Re: Allow me to be the first to be judgmental.

1

I like to respond to obviously infelicitous questions with upsetting lies. "He gave me AIDS," for example. Or "We're waiting to see if she'll be indicted to decide whether or not to abort the pregnancy."


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:19 AM
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I admit I just don't understand this.


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:26 AM
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2: The post? The behavior described in the post? Lunch?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:28 AM
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I admit, I didn't get what was so infelicitous about the quoted comments.

Unless the implication was that the patron was doing something mildly scandalous by coming to establishment X instead of Y, but that seemed like a stretch.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:32 AM
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I didn't get what was so infelicitous about the quoted comments

For me, the "how's that working out for you?" question seems to suggest that it's not likely end well. But maybe I was reading into it. The X/Y thing was just to denote that they're two of many establishments downtown. They're not even in direct competition, really.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:38 AM
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Why would that suggest that it's not likely to end well? I think you're unduly influenced by Sarah Palin's recent rhetoric.

Was the patron trying to embarrass the employee? Is that the problem?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:49 AM
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Was the patron trying to embarrass the employee? Is that the problem?

Do you mean, was the employee trying to embarrass the patron?

Either way, not at all. I think the employee was being clumsily friendly/flirty, but the question seemed out-of-tune, at least to my ears.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:54 AM
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I don't hear 'how's that working out for you" necessarily as suggestion that it won't end well, so much as that someone thinks someone is settling for damaged goods.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:55 AM
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There is a basic element of common sense required when asking questions of someone in a public place: Consider the possible answers and how the respondent might feel about sharing them within earshot of strangers. "How's that working out for you?" might well be unanswerable in that context by someone seeking to hang on to some shred of dignity or privacy. That's why you inquire about the health of their partner rather than the health of the relationship.

Also the particular formulation "How's that working out for you?" is associated with Dr Phil pointing out that someone is in a situation they need to leave or is doing themselves serious harm. It's not his exact catchphrase, but it's close enough to resonate.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:01 PM
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I think that phrase could be either felicitous or insidious depending on the tone.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:02 PM
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Inflection could conceivably make a difference, but "How's that working out for you?" is sarcastic in 100% of the case I recall hearing it in. It means, "haHA! Obviously it's NOT working out for you."

To my ears, it's akin to "Good luck with that!"


Posted by: sam k | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:04 PM
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9: Isn't it Dr Phil's exact catchphrase?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:09 PM
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12: Extra "out" in Stanley's version. Economical, that Dr. Phil.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:16 PM
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I think the "for you" is what makes it seem to imply that it's not working out. "How's that working out?" seems like neutral inquiry, or even "hi, how are you? [don't bother answering, it's just a pleasantry]). Also, I'm pretty sure the implied derogatory usage goes back to the 1990s. Doesn't it show up in Fight Club?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:39 PM
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14. last: Yes. On the plane.

Narrator: Tyler, you are by far the most interesting single-serving friend I've ever met... see I have this thing: everything on a plane is single-serving...
Tyler Durden: Oh I get it, it's very clever.
Narrator: Thank you.
Tyler Durden: How's that working out for you?
Narrator: What?
Tyler Durden: Being clever.
Narrator: Great.
Tyler Durden: Keep it up then... Right up.

I am Jack's Deflated Self-image.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:43 PM
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I think the real mistake isn't the way the question was worded, but the fact that the employee thought that the status of a relationship is a good subject for small talk. It is not as bad ask asking about someone erectile disorder or colostomy bag, but it is heading that direction.

Really, its in a league with "I heard your dad died--so are ya overwhelmed with grief or still in denial?"


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:55 PM
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This is America and our only lanaguage is English.

Off topic, but it seems right for Unfogged.


Posted by: Charlie | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:57 PM
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||

The only caption that should ever win the New Yorker cartoon captioning contest.

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 12:58 PM
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Rob, dude. Where have you been?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:07 PM
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So asking about a relationship is

not as bad ask asking about someone erectile disorder or colostomy bag, but it is heading that direction.

Emerson would be proud to know that his influence lives on at Unfogged.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:09 PM
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I guess I get it now. I think depending on inflection, HTWOFY could just be small-talk, or it could be bad.


Posted by: Counterfly | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:18 PM
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Oooh! I love being judgemental! I agree, it depends wholly on the inflection.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:28 PM
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I had a neighbor who would talk of nothing but her colostomy bag. It was horrifying. Specifically when she would pet my dog, who would sniff at her waist, she'd say, "Ohhh, you like that bag! Don't you! Don't you!"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:31 PM
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She was probably right, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:32 PM
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Some people just talk shit.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:33 PM
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19: I know it is an in joke here. That's why I thought it was funny to see it somewhere else.

Wait, did the in joke here start over there? I admit I'm not keeping careful track of these tings.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:56 PM
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Wait, did the in joke here start over there?

Yes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 1:57 PM
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Since EoDFE-X said "How's that going? How's that working out for you?" I suspect the second sentence might have slipped out as a reiteration of the more neutral/friendly first. Noscitur a sociis.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 2:02 PM
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I thought the "Christ, what an asshole" joke started because Ogged or Labs posted something with that title, and the other said that they'd almost posted the same link with the same title.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 2:38 PM
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HTWOFY sounds like something an overly solicitous waiter might ask a customer about the food, not about dating the owner. "How are those cheese fries working out for you? Can I get you some more iced tea?"


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 2:41 PM
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I just want to note that 23 is probably the most disturbing thing I've read here that didn't start with or include a link from apostropher.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 2:49 PM
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I really dislike it when waiters comment on the functional properties of food. "How's that [food] working out for you?" is similar, to me, to when a waiter comments on your order by saying, "That ought to fill you up." Eating in a restaurant shouldn't feel like a task or a problem to be solved.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 2:49 PM
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"What's the status on your digestive tract turning that entree into poo?"


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 2:57 PM
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31: Yay! I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:00 PM
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Eating in a restaurant shouldn't feel like a task or a problem to be solved.

Agreed, although we all reacted with juvenile glee when a waiter asked a friend of mine, "Was it good for you?" with regard to dessert.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:00 PM
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32: Or, "Whoa! Somebody was hungry! You sure you're done? Don't you want to squeegee the plate?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:01 PM
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32: Or when the waitress comes by near the end of the meal and says "How you guys doing? Still working on that?"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:07 PM
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Whatever its roots, I cannot hear "How's that working out for you?" as anything other than rather aggressive sarcasm. For instance, this is exactly what I'd expect from a "How's that working out for you?" post at a Tattoo website. ...laydeez


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:09 PM
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36: I usually can't resist replying "we didn't like it" when a waitron asks "how was everything?" while removing starkly empty plates. I'm sure they've heard that same stupid joke a million times a day since they started waiting tables, but I can't help myself.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:10 PM
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Actually, now that I think about it, I would sometimes say "so you didn't like it, huh?" when removing an empty plate back when I waited tables. But that was only for the non-stuffy patrons who could take a joke with their haute cuisine.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:12 PM
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"How's that [food] working out for you?" is similar, to me, to when a waiter comments on your order by saying, "That ought to fill you up."

The first just sounds like a variation on "how is everything?" to me. The second is certainly ill-mannered, and the one in 36 is completely obnoxious.

I don't really see what's wrong with 37 though. To me it just seems like a way of asking "can I/do you want me to take your plate?".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:17 PM
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I'm trying to think of a time when I sincerely asked how something was working out for the listener. I think I stay with "is that going well" if I'm trying to get a critique of a process.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:22 PM
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There was a logic prof in my graduate department who would ask after completing a proof on the board, in a smooth, Euro voice, "Are you satisfied?"


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:33 PM
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To me it just seems like a way of asking "can I/do you want me to take your plate?".

I'm not working on it, I'm savoring it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:35 PM
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I can't believe you all didn't immediately support Minivet's 10. It's almost never about the words. It's hugely about the tone of voice, eye contact, body language, etc.

That's why harassers get away with so much, because it so often hinges on "But he stood really close to me and leered when he said 'Good morning,'" rather than "He said a bad word."

Granted, some people use a breezy tone as license to ask a borderline-rude question, but in general I think one is on safer ground responding to (your best guess about) the speaker's affect and body language, rather than the words themselves.

(Yes, I know this is a weird thing for a writer to say. Still.)


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 3:55 PM
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I'm bad at asking how people's relationships are. Like, I know one is supposed to express interest in one's friends' relationships, and I am genuinely curious and not at all hoping to hear dirt or doubts, but it is hard to come up with something that, coming from a Celibate Suzy, doesn't sound like, "How's that working for ya?"

"How are things going with Jane?" (bright-voiced, plus smile!)
"So you're still seeing Jane, right? How's that?"
"What's Jane up to these days?"

Is there some way to say "How's that relationship working for ya?" and mean it when you are someone with a reputation for being cynical about relationships? (I am cynical about my relationships, but not cynical about my friends', as long as they seem to be happy.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:06 PM
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I only ask because the last time I asked a friend about his ongoing relationship, he just pretended he didn't hear me and started talking about something else. I've never said anything bad about his girlfriend! I don't know her!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:08 PM
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46: I'm trying to think if I ever phrase my inquiries that way. I think I just always ask specific questions -- "So, what's going on with you guys? Any fun vacations planned this summer?"

And if I know the person well, I know the name of their significant other and can usually come up with some specific inquiry -- "How's James? I thought of him when I saw the new soccer team coming to town," or "Is Ellen's knee healing well?"

Regardless, I'm extremely unlikely to inquire as to the health or status of anybody's relationship. If I know of a specific event -- engagement, miscarriage -- I'll express the appropriate response. But absent that? Eh. People who are my good friends will tell what they want to share, and people who are not good friends can't possibly want me messing around in the intricacies of their emotional lives.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:16 PM
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46: Your "What's Jane up to these days?" seems innocuous enough to me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:17 PM
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49: Doesn't it?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:19 PM
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49: Unless the answer is "We broke up and I moved out of the apartment several months ago, ending our five-year relationship. It was pretty traumatic. I ended it, so I let him keep the dog."


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:19 PM
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48 is interesting. So you don't inquire about the relationship, just about the person? That's sort of what I default to if it seems obvious that my friend does not bring the partner up, but sometimes I imagine s/he's not bringing the partner up out of some kind of hypersensitivity to my pathetic singletude, so I do want to make it clear that I am capable of hearing about it. It's sort of like when people who eat meat avoid mentioning meat products in front of me, or interrupt themselves in the midst of a description of a great meal to say, "but of course, you wouldn't, um, anyway, there were some... nice potatoes?" I can hear about your love or your steak! I like when my friends are made happy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:24 PM
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51: But in all seriousness, I've certainly had people answer with something like, "Dunno, I haven't seen her in a while," or "Dunno, we're not together any more," with tone and body language indicating finality. OK, I get it -- you broke up and you don't want to talk about it.

Other people are grown-ups. They are perfectly capable of signaling if they do or do not want to talk about something. Granted, it's kind of egregious to ask gushing enthusiasm "How IS your mother? Is she here tonight?" when you know the mother in question has been gravely ill, but absent the speaker actually knowing something sad/difficult is going on, it's just absurd to expect them to mind-read.

I dunno. This rarely comes up as an issue for me, and since I'm not the most astute at reading body language, I have to assume it's because most of us muddle along well enough with the tools we have. Maybe it's just another example of AWB running into a disproportionate share of jerks.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:39 PM
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just another example of AWB running into a disproportionate share of jerks

Sigh. I feel like this is the answer to all my queries. And since it's unlikely that I am the only person in the world who knows people who behave the way I describe, the answer, obviously, is that I turn people into assholes. None of my therapists have believed this could be true, but therapists are notoriously unreliable.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 4:57 PM
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45 is right (both in the observation, and the fact that I too am theoretically a writer so it's especially weird to say). At least once I've gotten in trouble, and at least twice in the last month it's looked like making trouble or I've been warned by third parties that they think it would look like trouble, because inflection, tone, background of the conversation, etc. isn't naturally included in e-mail or similar media. Something as simple as "thanks" might sound perfectly normal verbally, but someone pointed out that writing it where I was about to write it would probably sound snide in a very bad place for being snide, and you know, on second look, he was right.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 5:00 PM
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54: I just think "AWB knows more assholes than anyone!" has become a convenient theme around here. Or do people in the "real world" tell you the same thing?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 6:58 PM
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56: No, people in the real world seem to know the same assholes I do, and like them less than I do.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 6:59 PM
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How, Stanley, do you know so much about the management personnel at [Local Downtown Collection of Delicious Food Establishments] that the conversation was intelligible to you in the first place?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:08 PM
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57: For example, the girl who decided to have a party on my roof despite being informed several times that it's structurally unsound, but just climbed up there with her friends, whom I informed of the roof problem, told me that of course they understood, obviously, sure, they'll just gather their stuff, but went back up to party. I wouldn't care, but whenever they do this, my ceiling leaks the next time it rains. Because the roof is unsound. Jesus fucking Christ.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:11 PM
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For what it's worth, I think I rarely inquire about the relationship itself, but about the person, as Witt describes.

If the friend is someone I know is living with a partner they've been with for 5 years, it would be, "How's Jack doing?" If the friend is someone who's in dating stages of things, it would be, "Are you still seeing Jill?"

Rarely would I venture into "How is that relationship?" The questions posed in the previous paragraph do well enough as an invitation to say more if the friend is so inclined. If the friend isn't inclined, the answer will just be, "Oh, she's okay" or "Oh, that didn't work out." End of discussion, move on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:16 PM
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I don't think AWB's puzzle is an asshole thing, I think it's an unspoken social rules thing. Talking about relationships with friend seems to me a kind of intimacy boundary that you don't cross with everyone and kind of have to agree to cross together. I tend to do periodic asking only with friends where we have a history of those discussions.

As to phrasing, "How are things going with M?" seems like a fine question to ask at the beginning of a relationship, when LTRness is not yet publically established. "How are you guys/you and M doing?" on the other hand, seems the canonical checking in question for an established relationship.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:31 PM
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Huh. I didn't realize it was rude. Even with really close friends, you're not supposed to ask?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:36 PM
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Wait, this is crazy talk. It's suddenly fraught to ask a friend about his/her significant other? The absolute worst case is they'll say, "We broke up," and you'll say, "Oh no, I'm so sorry." This is complicated?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:44 PM
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Agreed with emdash! These are things friends ask one another!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:47 PM
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"How are you guys/you and M doing?" on the other hand, seems the canonical checking in question for an established relationship.

Hm. I wouldn't ask that. There are enough people in established long-term relationships that seem enough like marriages that asking how the two of them are doing (relationship-wise) is odd. Would we ask Stanley how he and eekbeat are doing? Probably only if we meant to ask how they were handling their geographical separation: in other words, we'd be pointing to a reason for thinking they might be under stress.

I wouldn't really ask how two long-term people were doing (relationship-wise) as any matter of course.

There are middle-term (length) relationships, of course. Something that's been going on for, say, a year, you might ask "How are things going?" But honestly, I doubt I would, in those terms: I'd ask how Jill or Janet or Jack is doing. Only with a very close friend, one with whom I had a history of discussions along those lines, would I ask the more direct question.

I'm just describing how I'd tend to speak; this isn't prescriptive.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 7:56 PM
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63: It's suddenly fraught to ask a friend about his/her significant other?

But "friend" is doing a lot of work in this sentence, isn't it? Among my closest circle* of friends (where it's kinda guaranteed that I'll be pretty friendly with any SO), of course I'll ask how X is doing, or even the potentially-more-fraught "How are things with you and X?" if I'm feeling super nosy, or if we've talked about relationship issues recently. Secondary circle? I'd probably lead in with some kind of "Hey, I saw X biking down the street last week!" pretext. Tertiary circle gets "How's things with you?", assuming that if they want to tell me about X's grandmother dying or the big camping trip they're going to take with X, they'll tell me about it if they feel like it, if not, I probably didn't care that much in the first place.

*Closest circle would be about 6 or 8 people right now, never more than a dozen. Secondary circle would be anywhere from 20 to 60 people, and tertiary is rounding up all my FB and work friends, maybe excluding people who are pretty much solely friendly business contacts or merely friends of friends.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:01 PM
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I think Bear simply has a keen eye for assholes, the way some people are good at spotting grammatical errors. She doesn't create assholes, nor are there more assholes in her life than anyone else's.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:01 PM
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67: I think Bear simply has a keen eye for assholes

That should come in handy for Greek Easter.

BOOM!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:05 PM
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Keen eye for the asshole guy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:11 PM
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66 seems to be over-thinking, or perhaps just over-articulating. Oudemia, I think, has the answer in her pithy 64. If you're not comfortable asking someone, "How's X?" or, if circumstances warrant, "How are things with X?" then I don't think you're really friends.

Heck, I'd go further than that: this line of questioning is crucial even for acquaintances. If you can't ask about someone's significant other, how in the world do you make small talk?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:11 PM
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If you can't ask about someone's significant other, how in the world do you make small talk?

I remember reading about a cultural handbook issued to soldiers serving in Iraq. One of the rules was that you never ask about someone's wife; you only ask about their family. (The assumption was definitely that you would be interacting with a male head of household.) Asking about someone's wife gives off this "I'm after her" vibe. Asking about family is generic. Everyone has family.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:14 PM
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If you can't ask about someone's significant other, how in the world do you make small talk?

So it's impossible to make small talk with single people?

(I kid, I kid - totally agree with the comment.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:15 PM
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I also remember a sketch on the Chapelle show where "Oh and hey, tell your girlfriend I said 'hi'" were fighting words.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:16 PM
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So it's impossible to make small talk with single people?

You say, "You're still single, right? How's that going? How's that working out for you?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:19 PM
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If we were to have a meetup now than I'd probably have 'how are you and x doing' sitting at the back of my tongue the whole time.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:20 PM
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I agree with 66 mostly. Of course I talk with my most closest friends about our relationships, but a couple of them only seem comfortable talking around relationships (how's this particular thing going or how do you all handle x) and there are also people who I'm less close to where it's an established part of our friendship.

As discussed above, asking about someone's s.o. is entirely different.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:21 PM
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If you can't ask about someone's significant other, how in the world do you make small talk?

Being asked "How's Mrs Gonerill?" by any acquaintance, and I daresay almost all of my friends, would result me supplying a polite and possibly informative reply. But being asked "How's your relationship with Mrs Gonerill" or "How's your marriage?" would result in ... Well, I don't know what I'd say, really, because I'd be fighting the desire to tell the questioner to fuck off.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:22 PM
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s/b "most of my"


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:22 PM
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74 is cracking me up.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:23 PM
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74 is pretty much what people say to single people all the time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:23 PM
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Or maybe it's just single women?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:24 PM
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70: But the point of the OP was that we were overhearing a conversation between server and patron, within earshot of other people. And the implication was that the server knew the patron fairly casually, at least it seemed that way to me. So yeah, if your "How's things with X?" is on the level of gossipy banter between casual acquaintances, that's a bit more than I could stomach. But then I am a Minnesotan.

"Really friends" does imply a degree of intimacy that I don't think most people I know would ascribe to a relationship with, say, an acquaintance you see less than once a month, whose house you've never visited, who doesn't know how many siblings you have, or where you went to grade school, or who your favorite authors are. I.e., as in 66, ~80% of my FB friends, and a similar proportion of the people with whom I'm friendly enough to talk with if I walk into a bar and see them sitting with their other friends at a booth.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:24 PM
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You say, "You're still single, right? How's that going? How's that working out for you?"

This was the gist of the hilariously failed attempt at small talk my wife made upon meeting one of my exes.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:24 PM
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Or maybe it's just single women?

All the single ladies?


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:25 PM
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So how are things going with Mrs. emdash?

If you're not comfortable asking someone, "How's X?" or, if circumstances warrant, "How are things with X?" then I don't think you're really friends.

"If circumstances warrant" is pretty key there. I think the discussion has been about just the difference between "How's X?" and "How are things going with X?" The latter is not always warranted, while the former is fine, and indeed fine for acquaintances. I wouldn't ask a mere acquaintance how things were going with his or her significant other.

I don't think anyone has said that there's a problem with asking "How's X?"


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:27 PM
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To clarify: 80% of my FB friends/IRL acquaintances are no way, no how going to hear "How are you and X doing?" from me, and a lot of them will probably never hear "How's X doing?". That 18% remainder of friends-who-are-not-close-friends-but-more-than-acquaintances is a toss-up, but I would usually err on the side of "Hey, didn't X get quoted in the paper last month?"


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:28 PM
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80, 81: That would be my experience as well with casual acquaintances. Not so much with the better friends.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:29 PM
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But the point of the OP was that we were overhearing a conversation between server and patron

I don't mean to imply anything about the conversation that Stanley overheard, or to imply that "How are things with X?" is always benign. I'm just pushing back against a sentiment that it's a question to be deployed with Extreme Caution.

Gonerill's hypothetical indignation is justified, because asking an (outwardly) happily coupled person, apropos of nothing, how their relationship is, is weird. But a more charitable interpretation of "How are things with X?" is "How is X doing?" and if someone asked me the former, I'd probably answer as if they'd asked the latter, unless there was more interesting news to tell.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:31 PM
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All the single ladies?

Yep.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:33 PM
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87: Yeah, especially family members and acquaintances, I think. They don't know what to ask about my life, and don't know enough to ask about my work, so all they can think about is how... single... I am.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:33 PM
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This reminds me of the time I went back to Chicago a year or two after graduating, ran into a grad student acquaintance who had been dating one of my friends, casually said "Oh hey, are you still --" (intending to say "seeing Y?"), saw an unpleasant expression starting to form on his face, remembered Y had written something cryptic but unpleasant-sounding in a recent IM status message, and deftly ended the sentence "... working for [Professor X]?" He grinned and said "yes," clearly realizing what I had almost said, we talked a bit about Prof. X, and all was well.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:33 PM
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So how are things going with Mrs. emdash?

She's great, thanks. She's really busy at work, but enjoying it.

(See?)


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:33 PM
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84: Not all the single ladies.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:34 PM
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All the single ladies.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:35 PM
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Ouch, the pwnage.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:35 PM
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89: Speaking of xkcd, Monday's strip was totally stolen from a comment I wrote here once.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:36 PM
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How, Stanley, do you know so much about the management personnel at [Local Downtown Collection of Delicious Food Establishments] that the conversation was intelligible to you in the first place?

It's a pretty small town with a vibrant and gossipy restaurant/club scene, and I know a lot of people working in that scene, including the SO of the patron in the OP (don't know the SO very well, mind you).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:39 PM
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As for things people say to single people, one guy I work with has taken to frequently making offhand comments like "you say that now, but wait until you have a wife and kids," which I never quite know how to respond to. Though by far the weirdest comments I ever get about being single are of the form "you should get a [nationality] girlfriend!"


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:42 PM
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"you should get a Carpatho-Ukrainian girlfriend!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:44 PM
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Anyone Carpatho-Ukrainian would be a bit old for Kobe.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:47 PM
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a conversation between server and patron

Not that this changes much, if anything, but it was an employee behind a counter and the patron whose order the employee was taking. One of those places where you order a sandwich and some soup and stand around for a few minutes while the staff prepares it.

(Is it plainly obvious that I'm trying hard to conceal genders here? Or did I slip up already?)


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:48 PM
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98: I get that too! You need a [whatever kind of] boyfriend!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:51 PM
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You say, "You're still single, right? How's that going? How's that working out for you?"

"Going pretty well. I'm squatting pretty heavy these days, but I have to take a break from benching, because I strained my left pec. Don't you hate when you have to rest a lift? My push-ups will be horrible when I get back to them."

If someone who wasn't an on-going confidant asked me how my relationship/marriage was going, I think I'd be inclined to answer something along the lines of "Fantastic. We're in this phase where we just fuck all the time. Oh man, night and day. You'd think we'd tire out from all that fucking, but it just don't stop."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:51 PM
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...not necessarily a race or nationality, but sometimes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 8:51 PM
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You need a [whatever kind of] boyfriend!

I think people eventually grow out of making those kinds of remarks. Maybe it takes them a while. Once you drag home this, that and the other boyfriend who turns out to be not a [kind of] boyfriend, but some actual person, those remarks start to sound dumb-ass to, well, everybody.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:03 PM
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Grow out of it? I assumed that this was what one heard from the Carpatho-Ukrainian rutabaga vendor who knows the business of everyone on the block, and looks like she's about 147. "And dearie, vatever you do, you must never marry a Bukovinian! They're nothing but trouble, and they'll steal your horse just as soon as look at you!" [Then she makes the sign against the evil eye and spits twice.]


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:07 PM
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If you can't ask about someone's significant other, how in the world do you make small talk?

This is where a broad knowledge of movies, books, music, local gossip, and other pop cultural trivia is necessary.

I'm with the "don't ask about relationships unless information is being volunteered, but asking about SOs is (mostly) fine" party.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:11 PM
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103 is the same response I always give, which is to accept the premise and amplify. That's pretty much the only joke I ever tell.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:14 PM
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106: Ah. Well, yes, the 147-year-old rutabaga vendors do have a way, but I was envisioning the family member or enforced acquaintance (cow-orker) who found reverting a kind of 15-year-old snicker and chortle enjoyable. "You should get a [hot Italian mama / hot Asian chick / whatever] girlfriend! Heh heh heh."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:16 PM
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109: I told that story once here about how some asshole stockbroker guy from Long Island was really happy with some favor I'd done him, and was all "Come out to New Yowawk, we'll get you a lapdance!", right? And during my polite noncommittal response I was thinking, "You know, if you really wanted to suborn me, you'd invite me to your mother's house for a big home-cooked Italian meal." So, yeah, hot Italian mamas.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:21 PM
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I see this thread has moved on from discussing a specific phrasing of a specific question in a specific situation. How's that working out for y'all?

I've always understood "How are things with [person]?" to be "how is [person] doing?", no relationship implied or asked about. "How are things between you and [person]?" is simply a different question.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:22 PM
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Yeah, but it's all in the wrist.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:24 PM
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110: I didn't use that phrase "hot Italian mama" correctly, did I? Dammit! I was afraid I might not fully understand the lingo.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:26 PM
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Also, at my old job, my irritating, Eddie-Haskell-esque cow orker asked our manager about the word "mamasita", because said manager is married to a South American woman, and speaks fluent Spanish. And then he asked him if it would be okay to refer to the manager's wife as "mamasita". I was kinda surprised he didn't get officially reprimanded, but he was the department manager's husband's cousin, so he got away with a lot.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:30 PM
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48 and 58 are right on the money. I have no idea why so many seem not to be able to get the distinction in 77. No one is saying it's impolite to ask about my wife. Don't expect an answer, or any further conversation, if you ask about the state of the relationship. No matter who you are.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:35 PM
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pwned in a fake accent.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:36 PM
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Help, I'm having a technical problem that's kind of important.

Is there anyway to get archived website data for a page that has a dynamically generated link (i.e. not a URL that is always the same)?

I am trying to figure out when a certain PDF was removed from a website, and what it originally said. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to search Google or the Internet Archive for this page, since it doesn't have a URL or any kind of clear title.


Posted by: Can't say | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:40 PM
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Is there anyway to get archived website data for a page that has a dynamically generated link (i.e. not a URL that is always the same)?

I don't think so. Others will know in a more authoritative manner. I wouldn't really know where to begin if it's not a static page.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 9:59 PM
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I just think "AWB knows more assholes than anyone!" has become a convenient theme around here.

Don't feel hurt, Di. You're absolutely still a contender for "knows the most assholes".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:10 PM
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The pdf, when it was downloadable, probably had a static URL if it was always the same file - downloadable files have URLs, usually ending in the file name extension. If there's a way to figure out how they're naming files, you might still be able to find it (if only the link, not the file, was removed). For example, if they just had something like "[start of URL]/file1.pdf" then "[start of URL]/file2.pdf" and so on, you might get lucky and find that "file1.pdf" is still up even though the link on the page now points to "file2.pdf". Or you might be able to type in "[start of URL]/" and be taken to the directory. But if they're smart, they'll have blocked outside access to the directory and completely taken down the file.*

You can get these "download links" in Firefox, at least, by right clicking on the link to the pdf and copying the link or, failing that, by opening up the "Downloads" window after downloading a file, then right clicking on the entry for the file and selecting "Copy Download Link". Then you can take a look at how they're naming pdfs and see if there's a pattern. But this is only helpful if they use file name structure you can guess at; if it's computer generated with just a unique identifier followed by .pdf, you're out of luck.

If you can't figure out the name of the pdf file you're looking for, I doubt there's much you can do. Dynamic pages are a real problem for web archiving and as far as I know, someone has to essentially be taking screen captures if you want to know what's been on the page. But I bet some actual expert will be along at some point.

*Or they could be dumb, like a certain state who has posted all of their legislative journals online as pdfs, but in a way that forces you to figure out the directory structure to get to all of them. Unless I'm too stupid to use the site's proper interface. But in their case they want you to see the files, they just don't make it easy.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:16 PM
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Note to surveillers: I only guess at urls for stuff when the stuff is supposed to be available, but the links to it seem to be malformed.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:19 PM
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but I was envisioning the family member or enforced acquaintance (cow-orker) who found reverting a kind of 15-year-old snicker and chortle enjoyable. "You should get a [hot Italian mama / hot Asian chick / whatever] girlfriend! Heh heh heh."

The instances I'm thinking of were all cases of someone of a given nationality telling me I should get a girlfriend of their nationality. In one case it was the wife of a colleague of mine earnestly telling me that women from her country still make good wives who can cook and clean and raise children, but are also well-educated and able to have intelligent conversations! And I was kind of squicked out by her view of the role of a wife.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:21 PM
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120 was pretty much my thought process/line of attack. I suspect they got rid of the whole file, not just the link. Regardless, though, I can't easily deduce the URL for the PDF because it's a 4-digit code. I suppose I could sit here all night and try different combinations, but I'm not quite that desperate yet.

Unlike 121, I have absolutely no compunction about prowling around looking for stuff like that if I think the site in question is wrong to be hiding it. This particular instance would appear to be an Occam's Razor situations, except I'm getting cynical.


Posted by: Can't say | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:30 PM
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You shouldn't need to type them by hand
man wget or
http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/wget.htm


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:36 PM
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women from her country still make good wives who can cook and clean and raise children, but are also well-educated and able to have intelligent conversations

And you insist on keeping this nationality secret? Selfish bastard!

I was kind of squicked out

Still somehow better than "Redheads are a challenge, but they are worth it."


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:36 PM
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I talked to a guy staying in a hostel in Venice years ago who seemed to be in Italy that summer to humor his family who had been asking him, repeatedly, why he didn't go out and find himself a nice Italian wife. (He was American born, of Italian descent.) He didn't seem to be doing much spouse-searching, as he told it, but was just enjoying the trip as a vacation.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:36 PM
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Oops, 125 should have linked here.


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:41 PM
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There are scientific studies which suggest that Tripp could at least get funding to test his hypotheses.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:46 PM
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128: "We therefore tested the hypotheses that women with natural red hair are more sensitive to pain"

Somehow it seems like this should have been hard to get IRB approval for.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:48 PM
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This thread is instructive with regards to an interaction at work today. A cow-orker sent an e-mail to a large group of people that asked, "Is there any reason we're [not doing X thing] yet?"

I told him that, while I agreed with the substance of his e-mail, he's no candidate for a Diplomatic Tone of the Year award, to which he responded that he doesn't "sugar coat" things.

I left it there, but there's a pretty bright line between being blunt but polite and sounding dickish.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:50 PM
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That study looked more interesting when I misread "anesthetic" as "aesthetic."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:54 PM
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128: Not just women -- CA (ginger) has this problem, and anesthetics don't work on him like they do on others. He felt quite vindicated by those studies, after a lifetime of insisting to dentists that he needed way more novacaine, etc. than other people.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 10:58 PM
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It's at least conceivable that a lower threshold for pain would accompany a lower threshold for, you know, other visceral responses to, you know, other stimuli. You know, like being wildly responsive in the sack.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:00 PM
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OH, THOSE JEWISH MOTHERS! OH, THOSE ITALIAN MOTHERS! OH, THOSE GREEK MOTHERS! OH, ALL MOTHERS EXCEPT THE GERMANIC PEOPLES ARE BASICALLY THE SAME -- UNIQUELY WACKY


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:01 PM
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I attribute my leaden affect and dull sluggishness in the sack to my dark brown hair.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:19 PM
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Mousy on the head, mousy in the bed.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:21 PM
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As if nosflow's King Shit of Fuck Mountain.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:24 PM
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That's fascinating. I react really insufficiently to pain meds. I'm not much of a red-head, but am obviously related to red-heads.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:24 PM
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Redheads drive like this.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:24 PM
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That's exactly what I am.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:28 PM
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140-->whatever, any time, ever.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:29 PM
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I attribute my leaden affect and dull sluggishness in the sack to my dark brown hair.

Wait! You mean 103.last was only in jest? I'm so confused.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:33 PM
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Stanley, did you call your mom today and clear up that Easter business?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:39 PM
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143: She texted me, actually, and all is well.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:41 PM
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Huh. Parents these days.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 03-31-10 11:43 PM
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Anybody who hasn't seen this at CT yet should take a lesson in how a national legislature ought to work.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 1:04 AM
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there would be nothing to keep them where they are needed or stop them walking around the House on desks in offices or on tables in restaurants and bars-and maybe even in the Chamber itself.

Control the cat's thumbs, control the cat.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:26 AM
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||

Have we mentioned that we just moved into a new house?!!

Have we mentioned that moving is a lot of work?!!

|>


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:23 AM
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148. We moved nearly three years ago. We still haven't hung pictures (hoping to start over Easter). I feel your pain.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:26 AM
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hoping to start over Easter

An auspicious time for hanging things with nails.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 6:44 AM
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148: Congratulations!! How nice of you to refrain from mentioning this until you no longer need a helping hand! Can I help?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:10 AM
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151: You can come to our housewarming.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:14 AM
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Oh and heebs, by the way, this past Sunday I met this woman and we both felt that we looked familiar to each other but couldn't figure out from where (she was volunteering for a Dig-In with the nonprofit I help run). Later I realized it was your bridesmaid in chief (S/h/e/l)!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:19 AM
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Allow me to be the first to judge 150 hilarious, although actually I think it's probably an inauspicious time to hang things with nails, seeing as what's happened since the original Easter.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:22 AM
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146: Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean: My Lords, I was in total ignorance that there was anything of the nature of a mouse helpline until this Question Time. Can the Chairman of Committees tell us what helplines there are for Members of the House on other issues that we do not know about?

The Chairman of Committees: The fruit, it is bounteous and hangs very low. I rather hope that we do not have too many other ones. I was not going to advertise the existence of the mouse helpline, although it was advertised some time ago. Indeed, I invited Members of the House to telephone when they saw mice. The trouble is that when the person at the other end of the helpline goes to check this out, very often the mouse has gone elsewhere.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:27 AM
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re: 148

Yeah, we moved about 10 days ago. I hate moving. There are still a few boxes to unpack/organize.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:36 AM
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forgot your password for posting on standpipe's blog, m/tch? I should be taking this to standpipe's blog also, shouldn't I.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:36 AM
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The trouble is that when the person at the other end of the helpline goes to check this out, very often the mouse has gone elsewhere.

Usually into our roof cavity, as near as I can make out.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:39 AM
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157: I fail to see any joke-explaining related program activities in 154, al. False call.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:39 AM
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158: But then at least your mice have a high pedigree.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:40 AM
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146: Those stupid assholes should just get a cat. Cats may walk on tables during debates, but they do so in a manner that adds to the dignity of the proceedings. The presence of a cat sanctifies a space, defuses tensions, and encourages silliness. Cats are also reliable detectors of shitheads: I've never met a genuine asshole who was liked by cats.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:45 AM
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I've never met a genuine asshole who was liked by cats.

Which raises the question of whether a cat would consent to remain in the Palace of Westminster.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:52 AM
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153: She told me the story! And I was properly amused. An extra amusing detail is that she'd originally heard about the volunteer opportunity from me, when I'd said, "You know M/tch, from the baby-shower and wedding? He's got this project..."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 7:59 AM
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Actually, she was just relating her volunteer experience and I said, "Did you say hi to M/tch?" and she when "...Ohhhhhh!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:00 AM
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163: Which totally reminds me, I totes owe Stanley an e-mail about gardening. Will too, I think. I should probably just text them.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:01 AM
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164: So, um, how was her experience?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:02 AM
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166: I'm mainly asking because we're a bit more disorganized than usual this season and I have this dread that everyone's having an awful time.


Posted by: M/tch m/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:05 AM
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156: Was this the big move down to London, or had you already moved there and are just changing places within the city? The one nice thing about our move was that it was just a few miles away and we could stretch it out over a week so that we could pack things, move them, and thus have more space to pack more things, etc.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:11 AM
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166: How's that trying not to pick the low-hanging fruit working out for ya?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:13 AM
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169: Well, I could have gone with "was it good for her?".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:14 AM
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re: 168

Yes, moved to London, from Oxford. The actual move was fairly painless, but we discovered when we got there that there's no TV signal, and then there was a cock-up with broadband access. So it's been interesting living in a house with 1960s levels of media access.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:18 AM
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164: You know, to be fair, I did introduce myself to her as "Mitch", not "Mai tai chi chi bitch".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:19 AM
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171: Down and out in London 2.0.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:20 AM
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So it's been interesting living in a house with 1960s levels of media access.

Is The Goon Show still funny?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:22 AM
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re: 174

It was never funny in the first place ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:23 AM
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See, that's what I always thought, but then I figured maybe the funny parts all got recorded over.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:24 AM
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164: So, um, how was her experience?

Overall, she had a good time. She did say that there were too many volunteers or too few projects, so she wished she could have done more. She's definitely interested in doing the leadership training, though, (as soon as there's one offered on a Sunday.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:26 AM
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"Did you say ...Ohhhhhh! to M/tch?"

I like the characters' names in the Gong Show. Aside from that I find it hard to know what's going on. Give me Hellzapoppin' instead, anyday!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:26 AM
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Anyway, Matt, you should just go with the 60's vibe and declare your abode a free love commune.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:31 AM
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re: 179

Actually, the flat is in a quite nice tower block, of that sort of vintage, and has some quite nice furniture in it that belongs to the landlord. It'd be pretty easy to give it a Blow-up sort of vibe.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:33 AM
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181

177: Yeah, one of our new gardeners ended up having to work on Sunday on short notice so we couldn't do an install at her house. There's also a large variation in the percentage of volunteers who actually show up once they sign up. Sometimes it's about 50%, usually it's about 70%, on Sunday it was about 90%. So there was definitely too high a ratio of volunteers to amount of work available. We usually aim for about seven volunteers per team and her team had at least twice that.

Not that I'm feeling defensive about it or anything.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:38 AM
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182

Speaking of judgmental, I'm curious to know what nosflow and teofilo think of xkcd's new interface.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:41 AM
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183

Mainly I've been trying to delegate and distribute the work more instead of doing it all myself, but it's anxiety-inducing for me to watch other people make all these mistakes that I already made ages ago back when I was learning how.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:43 AM
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184

I think she chalked it up to the unpredictability of managing groups of volunteers, and did not assign it as a deep problem of the project.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:46 AM
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185

184: PHEW!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:56 AM
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186

180: Perhaps to complete the look ttaM can find two comely lasses to join him on the floor of his closet.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 8:57 AM
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187

186: Sounds like someone's volunteering.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:00 AM
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188

I already have the cameras!

I'll need to work on the Swinging London accent, though.

"'mon hen, aye, no bad, no bad, gie's eye contact, aye, aye, that's it, like a dug wi' it's een oan some haggis"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:02 AM
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189

182: I found the kitten!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:03 AM
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190

189 cont'd: if you'd like to cheat.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:08 AM
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191

Perhaps to complete the look ttaM can find two comely lasses to join him on the floor of his closet.

I recently had a very inconclusive conversation with someone about whether that scene is **meant** to be naively titillating or a mixture of titillating and profoundly squicky.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:09 AM
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190: That sure seems like a lot of trouble. Tell me more about this kitten so I can decide if it's worth it.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:09 AM
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193

Every Unix shell should have built-in Zork. And the capability to make sandwiches. Though I didn't really want to be riding a half-man half-cat.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:13 AM
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194

188: Ooooh! 18yo Jane Birkin is yours!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:26 AM
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195

First there was rosy-toed alameida, and now we have oudemia, bestower of nubiles.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:27 AM
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196

. . . xkcd's new interface.

Please tell me that is an April Fools joke.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:36 AM
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195: Hi Oud! You've always been my favorite commenter! You're wonderful and special and I just can't say enough good things about you! Just thought I'd mention it. No particular reason. Who needs a reason to celebrate the most awesome creature to ever walk the face of the Earth? Not me, that's for sure.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:38 AM
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re: 191

I think it probably is meant to be mildly squicky. There's something quite odd about the David Hemmings/'Bailey' character's affect throughout.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 9:40 AM
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197: Well, ok. You can have the other girl. Let's up what her name is, shall we? Hmm! Gillian Hills! Imdb tells me her last role was on Dallas in 1975. Oh my goodness! She is in another famous on-screen threesome! She's one of the girls rolling round with Alex in the William Tell Overture scene in Clockwork Orange!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:36 AM
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200

199: Hooray!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:37 AM
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201

Sing to me muse, and through me tell the story
of oudemia skilled in all ways of procuring . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:47 AM
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Ack. "to" s/b "in", IIRC.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 10:48 AM
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182: It's okay.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 3:33 PM
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So, is JRoth gonna come back around here?

After going to all those Seismic classes, I'd kinda like to make fun of architects for a while, but I'd hate to do that without him.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 04- 1-10 4:05 PM
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