. It’s not a lot of fun to be around, for me either. In low-stress periods, it can be as few as three or four chorus repeats. In high-stress, it can be long enough to cause acute Caiticidal feelings in nearby primates. I thus avoid earwormy songs in as total a manner as I can. This meant that when a dreadful song whose chorus began “You’ve had a bad day” in a horrid singsongy way became popular on the radio, I simply stopped listening to anything but classical radio until it went away. I seem to recall that one was a bad one, but I did enjoy a number of months of listening to CBC exclusively.

    ** Please accept this slightly minimizing self-description in the understated English manner in which it is offered. I am, of course, effectively a hermit since my disability has stolen my mobility and income and blech. I’m largely okay with that, being more introverted than the notoriously reclusive Mole Queen of Subterranea in her celebrated Very Dark Blue period, when she was quoted as saying “I want…to be alone. So FAITHFUL MOLE PEOPLE RISE UP! AND UNDERMINE THEIR CIVILIZATION UNTIL THEY SHUT UP FERFUXAKE!”

  192. Nutmeg says

    *hugs* for those who are not able to celebrate/ignore the holidays in their preferred manner.

    I’m not a huge fan of Christmas. I spent enough years working retail in high school and undergrad to give me a passionate hatred of the consumerism&carols&decorations aspect of the holiday. At this time of year, I generally feel lucky that my extended family is too far away to visit, so I only have immediate-family obligations. But my mother has enough of the “holidays must be perfect!” ideology, combined with a short fuse, to make things really stressful. Even with my dad and I making our best effort to keep the dog walked and the dishes washed and the miscellaneous chores done, it’s nearly impossible to get through Christmas without my mom having a meltdown of some kind.

    I do my best to anticipate people’s needs and keep the house running smoothly, and then I retreat to the lab. I try to have some urgent project every Christmas – this year, not so much luck, and I think my mom may be figuring out my plan. Oh well – I can stand about two days in the house at a time, and then I need to leave, and that’s all there is to it. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I move away and then have to come back and visit at Christmas, without a lab to hide in.

    Today was dog-walking, laundry, calibration curves, and manuscript edits until my brain gave up. Productive AND I got to spend the afternoon away from the family. Tomorrow will be a mandatory-family-togetherness day, so I’m trying to build up my reserves while I can.

    (My family’s actually pretty great, contrary to how this probably sounds. I just wish my mom could let go of perfection, in the name of actual happiness and relaxation.)

  193. opposablethumbs says

    Hey carlie, maybe we can share some of those lights and holly and stuff that goes via USB? We never had any religion in sight at all, but it’s the family-making-a-fuss-of-things that I suppose I’m finding myself missing. Although it was essentially just the six of us when I was a kid, so it’s not like we were a huge crowd or anything, but it felt like one when I was little. It would only be the four of us now, but that’s OK – I just sometimes wish we made a bit more of a Thing out of the occasion, I suppose. Oh well, I’m happy just to swap solstice greetings in the Lounge – it’s actually cheered me up quite a bit!

    Roast chestnuts, mmmm … I never used to like them when I was younger, perhaps because they’re not very sweet – which is exactly what I like about them now! They’re not the most amazing food or anything, but I do find them quite tasty in small quantities – you only eat a smallish amount, I suppose because they’re quite filling, and it’s probably because they’re a winter thing that you don’t see any other time of year so that makes them seem more special. Oh, and I used to hate the candied ones, but I think they’re OK now too :-)

  194. opposablethumbs says

    CaitieCat that’s great news about the new meds – I shall cross my fingers that this turns out to be every bit as good as it promises. And I sympathise re earworms, that’s one of the good things about working from home is that you don’t have to put up with other people’s awful bloody sodding xmas tunes (dog, I hate the lot of ’em – except that I think I’m coming round to Slade’s xmas song in my old age :-) (and of course there’s no religion in it, thank goodness).

    I’ll cross the rest of them that you get through the “festive season” without your mum having a meltdown, Nutmeg – I’ll join you in a loathing for the totally OTT and extra-added-stress side of things. My ideal would be a kind of quiet-ish time together – but with lights!

  195. ledasmom says

    Are candied chestnuts similar to the marrons glacees (spelling unguaranteed) that show up in Agatha Christie novels every so often?

  196. says

    Oh, my…in the spirit of bad gifts and worse advertising, check out this:

    :D The recipe-storing kitchen computer for the home genius. Who would have to take a short course in programming to add them, and to be able to interpret binary flashes of light to get the information back out. Awesome.

    No evidence has been found that any Honeywell Kitchen Computers were ever sold.

  197. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Looks like a white solstice will be arriving shortly according the to Doppler radar. *let it snow, let it snow, let it snow*
    Now for a Carpenters Xmas caroling…

  198. yazikus says

    I wanted to share a story that makes me smile whenever I see your ‘nym. I have a four and a half year old, and sometimes it is hard to wake him up in the morning. I don’t know how it started, but sometimes I will go up to his room and be like “Oh, what have we hear, a tasty looking chicken nugget in Felix’s bed!” and then make some noise about how I’m going to gobble it up. And he, ever so sleepy, will turn towards me with both hands held out and mumble loudly, eyes not even open, “Opposable thumbs! See, I’m a human, not a chicken nugget!”.

    To all those celebrating or not, I hope your weekend goes well. I got a Christmas tree today, which we will decorate, and do stockings. My partner is orthodox, so we will also celebrate Nativity on Jan. 7th, which is all very much about jesus being born. Not sure how I’m going to navigate that with the little one getting older. Does anyone have a religious spouse or partner? Any tips for that? I was sort of a lazy agnostic when I met him, and ended up converting (necessary for marriage). I liked the incense, the music, the icons, the female saints, etc… and sort of convinced myself to believe, sort of. We even used to stay at a monastery for thanksgiving every year. The confirmation of my disbelief has happened over the last two years and so I just sort of stopped going to church, but haven’t really outed myself to the church community. Everyone is so nice, I think they think I just need time after what happened.
    (TW pregnancy trauma)
    A year and a half ago I lost a much planned and much wanted pregnancy (I struggle to say daughter, but she was, and I went through labor just like I would have in 6 weeks, and she is buried up at a women’s monastery where the nice nuns pray for me daily) in the third trimester. Like, the week before my baby shower. So, everyone sort of assumes I’m just avoiding church because of all the pregnant ladies, and feels sorry for me. So this is all sort of new. I guess I’ll just ride it out and see where it goes.

  199. carlie says

    opposablethumbs – sounds like a plan. :)

    We could get into some good-natured Lounge fights. Prompts:

    Best Christmas movie?

    Trees: tasteful color-coordinated balls, or conglomerate of every kind of silly and homemade ornament?

    White lights or multicolor?

    Carolers: amusing or annoying?

    Christmas songs: fun or throw out the radio?

  200. carlie says

    yazikus – big hugs.

    Does anyone have a religious spouse or partner? Any tips for that?

    Me. Best tip I ever read was for both of you to remember that you respect each other, and even if you disagree you respect the intelligence and strength of conviction of the other. I try to keep in mind also that I’m the one who changed, so he’s the one sacrificing more by accommodating my newfound atheism than I am for “putting up with” his religion. With regard to the kids, they go with him to church sometimes, but he isn’t as fanatical about it as our families were when we were growing up – when we were kids there was no excuse for missing, but he lets them sleep in often. I think just the fact that I don’t go is a good counterpoint; it shows the kids that there’s more than one way to live, and religion doesn’t have to be a part of it. And I see them going to church as something of a vaccination – it won’t hold any mysterious allure after several years of “ugh I had to go and it was so boring”. And I make sure to tell them that they don’t have to believe what they’re being told there, and to make their own decisions, and we try to emphasize critical thinking at home although I don’t directly criticize the church.

  201. says


    Good to hear the meds are working out.

    Marrons glacés is indeed French for candied chestnut (technically it would translate as ‘glazed chestnut, but it’s the same thing anyway).

  202. chigau (違う) says

    Best Christmas movie?
    Scrooge with Alistair Sim.

    Trees: tasteful color-coordinated balls, or conglomerate of every kind of silly and homemade ornament?
    Outdoors with edible decorations for the local wildlife.

    White lights or multicolor?
    Burning candles.

    Carolers: amusing or annoying?
    Sometimes I miss the porcupines.

    Christmas songs: fun or throw out the radio?
    Did I mention burning?

  203. opposablethumbs says

    Are candied chestnuts similar to the marrons glacees

    yup, them’s the ones :-)

    “Opposable thumbs! See, I’m a human, not a chicken nugget!”.

    – that’s so adorable, Yazikus! That’s exactly why I picked the nym, really – well, I was sort of thinking “we’re the animals with the opposable thumbs”, which pretty effectively rules out our being chicken nuggets … I do love the idea of your little one proving the point while still half asleep, though!

    May I send some extra hugs, too? I’m so sorry for your loss.
    We can have lots of traditional discord while we peel potatoes and suchlike, carlie – though I’m not sure if I’ll get away with my insistence on taking the traditional Addams Family approach to carollers (a vat of boiling oil poured from the rooftop is the proper procedure, I believe). And how about games after eating? Do we get to play charades? Maybe Cluedo, or Scrabble (or Monopoly, if we can manage to avoid its leading to violence …) … or we can just doze in front of the film, that would be good too :-)

  204. yazikus says

    Thanks for the hugs all. I love my family very much and I’m just trying to be a good human, a good mom to my little dude and a good partner.

    Little fella is always figuring things out with logic. He is super cool. Kids brains are amazing, I get really annoyed when people make things up rather than explain when he has questions, or when they don’t listen because they assume a child doesn’t have anything worthwhile to say.

  205. chigau (違う) says

    I’l catch up later
    I just watched
    The World’s End
    a Simon Pegg movie
    very, very, very good

  206. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Best Christmas movie?

    Nothing by Hallmark Movie Channel, all trite, derivative, and banal. But they must get the ratings since they had money to make 12 new ones for this season. That means they must be in touch with their watchers.

  207. carlie says

    Partly because it reminds me of evenings spent at my grandparents’ house watching it, one of my favorite christmas movies is Bells of St. Mary’s. Yeah, a movie about being catholic (kind of), and how being a single mother is the worst thing in the world, and all a woman needs is a man to make things better. Oof. But some of the scenes are so cute, and even when I was little I couldn’t take my eyes off of how lovely Ingrid Bergman was and how captivating her voice sounded.

  208. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Oh my fictious god, can someone please answer this for me? I don’t have the spoons. :(

  209. rq says

    I’m so sorry for your loss. *hugs* I don’t have any advice on dealing with a religious spouse, since mine is (at best) ‘spiritual’. But I think carlie’s advice is worth taking.

    opposablethumbs‘ questions:
    – Best Christmas movie?
    The Grinch (old version) because that’s the only christmas movie I know, besides A Christmas Carol with Alistair Sims, but I saw that so long ago I can’t remember if I liked it. Ah, and 101 Dalmatians.

    – Trees: tasteful color-coordinated balls, or conglomerate of every kind of silly and homemade ornament?
    One day we will have the co-ordination, but right now we have a mess of ornaments that reaches a slightly higher level every year, which includes traditional Latvian straw ornaments, homemade paper cranes, some of the ornaments (glass, metal, balls, clay) gifted to me by my godmother over the years (one for every year!), fine metal ornaments… (I dream of having an only straw-and-metal tree with white lights and candles.)

    – White lights or multicolor?
    Both. But not together. I would like a tree with only white candles and colourful ornaments, or only coloured lights and plainer ornaments. I have candle-holders for the tree, but the Latvian species has notoriously bendy branches, so it’s a bit tough to get them to stay level and fire-safe.

    – Carolers: amusing or annoying?
    I’m with chigau and the porcupines on this one. Not a fan of carollers. But they’re not a tradition here, so I’m not scared! :)

    – Christmas songs: fun or throw out the radio?
    The ones on the radio (with a very very very exceptions? I’ll burn with chigau. I know some very nice ones we’ve done with the choir and such, but it’s a rare one that’s actually nice – that is, nice enough to listen to and to sing again (usually some rare gem unknown by others around).

    We should discuss the Pharyngula Solstice Feast, but I’ll say it first – I’m not doing the washing up, except in a supervisory role with wine in hand!!

  210. rq says

    Technically, I’d say Star Wars are my favourite christmas movies – those, and E.T., because they’re the only movies my parents let us watch when we went to grandma’s (mum’s brother lived there too) at christmas. And we weren’t allowed TV at home at all. So they’re kind of christmas movies for me, too, but they’re not really… christmas movies… :)

  211. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Good morning!


    The World’s End
    a Simon Pegg movie

    I don’t have (a) movie(s) selected for New Year’s Eve yet.

    This one sounds promising.

  212. yazikus says

    I want to say that this Lounge is the first place I’ve told about my loss (other than those who watched it happen), because I feel safe. Thank you, Loungers, for being awesome, friendly, empathetic, kind, and great. So yes, thank you, for letting me tell my story, short and sad as it was. Thanks.

  213. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but my go-to Christmas movie is Love Actually, for the fluffiness.

    My favoritest favorite: The Nightmare Before Christmas.

  214. says

    Good morning
    I think I made have enough stars now for the decoration I promised MIL

    Last night I called my gran because she’d left a message.
    I am supposed to get presents for the kids she can gift them.
    Uhm, the problem is that I had problems getting them anything. They have everything and too much of that. Last year they both got bikes. This year…
    I would have gotten them a children’s computer if there were such a thing. There’s those horribly overpriced playthings that look like computers and make aweful noises, and there’s computers. And I don’t see any sense in getting them Playmobil set #54975621. And I refused to get #1 that horribly expensive Filly-Horse House because it’s made of the cheapest plastic out there.
    So I got them some small things like a bard game and DVD and…
    Well, now I have to take two of those and give them to grandma. But I suppose at 92 she’s entitled to spoiling them a little.

    Big fluffy hugs
    I’m very sorry for your loss

    And your little guy sounds great.

    – Best Christmas movie?
    The Little Lord (with Alec Guinness)
    Traditional Christmas Fare in Germany ;)

    – Trees: tasteful color-coordinated balls, or conglomerate of every kind of silly and homemade ornament?
    Yes! I usually like a tree where the decoration follows one theme, but there’s nothing more beautiful than whatever the kids make :)
    One year I couldn’t find the box with the Christmas deko so I used everything we still had kind of lying around from Halloween

    – White lights or multicolor?
    White! Multicolour ones are of the devil, especially those that blink

    – Carolers: amusing or annoying?
    Not a tradition here

    – Christmas songs: fun or throw out the radio?
    In moderation. Although there’s each year a run as to which radio station is the first one to play Last Christmas. I think it was at the start of September…

  215. A. Noyd says

    A stupid joke I invented:
    Person 1: What’s that line of people coming out of the Vietnamese soup shop?
    Person 2: Pho queue.
    Person 1: Fuck you, too, asshole. It was just a simple question.

    A true story that happened to me yesterday:
    I was at the smug, rich hippie pet store to buy cat litter. Smug, rich hippies love unscented, non-clay litter and so do my poor, asthmatic lungs. I got a bag and went to the registers.

    Cubbies filled with samples of holistic, all-natural, super-fortified, wild-tasting pet foods for the pets of the smug, rich hippies line the wall behind the registers. The cubbies are labeled in abbreviated fashion with brand names and flavors. On giving these a look over, I commented, “Well, that’s kind of sinister.” The woman ringing me up said, “What is?”

    “Well, the pet food on that row,” I said, pointing. “You’ve got ‘Sierra Duck,’ ‘Sierra Chicken,’ ‘Sierra Lamb,’ and ‘Sierra Puppy.'” I paused for a second. “What does it sound like the last one is made out of?”

    The woman ringing me up thought this was funny and said she’d never realized the implication. She contemplated changing the label to say “for puppies.” Most customers would figure out it’s puppy food, not puppy meat, but past disasters over the ambiguity of what “rabbit food” means seemed to make her want to do it just to be sure.

  216. rq says

    If I’m having the ingredients, including the amount of water added, and the recipe calls for boiling for x number of minutes to reduce the mixture – would it also make sense to halve the boiling time? Because I’ve been doing everything right, but the result isn’t as desired or as it should be.

  217. opposablethumbs says

    Oh, they were carlie‘s questions, not mine – maybe I should answer them too:

    Best Christmas movie?
    The Great Escape. It has to be The Great Escape, it’s traditional! :-)

    Trees: tasteful color-coordinated balls, or conglomerate of every kind of silly and homemade ornament?
    Honestly? tasteful. I don’t have a collection of old memento-decorations, though I’m beginning to wish I did, now.

    White lights or multicolor?
    White. Also, the “tree” – if we decorated, which as I said, we don’t – would be the big yucca plant in the corner. I love the smell of pine, but I won’t buy a cut-down tree.

    Carolers: amusing or annoying?
    See above reference to boiling oil. OK, not really, but I’m so glad we’re unreachable from the street. Plus, not a tradition here anyway – in fact, I’ve never seen any in my life (outside of, maybe, shopping centres). They never come to people’s houses.

    Christmas songs: fun or throw out the radio?
    Change channels, urgently. Jazz FM or Resonant or Radio 3, all of which will hopefully be xmas-free. Or put some CDs on. My actual favourite would only work if we had a pianist and/or a couple of guitarists in the house, because then we could do live music between us – a bit tricky when the current incumbents only play front-line instruments.

    DaughterSpawn comes home tonight!!!!! Yay!!!!!!

  218. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    I’m not sure how much I would shorten the boiling time, but halving it doesn’t sound right. Has it gotten too thick, whatever it is you are preparing?

  219. opposablethumbs says

    Unless halving the ingredients means cutting them into smaller pieces, I would expect the boiling time to remain unchanged – or almost unchanged, maybe slightly shorter. I think this depends to some extent on what the ingredients actually are? (mind you, I’m a rubbish cook so better see what those who actually know say!)

    There’s a kid’s story by Clement Freud where a little boy is following cooking instructions for boiling potatoes, and he decides that if he cuts them up into eighths can get the boiling time down from 20 minutes to 2 1/2. Then he decides the recipe must be wrong, because they’re still hard. It’s a nice story: his parents are away, and he’s supposed to go to various relatives and neighbours for dinner each night for a week, and each neighbour/relative happens to be out and to have left instructions which all get creatively (mis)interpreted.

  220. rq says

    It’s for a syrup to make the pepperbread dough. I made the fourth batch because 1 was barely usable but alright, 2 needed severe adjustments after the fact, and 3 never got the full amount of flour added and I’ll see this evening if its workable. 4- got half the boiling time.
    Basically, it’s a bunch of stuff like sugar and liquid sugar and margarine and some water and spices that all needs to be boiled up and then reduced – the original recipe calls for 10 minutes of reducing time, which is what I’ve been doing, but then adding the proper amount of flour has been… problematic, to say the least (except for the muscle build-up in my biceps during the kneading *flexes*). And I know what this dough should feel like, and I’m not achieving the desired result (so no, it’s nothing like boiling potatoes, since it’s all about the reduction of actual liquids into a nice thick-but-not-candied syrup). I’ve been getting overly candied stuff, which is why I think the boiling time is at fault. Will report on results tomorrow morning. In the meantime, I get to work with the crappy stuff (still tastes great, won’t complain about that!).

  221. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    Sounds like a bit too much for my limited knowledge of cooking. Sorry.
    I manage well enough in the kitchen, but I can’t say my projects have ever been particularly ambitious.
    Gugelhupf/kuglof has been a success, though.

  222. carlie says

    More hugs to Yazikus. :)

    I’m kinda embarrassed to admit this, but my go-to Christmas movie is Love Actually, for the fluffiness.

    I just watched that for the first time last week. I liked it while watching, but had a lot of fridge moments after. I haven’t decided quite what I think of it.
    I just watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation again for the first time in many years; I forgot how much I liked that one.

    Am I the only multicolored light person? So pretty. ;) When I was a kid, I used to love to lie under the tree and look up at the lights and ornaments from that angle.

    Oo, another one: real or fake tree? I’m fake tree all the way. We did a live tree a couple of times, and what a dirty resiny mess. Plus I have allergies, so all the molds and such growing on the tree did not help.

  223. Ogvorbis: Failing at being human. says


    Humidity levels in your kitchen can have a dramatic effect on efforts to reduce a solution. If you are having a cold snap, heating that air up to a comfortable temperature reduces the humidity to 5% or 10%. The dewpoint does not change.

  224. rq says

    Aaaarrgh, so complicated! All I want is some cookies with the least amount of effort possible!
    We’re actually having a heat wave (positive temperatures) and a rather damp time of it (rain, rain, wind, rain…), plus the kitchen heats rather poorly, so I don’t know if it’s that. Although it is the relatively heated room (though still the coolest) due to all the cooking going on. *shrug*
    We’ll see what happens with attempt #4, I’ll be mixing in the flour later this evening and tomorrow will tell if the dough itself is any use or not.

  225. rq says

    Ugh, nd I keep forgeting to press “Submit Comment”. No, I haven’t been drinking. Seriously.

    Anyway, I guess Husband isn’t a Real Man and I’m not a Real Woman. I bought some parts for the car today without any hesitation at all (lightbulbs for the lights, if you must know), and he just told me that he can’t replace them in the dark because he doesn’t have an instinctual feel for where the lightbulbs should go. There go all my previous conceptions about men and cars. *sigh* Must the world always be so unpredictable?

  226. says

    This is a follow-up to comments 246 and 249. County offices did not open on Saturday in Utah to handle the influx of gay marriages. Some of them planned to open but rather bogus reasons were found to keep them closed.

    From one of the comments:

    A violation of Equal Protection to add services because of high demand? Salt Lake City better not add extra police for General Conference any more. No, it is not a violation of Equal Protection to add extra services at times of high demand, governments do that all the time. It is a violation of equal protection if you do not add extra services because the high demand was created by an out cast group.

  227. opposablethumbs says

    Wow, that kind of cooking precision is way way beyond my level, rq! Sorry not to be of any help. Fortunately Ogvorbis sounds like he knows what he’s talking about :-)

    I didn’t mean you might have potato-timing type problems, though, it was just that it reminded me of the story (read it when I was a kid, so going back a bit!)

  228. says

    News from Uganda:

    Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but that wasn’t enough for the socially conservative country’s lawmakers who have just passed a long-shelved law toughening the penalties for gay acts.

    The draconian anti-gay bill, which Ugandan politicians on Friday hailed as a victory against “evil,” punishes anyone caught engaging in homosexual acts for a second time with life imprisonment.

    Anyone who fails to report gay people will also be put behind bars and the public promotion of homosexuality, including discussions by rights groups, is now illegal.

    “This is a victory for Uganda. I am glad the parliament has voted against evil,” David Bahati, who championed the legislation, told Agence France-Presse.

    “Because we are a God-fearing nation, we value life in a holistic way. It is because of those values that members of parliament passed this bill regardless of what the outside world thinks.”…

  229. says

    This is a follow-up to my comment #315:

    Hundreds of marriage applicants were turned away at the Weber County clerk’s office Saturday afternoon after they had been told the office would open to issue licenses for one hour.

    Weber County Clerk Ricky Hatch personally handed out an apology letter to each Utahn who stood in line outside the county’s offices for hours in the freezing cold Saturday afternoon in anticipation of applying for marriage licenses. [A nice gallery of 3 photos accompanies this article — yes, people did line up in the freezing cold and were turned away.]

    Officials at the Ogden office [The Ogden area is one of the most mormon of all the mormon cities in Utah] had previously announced they would open between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to handle an influx of applications, after a federal judge declared Utah’s same-sex marriage ban invalid on Friday. …

    Other tenants in the building —including federal government offices — expressed concerns about opening the county offices to the crowd without any security measures in place.

    Hatch had also been advised that opening the office for “special circumstances” may violate equal-protection laws, as the county had never before opened on a Saturday to accommodate a particular group or event. …

    Hatch noted that had the offices been able to open Saturday, anyone could have come down to apply for a marriage license — opposite-sex as well as same-sex couples. …

    “I felt horrible that I made people stand outside in the cold, some of them for a couple of hours, based on a promise or decision I had made, only to turn around and tell them no,” Hatch said. “I felt bad about that. As a public servant it’s my responsibility to be out there and face them directly and talk to them personally.”…

  230. rq says

    It’s ok, opposablethumbs. But potatoes do cook faster if you cut them up smaller. :) Tried, tested and true.

  231. says

    Mormons and conservative non-mormons continue to comment on JudgeShelby’s same-sex marriage ruling in Utah:

    We’ll have a miracle because this sandy foundation ruling will be stayed and reversed. As I said above, the supreme court won’t let some creep rewrite 29 states’ constitutions on his little whim.
    Why dont you go to California and marry your partner?
    I got an e-mail from the Utah GOP mentioning this ruling and asking for money to “protect traditional marriage”…
    Young people may ask if same sex marriage is legal, what harm could come from experimenting? Of course the religious harm from experimenting is damnation. The other is their god doesn’t like it, and it’s only going to make him rain his wrath down on the world and destroy everything as he did in the days of Noah.
    We have never treated gays poorly….. Unless you mean having them read the scriptures about their behavior not being condoned of God? Sounds to me like, through the courts, they are trying to get God to condone their behavior. Interesting.
    You can bet your bottom dollar that the ruling will be reversed and the state will return to normal.
    Marriage is regulated by the states….not the federal government. Maybe all the queers should go live in dc
    I will gladly give up my right to kiss my wife in city creek to not have to watch a same gender couple do he same.
    Liberals, as I said in my original post, are neither civil nor fair minded. They’re like children who get a new toy and love to shove it in everybody’s faces.
    Bob Shelby’s nomination was strongly supported by Sen. Hatch and Sen. Lee, and Orrin praised his conservative credentials in Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation.
    This fundamentally violates the separation of powers clauses of the constitution in that the majority of citizens in a legal exercise of their voting franchise had their vote overturned by a NON-ELECTED judge.
    Give the gay movement an inch and they will take a mile and still never be satisfied. They are a vitriolic bunch that will try to destroy anyone who does not agree with them or gets in their way. I lived in California and watched their hate and venom grow more and more even after they achieved their goals. Never satisfied. It is not pretty folks.

    There’s more, but the above quotes are more than enough. In good news, the yucky stuff quoted above is countered by lots of rational (and more tolerant) comments on the Salt Lake Tribune site.

  232. says

    Bestiality being taught in public schools? Dafuq? Oh, it’s just Bradlee Dean popping off as usual:

    Bradlee Dean was a guest on the “TruNews” End Times radio broadcast yesterday where Dean and guest host David Berman rambled on for half an hour about how this country is being destroyed by liberals and ungodly Republicans and everyone else that doesn’t share their radical views.

    Public education, in particular, is playing a central role in the destruction of America because, as Dean explained, liberals are a lawless “criminal population,” so much so that teachers in New York City are now “teaching kids bestiality in public schools”…

    Right Wing Watch link.

  233. says

    Ah, the irony. Judge Shelby is apparently an ex-mormon. Considering the pre-ordination praise Shelby got from Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee, you had to assume that they thought Shelby was still a true believer. Here’s the conversation between ex-mormons:

    I went to high school with his wife…I kind had a crush on her. She was very LDS back then. I’ll ask a mutual friend if the judge is lDS.
    Came from Wisconsin, Skyview grad in Utah. USU. Convert, but now Exmo.
    Ex-mormon? Beautiful.
    But is he an exmo with papers? IE, if he didn’t resign, he’s still a member in the eyes of the church.
    Now wouldn’t that be just hilarious …

  234. Rey Fox says

    Whole continent is plagued with war, ecological disasters, and HIV, and the Ugandan government decides that folks hooking up with other folks of the same gender is “evil”. Got to wonder about the human race sometimes.

  235. Bicarbonate says

    Hello everyone. I have a question that I think is strange, I think it’s about consent somehow but am not sure. I need input.

    I have a straight cis woman friend who is married to man who has never intitiated sex with her. At the beginning of their relationship, she liked this because she thought he wasn’t “just interested in sex”. But as time wore on, initiating sex became a chore for her. She felt unattractive and unloved. It became more and more difficult. She noticed he rarely lost himself in it and would wear a strange, inappropriate she thought, grin during the act.

    What is wrong with this picture? Why is it creepy? Is there an issue of consent here?

  236. carlie says

    Hm. I’d be hesitant to overinterpret facial expression, because there are so many ways people’s faces don’t always match their moods. Sounds like they need an actual talk, if it’s still going on. If it’s been happening for a long time, that’s the routine, so he might think that’s the way she wants it to be and doesn’t want to rock the boat even if he would like to initiate. Of course, there are other possibilities, but the most benign might be the best place to start.

  237. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says


    It became more and more difficult.

    As in she found it more emotionally taxing to have to ask or he became less responsive to her efforts? If it’s the latter one, that’s pretty worrying.

    Have they discussed why he doesn’t initiate? If she’s making assumptions about why he doesn’t (“she thought he wasn’t ‘just interested in sex'”), that’s concerning. She should know why, or at least why he says he doesn’t. And he should know why she does initiate and they should both understand what’s difficult for the other. It may be he doesn’t want sex and is going along with it because he feels saying no would hurt her or or make him feel emasculated or harm the relationship. Or he may be a submissive person who doesn’t like initiating and genuinely likes her taking charge. Or his libido is low, but gets revved up when he’s reminded about sex as a possibility. If they haven’t discussed the situation and know why they’re doing things the way they are, that seems like it could be causing a lot of harm.

    And if she doesn’t know if he really wants her to initiate sex, then yes, there could be an issue of consent there. A lot of people can feel pressured into sex in situations like that.

  238. says

    Also to what others have offered, Bicarbonate, depression and antidepressants can both have effects on the libido, strangely, both usually making it weaker. Not saying that’s what’s going on, but definitely in any case: Talking Should Happen. That’s a pretty basic one, really.

    I recall an episode of a show whose name I don’t remember, where the pilot involved a psychiatrist, one of whose patients spent her session talking about how much it got on her pecs to have to listen to her partner cracking his knuckles all the time, and she didn’t know how much longer she could take it, and so on.

    The doc says, “Well, what does he say when you ask him not to?”

    “Oh, I could never do that!”

    “Okay, I think I’m beginning to see an issue here…”

  239. Bicarbonate says

    He sulks and gets angry and abusive if she doesn’t initiate it. He knows she doesn’t like to, but she tries really hard to do it regularly for the sake of the marriage, the kids and so on. He says he just isn’t interested in initiating. Her latest tactic has been to set up an agreed upon time for it, for instance, Thursday at 9 p.m. He apparently likes that. She says after sex he says he feels good about it, she feels confused and unfulfilled and frustrated. She doesn’t tell him that.

    In the past couple of years she discovered that he has been having quite serious relationships on the side without telling her about it. When confronted, he said she wasn’t demonstrative enough and that’s why he needed to look elsewhere. She also discovered he was previously married for two years and had never told her about that.

  240. says

    He sulks and gets angry and abusive if she doesn’t initiate it.

    So, he’s treating sex as an object/service which his wife owes him, and which he will be upset if she doesn’t offer it in the way and on the schedule he wants, which he won’t tell her. And becomes abusive if she doesn’t manage to intuit what it is he wants?

    I think I’m going to struggle to offer much in the way of advice here beyond “He’s abusive, get away,” which is relatively evident and also of little use. If she were able to easily get away, she wouldn’t be wondering what to do. But if her attempts to talk to him on the topic bring this kind of response, there is little likelihood of their coming to a consent-oriented bipartisan-happiness solution, IMRHO*. I don’t know of ways to shift outcomes in such a situation other than “stop entirely” or “cooperate”. :/

    *hugs generally offered*

    Quiet me this morn because we had a bit of an ice storm last night, and lost power earlier for several hours. I’ve been listening to the branches snap off trees all day, all around the neighbourhood. Juice returned about an hour ago. I am one of those cavepeople who have a land line**, so at least I had a phone working. :)

    *Rarely. R is for Rarely.

    ** Only. There is little point to paying for a mobile if one is basically immobile, and thus a physically tethered connection is sufficient. I own a Blackberry a friend gave me, which I could probably turn into a pay-as-you-go phone if it had a battery, or at least would have something to call 911 if I’m out and about. It doesn’t, and they cost more than any discretionary funds I am likely to have in any eight-week period. *shrug* Life is what it is. :)

  241. Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy says

    It sounds like your friend has larger problems than being concerned about whether her husband likes sex with her. It also sounds as though he does want it: “sulks and gets angry and abusive if she doesn’t initiate” implies “wants her to initiate.” Also, him getting abusive if she doesn’t ask for sex isn’t any better than if he were to get abusive because he was asking and she said no.

  242. Bicarbonate says

    Thanks Caitie Cat.

    I needed to hear that. Sometimes it’s easier to see things clearly when you’re not involved. I am involved in this situation, it’s my sister. I came to the conclusion that this was abuse about 6 months ago. Until then, stupid me had believed this turn-on-the-charm husband that my sister, who really really can be insensitive at times, was not loving enough. It’s partly from reading Pharyngula regularly that I started to see things differently. Still, when you know the people, it’s confusing.

    And so what about consent in this case? The truth is she is not consenting, right? He has managed not only to get her to engage in sex when she doesn’t want to but also make her initiate it. It’s perverted, don’t you think?

  243. says

    The word I would specifically use is “coercive”. As you’ve reported it here, he’s using unfair pressure to push her into having sex with him in a way she’s not enjoying, and no, for me, it’s not consensual, not so much in the legal sense as definitely in a moral sense. If he’s using her sense of social pressure to remain married ‘for the kids’*, then he is definitely exerting undue pressure on her to achieve the “prize”.

    It is not a view of human sexuality that I find appealing, in a supposedly equal relationship, that non-solitaire sex is a “thing” men seek from their sexual partners, rather than a mutually-created-and-enjoyed activity shared by two (or more) people. I tend to think this leads to the approach to women as puzzlebox, which in turn makes it easy to see women as objects and thus adopt a misogynist attitude.

    If this were my sister, I would be strongly urging her to consider finding a new life pattern, and if she cannot or won’t at the moment, at least making clear that if she chose/found herself able to do so, I’d be available at any time to help make it happen suddenly. Y(L/100km)MV.

    * I was a child of divorce that should have happened earlier, not when I was 7, as my parents were ill-fit for one another, and frankly it is my experience that this choice of “staying together for the kids/marriage” is rarely in the kids’ best interests; honest divorce is better than bitter false love)

  244. Bicarbonate says

    Thanks for the hugs Giliell.

    You’re right, he doesn’t think about what she wants.

    She and I talked a long time on the phone last night about their sex and it’s been bothering me all day.

    Months ago someone on here suggested the book Why does he do that? to someone else and I went and looked it up on Amazon out of curiosity. I read a good bit of it on-line, alarm bells began going off in my mind, so I bought it and had it sent to my sister. She didn’t read it, she said, because she didn’t want to dwell on her problems. But today, several months later, she texted me that she was at that moment reading it and having many “aha” moments.

    And thanks too, CaitieCat. I’ll take a look at your link now.

  245. Nick Gotts says

    I’ve long disliked Christmas – the carols and other religious drivel, the shops filled with vile muzak and expensive junk, the smirking royal family (this is in the UK), the wall-to-wall garbage on TV (though admittedly now hardly worse than at any other time), the tacky street and window decorations, most of the food… but this year, I have more reason than most. The only (though considerable) upside is that son’s home for the holidays after his first term at uni. A few days ago a gale tore a great sheet of ivy off an outside wall, leaving it hanging by its own weight (we’ve now hacked it down); the night before last son, newly arrived, said “What’s that noise?” – and it turned out to be a burst water supply pipe under the floor, which can’t be mended until some indefinite time after Christmas because it’s an ancient lead pipe of an imperial gauge, so there are holes in the fine old wooden floor and we’re without running water; and tomorrow, when we’re taking the train down to the in-laws, there’s a severe weather warning and we may be badly delayed, or even unable to reach our destination. Can’t I just skip straight to 2014, please?

  246. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Oh, Bicarbonate, I am so sorry. That’s much harsher than my first impression of that situation.

    I’d second CaitieCat, Vicki and Giliell. That sounds coercive to me. At absolute best, it’s emotional manipulation, but from your description it goes into a category where I’d say her ability to give meaningful consent is being taken away. If you’re at risk of abusive behavior if you don’t perform, you’re no longer being given much of a choice in the matter. I can understand why things are getting harder for her, if that’s the situation she’s been dealing with.


  247. Bicarbonate says

    Thanks Vicki (I didn’t spot your post at first), CaitieCat, Giliell, Mellow Monkey and Dalillama for your support.

    … her ability to give meaningful consent is being taken away… I can understand why things are getting harder for her if that’s the situation she’s been dealing with.

    I needed to hear that too.

    Why is it so difficult for me (for people in general) to see such self-evident things? It’s a mystery to me.

  248. says

    Hi all.
    ‘Rupt, but now that I have the time, I should be able to catch up.


    I saw your comment and wanted to express my sympathies for your loss.
    Also, I’ve long felt that my atheism could be a stumbling block in developing a romantic relationship (a moot point at the moment as there is no one I’m talking to), especially given the religiosity of Americans. Added to that, I live in the southern US, which is home to many fundies and die-hard believers. I recall carlie mentioning her spouse is a believer, so that gives me hope that an atheist and a theist can make a relationship work.


    Talented artist creates an edible Optimus Prime. It’s made entirely of graham crackers! So cool.

  249. carlie says

    In the past couple of years she discovered that he has been having quite serious relationships on the side without telling her about it. When confronted, he said she wasn’t demonstrative enough and that’s why he needed to look elsewhere. She also discovered he was previously married for two years and had never told her about that.

    All my danger flags are now up. It doesn’t seem from what you’ve said that she’s in danger of physical abuse, but that is one grade-A narcissistic asshole she’s got there. You might send her to Captain Awkward, specifically posts about Darth Vader boyfriends. Oh, here’s one specifically about consent when the guy pouts when he doesn’t get sex. That one actually looks really good for this situation. Excerpt:

    “Any time in a relationship any of you feel yourselves thinking “Well, I should probably have sex with now or else s/he’ll be mad and mean to me,” take it as a giant sign that something is Not Okay, and start thinking about how to get yourself to a safe place that is Away. Even if Away is the next room by yourself with a door closed where you can hear yourself think.”

  250. says

    Thanks for those, carlie, very useful.

    Bicarbonate, I think the answer is frequently the apocryphal but analogy-valuable concept of the slow-boiled frog: rarely does abusive behaviour ever start off as such, rather building in a pattern of cyclical change. Come in late in the process, and it seems obvious. Come in at the beginning (say, in listening to your sister or meeting the b-i-l), and the water gets hot so slowly that you’re pretty toasty by the time you’re reaching for the towel.

    That’s why carlie‘s talking usefully of red flags: some behaviours that suggest bad things are either going on or are in the offing, and I agree completely that this fellow is showing a fair number of them. Spotting the earliest ones can be a really useful skill: the easiest way to avoid abuse is to not get into the relationship with the abuser. If they’re bad at it (i.e., you’re lucky, and the first or second person they’ve tried it on, and thus haven’t improved their skill set yet), you can get lucky when they do something clumsily abusive early on and recognize it and get out. When they’ve honed their skills (not necessarily tightly related to age), even trained and experienced therapists who have helped dozens of clients with abusive partners can find themselves in these places.

    It’s important to note this, I think, because it’s good to show that it really, really isn’t your fault for not seeing it, nor your sister’s.

    I try not to diagnose other people’s relationships, because I’m not in them (often, perhaps usually, the only place one can make such a diagnosis with confidence, if any such place exists), so when people ask me about things, I tend to fall back on the culture I was raised with: instinctive understatement, qualification, and such, as in “well, if it were me, with my well-known paranoia, I’d be starting to think that something might be Not Good here, and I’d probably be having that conversation with my sister, or such best friend as she has to whom she might be able to listen saying these things, in the near future”, rather than carlie‘s much more useful and self-evident flag analogy.

    Which is in no way meant to imply that carlie is diagnosing relationships, though the juxtaposition does sort of suggest it, so I’m sorry if I’m giving that impression. I think the difference is more in “willingness to speak clearly and directly to a personal issue”, and cultural, than that we’re being judgey or not, and I intend to convey that I admire her manner in this more than my own, in having that directness without being obnoxious or awkward.

    TL;DR version: It’s not easy to notice, it doesn’t happen overnight, and literally anyone can be caught by it. The best defence can often be new people to meet – which is why abusers also generally will make attempts to limit social networks (in old and new senses), a strong potential flag. As abusive relationships age, both partners can become habituated to its presence, and fail to notice how much other people can see of what passes between them.

  251. thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing? says


    Why is that people that are privileged over me turn out to be such assholes. I can’t. They keep going on about how to not prejudice, and then do things to me which they would never appreciate having done to them.

    At this rate I will have nobody to talk to (no trans women (or similar) I know irl). I honestly don’t know what to do. Can’t watch any media cause fandoms ruin everything and it’s so often bigoted and will make things worse.

    aaaaah. (it almost feels like being cisphobic is warranted now.)

  252. cicely says

    CaitieCat, a doctor of such awesomeness is indeed a rare treasure! I’m glad of your good fortune in finding her.

    *hugs* for opposablethumbs.
    *eggnog*? You can spike it with whatever you want…

    Congrats on your story making it into the next round, ledasmom, and good luck for its further successful progress towards publication.

    *hugs* for yazikus, with my sympathy for your loss.

    rq, I have inflicted the Horrible Puns List on my FB friends.
    And that is a very Drama Llama!

  253. Bicarbonate says

    Carlie and CatieCat,

    I read the Darth Vader boyfriend stuff. Hmmm. Reminded me so much of my Darth Vader girlfriend (I escaped by scaling a wall and calling an acquaintance to come pick me up but was never able to get my belongings back). But that’s a totally different story.

    Anyway, yeah my sister has one grade-A narcissist on her hands. But tonight I’ll look on the bright side, I’ve re-established a relationship with her!

  254. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    rq: it depends. I think if the boiling is intended merely to keep it at a given hot temperature while Things happen to it (like with cooking pasta, for instance) it shouldn’t affect it much, but if the purpose is to remove some of the water by turning it to steam, you should experiment with reducing it somewhat, though probably not quite by half (try it for half if there’s a way to tell if it’s done right up to that step, IE by taste or visual inspection, but be prepared to boil it for longer). This is because a certain amount of heat has to be absorbed to turn a given amount of water to steam, so the total energy requirement is a function of the mass of syrup to be boiled, but the energy input per unit time due to the burner burnering the pan is going to be much less affected by the amount of stuff in the pan since the bottleneck is burner-to-pan, so with the same burner setting you’ll put about the same amount of energy into the food in the same amount of time, but the total amount of energy that’s needed is less. Make sense?

  255. yazikus says

    Offers of hugs and eggnog are all warmly received. Thanks for listening.

    I just got home from a 1950’s themed football watching luncheon, complete with Chicken Divine (a casserole of chicken, broccoli, bacon, rice and of course mayonnaise and cream of mushroom soup), a baked brie with strawberry preserves wrapped in pie dough, onion dip, other strange dip, veggies and assorted small pickles, stuffed olives and Shirley temples at my brother in law & his girl friends place. I’m newish to football watching, but enjoy the excitement others seem to get from it. The game itself is pretty perplexing to me, but I am starting to be able to follow along.

    For those planning on celebrating any upcoming holiday, what are your favorite dishes to make?

  256. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Is that football yazikus, or that North American thing that oughtta be called handegg?

  257. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    “Hello, little girl,” he said, which was only his first big mistake. “I’m sure you want to know all about hedgehogs, eh?”
    “I did this one last summer,” said Tiffany.
    The man looked closer, and his grin faded. “Oh, yes,” he said. “I remember. You asked all those . . . little questions.”
    “I would like a question answered today,” said Tiffany.
    “Provided it’s not the one about how you get baby hedgehogs,” said the man.
    “No,” said Tiffany, patiently. “It’s about zoology.”
    “Zoology, eh? That’s a big word, isn’t it.”
    “No, actually it isn’t,” said Tiffany. “Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is really quite short.”

    I have now worked my way up to The Wee Free Men. I am enjoying Tiffany already. ♥

  258. yazikus says

    FossilFishy, it was definitely handegg. Forgive my us centrism! Proper football is quite easy to understand, in my opinion, than this odd North American game.

  259. says

    opposablethumbs @255:
    Sorry to hear this time of year gets you down.
    I can relate to some extent.

    I wonder how much fun Xmas would be in the Commune…


    ledasmom @263:
    Great news indeed. I hope your story is selected.


    CatieCat @231:
    I’m so happy you have such a good doctor. It sounds like you’re in great hands.


    One of the employees at work-A-told me yesterday that she celebrates the winter solstice. She didn’t elaborate much, but she’s talked about woo before (she’s into animal spirits and the spiritual benefits of yoga and stuff that raises my Skeptic Sense), so I was curious why she celebrates. She had nothing to offer other than I just do. It wasn’t that big a deal and she doesn’t owe me an explanation, but I’m *still* curious what’s so significant about the winter solstice that it warrants celebration.



    Best Christmas movie?

    Trees: tasteful color-coordinated balls, or conglomerate of every kind of silly and homemade ornament?

    White lights or multicolor?

    Carolers: amusing or annoying?

    Christmas songs: fun or throw out the radio?

    1- The Grinch Who Stole Christmas (the *real* one, not the live action one with Jim Carrey)
    2- How abou both trees? I don’t wanna choose :)
    3- See #2
    4- in limited doses, they’re ok.
    5- too many christ/god x-mas songs. Throw out the radio. Replace with Shelley Segal cd.

  260. yubal says

    I swear, I am going to hang up talking to Muslim fundamentalists.

    Today was the fifth time in my life I had to convert to Islam in order to end a discussion without hurting somebody’s feelings.

  261. rq says

    Ugh. Are you safely theist again?


    a baked brie with strawberry preserves wrapped in pie dough

    Sounds like breakfast! Except I prefer this with cranbery preserves.

    In the end I went with the vestigial memories of heat capacity in chem class and ended up doing exactly as you suggested – I cut boiling time but not quite by half (7 minutes instead of 10) and while I haven’t checked this morning, adding the flour last night was exactly as it should be. I hope for a productive day. Thanks for the science answer, though – it made sense!!

    I’ve been meaning to provide you with a case of *hugs* for a couple of days now, and a few Yay!!s about the Awesome Doctor you have found, and just generally a Be Well message for you.

    carlie (and others)
    Thanks for the links to the relationship stuff, it’s been very informative, although it does bring back memories here and there.

    *so many hugs* to you (and sister), everyone else has already said enough for me not to add anything, except I hope your sister manages to get herself away from the relationship (and yes, I know, easier said and all that, esp. with children and being used to the relationship and not knowing where to go, etc.). And a big Yay!!! for reconnecting… But tempered by the facts of the situation.

    *hugs* I’m sorry my kind are being evil to you. :(



  262. rq says

    Oh and cicely
    re: llama
    Sometimes I wish I could tilt my head that far back in order to show how I truly feel about something.

  263. thunk: y'all know ageism is a thing? says

    Thanks for the help all.

    this is why I hang around here (and on A+). at least people listen, with more than a cursory understanding of how not to be an asshole.

  264. says

    Good morning

    Ahhh, Christmas time.
    Time for The Talk™
    No, not where babies come from, be they hedgehogs or humans.
    The Jesus and god talk.
    “Tomorrow is Christmas Eve, then we celebrate Jesus’ birthday!”
    Well, actually, we don’t. Remember when we talked about god, and how that is a story many people believe in but we don’t because we don’t see any evidence? It’s the same with the story of Jesus.
    We celebrate because we like it. We like having a tree and good food and presents. Because we like to spend time with you and your sister as a family. We celebrate us.

    I am conflicted about these things. I want them to discover this world and ask questions. But I also don’t want them to believe bullshit about magic baby Jesus.


    Why is it so difficult for me (for people in general) to see such self-evident things? It’s a mystery to me.

    Because we don’t want to. We seriously don’t want to attach the labels “abuser” or “rapist” to people we know and might actually like. Damn, I know how long it took me to use the word “abuse” when talking aout my parents and my mother specifically.
    Because I love them. I still do.

    Talking about my parents, I am carefully hopeful that at the moment I scored a goal. My mother asked if we would come to visit over christmas (three days in Germany). I said yes, if they didn’t mind we’d come on the 26th. No, of course not, would we like to saty for dinner? Only if it’s early. Well, gran comes, too, so dinner is at six o’clock.
    Let’s see if it actually is at six o clock, because we’ll leave at half past seven…

    Oh shit that sucks.

  265. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Bad puns are the devil’s pitch for converts.

  266. birgerjohansson says

    “New study reveals funders behind the climate change denial effort”

    Yangtze River’s ancient origins revealed
    Happy 45 millionth birthday, Yangtze. This makes the three gorges feature much older than those Norwegian fjords.

    Study of Idaho canyons suggests they were the result of massive flooding not erosion

    ‘Average Sven’ battles Jesus in kindness stakes

  267. birgerjohansson says

    OK, I am logging out and leaving work.
    16.45 Swedish time -pitch black and a light dusting of fresh snow outside.
    Merry tentaclemas.

  268. says

    I just got a weather alert from Stevens County: we’re going to have windchills of -45° in Morris. But I’m in Boulder, where it’s going to be +45°F today! Ha ha. I win!

    Except that I’m flying back home the day after tomorrow. When it’s supposed to start snowing again.

  269. says

    Five times??!
    I’m sure I have nothing to offer for advice that you haven’t already considered.
    I am curious though…I’ve never had any calls to convert or door to door people. How do they try to persuade people to join Islam?

  270. says

    As of today, Pensacola has officially started getting winter weather. Ugh.
    Yesterday it was 75°F
    When I woke today, it was in the low 40s. The low tomorrow night is supposed to be 22°F
    Hibernation time.

  271. yazikus says

    Tony, I didn’t realize it got that cold in Florida! We’ve warmed up to a balmy and rainy fifty or so degrees where I’m at, after a week of cold snap in the teens. Feels quite nice.

  272. says

    Yeah, we get those temps in the winter here in NW Florida. It’s only for a month or two, and even then, it’s not everyday, but it’s still miserable. In the decade I’ve lived here, the coldest it’s been was January 2010. For three consecutive days we had lows of 17°F

  273. yazikus says

    days we had lows of 17°F

    Brr! I lived in North Dakota for six months in the winter, and I remember being told not to wear water based lotion or makeup, as it would cause frost bite on your face. Also, the cord to my disc-man headphones would get too cold and not work. The winters where I live now are mostly mild, with the worst thing being the smelly fog (paper mill/slaughter house) that inevitably shows up. My first winter here I spent an hour searching outside my apartment for “the thing that died” only to be informed by a local that, no, it was just the fog.

  274. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says


    I was checking the theater website every day, and I managed to grab two tickets for The Nutcracker when someone else cancelled their reservation!

    *happy dance*

  275. opposablethumbs says

    Bicarbonate, I’m a bit late to the thread but apart from the things other commenters have mentioned I just wanted to say I’m glad that she and you are (back??) in touch (not sure if I understood correctly, but had you been out of touch for a while and have more recently reconnected?). It sounds like having you to talk to about all this is immensely valuable and helpful in itself; just having someone to talk to can mean so, so much! You sound like you’re being a really good sibling to have. I hope she is able to find a way to make changes in this situation.

    Thank you for the hugs, cicely! I’ll have a large malt (tomorrow night, probably) and toast you all. Collectively speaking, the Horde are the nicest bunch of people I’ve ever encountered.

    Agreed that Tiffany Aching is the greatest, Mellow Monkey!

    Hey Tony, thank you. I’ll definitely drink a toast to you when the bottle comes out tomorrow – hope you don’t mind it being drunk in neat scotch with no added creativity!

    thunk, I’m sorry the circle of people around you right now are so unhelpful and antipathetic. I just wondered, do you like at all? Of course I have no idea if this collection of stories would be of any interest by your reckoning, but there are several trans* characters in them whom the author certainly aims to treat with respect.

    Actually I’d be interested if any Horders who are GLBT have an opinion on Khaos Komix, whether positive or negative. I was wondering whether or not they would be good to rec to a friend of DaughterSpawn’s who has just come out to her friends as a trans* woman (everybody trying to remember not to slip up and use the old name and pronouns).

    Nick, my sympathies for the beautiful floor – hope it can be rescued – and good wishes for the travel – and the insurance!

    Yay for grabbing cancellation tickets, Beatrice! Hope it’s a great performance!

  276. says

    KhaosKomix is new to me, but based on the first 22 pages of ‘Amber’s Story’ that I just read (and am still reading), it is interesting, though not particularly full of depth and complexity.

  277. Bicarbonate says


    Those plastic cases that come with power tools that you think are going to be so convenient until you actually start using them and realize they were not designed for your specific tool but for a whole range of tools so that their indentations and crevices for holding this or that don’t really work out. Grrrrrrrrr ! ! ! And so you have to spend 5 minutes of your precious life trying to fit stuff in the right way like a toddler trying to fit the star-shaped block into the cloud-shaped hole. Grrrrrrr ! ! ! !

    So you guessed right The Queen of Procrastination (me) waits until the eve of Xmas Eve to finally get to those projects that have been collecting dust and taking up floor space for six months. Grrrrrrr ! ! !

    Getting the flat ready for Xmas, Grrrrrr ! ! !

    Grrrrrr ! ! !

  278. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you Tony. I liked reading how all the stories intermesh, and seeing how the same events were experienced from different viewpoints. Sounds like it would be “meh” at worst, so I wouldn’t be reccing anything bad. I guess I’ll send the link to DaughterSpawn to see if she thinks her friend might like it (I’ll of course be grateful for any other comments, particularly from Horders who are GLBT).

  279. Bicarbonate says

    Opposablethumbs @376

    I just noticed your reply to me now. Thanks for your concern. I left home at 17 and then basically ignored my family for about 35 years. For the past four years I’ve been trying to make up for that, to build bridges again. It is working, slowly. And I’m hoping to help my sister as much as I can.

    Tony @375
    Well, the author is singing a dirge only for the exclusivity of the whitest of the whitiest white whites of yore. Change is such a long time coming, longer than our lives.

    To everybody else, *hugs* *hugs* for whoever needs them. Got to get back to my projects.

  280. yubal says

    # 366 Tony! The Queer Shoop!

    How do they try to persuade people to join Islam?

    For me that usually works like this: I enter a small local store for a small purchase and the clerk looks at me and asks if I celebrate Christmas and I answer No, I am not a Christian. Then we engage in a friendly exchange of opinions and world views that typically evolves in me getting more and more quiet and the other person enthusiastically talking and talking and talking about how wonderful his religion is. When I then realize that I should have been on my way back home long time ago and no customer enters the door to rescue me I just ask what I have to do to become a Muslim, say the magic words and get the address for his mosque. That makes him happy and doesn’t hurt me.

  281. says

    Salon writer get some stuff right and some stuff not so right:

    In March of 2003, the drumbeat for war in Iraq had reached a fevered pitch. Despite massive protests throughout the world, over 70 percent of Americans supported the invasion. In that month, presidential approval also shot over 70 percent, the highest it would be for the remainder of George W. Bush’s tenure in office. Despite these currents, Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks spoke out during a London show on the eve of the war, saying “Just so you know, we’re on the good side with y’all. We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas.”

    When media reports about the concert got back to the United States, all hell broke loose. Their record sales plummeted, they fell down the Billboard charts and a full scale boycott swept through their largely right-wing country music fan base. Country radio stations across the U.S. pulled them from circulation, with radio network giant Cumulus banning the Dixie Chicks from its more than 250 local stations. Former fans gathered to burn previously-purchased CDs and even, in one media spectacle, crush them with a giant farm tractor.

    Unsurprisingly, conservatives welcomed this effort to economically discipline political speech. President Bush himself said of the debacle: “The Dixie Chicks are free to speak their mind. They can say what they want to say … they shouldn’t have their feelings hurt just because some people don’t want to buy their records when they speak out. … Freedom is a two-way street. ” For Bush and other conservative cheerleaders of the war, you can speak your mind all you want, but you should be subject to private economic disciplining if you say something unpopular. That’s just the dialectic of freedom working itself out.


    What’s surprising to me is that anyone even takes arguments of this sort seriously to begin with. Surely at some basic level, everyone realizes that content-neutral pleas for certain procedural rights are almost always motivated by something else. Liberals hate the filibuster when Senate Republicans use it to block Obama nominations, but love it when Wendy Davis uses it to protect abortion rights. Conservatives love states’ rights when they are arguing against some national economic program, but hate it when a state has end-of-life policies they disagree with. Various leftists support yelling over New York City police Commissioner Ray Kelly, but panned Tea Party disruptions of congressional town halls as harassment.

    emphasis mine

    The problem many people have with the use of filibusters involves some nuance that is not on display in this article.

  282. Desert Son, OM says

    Cross-posting from Thunderdome, with an extra portion of supportive gestures for those herein desiring them.

    On the road tomorrow for a few days of seasonal holiday with my parents and my sister.

    • Gifts bought

    • Packing . . . sort of started . . . o.k., o.k., fine . . . laundry started

    • Electro-mechanical metal-and-plastic enclosed conveyance fueled

    • Bananas and breakfast bars stocked for both legs of the drive

    • Route to cleverly avoid the nightmarish driving experience that is U.S. Interstate 35 in Texas planned

    • Tea for tomorrow morning’s steeping and drinking selected

    • Psychological preparation for three days with conservative Christian parents . . . in process.

    Best wishes to all and sundry for whatever you may regard this time of year, even for no special reason at all, and with hope the days find you and your loved ones in good health, traveling safely, surprised by beautiful moments of peace and joy and compassion, and welcoming some small respite from the world’s injuries.

    I continue in gratitude to the community here for as fine and powerful an education as any I have ever received. I remain, I hope,

    Still learning,


  283. rq says

    Yay for the tickets! I do hope you and your mother will enjoy the performance – and that it is one worth enjoying!!

    Desert Son
    Have a safe drive! And good luck with the family stuff.

    *hugs* and *mulled wine* for everyone else

  284. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    So, last night I had dream. A sexy sorta dream. Set in a church.

    The sexiness was courtesy of two young women who were very obviously, and I have to say explicitly, enjoying one another in the second to last pew. I was merely observing. It was clear that for one of the participants this was the first time she’d engaged in homosexual acts and she was finding it not only enjoyable, but downright liberating.

    The people in the last pew were pointedly ignoring the goings on, and the pastor/priest/minister/authoritarian-dude was aware but also refused to acknowledge it.*

    Now here’s the thing: this wasn’t titillating for me, not in the dream, nor after I awoke. In the dream I was amused by the prude, prim response of the churchy folk, and a little nervous that there’d be some kind of backlash. I was also fully aware that all of the lover’s behaviours were in fact none of my business and not intended for me in any way.

    Am I allowed to be proud of my sub-conscious? :)

    *The kicker was that the woman for whom this was a new thing also was in charge of the gift shop. After the service the faithful had to go to her to buy stuff, and for some reason most of them did shop there. /dream logic

  285. Crudely Wrott says

    This in reply to Bicarbonate’s post over in the Dome which reads,

    Crudely Wrott

    Just wanted you to know that I shared your spider post with a friend who I believe is a very good judge of literature and she was keenly interested in you and what else you may have written as well as moved.

    Hmmm. Moved. Me or her or the spider? Excuse the confusion caused by the spider also being a her. By the way, she is still well and doing spidery things and eating heartily, ‘lil sweetheart that she is.

    I am really interested in replying to any one who is moved or otherwise bothered or piqued by my words. Words are, after all, all I have. After, of course, all those youthful exploits and demonstrations. All, not inclusive, of course. After all . . . the youthful exploits are all true

    The stories I can tell about the wonderful things that I’ve had happen to me would add up to an encyclopedia of life if I had the stamina to write the whole of it. Really. I have only started to tell how fortunate I am to have lived through so many improbable incidents, so many boggling moments. My interest is aroused to hear that someone else is interested. *see how that feeds on itself?*

    Please, if you have any more to say or any contact information I will be right here at your convenience.

    Thanks for the notice. Stuff like that is necessary to bring out the width in slender fellows like me.

  286. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Not a usual day here at Casa La Pelirroja. The Sunday snow storm proved to be a real dud, only about 1.5 inches. The temperature has been dropping during the day today, and is now at what is supposed to be tonight’s low of 2 F (-17 C). We were expecting by tracking info three out of the four packages expected from ordering stuff for the Redhead (the fourth is in the hands of USPS and isn’t being tracked). The Redhead is paranoid about packages being left outside, so I had to stay available to get them in promptly after delivery. Success in that mission, but didn’t get other things done.
    The Redhead received a rude awakening on the cost of shipping packages these days, as she had some stollens sent to us to be distributed to other people. When I mentioned the shipping costs, she began to understand why I was pushing for the vendor to ship to multiple addresses, easy to do from the computer, which she hates. She tends to remember costs from ten years ago, not from three years ago; last year I was sending the packages. She hasn’t grasped that her catalogs don’t show the latest information found on-line, and aren’t necessarily any more up-to-date than last month. That is a continuing argument, as she thinks computers and the internet is just a passing fade and way to waste time.
    As far as dreams go, the Redhead often has dreams with her walking here and there in typical surreal dream fashion. My dreams are often of me trying to sleep (usually when I expect the alarm to go off momentarily), or some mixture of my present job, my previous job, and some surreal Tomb Raider style background.
    Cicely, very interesting picture.
    Those traveling, stay safe. We’re staying put, and I’m cooking a ham for the holiday.

  287. Crudely Wrott says

    Was up to 79 degrees Fahrenheit here in North Carolina yesterday, right now 54 and falling. Such is not evidence for global warming but is evidence for climate change.
    Anyone who is forty years old or more knows that winter used to start in November (northern hemisphere, North America) but now languishes until sometime in January. Just watch the newly fallen ice in New England melt by New Year’s Day (he said, boldly predicative).

  288. Crudely Wrott says

    Nerd, you must be so loved to be so doting and vigilant.
    I always look forward to your updates of what to many are the mundane details of life but for you are ever so much more. More important, more demanding, more necessary. More . . . more.

    Here’s hoping that will keep telling us of your life as you dedicate it to the Redhead. We have come to love the both of you.

    Merry Christmas. As well, joyful smiles amid the cold times that bring extra warmth to hearts that are just barely warm enough. Please tell the Redhead that there is one more out here in the world that would hug her and sing her silly love songs. And Happy New Year to the both of you.

  289. Crudely Wrott says

    . . . here is the “you” that is missing from 395 . . .

    It goes right between “that” and “will” as if it weren’t obvious.

  290. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    Garnished with resignation.

    I know exactly what you mean. *hugs and chocolate [of any configuration you desire that does not involve gluten]*

    CaitieCat – I’m glad you have a doctor who works with you to address your pain and individual circumstances. I know from personal experience with my own excellent doctor how extremely crucial it can be.

    Yazikus – You have my sympathy for your loss. *hugs*

    BeatriceThe Nightmare Before Christmas is my favorite Christmas movie too. We’ll be watching it tomorrow with the original How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

    opposablethumbs – I hope you have a wonderful time with your DaughterSpawn. *hugs*

    Bicarbonate – *hugs* for you and your sister.

    Nick Gotts – Good luck in resolving your plumbing problems, and I hope the weather did not delay or strand you anywhere. *hugs*

    thunk – *hugs and chocolate* I wish I could do something else for you apart from offering support.

    birgerjohansson – Merry Squidmas!

    Mellow Monkey – Tiffany Aching is awesome!

    Crudely Wrott – *pouncehug* Merry Squidmas! What board game(s) are you playing with your grandson?

  291. Crudely Wrott says

    Hekuni Cat, the game is called Pentago and it is straight from the inner haunts of Cthulu. Its basic goal is simple; put your marbles five in a row on a playing grid that is six by six places The evil part is that the board is divided into quarters and, after placing a playing piece, a player has the option of rotating one of those quarters through ninety degrees.

    Young minds are best at this nasty game though, THOUGH!, I did beat the man cub once out of four games. Mind you, they were my first four and the rascal had the advantage of prior knowledge. Even so, I am nervous in anticipation of the rematch.

    *knocks on Bicarbonate’s door??*

  292. Crudely Wrott says

    Oh, I forgot.

    *ricochet pouncehugs for Hekuni Cat.*

    Yours were well received, let me tell you . . .

  293. says

    Good morning
    So, tonight is The BiG Night in Germany and the kids are more or less out of (self-)control since sometime yesterday. I spent around two hours wrapping presents last night and after a clean-up we will take in the tree and decorate it. Then we’ll watch “Three nuts for Cinderella”, which is my favourite fairy tale movie.
    It’s windy and warmish here, as it has been the trend over the last years: way too warm in December and the big cold hits in February.

    I wish you all happy holidays

  294. rq says

    … Sealskin?


    Yeah, christmas eve is the big night here, too, with a couple surprise presents for the next morning. Middle Child has been asking about presents since a week ago and Eldest wanted to hang up stockings right at the beginning of December, and they’re thrilled that things are finally moving forward.

  295. blf says

    Yea! I haz electrons! At least for the moment…
    Also a lot of blood on the walls and ceilings. (Most of the floors have been cleaned by now.) I tried to tell the mildly deranged penguin that “WiFi” is not were you insert the baby weasels, but she soooo insisted.

  296. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Dear Hordlings,

    Wishing all of you special people much peace and happiness and everything you desire. I love the thought of the holidays, but sometimes not the fact of them. It is all weird for us this year, having just moved, but that is not a problem.

    I love you all. You sustain me. Happy hapy.

  297. says

    In 2010, a student in one Texas school district reported that she’d been raped. But instead of hearing out her claim, the school quickly dismissed her and, when police did not press charges, retaliated against her. Now, for the first time in three years, Rachel Bradshaw-Bean is telling the public about how she was treated “like a prisoner” for reporting a crime. […]

    Henderson High retaliated against Bradshow-Bean for reporting the rape. They accused her and the boy of “public lewdness.” Both students were suspended and sentenced to a disciplinary school for 45 days. Not wanting to face the boy again, Bradshaw-Bean eventually transferred to another high school.[…]

  298. says

    Thanks, Hekuni Cat. :)

    Happy/Bearable* Holiday to alla youse. Alla u r akbar. :D

    Now I’m off to a traditional** Cthulhumas Eve Lesbian Sleepover, with Tourtiere and Poutine***.

    * Happy for those as is; bearable for those as isn’t.

    ** Well, it’s traditional for me.

    *** Not Putin. That would not be a traditional lesbian sleepover. And we all know I’m about the slavish adherence to traditionality.

  299. Crudely Wrott says

    Echo morgan.

    Love must be a fluid. It flows down and fills all available voids.

    I wonder; will love flow in zero G?


    The ISS just passed nearly overhead as two guys in the smallest possible spaceships jiggered and fussed over the cooling system. I loved them as they did so. If they were even further away than the paltry two hundred twenty odd miles overhead I would feel the same.

    So, love is like a perfect gas. It expands to fill each nook and cranny no matter the size or the remoteness.

    Takeaway point: It’s a gas to love you all. I expand to fill the gaps between us. Tenuous, perhaps, nonetheless I am present. Here, there and everywhere, mingling and merging with you.


    That’s me you breathe.

    *chuckles for the sweet mirth of it all and presses Enter*

    Whoa. Chuckling, I exhale . . . you all . . . whoa. Sorry for any turbulence you may have felt.

    As morgan says, “Happy hapy”.

  300. Crudely Wrott says

    O my.

    Look at the time stamp of my comment #411.

    One, two, three, four.

    While it may not be any more improbable to glance at a clock and see twelve thirty four with a frequency that stands out over lesser metrics like four seventeen or eleven oh two, such has, for many years, seemed to happen with startling regularity. That it happens twice every day doesn’t dampen my delight one whit.

    I’ve long considered it a gift. A prize granted by probability and pattern recognition. So cool, don’t you think?

  301. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Hekuni Cat! I’m so loving having her back at home for a few days :-)

    Hope all the children of Horders with young children (or any sort, really) enjoy whatever kinds of things you do in your respective households. We’re just in the final stages of cooking the Slightly Fancier Than Usual Meal, which is followed at midnight by Presents For The Kids. (Greek-ish salad to start, followed by steak and roast vegetables (potatoes, onions, sweet potato, butternut squash, cloves of garlic, red pepper (plz translate out of British if appropriate)) followed by a chocolate chip cake DaughterSpawn just made this afternoon, with dulce de leche in the middle).

    I just had an almost-crisis when it looked like my computer had picked this very day (with all shops closed, of course) to have a fatal and final melt-down – which would have been a pain, not just because of missing out on contacting people but also because I’ve got a job to work on tomorrow, with the deadline just after! Argh. But tentacles crossed, it seems to be OK again now – it may have been protesting because I was being mean to it and asking it to work harder than it was ever intended to cope with (it’s ancient, and I had about a million tabs open).

    DaughterSpawn’s boyfriend’s family are without heat and light, thanks to the storms last night. I feel really sorry for them; that would be bad enough at any time, but they are a non-religious (afaik) family very big on Celebrating Christmas JUST SO, With All The Trimmings. And now they can’t. And it’s all cold and dark :-(((( We sent a message via DaughterSpawn’s boyfriend to say if they would like to all come to our (tiny, totally non-xmassy) home (in a different city, though not tooooo far), but I suppose they felt this would not be ideal for a first meeting …

    Right, it’s supper time. My very best salutations to the Horde, and I think Caitie Cat‘s got it just right – wishing you happy if at all possible, and as bearable as possible if not. Thank you all so much for being the smart and kind people you are.

  302. says

    Days When It Is Good To Be Culturally Dyke: the day when your ex, with whom you’re friends (because duh, Dyke Life), offers to take you to the store to buy that used video game that is unusually available (yay Spiderman 3! finally! for under $10!), and then says she has to go to the grocery store, so instead of just dropping you off for the bus, she takes you to the grocery store, and knowing you’ll be at home this eve alone, buys a bunch of your favourite foods as a present. Seriously. $50 worth of “foods Caitie likes”. Which is a lovely surprise, because you were just reading in the car while she got what you thought were groceries she needed, but were in fact just “Groceries For My Ex”.

    Because duh, Dyke Life. Dyke Life is awesome.

  303. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Turns out that he legion of climate trolls are a sockpuppet army. Who’d a thunk?

    Ah, that explains why they all sound the same level of stupid.

  304. Crudely Wrott says

    @CaitieCat, 414,

    Yeah. Stuff like that increases the hope and satisfaction index by orders of magnitude.

    Even if it is happening to someone else. Err . . . maybe especially when it is happening to someone else.

    I am happy, or, as morgan has said, “hapy” for you.

  305. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @CaitieCat, #414:

    My best friend/ex came up for the weekend and spent it with my current and kids and me. She bought food for a feast that we traditionally had together commemorating one of our very first dates. This is now an accepted holiday, looked forward to all year despite not having dated BF/X for 10 years now.

    Dyke life rules.

  306. ChasCPeterson says

    A prize granted by probability and pattern recognition.

    I’ve done that too, for decades (as long as digital clocks have been common, I guess).
    In the college dorm, seeing 11:11 or 12:34 meant “time to party”. (Also 10:37, for the sheer randomness, and also probably so we didn’t have to wait for 11:11.)

  307. says

    Seriously, CD @419: the ex who bought me groceries broke up with me (very much a one-sided choice) seven years ago. We exchange e-mails probably three times a day, and she comes over for lunch and Being Erica every couple of weeks or so. My current primary partner (the MyshkaMouse) makes jewelry for my ex, in thanks for the favours that my ex does for me, stuff MM would do if she lived in-country.

    Dyke life is superior, IME. We’re just…nicer to one another. Maybe because of the small community? I dunno. But dyke life is definitely a Great Thing, and I like it better than I liked het life back when people mistakenly thought I was a boy.

  308. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Crudely & Chas:

    Count me another that feels weirdly excited to see a clock say 1:23 or 2:34:56

  309. Crudely Wrott says

    Count me another that feels weirdly excited to see a clock say 1:23 or 2:34:56

    I do catch your drift, Crip Dyke but, boy howdy! You really have to be on the ball for the 2:23:56.

    Me, I just let the seconds go, knowing that in time they will grow up to become useful amounts of times like days and week and such. Then I can make fuller use of them.
    *grins foolish grin with a total lack of self consciousness*

    (btw, did you see what I did there, clockwise?)

  310. Crudely Wrott says

    begin log
    errata log
    2:23:56 != 2:34:56
    log out

    begin log
    initiate foolishgrin loop
    do until end

  311. says

    I guess I’m weird, then. The ones I like tend not to be sequential runs or multiple same-digit, but equations:


    And such. I = nerd.

    Note that this is case-sensitive: I != Nerd. Nerd and I are different people. He is the awesome loving one, I’m the snarky irrelevant long-winded one.

  312. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I’m the snarky irrelevant long-winded one

    You’ll have to fight me for it.

    In fact, now that I think about it, I’m the snarky, [frequently off-topic], long-winded, crippled, trans dyke who is invested in social justice and who fell in love across a national border…

    …and you are my evil twin.

  313. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Oh, also,



    and many others also tickle my fancy.

    I was paying attention at the moment of 12:34:56 07/08/09, because, duh. I was also paying attention on 01/02/03 4:05:06.

    I am just entirely too amused at such things.

  314. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I never said I wasn’t evil. Why is it that people assume having an evil twin makes one good?

    It’s like 2 genetically identical people who hold, despite their lack of living siblings, that they are triplets.

    Couldn’t each one be a triplet? With more than one triplet in the same location, don’t you have triplets?

    I’m quite happy to be your evil twin. But don’t let anyone tell you that makes you good, or that your evil nature makes you not my twin.

    Hell, from what anyone here knows, we might actually be the same person.

  315. says

    ::ummm, ‘scuse me::
    What, exactly have either of you done to live up to your supposed ‘evilry’? You cannot simply say you’re evil (this isn’t Islam after all), you have to talk the talk and walk the walk. So come on. Pony up. Give me three evil things you’ve both done in the last, oh, week.

  316. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I’ve supported my partner when she insisted that Santa exists to our naive child. More than 3 times.


  317. Crudely Wrott says

    Pssst, Tony!

    Don’t tell anyone else but I have long suspected that there are only two commenters here in the Lounge. You and I.

    What remains unknown is which one of us is posing as all those others.

    If you can inform me please use the secret channel. Channel D*.

    *see any random episode of that old show with a character called Solo. He had a partner named Illiya which is close enough to Tony! to convince me that we are alone. Not to be confused with the Cone of Silence in that “other” spy show.

  318. Crudely Wrott says

    Nightmare scenario: There really are only two here. Who, then, is PZ?

    Extra special nightmare scenario: There really is only one here which means that PZ is schitzo to the max. Where does he find the time to teach?


  319. says

    I, uh…I threw a recyclable tin in the trash last week. And…um…I smoke illegal things, that’s bad.

    And…there’s gotta be a third thing. I used to be really GOOD at evil. I know! I propagated Order 66, to wipe out all the Jedi. No, wait, that was Anakin Skywalker and the Emperor.

    Um…I listened extensively to George Thorogood, who is thorough-bad. Bad to the bone, even.

    There. I am TOO evil.

  320. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I show my evilness by feeding the Redhead frozen bagged dinners. Like tonight, a frozen bagged dinner of Shanghai beef (beef with sauce, long beans, and peppers), left over white rice, an egg roll, some won ton soup, and a fortune cookie. From start to on the table 35 minutes.
    Now I get to make her bed (I washed her linens earlier) while she talks to her parents on the phone. That will take approximately twice the dinner prep time, as there are a dozen or so pillows of different shapes used to prop up various limbs and joints, each with a color coded pillow case.

  321. Crudely Wrott says

    Has anyone ever spoken to one of his students?

    Has one of his students ever posted here admitting to attending a class taught by the Squid Master?

    These questions beg answers.

    I feel as though I’m falling but nothing is wizzing past me.

    Tony! Help!

  322. Crudely Wrott says

    (Takes time out of Universal Meltdown to say)

    Aahh, CaitieCat! Your Thorogood reference grounds me; passionately gratefully I am. Thought I’d lost it there for a moment.

    Nerd, when I am old and weak I will call on you. Or hope that you are not the sole example of dedicated concern and loving care. The Redhead is maximally fortunate.

    *so . . . aahhh . . . Tony!, issat you?*

  323. blf says

    Has anyone ever spoken to one of his students?

    It is difficult to work out which bits of digested squid food to talk at, especially since it cannot answer.

    Has one of his students ever posted here admitting to attending a class taught by the Squid Master?

    Digested squid food also cannot type.

  324. Crudely Wrott says

    That explains the missing testimony.

    Not to claim that I knew it all along but, blf, there appears to be more than on penguin of debatable degrees of derangement.

    Intensified investigation is implied if not intrinsically immanent.

  325. carlie says

    If you celebrate tomorrow, have a happy and loved one.
    If you do not, have a wonderful mid-week day.
    If you have loved, if you have lost, if you have struggled through, if you feel that you are barely holding on by your fingernails, if you are content, if you are optimistic, if you are cynical, my best wishes and love to you at this darkest/lightest time of year.

  326. David Marjanović says

    Mostly caught up till comment 402.

    *restocks the hug truck*
    On Facebook we call it Squishmas. ♥

    FossilFishy – a gift shop in a church?

  327. says

    Crudely Wrott:
    Look out my friend.
    I don’t think we’re alone anymore.

    Question for the Horde:

    What often comes as a surprise to your average Sunday wine-and-cracker Christian is the New Testament did not fall from the sky the day Jesus’ ghost is said to have ascended to Heaven. The New Testament is a collection of writings, 27 in total, of which 12 are credited to the authorship of Paul, five to the Gospels (whomever wrote Luke also wrote Acts), and the balance remain open for debate i.e. authorship unknown. Jesus himself wrote not a single word of the New Testament. Not a single poem, much less an op-ed article on why, upon reflection, killing your daughter for backchat is probably not sound parenting.

    The best argument against a historical Jesus is the fact that none of his disciples left us with a single record or document regarding Jesus or his teachings. So, who were the gospel writers? The short answer is we don’t know. What we do know is that not only had none of them met Jesus, but also they never met the people who had allegedly met Jesus. All we have is a bunch of campfire stories from people who were born generations after Jesus’ supposed crucifixion. In other words, numerous unidentified authors, each with his own theological and ideological motives for writing what they wrote. Thus we have not a single independently verifiable eyewitness account of Jesus—but this doesn’t stop Republicans from speaking on his behalf.

    My parents (and many theists) like to point to the various positive teachings of Jesus in the Bible. Does anyone know where I can read more of the arguments supporting the above info?


    CaitieCat, Crip Dyke:
    Sorry, you’re both coming up short.
    You’ll have to settle for Faux Evil.
    Or Evillite.
    Or Soft Malevolence (hey, band name!)

  328. says

    Threadrupt but with good excuse (unlike the normal one of just not having time to keep up or even check in very often). Power was out here from Saturday night to Monday night (the house only got down to 12 degrees Celsius, so it was manageable) and today was spent trying to cram three days of pre-xmas prep into one. It’s 11pm now and this is the first chance I’ve had to just sit and relax in heat and light and internet etc. since Saturday. I’m so so glad that we didn’t have to have Christmas dinner in the cold barbecued or cooked on the Coleman stove (which I think we were actually planning to do, though my vote would have been for postponement). I’m pretty wiped but I’ve still got wrapping to get done so I’ll be up for a while yet.

    Have a Merry one, all my Pharyngula friends (whether you’re actually celebrating the solstice or what have you tomorrow or not). Best wishes to you and yours.

  329. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    CaitieCat reminds me:

    I **liked** Revenge of the Sith…and recommended it to friends.

    I probably would have recommended the matrix sequels…if there had been any.

  330. says

    I actually liked the second and third movies; the first one was “Return of the Jedi” okay, but not “A New Hope” okay. I think I’d probably rank them from bottom to top as I, VI, II, IV, III, V. Yes, I think Revenge was better than the “original”, and yes I saw the original 52 times in theatres. I am, however, from the ripe old age of 35 years later, able to say that it was only good-ish, when you take off the Nostalgia™ glasses. If you show them to a kid now, they think IV is kinda…well, no better than OK-ish.

    See, they’re not coming at it from “There’s never actually been a really good space opera movie, with decent effects or director yet!”, like we were in 1977. They grew up in a world where Return of the Jedi happened before they were born. Like, all my kids, each of whom has kid(s) of their own, was born after Jedi. So IV is just…ancient, and frankly, it kinda looks it. The cheesy 70s haircuts, and Luke’s disco/moisture farmer flair – come on, tell me you can’t see Luke and Han very easily sporting cheesy porn-staches. And Leia’s white gogo boots.

    Whereas the prequels came out in my kids’ teen years. They are, to them, what IV-VI were for us.

    So I defend my membership in the Geek Reform strand, rather than the Geek Orthodox.

    Also, The Matrix was overblown adolescent sophistry spoken over a very competent special effects house demo reel, which I found bearable only by the (quite obnoxious, I grant, but to my stoned face, completely HILARIOUS) adding of “…young Jedi” to everything Larry Fishburne said. My co-watchers of the film were less sanguine about my laugh track addition.

    Definitely Geek Reform, me.

  331. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Crudely Wrott – I think I’ve played Pentago in the distant past, or some similiar game. May good fortune lead you to future victories. Age and experience should (eventually) count for something. Please?

    morgan – May good things come to you this holiday season and may you find yourself among good people with whom you can celebrate. *hugs*

    David Marjanović – *festive pouncehug* Merry, Merry Squishmas! ♥

    Ibis3 – Have a Merry Holiday with working power, cooperative appliances, and good people with whom to celebrate. Enjoy your heat, light, and internet. We so often take these things for granted until we they suddenly are unavailable. And get some rest when you are able. *hugs*

  332. says

    I’ve fucking missed you guys.

    Lappy was in the shop for a week.

    On the one paw, it was a week free of misogyny and various other bigotries and stupidities that get my fur up. That was nice.

    On the other, it was a week of being cut off from my support system (you guys) and my partner, which sucked.

    Happy Holidays to everyone; have fun and be safe!

  333. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Day off, and I was awake before 7:30. *sigh*

    Happy WhateverYou’ReHaving to everyone!

  334. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Oh, and *hugs* for everyone who wants to celebrate*, but has to work instead.

    * wanting to celebrate an extra Day I Don’t Have To Work counts too

  335. Menyambal --- I'll be a monkey's nephew. says

    CaitieCat, I agree about the very first Star Wars movie now seeming as cheesey as all hell. (Don’t forget Leia’s lack of a bra in your porn comparison.) I still remember the sheer awe at the opening sequence the first time, but I think I’ve been wincing at parts of the movie for decades now.

    I’ve not seen the prequels in entirety. I got the last one as a bootleg that ended early, but long before the end I had taken it off fullscreen and was multitasking. Maybe I should give it a fair shake.

  336. says

    Good morning
    I wish you all Happy Holidays, some time to relax and enjoy good things with your loved ones.
    We survived yesterday, but barely. The day was so loaded with expectations by the kids, it could only go wrong, combined with their childlike complete lack of understandng that you need to clean up a little befor you start decorating the tree.
    But it ended nice and food was good.

    *hugs all around*

  337. says

    Glad you and your family had a good time.
    Did Santa bring you what you wanted?


    To all:
    I offer hugs, best wishes and a hope for safe travels to each and every one of you. May your holiday season offer the joy you all deserve.

  338. says

    Crip Dyke, CaitieCat:

    I too enjoyed Revenge of the Sith.


    If I can geek out over something relatively minor in Star Wars canon…
    I’ve long wondered what the in-story reason is for the decline/absence of the advanced technology found in the prequels. I know the real world reasons, but it’s jarring to go from Episode 3 to Episode 4. The time between the two is what…20 years or so (as defined by the birth of Leia and Luke).

    Somewhat related to that–what’s the in-story reason for Luke’s reduced Jedi abilities? Ep VI shows us a Luke with some mild psychic abilities and greater skill with his lightsaber. It could be argued that he displays some greater than average physical abilities as well. However, his Jedi abilities are far inferior to those displayed by Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin or any of the other Jedi from the prequels.

  339. opposablethumbs says

    Happy Wednesday, carlie and all my fellow calendarist oppressors, and happy whichever-the-hell-day-it-is to Ogvorbis.

    The whole shebang is now done and dusted for this household, though if I didn’t have to work a bit today I’d still be asleep – I can’t believe we played charades until Five. O’clock. In. The. Morning.

    Must be off our joint and several rockers. Mind you, I did do superbly well if I say so myself despite the fact that my OH cheated and instead of sticking to the normal categories of film, book, play, musical/opera, TV show and piece of music (well those are our normal categories; don’t know how you lot play) he insisted on setting words and phrases in the categories “painting” (I did a great job on Guernica) “musical instrument” (marimba), “measuring instrument” (compass), “cosmological phenomenon” (black hole) and “figure of rhetoric” (oxymoron). After the first two or three of these came out of the big bowl of folded up pieces of paper, all we had to do was glare at him for “category” and the others knew it was another one of those. I was incredibly restrained by comparison and merely added one new, very simple category: “radio programme” (The Infinite Monkey Cage and Just a Minute, since you were wondering).

    I hope you all have as pleasant a Wednesday (Ogvorbis, plz adjust as appropriate) as it is possible to have.

    Read you later, Horde! ::hugs all round::

  340. Menyambal --- I'll be a monkey's nephew. says

    Opposablethumbs, that sounded lovely.

    Tony, the kids at my school that eat the free breakfast are pretty much the colors of the rest of the students. It has been an eye-opener for me.

  341. carlie says

    Happy day to all! Christmas is basically done by now here. Kids were up early – Child 1 was a surprise, but he said that he fell out of bed so went ahead and got up. Poor thing – we had gotten him a few filler gifts because he didn’t have much to open, and he managed to pick all of those first. So he first opened a shaving kit, and then a body wash, and then a package of coffee, and then said “getting older at Christmas stinks!” :D
    I got my Bob Ross dvd that I ordered last month but Spouse hid so I’d have something to open; he got a Yule Log dvd because he’s always had a thing for the virtual fireplace video. Now all is open, the cat is playing with the wrappings, I’m about to amble into the kitchen to make breakfast, everyone is watching Peanuts Christmas, and we’re just waiting for time zones to catch up so we can make the holiday phone calls. One brother is working all day today, so might not catch him.

    Happy day of Mercury to all!

  342. says

    MellowMonkey, the end is one of the best bits of Revenge, with the epic fight scene. Definitely worth seeing, even if it also has some serious cheese – Darth V gets a Big NOOOOOOO!, and someone literally dies of a broken heart, for instance; I also “liked” (in the “good movie” sense, not the “horrible slaughter” sense) in Attack of the Clones, and I’ll admit, it made me cry the first time I saw it, because seeing the Jedi be betrayed by the clones who’d been fighting alongside them was horrible.

    Of course, if you read the Expanded Universe books, it turns out something like half the Jedi managed to avoid Big Kill Day, in various individual ways, mostly because each author wanted to have their own wooby Jedi to write (oh, the pain, the hiding, the emo pain!). So it’s not as bad as it seems. ;)

    Tony, the in-universe reason for Luke’s different power suite is that he was mostly training himself, and that he started WAY too late. Yoda only really taught him the physical stuff before Luke rushed off to save his friends in Empire. The Jedi in the prequels were all being formally trained, basically from birth (one of the horrible Unintended Consequences of the Jedi training method is that every single one of them like has Attachment Disorder, being nicked from their parent(s) so very early), by people who’d mastered the skills. Luke got a few weeks with Yoda, and a few days with Obi-Wan. The rest he had to learn on his own. Also, he didn’t get started until he was an adult, basically; my own head-canon treats Jedi skills like language skills, something always best picked up as a child and the mind is full of awesome plasticity. Like training the Force-muscles with the 10000-hour approach.

    Not that I’m a major SW geek, or anything, or have (mumble) different entries in the EU canon on my shelves – although oddly, I don’t actually have the movies at the moment, because GirlSprog2 managed to lose them while visiting her father back in her teen years. She’s always been able to lose a purple-and-green plaid elephant in a bare white closet, honestly. Set alongside her toddler’s view of property rights (what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine), it made her somewhat annoying to live with sometimes. “You lost your parka? How do you lose a parka? I love you child, I do, but how do you lose a parka?”

  343. blf says

    The mildly deranged penguin went for a surpassingly simple Santa Trap his year. A big mousetrap with a large glass of sherry. (There was also supposed to be some cheese, but she ate that…)

    She tested it very carefully yesterday, noting it made a very satisfying and LOUD Whoommmp! when it snaps shut.

    There was no Whoommmp! in the night.

    This morning, the sherry glass was empty and neatly placed on the table. There were piles of MUSHROOMS! and cheeses and other bribespresents. And an obviously empty mousetrap.

    Which was also obviously shut.

    She stared at it for a looong time before deciding to do the obvious thing, and rewrite the Laws of Physics. So she’s resumed work on her Theory of The Third Gravity, a force which neither attracts nor repels matter, but instead turns it into cheese.

    (In the meantime, I am refraining from pointing out she forget to re-set the mousetrap after her test yesterday.)

  344. Crudely Wrott says

    Feets iz hapy.
    Got slipper sox!!!!!

    (Time rewinds)
    . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
    (Time fast forwards, nearly unspooling)

    Kidz got a fancy box that produces “killer graphics”. Later I will observe that the “killer graphics” are passably good. Almost as good as analogue — approaching Kodachrome.

  345. says

    Also, Happy or Bearable Holidays to y’all. I’m here alone at home, contentedly. I was going to go for an orphans’ dinner with my friends, but I think I might just stay here and have that steak that my ex bought me. A nice traditional Scots meal (beef wi neeps n tatties!), maybe a movie. My partners will be having their traditional Cthulhumas Day game of Arkham Horror, that’s the bit I’m missing out on.

    I’m not opposed to the holiday or anything, it just doesn’t wind me up the way it does some. I enjoy myself well enough when I have it with others, but I’m not unhappy if I’m alone, either. Alone but not lonely. :)

    Not least because, y’know, y’all are here too, and the stories of how you’ve spent your time are lovely.

    *hugs* of an unusually strong and unwobbly nature; the new med continues to be a bit of a revelation, of a Time Before Pain.

    I literally don’t remember what it was like to not live with pain; my car accident was 26 years ago this February, more than half my life ago; basically “being an adult” has more or less coincided with “being in pain”.. So it’s quite remarkable to be in a place where, for an hour or so after I get all my meds in (starting about two hours after I take the first ones), I’m actually not in much pain at all. Like, on my chronic-pain-affected scale of 1 to 10, probably a 2 or 3. That’s skipping-in-meadows level for me, and forgive me for saying, would probably rank for most of you about a 5 or so. You do build up a bit of a tolerance for the kind of pain you get chronically. Sadly, it doesn’t work more generally: headaches lay me low.

    It only lasts for an hour or so, because of med overlap and half-lives and stuff, but every eight hours, to get one without significant pain is…wow. It’s just kind of hard to encompass, mentally. It comes with a bit of spaceyness that would make it a bad choice for driving or playing a team sport (bad teammate, to be intoxicated during a game is unsafe for everyone), so I won’t be back playing football again anytime soon, but I am planning on going for a walk in my evening hour. An actual walk, outside! For a distance! I’ll probably walk up to the cemetery at the end of my street, it’s nice and quiet there most of the time, and should be more so today.

  346. says

    Happy holidays all.
    Tony #457

    I’ve long wondered what the in-story reason is for the decline/absence of the advanced technology found in the prequels. I know the real world reasons, but it’s jarring to go from Episode 3 to Episode 4.

    20 years of totalitarian fascism isn’t good for anyone’s tech base.

    However, his Jedi abilities are far inferior to those displayed by Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Anakin or any of the other Jedi from the prequels.

    Because they all started training sometime around age 5-6 and stayed at it full time until sometime in their early 20s. Luke, by contrast, didn’t even start until his early 20s, and had maybe a year of training before he went off to save the galaxy.


    I just spent some time correcting my ignorance. I had swallowed the narrative in the US that poor people were predominately black. Turns out I was wrong. I’m glad to know better now.

    Nah, it’s the other way ’round; black people in the U.S. are predominantly poor.

    Yay for reduced pain. So glad to hear the new meds are working so well.

  347. carlie says

    CatieCat, a walk sounds lovely! (well, not here, it’s single-digits F out). but hooray for the lessened pain.

  348. opposablethumbs says

    Caitie Cat, I’m so happy to read you’re getting some relatively pain-free time. That’s wonderful – and I hope you enjoy every minute of that walk.

  349. says


    Nah, it’s the other way ’round; black people in the U.S. are predominantly poor.

    I’m referring to the subset of poor Americans who are black.
    Here’s my FB post on it:

    I, like many others, swallowed the popular misconception that African-Americans comprised the largest number of people in poverty. It turns out that more White Americans live in poverty than Black Americans.
    Estimated U.S. population ca. 2012 ~313 million*
    African Americans make up 13.1% of the population ~41 million*
    White Americans make up 63% of the population ~ 197 million*
    Hispanic Americans make up 16.9% of the population ~52 million*
    Roughly 15% (~42 million) of Americans live in poverty **
    27.5% of African Americans in 2011 lived in poverty ~ 11 million**
    9.8% of white Americans in 2011 lived in poverty ~ 19 million**
    25.3% of Hispanic Americans in 2011 lived in poverty ~ 13 million**
    (per Source #1, there was no statistically significant change in groups between 2011 and 2012)

    * source:

    Based on that (and operating under the assumption that the figures are accurate), there are more poor white Americans than black.

    Also, I don’t see how (again, using the above numbers) blacks are predominately poor in the US with 11 million in poverty, but 30 million above the poverty level.
    What am I missing?

  350. says

    I’m very happy that you get to have some relief from your pain. I hope you enjoy your walk.

    Not that I’m a major SW geek, or anything, or have (mumble) different entries in the EU canon on my shelves

    Not a major SW geek, huh… :)
    Has George Lucas added anything from the Extended Universe stories into canon or are they all out of continuity?

  351. JAL: Snark, Sarcasm & Bitterness says

    Hello Everyone! *waves* and *hug* if wanted.

    Christmas was a complete success here. She has built her castle (well two actually – hers and her ponie’s little castle) draped it with her sheet and is holed up with her ponies. The Rainbow Dash has been decorated and henceforth called Apple Pie, since she truly looks nothing like Dash. The big, giant, talking, moving Princess Twilight Sparkle (that was truly a surprise – she’d given up wanting it for how much it costs) has been playing on repeat and all her ponies are celebrating in Twilight’s castle.

    We’re watching The Nightmare Before Christmas, which is the only Christmas movie I love and watch, and she loves it too. Makes sense since she loves Paranorman and Coraline so much. It’s a nice break from the constant repeat of Equestria Girls from yesterday and the night before last. (I gave it to her early to make her feel better.) That taste in movies makes me feel good, for some reason.

    And the cats! Oh, my, the cats. They have gone crazy for boxes and wrapping and pouncing on her castle. We’ve had to re-build it once already. lol. Plus Lily lost her collar so now her and her double, Sol, are collarless. Unless they are acting out, like how Sol rolls off a shelf when you pet her, it’s damn near impossible to tell them apart.

    Grandma is coming over later. Little One is eating a Popsicle for her sore throat. Did I mention she came down with a cold two days ago? (Thank goodness for the gift card, which is how I bought her medicine.) Yeah, the last two nights sucked with lots of coughing and sleeping with me but she’s up and at ’em today.

    (And I got a book, I’ll delve into once the food is out and things calm down. And beautiful necklaces that even made Little One jealous :))

    We’re are just incredibly happy and want to thank you all SO, SO much. I’m just so grateful for all of you, for your support, your love and well wishes. I don’t know what we’d do without you. There’s no need for magic fairy tales here – we’ve got The Horde. Little One knew that Santa wasn’t real because no way in hell was I going to let her think she’s on the naughty list just because we’re poor. She finds your kindness far more astounding than any Santa. She marvels about my friends online and how we aren’t alone in this anymore. That fostering, joy and hope is something I can never thank you enough for.

    There’s more, so much more. I wish you all could’ve seen how happy you made her. But I’m exhausted, the oven just beeped and I have more joy to indulge in for once. I love you all, hope you guys are doing well and I’m sorry so I’m threadrupt. I wish I could keep up.

  352. says


    Based on that (and operating under the assumption that the figures are accurate), there are more poor white Americans than black.

    Yes, that’s always been true in the U.S.

    What am I missing?

    That I’m working with outdated numbers :). More completely, it looks as though the official figures are better than last time I checked on them, but I’d also forgotten how far off the official poverty line is from any actual reasonable calculation of income vs cost of living. That is to say that the number of people who are actually poor, in terms of having trouble making rent, keeping the lights on and food on the table etc. is much higher than the number of people who are below the official poverty line. This is primarily due to the fact that poverty guidelines are calculated based on a multiple of estimated food costs, and completely ignore things like a dramatic rise in housing costs in both absolute and relative terms, cost of commutes, etc.

  353. Pteryxx says

    yay for Bearable Holidays, excited pets, far-flung kindnesses and respite from pain.

    Netspace present for folks who are solo and peaceful today – little flash game to play in a browser, Orbitalis. (‘You only get one shot.’)

    just spent some 20 minutes staring at the orbital path from a (rare) successful launch… round and round and round.

    (More often they look something like this: and the satellite only survives long enough to beat the timer. I squee’d the first time I managed to (crash) land it on a tiny moon, completely by mistake.)

  354. says

    JAL, that’s absolutely beautiful. That is a story I can get behind. I wish I’d been able to get behind it with cash, but I know that that’s okay too. You made me cry in the happy way. Thank you for that. :)

    carlie, we’re a little warmer here, but not much, at -10/-17 (C/wind chill; 18/5 F/feels like). Still happy to go for a walk, though. Cold temps cease to be a pain issue for me once we get solidly frozen (i.e., air humidity very low, below -3 or -4C to be reliable). And I’m long acclimated to Canadian winters, though they were an unexpected and unpleasant shock to me, having grown until 9 yo in basically London UK climate (Watford, more specifically, as the hazy base for our wanderings, from North Finchley to Hemel Hempstead to Slough, in a general north-to-west-ish direction from the Big Smoke; we moved at least once a year, sometimes twice, I still don’t know why, but possibly due to some not-quite-licit transactions my father might have been involved in).

    Also, onions were worn on belts, but not by me, though that was the style at the time, but not fruity little red onions, only gay men wore those. And only on the right hip.

    Ha! Long-winded, AND irrelevant! No one like me! I am the greetest! I shall be The Dotty Nana Whom No One Wanted to Invite! Mwahahaha!

  355. says

    Tony, I believe almost everything in the EU* remains outside of Lucasfilm canon, so far. However, the strong implications coming from them in the more recent JJ Abrams films being proposed is that this may be the official Fall of the Wall in the SW EU, and that EU elements will probably be introduced in the coming films. I don’t see why they wouldn’t; I’m sure they got themselves pretty heavy-consequence contracts for everyone whose name didn’t rhyme with Schmimothy Schmahn**, and covered the potential film rights, so they’re probably not going to be held up over rights to the stories/characters.

    I could be wrong, though, as I really don’t keep up with the fandom, because misogyny/queerphobia/cissupremacy/racism/ohjohnringonoism, and if things change I’m usually slow to get to know them.

    * EU is Extended Universe, the term in SW fandom for “everything that hasn’t been done directly by Lucasfilm”. EU has always remained out of canon for Lucasfilm while Lucas was in charge, but this may be changing.

    ** The EU could be characterized for a long time as “Timothy Zahn plus a lot of fanfic writers, and further down on the ‘can’t write for beans’ scale, Michael Stackpole”

  356. opposablethumbs says

    Just thought I’d copy-paste this. I should clarify that I don’t know anything about this group myself, other than this post that I’ve just this minute read:

    This dance group has chosen a difficult path to walk: they are an all-male, African-American gay dance team from Mobile, Alabama.

    The Prancing Elites, the gay dance troop from Mobile, Alabama were just dis-invited from the Mobile, Alabama New Years Parade . This came after protests over their participation in a Christmas parade in another town . Video of them in the Xmas parade is here .

    Anyhow, if you want to help them out emotionally, there is a poll here And financially, to get a safe place to practice: fundraiser info –

    They have 8 days left to raise funds for next year . Like many Kickstarter campaigns if they do not reach their goal, they do not get funded. They are at the 1/3 level.

    The type of fallout they typically encounter.
    “We love performing at football games. We were performing in the stands at a game in our hometown of Mobile, Alabama, and the police officer told us, “You all are not the entertainment, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for being up here dancing like girls. If you all get up and even look like you’re dancing then we are going to put you out and you will not be getting refunded.”

    Why they need funds?
    “We practice all year round, regardless if it’s raining, freezing cold, or scorching hot, we still have to practice. The only sad part about this situation is that we don’t have a practice space. We practice at night from 10pm-2am five nights a week in an elementary school parking lot and their P.E. field. The neighborhood where the school is located causes us to worry at night when unfamiliar cars ride by numerous times. We are scared for our lives, because being in the South, there are still a lot of homophobic people and we never know who’s having a bad day and may harm us physically. The reason for the late practice is because several members have jobs and are full time students. This in itself should show you our passion still outweighs all the compromising situations we encounter. So with all that being said, we are trying to help raise money to have a safe practice space where we can just do what we love and feel safe from any violence.”

    And finally, because Kickstarter campaigns are not funded if they do not reach their goal: “If our project unsuccessful, would you mind donating the pledged amount that you pledged on our project to our team’s paypal account. Our need is still there, even if all the funds aren’t met. You won’t be charged by kickstarter if our project isn’t successful. If you don’t mind pledging your amount to our PayPal account, send an email of your intended amount to:

  357. says

    Pteryxx, it looks like “This is your brain/This is your brain on drugs”, the Spirograph version. Seriously, that’s a cool thing, the game.

    I did an ad for my local community theatre some years back, to put into the local Pride Guide (I published a booklet for several years that contained ads for local gay-owned or gay-friendly businesses, in the 90s): on one page, a picture of a chicken egg, whole, with the text, “This is your brain.”

    On the next page, a picture of a Fabergé egg, with the text, “This is your brain on theatre.”

    It was very popular. We put on Jeffrey that year, and got a nice contingent of folk down from Toronto to see it. The director made a point of casting queerfolk in as many roles as possible. I love my theatre.

    Anyway, that’s three in a row from me, or at least it is while I’m writing this, so I’m going to go away for a bit and let someone else talk. :)

    /set mode: +read -write dur=43200s

  358. carlie says

    *big sigh*
    Well, I managed to screw up Christmas. My mom called, and thanked me for the gift…that I had packed for my grandmother. And I had to tell her so, or else Grandma wouldn’t have gotten anything, and given that she apparently said a few weeks ago that “I never call”, I didn’t think I could do a quickie switch and mail something else for Grandma to get later. The package in the box had just said “grandma”, and dad thought it was for my mom from my kids. Never mind that for the last 15 years their package has had something for her labeled “mom” and something for grandma labeled “grandma”, I guess since there’s a new grandbaby around who calls her grandma all the time they got in the rut of that. So hahaha, sorry mom, you got the one thing labeled “mom” and the nice scarf was grandma’s, so she has to rewrap it and hand it over. *headdesk*
    When is too early to drink?

  359. opposablethumbs says

    Argh, I’m sorry – I completely forgot that comments with lots of links go into moderation (at least, I think that must be what happened). ::facepalm:: I apologise for giving extra bother, PZ.

    It was a comment about a gay African-American dance troupe in Mobile called The Prancing Elites asking for support in the face of prejudice; hopefully it will show up in due course. Um, you probably already know all about them anyway!

  360. carlie says

    CaitieCat, you can come tell stories anytime. We could use some nanas. :)

    JAL, so glad you’re having such a nice day! You deserve all the nice days.

  361. Crudely Wrott says

    It is a bright and beautifully blue day here in North Carolina. The sky is as wide as you can see and the denizens of it are in full rejoice. How I wish you could see it with me!

    Mobs of crows are loudly communicating, warning of increasingly large flocks of starlings. Buntings and cardinals, along with a rag-tag band of squirrels, are laboring to remove the peanuts I earlier strew.

    Under a heap of leaves there are mites and worms just now warming and stirring gratefully under an earnest sun.

    The wolf spider in the plastic box has again walled herself in. She makes me wait to see what she will do. This walling in, unlike the last time she did so, includes piling soil against the transparent wall behind her hidey hole. Last time she did this she only covered that window with some silk allowing me to look in once or twice a day. I didn’t invade her privacy more frequently then because, well, privacy. Now she has shut me out utterly. Perhaps now is babies? I have no way of knowing. If she lives long enough, and she has survived for four months and some days so far, I will try to find her a boyfriend. That is, I don’t know if she carries stored sperm or not. Such a lady, she is. Keeping me guessing.
    The man-cubs are still killing imaginary zombies but now with a brand new box of figurines. An X something or other.

    Daughter and SIL are couchbound, apparently dazed.
    After a bit I’ll ascend to the attic and riffle through some boxes of books. I suspect that therein are a couple volumes, at least, that the man-cubs will someday come to appreciate. I just hope that they do so before I die. The odds that they will are even, at best.
    Did I mention that I haz slipper sox?
    I did? OK, good. Then you must know how cozy I am.

    I hope that each of you has something as wonderful today to crystallize as memory.

  362. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Merry Buttmas everyone!

    It is a wonderful time, as everyone is subjected to All The Guilt and exchange insulting gifts.

    But, you see, we’re Family.™ And what is what family’s for.

  363. carlie says

    …and I had to explain that the cookies I sent for my brother’s family came from a good Italian bakery, not the local grocery store (double sigh, I’m cheap but not that cheap!), and they had missed the notes in the package for the presents to my other brothers, which were a joke that didn’t really make sense otherwise. So, yeah.

    (note: my family is not the guilt-tripping type. All shame is in my own head. But it’s still there)

  364. Nutmeg says

    Merry Christmas, Horde. My life is better because you exist. All of you.


    *hugs&boozes* for carlie

  365. Crudely Wrott says

    @JAL, who said,

    We’re are just incredibly happy and want to thank you all SO, SO much. I’m just so grateful for all of you, for your support, your love and well wishes. I don’t know what we’d do without you. There’s no need for magic fairy tales here – we’ve got The Horde. Little One knew that Santa wasn’t real because no way in hell was I going to let her think she’s on the naughty list just because we’re poor. She finds your kindness far more astounding than any Santa. She marvels about my friends online and how we aren’t alone in this anymore. That fostering, joy and hope is something I can never thank you enough for.

    If I had only this statement from you instead of slipper sox I would count this Christmas day as the best ever.

    Love just works.

    It needs no embellishments, no fawning trappings. It is quite sufficient in and of itself. That it is common property is its finest quality. Sheeesh. Talk about democratic . . . ‘s right up there with the speech thing and the purfuit of hapiness, innit?

    CaitieCat, I am so glad to hear that you are finding relief from chronic pain. Speaking as one who has not had a (HARD!) pain free day in over three years, your relief is welcome and soothing news.
    To all,

  366. carlie says

    Thanks, Nutmeg! Tony, I’d totally go for that. :) But all that I have in the house is particularly hard stuff that was an amazing gift that I am thankful for, but literally can’t handle more than about 10ml of at a time.

    Crudely, big huge hugs. To you and all the Horde. :)

  367. Crudely Wrott says

    A major conflagration.

    Couchbound ones screaming.

    My interruption met with threats.

    Oh, damn. I knew it would go this way.

    SIL is bereft of compassion. His life is masturbation and white powders.

    The man-cubs are beside themselves, eyes wide, seeing the misery but not knowing why it is happening today, of all days.

    Please hold me.

  368. Crudely Wrott says

    Living room, until just moments ago filled with the litter of gifts and the watchers of “games”, is now empty except SIL who is staring blankly at a screen displaying mostly explosions and expletives. Man-cubs have scattered.
    Daughter on porch, smoking.
    All I could do was to walk up, take her face in my hands, kiss and say one word: “Decide”.
    She must. That little man (who is larger than I and menacing though I don’t let on, such is my maturity) is going to destroy her.
    If she divests herself of him it will be drastic change for man-cubs, her and I.
    Why? I ask the emptiness, Why today? Would it be putting anyone out to wait for, say, the 27th or so?
    Shit fuck. I am so sorry to have to say these words. Even sorrier that I have reason to. Shall I post? I almost didn’t.

  369. says

    Yes, you should post them. And I’m glad you did, Crudely.

    Because the glass of happiness your SIL is pouring out, the Horde offers a bottomless refill pipe for that puppy. JAL’s cup of joy runneth over; borrow some of hers. I have some quiet contentment you’re welcome to, I’ve got lots. Sounds like there’s a fair bit of happy satiety going, as well…well, there’s usually a fair bit of that surplus around Christmas, isn’t there?

    So pour yourself a little extra on us, and remember your awesome Zen that we all admire. And your love, spraying out in a fine refreshing mist to cool and warm the Loungerie* at the same time.

    * Un portmanteau de “lounge” et “menagerie”. :D

  370. David Marjanović says

    Yay! A pouncehug from Hekuni Cat! *pouncehug* *pouncehug* ^_^

    Yay Dyke Life! :-)

    *hugs & cookies for JAL, carlie, Esteleth, Nutmeg, Beatrice, Crudely Wrott*

    The cheesy 70s haircuts, and Luke’s disco/moisture farmer flair – come on, tell me you can’t see Luke and Han very easily sporting cheesy porn-staches. And Leia’s white gogo boots.

    Boots? I’ve never noticed her footwear.

    But the 70s haircuts. Sweet Darkbaby, the 70s haircuts. *epic facepalm*

    Best Duck Dynasty comic:

    Also from there:
    Change in gun laws over time
    The Incredible Volcker
    This Modern World: Moments of Republican Madness in the first half of 2013
    Tom the Dancing Bug: War on Christmas
    This Modern World: Republican to-do list for Christmas

    More to come.

  371. says

    I’m so sorry for you and your family my friend.

    I hope there is some way to salvage the holiday.
    As always, it is your choice to post or not post. Just remember that we care about you and will be here, no matter what.