Re: How Sweet, The Times Remembered My Birthday Was This Week

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I think residual sexism prevents me sympathizing (or not) in the proper key, but something about the subject's affect reminds of that bit in The Once and Future King about how wicked people can be triumphant and think themselves happy. I wonder, though, how I could live with myself if I found myself living with or married to a woman so vaingloriously shallow.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:07 PM
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Oh, I was kidding -- I never got much attention as a hot young thing, and what I did get along those lines was more disconcerting than anything else. I'm doing quite nicely, aging wise, so long as I don't develop bad knees or something else irritating like that (which of course I will eventually, but hopefully not yet). But the article was funny: how do you make it to your forties without the sort of defense mechanisms that would stop you from sounding that abject in public?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:13 PM
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It might be better to RTFA for a good Ogged-vs-B thread than to generate new comments about this.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:13 PM
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Surely we can still bicker even in Ogged's absence?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:17 PM
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2: Sympathizing with her, I meant -- I am at my very moody worst around my birthday, so I did not mean to imply that I didn't know where you were coming from. I admire people who can make it through their birthdays without shutting off their phones and wandering around with a scowl, hoping to meet somebody who insulted them in high school.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:19 PM
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From the article:

No longer the sexy young thing who had to adopt "a slightly defensive posture when men asked her superficially innocent questions on public transportation.

All my questions to women on public transportation are only superficially innocent. Laydeez.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:20 PM
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Most young people want to be older? Really? I want to be younger. Maybe this means I'm already old.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:21 PM
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One wants to be old enough until one wants to be young enough.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:22 PM
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I'd kind of like a do-over since about age 16, but I don't necessarily want to live through it again and be young. Just make different choices and then magically be in my mid-30s and happy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:23 PM
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my very moody worst around my birthday

I do get a bit of that, mostly reconfirming that I'm not on a life-trajectory that seems to be leading to world domination. Not that I particularly wanted to rule the world, but I somehow thought I'd be slightly closer than this.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:24 PM
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Apparently, Meatloaf has lost some weight, looks better than ever, and is about to get married.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 5:56 PM
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Let me be the first to say that article is wildly awful.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:04 PM
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11: Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Loaf.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:14 PM
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4: Surely we can. But without Ogged (or perhaps John Derbyshire), I smell a hallelujah chorus.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:22 PM
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Based on the existence of the store Forever 21, my belief is that 21 is the most desirable age in our society, at least for females.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:25 PM
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12: Indeed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:27 PM
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I've been vainly wondering if I'm starting to look haggard instead of youthfully sloppy, when I dress youthfully sloppy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:44 PM
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Happy Birthday and welcome to your new decade.

This being the aughties, what started as a joke with a colleague at Self blossomed into a Web site, Formerlyhot.com, in 2008. Within two posts on her blog, which now attracts 30,000 visitors a month, Ms. Dolgoff said, five agents got in touch, and a book idea was born.

Not every silly bit of self-mocking/self-pitying conversation deserves a website, or an article. Saying stupid shit to a friend doesn't make me think less of someone (first stones and all that), nor, assuming a large enough advance, does turning the thing into a book; it's that intermediate step that's telling, along with the godawful article which, to be fair, is the journalist's and her editor's fault.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:47 PM
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I just poked around the Formerly Hot blog for a bit, and it conflates all the same issues the article does. Lost youth, lost hotness (to whatever extent 'young' and 'hot' are separate things here), motherhood, 30somethingness, settling down, nolongerhipness, the question of what to wear. Not that those things are completely unrelated, but the whole thing is conceptually sloppy in a way that makes even potentially interesting topics banal.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:48 PM
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The reports of your getting old are greatly exaggerated.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 6:54 PM
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11: When Patrick Moore, a salesman from Attleboro, Mass., arrived at an old friend's wedding in 1999 to discover nothing but vegetarian options, he made an excuse about leaving the gift in his car so he could visit a sandwich shop across the street... "I know it's your day, but it's not all about you," he said. "Why have a wedding if you're going to be like that? Just print a bumper sticker."

If Ms. Formerly ever is looking to have a fling with someone who comes across even worse than she does in NYT style pieces, I know just the chicken Parmesan-smuggling Masshole she should call.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:12 PM
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21: God, that guy. I sent that very quote to CA.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:22 PM
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At my first wedding, my father's people all grumbled about the lack of meat. On the way back to the hotel, the shuttle bus driver stopped short to avoid hitting a dog. "What are you doing?" asked my Uncle Bob. "We could eat that!"

I sneaked out of a wedding because the vegetarian option was seafood paella. Fortunately Orean was not far away. I tried not to make too big a deal of coming back with paper take-out bags.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:29 PM
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I thought that was quite the quote myself. Shows a startling (to me) expectation of having meat at every meal, that one meal without it should be a statement.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:29 PM
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21-24: Yes, but didn't that guy in the picture look like Meatloaf.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:37 PM
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||

What. The. Fuck?

|>


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:39 PM
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I went to one wedding with a vegetarian reception, which I figure is what happens when a philosophy professor gets married. He married a cheese genius, so the food was great. I wouldn't complain at somebody's wedding, but vegan food annoys me. I would never choose to eat vegan more than one meal in a row, but I can get through one meal on anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:40 PM
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Allow ME to be the first to say that Ms. Dolgoff seems still to be attractive based on the photos the Times ran of her. (Yes, I know, saying things like that is the definition of unproductive and such commentary is not to be engaged in.)

the whole thing is conceptually sloppy

I should hire myself out as a consultant.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:50 PM
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I would never choose to eat vegan more than one meal in a row, but I can get through one meal on anything.

I'm pretty sure I've eaten vegan more than one meal in a row entirely by accident. It could happen to you!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:51 PM
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29: Maybe, but I doubt it. If a meal doesn't have meat, it has cheese or butter or milk. We never run of out them, we've been feeding a kid who loves all dairy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 7:59 PM
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Apparently, Meatloaf has lost some weight, looks better than ever, and is about to get married.

It isn't Meatloaf, but three out of four ain't bad.

my very moody worst around my birthday

I'm moody all year, but every year I cheer up around my birthday.

that article is wildly awful.

Yes, it is; but Nosflow is right. Ms. Formerly is cute, hot, even. Which means her blog is a fraud!


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:11 PM
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26: I love the small of Pop-Tarts in Times Square in the morning. It smells like victory.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:11 PM
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vegan food annoys me

People say stuff like this a lot, and I wonder if they think "vegan food" is made of some particular gross vegan substance, or that "vegan" is a flavor. I would be sad if I could never eat cheese again, but many individual, and diverse, foods and dishes I enjoy happen not to include any animal products.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:14 PM
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28.1, 31.last: "Currently Gloating as an 'I've Still Got It'"


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:14 PM
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Count me in as another who was stunned by that quote. One meal! That you're not paying for! It's offensive not to be served meat? I cook vegetarian meals for people who aren't vegetarians all the time!

(Not today, though. For you meat eaters out there who were wondering if Harold McGee's oven-roasted ribs are good - they are awesome.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:15 PM
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There are plenty of people for whom a dinner without meat is an affront. My dad is basically like this, despite the heart trouble. "Meat and potatoes" is a moral imperative in the struggle against godless socialist vegetarians.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:17 PM
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1

... I wonder, though, how I could live with myself if I found myself living with or married to a woman so vaingloriously shallow.

This seems rather extreme. It wouldn't bother me. It doesn't sound like she takes herself too seriously and writing a publishable book is an accomplishment.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:18 PM
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"If you go to an Indian wedding, you don't expect Italian food," added Ms. Kinzie, who had already appeased her family by spending her savings on a hotel reception rather than the honeymoon she'd always dreamed of. "So why should this be any different?"

I'm sure this will have no impact whatsoever on the sort of home her parents eventually get put in.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:19 PM
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Come to think of it, the best wedding food I've ever had was at a mixed wedding (one vegetarian, one meat-eater; her family was from the Bay Area and his was from Missouri). They did serve meat, but in very small amounts and the vegetarian options were incredible.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:19 PM
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37: and writing a publishable book is an accomplishment.

Not to mention. Profit!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:19 PM
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From the link in 26:

The menu includes the Fluffer Butter, marshmallow spread sandwiched between two Pop-Tarts frosted fudge pastries; the Sticky Cinna Munchies, cinnamon rolls topped with cream-cheese icing and chunks of Pop-Tarts cinnamon-roll variety; and Ants on a Log?, which is celery, peanut butter and chunks of the Wild Grape version.

My emphasis.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:19 PM
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42

Hmm. I'd feel rude hosting a reception that didn't include a vegetarian option for my vegetarian friends. Why is it less rude to host a reception with no meat for the carnivorous friends? (N.b., my one vegetarian friend seems to hate vegetables for the most part, so hosting meals that don't exclude her can be a little challenging.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:20 PM
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33: A lot of what is offered at vegan bakeries, for instance, is vastly inferior in most respects to non-vegan versions. On the other hand, yeah, there are tons of dishes that happen to be vegan that are delicious.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:21 PM
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The meat-based diet made cavemen smart.

I've been on a no-grains, no-sugar, no-dairy diet for about a month now, which is working great. If I tried to do that and be vegan, I would die. Of course, I'm on the diet in the first place because I really, really like animal fat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:22 PM
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42: Because carnivorous humans are actually omnivores and eat many things other than meat.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:22 PM
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Halford uses an iPhone atlatl?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:23 PM
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42: Because meat-eaters can and should eat vegetables as a part of their diet as well (I don't know any solely carnivorous people) whereas one should not and cannot expect a vegetarian to eat a meat dish. It's great if you can do both, but if you have ethical objections against meat eating I don't think you're obligated to serve it at a personal event. (And yes, this is revealing that I don't equate the ethical objection of say, Bave's father against vegetarian meals with a vegetarian's choice not to eat meat.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:23 PM
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42: If they're truly carnivorous, in the sense that they eat only meat and no fruits or vegetables of any kind, then yes, it's not less rude to have a reception with no meat. Otherwise, they can suck it up, and the situations aren't at all parallel.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:24 PM
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My cats appear very interested in the eggplant dip I made. Maybe they're considering being vegan.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:26 PM
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If they're truly carnivorous

Like if they've been possessed by a demon hyena.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:26 PM
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(Pwned.)


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:26 PM
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Pasta + meat sauce/marinara/alfredo options would please pretty much everyone, right? Maybe add gluten-free pasta for that crowd. Plus a salad.

I mean, it's not great, but most wedding food's not great. You're feeding like 100 people or more at the same fucking time. It's hard enough to make it happen for four people.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:27 PM
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I actually know a guy who's pretty close to exclusively carnivorous. He does eat fruit occasionally. I believe Owsley Stanley has the same diet. So, if you invite those guys to a party, it would be rude to not serve meat.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:27 PM
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33: As mentioned in 43, many baked goods are inferior in vegan form. But, mostly that isn't it. I have had many good vegan things, but I've never felt satisfied after eating them. Also, I've never eaten vegan and not thought something like, "That would be brilliant with sour cream."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:28 PM
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52: Pasta plus meatless sauce would be about the only vegan food I prepare at home. Or it would be vegan if it weren't for the blessings of those wonderful people of Parma.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:32 PM
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A lot of vegetarian and vegan options at regular restaurants don't have much protein to them, and I find I need a fair amount of protein or I get hungry soon after the meal. But if it's good tofu or even beans and rice, I feel pretty satisfied. (Although, yeah, a lot of vegan food would be better with sour cream or melted cheese or a fried egg ... or some sausage or something.)


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:33 PM
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The sentence that jumped out at me was this one:

(Today many mainstream caterers can handle vegetarian weddings, but you can expect to pay extra for the special treatment.)

Right. Because less-expensive raw ingredient costs, combined with less-demanding issues around food safety, definitely create more expenses for the caterer. "Special treatment," my left elbow.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:36 PM
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Of course, I wish I weren't personally so dependent on meat as a stable of my culinary repetoire. (Except on nights like this, when I dine alone, and a jug of prefab margarita and a cannister of cashews suffices.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:37 PM
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I find it easier when cooking for one to cook vegetarian*- or, to make one largish meat dish once a week and snack off that.

*I am nearly always technically cooking for one, but in fact generally cooking for 4. And then eating left overs. A lot. I should join one of those food-sharing clubs.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:41 PM
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45, 47: I get that. But I wouldn't feel like it was adequate to say my veggie friend could just get by on the salad and potato and beans that come alonside the steak. I mean, my *actual* vegetarian friend would probably prefer that to a "real" vegetarian meal. But still.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:41 PM
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I eat at least a tiny bit bit of meat most days, and almost never eat vegan meals, but Christ, it's just one meal, worst case scenario is that it'll suck. That said, there are some dietary requirements that I'd be very reluctant to cater too, e.g. if you need not just vegetarian, but stuff prepared in dishes that have never had any non-veggie food touch them, I'd say BYO.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:43 PM
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60: I think the issue here is that if you only have a carnivorous option, then your veggie friend is eating only sides. If you've just got vegetarian options, then presumably you have something resembling a main dish, or the dishes are chosen in a way to be complementary to each other and have enough protein, etc.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:46 PM
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42: A vegetarian being served a steak is getting a meal they won't eat at all -- they'll be hungry afterwards. A meat eater served a plate of, say, hummus and babaganoush, is getting food that they might perfectly plausibly choose to eat. The rudeness of the two situations isn't comparable.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:47 PM
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I enjoy hummus, but I've never been able to get babaganoush past my lips. I think the name might be biggest problem.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:49 PM
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Of course you should suck it up as the guest. But as the host, you should try to avoid making your guests suck it up.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:49 PM
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I'd be grumpy if I was supposed to get full on hummus and babaganoush, as delicious as they are.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:50 PM
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Of course, everyone could simply not get married, and bob Emerson's your uncle.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:52 PM
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I was envisioning pita bread and a salad, if that helped. Maybe some tabboleh? Inconspicuously vegetarian food always makes me think middle eastern.

Fettucini Alfredo, if you want filling?


Posted by: Lizardbreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:53 PM
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But as the host, you should try to avoid making your guests suck it up.

Really? I'm not seeing it. If you serve a complete meal, and your guests view it as having to "suck it up" just because it doesn't include meat, then that's their problem, not yours.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:53 PM
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65: This is true, and I can totally see the argument for it in cases where the vegetarian isn't making the food themselves. But I would never expect a vegetarian to personally prepare meat dishes for guests. (The worst hamburger I have ever had was made by an otherwise excellent vegetarian cook.)

(Also, I hope that it doesn't appear that I'm piling on here! Apologies if so!)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:53 PM
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Count me in as also not seeing the problem in serving your guests a vegetarian menu. Or vegan.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:54 PM
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71: As long as they remember that french fries can be vegan, I'd be fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:55 PM
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68: Sure, if you throw in some grilled veggies and a grain salad and maybe some minty cucumber sauce, I'd be down with that meal. (I say, as a non-vegetarian.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:55 PM
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72: I thought they were chopped up Fries Guys?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:56 PM
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There is a problem in serving food you expect your guests to find unpleasant: that's rude regardless. But a meat-eater shouldn't be expected to find any meatless meal literally unpleasant, unless they'd honestly be disgusted by a cheese pizza without pepperoni.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:57 PM
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41.bold

sounds like a breakfast DoubleDown.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:58 PM
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I'm sure the article got enough of a spanking above, but jesus fucking christ, is there any culture shallower, stupider, more vapid than NY city lifestyle media? These people probably think of themselves as intellectual leaders too. They make Hollywood look smart.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:58 PM
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When in doubt, you should have a potato.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:58 PM
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My iPhone keeps forgetting my name.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 8:59 PM
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I get genuinely annoyed when there's no chocolate option available for dessert at weddings and banquets and things like that. I sat through your boring meal. Where's my chocolate?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:00 PM
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Thanks for the reminder. I have chocolate ice cream that I made last week.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:01 PM
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78: thanks. I'm sure it will help me calm down.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:03 PM
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70: Oh, absolutely. I was picturing a catered affair with someone else doing the work. If the host is doing the work, the guests must pretend to like it an then do dishes.

Many of the people I would most want sharing my special events would struggle mightily with anything other than the most basic meat-starch-overcooked vegetable meal. Sure, that's "their problem," but despite their culinary limitations, I like them quite a bit and would want them to enjoy any event I hosted. This impulse to accomodation is, of course, both culturally influenced and gendered.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:04 PM
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Many of the people I would most want sharing my special events would struggle mightily with anything other than the most basic meat-starch-overcooked vegetable meal.

There's a few of these on Jammies' side. Definitely being a degree removed makes it much easier for me to shrug and say they could suck it up, whereas if it were my immediate family I'd probably feel more conflicted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:06 PM
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My husband and I bickered about whether to serve meat at our wedding reception--I was a vegetarian at the time (and also the one preparing the food, I might add). I caved on the issue given that it was pretty much the only point surrounding the entire production on which he insisted, but I still think his family could have survived without meat for a single evening.

Somewhat related to the OP, I cannot wait until my thirties. If all goes according to plan (HA!), I'll be finished with grad school and gainfully employed, and virtually every female academic I've quizzed on the issue has said that her thirties were her best decade yet.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:07 PM
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75: True. And it is admittedly a limitation of my imagination that I struggle to come up with vegetarian options that are "standard" enough that my picky-eaters will eat but that are also "sophisticated" enough for a fancy dinner. Lasagna, maybe? (I do a kick ass eggplant parm, but no way my SIL would eat that.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:07 PM
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Di makes a good point -- it's about the cultural context. I know people who don't drink at all and were pretty frustrated with the immense expense of adding liquor to their wedding, but also felt that a substantial percentage of their guests would be upset if there was no wine and beer at least.

It is hard to have nearest and dearest that can't share your preferences for even one day, but at least nobody outside of celebrities is stuck accommodating the preferences of hordes of people they don't regard as nearest and dearest.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:08 PM
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80: We had two chocolate fountains :).


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:08 PM
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88: At which point, I don't care at all what meal you serve.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:12 PM
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The best cocktails have meat in them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:14 PM
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There's tons of veggie, but not vegan pasta dishes. Risotto is slightly problematic because meat broth does make a difference, but it's not a must and the same goes for most soups. Then there's Indian for those who know how to make it. Most of us carnivores occasionally have veggie meals by choice, so I really don't see the issue here.

70 How do you screw up a burger? It's just grilled or pan fried ground beef.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:14 PM
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In family-gathering contexts, my family adopts this strange, poke-'em-with-a-stick ethnographer approach to feeding me and my brother (the family's only vegetarians).

"So...asparagus and broccoli and rice and a salad, oh, and some cheese and nuts and a deviled egg from the snack table? Does that count as food?"

It's pretty hilarious, while cutely accommodating. They're simply fascinated.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:15 PM
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Two chocolate fountains would make me weep happily.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:15 PM
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Many of the people I would most want sharing my special events would struggle mightily with anything other than the most basic meat-starch-overcooked vegetable meal. Sure, that's "their problem," but despite their culinary limitations, I like them quite a bit and would want them to enjoy any event I hosted. This impulse to accomodation is, of course, both culturally influenced and gendered.

Hmm. If I someday get married, or host other family-plus-friends events, I suppose I'll have to deal with this, since my dad doesn't eat anything other than such meals. (For instance, any visible onion or bell pepper renders a meal inedible in his opinion.) But I think I could tell him to just deal with it, with no bad feelings.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:15 PM
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91.last -- That is exactly how you mess it up. The groung beef must be properly seasoned. You must cook it over the right heat and for the right amount of time. Can't be dry, can't be flavorless...

91.first -- "Most" in your set, maybe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:21 PM
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91.2: They turned it into a hockey puck. It's very, very easy to overcook ground beef, especially when you're not used to it and don't want to poison your guests with e coli.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:21 PM
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90: You've been to Milwaukee?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:21 PM
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What I do find hard to imagine is being in a serious relationship with a vegetarian. I love food and cooking, and not being able to share that on a regular basis with a serious gf/wife would be a problem.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:24 PM
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94: no bad feelings.

AND THEN MY SUPPOSED ROCKET SCIENTIST SON HAD NOTHIN' BUT A BUNCH OF RABBIT FOOD AT HIS WEDDING INCLUDING THE WRONG KIND OF ONION, WHICH IS ANY KIND OF ONION IF YOU ASK ME. I KNEW WE SHOULD HAVE SENT HIM TO THE STATE UNIVERSITY INSTEAD OF THAT FANCY PANTS PLACE.


Posted by: OPNIONATED | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:25 PM
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I would probably just eat and cook vegetarian at home and then get an occasional meat fix (low-hanging fruit alert!) at lunch or something.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:25 PM
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87.1: The bar bill for our wedding reception was astounding. My brother tried to "decorate" our car and couldn't find it even thought six hours earlier he was the one who parked it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:26 PM
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87.1: The bar bill for our wedding reception was astounding. My brother tried to "decorate" our car and couldn't find it even thought six hours earlier he was the one who parked it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:26 PM
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I'm still drunk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:26 PM
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I think all my serious food poisonings and illnesses, including the very tasty but salmonella laced gazpacho, were non-meat in origin. People tend to underestimate the dangers of veggies.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:27 PM
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101, 102: the drunkest person at our wedding was the +1 of a friend who didn't really think things out. No skin off our ass, but she managed to take the keys to his '71 VW bug (he'd driven across the country to get there) and throw them in the ocean.

We're eternally grateful, actually: because of her nobody paid attention to how drunk we were.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:28 PM
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At our wedding, the drunkest person was the father of the bride.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:32 PM
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98: As you might imagine, eating vegetarian in PL was a nightmare. My relatives in Legn/ca encouraged me to "eat around" the meat, which doesn't work particularly well when you're served soup or stew.

I gave up on vegetarianism a few years ago, lured back to meat-eating by the siren call (smell?) of bacon.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:32 PM
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To be honest honest honest, I kind of hate it when I go to a vegetarian's place and there's no meat to be found. For me, that sucks, because I think most --not all, but most -- vegetarian forms of protein are bullshit. But I'd never say that a vegetarian host was rude for not serving meat -- just like I don't expect my Jewish friends to throw a Christmas party.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:33 PM
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Speaking of things in New York, my friend's new book just got reviewed (apparently quite favorably; I can't read the review) in the New Yorker, so go buy it (the book, that is).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:33 PM
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I gave up on vegetarianism a few years ago, lured back to meat-eating by the siren call (smell?) of bacon.

I fuckin' knew it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:34 PM
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by the siren call (smell?) of bacon

That's the smoke alarm. Cook the bacon in the oven, not on the stove, and you'll hear it less often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:34 PM
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100 The problem is that it's not a 'fix' for me, it's a basic element of the majority of the meals I cook, if only in small amounts in many cases. Doing without would be a huge sacrifice. And while I don't have a problem with it on a a live and let live basis, it's not something I really empathize with, so I'd probably be quite resentful if I tried.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:36 PM
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106: At our wedding, the drunkest person was the father of the bride.

The husband of the bride made a good run at it at our wedding.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:40 PM
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112: Oh, I understand. I love to cook but I don't think I'd have a problem giving up the meat element most of the time in the dishes I prepare. But I was raised (for awhile) vegetarian and rather think I should be one, most of the time, so it's probably a lot easier for me to contemplate this.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:40 PM
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In a place like Legn/ca (why google proofed?), I can imagine, but in the big cities it should be quite doable. If it's relatives you should have just asked them to cook the way they did on a typical weekday in the eighties but replace the skwarki and smalec with butter and stick to mushroom broths for the soups. A bit bland and repetitive, but then standard day to day Polish home cooking isn't exactly all that interesting anyways.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:45 PM
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The husband of the bride made a good run at it at our wedding.

Ditto at ours, hence the enduring sense of relief at the ringer that had been brought in.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:45 PM
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If we are pitching books... My bro wrote this one:.


Posted by: Thinly Veiled to You, Maybe | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:47 PM
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94 - The Snarkfoxen nuptials (to wit) featured little food stands, which helped disguise the vegetarian-ness. Surely even the most vehement veggie-hater likes taquitos or eggroll? (Also, we bought a couple cases of cheap champagne from Trader Joe's in lieu of the amazingly expensive open bar.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:54 PM
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101: The bar bill at our reception was a full 40% of the entire cost of the wedding. (We cheaped out on everything but food and booze. It was a god damn good time.)


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 9:54 PM
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and then get an occasional meat fix (low-hanging fruit alert!) at lunch or something

I couldn't do this because I enjoy cooking meat so much. Something about it is just satisfying.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:01 PM
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115: (Google-proofing because I'm readily identifiable to anyone who has ever met me in real life, but am still trying to maintain a pseudonymous online ID)

The problem with the relatives was that they would have been offended by any explicit food preparation requests (and were offended by the small amount of food that I ate, and the notion that I would want to stock up on my own food when we went into town). Outside of the small towns--and away from my family--I was fine.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:04 PM
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120: I am going to have to ponder this, in an academic sort of way, as it's not really a pressing issue. I think that the dishes I'm most proud of are meat-based. I'm not sure if I enjoy it more than other sorts or not.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:06 PM
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The link in 118 is ridiculously charming.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:12 PM
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[cantaloupe pun omitted]


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:41 PM
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What does a jeweler do when s/he needs to examine something that is in a sloped position?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:44 PM
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57: Right. Because less-expensive raw ingredient costs, combined with less-demanding issues around food safety, definitely create more expenses for the caterer. "Special treatment," my left elbow.

Yeah, but you're not really paying for the ingredients, you're paying for the hassle. And going off-menu for whatever reason is going to up the expense (in frustration, and maybe in staffing) for the caterer. Having now observed the planning of a few weddings, I am firmly of the opinion that most people in the wedding industry are by no means charging too much for the emotional labor they are expected to provide. This goes double for wedding videographers.

(No offense, I'm sure you're all really nice and were pleasant to your caterers and stuff.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:55 PM
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I tend not to cook meat because, with the exception of steak I tend to overcook it out of worry that I might be undercooking it. Also because I tend not to do food preparation worthy of being called "cooking."


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 10:58 PM
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109: Why can't you read the review? It's in the book blog, not in the paywalled magazine. And it is quite favorable indeed.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 8-10 11:43 PM
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I've been on a no-grains, no-sugar, no-dairy diet for about a month now

Crossfit is winning!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:16 AM
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Like 114, I don't know if it's because I was a vegan for about 10 years,* and so learnt to cook primarily via a veggie food, but I'm pretty surprised at how much difficulty some people above seem to have with thinking of tasty/filling veggie food. I like meat, and probably have meat as part of my main evening meal more often than I don't, but it'd be easy to just not eat any meat for weeks on end without running out of things to cook. Although I suppose it'd bet pretty shitty/boring if you don't like middle-eastern or Indian food. Sticking to Indian food alone you could eat delicious and different meals every night for weeks and not get bored.

We've talked about this before but a surprising number of veggies in my experience aren't 'foody' veggies -- people who really like food and have adventurous palates -- but controlling freaks who like nothing (esp. vegetables!) and end up eating boring cheese-coated crap all of the time.

* hippie parents, not because of any particularly active choice of my own ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:36 AM
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but controlling freaks who like nothing (esp. vegetables!) and end up eating boring cheese-coated crap all of the time.

I may have mentioned before a meat eating friend who moved into a vegetarian house after assuring them that she and her bf didn't mind eating veggie. After a week or so they called a house meeting and said, "We really don't mind eating vegetarian, but please could we have some vegetables occasionally."

I think these people are extreme "food is fuel" types. I assume their taste sense is attenuated in some way.

LB, many happy returns of yesterday. It's mine today. Off to work.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:34 AM
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Sticking to Indian food alone you could eat delicious and different meals every night for weeks and not get bored.

A billion Indians agree with you, ttaM.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:40 AM
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132.

Nah, they get tanked on lassi and go for an English, because they want something really, really bland.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:00 AM
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re: 131

Yeah, I have a friend who used to be a raw food only vegan.* It was partly a point of principle for him, and also partly about demonstrating that it can be done -- he's a pretty high level martial artist* -- and when we talked about it he admitted that he is pretty much a food as fuel person. He really doesn't care much for food as aesthetic/sensual pleasure.

* muscled chaps who look like serious middle-weight boxers not normally being the typical raw-food vegan. He blogs about it.

re: 132

Heh, I wasn't intending to patronize Indians! If one was sticking to traditional vegan Scottish food, on the other hand, one wouldn't get very far.

"Porridge with soy-milk again, Hamish? Followed by no-cock-a-leekie soup?"


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:34 AM
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Bah - missed off a footnote. Never mind.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:35 AM
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"Porridge with soy-milk again, Hamish? Followed by no-cock-a-leekie soup?"

You could live on neeps. Googles will find you a bunch of recipes for vegetarian stovies, which look quite boring.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:50 AM
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134: no criticism intended... Traditional vegan Scottish food is indeed a bit more difficult. Potato soup. Leek and potato soup. Cabbage and potato soup. Kale. Seaweed. More potatoes. More kale. Porridge.
Suddenly a wave of depression sweeps over me.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:51 AM
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re: 137

I could quite happily eat all of those things, yeah, but it would get a bit boring pretty quickly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:02 AM
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136/37/38: I once made "mock"-a-leekie soup. It was mostly just so that I could call it that, though.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:44 AM
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Traditional Scottish vegetarian is vaguely nostalgic for me; it's what my hippie parents brought me up on. (Where `trad Scottish vegetarian' also includes north Indian as the default restaurant meal.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:03 AM
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When it comes to what should be expected in terms of accomodating non-vegetarian/vegan guests, surely it depends on what kind of vegetarian or vegan someone is. If it's just a food preference or for personal health reasons or something like that, then it's not necessarily a big deal to provide some meat for those who like it (though I still think it's a ridiculous thing for guests to complain about).

If it's a strong feeling that eating animals is unethical, on the other hand, then it seems downright assy for guests to expect meat, just as it would be pretty assy to whine about not being served pork at a Muslim wedding. Just because someone's is coming to your wedding doesn't mean you're obliged to spend money supporting something you find abhorrent, just for politeness' sake.

The stupid "just print a bumper sticker" thing assumes that the point is simply making a personal statement. For some vegetarians, it definitely is, but not for all.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:11 AM
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"someone's" s/b "someone"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:12 AM
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People perceive political content in food choices, and object to having political choices imposed on them.

I'm deeply grateful that Sarah Palin hasn't discovered Middle Eastern food. The proprietors of various Ground Zero Terrorist Cuisine Establishments no doubt share my relief, and are keeping their heads down.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:15 AM
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I'm glad we're keeping up the grand unfogged tradition of cock-a-leekie jokes.

People perceive political content in food choices, and object to having political choices imposed on them.

Sure, but the imposition of not eating meat for one f&*king meal seems pretty slight.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:23 AM
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I'm deeply grateful that Sarah Palin hasn't discovered Middle Eastern food.

It would amuse me if she turned out to like eastern Arabian - better, Iranian - food; how would she spin this?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:26 AM
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"I have my food prepared exclusively by ex-Savak chefs."


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:32 AM
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Sure, but the imposition of not eating meat for one f&*king meal seems pretty slight.

No argument here. I offer this by way of explanation, and not in an effort to excuse the behavior.

Look at your 141. Many vegetarians (and, I'm guessing, even more vegans) believe there are serious moral stakes in food choices - that to eat meat is morally contemptible. Some meat-eaters are going to take offense.

Me, I'm a meat-eater who doesn't object to peoples' efforts to work on my moral improvement. But that's because I really do view vegetarianism and veganism as moral improvements.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:39 AM
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But serving a vegetarian meal isn't an act that needfully says anything beyond `here's a meal that doesn't happen to have any meat in it'. It'd be one thing if there's been a ten minute spiel about the poor animals, etc etc, but short of that it's like taking offence at the lack of dairy in a meal.

I think the most parsimonious explanation for this guy's anger is that it isn't an objection to a political choice being imposed on him. Rather, it's his inability to impose a political choice on others that angers him. How dare those vegetarians act like a vegetarian meal is satisfying!

(Imagine saying at a Muslim wedding that the lack of pork is a political choice imposed upon any non-Muslim guests; the obvious response is that it is a political choice to say that pork is needfully part of a meal.)


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:00 AM
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how would she spin this?

"I like Persian food."


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:02 AM
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* muscled chaps who look like serious middle-weight boxers not normally being the typical raw-food vegan. He blogs about it.

Meet the vegan firefighters of Austin. (Not raw-food-only vegan, though.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:13 AM
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Apparently, Meatloaf has lost some weight, looks better than ever, and is about to get married.

It isn't Meatloaf, but three out of four ain't bad.

Meatloaf has taken up residence at Standpipe's blog.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:15 AM
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Now on NPR: Meatless Mondays.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:37 AM
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||
I wish I was as cool as Dr. Kevin Pezzi.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:39 AM
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152: I've been doing meatless* Fridays for about a year now. It has cut down on the amount of meat I eat, even on other days, because we have more meatless food around and are getting better at making it.

*Fish aren't meat, for this purpose.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:50 AM
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The pope finally got to you, huh?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:57 AM
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That, and it seemed easier to not eat meat heading into a weekend instead of coming back to work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:58 AM
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The link in 118 is very funny/clever/cute.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:13 AM
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For the record, the no longer hot woman looks just like the version of LB I have in my head. Heebie also looks exactly like this, only 40% smaller (or did before I saw the HP-pics).


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:42 AM
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the no longer hot woman looks just like the version of LB I have in my head

I'm hoping you meant "purportedly" no longer hot. Because otherwise, ouch.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:48 AM
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158: For the record, the no longer hot woman looks just like the version of you I have in my head, except with your photo pasted in over her face.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:54 AM
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158, 159: Taking no position on the hot/not-hot issue, I wouldn't say there's much of a resemblance there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:57 AM
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I don't really have mental pictures of anyone here, except that I always picture male lawyers as looking like Perry Mason.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:03 AM
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As stated earlier I imagine every man looking either like me or like a bald version of me, and every woman looking like Rachel Weisz. I guess Mrs. Formerhot looks kind of like Rachel Weisz, but skinnier.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:07 AM
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162: In my mind everyone who posts here is a Muppet of some sort.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:13 AM
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I look like John Bolton, only smaller and not as pretty.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:15 AM
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re: 165

No! John Bolton is one of those guys I have to turn the TV off for whenever he appears on Newsnight as there's a danger I'll die of apoplexy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:27 AM
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Combining 164 and 165, maybe Waldorf would be an improvement?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:30 AM
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Well there goes my fantasy life.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:33 AM
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I wonder what percentage of the population has sexual fantasies about Muppets. Based on prior blog precedent, it should be about 40%.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:36 AM
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Kudos to LB on finding a picture of Waldorf alone.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:36 AM
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169: Have you ever touched your muppet's penis?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:38 AM
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Puppets were made to be fisted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:40 AM
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I don't really have mental pictures of anyone here, except that I always picture male lawyers as looking like Perry Mason.

I already said, I'm just kind of big-boned!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:47 AM
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You just picture Paul Newman, and girl, he looks a lot like me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:05 AM
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I was complimented recently that the specific area of my face containing my eyes, eyebrows, and the bridge of my nose strongly resembles Daniel Day-Lewis'. I now realize that the giver of the compliment must have meant to imply that the rest of my face resembles a muppet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:23 AM
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You just picture Paul Newman, and girl, he looks a lot like me.

Ashy?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:24 AM
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175: The barista again? If so, either ask her out or go get coffee somewhere else. You're just stringing her along.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:26 AM
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164: Picture me as Sweetums, but shorter and losing my hair.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:28 AM
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If Sweetums were losing his hair, where would he start?

I'd like people to think of me as basically Rowf-like, despite the fact that I've never been able to play the piano particularly well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:31 AM
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Rowf?

I always thought it was "Rolf".

But we're both wrong!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:33 AM
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In the scene, Rowlf and Kermit sing the duet "I Hope That Somethin' Better Comes Along!", a song about their troubles with women. The song had to be edited shortly before the film's release, as the studio felt the second verse was too racy.

Now I really want to know what was in the uncut version of the song.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:37 AM
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175: Animal, natch.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:37 AM
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181: It involved fisting.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:38 AM
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181: oh, all the stuff about anal.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:38 AM
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Goddamit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:38 AM
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Sifu was mppwnd!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:39 AM
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129 -- Yep, and largely due to you. Thanks, imaginary friend!

Personally, I think I look like Lee Marvin. But others disagree.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:46 AM
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I know this comment was a while back, but:

98: What I do find hard to imagine is being in a serious relationship with a vegetarian. I love food and cooking, and not being able to share that on a regular basis with a serious gf/wife would be a problem.

Didn't ogged once say that vegetarianism was a deal-breaker for him?

I thought it was strange then too; what would such an omnivore do if he or she found him- or herself wed to someone who became a vegetarian later? Divorce?

I can see myself making such a strong statement about being in a serious relationship with, say, a rightwinger, and yes, maybe even splitting up (not entirely sure about this) if my beloved suddenly signed on to Palin for President. But vegetarianism? You jest! Unless it were the kind of vegetarianism that called for never, ever even having meat in the house; the kind that judged you, meat-eater, a reprehensible monster, though in that case you'd probably be the one getting dumped.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:52 AM
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It doesn't seem completely crazy to me. For someone who was both committed to eating meat at most meals, and interested enough in food that cooking and eating occupied a big piece of their social life, living with someone they can't share most of their food and cooking with would be fairly limiting even if both parties were non-hostile about it. Like a serious jock who wanted to spend all their free time either watching or playing sports thinking of it as a deal breaker for a prospective partner to be uninterested.

When I say not completely crazy, I'd still think someone who thought of vegetarianism in a partner as a dealbreaker as weird and uptight, but at least comprehensible.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:00 AM
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I hate the concept of "dealbreakers" but I personally view vegetarianism as a pretty strong negative in a potential life partner. The thought of either going without meat forever, or never being able to share a similar meal with a partner, sounds pretty unbearable to me.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:04 AM
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190: You're weird and uptight. (Sorry, but I think consistency required me to say that.)

Actually, I shouldn't judge. I eat a whole lot of meat, but I don't think I'd mind giving it up, or most of it, at all -- like, conforming to a partner's vegetarianism wouldn't be a hardship for me. Which means I can't empathize.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:07 AM
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188: well, it's never been a deal-breaker for me (whose wife is vegetarian), but it complicates eating out enough that I can see how it would be a big issue for someone for whom food was a bigger part of their leisure time/identity, someone who cooked a lot, etc. When I eat out my wife I'm sometimes bummed by the lack of variety (and we both like variety generally, so it's not that), and the better restaurants we don't ever go to because they don't have good options for her. (These are small sacrifices in the grand scheme, of course, and not much different than the sorts of things couples inevitably have to work through, if not w/r/t diet than with respect to other things.)

Although it can be more tough with kids, I have to say. If the vegetarian partner wants to raise them to be vegetarians (at least until they're old enough to meaningfully decide for themselves), which seems to be common IME, it can be difficult to answer questions about "why are we vegetarian?", "why isn't daddy?" in a way that doesn't carry the implication that daddy is a reprehensible monster, even if that's not what you're trying to convey. (And likewise, it can be hard for me to answer the question myself in a way that's not dismissive of vegetarianism, without making myself sound like a monster.) And I don't even eat much meat around the house or around the kids.

And lastly, of course, none of that implies that anyone who feels strongly about the issue would necessrily divorce. It's common to have a different set of "deal-dreakers" for budding relationships vs. established ones.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:11 AM
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When I eat out my wife I'm sometimes bummed by the lack of variety

Let me just say that I love this sentence.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:13 AM
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pwned. The only thing that I think actually would be a genuine deal-breaker would be a partner who genuinely did regard your meat-eating as a evidence that you were a reprehensible monster, although, as parsimon notes, the deal-breakery there would likely run both ways.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:13 AM
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193: Truly.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:16 AM
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193: ...with...

Sorry. I know this is a family blog.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:17 AM
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I don't see the problem. Surely grilled cheese is vegetarian.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:17 AM
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daddy is a reprehensible monster

History's greatest, in fact.

The thing that's different about food versus say voting for Palin is that eating and cooking happen every day, and eating is often a shared activity. If someone takes great pleasure in cooking and serving and eating food, as teraz seems to do, then partnering up with someone for whom almost everything the cook likes to make is off the joint menu is a pretty big deal. Suddenly something that's been a source of joy becomes potentially fraught and contentious, and on a daily basis.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:18 AM
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189: It's comprehensible, and makes more sense as a preference sort of thing for prospective dates; what was odd to me was the prospect that you might break off with someone who's otherwise excellent, a serious prospect, because you just can't abide the vegetarianism. I don't say it's crazy, just ... picky.

This may also be because, speaking from experience, it's really not necessarily the case that a veggie and a meat-eater can't cook and eat together. There are numerous vegetarian things that the meat-eater presumably doesn't object to (pasta primavera, veggie quiche, eggplant parmesan, black bean soup, chana masala, etc. etc. etc.), and a lot of things that easily accommodate the addition of meat to the basic recipe (e.g. the pasta, the quiche). Not to mention a wide variety of snack-like prep things that can be made together (hummus, baba ganoush, pesto, homemade marinara sauce, grilled vegetables). There's no reason enchiladas can't be prepared with one party having a meat filling, the other a grilled veggie filling.

It may take adjustment on the part of both parties, but I've tended to find it expands my culinary repertoire to think in such ways anyway.

As long as the vegetarian doesn't object to the presence of any meat in the house whatsoever, and the meat-eater doesn't object to eating vegetarian 3 times a week, say.

Sorry to go on and on; I'm not attacked teraz, or ogged in absentia, over this. I just find it really strange. That said, the meat-starch-overcooked vegetables branch of my family would prefer not to share a house with a vegetarian either, so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:18 AM
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My mom wasn't vegetarian, but she was opposed to hunting. Whenever my dad went hunting, she'd tell us kids that dad was going to shoot Bambi's mom.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:18 AM
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Is 197 a reference to some new peversion of which I'm unaware?

Anyhow, I'll happily cop to weird and uptight, and, as I say, I hate the concept of the "dealbreaker," but being able to enjoy meals together is a pretty important part of relationships, I think. So it would have to be made up for in other areas, like perhaps extreme hottness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:19 AM
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pasta primavera, veggie quiche, eggplant parmesan, black bean soup, chana masala, etc. etc. etc.

On my current diet, I can eat literally none of these things.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:21 AM
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185: It's not that easy being pwnd.


Posted by: K. Frog | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:22 AM
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Not even the bean soup?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:22 AM
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I'm confused by 197.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:23 AM
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Dealbreakers less facetiously It seems to me that there are two conditions: 1)melding the dietary and the personal and 2) having opposing views (Ted Nugent and the hot macrobiotic-eating girl I should have slept with in college, say). Having one partner not take food seriously (or politics for the sweethearts-endorses-Palin idea) where it's very important to the other, that might work.

Frinstance, lets say that I had come to see politics as a joke, and so periodically wrote preposterous shit-stirring apocalyptic suggestions on a blog I was basically fond of, or put up a bumpersticker or something. There would have to be something pretty special in other parts of the relationship to balance out the gratuitous slim-jim wrapper in the car, or taking the kids out for normal junk food or something. And if that special something start to lack variety, hooo-boy. Sorry, I'm writing this with a smile-- no offense intended.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:23 AM
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201, 205: RTFA!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:26 AM
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202: On my current diet, I can eat literally none of these things.

Oh, for real? That would make it hard to enjoy a meal with you.

In my experience, it's always vegetarians thinking that hooking up with a "meat mouth" would be a deal-breaker. Have not heard it so much the other way around. It is also the case that I get a little squicked out whenever someone, S.O. or not, wants to eat off of my plate. I mean, grab some fries from the side? Sure. Stick your fork into my pasta primavera? DO NOT WANT!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:28 AM
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207: LB is too subtle for me, I guess. I thought that was a possibility, but could'nt tell if that was it or if 197 was a straight reference to one of the preceding comments.


Posted by: Brrock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:29 AM
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204 -- Nope. Beans are super high in something called "lectins," which, according to the psychologically useful but probably not scientifically sound diet I've adopted for weight loss, are supposedly bad for you in some way.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:31 AM
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209: I'm pretty sure it's a reference to the same sentence admiringly quoted in 193.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:34 AM
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I think I feel the same way about wacky weight-loss schemes (beyond the 1st law of thermodynamics) that Halford does about vegetarians. So despite our shared love of Serge, our romance is doomed, it seems.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:35 AM
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202: Your current diet: a no-grains, no-sugar, no-dairy diet

I couldn't really make out what kind of diet that is. Is it the one emphasizing a lot of protein in the form of meat, and no starches (or dairy)? Is that the South Park diet?

The no-sugar thing is almost impossible -- apples and bananas have sugar, asparagus has sugar, carrots and peas have sugar. Or is it just like refined sugar, in, say, desserts?

Why no grains? Not just no bread, e.g., but also no quinoa or bulghur wheat?

Not making fun, at all, just wasn't sure what this diet was. A diabetic diet? Sorry if I'm being dense.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:35 AM
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Beans are super high in something called "lectins,"

Plenty of grilled cheese accelerates the body's natural ability to break these down.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:38 AM
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Beans are super high in something called "lectins," which, according to the psychologically useful but probably not scientifically sound diet I've adopted for weight loss, are supposedly bad for you in some way.

Based on absolutely no research on my part of any kind, this sounds like hogwash. Beans do a good job regulating cholesterol. Some can be somewhat sugary.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:39 AM
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215: He did say that the diet was "psychologically useful but probably not scientifically sound." That's pretty much like tattooing "This statement not evaluated by the FDA" to his forehead.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:41 AM
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Is that the South Park diet?

I'M NOT FAT, I'M BIG-BONED!!1!!!


Posted by: OPINIONATED CARTMAN | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:41 AM
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212 -- Believe me, you could find plenty of other reasons why our romance would be doomed before even getting to diet. Anyhow, I actually agree that it's all about the 1st law of thermodynamics, combined with getting you enough fuel to get through the day and exercise, etc. The problem isn't figuring that concept, it's getting your mind and instincts trained to eat less with the range of food available to you right now as a current USAian. Hence the somewhat ridiculous (but psychologicall useful!) strictness.

To 213, no grains (including especially things like quinoa and rice and purportedly "healthy" grains) and no refined sugar, a little fruit, and unlimited vegetables. As to why, it's basically to lower carbs and to change one's daily craving for sugar and constant eating. That second part -- changing your cravings -- really works and is totally noticeable. I think the weight loss part of it is mostly due to the calorie issues described in the first paragraph above. Anyhow, as Megan correctly surmised, this is all a Crossfit thing.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:43 AM
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On rereading, the first sentence of 218 comes across as weirdly hostile, when it was just meant to be self-deprecating.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:44 AM
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217: Oh. Oops. Pardon me while go I make a sandwich while laughing/tittering uncontrollably joyfully for a few minutes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:45 AM
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Back to 192: I'm actually surprised that eating in restaurants is a problem -- I thought Big Vegetarian hegemony had gone far enough that a vegetarian could be well fed at pretty much any 'good' restaurant. I hate realizing that I'm still Pauline Kael.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:46 AM
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219: My vanity is such that I didn't read it any other way. (I would make a smiley face here, if that didn't revoke my commenting privileges.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:47 AM
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USAian

A United States of Americaian?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:51 AM
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221: In NYC or Chicago, it sure isn't a problem (or NoCal or Portland or Seattle). I did -- without even looking at their menu -- take CA to "the best restaurant in Cleveland" for his 40th. We could eat, and it was ok, but we each had to order the same single app and the same single entrée.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:57 AM
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||

In one hour, I begin my eleven day stint as a single, working parent. My goal is to get my ethics course moved online, with videos, while not changing any of the house rules that are in place when both Molly and I are here. The "TV is allowed only on weekends" rule will be hard to keep up.

Wish me luck!

|>


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:58 AM
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Halford's diet would kill me.

And speaking of Parsimon's idea of cooking both meat and non-meat meals jointly, I rather love Peter Berley's The Flexitarian Table. (Kind of hate the word flexitarian, though.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:00 PM
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221 is funny because that's actually what I thought your 197 might have been trying to say. (Somewhat curiously, grilled cheese seems to be the only non-vegetarian thing on the restaurant here at a lot of menus, somewhat curiously. Unless you want a plain side salad.)

That's not not true of the more fancy places (which often don't offer grilled cheese), but it's definitely not true that that they have a lot of food made from vegetarians. Anything is fine once or twice (there's almost always something they can scrounge up), but at many places it's clearly an afterthought.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:02 PM
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225: Good luck!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:04 PM
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not in 227


Posted by: Brock landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:04 PM
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227 is a wonder. Brock, do NOT send to the other side any draft contracts today.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:05 PM
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food made from vegetarians

Quorn is people!!!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:05 PM
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Not that I don't live in a glass house or anything.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:06 PM
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It does seem a little early in the day for Btock to be making an appearance.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:06 PM
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231: I always suspected.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:08 PM
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Goddammit people, I'm trying to do some real work today; I don't have time to flyspeck.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:09 PM
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In NYC or Chicago, it sure isn't a problem (or NoCal

You'd be surprised. Magpie was vegetarian for most of our relationship, and even here the veggie options at good restaurants were usually limited to one or two entrees. Going to Greens was a definite plus for her, since it meant she'd actually get to think about what to eat.

And while being vegetarian obviously wasn't a complete dealbreaker for me, at this point I'd be somewhat hesitant to get involved with someone who didn't eat meat, just because the social aspect of eating is so important to me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:17 PM
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That second part -- changing your cravings -- really works and is totally noticeable

I should try this. My sweet tooth is really annoying sometimes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:19 PM
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Heh. For me, a menu means searching, not deciding. I get pretty flummoxed when I'm offered more than two choices. I'm not sure I want to think about what to eat. I've sorta already made that decision when I picked the type of restaurant.

Nowflow, I'll go off sugar for a month two or three times a year. Takes a couple days or so for cravings for sweets to stop. Once that is past, I don't want sweets at all unless I accidentally have some sugar, and then I'll crave a cookie for a while. I find that it resets my sweet tolerance afterwards. I become one of those insufferable people who say things like "this would be good if it weren't so sweet; if you could really taste the flavor." You don't have to go off all grains to ratchet your sweet tooth down a bit.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:27 PM
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Now I want some Swedish Fish.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:29 PM
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Heh. For me, a menu means searching, not deciding. I get pretty flummoxed when I'm offered more than two choices

Yes, it's the same for me. I'm happy if a restaurant has one veggie option that I like. I don't eat out often enough to get sick of it.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:33 PM
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218: no grains (including especially things like quinoa and rice and purportedly "healthy" grains) and no refined sugar, a little fruit, and unlimited vegetables. As to why, it's basically to lower carbs and to change one's daily craving for sugar and constant eating. That second part -- changing your cravings -- really works and is totally noticeable.

This does make sense to me, especially if your diet has previously been carb-heavy. I could certainly benefit from ditching at least half the carbs I take in (it's a function of the heat this summer, mostly, since carbs are quick and easy, minimal cooking).

A modified form of that diet I wouldn't find horribly constraining (leaving aside the effort involved in learning to cook meat again). My bookpartner's wife has been on the South Beach diet, which sounds similar, for several years, and loves it.

A modified variant allowing for occasional bread-like things (say, tortillas, for burritos and wraps) and occasional lower-fat cheeses (feta, parmesan), I would find workable -- in terms of generating weekly menus. I'd also probably not see the need to eliminate healthier grains and beans entirely once my metabolism had adjusted to the lower-carb intake. And to the increase in exercise.

Still, it is weird to me that my bookpartner's wife basically eats a hunk of meat and a couple of vegetables for every dinner. Limiting!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:36 PM
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I following the government's new food pyramid thing, if Swedish Fish count as a vegetable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:43 PM
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I using caveman punctuation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:45 PM
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grammar, not punctuation.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:46 PM
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Mtoby!


Posted by: M/tch M/tch | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 12:55 PM
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Lost youth, lost hotness (to whatever extent 'young' and 'hot' are separate things here), motherhood, 30somethingness, settling down, nolongerhipness, the question of what to wear.


Wait, I thought Tracy's mom had it goin' on?! What happened?


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:05 PM
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When my sweetie was very veg and I wasn't, I had great meaty lunches. (Now he has allergies that make being veg really really hard, and I have great nutty lunches. It's sort of like having an affair, I imagine, without the actual moral misery.) And, despite the vegan firefighters, I have decided that salami is my basic field day food. Doesn't need to be heated or chilled, I don't need to get my hands clean, and I don't need to carry much to be full enough. Hey, look: I take up off-road heavy labor, and the diet of a peasant makes sense. Although, trying to be gently humorous, one of the advantages of my no car/scant meat/turn down the heat eco-freako lifestyle is that I eat whatever I want and can still wear my high-school jeans.

On the cranky wedding dude: most cultures have traditional vegetarian *feasts* based on old religious or seasonal rules. How can this be insulting? (Katherine Whitehorn: 'inside everyone is a hole shaped like a potato.')

The original article was depressing, but not nearly as bad as the Nora Ephron book about her neck. I like the current author less, though; I think Ephron probably did feel bad about her neck, while this person knows someone will tell her she's still hot. (My approach, based on the middlebrow literature of centuries, is to own land and know how to cook. Someone will always pretend to like me and find it reasonably rewarding. Of wealth and silence are happy compromises made.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:07 PM
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I am kind of on one of the low carb diets. No starch, grain or refined sugar.

I do eat a bag of safeway frozen blueberries each night. They are like mini slurpies. This isn't really recommended.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:33 PM
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And why the fuck not?


Posted by: Opinionated Blueberry Grower | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:35 PM
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Blueberries are full of antioxidants and pooping blue is the best way to meet girls.


Posted by: Opinionated Blueberry Grower | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:39 PM
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The thing that's different about food versus say voting for Palin is that voting for Palin is objectively reprehensible and monumentally stupid and you should both break up with and kill your partner for the betterment of all humanity (not to mention animalanity).

The analogy ban exists for a reason, people!!!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:49 PM
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pooping blue

Really, though, if you have to go, just go. Waiting around for a bout of melancholy is silly and probably bad for you.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:50 PM
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I was lazy last night and made insalata caprese and poured out a can of Trader Joe's bean salad. It would not have had much in the way of carbohydrates if we hadn't included a baguette.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:54 PM
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pooping blue is the best way to meet girls.

Really? How exactly does that work?



Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:56 PM
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254: If you live someplace where you can't crap in the yard, it does take some contriving.


Posted by: Opinionated Blueberry Grower | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 1:58 PM
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Speaking of diets and ass clenching, I just got an e-mail inviting me to joint "Weight Watchers at Work." Apparently, the government thinks I'm fat or that my work does not have enough interpersonal awkwardness.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:02 PM
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DID WE SAY FAT? YOU'RE JUST A LITTLE BIG BONED.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GOVERNMENT | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:12 PM
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I'm confused. You work for the government? Or this email came from government agents, who are forcing your employer to sign up for a Weight Watchers promotion for the whole company?


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:16 PM
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LITTLE BIG BONED.

Today is a good day to diet.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:17 PM
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258: A day or two of the week, I work at (but not for) a government agency. They (whichever administrators are doing this) are starting to get hectoring about diet and exercise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:20 PM
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For example, somebody took all of the salt shakers from the cafeteria tables. They still have those little paper packets for salt and if they hadn't have disappeared all of the real butter at the same time I'd have thought they were just trying to save the trouble of filling the shakers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:24 PM
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I was lazy last night and made insalata caprese

It's automatically not a lazy meal if you have to use a foreign language to describe it, even if it's just a tarted-up cheese plate.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:24 PM
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objectively reprehensible

I dunno, writing off all of politics, refusing to pay attention, and voting for the worst possible candidate as a protest, is this reprehensible? Elections get decided by swing states or gerrymandered districts, public political discourse is a charade. I do my homework, vote for the best candidate, sometimes publicize or support causes, personally. But I have very little faith taht this makes any difference, it's a boring duty.

Protest votes for clowns are not IMO a ridiculous response, not a dealbreaker.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:25 PM
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voting for the worst possible candidate as a protest, is this reprehensible?

Yes. Although that's beside the point since a legitimate Palin voter was being discussed, not a 'protest vote'.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:28 PM
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The restriction to straight-faced politics wasn't clear above, at least to me. Actually, saying that politics is unlike food eliminates the possibility of not taking the topic seriously and voting/eating thoughtlessly without attaching any weight to it.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:31 PM
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I was lazy last night and made insalata caprese and poured out a can of Trader Joe's bean salad. It would not have had much in the way of carbohydrates if we hadn't included a baguette.

The fact that beans are a good source of protein doesn't change the fact that they're still primarily carbs.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:38 PM
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They (whichever administrators are doing this) are starting to get hectoring about diet and exercise

Another victim of the facisto-socialist rule of Madame Obama.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:39 PM
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267: This stuff started before the election. I think somebody in charge wandered the halls one day after looking over the health insurance costs and had a brain storm. I think it is being done in a comically awkward, yet push way for all of the usual social class issues.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:45 PM
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s/b "yet pushy way"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:45 PM
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I thought Big Vegetarian hegemony had gone far enough that a vegetarian could be well fed at pretty much any 'good' restaurant.

The renewed interest in cured meats and offal has counteracted this trend somewhat. Also, many restaurants have always catered to vegetarians with what I call "passive-aggressive pasta" -- typically a pasta primavera kind of thing that turns out to be really bland and crummy, as if to punish you for ordering it. But yeah, I usually expect to be able to find delicious things I can eat pretty much everywhere that is not explicitly billed otherwise.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:45 PM
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facisto

That reminds me. While driving around our (very blue) neighborhood yesterday looking at houses with some Houston friends who are considering moving to Austin, we saw this truck parked in front of a house with 1950s style landscaping and affixed to the tailgate was placard featuring a handwritten wingnut screed against Obama. It included things like "worse than Osama" and "damn that SOB to hell", but the best part was where it said Obama was "a treat to America".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:46 PM
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"passive-aggressive pasta" -- typically a pasta primavera kind of thing that turns out to be really bland and crummy

Not to mention over-cooked, because it's been sitting in the steam table since the lunch rush began and it's now dinnertime.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:47 PM
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Also, many restaurants have always catered to vegetarians with what I call "passive-aggressive pasta"

If they really want to kick up the passive-aggressiveness a notch, they name the super bland designated dish "vegetarian's delight".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:49 PM
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273: I declared a personal jihad against the "assiette de legumes."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:52 PM
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274: I had to use google to see what it was.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:53 PM
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Apparently your jihad really worked.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:54 PM
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276: She really squashed the opposition.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:56 PM
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Also, many restaurants have always catered to vegetarians with what I call "passive-aggressive pasta"

This reminds me of the first trip Magpie and I took to Hawaii. We spent a couple of weeks on Maui, and for the first week or so precisely that pasta dish was all she could find to eat. One night we went to one of the Roy's near where we were staying. After looking at the menu and not seeing anything, she was at the end of her rope and made some particularly exasperated comment about not being able to find vegetarian food... to which the maitre d' responded "Oh! We have a vegetarian menu! In fact, all the restaurants around here do, you just have to ask!"


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 2:58 PM
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257: The Government is Cartman's mom?

Actually, that explains a lot, including the e-mails I get from the DNC asking me to support the president's plan for powdered donut pancake surprise.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 3:01 PM
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275: You're probably on the terrorism watchlist now.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 3:01 PM
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Assiette de legumes is no treat to America.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:25 PM
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270: A friend of mine used to call it the Vegetarian Consolation Salad. This was years ago and it still makes me laugh. I like your term, too, and I remember the sheer disappointment of that markedly unvernal pasta primavera from my many years as a brontasaurus.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:25 PM
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271, sort of: Speaking of Austin and vegetarianism, Austin is also the home of Mother's, a bastion of another broad category of Bad Vegetarian Cuisine, i.e. not "passive-aggressive vegetarian punishment by blandness" and not even the "you're not quite getting vegetarianism, are you?" school, but the sort of, I don't know quite what to call it, hippie vegetarian food redolent of coop housing, bell peppers stuffed with quinoa and crap like that. On the other hand, Austin has Mr. Natural (vegetarian Tex Mex) which is unexpectedly quite enjoyable.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:31 PM
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I always called the seat outside the women's fitting rooms the Obediant Boyfriend Chair.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:33 PM
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I like bell peppers stuffed with quinoa! (And cheese. There must be cheese involved.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:35 PM
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The Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY also totally blows, and I thought that even before my current insane diet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:36 PM
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283: There's a really quite good Mexican restaurant in Chicago whose vegetarian menu is something like 10 items long (and not just "bean burrito" and "quesadilla"). I love them for it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:36 PM
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Whatever Chicago may or may not have for vegetarians, the suburbs are conclusively lame.

As for "dealbreakers," I have a hard time picturing myself in a serious relationship with a vegetarian for all the social eating reasons already noted -- but basically every guy I have ever been involved with has had some "I could never imagine myself with" trait. Dealbreakers can be surprisingly negotiable when you realize you really like someone.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:36 PM
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283: This actually makes me think of the Crank's Cookbook -- which is an early British veggie cookbook just jam packed with that sort of thing (baked with 5 eggs and 4 lbs of cheese). Lots of nut loaves with wheat germ and yeast gravy. (Not knocking the nut loaf!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:38 PM
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The Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, NY also totally blows

Seriously, it must have one of the highest fame:quality ratios of any restaurant. I've had one or two decent meals there and a lot more mediocre slop.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:39 PM
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my many years as a brontasaurus.

I hope you didn't switch to being a triceratops, because they're now totes deprecated.


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:42 PM
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Chicago also has that one vegetarian soul food place.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:43 PM
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How come it's always the cool dinosaurs that turn out not to be real?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:43 PM
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292: Those folks were intense. A lost tribe of Israel!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:44 PM
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My fiancé and I are vegetarians and we're planning on having a wedding reception where only vegan food is served. I'm a bit worried about one relative because he hates new food. He once ate a chicken sandwich and then threw up because it contained red onions instead of regular yellow onions.

But I've been trying to make this the easiest event possible for people in all other respects and yet my own mother was giving me grief about my choice of a wedding dress because it would require her to purchase a new outfit. So if people are determined to be miserable, maybe I can help!


Posted by: Kima | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:47 PM
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283: hippie vegetarian food redolent of coop housing, bell peppers stuffed with quinoa and crap like that

Yes, quite. Here we have "The Good Earth" (N.b. totally separate from the LA chain of the same name.) We used to have to go there for brunch when I was in the post-confirmation youth group at my parents' church. It was enough to gag a maggot.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:49 PM
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Not to pile on to the "passive-aggressive pasta" theme without adding value, but God yes. I'm not a huge pasta fan to begin with, but at this point it's too scary to consider. People with their pasta primavera, overcooked.

Exception: handmade ravioli stuffed with, say, pumpkin. Or spinach, garlic and goat cheese. Okay, I'll bite.

283: the "you're not quite getting vegetarianism, are you?" school

It's begun to seem to me that going for "natural foods" restaurants holds more promise than "vegetarian" ones. But maybe that sounds like the hippie coop 70s (originally) style.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:50 PM
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I was going to say that I actually kind of like that kind of food, and then I remember that I first encountered it, yes, in my college coop.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:51 PM
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295: Why vegan, if you're just vegetarian? Enough vegan guests to make it worthwhile, or the menu just worked out that way?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:52 PM
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296: What kind of religion goes for shitty brunch?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:52 PM
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I like pasta that may or may not be called pasta primavera - when cooked well. But I am apparently unusually fond of pasta.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:53 PM
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I'm eating carrot sticks, but they still aren't vegan because of the dip.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:54 PM
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299: The best restaurant in town is vegan. I'm going to ask them if they are willing to go veggie, but they seem pretty hardcore.

Also, in case it wasn't clear, when I say choice of a wedding dress, I mean my mother thinks it's too fancy so she can't wear an old skirt. Not something ridiculous like her outfit has to match mine.


Posted by: Kima | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:55 PM
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300: SPARRRTAAAA!

No, just kidding. The UCC. The food's not as good, but we tip better.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:55 PM
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304: Actually, to amend that: The food we had at church potlucks and for coffee time after church was often exquisite. Especially the annual soup supper. And the homemade eggrolls that the Cambodian family the church sponsored made a couple of times per year as a fundraiser. But most people there didn't really have much taste in restaurants. But the post-confirmation youth group deal was totally in the hands of the youth group leader, who was usually some insufferable, starry-eyed do-gooder from a different denomination, usually still in college or just out, and they invariably had HORRIBLE taste in restaurants.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:59 PM
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I would probably end up being close to vegan if I were vegetarian. Dairy causes enough problems that I don't think I could make it any more central to my diet than it is.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 4:59 PM
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usually some insufferable, starry-eyed do-gooder from a different denomination

What do you expect, really.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:02 PM
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Yeah, Chicago has Soul Vegetarian East and also Chicago Diner which I always liked. It also, however, has Harold's Chicken Shack, which I very fondly refer to as the nail in the coffin of my vegetarianism.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:07 PM
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The hippie coop style of vegetarian cooking that I think of as having been popularized in the 70s (I have a number of the classic cookbooks of the style from that time) tended actually to be vegan without necessarily acknowledging that: so you got things like cashew gravy, and nut loaves bound together with I-forget-what because eggs and cheese were eschewed.

They also, now that I think about it, perversely declined to acknowledge their debt to mediterranean cuisine. If you take apart, say, a zucchini boat (stuffed with some kind of quinoa or bulghur wheat mixture), what you really have is a variant on a grain salad. Why not just make a grain salad, with the zucchini chopped up and added, and put some *fresh* herbs in there, and fresh lemon juice and so on. It's a variant on taboulli, spelled however you like!

I have no idea why they couldn't really see any kind of bean besides soy beans and maybe lentils.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:08 PM
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were eschewed

I always thought you were supposed to eschew your food dozens of times before swallowing but my parents interpreted that as me being picky about what I eat.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:10 PM
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Drug-Crazed Rand Paul Kidnapped Woman In Reefer Frenzy

He has my vote.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:15 PM
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271, sort of: Speaking of Austin and vegetarianism, Austin is also the home of Mother's

I lived, as a vegetarian, two blocks away from this place for three years and only ate their twice because of the blandness. I think it's because they avoid cooking with ample salt and oil/butter for dishes that I am accustomed to getting with such.

On the other hand, this place has a lot of really good vegetarian dim sum, despite the incredibly silly name and SWPL aesthetic.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:18 PM
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308: Chicago Diner which I always liked

Seemed okay when I ate there, but then my friend worked in the kitchen for a year or so in the early part of the decade. Owner (at least then, I have no idea if it's under new management at this point) was a complete asshole. Racist. Screwed undocumented employees out of their pay and overtime. Petty martinet on a power trip.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:18 PM
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Why not just make a grain salad...

Because bread rules.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:18 PM
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DC has Soul Vegetarian's Exodus*, which is a-fucking-mazing.

* Exodus is the takeout business of Soul Vegetarian Cafe; I believe they share a kitchen but not a menu? I'm not sure.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:19 PM
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my own mother was giving me grief about my choice of a wedding dress because it would require her to purchase a new outfit.

Ayup, that's loopy. Does she usually react this way to big to-dos? Are you from a button-pushing family?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:20 PM
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309: I had the opposite problem with 70's cookbooks. When I first became vegetarian I tried the Moosewood cookbooks. Everything in there seems to involve eggs, cheese or sour cream. Ugh! I want my vegetarian food to have vegetables. I've had much better luck making regular food and replacing meat with fake meat. Also, as you write, by making lots of Mediterranean dishes. Thank you chickpeas!


Posted by: Kima | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:23 PM
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No problem.


Posted by: Opinionated Chickpea | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:24 PM
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From the comments in the link at 311:
OBAMA is in the pay of terrorists like AYRES and criminals like RESKO - whilst in adult/ public life. But nothing is said.

Are their any terrorists like Bill Ayers? Other than Bernardine Dohrn, I mean.

BUT NOTHING IS SAID! UNTIL NOW!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:24 PM
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Just so long as you don't use the olive oil from the sale bin at WalMart anymore. Capisce.


Posted by: Opinionated Chickpea | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:27 PM
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316: It's a serious button pushing family. And if I mention to my mother that she makes too many demands, she goes on a diatribe about how I'm making her out to be a bad mother. Her favorite pastime is asking me about what I can eat as a vegetarian and then complain about how restrictive that is (we don't eat together). She also likes to complain about how much she dislikes lawyers. I'm a lawyer.


Posted by: Kima | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:28 PM
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317: Yeah, maybe the ones I'm thinking of (emphasis on nut loaves and other things that were attempts to translate the 50s-era obsession with casseroles and gravy) are earlier. I haven't looked at the early Moosewood cookbooks in a while -- I think the only thing I make regularly from the first one is the eggplant parmesan.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:33 PM
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No dealbreakers, really?

Let's say a person can't stand spending time in cities, and the other is an urban person. Or one is a serious sub or dom, and the other completely vanilla. Or, to use myself as an example, one is a complete slob, and while able to modify their behaviour to an extent, will never be neat and the prospective partner can't stand messes and will be angry if they have to constantly pick shit up. Or, riffing off LB's example of a jock, take my mom. She is seriously into her mountains and wants to spend the majority of her days off skiing, hiking, or climbing. My dad isn't as into it as she is, but does enjoy it enough that the majority of the time they do this together. I don't think she could have had a successful relationship with a determined couch potato.

Dealing with a change in an existing spouse/serious partner would be a different matter, and casual relationships are much more flexible, but long term relationships have enough difficulties that come up over time without starting off with them.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:36 PM
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* Exodus is the takeout business of Soul Vegetarian Cafe

Ha! I hadn't realized that it was called "Exodus" because it was takeout. Good naming, African Hebrew Israelite guys!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:36 PM
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324: Good thing they don't do delivery, though; who wants to wait 40 years for their order?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:42 PM
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317: Speaking of 50's translations, I tried a recipe once for a tofu meatloaf. It's one of the most disgusting things I've ever eaten. My new rule is that if it was gross when served as meat, it will only get worse when translated into a vegetarian dish. Not everyone agrees, apparently, as my local world market grocery store sells vegetarian chicken kidneys. Why?


Posted by: Kima | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:44 PM
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Kima, I thought that you were a cop (detective in the homicide division), and that your partner Cheryl, was a journalist. And that you guys had broken up after Cheryl had wanted a kid. But I'm glad that you two got back together and are getting married now.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:54 PM
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No dealbreakers, really?

Oh, now I don't think anybody said that. No Palin-lovers (for me). No dedicated urbanites to the extent that it's living in New York or nothing.

It's just that I don't put meat-eating or non-meat-eating in that category, since (for me) that difference admits of much more flexibility than it apparently does for others.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:58 PM
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The cookbooks I've read from the 1950s and early 1960s were pretty unappetizing even if they weren't vegetarian, which might explain some of the earliest veg cookbook goofiness. Even in the 1970s, my mother was considered a wild dangerous radical for using garlic.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:58 PM
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Veg chicken kidneys! Maybe they had a scraping off the bottom of the yeast pot and said "ewwww, how could we sell this? It's like... organ meat..."

So, in case no-one else has asked, want to describe your dress, Kima?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 5:59 PM
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327: I think I saw that on TV. The cop gets worried about bringing a kid into a world with the horrors that she sees every day on her job. The journalist is, like all journalists, fundamentally in denial about human nature. They split apart. Then Eric Roberts gets shot and that somehow brings them back together.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:01 PM
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323 -- I would say if any of those things weren't obstacles to getting the relationship started, they won't be "dealbreakers" as far as continuing it. I think that attraction can overcome any one of those at the inception, and empathy and flexibility can overcome any one of those in the long middle. (Often abetted by abundance -- e.g. a neat freak who afford his own room will have a longer relationship with a slob.)

My guess is that the desire to have or not have children is the biggest dealbreaker, possibly the only ultimate one. I'm much more aligned with 288 than 323.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:02 PM
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It's fancy, that's all I will say. I offered her the ragged dingy thing great grandma wore, but noooo.


Posted by: Kima's Mom | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:04 PM
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Even in the 1970s, my mother was considered a wild dangerous radical for using garlic.

Really? That was well after the ascent of Julia Child, wasn't it?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:08 PM
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334: Not to mention Bernadine Dohrn.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:09 PM
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329: my mother was considered a wild dangerous radical for using garlic

I've been reading, over the past week or so, an anthology of selections from women's magazines from 1940-1960. In a way, it's just what you would think: a heavy emphasis on house-cleaning and cooking and keeping oneself neat and appetizing (not sexually, you heathen).

Reading the articles themselves is still somewhat startling. To the extent that women really were internalizing this stuff (and apparently they were, to the tune of 3 million subscribers, give or take, way outnumbering the readership of any other category of periodical), they felt the need to live and breathe (a) cleanliness, (b) support of their man, and (c) conformity.

No garlic, you freak.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:14 PM
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327: When you work the beat for so long it's nice to have someone to come home to. Even if she does tend to overreact to things like me getting shot.

330: They also sell vegetarian chickens with little fake wings pasted onto the body and they pour the stuff into a dimpled plastic container so the veggie meat appears to have chicken pores. I had to buy one and make it for sheer amusement. Sadly, it was too dry.

The dress is cream colored, full length, with criss-crossing straps, and a sash-type thing in the front. It's nice and not at all poofy. Thanks for asking!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:14 PM
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337 was me


Posted by: Kima | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:18 PM
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My go-to compromise for vegan/vegetarian dinners has always been ratatouille. Runner-up: pesto soup. Serve with rice and proscuitto.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:46 PM
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I collect wine and always had trouble coming up with a good veggie match for French wines. Solution: mushroom risotto.

336.2: surely (a) and (b) are not bad values. And (c) can be good too, depending on what you're conforming too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:55 PM
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Let's say a person can't stand spending time in cities, and the other is an urban person.

one is a complete slob, and while able to modify their behaviour to an extent, will never be neat and the prospective partner can't stand messes and will be angry if they have to constantly pick shit up.

If television has taught us anything about these two situations, it's that misunderstandings will arise but will be tidily resolved in short order, amid much hilarity.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 6:56 PM
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340: surely (a) and (b) are not bad values

Never have a hair out of place when your man arrives home from the office at 5:30 p.m. Do have dinner ready to set on the table by 6. Be sure that there are no children's toys about the living room, that the children have washed up and are ready for dinner, and do be sure that his favorite dessert will be ready and waiting. Give yourself time to have changed into clean and pleasant clothes. He married the girl of his dreams, not a frustrated hag!

No man wants to come home to an unkempt, harried wife and children. Your man has been working toward his promotion, or his next big project, and the last thing he needs is to think that things are falling apart on the home front!

A variety of time-management skills will help you ensure that your home is a pleasant, orderly retreat for your man. Don't forget to make sure he's served a nutritious meal each night!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:25 PM
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Don't forget to make sure he's served a nutritious meal each night!

Grilled cheese is fine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:31 PM
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Julia Child's ascent was gradual in the Midwest, I deduce, even in a university town. Truly: garlic suspicious. She might have been Italian. Or Greek.

The dress sounds lovely, Kima; and also as though it will be pleasing when you see photographs many years hence; and also as though almost anything your mother wanted to wear would have been fine. Maybe you could mentally wear a button where worse dresses have giant bows.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:36 PM
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Kima: Sounds gorgeous--I love sashes.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:37 PM
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342: I need a 1960s housewife! I started a new teaching schedule where I get home well after 6, and last week was terrible because I still had shopping and cooking to do. I was unhappy. (Though I figured out that the key is just to make a bunch of food on the weekend, and tonight I found myself resting comfortably at 6:30 with beer in hand and eggplant dip and chips to snack on. I guess I'm my own 1960s housewife.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:38 PM
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Is there supposed to be something egregiously wrong with 342? Some of it strikes me as more aspirational than realistic (or, reworded: it strikes me as overly-demanding), but I'm not sure that's the end of the world. Read similar advice from the same period, geared towards men, on being a good "company man". It has a similar tone. And none of it strikes me as markedly more aspirational/overly-demanding than the advice contained in popular women's magazines today.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:45 PM
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I collect wine and always had trouble coming up with a good veggie match for French wines. Solution: mushroom risotto.

Mushroom risotto works with Muscadet? Condrieu? Talking about a veggie match for "French wines" is like talking about a wine match for animal protein.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:45 PM
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I started a new teaching schedule where I get home well after 6,

I hear statements like this, realize they're meant as complaints, and am reminded that I've somehow gone horribly wrong in my choice of profession.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:47 PM
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346: 1940s and 50s. By the 60s things were starting to break down; there might be garlic and bare feet and the occasional unmade bed. I daresay someone might have failed to powder their nose.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:48 PM
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349: Eh, it's more that I'm used to being home pretty much all the time and so I'm not accustomed to doing all the things that people with 9-5+ jobs learn how to do. Working from home sort of ruins you for office jobs.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:49 PM
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350: Ah, I see. Amend dates as needed in 346, then.

351, continued: I'm not actually done with work. I'll probably be working from 8 to 11.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:51 PM
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I provided a summary of the women's magazines from that period not to say that they're obviously horrific. That's just what they say, in more or less just those words.

And none of it strikes me as markedly more aspirational/overly-demanding than the advice contained in popular women's magazines today.

I've wondered about that. It's a question. You don't think there's more latitude allowed for individuality now?

I don't mean to turn this into a feminism thread; it arose over the question of garlic, and the women's magazines of that era strike me as incredibly vanilla, determinedly so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:55 PM
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You mean vanilla wasn't too subtle and flavorful for food of the 50s?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 7:58 PM
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Women's magazines today might also include that level of aspiration to man-pleasing, but they also contain plenty of articles about what the husband/boyfriend/etc should be doing for you. It's not all about service.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:00 PM
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You don't think there's more latitude allowed for individuality now?

Well, I can't say I'm incredibly familiar with women's magazines of that era (I'm only passingly familiar with women's magazines of today), but my sense is that yes, there's more latitude allowed for individuality now. As there is in society as a whole.

I took 342, presented as an uncommented upon response to 340, as a presentation of something you thought to be obviously horrific. Apologies if I misunderstood.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:01 PM
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348: reds. I don't collect white.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:06 PM
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I suppose I should clarify that: it does seem obviously horrific to me that (most) women were unquestioningly expected to be homemakers. That said, nothing in 342 seems obviously horrific to me (though, again, granted, aspirational/overly-demanding, and more or less nothing like any real person I actually know) as aspirational advice for a homemaker. I suppose, to your individuality point, that yes, it seems obviously horrific to present that as blanket advice for every homemaker, when obviously people differ, but, again, "people differ" has never seemed to me to be a strong suit of the genre.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:10 PM
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I should have provided a comment along with 342. The point was to clarify that what I described as (a) cleanliness and (b) support of your man had a very particular cast. i.e. not having a hair out of place, and providing what is essentially professional maid service for his home (which involves cleansing it of personal quirks, so that it's roughly like a hotel). I should say that letters abound from readers complaining that their husbands persist in leaving newspapers or cigar butts or shoes strewn about, which makes it even harder to keep the place clean.

It strikes me that aspiring to that degree of cleanliness, whether anybody actually met it, is indeed a troublesome value. Oh, and you're probably going to view garlic with suspicion if that's your aspirational mindset. Hotels don't smell like garlic.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:33 PM
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I've never thought of the 40s and 50s as a period in which the ordinary smells of daily life were typically suppressed. (But I wasn't alive then, so.) I was rather under the impression that people in our culture at that time were generally more comfortable with smells, and that only more recently had anything with a strong scent (that isn't some sort of artificial fragrance) been considered by many people to be unpleasant.


Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:43 PM
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My dad's family used an outhouse until about 1950 or so. They weren't poor, grandpa just didn't see the point of spending that much money on plumbing when you could buy more cows or machinery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:49 PM
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My dad's family used an outhouse until about 1950 or so.

People always forget about The Great Constipation.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 8:56 PM
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Not to get all Foucauldian here, or nothin', but it seems to me the virtue (and clue to the subtext) in those '40s and '50s women's magazines, a few of which I have perused, was in making all of these expectations explicit. We know that teenagers were "absolute beginners" in that time period, but weren't a lot of housewives as well? If you were a 30 year-old housewife in Levittown in 1950, odds are you probably grew up, maybe not in Greenwich Village, but in Greenpoint, say. That whole set of expectations around how to keep up a middle-class household would have been literally and figuratively foreign. Especially given the disruptions of the Depression and WWII. And yeah, of course those expectations were fucked up, but that didn't stop people from wanting to know what they were, and measure their lives against the ideal, any more than the Oprah-Martha Stewart Complex's current expectations are ignored, no matter that nobody is living up to them.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:01 PM
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My dad always used to make the joke that the outhouse was too close in the summer and too far in the winter. I asked why they didn't just have two outhouses or move the one every six months. Apparently, that didn't occur to them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:07 PM
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363: I was going to make exactly that point, though not as well as Natilo. Seeing the 50s as the ur-decade of conformity rips it entirely out of the context of the weirdness and craziness of pre-WWII America. I think part of the emphasis on nonconformity in our current pop culture is the search for stimulation in the face of a culture that is in many ways much more regimented and homogenous than the America of 1950.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:15 PM
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And not meaning to say there wasn't a ton of regimentation in 1950, but it was a different sort, I think much more local and informal, which certainly didn't make it better (it made it much worse in certain instances) but it did make it less homogenous and predictable. Before we congratulate ourselves on current freedoms, it's also interesting to look at this graph .


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:21 PM
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That whole set of expectations around how to keep up a middle-class household would have been literally and figuratively foreign. Especially given the disruptions of the Depression and WWII.

"Expectations" might not be the right word: perhaps the women's magazines of that era comprised a great creative project, building the future of the American family in the minds of people exhausted -- if not as closely as the average household in Birmingham, Naples, Stalingrad or Osaka -- by deprivation and the horrors of war.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:25 PM
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Tone of 367: 60% facetious.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:26 PM
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The 50s were a remarkable creative project, that's why they've captured our imagination as this reification of the "normal' or "typical" that's both aspirational and a target for rebellion. Even though the 50s were anything but ordinary even in family life -- lowest age at first marriage ever, more kids at earlier ages than any other period, etc.

"Mad Men" is really good at capturing the simultaneous weirdness and uber-normality of the 60s in the Don Draper character. Although it's a significant screw-up that Don is a Korean War vet instead of a WWII vet, which is where his age would put him. It's like the screenwriters couldn't quite internalize how close WWII was to the 60s.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:34 PM
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whoops, I meant of the 50s.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:35 PM
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Although it's a significant screw-up that Don is a Korean War vet instead of a WWII vet

Don's supposed to be 33 in 1960, I believe.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:37 PM
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Hmm. He looks older, but that makes sense. One of the real ad men of the time who's probably a significant model for the Draper character, George Lois, was born in '31. Too young for WWII.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:41 PM
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371: Googling -- 34 in '60, so I guess he could plausibly have nicked the end of the war.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:45 PM
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367 was kinda what I meant. I also meant 366. Not facetiously though.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:47 PM
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Although it's a significant screw-up that Don is a Korean War vet instead of a WWII vet

I am baffled as to how you could see this as a screw-up, as opposed to an intentional choice with deep resonance for all of the characters. It's not like they lost track of when WWII was.

Also, apparently Jon Hamm is actually (about) Don Draper's scripted age. Wow. People my age are old.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:49 PM
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373: In WWII, the great majority of fit men would have been drafted upon leaving high school, so being 18 in 1944 would have given you a high chance of being drafted. On the Korea end, the army wasn't that interested in drafting men 25 or over with no previous service, so you'd actually be less likely to serve there. (Sorry, had to learn all this for a past research project)


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:52 PM
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He, uh, wasn't drafted.

You have watched the show, yeah?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:55 PM
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One wonders whether it is possible for right-thinking people to have a conversation these days that does not wend its way eventually to Mad Men.

Sometimes I feel alone in preferring movies to television. At least movies don't demand, around the halfway mark, that I care about characters who were spearcarriers in the first hour.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:56 PM
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375: it can still be a screw-up even if it's intentional. WWII is the war that transforms American society, Korea is a cultural footnote, so I think the resonance is much greater with WWII. It also compresses the available time span for Don's transformation into the sophisticated man he is, and leaves you wondering what exactly he was doing in his early 20s before he became Don Draper. Not sure that was ever answered.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 9:59 PM
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378: We could talk about True Blood instead.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:00 PM
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WWII is the war that transforms American society, Korea is a cultural footnote, so I think the resonance is much greater with WWII.

It... dude... I... that's the point!

and leaves you wondering what exactly he was doing in his early 20s before he became Don Draper. Not sure that was ever answered.

See above?

I think we watch this show very differently, or something.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:02 PM
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379: Or you know Dick is several years younger than Don.

But as Sifu says, that's all irrelevant -- the show's creators intentionally picked Korea.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:03 PM
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378: If I understand my ex-girlfriend's summaries of True Blood, and I don't, it's about a bunch of elderly vampires living in Nowheresville, Whitetrashylvania, harassing naked people?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:04 PM
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Have you guys watched ALF? I mean, really watched it?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:05 PM
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"Korea: America's Forgotten War"
--Bumper sticker on the pickup truck driven by my grandfather, who was both a WWII and Korea vet, and 2 years older than Don Draper


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:07 PM
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381, 382: For my benefit (since I checked out on Mad Men about three-quarters of the way through the first season)... what's the significance of Draper/Whitman having served in Korea over WWII?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:07 PM
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I better get to sleep though. I gotta be up in 4.5 hours to help my fellow citizens vote. Woo-hoo! Primary in August!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:08 PM
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363, 365, and 366 are all extremely insightful.

I think Mad Men generally does do a fairly good job of capturing the "simultaneous weirdness and uber-normality" of the 50s, but sometimes -- not always -- it seems to me to fall into quite simplistic the 50s=oppression vs. the (not shown, but implied to be coming in the future) late 60s=liberation.

That (implied) simplistic dichotomy was especially apparent, I thought, in the first season. In this season, it does seem like they are setting themselves up to do something much more interesting with "the 60s" once they get under way, and in some ways how the series handles that transition will be the make or break for whether the show is just very good or whether it's truly great.

On the narrow point about Draper's age, I think Draper was made a Korea vet very deliberately, to contrast him with the older, WWII generation, of which Roger Sterling is a member. Draper is supposed to be part of the forgotten 50s generation of young men (in between the "greatest generation" and the 60s youth), and belonging to that in-between generation is a big part of his story.

Anyhow, the best TV show about the 60s is the German show Heimat II, but despite near-hysterical constant urging I've never been able to convince a single person to watch that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:08 PM
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383: That's about it. Well, there's also a baby vampire, and (this season) werewolves. And sometimes the vampires get naked too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:10 PM
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386: nothing so obvious as what I'm about to write, but for all that he seems like the archetypical '50s man he is (or feels like) a fake, who missed the events and signifiers common to almost his entire generation. He's an outsider in almost every way, dressed as an insider. That's why the '60s are hitting him so sideways; all of a sudden everybody's trying to break out of something he's the world expert at breaking into.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:12 PM
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390: I speculate in ignorance (as usual, am I right?) about this, but there seem to be an awful lot of television shows, movies, novels, etc., dramatizing the impostor syndrome anxieties of people in the entertainment industries.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:19 PM
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I'm so glad someone(s) addressed that the choice of Korea was intentional. I was all outragey for a moment.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:20 PM
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Also, Josh, you forgot the shapeshifters and the maeneds.

True Blood is watchable for two very compelling reasons: Alexander Skarsgard and Nelsan Ellis.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:23 PM
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Contrast. (Note: I've only watched the first season, and I think not even all of it, so I don't actually find the show "watchable".)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:29 PM
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On the narrow point about Draper's age, I think Draper was made a Korea vet very deliberately, to contrast him with the older, WWII generation, of which Roger Sterling is a member.

That's what bugged me about it too, though. Sterling is very old for a WWII vet. Less than half of the guys his age would have served; he's not quite the generation defined by WWII. In 1960 the WWII generation was not the older generation getting elbowed out, they were just entering their prime.

Draper is supposed to be part of the forgotten 50s generation of young men (in between the "greatest generation" and the 60s youth), and belonging to that in-between generation is a big part of his story.

I can see that as a theme, but it's like they're trying to shoehorn in a generation that didn't really exist, there wasn't time for it. It's a pretty small birth cohort that missed WWII but was in time for Korea.

To put it another way: Roger was born in 1912, Don in 1926. I believe less than 40 percent of men born in Roger's birth year would have served in WWII, while about three quarters of men born in Don's year would have. But one represents the older WWII generation?

Anyway, this is hardly worth going on about, it just annoys me because I did a very detailed project on it at one point and parsed out the generations very finely. I can see what Sifu is driving at in 390, that it's part of Don's general cipher-ness and his outsider identity, but I think it loses something real about the actual historical moment and the way it was still dominated by the shadow of WWII.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:34 PM
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Roger isn't that old, is he? Maybe he's 50-ish in 1963 or so? Is it really so implausible that a 30-ish guy would have fought in World War II?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:37 PM
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I haven't been keeping track very carefully: is the show advancing at one narrative year per broadcast season, or is it moving faster? Seems like it's moving faster.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:39 PM
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395: But....isn't the whole point that HIS life is dominated by the shadow of WWII? How does that not get at what you want it to?

397: It's moving faster.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:43 PM
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397: Faster, really.
Roger was 50 in '62 -- his age cohort certainly would have shipped off en masse in '42.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:43 PM
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The delta between seasons varies.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 10:44 PM
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396, 399: no -- the cohorts that shipped off en masse were very young, 25 or under during combat. In general, cohorts much over age 25 at the end of 1941 had less than half of the men serve. Married and kids was one of the few deferrals that really worked for able-bodied men in WWII, and many older folks didn't volunteer if they knew they wouldn't get drafted. What was driving it was that the Army didn't need inexperienced guys over 25 to serve in front lines, especially married guys over 25, they were too hard to train and had a harder time with combat. Roger served in the Navy but they didn't want to train inexperienced men from scratch either. Many men over 25 who volunteered with no military experience ended up in administrative type positions. (Maybe Roger had military experience though).

The peak service years were birth cohorts 1920-26.

The only data I can find on this on the web is Figure 2 in this paper ; it doesn't go all the way back to 1912 but you can see the service ratio dropping below 40 percent.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 08- 9-10 11:01 PM
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re: 401

Varies a bit, though by nation, I'd expect. Both my grandfathers served in WWII. One born in 1902 or 1903 and the other born in 1914. The one born in 1902/3 was in active combat service, too -- Italy and North Africa, primarily. However, he was career military and was, I think, a sergeant major with nearly 20 years of military experience by the time of WWII so of course the 'inexperience' thing doesn't apply.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 12:31 AM
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I hope you didn't switch to being a triceratops, because they're now totes deprecated.

Triceratops is doing fine and under no threat whatsoever, apart from already being extinct. The one that's (potentially) deprecated is Torosaurus. And "Science journalists" who can't be bothered to read the abstracts of the papers they're supposed to be reporting on.

Torosaurus may be the same animal as Triceratops, but it was described later, so Triceratops wins according to the rules.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 1:33 AM
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402: very true. "Men over 25 didn't get drafted"? In some countries women got drafted. Granny Ajay got a polite but insistent letter from the King when the war broke out and went off to spend the next six years doing stuff she wasn't allowed to talk about until 1975. (Alan Turing: lovely man, apparently.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:11 AM
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I think men up to 40 were technically eligible for the call up during WWII, although mostly they weren't. My dad volunteered in 1939, so he wasn't affected; he was 27 at the time.

Ajay's Granny clearly had a more interesting war than my mum, who was drafted into an army records office on her 18th birthday. Things looked up in 1945 when she managed to transfer to forces entertainment troupe and toured the eastern Mediterranean, where Menachem Begin tried to kill her, but failed (I doubt if it was personal).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:33 AM
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One of my grandmothers was a firewoman in the war, and worked at the first woman-only fire station in London.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 3:17 AM
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re: 405

Yeah, my maternal grandfather also ended up in Palestine immediately post-war, and was around for the fun and games. He doesn't talk about it much other than to mention how nice the citrus fruit was. The other grandfather, the older one, went back to India and joined/remained-in the Indian Army for a couple of years post-independence.

The situation for the US was very different though, so I suppose it's not surprising that the demographics of recruitment and conscription would be different.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 3:29 AM
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406. That's quite a claim to fame. Good for her.

The generation currently retired managed to rationalise a massive cognitive dissonance between what "women can do" and what women demonstrably did do during the war. A friend of mine attended some sort of induction day as a bus driver. The speaker dwelt at length on how women had had to drive the buses during the war, and then ten minutes later explained that it was now possible for women to work as drivers because of the invention of power steering and power assisted brakes. My friend put her hand up and asked if they'd had power steering in 1941. Apparently the guy did, to his credit, take the point, but it had never occurred to him before.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 4:29 AM
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I remember my Dad telling me that one of his driving instructors in the army was a woman and that wasn't that unusual. So you'd have that slightly odd situation where very few women in the civilian world would be driving heavy or armoured vehicles and yet women were teaching these skills in the military. Driving, I think, being one of the equal ops jobs in those days (late 60s) when women were far more insulated from combat roles than they are now.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 4:52 AM
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267: This stuff started before the election. I think somebody in charge wandered the halls one day after looking over the health insurance costs and had a brain storm. I think it is being done in a comically awkward, yet push way for all of the usual social class issues.

This is happening a little bit at my agency too. I think that there's some sort of weight loss challenge going on. We're supposed to be trying to get our clients to quit smoking (something like 60% of people with schizophrenia smoke a lot), and far too many staff people working in residences and the like smoke too.

Instead of giving us nice, private health insurance-covered options, they encourage people to learn smoking cessation tips from our own staff, some of whom are experts but in the area of exercise, there's nobody who's actually qualified.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:05 AM
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very few women in the civilian world would be driving heavy or armoured vehicles

I thought "surely not many men in the civilian world would be driving armoured vehicles either?" and then remembered "oh, right, Glasgow."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:05 AM
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re: 411

Heh. It's how they deliver the milk in Falkirk ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:13 AM
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404: I have my grandfather's "registration card", filled out in some time after 1942, showing his age as 62 when he filled it out. It says "Men born on or after April 28,1877 and on or before February 16, 1897".

So, there was some contingency plan for oldsters in place.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:20 AM
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I dream about owning a car of my own, because I spend so much time commuting. (an hour and a half each way, plus some trips to doctors). Since I'm out and about for my job, I sometimes spend more than 5 hours on public transportation in a given day.

I don't work that late, but I'm rarely home before 8PM. That's without trying to make it to the gym.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:26 AM
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My go-to compromise for vegan/vegetarian dinners has always been ratatouille. Runner-up: pesto soup. Serve with rice and proscuitto.

Mm. Prosciutto is my favorite vegetable.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:37 AM
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413. Yeah, even military authorities are capable of working out that you can set on older or infirm people to do support work and free up the younger and fitter to go and get killed. Thus, my maternal grandfather (1892-1976) was in the trenches in round one and the pay corps in round two. My paternal grandfather (1873-1956) flew a desk in uniform in the first one.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:37 AM
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My grandfather went through medical school incredibly fast during WWII but finished just after the war did and then was stationed in Japan mostly during the Korean War. My grandmother has stories about how they and some of the other families would get together to listen to opera records, all of them (I gather) deliberately training themselves to move up the class scale upon return home to the states.

My other grandfather (born 1923) served in the Navy in WWII and never talked about his service except to tell small humorous anecdotes. That grandmother apparently served as some sort of military librarian, which I'd never heard about until she was telling me stories after his funeral. I'd really like to hear more about that life.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:14 AM
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To go back to the Mad Men nerdery, Roger Sterling was supposed to have been a Naval officer (possibly a career guy?) in WWII, so it makes sense that he was older. And of course, it makes dramatic sense in the context of the show, too, (he never acts his age, except when he's forced to by circumstance) which I reiterate is the whole point.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:24 AM
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Right -- I think Sterling, as an upper class guy, was definitely supposed to have been an officer, not an enlisted man, and surely 30 yr old professionals could move into the naval officer corps in 1942 (an extended family member had that trajectory).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:35 AM
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419: or he was a naval reserve officer before the outbreak of war and got mobilised as soon as the war broke out as an officer. Would that work? I mean, could you be a naval reserve officer without having been full-time navy first?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:38 AM
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418/19: His dad was supposed to have been a WWI officer, so there's a background of familial obligation. Roger was supposedly playing Lost Generation in Paris until the war started (like Rick and Ilsa) -- at which time he likely enlisted as an officer, like (m)any good blue bloods.
(My dad enlisted in the navy on December 8, 1941. He was 19. Not an officer.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:40 AM
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Thought on class: watched "The Manchurian Candidate" last night and it's interesting that the terribly upper-class Raymond Shaw (strangled RP accent, lake house, Senator stepfather and all) is a staff sergeant rather than an officer. No doubt the book explains this, but it's pretty striking to a Brit (certainly as his OC was the much less upper-class Ben Marco, played by Frank Sinatra).


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:40 AM
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420: Or at least since he was hanging out in Paris until he was forced to leave, he might have felt the need to suit up for war significantly prior to other Americans.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:42 AM
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422. Gentleman rankers out on a spree? There are always UMC kids who enlist. Usually they get bullied into going to officer school; if they don't, and if they're not dishonourably discharged after a couple of years, they run up the ranks of NCOs pretty fast.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:51 AM
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420 -- don't forget that college in the 30s (which was still largely an upper or UMC thing) often had a mandatory ROTC component. My grandfather had stories if being trained to operate horse drawn artillery, which turned out to be not so useful during the Battle of the Bulge.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:51 AM
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422: That might have been particular to the Korean War -- just coming out of WW II, there'd be a lot of career officers with combat experience in what was then a much smaller army than it had been a few years before. I wouldn't be surprised if it were simply impossible for a Korean War draftee to be an officer without committing to a much longer tenure in the army than they'd otherwise be drafted for. So an upperclass kid getting drafted could be an officer for ten years, or spend two or three as an enlisted man and then go back to law school.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 7:53 AM
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Hey Thorn, hope you get good news today!

And happy birthday, LB!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:08 AM
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My grandfather had stories if being trained to operate horse drawn artillery, which turned out to be not so useful during the Battle of the Bulge.

Because the US didn't have any, or some other reason? The Germans certainly relied heavily on horse-drawn artillery throughout the war, but then, they had a lot less petrol available than the Allies.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:10 AM
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427: Thanks so much! They're deliberating RIGHT NOW and I have no idea when we'll hear anything, but at the moment I'm feeling fairly peaceful about it, that they'll make the right decision for this kid whether it's with us or elsewhere.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:12 AM
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Also, happy birthday to the presumably-formerly-and-currently-hot LB! I appreciate the times you've told me to get over myself and just comment; that helped a lot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:16 AM
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I'm glad -- I'm never sure which side of the fine line between supportive and hectoring I'm on. And I've got my fingers crossed for you and your partner with Russ.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:18 AM
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To put it another way: Roger was born in 1912, Don in 1926. I believe less than 40 percent of men born in Roger's birth year would have served in WWII, while about three quarters of men born in Don's year would have.

But maybe Don was born on a Tuesday.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:21 AM
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Free associating off Don being born on a Tuesday, I just got an email forward from an unfavored relative, which had lots of "This will blow your mind!!!" leading up to the single following fact:

This August has 5 Sundays, 5 Mondays, 5 Tuesdays, all in one month.  It happens once in 823 years.

AMAZING! The confluence of events leading August 1st to land on a Sunday happens once in a millenium!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:33 AM
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Good luck Thorn.

And Happy Lizard Day!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:33 AM
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Because the US didn't have any, and because he wasn't in the artllery. If he'd been in the German army, things might have been different. Then again, as a Jewish communist, I suspect his military career in the Wehrmacht would have been brief.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:34 AM
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434 reiterated. LB, I thought you said your bday was Sunday?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:39 AM
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435: Write that screenplay!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:41 AM
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437: I think it would be better as a sitcom. Possible title: "Only Jews and Horses".


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:45 AM
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433: Damn. 2004 seems like a long time ago, but not that long.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:51 AM
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439: That's exactly what's so mindblowing!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:54 AM
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436: Nah, I mentioned it in the Sunday post, but just said it was this week. Thanks for all the good wishes, everyone!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:57 AM
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439: That's the magic of leap years.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 8:59 AM
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Happy birthday, LB!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:37 AM
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"My grandfather had stories if being trained to operate horse drawn artillery, which turned out to be not so useful during the Battle of the Bulge.

Because the US didn't have any, or some other reason?"

Maybe the US had lots of horse artillery, but Halford's grandfather was just a terrible shot.

Disappointing thing about the British Army: 7 (Parachute) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, no longer uses either parachutes or horses in combat, and has never attempted to use both at once.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:40 AM
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It's a pretty small birth cohort that missed WWII but was in time for Korea.

I haven't read the entire thread, but this jumped out at precisely because it was my father's cohort. Born in 1929, he was just too young for WWII, but jumped into the AF as soon as the Korean War was declared. His interest in the Second World War was passionate and life-long (it only really struck me just how central the war was to his personality when I was disposing of his library after he died) and as Tweety notes in #390, I think he always felt that he had missed some great generational test.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:46 AM
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Disappointing thing about the British Army: 7 (Parachute) Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, no longer uses either parachutes or horses in combat, and has never attempted to use both at once.

"As God is my witness, I thought horses could fly."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:48 AM
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Dogs, of course, are a different matter. The high-altitude parachute deployment of armoured special forces dogs (wearing little doggy oxygen masks) is now considered a practical aspect of war.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/08/05/navy_seal_armoured_dogs_of_war/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 9:55 AM
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I like to share my paternal grandfather's war story with my undergrads. As a 14 year old he decided to avoid being sent to a work camp by sneaking into the Polish Army (not the AK, but the Soviet version). He ended up in a tank division, and was the only one in his tank to survive. My grandmother, who was several years younger, spent the war running errands for the Underground.


Posted by: JennyRobot | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:11 AM
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It would amuse me if she turned out to like eastern Arabian - better, Iranian - food; how would she spin this?

Liking Mexican food is as American as apple pie!
</the jerk store called . . .>


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:17 AM
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OT: They chose us! Russ's whole team is on board for placing him with us. You're the second to know, and now that I've stopped shaking and crying I can start figuring out what our next steps are.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:42 AM
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Congratulations! What's the process from here forward?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:43 AM
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450: Congrats, Thorn!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:55 AM
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451: We get his file and read it. When we say after that that we're committed, then it's official. His state and our start working on interstate placement papers. We talk to professionals in his life. Eventually he finds out about us and we get introduced to him somehow. We fly down Labor Day weekend to see some online friends of mine and have an unfogged meet-up and meet him in person too. Then eventually, eventually he'll move up here, probably after a visit or two.

I just looked at the blog of a friend who adopted from the same region of his state and it took her two months from where we are today to have custody of her child. I'd say that's probably the minimum time it could take, but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:55 AM
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450: Hooray!

And I'm not just saying that because it means you'll be at the Austin meet-up.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 10:55 AM
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403- Thanks for setting me straight. That seems more sensible, and I even remember the article having some statement to that effect at the end, but it was so contrary to the rest of the article and other aggregated headlines that I assumed it must have been a typo of some kind.

And congratulations, Thorn!


Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:00 AM
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Indeed. Congratulations and good luck to you all.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:05 AM
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451: Also, because of his age he does have the right to refuse to be adopted. He's been very clear about wanting to be adopted and being fine with two-mom families, but it's possible we just won't be a fit or he won't want to go along with it. That's what happened with Rowan, who may well still end up living with us before he turns 18. So there are many things up in the air. But I'm still thrilled!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:07 AM
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Yay, Thorn! Congrats.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:13 AM
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457: You just let the Mineshaft know if you want us to write you a recommendation or anything.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:13 AM
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Yay Thorn!


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:21 AM
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Congratulations, Thorn. You will be a great mom.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:26 AM
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Happy Birthday, LB, and congrats, Thorn! That's fantastic.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:27 AM
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Congratulations, Thorn! That's great!

And you already know where to ask for advice!

And you also already know about ignoring that advice!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:30 AM
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Yay Thorn and Lee!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:41 AM
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Allow me to be the first to congratulate you, Thorn!


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 11:44 AM
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Congratulations, Thorn!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 12:02 PM
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And happy birthday LB! Too bad about the hotness thing.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 12:07 PM
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Congratulations! Eeee.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 12:51 PM
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Yay for Thorn and Lee. YAY for Russ!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 1:24 PM
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Even though the 50s were anything but ordinary even in family life -- lowest age at first marriage ever, more kids at earlier ages than any other period, etc.

its interesting this is a product of industrialisation and labour-left activism. until this, malthusian logic as played out through social customs had kept people from marrying or starting families earlier. which makes it a brief stop in technology's history, sort of like Jacob's Greenwich village but for conservatives.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 1:33 PM
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Great news, Thorn!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:00 PM
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Hey, awesome Thorn. Now you can go from complaining about not having a kid to complaining about the kid.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:23 PM
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Say Halford, you mentioned maybe coming to Austin. What's your connection to our fair city, if you don't mind my asking?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:28 PM
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Congrats, Thorn

447:Flying doggies make my day


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:44 PM
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474.2: Those particular flying doggies are more likely to ruin your day.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 2:52 PM
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Congratulations, Thorn, Lee, and Russ!!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 3:55 PM
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473 -- No strong connection. I have a friend there who I haven't seen in a while, plus I've never been to Austin desipte having spent a whole lot of of time in Texas, plus I'll probably be free and childless over labor day weekend, plus I've been dying to go there for years and spend a weekend listening to live music and drinking Shiner Bock. Hence, the thought of a trip. But I haven't booked the ticket yet.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 4:44 PM
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Maybe if you book a ticket heebie will give us the meetup thread I pinged her about.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 4:46 PM
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Congratulations Thorn & expanding family.

I recently started reading the comic Bone with my five year old. You wouldn't happen to be pseudo-named for the fairy princess that appears in that book?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 4:47 PM
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Congratulations Thorn. That is wonderful news for all of you.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:11 PM
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478: Did you email me? I didn't get it. At my unfogged email or gmail email? (Not that I didn't know I was supposed to put a meet-up post up.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:17 PM
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481: Gmail. I'm in your spam filter, aren't I?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:21 PM
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Josh iz in yur spam filter, consortin with yur Nigerians.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:26 PM
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I fear my lolspeak may be worse than my pidgin.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:27 PM
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I e-mailed you too, heebie!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 5:28 PM
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The Polish Army used a bear.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-10-10 6:15 PM
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An Iranian Muslim bear.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-11-10 2:28 AM
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479: Bone was one factor in pseudonym choice. I was very resistant to taking a fake name, so I didn't want something too name-y.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08-11-10 7:06 AM
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487: Just say "Mexican"; it confuses the people from Arizona less.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-11-10 7:09 AM
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I'm way, way behind in Mad Men - (almost done with Season 1) - so please no big spoilers following this comment.

But I noticed - and now it's irritating me - that nobody has a New York accent. People from the south who come visit have southern accents. Sure, some people have back stories of growing up in the midwest and moving to New York. But not everyone.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 12:46 PM
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Also they suddenly put Peggy in a fat suit and fat make-up, which is totally jarring and irritating to me. If you want a fat character, then there are lots of excellent fat actresses to cast. Fat suits and make-up are ridiculous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 12:47 PM
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Also they suddenly put Peggy in a fat suit and fat make-up

Hold your irritation for a few more episodes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 12:50 PM
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491: It was all a big favor to former television President Jed Bartlet, who has long desired to see his television daughter flown back in time to the '60s. It was a weird aspiration, but he made it his own.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 12:51 PM
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493: One of the less memorable "I have a dream . . ." speeches, to be sure.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 12:56 PM
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I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, I will show up to high school, even though I am decades too old for that institution, and I will NOT have forgotten to wear pants.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and I shall NOT be trying inexplicably to drive my car across those flatlands while in the back seat.

This is my hope. This is the faith that I go back to sleep with.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 1:43 PM
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495 is apowesome.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-12-10 1:52 PM
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