Re: You do love me, after all!

1

Oh my god, that commercial. Also, the jewelry -- some kind of figure 8 shaped charm that is supposed to represent the embrace of a strong man (the symbolism is helpfully illustrated by a dissolve from the guy's encircling arms to a photo of the jewelry) is like the ugliest fucking thing ever.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:00 PM
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Sometimes jewelry is just irrestistable.


Posted by: Opinionated Gollum | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:02 PM
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My heart is on fire about this post, heebie.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:03 PM
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So Jammies totally did not go to Jared?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:04 PM
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You're going to be with that guy for an INFINITE amount of time!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:04 PM
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5 to 1.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:04 PM
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5: Or until the police find the secret door in the basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:05 PM
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7: Someone needs to search your basement, Moby!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:07 PM
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Jammies went ipad actually, which totally surprised me and is the BEST overly extravagant new baby/holiday gift. I remember Yglesias (maybe?) saying that the ipad was all about consuming content, but not very easy to create content. An easy-to-use,-one-handed, easy-to-balance, easy-to-consume-content gadget is the perfect toy when you're taking care of a newborn. I'm ecstatic.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:07 PM
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But I love that commercial! It's one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. It makes my wife puke every time and that just cracks me up.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:08 PM
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I read this post and all I could think was "... as opposed to darkening crashes?"

</pedant>


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:09 PM
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9: I thought the baby was supposed to make you ecstatic. I'm disillusioned about motherhood.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:10 PM
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An easy-to-use,-one-handed, easy-to-balance, easy-to-consume-content gadget is the perfect toy when you're taking care of a newborn.

Apo is needed here.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:11 PM
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9: Oooh. I'd rather have an iPad than anything from (gruesome, no doubt bloody, and horrible-commercial-making Jared) Jared.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:11 PM
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11: I'm pretty sure you're imaginening thinegs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:11 PM
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If every kiss begins with Kay you are dating a whore.

( My MIL was named Kay. My FIL used to say It's OK to owe Kay whenever he took money from her).


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:15 PM
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15: Soe I am! I apeologize, heebiee.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:15 PM
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14 is confused is confused.

Childbirth seems to have had a bunch of made-up giftgiving occasions larded on to it. Not that presents aren't nice or deserved, just that the occasions have been named and deemed mandatory, by people like Kaye and Jared one assumes. (I'm thinking the hideously-monikered "push present" or "babymoon." Someone was telling me about "babymooning" in Paris -- and I was like Whee! A non-drinking vacation in Paris! Maybe this means I have a problem, but it's a problem of which I'm fond.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:16 PM
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I've never seen jewelry from the sort of place that does or might possibly advertise on TV that wasn't butt-ugly. I'm not sure why this is; my taste isn't particularly rarefied in most respects, but all that stuff is horrid.

(Mostly, I just don't wear jewelry. I fiddle with it annoyingly, and lose it, which is depressing for expensive things. I'm amazed I still have my engagement ring, almost fourteen years later.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:17 PM
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I LOVE the ads (directed at men)for discount jewlery stores that come up during the radio broadcasts of Lakers games; the message is so clearly "at Zales, you'll get the stone that will produce the $1000 sex for only $500!"


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:17 PM
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I initially read 16 as making a shocking disclosure about TLL's mother in law.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:18 PM
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20: I think Family Guy had a phony ad with the tag line, "Diamonds: She'll pretty much have to."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:19 PM
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I'm amazed I still have my engagement ring, almost fourteen years later

Awww! That means it's True Love!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:20 PM
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I'm amazed I still have my engagement ring, almost fourteen years later.

After ten years of close calls, I think I've finally lost my wedding ring. No idea what happened. I haven't seen it since September.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:20 PM
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24: It may be time to call Will.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:21 PM
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Only in the strictly metaphorically sense, JMS. (Actually, she was quite lovely with a wicked sense of humor. Heart of Gold, if you will. I'm not helping, am I.)


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:22 PM
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5: Or until the police find the secret door in the basement.

Sounds like Moby may be the grapist.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:22 PM
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Thanks, peep!

When LB commented about still having the engagement ring 14 years later, my thought was you typically retain the engagement diamond 14 years later, but it is in a different setting. Maybe a nice necklace.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:23 PM
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24: You're not my gastrologist, I hope.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:24 PM
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18: Although I'm still a little cranky about having missed my thirtieth birthday producing Newt (he was a week before my birthday, but we were still kinda wrapped up in the whole newborn thing and didn't celebrate.) A little baby-related swag might have been nice as a substitute.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:24 PM
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My other favorite local sports radio ad is for a strip club called "Club Rio" in a really terrible, scary neighborhood -- it features a sketch in which one guy claims to be too poor to go to a strip club, the other guy suggests Club Rio with its cheap drink specials, and the tagline is "Even broke dudes can be players at Club Rio." Classy!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:25 PM
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28: Huh. Having it on the wedding ring finger with the wedding ring is non-standard? Not that I'm changing or anything, I just thought that was what one did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:25 PM
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A little baby-related swag might have been nice as a substitute.

Meconium doesn't count?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:25 PM
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Sally gave the gift of spit-up frequently; Newt less so.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:26 PM
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30: Oh, I am all for presents for any occasion. I just have to roll my eyes at the vulgar names and faux tradition.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:28 PM
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32: Did you really not get that, LB?

So deeply in love?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:28 PM
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32: I thought will was making a joke about divorced ladies repurposing their engagement diamonds.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:29 PM
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24: You're not my gastrologist, I hope.

Heh. And here I was going to suggest that the most plausible explanation was that urple himself had eaten it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:30 PM
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24: After ten years of close calls, I think I've finally lost my wedding ring

My wife watched me fidget with mine for a year or two and then she took it and put it in the cornfield somewhere. Not exactly sure where, although I think I'd probably get it on the third guess or so.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:30 PM
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I think I've mentioned before that I love jewelry and it saddens me greatly that so much of it is such horrendously ugly shit.

I gave my sister some awesome earrings for her birthday, though. (There's a necklace and a ring version of those, and the ring doesn't really work.)

Also, the engagement ring/random-diamond-bespattered-crap commercials one hears on commercial rock radio stations are truly cringe-inducing and insulting to both the men who are their immediate targets and the women who are the presumed recipients.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:31 PM
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36, 37: D'oh! I actually didn't know that was a divorced thing to do, so it didn't occur to me. Wouldn't you put it away to pass on to your kid at engagement ring-time?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:34 PM
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40: Ooh, those are pretty. I like jewelry a lot, I just resist liking it because I know I'll lose it and be sad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:35 PM
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43

The commercials do send an important message:
If you dont get jewelry, you are not loved.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:36 PM
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Wouldn't you put it away to pass on to your kid at engagement ring-time?

As a reminder that most marriages wont last?



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:36 PM
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After ten years of close calls, I think I've finally lost my wedding ring.

And after ten years, I know exactly where mine is, on the workbench in the basement. It's been a while, but I'm sure that's where it is. Unless the kids grabbed it and lost it again, but there's no reason they'd find it down there. Nope, that's totally where it is.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:38 PM
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46

I still have my wedding band bc Glen Beck tells me that I need to hoard gold for the coming endtimes.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:39 PM
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47

I fucking hate jewelry commercials. I hate the ones on the radio even more. All that fucking capitalist misogyny to sell some godawful ugly hunk of carbon can go fuck itself, thank you very much.

(No, ask me how I really feel.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:41 PM
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48

I love you guys.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:41 PM
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46: Shit, I forgot about that. I'd better make sure it's still down there.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:42 PM
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Every jewelry commercial should be required to have a blood diamond commercial shown immediately after it.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:44 PM
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51

I gave my sister some awesome earrings for her birthday,

Those are beautiful frying pans with little round dough balls.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:45 PM
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Speaking of ipads/iphones, I vaguely remember discussions about how comment threads get pulled up showing comment 1 instead of showing the most recent comment. Was there a solution to this so that you don't have to scroll like crazy?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:47 PM
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46: My wedding band is plutonium. Or platinum. Anyway, it started with a 'p'.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:47 PM
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50: Ssh, dsquared will show up and explain about how the concept of blood diamond reflects a total ignorance about modern African history and the state of ongoing conflicts that has been co-opted by the de Beers cartel. I'd have an opinion about whether that made sense, but I'm totally ignorant about modern African history and the state of ongoing conflicts there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:48 PM
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The thing that amazes me is how much gorgeous jewelry (à la Nosflow's earrings - you may buy me jewelry any time you please (nb: I do not have pierced ears)) is available for relatively cheap,* esp. in comparison with all the mall crap. Also, semiprecious stones are so much more lovely than those "enhanced" rubies and emeralds and sapphires.

*And then there is all the stuff that I could never afford but look longingly at, too, of course.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:48 PM
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52: Go over to the "Latest Comments" sidebar and click on the 'comment' part of the last comment in the thread. At least that is what I do on an iPod.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:49 PM
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52: Not that I know of with the iPhone. It is my favorite toy's one flaw. (I got an app so it plays bridge with me now. (A) not as much fun as playing with people and (B) wow I'm bad. Oddly, I thought my bidding was pretty lousy, but my trick play was okay, but no -- the damn phone can take me down on contracts I should have been able to make, and can do so with ease.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:51 PM
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56: Or you could do that, which I do. I'm trying to remember why I end up scrolling... I think it's when I hit refresh on a comment thread, it dumps me at the top.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:52 PM
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52: I downloaded the scroll to end feature linked here which you can download directly onto your Iphone. Someone here, I think Bave, suggested it. It works great -- two clicks to the bottom of the thread.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:54 PM
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Excellent! Thanks all.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:55 PM
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I'm such a naughty boy! Tee hee hee!

Poop! Tee hee!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:56 PM
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TBH, I really hate jewlery, think it's basically pointless and have always felt enormously resentful about buying it as a gift -- just something about the expensiveness of the product, the diamond cartel, the terrible expense/beauty enhancement ratio, my own black heart, whatever. Can you guess that I'm divorced?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 12:59 PM
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Every jewelry commercial should be required to have a blood diamond commercial shown immediately after it.

Will this do?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:04 PM
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See Paren's 55. If you go for interesting design and semiprecious stones, you can buy some very attractive stuff fairly cheaply. I still don't wear that kind of thing because of the fiddling/losing problem, but it's out there. In college, I worked in a minerals/fossils/semiprecious jewelry/New Age crystals store that had some gorgeous stuff that seemed expensive to me at the time, but would seem very reasonable now, even at my government lawyer salary.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:07 PM
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55 is exactly right. It puzzles me that diamonds have such a stranglehold on the American jewelry-buying imagination. It's not like they're so much prettier than many other (much less expensive) gemstones, and unlike colored stones, they all look pretty much the same, which makes them seem less special.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:13 PM
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47 and 55 get it exactly right. It's hard to imagine being anything other than livid at being given whatever hideous pendant Kay is peddling. Seriously, dude, if you have that low an opinion of me, just tell me. Then at least I don't have to be even more angry at you for spending several hundred dollars to drive the point home.


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:16 PM
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It puzzles me that diamonds have such a stranglehold on the American jewelry-buying imagination.

They're the only type of jewelry advertised on TV. That's it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:16 PM
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62: Now, I could see hating even pretty, cheap jewelry because you just don't like the look of dangly/shiny things. But if it's not that you hate looking at the stuff, should you find yourself in a social situation where jewelry buying would be appropriate, ask Nosflow or someone for pointers on the cool, cheaper stuff.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:19 PM
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63 is horrible/great.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:20 PM
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Jewelry commercials were way better before WWI, when the chain stores and the long-haul truckers ruined everything.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:21 PM
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When we went looking for my engagement ring, we made the mistake of telling the jewelry-store people that that's what we were looking for. They were utterly confused when we followed that up by suggesting a small garnet, set in silver. One of them raised an eyebrow at my husband and said, "Wait, is this a friendship ring?"

We left. Outside, my husband commented that what she'd clearly meant was, "Wait, do you have testicles?"


Posted by: Gabardine Bathyscaphe | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:24 PM
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"Wait, do you have testicles?"

Better hearing that from sales people than TSA.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:26 PM
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I think you all are right but are also somewhat underestimating how much the cult of the gemstone has affected the cultural meaning of the jewlery gift in the contemporary US. That is, the baseline assumption is "here's a semiprecious stone in a nice setting that cost $50"="you cheap bastard who didn't love me enough to get the real thing."

I mean, I know no one here thinks that way, but, believe me, this attitude is not at all uncommon.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:28 PM
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73: Fair enough, but of course, those people suck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:31 PM
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I can be a girl's best friend...laydeez.


Posted by: Lou Diamond Phillips | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:36 PM
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Solution: date hippies.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:37 PM
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53. Do you still have fingers on your left hand? That's a clue.

54. That's OK if he flushes out Tim Burke to argue with him.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:40 PM
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76: Maybe. As long as they're not the magic-crystal types. Solution: date no one who thinks stones and/or crystals have special powers or actual importance outside of aesthetic beauty.

Also, if the hippies you date like Phish, they have to be extra good kissers.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:41 PM
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should you find yourself in a social situation where jewelry buying would be appropriate, ask Nosflow or someone for pointers on the cool, cheaper stuff.

The problem is that once you get into a social situation that actually demands jewelry-buying, it means the expensive stuff.

The kind of jewelry mentioned by nosflow and Parenthetical serves a different function from the expensive kind. It doesn't have the same kind of social meaning as a diamond ring -- it's just a piece of design, which is meant to be pretty and creative and well-made; it might have interesting gemstones in it, and it doesn't have to be expensive. You'd have to be actually interested in the aesthetics of it to evaluate it, or even to want to buy it.

A social situation demanding jewelry means you actually have to buy jewelry, which pretty much means that it has to be valuable. Most mall-type jewelry doesn't even try to be pretty, because its only function is to signify value. So we have diamond engagement rings which are all identical and uninteresting, and which are evaluated based on extremely simple valences, mostly size.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:44 PM
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Oh, who knows? Halford might like magic-crystal types, and the jewelry they wear is pretty cheap.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:44 PM
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78.2: It's likely they will be, though I have no idea what Phish fans are like now. Back in the day, they were okay.

Jewelry can be pretty, but spending much money on it is absurd, especially given how many people are having trouble putting mere food on the table.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:45 PM
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and which are evaluated based on extremely simple valences, mostly size.

Laydeez.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:46 PM
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79: Well, there's demands and allows. A situation that 'demands' a jewelry gift does 'demand' something that signifies great cost, unless you can talk your way out of it by being involved with people who aren't fucked in the head. But any romantic relationship, lots of family relationships and some friendships allow jewelry buying, and under the same 'not fucked in the head' assumption, something beautiful but not valuable can be a really good gift.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:48 PM
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I thought we just had the thread about how 90% of Americans are fucked in the head.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:49 PM
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And of course I'm throwing around 'fucked in the head' while wearing a very pretty sapphire that cost a shitload more than Buck should have spent on anything, but that I like a great deal. And the 'social meaning' probably did matter to my mother, who would have taken the absence of a significant rock as evidencing a lack of seriousness on Buck's part. But if Buck had asked me before shopping, I would have told him to look for something in the interesting but not valuable category.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:51 PM
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84: Yeah, but you only have to find one who isn't to date.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:52 PM
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But any romantic relationship, lots of family relationships and some friendships allow jewelry buying head-fucking. It's a normal part of adult sexuality!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:53 PM
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Substitute 'ruby' and 'Tweety' for every instance of 'sapphire' and 'Buck' in 85, and you've got my sentiments exactly.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:55 PM
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Substitute "Ruby Tuesday" for wherever you're going to dinner tonight, and it will probably be disappointing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:56 PM
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86: Bigomy-ist.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:56 PM
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". . .something beautiful but not valuable can be a really good gift." Yes, like this.

I'll take eleventy, please!


Posted by: Violet G. Beekeeper | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 1:57 PM
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||

Speaking of fucked in the head.

|>


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:00 PM
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Wait, I have an important iPad question--is it really easy to use one-handed while babyminding? My wife is thinking of getting a better phone than she has (went from dumbphone to blackberry when the baby arrived) soonish, but if the iPad is half as one-handed as you say it is, it might solve my christmas-shopping problem...


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:00 PM
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93: The real test will be if heebie is able to write a response to this.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:03 PM
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92: And I thought heels on plastic flip flops were bad.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:04 PM
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Lee and I have silve rings with a small black diamond in each of them, conflict-free and whatnot. I also wear two bracelets, one silver and one silver-looking white copper, for basically emotional reasons and also of course so that if I am ever turned into a dragon I'll have painful reminders that I'm actually human.

Since Mara got here, I haven't bothered changing my earrings and have tiny silver hoops. I did buy a little carved stone pendant to commemorate her placement, but it's nothing fancy and probably won't get a ton of wear, though I have it on today. I wish I were classy and sophisticated enough to wear nosflow-style jewelry, but I'm not there yet. Oh, and my nose is pierced and I wear things that are as small and cheap as possible there.

We're having a little blessing ceremony for Mara next weekend, where we'll have my parents and the three people who wrote our adoption references and their families there while the pastor of the church we attend makes some remarks and we all have cake. I bought her a little toddler necklace with her initial and crystal version of her birthstone and a tiny pearl. She seems to like jewelry, so I hope it will be appreciated. But it's inexpensive enough that if she eats or otherwise destroys it, who cares?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:07 PM
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94: Indeed. So far, not looking good. But really, anybody else with relevant experience should feel free to chime in too.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:07 PM
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Halford might like magic-crystal types, and the jewelry they wear is pretty cheap

Is rock candy the cubic zirconium of the New Age set? Discuss.

The link in 92 makes me miss ogged (pbuh).


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:08 PM
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97: She could get a Facebook in white gold, like Karl Lagerfeld has. (It's in the last 30 seconds-ish.)


Posted by: Violet G. Beekeeper | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:11 PM
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92. Doesn't that cross the line where their right to plug their dumb sandals meets your broken ankle?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:11 PM
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When I got engaged this spring, I bought a a totally ridiculous colored-glass-and-plastic ring in a vaguely nice color for $9.95 at the local mall and used it to propose with. That was good for maintaining the surprise element while allowing both of us to be involved in purchasing the real ring (which is a nice sapphire in an "antique" setting, and not nearly as hideously expensive as I was afraid it might be).

For wedding bands, I'm starting to eye palladium - remarkably cheap at the moment, reportedly thanks to Russia unloading their stores of it.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:13 PM
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93: Most of what I've written in the past month has been one-anded iPadding while cradling a toddler, though she started to object to the light at night. If not for the iPad, I'd never have been able to keep up with the internet even at the minor rate I do now.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:16 PM
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Anyway, there's a ton of inexpensive jewelry to be had, made by small-scale artisans, if jewelry is your thing. If you're into bling, it becomes more expensive.

Annual craft shows, those with juried exhibitors, are a decent place to find things of the non-bling variety.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:16 PM
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100: Broken ankle was my first thought, too. I suspect this is targeted at people who won't ever wear them in places you wouldn't wear non-Teva stilletos though.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:16 PM
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103: When they aren't busy helping me with my shoe making sideline.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:19 PM
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102: Thanks! Is it better for this purpose than an ultralight laptop? (which she already has, but it's over 6 years old, but she loves it so doesn't want to replace it... just trying to tell if an iPad would add real functionality or if it would just be a shiny new toy, in this setting).


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:20 PM
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one-anded iPadding

'at's in Britain, right, guv'nah?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:22 PM
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107: Fuck you, clown! Obviously one of the drawbacks is that you either go with autocorrect or, like me, you live with typos.

106: Maybe Heebie can weigh in, but right now Mara's nestled in my lap and I have this balanced on her back while she watches Dora (we do quiet time since whe doesn't nap; I'm not just neglecting my child to the tv so I can get on unfogged, plus we're talking!) and I couldn't do that with a laptop. The total flatness is a huge help, as is the fact that you can read in the dark without additional light. It's not as light as an e-book reader if she'd be using it just for books, but it's versatile and I think set up to be used with one hand.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:26 PM
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It balances a lot easier than a laptop, especially because of the feature where you can turn it in any orientation. I imagine I'll still do emailing and blogging mostly from my laptop. But watching hulu, e-reading, lurking: all great. Plus it's backlit unlike a kindle, so I can read in bed with the light out.

Comment composed on the iPad, but not while holding Hokey Pokey, who just let out a tremendously wet sounding toot. That kid pooped 5 times between 6 pm and 10 pm yesterday evening.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:29 PM
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I'm not just neglecting my child to the tv so I can get on unfogged

Give it time.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:29 PM
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92 and 99 are both great.
http://www.regretsy.com/2010/11/18/uneasy-lies-the-head-that-wears-the-clown/


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:31 PM
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That kid pooped 5 times between 6 pm and 10 pm yesterday evening

Overachiever!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:31 PM
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110: Oh, I will. She's congested and I'm wiped out. There's a direct correlation between my health/sleep and amount of tv viewed. Contrary to what we'd been told, she's not a zombie when she watches tv. She'd really rather play or talk to us, but she likes to have a show on in the background too and I sometimes let her.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:32 PM
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The problem is that once you get into a social situation that actually demands jewelry-buying, it means the expensive stuff.

Fortunately, I can recommend a place for that stuff too. I wandered in this shop (I'm pretty sure I've reidentified it correctly, but the stock indicated by the website doesn't really accord with my memory) with my mom a while back; they've got some really amazing stuff (with price tags to match).

If memory serves there are some great jewelry stores in Nafplion.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:36 PM
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108/109: As I think about it, I feel like the big advantage over the laptop might not be easy one-handed use as much as enforced portability. I mean, her laptop weighs 3 pounds and can easily be moved around, but otoh it's ordinarily plugged in, so evne though it's ultraportable it kind of has a place where it lives. I'm feeling like the iPad would be something easier to pick up on the spur of the moment, so it'd always be around even if she's not sitting next to the table where her computer usually is. Plus, probably runs faster than the 2004-vintage laptop. I'm feeling pro-this-gift, at the moment.

And oh, those wet toots. When we first had grandparents in town we tried to convince them that they didn't have to ask if he'd been pooping--they'd know. And sure enough, they did. There was also much hilarity the first time they heard that sound come over the monitor.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:39 PM
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I'm not even checking to see if I've been pwned because on the pretext of having been implicitly asked, I simply have to scream about the worst jewelry commercial/worst anything commercial ever made. It's a coupla heterosexuals, and I think they're maybe in the Piazza san Marco or something and the guy (who is hot) yells, a tiny bit obnoxiously, but still...anyway he yells like "I...LOVE...THIS...WOMAN" and the pigeons are all "che brutto è l'americano!"* and the woman just looks HORRIFIED except then he whips out a diamond or something and her face says "Congratulations: you're embarrassing, but you have a lot of money and don't mind spending it on status-enhancing chunks of carbon, so we can continue to have sex!" and then I think she says "I love this man!" and even the pigeons aren't convinced.

*cuz they're Italian pigeons but my grammar is almost certainly wrong so let's call them Italian LOLpigeons.

Car commercials are really bad too.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:43 PM
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116: Don't all the random bystanders in that commercial turn out to be their friends and family? Maybe I'm mixing it up with something else... Not that yelling is appropriate in those circumstances either, of course.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:47 PM
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116: Yeah! I love that commercial too!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:48 PM
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I remember seeing that commercial, and thinking that the message was that if you have the money to buy jewelry, you don't need manners or civilized standards of behavior, and it's okay to embarrass your loved ones in public.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:48 PM
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That's true, though, isn't it?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:49 PM
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Car commercials are really bad too.

The one where George Washington comes roaring onto the battlefield to fight the Redcoats in a Dodge Stratus or whatever is particularly stupid.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:50 PM
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119: The willingness to spend a lot of money, or go way into debt -- that is the sign of true love!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:50 PM
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Annual craft shows, those with juried exhibitors, are a decent place to find things of the non-bling variety.

Yeah, I've had really good luck at the annual American Craft Council show. They've been doing a much better job lately of bringing in craftspeople selling at lower price points, too.

(Apropos of engagement rings/diamonds, I hate most of the mall stuff, but I have to say I really like Alex and Chloe's stuff, particularly their oxidized silver rings.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:54 PM
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123: Huh. Most of those look to me like knuckledusters disguised as jewelry.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:56 PM
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121: There's one from a few years ago where this car drives into a medieval village where doubtless they are not expecting cars, but anyway they all start dancing around and playing tunes on period-appropriate instruments, and then the car drives out the other end of the village, probably because the driver is like "HOLY SHIT WHY AM I IN MEDIEVAL TIMES!" and the village sort of wilts and gets sad. Cars. They are the only thing to be happy about.

Slightly hypomanic and needlessly prolix. Begging pardon.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:57 PM
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the annual American Craft Council show

Yes -- that's the one I was thinking of in particular, couldn't recall their name.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:58 PM
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Then someone starts playing "Safety Dance" and the village perks right up again and looks at its hands.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 2:59 PM
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I think that car commercials are different, that they are purposefully stupid. Possibly to leave the impression that the imbecile salesmen can be outwitted when you bargain with them, but definitely less smooth than they could be. Jewelry commercials lack this homespun quality, they're synecdoche for the actual salesman instead of the friendly and harmless image.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:00 PM
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124: You mean other than the two-finger rings?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:02 PM
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Well, the square one finger rings as well, and the ones with a flat row of pointy gems. They just all look very punch-enhancing, more than like simple adornment.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:05 PM
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I kind of like car commercials! The long shots of an utterly clean, super shiny car driving really really fast on a completely empty windy road -- I just eat that shit up.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:05 PM
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I dig this ring, right down to the decision to put the diamond upside-down.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:08 PM
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They just all look very punch-enhancing

I haven't clicked through. They're made of bourbon?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:11 PM
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Car commercials are really bad too.

OTOH I really like the one that's in WoW. Not that I even play WoW. But, you know, they my people.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:12 PM
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I dig this ring, right down to the decision to put the diamond upside-down.

That looks idea for cutting people with.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:13 PM
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I mean ideal, goddamnit.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:13 PM
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Car commercials and jewelry commercials are alike in offering distilled bullshit. You can say that about advertising in general, I suppose, but those in particular are cask-strength.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:19 PM
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There are two kinds of car commercials: those from the manufacturers, very slick, offering freedom or some image; and those from dealers, purposely rough around the edges to raise trust or something.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:38 PM
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Thorn, have you seen this? I'm sort of appalled, but on the other hand I think it's kind of funny. Proving the plausibility of Noah building an ark by hiring 900 people to replicate it!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:40 PM
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James Twitchell's Adcult USA is great on advertising.

Ads are not foisted on a passive audience, not at all. The lies in ads are the lies we (speaking in a demographic average) want, just as are the lies in tabloids.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:41 PM
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From 139:

The park, to be located on 800 acres in Grant County off Interstate 75, also will include a Walled City, live animal shows, a replica of the Tower of Babel, a 500-seat special-effects theater, an aviary and a first-century Middle Eastern village.

Shouldn't that be "a replica of a first-century Middle Eastern village"?

Unless...? Oh my god!


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:45 PM
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those from dealers, purposely rough around the edges to raise trust or something.

Oh, I kind of like those too. But I'm from Southern California, so I grew up on the most super awesome car commercials in the world, like the Pete Ellis bouncy ball one, and Cal Worthington and his menagerie of Spots. I recently saw a Cal Worthington commercial -- he's looking pretty frail these days, and just swimming in his ten gallon hat.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:48 PM
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The problem is that once you get into a social situation that actually demands jewelry-buying, it means the expensive stuff.

I don't think I know what this means. Maybe it is because I have a weird take on gifts and jewelry in general, and on weddings and engagements in particular, but isn't this up to the two people in the relationship? If the lady or gentlemen in question demands the expensive stuff, then sure, I get it. But the situation itself doesn't actually require that, so far as I understand the situations that we're talking about. I know I'm not exactly representative of American womanhood, but I'd be hugely uncomfortable if a lot of money was spent on jewelry for me. Unless, I guess, if the person was just rich, in which case, it's their money to spend. Also, if it's something you're meant to wear the rest of your life, then I surely understand the argument behind investing in a quality metal or something that's not going to fall apart. I suppose I should probably just file this away under things I understand are culturally significant but just don't get, but instead I'll comment at length.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:52 PM
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Why hasn't someone produced Youtube versions of the commercials in Firesign Theatre's Everything You Know Is Wrong? Not just Bear Whiz beer, but the carpet store (I forget the name). And the happy talk news.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:54 PM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZqEpUw6ilQ

Oh!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 3:58 PM
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Well, as someone who disapproves of the cultural practice of expecting an expensive rock as an engagement present but whose mother would have been cranky if one hadn't shown up (she got cranky about other stuff instead, so complying didn't save any grief), it's sort of like a bride-price. Someone who drops '2 months salary' on a ring is demonstrating both that they take the relationship seriously enough to spend a whole lot of money on it, and that they have economic resources sufficient to come up with the money for something impressive. It's stupid as all fuck, but that's the idea. (Stupid as all fuck applies to people requiring the big rock, not to people spontaneously buying them, who are charming so long as they're not actually screwing themselves over financially.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:01 PM
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146: Ok. Yeah. This is where coming from an atypical hippie family leads to total unawareness of social custom. I would not have considered the wishes of my parents in this matter, because they wouldn't give a shit. I am fairly sure I'll end up with someone with the most conservative family ever, just to torment me with all the things that I didn't even know were things. (My mother is the sort that, upon hearing that a friend is having troubles with the wedding plans just shouts "elope" at them for 5 minutes.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:05 PM
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When my now-ex and I were discussing engagement, I felt like I had to make it very clear that I don't like diamonds, and especially not diamond solitaires, and if there's going to be a gemstone, I like orange or yellow colored gemstones, like citrine or carnelian. Whereupon M was like, well, why don't we skip a ring altogether. This was when it was hilariously revealed to me that I am just as hidebound and programmed with stupid shit as the next De Beers customer, because I was like oh my god, no, I have to have a ring! We eventually ended up making each other lost-wax silver rings. And then we broke up. I'm still looking for my five dollars.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:13 PM
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147.last: Your mom is smart.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:15 PM
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Other mainstream Americans check me on the brideprice thing? That's what I always understood was going on, but I've never heard it said explicitly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:16 PM
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I've heard that before. I just forgot people subscribed to it any real fashion.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:19 PM
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Seems to me there was a fellow wrote a whole book about buying stuff you don't need just to impress other folx.

I'm not sure it's "bride price" though, as much as just a semi-arbitrary ritual, like going on cruises or having a really big television set. Frankly, I don't think the hoi polloi put all that much thought into any of this stuff.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:23 PM
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I wasn't sure about the etymology of "hoi polloi", so I checked. Turns out it's greek, misused initially (it shouldn't have a definite article) by Lord Byron. Did he write the book about buying things?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:28 PM
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I don't think anyone thinks of it is as a brideprice, but that doesn't mean that's not what it is.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:47 PM
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Given that the rules about who keeps the ring are contingent on who slept with the stripper, I don't think you can exclude a bride price element. Kind of like how who pays for getting everybody drunk is like a dowry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:49 PM
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I have an important iPad question--is it really easy to use one-handed while babyminding?

It would never have occurred to me as a gift for a parent of young children, but my sister (newborn, toddler, preschooler) swears by hers. I haven't been able to get an e-mail back from her since the oldest kid was born, and now she's sending me Christmas shopping links at 3 a.m. and responding to my logistical questions ten minutes after I send them.

She also really likes it for checking recipes -- says it is very easy to have in the kitchen when she is cooking or the kids are doing an art project. The light weight and portability are huge features.

As far as jewelry, I was raised by ringless hippies but admit to a deep affection for this legendary Philadelphia haunt. I highly recommend it for an hour or three of browsing, regardless of how little jewelry you wear or buy.

I am also slightly ashamed to admit that I had a reaction when I found out that Prince William gave his fiancée his mother's engagement ring. Seems kind of sad, though I realize it's none of my business.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 4:57 PM
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Seems kind of sad

Don't be sad, Witt. I can't really see you marrying a royal anyhow. You're too good for the stinkin' lot of 'em.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 5:01 PM
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Re 142, deep familiarity with Cal Worthington is pretty much what it means to be a native Southern Californian. Wherever you are in the world, if you meet someone and they are willing to sing along to a few bars of "Go see Cal/Pussycow," you know you have found a compatriot.

Bride price seems about right to me for the engagement ring phenomenon. So lame! Which is why, if I ever get married again, the only engagement gift I will give will be a pair of Swarovski crystal bedazzled underpants.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 5:38 PM
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158.2: Because she won't already be vajazzled or because she will?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 5:46 PM
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I guess I'm hedging my bets, but mostly bedazzled underwear seems festive, appropriate for the occasion, and cheap.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 5:52 PM
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Doesn't that cross the line where their right to plug their dumb sandals meets your broken ankle?

From the link:
Now the fashion-conscious adventurer can go straight from the rugged rocks to the black-tie fundraiser without missing a beat.

If they hit the rugged rocks there's a good chance they won't need to worry about fundraisers or broken ankles ever again.

Other than that, as city wear, eh, whatever floats your boat.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 5:55 PM
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Bride price seems about right, yeah. I'm with Parenthetical in 143, and the other hippies, ringless or not. There's no objection to exchanging engagement gifts with one's betrothed, obviously, but it's between you and yours whether it's a big rock (I don't see the point myself), an excellent hammock (has possibilities), a yurt (awesome, where will we put it?) or just a LeCreuset pot. Or a handmade necklace -- those can be really wonderful.

That said, there is some really astonishingly gorgeous jewelry out there, esp. from the Arts & Crafts period. I don't know a lot about it, but recently handled a bunch of books on the subject, and was fascinated.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 5:59 PM
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158: weirdly, then, I was a native Southern Californian before I'd ever lived there. We got LA local channels via cable for a very short period, and the jingle was catchy as heck. And, yes: pussycow.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 6:00 PM
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162: I keep looking for a yurt-ready piece of land. As for the LeCreuset, I'm hoping that the (much cheaper) Lodge pots are good. I just sent one off as a wedding present.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 6:06 PM
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I am a very old-fashioned woman in that the proper present is obviously not jewelry, but title to land. If I have to settle, though, these should come in bookmatched pairs.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 6:53 PM
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I don't think many people would say it explicitly, but I think 150 pretty much hits the subtext on the nose.

My wife would have been very unhappy with me had I spent two months' salary on an engagement ring when we got engaged on the ground that it would have been a grotesque waste of soon-to-be-pooled resources. On the other hand, because I am not as much of an free spirit as I would like to be, I would have winced a little bit at the thought of what our various friends and acquaintances were thinking had I bought something that was obviously way under that figure.

As it happened, it turned out she had inherited a diamond from a few generations back that she wanted to use. We did get a new setting for it, but the expenditure was reasonable. (Though the five dollars I found didn't quite cover it.)


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 6:55 PM
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I would have winced a little bit at the thought of what our various friends and acquaintances were thinking had I bought something that was obviously way under that figure.

Creepy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 7:08 PM
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I would have winced a little bit at the thought of what our various friends and acquaintances were thinking had I bought something that was obviously way under that figure.

The strange dichotomy to me is while it feels utterly natural* to look for evidence of investment, I am borderline indifferent as to how that investment is represented.

I know couples where it was signaled with money, real estate, jewelry, emotional sacrifice (e.g. compromising with new potential in-laws), geographic relocation, relinquishment of religion or adoption thereof, personal commitment (e.g. investment of time and care during family crisis)....it can be manifested plenty different ways. But in all honesty I'm a lot more likely to be judgmental or pessimistic about a relationship that doesn't have any such commitment than I am to assume that it should be represented in terms I personally would enjoy.

That said, those loathsome diamond commercials deserve every ounce of pushback they get.

*This is not a normative statement; I'm just reporting how I actually behave.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 7:25 PM
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Creepy it may be -- difficult to justify in terms of values I would rationally endorse, certainly.

But, yes, I have personally perceived a degree of social pressure to spend an arbitrary but large amount on an engagement ring, commensurate with the amount spent by various members of my socioeconomic cohort who were pairing off at about the same time. I suspect at least some other people I knew felt the same pressure. Or else they just really like big diamonds.

168 would certainly seem to be a better way to conceive of the problem. We would have been mutually covered on the real estate front and could have skipped worrying about the ring.


Posted by: widget | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 7:54 PM
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169: I understand: people feel pressure to conform to the behavior and expectations of their socioeconomic cohort. If your cohort values the possession and investment/expenditure of money, you'll feel pressure to ... well, either to behave as though you value that as well, or to actually value it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:14 PM
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Much better to have no cohort at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:15 PM
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168: Would a tattoo of your intended's name in largish type work? It is cheap, but hard to undo.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:15 PM
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I don't think I would want to wear a wedding ring or engagement ring. A boyfriend once got me a cool ring that I wore because it was neat, but I would feel weird about wearing something on the hand that signals "property." But I probably wouldn't get married, either, unless it was for immigration purposes or something.

I'm thinking of getting a tattoo of the flourish Trim makes to praise the freedom of celibacy in Tristram Shandy.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:15 PM
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That's not to criticize people who marry or wear rings; it sounds fun for you! For me it would be weird. I could see changing my mind in my 40's or so, like many women of my acquaintance, but that's a ways off and I have a lot of serious life-decisions to make before then.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:16 PM
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And yes, that's probably parental too. I don't think my parents wore rings, at least since I was a little kid.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:18 PM
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I have a very pretty sapphire and diamond engagement ring, with the diamonds being from earrings I already owned, and the ring designed together by the two of us. when she saw it, my future sister-in-law to be (and subsequently not to be) asked, sure, but what would really have wanted? which was a bitchy, horrible question, to which I answered, 4 ct emerald cut in platinum, set art deco style. I got one for myself as a 10th an anniversary present. real diamonds on the setting but man-made for the central stone. just as good, and serves its main purpose of making people pay attention to me in expensive stores. no, I love to look at it. also it's a replacement for a similar one stolen from my grandmother.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:23 PM
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168: I am borderline indifferent as to how that investment is represented.

Nice. Twenty-six years later and we have a supportable framework for our ring-less engagement (joint geographic relocation was our "investment"). A ring was not even really a thought for either of us at the time, but I do appreciate that the world would be a drab, un-ornamented place if everyone shared our aesthetic.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:33 PM
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Twenty-six years later and we have a supportable framework for our ring-less engagement

I live to serve.

Although this: serves its main purpose of making people pay attention to me in expensive stores is cracking me up, and for some reason making me think of the supercilious saleswomen in Pretty Woman.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:40 PM
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And now I am imagining alameida going into expensive stores in Vivian's original blue and white hooker's minidress.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:44 PM
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I got one for myself as a 10th an anniversary present. real diamonds on the setting but man-made for the central stone.

I would totally do this. Yes, despite everything I said up there.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:46 PM
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Based on careful observation of friends of the family, etc., I find that the look that brings every salesperson bowing and scraping is to have just a tiny bit too much plastic surgery and carefully done hair.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:49 PM
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Good shoes and purses help too.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:53 PM
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181: Like Spock ears or could I just try really hard to keep my forehead motionless?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:54 PM
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(Obviously.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:54 PM
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181: Good to know.

177: the world would be a drab, un-ornamented place if everyone shared our aesthetic

Rings are not the only form of ornamentation! thankfully, since rings mostly get in the way, snagging on clothing and so on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:55 PM
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The purse is a gendered thing, but I'm fine for shoes. Brand new Rockports. That how I roll.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:58 PM
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Brand new Rockports. That how I roll.

Rockport makes roller skates?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 8:59 PM
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185.last: Certainly. However, we attain visual drabness in multiple media.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 9:01 PM
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I was once on the receiving end of a withering stare because I didn't understand why women's gloves weren't right next to women's coats. "Accessories" were, as far as I knew, things you had to pay more for so your toy was cool, like on the commercial.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 9:06 PM
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we attain visual drabness in multiple media

I swear you just need a colorful scarf.

On that note, I'm off to bed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 9:08 PM
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My sister-in-law thinks it's weird, and perhaps a bit scandalous, that I don't sport a diamond, and seems to believe that the lack of said trophy is a bit of unfinished business that will eventually have to be completed, "when you [finally] get settled." Er, I seriously doubt it, really. As soon as we accumulate the money for a diamond, I'm thinking major renovation of our 1920s-era kitchen, actually. My mother never had a diamond engagement ring, just a simple gold wedding band, and that woman is the true queen of my father's heart, so fucketty to the advertising campaigns of DeBeers et. al. My wedding band is platinum (because yellow tones make me look sallow, and white gold seemed a bit weird to me at the time), and it has a lovely beaded edge, and Mr MC bought it in Edinburgh, where I was living at the time.

In my experience, most of my reject-DeBeers cohort actually had family jewels that they could rely upon to be reset and reworn, so: best of both worlds! Beautiful ring, and moral superiority from having rejected the crass commercialism of the 'two month's salary' ads. Makes me a bit wary of applying the term "creepy" to those who don't have that social capital (and actually, well, actual capital, you know?), though. It's easy enough to be above it all when you really are above it all.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 9:13 PM
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191.2: Interesting. I'm not married, and thus the choice has not been put to me, so I can't call it my cohort, per se, but the ones in my circle are mostly just relatively poor or of the hippie-ish persuasion. Or the sort that prefer vintage. Which is something else entirely.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 9:24 PM
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I recall reading that the rise to hegemony of the diamond engagement ring followed (1930s-60s), and was partly a response to, the abolition of the tort of seduction in most US jurisdictions: if you can no longer sue the boy who promises to marry you, takes your virginity, and then dumps you, an expensive ring is another way of ensuring credible commitment. But I can't recall where I read it, so I have no idea whether it was the result of careful historical causal process-tracing, or a typical case of law-and-econ bad functionalism. Still, it may at least be a part of the explanation.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 2-10 11:05 PM
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re paying attention to you in stores, for guys it is shoes and watch. I sort of wanted to get my husband an expensive watch, not patek philippe, but expensive in a not completely insane way, but he wouldn't go for it. he thought he might lose it and anyway it would be vaguely immoral to buy such a watch. which, yeah. I actually sort of wanted to say, my family will think I'm not doing you right. but that's silly of them so never mind. I send him out to get measured and then have all his shirts and suits tailored for him, with the girls picking out things from the swatch books that make him look like an english banker, but hey, it's just one shirt, he humors them. far cry from berkeley when I used to get him shirts at the thrift store. I did buy him an expensive blue blazer to go back for thanksgiving the first time, since he wouldn't have anything to wear otherwise. oregon is kind of low-key like that. I don't like watches but am considering getting a cartier tank watch in white gold, a fake, made by israeli jewelers my sister knows. they are genuinely indistinguishable from the real ones. my sister has had cartier service hers.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:52 AM
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I (quite innocently) lost my wedding ring for the first time within a month of the wedding -- on a business trip, no less -- and found it again under damn near miraculous circumstances. I was already frantically searching for a jewelry store where I could surreptitiously buy another gold band in order not to have to explain the loss when I got home.

I lost the ring definitively about five years later. I had gained weight, had the ring re-sized, then lost the weight again. The too-loose thing just fell off somewhere in France. I haven't replaced it. It never really felt comfortable.

Fleur still has her wedding ring, but never wears it. Apropos of the OP, the reason she has given me* for not wearing it is that I didn't buy her the ring she really wanted (which ring cost 3X as much as the one I bought, and X wasn't small change), and therefore the ring I gave her represents to her how little she means to me.

*albeit given to me in moments of anger, but still repeated often enough that I take it to be reflective of her true sentiment.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 1:54 AM
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re paying attention to you in stores, for guys it is shoes and watch.

I was once at a trendy rooftop bar in Dallas with some colleagues, and the guys at the neighboring table helpfully offered that we couldn't expect to get any attention from women there (which, FTR, we weren't seeking) because we weren't wearing Rolexes. He and his buddies flashed us their Rolexes and allowed as how they didn't really care that much for them, but the rules of the game in Dallas were such that women wouldn't think of talking to a guy who didn't wear one.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 2:00 AM
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abolition of the tort of seduction in most US jurisdictions

That was a recent unfogged thread, in fact. IIRC the tort in question was "breach of promise", but I'm too lazy to google.

No discussion of diamonds is complete without a link to this classic article in The Atlantic.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 2:05 AM
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'2 months salary

every time I am reminded of this, I have a vision of a de Beers marketing executive, probably dressed in a slightly-too-wide pinstripe, bent double with laughter, flinging banknotes up in the air and shouting "THEY WENT FOR IT!". I see him being brought out at company picnics and motivational presentations as "The Man Who Had The Courage To Believe", and being quietly hated by his colleagues for always stinking out meetings by saying "but you never know what's possible until you try. I mean [meaningful look around table] lotsa people didn't think that '2 months salary' was possible, did they?"

And you know that they have "Project 3 Months" as a regular discussion item at annual strategy meetings.

Other than that, yes, blood diamonds, stupid concept but of course you were all already aware.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 2:10 AM
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linging banknotes up in the air and shouting "THEY WENT FOR IT!".

The brilliant part is not how many customers go for it (really, now many guys follow that advice literally?), but how it sets the frame for chumps like me, who say "I'm not susceptible to that marketing B.S. The engagement ring I bought cost a mere 0.65 months salary!"


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 2:33 AM
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In my experience, most of my reject-DeBeers cohort actually had family jewels that they could rely upon to be reset and reworn, so: best of both worlds!

Perfectly describes the woman of my acquaintance who condescendingly described the diamond on the hand of the then newly engaged Fleur as "Cute!".


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 2:39 AM
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And you know that they have "Project 3 Months" as a regular discussion item at annual strategy meetings.

Oh, more than that. A friend of mine got engaged a few years back and mentioned the "two months net" mark, only to be told firmly (by his fiancee!) that, no, it was three months, gross.
Oddly, he still married her.

Interesting and only barely-related note. In John Buchan's Richard Hannay novels (set during the Great War), there's an American character called John S. Blenkiron, who suffers from a duo-denal ulcer. In between "Greenmantle" and "Mr Standfast" he gets it fixed, and notes in conversation that the surgeons who did it charged a fixed 5% of your annual salary as a fee, so it didn't matter if you were a bank president or a railwayman.
Did this happen? Much? At all?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 3:19 AM
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btw, yank women, this whole thing about comparing and showing off your engagement ring is really a very local tradition which doesn't show any signs of spreading. One of my wife's friends tried to do the "here's my massive diamond!" at a girls' night out and my god, the reaction couldn't have been worse if she'd shat on the floor apparently.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 3:31 AM
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the reaction couldn't have been worse if she'd shat on the floor

They were just jealous, obviously.


Posted by: OPINIONATED YANK WOMAN | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 3:57 AM
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The engagement ring AND the wedding ring I bought cost significantly less than a good night's boozing for two in the pub. Then again, qua Scot, you'd probably expect that.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 4:24 AM
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qua Scot, you'd probably expect that.

Because ttaM can easily blow two months' salary on a good night's boozing in the pub.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 4:34 AM
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And anyone who had specific expectations re: the value of the ring would have been told to fuck right off.* As it happens, my wife really likes the engagement ring and always wears it, while both our wedding rings languish somewhere in a wee box.

* I don't think I've ever been out with anyone remotely like that, tbh, anyway, although I'm aware from over-heard conversations and friends of friends that they do exist.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 4:36 AM
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204. Likewise. We decided that if we were going to spend silly money on inessentials a really good holiday was the way to go. And it was.

I could see the attraction of bling in the 19th century, when people didn't have bank accounts and kept their savings in the form of jewelery for convenience and portability, but it seems a bit tacky these days. Ajay's friend had more patience than I would have had.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 4:37 AM
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207: diamonds are a terrible form of portable wealth anyway, because they're almost impossible to resell unless you take a massive markdown. Gold and silver are different. (In the Gulf you still buy silver jewellery by weight - style etc is irrelevant to the price.)

Essential reading:
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/1982/02/have-you-ever-tried-to-sell-a-diamond/4575/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 4:50 AM
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I don't think I've ever heard of anyone trying to sell an engagement ring; the underlying thought is more potlatch ("Look at all the wealth I'll set on fire for you!")(Not that that's an accurate representation of potlatch) than savings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 5:06 AM
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One ex of mine had two engagement rings, from the same bloke. She made hm buy a second after they had a break-up. To be fair, the guy was a _real_ bastard [abusive, not just a tool]. I'm pretty sure she planned to sell them, although she hadn't yet when we went out.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 5:09 AM
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because they're almost impossible to resell unless you take a massive markdown

Indeed, though probably not so much 150 years ago. I'm reasonably well paid, though not so much as to raise eyebrows, but for 2 months salary a little research shows I could get a 16 stone, 18 carat Tiffany job. Where would anybody wear something so ostentatious without embarrassment?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 5:21 AM
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Where would anybody wear something so ostentatious without embarrassment?

America, apparently. They're so gauche over there.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 5:23 AM
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2 months salary a little research shows I could get a 16 stone, 18 carat Tiffany job

...laydeez.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 5:24 AM
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Of course, if you're royalty, you just recycle your mum's ring. Saves a lot.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 5:31 AM
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btw, yank women, this whole thing about comparing and showing off your engagement ring is really a very local tradition which doesn't show any signs of spreading. One of my wife's friends tried to do the "here's my massive diamond!" at a girls' night out and my god, the reaction couldn't have been worse if she'd shat on the floor apparently.

You'll get the advertising campaigns too one day. Although the royal family is providing some nice propaganda in the anti-consumerist direction.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:03 AM
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I was once at a trendy rooftop bar in Dallas with some colleagues, and the guys at the neighboring table helpfully offered that we couldn't expect to get any attention from women there (which, FTR, we weren't seeking) because we weren't wearing Rolexes. He and his buddies flashed us their Rolexes and allowed as how they didn't really care that much for them, but the rules of the game in Dallas were such that women wouldn't think of talking to a guy who didn't wear one.

This sounds like the beginning of one of the pieces from Martin Amis's "The Moronic Inferno".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:07 AM
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A few yeasr ago my son, then four, stopped at the vending machine at the grocery store and insisted that he had to get one of the 50 cent rings. Why? to give to Maddie (same age next door neighbor). Why? She said if I give her a ring we can get married. Oh. Why do you want to get married? Her father is a fireman [true -- volunteer department] . We get to go to the wedding in the fire truck and that would so cool [also more or less true. For family members the firetruck is decorated, and used to transport newlyweds from a local church for the first mile or so of their honeymoon, sirens on]. I had to admit that would be totally cool, and really an excellent reason to get married, so I gave him the fifty cents.

It got a bit awkward a few days later when he and Maddie wanted to go on a honeymoon in the backyard, which they believed required a large jar of -- wait for it -- honey. Not clear what they intended to do with it. Safe to say it would eventually involve ants, and probably broken glass. I gave them sandwiches instead.

The kids are seven now and still talk about getting married some day, although I don't think she has the ring.


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:09 AM
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honey
Embarrassing memories of reading Piers Anthony flash through my brain.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:16 AM
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You'll get the advertising campaigns too one day.

Actually, "Sex and the City" has already made it across the Atlantic, but fortunately it doesn't appear to have taken root.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:40 AM
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I'm just eternally grateful to my now ex-sister-in-law for refusing the beautiful emerald and platinum ring of my grandmother's my brother wanted to give in favor of a back-breaking 5-carat piece of crap (she only cared about one of the fabled "C's"). because she would have kept it and I would have gnashed my teeth for all time. she hung onto it and 99% of the wedding gifts. my brother gave back the breitling watch her dad had given him until he could afford to buy one for himself. a guy thing.
they sell gold by weight here in singapore too, but it's not 100% weight, there are workmanship charges that can vary from piece to piece. people favor a very bright yellow gold (the more muted stuff is shipped to the west). often parts of the surface are cut, to give the maximum shine. most of it is awful, of course, but some is to die for. (sending my husband to a little india jeweler would be like leading a lamb to slaughter, though.) women here do buy it as something like a mobile bank account, that will definitely go to them if they were to get divorced. modest-looking hdb flats will occasionally get burgled for some startling amount.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:55 AM
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women here do buy it as something like a mobile bank account, that will definitely go to them if they were to get divorced.

This is why most of the world's gold production goes to India and China - it's the wedding market.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:58 AM
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217: Great story!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:23 AM
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217: A former cow-orker of mine is married to a woman he first proposed to when they were both five. You never know.

(great people, cute kid, haven't seen them in a while)


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:41 AM
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221: Glenn Beck is getting Americans to buy gold to increase the price to make it so that nobody in China can get married.

223: I hope they waited at least six or seven years.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:43 AM
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A friend of mine from high school paid his wifes' family some godawful number of cows as bride price. Like a hundred or so, delivered in person with him wearing a nice suit and tie, carrying a stick to shoo the cows along. I'm very sorry I missed seeing it. He's an UMC professional, very westernized, but maintaining good relations with the in-laws required keeping up tradition. The total cost to him was probably on the order of three years' salary. If he divorces his wife she gets the cows. It beats the hell out of diamonds, not just because the value is higher and easier to liquidate, but also because cows are a lot more useful than diamonds. OTOH you can't cut glass with a cow.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:45 AM
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What number of cows is godawful? What number of cows, for that matter, is not godawful?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:47 AM
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This never aired, but it's still the greatest car commercial ever made. IIRC it was actually a promo for the ad company that made it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:47 AM
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I should have read to the next sentence where you actually specified a number. That said, I'd still like an upper and lower bound. Could the cows be very small, or limbless?

Also, it definitely does not beat diamonds if you live in apartment.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:48 AM
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I have surely said this here before, but the lucky young man to whom I was betrothed when we were nursery school together and from whom they couldn't part me, because we had each other in bear hugs all the time, is now a deeply insane Opus Dei priest.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:50 AM
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225: What do you do if the prospective inlaws don't lead a lifestyle conducive to cow-maintenance? Does it just break neatly such that no one who isn't a cow-herder (rancher? Cattle farmer?) would expect a bride price?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:53 AM
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Are bride-price cultures less heinous than dowry cultures?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:54 AM
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cow-herder (rancher? Cattle farmer?)

Orker. Cow-orker.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:55 AM
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you can't cut glass with a cow

Works the other way around, though. If you're into that sort of thing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:59 AM
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231: Depends on what you gots and what you needs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:02 AM
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because we had each other in bear hugs all the time, is now a deeply insane Opus Dei priest.

Now he only bear hugs Jesus. And, as a Catholic, a variety of saints, I guess. And Jesus's mom. Oh! and God. Is there room for the Holy Ghost in there?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:04 AM
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That said, I'd still like an upper and lower bound. Could the cows be very small, or limbless?

Sifu is working his way towards paying a bride-price in Big Macs.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:04 AM
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My father's side of the family is seriously into jewelry. Grandad a mining engineer, uncle a jeweler, grandma from a posh (for the Yukon!) family that liked to show off its bling. A lot of what got passed down is truly heinous, but my mother has some spectacular diamonds. I think I'm supposed to appreciate their quality and purity. One diamond out of a 3-stone ring is theoretically mine, but the setting and match are too perfect to break up, so oh well. I don't really wear much of what I already have anyway (although today for once I decided to break out the mastodon ivory beads).

I spent lots of time in the gemstones sections of natural history museums as a child, and used to think that sulphur crystals or opals would be a perfectly reasonable substitute for diamonds. Then I learned about the mohs scale and found five dollars.

All of this noodling about the exact specifications of the jewelry I would like to be presented with is so excessively moot, of course.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:06 AM
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A herd of cows is all very well and good until they all get cowpox or mad cow or whatever horrors livestock suffer. At that point, I'll bet she wishes she had a stack of gold bracelets.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:08 AM
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Jmo, if and when you see it I would like to know your take on Black Swan. Neurotic dancer chix!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:08 AM
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238: Anthrax, hoof and mouth disease, pre-hamburger syndrome, and lightening strikes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:14 AM
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In Samoa, they do ceremonial payments more efficiently, in cans of mackerel, corned beef, ships biscuits, some fine pandanus-leaf mats, and the occasional roasted pig. Aside from the roast pig, all stuff that keeps and can be easily redistributed. I'm pretty sure they don't do either dowry or bride price, though -- people just get married. You are supposed to throw a huge do when you get married, and distribute food lavishly, and I'm not sure which family pays or whether they cooperate on it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:15 AM
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I gave my love some Spam that didn't mention discount Rx.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:16 AM
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I believe that I have mentioned a chicken operation in the family (that I am not too thrilled about).

I keep suggesting to BR that I would give her any future right to that operation as an engagement proffer, but she hasnt taken me up on it yet.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:17 AM
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243.1: Don't let the chicken do surgery.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:18 AM
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243 was me.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:18 AM
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I gave Blume a Taj Mahal made of turkey jerky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:19 AM
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I'm hoping that the (much cheaper) Lodge pots are good

They are as good or better in everything but status points. When it comes to cast iron, I have the zeal of the converted (by M/tch).


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:21 AM
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230: Pretty much. Cows have deep cultural significance in Botswana, so most people who are in a position to do so own some. They aren't typically kept in individual family farms - it's a collective thing involving a large extended family (all the way out to third cousins or further in US terms). Some people tend the cows, others work in town or the city. Pretty much all kids are expected to put in some time on the cattle post, and it's the central location for all big family functions. Bride price is traditionally paid out of the common herd so the loan is from the family, not a bank. Bride price is justified in terms of the labor lost by the wife's family - she lives with the husband, so her labor is transferred from one extended family to another, and the cows are compensation for that. It's got elements of a straightforward purchase, but the reality is a lot less commercial than that. The bride gets to say no even if her family is offered a huge price, and the modern trend is towards a more western model with the cows serving the role of engagement ring, albeit a bloody expensive one that poops a lot.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:23 AM
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239.--I've seen the previews. It's great terrain for horror (and I think I've read something with a similar plot line, although the exact deja vu referent is escaping me). The scariest part of Dario Argento's Suspiria for me has always been evil ballet school menace. In fact, I'm not really sure I have the fortitude to watch Black Swan. The preview segment where the crazy stressed-out dancer has begun *molting* just shook me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:23 AM
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247: Thanks. Like I said, I've already bought it. Apparently, delivery is taking time and it hasn't been sent yet. (I ordered through Target because I wanted them to be able to return it easily if they wanted something else.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:25 AM
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I spent lots of time in the gemstones sections of natural history museums as a child, and used to think that sulphur crystals or opals would be a perfectly reasonable substitute for diamonds.

It's Knecht's first visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. I'm going through the (then as now incredibly popular) giant gemstone exhibit. The young couple is next to me gazing at one of the eye-popping specimens on display. The woman, with with only the barest amount of subtlety, says "Oh honey, they're so beautiful. Did I ever tell you how much I love diamonds?" Her companion says in his sweetest voice, "Well, sweetheart, maybe for your next birthday... I'll bring you back here again."

I and everyone else in earshot break out in guffaws.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:27 AM
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250: Another vote for Lodge being great. They're not enameled, so they're a little higher maintenance than the spendy stuff, but they're excellent cookware once you've got the hang of it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:28 AM
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Dario Argento

Yay!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:30 AM
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A cautionary tale from the Stormcrow clan: If the groom provides a particularly treasured family heirloom as the engagement ring it can add that extra little soupçon of bitterness to the divorce, and then years later briefly play the role of the MacGuffin in a very fucked up way.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:32 AM
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252: That's actually why I was asking. I've seen and used the non-enameled stuff, but they now they make
this kind of thing. Which is pricey, but not compared to the LeCreuset.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:34 AM
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249: It is very stressful. I felt like I couldn't take a breath until I left the theatre.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:35 AM
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briefly play the role of the MacGuffin

That's what I did in Macbeth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:36 AM
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Oh honey, they're so beautiful. Did I ever tell you how much I love diamonds?"

My joke that I never get sick of is to say "BUY ME THAT!" to my dad whenever we're in museums. In a really demanding, petulant tone, with finger pointing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:41 AM
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256.---It also looks like whoever wrote Black Swan did his or her reading on the genre of the Fantastic (one of my former, futile academic specialities!). A well-wrought Fantastic tale is all about suspenseful uncertainty, and can simultaneously give you both vertigo and claustrophobia. When really effective, it can be unsettling as all hell for days.

I will probably see Black Swan, but not immediately.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:41 AM
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Dario Argento
Yay!

All things considered, I prefer Mario Bava.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:43 AM
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The point about cows is that they are capital, rather than consumer goods. See discussion at Pat Lang's place, where a US Army unit in the Korengal Valley fails to realise this and compensates someone for the accidental death of a cow in canned food, with bloody consequences.

(Not only didn't they replace the cow, they didn't even offer *money* - compounding the insult by making the recipients the object of charity.)

Arguably, all the diamond stuff is an effort to maintain the impression that diamonds are a good store of value and therefore a capital asset.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:46 AM
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260 was I.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:46 AM
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255: Ooh, I didn't realize. I don't know from Lodge specifically, but on enameled cast iron generally, the difference between expensive and cheap is that expensive doesn't chip and cheap chips. But it still works great, chips in the finish aren't important. And possibly Lodge is in the non-chipping category.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:48 AM
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My forty year-old Le Creuset dutch oven has a chip.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:49 AM
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Doesn't chip quickly or easily, I should have said. Chipping behavior is different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:53 AM
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My forty year-old Le Creuset dutch oven has a chip.

Yes, but how many times was it thrown across a room before it got that chip?



Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:55 AM
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264: Same with my 40 year-old shoulder.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 8:55 AM
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My forty year-old Le Creuset dutch oven has a chip.

Send it in for a replacement.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 9:03 AM
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"Sending it in" might cost nearly the amount of a replacement.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 9:20 AM
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IANAW, but if someone wanted to turn my head, a really fancy high-end custom knife would totally be the way to go. Or like a full set of the best Henckels.

I wouldn't buy enameled iron from Lodge. How long have they been making in? Not that long, right? Also, I am dismayed to see that they apparently no longer sell unseasoned pieces. That seems indicative of terrible things for our culture and society.

||
Okay, maybe this makes me a bad anarchist, 'cause even though I give money to homeless people, I realize that private charity is not really going to solve anything, but this event that one of my student nurse friends is promoting on FB really got me worked up:

Don't forget the bake sale and book drive next week, benefiting CUHCC's childhood literacy program. A lot of the kids coming in to CUHCC don't have books at home or parents reading to them. However, giving books to little kids during their well child checks is an evidenced base practice that boosts language development, school readiness, parent-child bonding, and future test scores. We'll be outside Java City from starting around 8am on Dec 9th!

AAAGGHH! Too sad. I can't imagine what my life would have been like without lots of books.

||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 9:28 AM
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what my life would have been like without lots of books


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 9:37 AM
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271: Ah, but I did watch a lot of TV -- "In Search Of...", "Dukes of Hazzard", "The A-Team", "Magnum P.I.", "Wild Wild West", cartoons, "The Muppet Show", "Sesame Street", "The Electric Company", "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood", "3 2 1 Contact", "PM Magazine", "The Wonderful World of Disney", CBS Morning News with Bob Schieffer, "What's My Line", "Jeopardy!", "Mystery Science Theater 3000" (when it was LOCAL), the various Degrassi shows, "NOVA", "Wild America", a ridiculous amount of old movies -- and reading helped me interpret what I was seeing.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 9:48 AM
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That used to freak me out, babysitting; going into people's houses and seeing no books. (Personal low point: getting busted when parents of kids I was babysitting for caught me reading Much Ado About Nothing out of some one-volume Shakespeare that they had as decor, rather than to read. There was literally nothing else to read in the house and I hadn't brought a book. I felt like such a weirdo.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 9:57 AM
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re: 273

I see this with ostensibly very well educated friends. It's always a surprise.

"WTF are your books?"

Although I suppose I feel the same way about music, and people are less likely to expect that someone will have hundreds of CDs/LPs in their house.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:00 AM
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I think that possession of books is becoming less of a meaningful indicator, though. I'm realizing I could purge tons of books now without feeling like I might be unexpectedly caught without access to the information in it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:06 AM
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I don't even have friends who don't own lots of books.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:07 AM
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I do, but they're my friends on TV shows.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:07 AM
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Oddly enough, you could casually walk into our house and assume we had no books. The long wall of the spare bedroom is fully shelved, and we have two cases in the living room but we don't use that much in winter because it's warmer in the kitchen. And we have a couple more cases on landings upstairs, and the ones we've been reading lately but haven't got round to putting away are stacked in piles behind various cupboards, so, you might think, we have no books.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:15 AM
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If e-books really take off to the point of becoming a norm, it'll be weird not having that indicator anymore. And not being able to scope out other people's bookshelves, as well.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:19 AM
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hmmm, books.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:21 AM
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That was meant to be more of a Homer Simpson MMM than a puzzled hm?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:22 AM
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I do, actually, have some very close friends who don't own what I would consider to be "a lot of books". And it's not that they're stupid, they just read more online, and thus have fewer books than an analogous person would have had 20 years ago. Still, I pity them.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:22 AM
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Speaking of books, I saw the Tregaskis bindings collection at the John Rylands library in Manchester recently and I got major book lust.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:28 AM
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That used to freak me out, babysitting; going into people's houses and seeing no books.

Yes, me too! There were also houses that had plenty of picture books for the kids, but nothing else. Not entirely unclear on the concept, but missing some crucial elements, that.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:28 AM
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"Sending it in" might cost nearly the amount of a replacement.

Doubtful. I had a pretty sizable dutch oven replaced and it was about $40 to ship.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:33 AM
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282: The line between none and some is much bigger than the line between some and lots. I know a fair number of people who read but don't accumulate books, so they've got a smallish collection of books they hold onto for sentimental or other arbitrary reasons, and current reading comes into the house and goes out without building up. But no books at all is different.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:35 AM
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Don't you all have libraries? I got rid of a lot of my books when I moved to LA (it wasn't worth it to ship them across the country) and then I moved within a couple blocks of an excellent public library where you can order books from anywhere in the system, so I pretty much stopped buying books. A scan of my shelves gives you a pretty representative sampling of what I was reading a decade ago, plus the handful of books per year that I feel like I should buy as opposed to borrow. But really, not that many books! A couple BILLY bookcases worth. On the other hand, I have a weekly rotation coming in and out through my local branch library.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:36 AM
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re: 287

I use libraries a lot -- I even work for one -- but my local public library doesn't stock any of the academic stuff I'd want to read/keep, and while it stocks a decent selection of fiction I still often end up buying second-hand or cheap fiction books that I know the library doesn't have.

That said, I've bought much fewer books this year as our flat has reached peak book density.

A couple of BILLY bookcases worth is still a lot compared to the sort of people we're talking about. I probably only have 3 or 4 BILLY bookcases worth myself, and a fair bit of that is sheet music and cook books.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:39 AM
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I just bought a Lodge enameled dutch oven for $55 plus tax with free shipping. I'll be very annoyed if it dies quickly and they insist on round trip shipping to replace it. Cause that's really the problem with warranties on these things.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:42 AM
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287: I suck at libraries: I lose books and forget to return them, and I'm always in trouble and feeling guilty. I know it shouldn't be that hard, but they just don't work for me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:44 AM
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Don't you all have libraries?

At least three quarters of books I've read over the past fifteen years have come from libraries. During that period I've also bought hundreds of books; enough to fill up three good sized bookcases, a bunch of boxes in closets and under my bed, and piles all over the place.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:45 AM
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With ebooks, you'll just have to judge people on their librarything e-shelf or whatever. And if the person doesn't have one, that itself is a signal.

Living in Germany has been interesting partly due to my not taking any books, and becoming (even more) dependent on (pirated, yay gigapedia!) ebooks. It just seems silly to buy physical books here--what would I do with them afterwards? Although I just learned about BookCrossing, so now I like the idea of buying them and leaving them in the wild.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:51 AM
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292: And if the person doesn't have one, that itself is a signal.

And if they do, that is another signal.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:54 AM
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293: But a signal with poor specificity.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:55 AM
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287: I got rid of a lot of my books when I moved to LA

This is begging to be a lyric from a maudlin 70s pop ballad along the lines of "You're So Vain" or "It Never Rains In Southern California".


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:57 AM
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It just seems silly to buy physical books here--what would I do with them afterwards?

I shipped numerous boxes worth of books back from Germany to the US. It wasn't that expensive if you use the book rate, though it does take 1-2 months. When moving around Europe during my research year I used the postal services as a cheap moving company for heavier low volume products - books and cookware mostly.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:57 AM
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Well, sure, but with gigapedia and my ereader, I don't actually *need* lots of books. And so I've started to question the point of having them. I like this releasing-books-into-the-wild thing, though.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:59 AM
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This is begging to be a lyric from a maudlin 70s pop ballad along the lines of "You're So Vain" or "It Never Rains In Southern California".

As long as you include the verse about how Los Angeles has an excellent, extensive and very convenient public library system.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:01 AM
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LA is a great big library
Ditch your books and bring a utilities bill
In a week, maybe two, they'll make you well read


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:23 AM
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I heart my library. I still buy plenty of used & new books though: books I want to re-read multiple times, books I give as gifts (esp. children's books), books by people I know, books by small presses.

The library runs a used book store where almost everything is $1-$2. I heart it, too.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:24 AM
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books I want to re-read multiple times

See Austen, Jane, and Heyer, Georgette. I've gone from zero to about 20 volumes of the latter in the past few months.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:31 AM
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Shall I be annoying and say I've never bought any from Amazon? I believe I shall.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:32 AM
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Shall I keep having this conversation with myself? I believe I shan't.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:35 AM
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I'll talk to you, Sir Kraab! I love the library too!

Are our public libraries something that we as United States citizens can be legitimately be proud of? Do many other countries have public libraries like we do?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:39 AM
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The line between none and some is much bigger than the line between some and lots.

This is so true. I grew up ignorant of the fact that there were people without books, and I was stupefied as an adult when I discovered them.

It has become a pretty useful after-the-fact indicator, though. If I'm making a gigantic effort to find areas of common interest and things to talk about with someone, and just failing utterly, it's generally because they're not particularly curious. And curiosity is at least loosely correlated with book ownership. So I'm less shocked if I eventually find out that they have no books at all.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:40 AM
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Goodwill sells books too! $1.00 for paperback and $3.00 for hardback books.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:50 AM
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298: The only library I've been to in LA is the main one at UCLA. But that seemed very good.

304: It is Minneapolis' secret shame that our public library system is rapidly deteriorating. First the Republicans cut most of the aid to local governments, and of course the first thing the city did was cut funding to the libraries, which meant substantially reduced hours. Then, the Hennepin County library system subsumed the Minneapolis one, resulting in no increase of services, but less local control. I hope everyone else's libraries are doing better.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:53 AM
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287: I got rid of a lot of my books when I moved to LA

This is begging to be a lyric from a maudlin 70s pop ballad along the lines of "You're So Vain" or "It Never Rains In Southern California".

It could almost fit into this song.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:53 AM
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Late to the party, but is there a place where dsquared explains why he thinks "blood diamonds" is a silly concept (I could go poke around at his place, but I'm lazy)? The best version of such an argument I've seen is Laura Seay of Texas in Africa, who argues that the popular equation diamonds=war/rape (where "=" means something like "cause") is a harmful because it's overly simplistic and produces mad simple-minded policy. Her main concern is that policy makers will focus on the diamonds rather than the (other) roots of the wars, and that communities that rely on mining for income would be hurt by an embargo. My response would be: a) that's true, but they don't help, and not buying diamonds is much easier for American consumers to do than resolving conflicts over state power and ethnic grudges, b) I understand that she works with mining communities, but it's a bit like the argument under aprtheid that foreign sanctions were a bad idea because they would hurt non-white South Africans too. Diamonds don't (generally) cause war/warlordism, but they do make it a lot easier to finance.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:55 AM
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I don't think I've ever been in a home that didn't have at least dozens of books. Is this a 'I don't know anyone who voted for Nixon' thing? I've met plenty of people who have no interest in anything except for easy escapist fiction. I've met people who have no interest in fiction. I've met people who have no interest in anything except 'serious' non fiction and literary stuff. But I don't think I've known anybody who never reads for pleasure, if only in planes, waiting areas and similar situations.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:57 AM
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The other day I was out to dinner with my aunt, and she mentioned that my grandmother, who had to leave school at 12 after her mother died so that she could take care of her brother and sisters, had always harbored an ambition to write a novel. Never knew that before. I wonder what novel she would have written? Despite her lack of formal education, she was an avid reader all her life (switched to books on tape after her vision was gone), mostly biographies, but also some fiction. In fact, she met and started dating my grandfather in a reading group for Danish-American adults. She was such an amazing person. Not without her faults, but always there for her family, friends and community. Sure wish she'd at least started on that novel.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 11:58 AM
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307. Unfortunately public services everywhere are suffering, and the libraries here are certainly no exception; they're now open only five days a week, not six, which means that there have been a huge number of layoffs and furloughs.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:00 PM
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308: I want to make it the next lines after

Well, I've been praying a lot lately
It's because I no longer have a TV

And I gave all my books away
Before I moved to LA

Not good!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:01 PM
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This is reminiscent of Joan Didion's description of the Reagan's new California Governor's Mansion in her essay "Many Mansions" from The White Album (surprisingly the whole thing can be read via Google books). In the entire house there are only enough bookshelves for a set of the World Book and some Books of the Month, plus maybe three Royal Doulton figurines and a back file of Connoissuer. She contrasts it with the old mansion and concludes with, I have seldom seen a house so evocative of the unspeakable.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:02 PM
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We went with this place for our wedding bands, because they were reasonably priced and we liked the idea of recycling gold rather than buying newly mined stuff.

Junie was initially attracted to diamonds despite herself, because ooh, sparkly! She eventually decided against it at this point because of cost and because she treats her things pretty roughly and felt that she would be sure to lose/destroy it. We might get her a nice reused stone down the line, though.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:03 PM
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Regarding the OP, an apropos passage in one of Alan Furst's novels (Kingdom of Shadows, not the best, but OK):

"Polanyi liked to say that the great fault of poets was that they never sang of the power of money in affairs between men and women. 'So for that we are left to the mercy of cynics -- bartenders, novelists, or lubricous aunts.' "

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:05 PM
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310: A story from a friend about visiting with his girlfriend's family in Corpus Christi, Texas. They were playing some kind of game that invoved answering questions about yourself. At one point, my friend had to name a hobby, and he said, "Reading". As he described it, his girlfriend's male relations were all dumbfounded. "Read??? Who reads???"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:06 PM
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is there a place where dsquared explains why he thinks "blood diamonds" is a silly concept

I found this, let me see if I can find the original comments.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:07 PM
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Oh, books (to finish up hitting the major thread points)! We have at least seven BILLY type shelves of books, plus the many piles, but, like teraz, most of our books come and go from libraries. And, Nat, we're all sad about the cuts in library hours and funding, but MPL libraries have a long way to fall and are still pretty damn awesome.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:08 PM
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Here's the original D^2 "Blood Diamond" comment.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:12 PM
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I still like the library, even if I don't visit as often as I should, I just think it's awful how far and fast it's descended.

We have no BILLY-type shelves at this point. We've got 2 of the awful IKEA super-shelf thingys (the ones with the hollow core shelves), 16 foldy-stackys, 2 fancy mid-century medium sized shelves, several crappy Target 2 or 3 shelf numbers, a couple of quasi-BILLYS (narrow) that were left by the previous owners, and 4 wall mounted IKEA shelves. Plus about 5 or 6 paper boxes worth of unshelved books. (And 3 of the foldy-stackys have DVDs and VHS tapes on them). And this is all subsequent to my decision in 2002 to sharply limit my book buying to volumes that I did not feel confident of being able to reliably find at the public or university libraries. Certain other people labor under no such compunction.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:17 PM
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I dont really care whether the blood diamond thing is true or not as long as it can be used to push back against jewelry companies.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:20 PM
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318, 320:
Thanks! He sure is a charming fellow.

I don't really want to stir up a fight, but I'm curious which civil war-having legitimate governments he was concerned about. Ah, the heady days a 2007, when every one was bored with diamonds and but not yet tired of coltan.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:22 PM
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315: Junie was initially attracted to diamonds despite herself, because ooh, sparkly!

Big diamonds really are pretty -- if the price on the artificial ones got down to rhinestone level, I could totally see getting myself some shiny things. Which I'd then lose, but it'd be fun for a bit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:24 PM
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Do many other countries have public libraries like we do?

Yes, at least in Europe.

Are our public libraries something that we as United States citizens can be legitimately be proud of?

Yes compared to Poland and Switzerland. The first has the excuse of relative poverty (though IMO that's all the more reason to fund libraries generously), but the Genevan cantonal system is rather mediocre for a decent sized very wealthy polity. You'll get all the fiction classics and recent bigger sellers, but beyond that it is, or at least was horribly spotty. And their English language selection plain out sucked. Far worse than even the German language one in the Brooklyn system, in spite of their being a decent sized population of native English speakers and a large number of foreigners who are neither native French nor native English speakers but who have a good knowledge of English. I don't think they had any Polish selections other than dictionaries. But maybe things have gotten better, I haven't been in a Genevan public library since the années nonantes.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:24 PM
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I'm still storing a ton of my ex's books, which means that in addition to my own books I've got titles like "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" sitting on the bedroom bookshelves. And there are also about 12 large boxes of books that are sitting in my basement unpacked from when I moved into my house 4 years ago -- I would get new shelves and put them up on display to show off how incredibly fucking smart I am, but honestly I haven't missed having immediate access to them at all.

I go to the public library about twice a year, and always think "hey, I should do this every week." But I never do. Also, LA has a good library system, but almost no good bookstores left. Charlie Munger closed down our best bookstore a few years back and there's been no real replacement.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:24 PM
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And, to 325, IME the Geneva public library system (even the university library) was pretty lame by US standards.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:27 PM
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And there are also about 12 large boxes of books that are sitting in my basement unpacked from when I moved into my house 4 years ago -- I would get new shelves and put them up on display to show off how incredibly fucking smart I am, but honestly I haven't missed having immediate access to them at all.

If you're like me, I'd unpack them sometime I wanted to cheer myself up. It's twelve boxes of books that are the sort of thing you liked enough to acquire somehow, that you haven't seen for four years! You might not have missed them, but I'll bet there's stuff in there that you'll be delighted to remember you own.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:27 PM
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Are our public libraries something that we as United States citizens can be legitimately be proud of? Do many other countries have public libraries like we do?

One data point: Heidelberg's public library is considerably less impressive than that of Newton, MA, though the former's population is about half again the latter's. Yes, Newton is rich as hell, but I was under the impression HD was also pretty wealthy--it's definitely a doctors/lawyers/professors kind of town.

On the other hand, my impression is that all German university libraries are open to the public under fairly reasonable conditions (here: free for all students & welfare recipients, otherwise €30 yearly fee, €15 for borrowing privileges, or €1.50 per item)--and HD Uni's library is apparently the most used in Germany, w/ 6.4m books. So, in conclusion, I dunno.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:34 PM
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325: Thanks, teraz! My only experience with libraries outside the U.S. was in Israel, and they weren't nearly as good as in the U.S.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:37 PM
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Think of your poor boxed away books, stuck in the dark and starved of their owner's love.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:38 PM
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€15 for borrowing privileges, or €1.50 per item

Yeah, but isn't the borrowing term something like one day?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:41 PM
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Extra detail to the single data point: Newton Free Library, 500k items (+ another 600k from the other interlinked suburban systems); Heidelberg Stadtbucherei, 200k. City populations: 93k vs 146k. But the 6.4m books of the University library is starting to make me seriously question the validity of this comparison.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:41 PM
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I recall having borrowed The Transfiguration of the Commonplace from the philosophy library at the Free University in Berlin when I was visiting a friend in ... 2003?, and, having taken it out on Friday, I had to return it on Monday.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:42 PM
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This amazing video is conclusive proof the library system in Sweeden in the early 1990s, and its overall level of cultural development, could have done with some improvement.

To 328 and 331, maybe I will unpack those old books!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:42 PM
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Lately it seems like everything I really want from my university library is checked out. Or on three-hour course reserve or something.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:43 PM
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Yeah, but isn't the borrowing term something like one day?

Why no!

How long may I keep items I have borrowed?

Loan Period
Monographs: 20 working days
Periodicals: 10 working days.

Plus two renewals.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:43 PM
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334: You're going to admit to still having it now, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:43 PM
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Essear, you do know about gigapedia, right? YMMV, but it has a lot of the stuff I care about, anyway.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 12:45 PM
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gigapedia replaced by library.nu for months now, right?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 1:30 PM
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Essear, you do know about gigapedia, right?

I didn't. So it's an illegal book-downloading site?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 1:35 PM
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Yes, one that specializes in academic books.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 1:41 PM
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gigapedia replaced by library.nu for months now, right?

Oooh, didn't know that. GP is still up, though. Interesting.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 1:42 PM
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Ooh, ooh! I almost forgot.

Not that it matters, but if you want to be Anthropologically correct, it's now "bride wealth," rather than "bride price." The idea is that this describes both dowery and lobola-type practices, and that it's generally thought of first as an exchange of gifts between families, and second as compensation for the loss of a kinsman/woman, rather than a purchase price. Engagement rings don't entirely fit this model, because they're meant to be kept or only hocked in extremis, and they're a gift to the bride, rather than her family.

That's all.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 1:46 PM
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329: On the other hand, my impression is that all German university libraries are open to the public under fairly reasonable conditions (here: free for all students & welfare recipients, otherwise €30 yearly fee, €15 for borrowing privileges, or €1.50 per item)-

I'm sure it varies widely by state, but here at our local land-grant university, borrowing privileges can be had by anyone who joins the alumni association, the lowest membership being $25 or $30 per annum I believe.

I understand that many private colleges in rural areas in the US where you can purchase borrowing privileges for very modest sums if you are a resident of the surrounding area.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 2:50 PM
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Does gigapedia do academic journals too?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 3:21 PM
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For anyone who accidentally gives a fuck, my definitive statement on diamonds


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 3:27 PM
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Leo steered me wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 3:43 PM
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I can't speak for elsewhere, but the public library system in the UK varies a lot from place to place. In my general experience it's MUCH better in Scotland. My small village had a better library than Ealing does, for example.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 4:08 PM
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270: Mara's not-for-private-insurance doctors' office gives out a free book with every child visit, which is awesome. We haven't actually read her book much among the shelves and shelves that she has, but I love that I can make the visit a bit more tolerable by telling her she'll have a book at the end. (She freaks out so much in the office that one doctor thought it was a sign of abuse and talked to child protecive services. We don't know what freaks her out, but I got her through her last visit okay and then today's was rescheduled for next Thursday, so we'll see.)

((This is also where I'll add that we finally introduced Mara to Janelle Monae via the Tightrope video last night and after two viewings she could do a passable version of the dance. She also insists that Janelle Monae is her, as she does with a lot of big-eyed black girls. When she had the front of her hair sticking up this morning as I cut it, I could really see the resemblance! So maybe next Halloween can be the tiny suit and oxfords!))


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:38 PM
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350: So maybe next Halloween can be the tiny suit and oxfords!

Oh. My. God. That would be so cute! I would practically have to fly down to see that.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 6:56 PM
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Texas, of all states, has a very generous lending program in which, as a free extension of a public library card, you can get access to University collections and facilities.

In fact, in the Austin system, you are limited to renewing a book once, but you can renew the UT books indefinitely.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 7:53 PM
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All residents of Charlottesville (and surrounding Albemarle County, I think) are able to access anything at U.Va.'s library, which brags about being a LOC back-up spot.

Also, residents of Charlottesville get in free if they deliver out-of-town tourists to Monticello. Come one, come all.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 12- 3-10 10:10 PM
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349 is right. English public libraries, which were excellent 30 years ago, have all gone down the shitter because the local authorities which fund them regard them as an inessential luxury good. Tory councils believe they shouldn't spend money on anything they're not statutorily obliged to, so they defund them; Labour councils tend to think books are elitist and, round here at least, are trying to turn all the libraries into internet cafes without the coffee; LibDem councils naturally have no idea what they think, so in general they tend to wind up trying to turn the libraries into internet cafes without spending any money.

There's a reasonable selection of books left in our central library, if you're not fussy about your light reading, but the local branches are foobar.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 2:59 AM
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re: 354

Yeah, although I remember being shocked even in the early 80s visiting my grandparents, who live(d) in far west London [Staines/Heathrow sort of way] and going to their local library. I'm pretty sure I did a grumpy child's strop at the general shittiness of their local library which served a comparable population to the one I used in Scotland but was about 1/5 of the size, and still used little paper tickets at a time when our Scottish library used barcodes and electronic issuing.

That said, I think our local library in Scotland wasn't entirely typical, as it was roughly the same sort of size as the one that served Hillhead in Glasgow.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 4:43 AM
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I wonder to what extent the decline in libraries, at least in the US, is related to the librarification of bookstores. It seems like most people are perfectly comfortable going to a Barnes & Noble, getting a coffee, and reading an entire book without purchasing it. (This comes to mind because someone moving to Chicago recently complained to me that the Seminary Coop is not a very pleasant place to go because it assumes you want to browse or buy books instead of sit and read them.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 5:03 AM
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356. WTF? Do they go to a grocery store and expect to sit and eat all the apples?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 5:26 AM
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It seems odd to me, but it's pretty common. Here's an Ask MeFi discussion with lots of vehement opinions on both sides.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 6:00 AM
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357 is so banned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 6:15 AM
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t just seems silly to buy physical books here

Unless you're in the market for German books!

On German eBay you can get old, nicely bound collected works of pretty much any big German author, the kind of thing you only find in the U.S. occasionally at a library sale. You do have to watch out for old East German editions, though, which sometimes expurgate the oddest things.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 7:08 AM
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I bet the coffee is a more profitable sale nowadays anyway.


Posted by: mealworm | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 7:53 AM
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356-357 I used to do this several times a week as a kid. Some of the Genevan bookstores got used to kicking me out, but others were just fine with me sitting in a corner for a couple hours. B&N's and Borders are far less reader friendly than they were in their early years, when they came with couches, armchairs, and desks scattered around the place. I'm not sure it's a bad business model. If you get people to regularly come and hang out even when they're not intending to buy something, sometimes they will. The appeal of being in bookstores is part of why I almost never buy books online.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 8:54 AM
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We had a bookstore here long ago called Odegaard's, which solved the read-or-buy dilemma fairly well, I thought -- rather than comfy chairs, they had lots of large rectangular solids covered in carpeting. So you could sit on them, and if you were really hardcore, you could read for quite awhile, but most people limited their reading time to a reasonable amount, as it just wasn't that comfortable.
Odegaard's went out of business and the Uptown location became a Borders, which was then unionized, and which was finally closed after the company refused to negotiate in good faith for like 3 years or something.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 9:13 AM
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Also, I spent many happy hours at the old fogy radical bookstore near campus, sitting on the Sara Ja/ne O/son-donated couch and reading all kinds of things for free. It was practically my second home there for awhile.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 9:15 AM
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I just bought what purports to be Roman Ingarden's copy of the Husserliana edition of Ideen I.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 9:41 AM
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I seem to remember my mom saying that Ingarden was a friend of the family.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 10:20 AM
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One of the very old school tutors at St. John's married Husserl's daughter.* She made a little book of her mother's Christmas cookie recipes (with the German originals on facing pages) that was sold in the school bookstore. They're good!

*J@caob Kl/ein is a pretty nifty dude. Heidegger's pet grad student until, you know, until all that had-to-flee-the-country-for-his-life stuff.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 11:22 AM
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They're goodphenomenal!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 12:15 PM
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368: Haw!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 12:17 PM
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But wouldn't you rather nom the noumenal?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 12- 4-10 12:20 PM
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