Re: Holiday Spirit.

1

Beautiful house (go Sally and Newt!), but I think I'm more interested in the books behind it. Ah, how I love examining other people's bookcases.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:37 PM
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That's gonna be a bitch to heat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:39 PM
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Oooh. I don't think that's one of the more impressive segments of the shelves. We have an awful lot of bookshelves, but they're mostly full of unutterable trash, combined with old textbooks.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:40 PM
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Mmm, books.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:41 PM
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Does that count as a mansard roof?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:41 PM
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Brava!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:42 PM
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And yes, Sally and Newt should be proud. I like the path leading to the door.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:44 PM
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It is totally a mansard roof. I was so embarrassed at not having remembered the word mansard here a couple of weeks ago that I redesigned the traditional Breath family house to include one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:45 PM
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My eyes immediately went to the books as well. I believe LB has deliberately made the picture slightly blurry (either that or I need new lenses), because I see "Heraldry" and that's about all.

Cool house! Edible? I seem to remember that the answer is no. The only other family I know with a gingerbread house-making holiday tradition is a Swiss family.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:49 PM
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The picture's blurry, but it's because it's a cell phone camera and I don't know what I'm doing, rather than anything deliberate.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:53 PM
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The use of yogurt-covered pretzels as fencing is great.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:55 PM
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Go Newt and Sally! Festive!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:55 PM
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And yes, edible. Non-edible gingerbread houses are cheating. By the time it gets eaten it's kind of stale, of course, but still technically food.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:56 PM
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:-D


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 6:56 PM
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ned's being gross with his face-making now.

Or wait. The D is a grin, isn't it, not a lolling tongue. I'm not so familiar with these symbols.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:02 PM
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Before I get too far into being my usual self, I should say that it is indeed totally awesome. Well done, LB&c.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, the roof and porch make it totally reminiscent of this house.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:02 PM
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Awesome. Am I recalling correctly that you posted the gingerbread recipe at some point?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:04 PM
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a lolling tongue.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:05 PM
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||

Bicycle Update! Shifting in and out of the smallest chainring proves to be a dicy proposition!

|>


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:05 PM
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19: regardless of the gear you're in at the back?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:07 PM
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That's the style. I was contemplating doing the separate tower bit, but came to my senses when I realized how many pieces that would be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:07 PM
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Perhaps next year you can add a portico with Doric columns made from Churros.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:09 PM
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If I'm in the absolutely largest cog shifting into the smallest chainring happens more reliably but still with a sudden jolt; shifting out is also better but not exactly smooth. In even the second-largest cog, pretty dicy. The extent to which this has been influenced by my wearing a very heavy bag has yet to be determined, but I don't think that that should have much of an effect—it didn't on the stolen bike.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:11 PM
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23: either you need your front derailleur adjusted or it's just a product of the chainring sizes. I forget, is it a triple chainring or a compact crank or just normal?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:12 PM
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Add "are my guesses" at the end of the first sentence in 24.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:13 PM
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17: The gingerbread was a double recipe of this: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gingerbread-House-103229 . Royal icing for glue and decoration is 150 g confectioner's sugar for every egg white, and a quarter tsp cream of tartar for every two egg whites, beat for a very long time until very very stiff and bright white. Decoration is ad hoc.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:14 PM
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Great, thanks.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:16 PM
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I'm kind of thrilled your idea was to have your kids recreate the Bates house, LB. Now you can show them the movie at some point and say "see? Look at the house! You made that!" and leave them thoroughly scarred.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:17 PM
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Triple chainring and I definitely believe that I need my front derailleur adjusted, because backpedaling (but not, oddly, pedaling forward) in what strike me as perfectly reasonable gear combinations (e.g., middle ring, second-smallest cog) produces undesirable sounds. Though it is also a larger jump between middle/small than between large/middle rings (42-30, 52-42). So who knows.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:17 PM
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Is there a little corpse inside made from dried fruit and cotton candy?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:25 PM
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That house is so charming. They did a great job.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:38 PM
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Wow, what a great house! I am impressed. And also hungry for yogurt pretzels.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:42 PM
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33

Isn't eggnog the spirit of the holidays?


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:44 PM
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Biking sounds a hell of a lot more complicated than I thought it was.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:46 PM
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34: I can tell you an easy way to completely avoid all the complications neb is experiencing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:49 PM
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35: I already know an easy way: not biking. Not because I'm against it in any way, but because I don't have a bike to speak of. I am also, with great amusement, not saying a word about neb's link in 18.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:53 PM
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I bike all the time, and never have the problems nosflow is having. But I a) know nothing about biking and b) have a cheap bike.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 7:58 PM
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Yes, I figured it was something weird going on with neb's bike. The language is opaque to me; that's all I meant.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:02 PM
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language is opaque to me

To me as well, to me as well. (But this happens a lot to me when nosflow is writing. I almost uttered the descriptor nosflowian at a dinner party but then I realized no one else would understand what I meant.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:05 PM
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Sigh. I doubt it's the way neb has described things; he's probably referring to things appropriately, since Sifu understands the terms as well.

So. It's like 11 days or something until Christmas. I haven't done a thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:17 PM
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(Just to be clear, because I don't want to be on TOS level, nosflowian was in reference to me actually managing to utter a paragraph of beautiful language - it was just slightly impenetrable.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:17 PM
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Gingerbread houses, hmmph. A nice nativity scene is the way to go, plus it doesn't spoil so you can reuse it. My mom was seriously into Christmas decoration stuff, at least until we moved to Europe and spending weekends in the alps became an option. That included a rustic nativity scene made of straw, twigs, foil, and paint and tons of elaborate handmade Christmas tree decorations which we have since brought over to Poland and use there. I have a weirdly strong attachment to traditional Christmas celebrations for an agnostic from an agnostic family. I'll avoid meat on Christmas Eve even if I'm not with family. Plus elaborately decorated Easter eggs are fun, though eating them always seems like a crime.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:30 PM
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Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 8:55 PM
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That is lovely. My wife made a gingrerbread house every Christmas for almost 30 years for our kids. She's quite content to be done with it and the rest of Christmas hoopla but even though the kids are all over 19, I suspect they'd still love to have one. I not sure it's a thought she's anxious to hear from me though.


Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:01 PM
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||

Vanishing Point (1971)! It's like Easy Rider without all the bullshit talking but with way, way more awesome desert and awesome Mopar! And awesome existential randomness! And killer funk! I mean wow, man.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:04 PM
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How does it compare to Two-Lane Blacktop?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:07 PM
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I would very much like to be able to answer that question, but have not yet seen the movie you mention.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:09 PM
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44: Middle Aged Man (may I call you Mam?), you should contribute, or even lead the way! LB has helpfully provided instructions in comment 26 upthread. If your over-19 kids come home in any kind of timely fashion, it might be a blast.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:12 PM
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Gingerbread houses, hmmph. A nice nativity scene is the way to go, plus it doesn't spoil so you can reuse it.

But then, alas, you have a nativity scene instead of a house, and it doesn't spoil, so you don't get to do it all over again each year. And there's no gingerbread.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:15 PM
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Well, you could just make gingerbread alongside the nativity scene. Or you could destroy the nativity scene every year before Easter.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:16 PM
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The solution is obvious. Gingerbread nativity scene.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:17 PM
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Is it good luck or bad luck to eat the baby Jesus?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:20 PM
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Delicious luck!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:20 PM
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I don't see how there's even a question here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:23 PM
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Gingerbread is what I call "Tasteful Christmas." So much goes past that. Fortunately, other faiths are getting into the act. I saw two minivans with menorah on top. So Happy Hanukkah (with bonus happy points to the guy either has the world's strongest suction cups or a new van with holes drilled in the roof).


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:24 PM
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But us Poles don't do gingerbread. I don't think you could do much construction with Kutia. Fried breaded carp might work, but it just wouldn't be the same.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:25 PM
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52, 53: You'd have to keep him around until Epiphany, so he'd be pretty stale. So maybe not delicious luck. Maybe he could be baked with a fortune inside.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:29 PM
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A fried, breaded carp house would truly not be the same. Perhaps a fried, breaded carp well? Or dam? Or sunken ship?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:31 PM
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Now I feel like a slacker for not even doing sugar cookies. Or at least making the frosting and eating that with a spoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:31 PM
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A fried, breaded carp wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger would be awesome.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:34 PM
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But us Poles don't do gingerbread.

Whew, that's got to be tough.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:36 PM
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I once watch a guy shoot a carp with an arrow. Or maybe it was a crappie. Anyway, it was a biggish fish that lived peacefully in the waters behind a dam until some guy shot it with an arrow, reeled it in (the arrow pulled out fishing line and there was a reel mounted to the bow), and gave it to somebody who said they like to eat whatever type of fish it was.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:37 PM
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58 A well or damn would be best made from the traditional Polish Christmas season dish -'Jewish carp'. Think gefilte fish but made from whole pieces of carp, no bread crumbs or grinding involved. Quite good, particularly with nice chilled vodka.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:40 PM
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I once watch a guy shoot a carp with an arrow. Or maybe it was a crappie.

He shot a carp with a crappie? Neat!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:40 PM
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How predictible is it that I was going to make that joke? Sometimes I think I am a one-trick pony when it comes to misinterpretable modifiers.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:41 PM
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65: Misplaced nothing. The fish was very pointy, so why not try.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:42 PM
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Was it a swordfish?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:43 PM
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61 Nah, the crazy amounts of poppy seeds we consume are probably what makes us so happy in that season. I'll probably consume many, many pounds of the stuff over the net few weeks. Plus it's a good excuse for skipping drug tests for those who need one.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:43 PM
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I stabbed a carp with a swordfish in Reno, just to eat some filet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:44 PM
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After looking at pictures on Wikipedia, it was carp shot with an arrow.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:45 PM
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Shooting carp is a crap shoot.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:47 PM
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And then you choked on the bones. Carps know how to take revenge. More seriously, why don't people eat carp here? A nice, easily farmed, ecologically fine, very tasty fish. Sure it's a bit ugly and you have to deal with bones, but what's up with that? Think of it as a tastier, but less user-friendly catfish.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:48 PM
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61 Nah, the crazy amounts of poppy seeds we consume are probably what makes us so happy in that season. I'll probably consume many, many pounds of the stuff over the net few weeks.

There must be something useful that Poles can teach us about the right Afghanistan policy, then.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:51 PM
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I don't like carp because one summer, I had a job that included ridding the rotting carp out of a retaining pond from time to time. This anecdote triggered a long running joke between me and Emerson when I was new to Unfogged. The joke fell by the wayside because 1. it wasn't that funny, and 2. I was (amusingly) displaced by read in Emerson's eyes in whatever oddball category that had been.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:52 PM
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72: Somebody was willing to take the fish and said they would eat it. We were a very long way from Poland in a region not noted from immigrants from that part of Europe.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:54 PM
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Somebody was willing to take the fish and said they would eat it.

Okay, but who on earth figured out that artichokes were edible?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:56 PM
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74: When has reason 1 ever stopped anybody?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:56 PM
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76: Maybe the Italians. My grandma could do quite a number on them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:57 PM
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77: that's what she said!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:57 PM
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Many, many pounds of poppy seeds strikes me as a hell of a lot of poppy seeds, teraz. Just saying. I fear to wonder what it looks like coming out the other end. Um. It is unseemly to wonder whether you're exaggerating, but still.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:57 PM
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I love the fact that the answer to "who ever figured out that [ foodstuff ] was edible?", for any value of foodstuff, is "somebody who was starving".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 9:58 PM
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I'm just unseemly enough to go for it.

The thing about poppy seeds is, wow, do they get stuck in your teeth. Eating a pound of poppy seeds would make your teeth look like they'd been buried alive, no?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:00 PM
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81: That's also the answer to how we figured out what will kill you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:00 PM
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As my grandmother would chime in:

"Sopa isn't soap
Ropa isn't rope
and butter is meant ta keel ya."

Oh, Grandma. Reason 1 certainly doesn't apply to her.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:04 PM
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83: That's what grad students are for.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:04 PM
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80, 82 They're ground up with honey, or occasionally sugar except in kutia (basically wheatberries, poppy seeds and honey all cooked together and served as a sort of yummy glop). Haven't ever noticed any, umh, digestive issues. Generally served as cake filling or rolled sweat yeast bread fillings - take poppy seeds, stick em in a food processor, mix with honey, add some candied orange if you want, spread over rolled out sweat yeast dough, roll up, stick in bread pan.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:15 PM
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Yummy glop sounds yummy, and why would anyone "fear to wonder" about what foodstuff X looks like after having been transmogrified into excreta? I personally find the wonder-working powers of my digestive system and its plucky bacterial assistants quite interesting, and am always delighted to observe a variation output based on varied input—corn kernels or blueberries making it through whole, red chard or red beets exerting their indomitable coloring force long after their more substantial attributes have been eaten away, etc.

Bodies! They're fascinating!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:41 PM
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Also fascinating are the things put into bodies!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:42 PM
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More seriously, why don't people eat carp here?

WHAT AM I, CHOPPED LIVER?


Posted by: OPINIONATED GEFILTE FISH | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:44 PM
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Or you can be like Salvador Dali and try and eat in a way that produces specific end results. After much effort he apparently managed to fulfill his dream of producing white shit.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:47 PM
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Or you can be like Salvador Dali and try and eat in a way that produces specific end results

Way ahead of you. Though I admit I stopped at the conceptualization stage.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:48 PM
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86: I know that idea -- of course, that's what you do with poppy seeds. Pounds of them? But they're so tiny! Just a funny thought.

I did briefly have an uncontrolled laughing fit over this image:

Eating a pound of poppy seeds would make your teeth look like they'd been buried alive, no?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:50 PM
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White shit is a symptom of bile blockage. Just block your bile and get pure colors on a white field!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:53 PM
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Or I bet kaolin eating has similar results.

Now I'm going to stop thinking about Ben's poop and go to bed.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:54 PM
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No, you should continue to think about my poop as you go to bed, and also you shouldn't refer to me that way!!!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:55 PM
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why would anyone "fear to wonder" about what foodstuff X looks like after having been transmogrified into excreta?

I was observing societal niceties, neb.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:56 PM
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I was speaking of Ben, the author of waste.typepad.com, not you.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 10:58 PM
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According to long-forgotten convention the author of Waste is not named Ben (or ben).

I was observing societal niceties, neb.

Observing social niceties would have involved keeping silent on the subject of feces, not mentioning that you fear to wonder about feces.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:11 PM
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Well, this is a fine kettle of fish!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:16 PM
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More of a second harvest, really.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:18 PM
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||
Does anyone want to hear the new chants I came up with this morning in that liminal state between semi-lucid dreaming and semi-unconscious wakefulness?

Great! Here they are:

"No....hesitation, no delay/ The revolution starts today!"

"What the hell are we fighting for?/ No war but the class war!"

"Capitalism: One big con!/ Which side are you fighting on?"

I think the second one is probably the best. But the first one was conceived almost entirely in my dream where I started the revolution by grabbing a 2X2 and challenging the other radicals to help me.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:20 PM
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I can't see how the second one scans at all.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:24 PM
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Well, you have to put a lot of emphasis on "class", but then, I usually do.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:29 PM
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It works if you get some good syncopation in there. Kind of a samba.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:48 PM
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re: 86

Yeah, 'mak' is delicious. Fruit dumplings with poppy seeds in butter drizzled over them, 'kolac' with mak and tvaroh filling, all that. Yum.

Carp also. We were back in Czech last week, so lots of carp was eaten.

[Czech terms, but I presume the Polish is near identical.]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:48 PM
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Much simpler, actually.

WHAT the HELL are we FIGHTing FOR?

NO WAR but the CLASS WAR!



Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 12-13-09 11:50 PM
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Mak, yes tvaroh = twarog presumably (sort of a white cheese - take cottage cheese, press it into a firm disk) Kolac doesn't exist, but the languages are close enough that I could get the gist of things from the Czech wiki article. Back in 'Czech'? Isn't that like 'back in Polish'?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:02 AM
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What THE hell are WE FIGHting for NO WAR but the CLAss WA-r


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:08 AM
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re: 107

Back in 'Czech'? Isn't that like 'back in Polish'?

That's what I used to think. But every Czech I know just refers to the place as 'Czech' rather than as (the grammatically correct) 'The Czech Republic'. It's a bad habit I've picked up.

Kolac [there should be a hacek on the 'c'] are little pastries, a bit like Danishes, but with a different type of pastry dough. And yeah, tvaroh is a sort of smooth white creamy cheese/solid-yoghurt-like substance.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:11 AM
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The fish that nobody eats and really ought to is perch (yellow perch in the North America). Absolutely lovely, delicate in flavour, abundant, and easily cleaned and filleted.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:43 AM
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I'll avoid meat on Christmas Eve even if I'm not with family.

See, the Poles are weird. With my Scandi background we ate Christmas dinner on Christmas eve (goose, anybody?)


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:46 AM
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I'M drunk who/s wher?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:07 AM
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bad iunfluence those people coming tbhrough town. it's a food thinkg i don't drink this mucb vbery often. really very rrarely.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:09 AM
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I hope i don't get depressed tomorrow--tha'ts the real problem with the hangover the dpreseeion. fuckin' depression been deealing with it since i was a teenager.

i;m lonely.

fgood time tonight tohjough.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:11 AM
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The house is lovely, LB - tell Newt and Sally my kids love it.

I don't think gingerbread houses are a very British thing, although on Christmas Eve we are planning to go to a pub near my parents that are having a gingerbread house competition.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:48 AM
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my, 112-114 are going to be embarassing in the morning, aren't they?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 3:01 AM
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116: Nah. We've all been there. Drink some water and take a multivitamin before you crash.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 3:12 AM
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Here's a question I'd love to have answered.

If you are a woman in your early 30's living alone in an apartment in Brooklyn and someone is at your apartment door, banging like hell, at 3am, yelling, "I know you're in there! Let me in!" before jangling a bunch of keys and letting himself in, is this because:

(a) He is your boyfriend, to whom you gave a set of keys, and who had too much to drink tonight, to the point that he could only find the building key and not your door key. This is all either cute or embarrassing to you, but thank God no one called the cops.

(b) He is your boyfriend or ex-boyfriend, whose erratic and threatening behavior has gotten out of control, but you are so terrified of him that you secretly wish someone would call the cops when he does this because you can't get him to stop coming over and remain safe.

(c) As you recall, your job is the sort of job that might lead one to be pursued by, say, mafia types, hunted down and cut into little bits as payback to federal law enforcement, and damn, it would really be handy if someone noticed that creepy shit was happening at your apartment at 3am.

I only got about an hour of sleep last night because I was trying to decide which of these things was happening next door. I didn't hear any screams after the guy finally let himself in, so I figure either he's an efficient strangler or known to the occupant. Also, although I was in the (b) position when I was 20 and totally know what that's like (it sucks), I tend to assume that grown women would be clearer about their distress signals if they wanted help. Additionally, people lead sort of strange lives, of course, and we hardly have any privacy at all, and I'd hate it if someone called the cops on me due to some misinterpretation of sounds coming from my apartment.

OTOH, 3am "Let me in I know you're in there" does not seem the same as, like, loud sex.

What is the right thing to do? (c) is very true in her case, BTW, so I'm especially nervous about just taking for granted that people drop by unannounced who let themselves into the building at 3am.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 3:52 AM
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Can you borrow a cup of sugar (or poppy seeds), and say, "Oh, and by the way, if someone's yelling at you at 3 am would you like me to call the cops?"?

Also, if she answered the door you'd know she was still alive, which I'm kind of wondering about.


Posted by: Shadrack | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 5:15 AM
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She walked out the door ahead of me, so I know she's alive.

I'm fairly sure this is some kind of protracted awful boyfriend situation, as I've heard unpleasantness from that corner before. It makes it awkward to say anything, it not being my business and all. The selfish angle, of course, is that I do like to sleep a little bit before getting up to go to work, and creepy yelling/banging guys in my hallway are not conducive to this.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:15 AM
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52: Presumably good luck, though we are still waiting for initial reports to be transubstantiated.


Posted by: Doug | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:30 AM
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I tend to assume that grown women would be clearer about their distress signals if they wanted help.

I don't know what's acctually going on next door, of course. Or what you should do about it. But this is not a terribly reasonable or safe assumption.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:36 AM
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I know it's not necessarily true, but I don't know what else to do about it. I'm not trying to invade in people's business.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:39 AM
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Just call the cops. Nothing will probably happen. You don't have to tell them who you are, and if they even show up they'll just tell your neighbors to keep it down. If it's a bad ex, he'll think twice before he comes around again. If it's not a bad boyfriend, then it's payback for waking you up and scaring you in the middle of the night.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:13 AM
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Somehow the Holiday Spirit post seems like the wrong place for that comment.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:19 AM
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What would the downside be of shouting through your own door "Keep it down or I'm calling the cops" (and then following through if the noise doesn't stop? If it's just a manners problem, that should solve it. And if it's a domestic violence problem, at least he and she both know at this point that there's someone paying attention.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:37 AM
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But us Poles don't do gingerbread.

teraz: does your family do oplatki? That's the one and only Polish tradition my family reliably observes.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:46 AM
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I didn't do 126 because I didn't know, at the time, if it was maybe the mafia coming to kill her and cut her into little bits. If there's one thing I don't want in my life, it's the mafia threatening to cut me into little bits. (My brief experience working for the mafia made me sort of paranoid. I am also just generally pretty paranoid and would never ever get involved in federal law enforcement for this reason.)


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 7:59 AM
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I didn't do 126 because I didn't know, at the time, if it was maybe the mafia coming to kill her and cut her into little bits.

It was not.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:01 AM
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Well, now I know. Although I don't like the idea of confronting psycho boyfriends in the middle of the night, either. Maybe I will send her a friendly email.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:04 AM
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My brief experience working for the mafia

!!!

My family lore includes a great uncle who supposedly went in the clink for running Al Capone's booze trucks throughout Ohio. (As the story goes, while he was in jail, the wife got a monthly check delivered to her PO Box, which check covered all her living expenses.) As a result of this lore, I tend to think of "working for the mafia" in a more romantic light than I should, not to mention thinking of it as something no one has done since Prohibition, which of course, is wrong.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:07 AM
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Yeah, I wouldn't open the door in the middle of the night to confront someone either. Shouting through a locked door, OTOH -- I suppose the guy could resent it enough that he'd identify you as the person in the next apartment, and do something violent later. But that seems lower odds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:09 AM
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It was not particularly romantic for me. A towncar with dark windows would show up outside my apartment every day, even after I quit the job. I got a lot of upsetting and manipulative phone calls. At the time, I didn't really know what was going on. "Why do they keep telling me 'You no quit'? I just said I quit! Must be the language barrier. La la la!"


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:14 AM
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What were you doing for them, if I can ask?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:15 AM
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Jeez, Elbee, you've never heard of omerta?


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:27 AM
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Although I don't like the idea of confronting psycho boyfriends in the middle of the night, either.

And this is why you should call the cops. They don't like it either, but it's their job. The downside of shouting through the door is that if it gets worse and you do call the cops, they'll assume it was you and you'll have to deal with the consequences of that assumption. If you just go ahead and call it could be anyone on the floor.

I didn't used to be so enthusiastic about calling the cops until my asshole downstairs neighbor got a psycho roommate who would have screaming punch-outs with her sister, who was living on their couch, at 6:30 every morning. She would go on screaming until her voice was gone, which took a while. When the cops came (called by my first -floor neighbor) they'd go all charming. Then they'd be quiet for days.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:28 AM
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127 Of course we do oplatki. Pretty much everyone in Poland does. Not just at home, you'll have the ceremony at the office as well. For the non Poles oplatki, pronounced opwatkee, are communion wafers. On Christmas Eve everyone gets a big rectangular wafer and then you go up to each person, break off a bit of theirs, eat it, and exchange wishes, hugs, and kisses.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 8:58 AM
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On Christmas Eve everyone gets a big rectangular wafer and then you go up to each person, break off a bit of theirs, eat it, and exchange wishes, hugs, and kisses.

This sounds so incredibly uncomfortable.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 10:23 AM
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then you go up to each person, break off a bit of theirs, eat it, and exchange wishes, hugs, and kisses.

"This sounds so incredibly uncomfortable."

Yes. Please... practice safe oplatki!


Posted by: Dan Rostenkowski | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 11:41 AM
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Late, and haven't read the thread, but let me be the first to say that that is one great gingerbread house. Also, the pretzels as fencing and gabling is lovely.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 12:23 PM
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138 Think of it as midnight on New Year's Eve with wafer eating instead of champagne drinking.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:41 PM
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I halfway suspect that m/tch says things like "let me be the first to say" even though he knows he won't be the first to say.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 2:51 PM
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I halfway suspect that nosflow says things like "I halfway suspect that m/tch says things like 'let me be the first to say' even though he knows he won't be the first to say" even though he knows that m/tch knows that he won't be the first to say.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 3:20 PM
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142: Of course I know. That's why I'm asking to be bumped up in the line.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 3:55 PM
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I say, don't yell anything, just call the cops. And you know I distrust me some cops. I've had one conversation with the narnian cops so far, rather inconclusive. Can't remember if I mentioned it. They look set to sweep the whole thing under the rug as suicide, thus saving face for everyone.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:40 PM
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That sounds like a sad but possibly (given Narnian ways) optimal outcome to the whole thing.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12-14-09 6:56 PM
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