Re: Women Do Stupid Stuff

1

This is so fucked up, alameida, but so understandable.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:55 AM
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I've got a perfectly stable self-image -- I'm a little heavy, and although I look okay I'd be better off if I lost a little -- absolutely regardless of my weight. I felt that way as a bone-skinny teenager, as a perfectly healthy adult, at a perfectly healthy adult weight +20-25% after having kids, and now having drifted back down closer to my pre-pregnancy weight. I'm never really happy with how I look, but putting on weight doesn't affect it, and it never bothers me enough to actually do anything silly about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:03 AM
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You can get a new knee, probably.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:04 AM
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bitches be tripping

Eddie Spaghetti says not just bitches. Anyhow, knees are the cruelest bodily traitors, and they go so early! So much for intelligent design.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:05 AM
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Discrimination alert: Men do stupid stuff too!


Posted by: Guido Nius | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:09 AM
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5: yeah, but headline-wise that's kind of "Dog bites man".


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:12 AM
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Apo wants me to be unemployed.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:23 AM
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I appreciate the specific numbers (height and weight) for the sake of driving home how fucked up things are, but at the same time, well, there's a reason people in clinical group settings (and also in many places on the internet that discuss anorexia) aren't allowed to discuss numbers. It's alarmingly easy to slide from 'Wow, that's fucked up' to 'She's achieving that, and there's no reason I shouldn't be able to as well.'


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:45 AM
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Alarmingly easy for a lot of people, I should say. For instance, not LB, as per 2.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:46 AM
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I wasn't meaning to present myself as sane -- more as stably divorced from reality, if you see what I mean. The numbers, and what I actually look like, have no relationship at all to the way in which I always feel kind of bad about my body.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:56 AM
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It's alarmingly easy to slide from 'Wow, that's fucked up' to 'She's achieving that, and there's no reason I shouldn't be able to as well.'

I loved that gallery of height/weight pictures, just for hammering home the variability of what a given weight looks like on different people, or how different the weights of two people who both look healthy and attractive can be. I don't know how this should be communicated to people, but I do think it would be easier to be sane about weight if people learned not to compare from one person to another except in very very broad categories.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:03 AM
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Oh yeah, I wasn't reading you that way. Just that the numbers game that trips up so many people wasn't likely to be your particular trouble.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:05 AM
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I loved that gallery of height/weight pictures

I remember that. Can anyone find it? My google-te is too weak.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:08 AM
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Here's one.

Many of these are interesting as well.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:18 AM
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6: I've never been bitten by a dog.


Posted by: Guido Nius | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:32 AM
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15: on the internet, no one need know that.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:37 AM
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Is there dietary advice that goes with the auto-immune ailment or the arthritis? Even if the advice doesn't actually work, it might be better to focus your food anxieties away from your weight, which I think you know is not a problem, to something that is a problem.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:39 AM
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If this is regarded as 'obese' these days, I lose interest in the whole concept.

Goodbye, Norma Jean.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:40 AM
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Goodbye, Norma Jean.

Same age and, apparently, same dress size as the Queen.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:00 AM
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16: need-to-know is an extremely capitalist notion.


Posted by: Guido Nius | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:04 AM
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How strange! Apparently I am exactly the same size as alameida and have the same setpoints and thresholds. Except, of course, that I'm a dude.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:11 AM
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Are your toes rosy?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:15 AM
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then you're the same size as my dad, nathan! blume, that is a decent point, but I think it communicates the crazy more to know how stupid it is.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:17 AM
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I'm excited by/afraid of the idea it might just keep working. in an ideal world, I'd weigh 126. lots of my vintage clothes wouldn't fit well anymore though, and I might not have boobs, which would be lame. and maybe I'd look gaunt.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:19 AM
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guido nius: I said last night that all men were basically evil perverts, so I'm spreading the hate around, don't worry.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:22 AM
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maybe I'd look gaunt.

Not that appealing to vanity rather than health is appropriate, but if the weight I've met you at was in that 135-140 range you're talking about, my guess is that 126 would not be a good look on you.

Also, and I feel as though I should say this for the record, you should quit the extreme dieting and the self-loathing. It's not good for you, and it's not good for the little Xs to be around.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:29 AM
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I don't think it's good for me to be around, either! I am impressionable!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:30 AM
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17 is smart. There is all sorts of wisdom about diet and the immune system, contradictory, complicated, something else beginning with "co." No end of things to try, some of which might work.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:33 AM
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alameida: I checked & you are right, I hate myself even more now.


Posted by: Guido Nius | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:38 AM
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As long as this is the vanity thread, here's my bitching:

I used to have a flat tummy and a roundish tush, and they've switched places. It's pretty dang unflattering, as distributions go.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:39 AM
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I don't think it's good for me to be around, either! I am impressionable!

Right, me too. I start saying, huh, I weigh 140, and my height is... way less than 5'7".


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:39 AM
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There is all sorts of wisdom about diet and the immune system, contradictory, complicated, something else beginning with "co."

Colonic.

Also, and I feel as though I should say this for the record, you should quit the extreme dieting and the self-loathing. It's not good for you, and it's not good for the little Xs to be around.

Yes. If you have to pick one, make them loathe all men insead of themselves.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:41 AM
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33

One thing I've discovered after years of systematic research is that it's not my body that's so unattractive; it's my personality!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:41 AM
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I found that my belly snapped back from pregnancy over a very, very long period -- like, four or five years. It was never particularly flat even when I was a skinny kid, but post-pregnancy it was vaguely oatmeal-like for long enough that I gave up and figured it was the new normal, and then sometime when I wasn't paying attention it recovered its tone substantially.

Don't know what to tell you about the butt, other than maybe do deadlifts?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:42 AM
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31: On the other hand, I'm 5'7" and not particularly unsightly at my top weight, which was 172 (UnfoggeDCon II, for anyone who was there) if you want a more forgiving benchmark.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:45 AM
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I am shorter and fatter than LB! Yay!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:47 AM
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Front-butt is unsightly.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:47 AM
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38

Let's all say something we think makes women ugly.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:47 AM
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but post-pregnancy it was vaguely oatmeal-like for long enough that I gave up and figured it was the new normal, and then sometime when I wasn't paying attention it recovered its tone substantially

I remember you mentioning this before, and I have told of it to several friends who are pregnant now or have recently had babies.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:48 AM
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I suspect the butt is gone for good, because it was always pretty nonexistent, but I had a slight indentation where my waist should be. Currently I'm still carrying a fair bit of baby weight.

I'm having a bit of existential crisis, because I am eating sensibly and exercising, and I'm not willing to do anything extreme. But I keep questioning myself - "Am I losing the baby weight? How bout now?" Basically, no.

Plus, SIGH, we'd like to have more kids, and we're on a tight-ish time schedule because I want to have mastectomies in a few years.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:48 AM
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Let's all say something we think makes women ugly.

This cracked me up.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:49 AM
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Let's all say something we think makes women ugly.

I for one think it makes women ugly when they don't believe in themselves! Let that inner beauty shine, ladies!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:49 AM
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33: One thing I've discovered after years of systematic research is that it's not my body that's so unattractive; it's my personality!

This is something I've always known about myself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:52 AM
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I just find it slightly disturbing that, in a community in which we know we have, or have had, people with life-threatening eating disorders, that we're blithely going on about how my butt is like this and it's horrible and your stomach is like this and it's horrible.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:52 AM
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Recently, Jammies' sister (aspiring photographer), put together a slide show of Hawaiian Punch. I'm holding her, and she's laughing super hard, and it's sunny out and beautiful, etc.

The reason she's laughing so hard is that I was whispering in her ear "Poopy! Poopy poopy poopy! Poop!" etc.

So, my face is heavily shadowed, and my chin is down and back, creating like 8 chins, and the photo is taken from below me. The most unflattering angle of myself I've ever seen.

I had to laugh, because who cares, plus Hawaii looks gorgeous.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:53 AM
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If 38 is directed at me, I was just attempting a joke on this:
I used to have a flat tummy and a roundish tush, and they've switched places.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:53 AM
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44: I don't think we're doing anything so dire as that. We're chiding ourselves for knowing perfectly well that we respond to weight messages, like everyone else, even though we know better.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:54 AM
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46: Sorry, Eggplant. I didn't get that.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:54 AM
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49

Let's all say something we think makes women ugly.

Three or more testicles.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:56 AM
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50

Let's have a conversation about how racist we all are, too. We can't avoid it! So it'll be fun!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:57 AM
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Look, I'm struggling to accept my new ungainly body, and I don't see why sighing about it on a thread is such a crime.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:59 AM
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I just find it slightly disturbing that, in a community in which we know we have, or have had, people with life-threatening eating disorders, that we're blithely going on about how my butt is like this and it's horrible and your stomach is like this and it's horrible.

I'm a little ambivalent about this. The body insecurities that are getting aired are real, and I think there's something harmful about pressure to conceal them even in the service of trying not to perpetuate them. They're bullshit, but admitting the insecurity seems to me to be better than requiring a feigned self-confidence.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:59 AM
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there's a reason people in clinical group settings ... aren't allowed to discuss numbers.

My sister - who is spiritually and physically very healthy - doesn't know how far she runs, or how fast she does it. If she told me she never weighed herself, I wouldn't be surprised.

Me, I can't maintain discipline without keeping score. If I want to weigh an appropriate amount, I have to get a bit obsessive.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:00 AM
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48: Probably because it's not very funny.
Regarding 33, unlike LB it was a long time before I realized this about myself. All those years developing strong negative beliefs about my appearance and how it prevented people from liking me, and it turns out I'm just an asshole. A gorgeous asshole.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:02 AM
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Well, from the outside, it sounds a fuckload like all the reasons I have so few female friends. I hate myself like this. I hate myself like that. No, you're fine; I'm the ugly one!

Ugh, do what you want. I have work to do.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:04 AM
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Yes, in all the time you've known us, this is all we yammer on about. How much we hate ourselves. What one-dimensional assholes we are.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:06 AM
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I didn't accuse you of being one-dimensional. I accused you of not thinking about who reads what you say and how it affects them.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:09 AM
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What's the ugliest
Part of your body?
What's the ugliest
Part of your body?
Some say your nose
Some say your toes
But I think it's
YOUR MIND
I think it's your mind, woo woo


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:10 AM
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57 is stupid.


Posted by: Guido Nius | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:16 AM
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A gorgeous asshole.

A gorgeous, multidimensional asshole.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:16 AM
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I drew the one-dimensional accusation from why you don't generally like hanging out with other women.

I don't want Unfogged threads to dwell on weight and conforming to beauty standards. So I'm glad you're providing pushback.

But we've had recent threads where people bitched about being mistreated because they were short. I don't think yet this had exceeded that kind of bitching.

I suppose short people were bitching about how other people mistreated them, not about their self-loathing. So it's not quite analogous. I don't know. I am struggling with it, and it seems fair to talk about it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:16 AM
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One thing I've discovered after years of systematic research is that it's not my body that's so unattractive; it's my personality!

This made me chuckle.


It might be a good thing too; it takes a lot of effort - months of diet, regular exercise, lengthy grooming etc - to change the way your body looks, but all you need to change your personality is a quick bout of head trauma!


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:20 AM
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I like not knowing how much I weigh. I haven't owned a scale since I left my parents' house and only very rarely go anywhere that would have one.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:21 AM
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A gorgeous, multidimensional asshole.

with hemorrhoids.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:21 AM
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And by normal I mean gross and fat and totally insane because, I know you hear me on this, most of the time bitches be tripping.

Can't say I identify with this, and I say that as someone who has lost and gained 40 lbs a few times as an adult. I'm not gross when I'm fat, and I'm not insane about food in any part of my range. alameida, could you put your girls in sports to counter some of the bodyloathing?

I do like raisin bran.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:22 AM
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I do like raisin bran.

Only on the weekends. The bathroom at work isn't very clean.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:23 AM
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I should say that the only ways I've ever lost significant weight in the past have been major depression, quitting drinking, being seriously ill, and bouncing back from my first pregnancy to my pre-first-pregnancy weight (132, my true goal) when my oldest was 9 months old (that was great). I'm almost unique among my friends in more or less never having been on a diet, except the kind like, hey, I'll stop eating candy bars for a while because my weight is creeping up. so this is like a horrible wonderful new discovery. fuck off, cakes at the mall! I'm better than you! the only thing that scares me is that I'll fuck up my metabolism somehow and will wreck my set points, at which I can eat more or less whatever I want (and, annoyingly, not eat much at all) without any change. then I'd have to be on a diet all the time, like all the other women in America. it's just dangerous for me to discover new obsessive behaviors.

and right now I have a friend in my life in AA where I intervened and took her aside and said I couldn't bear to see her literally wasting away before my eyes. I said I knew she had struggled with anorexia in the past but it really seemed to have the upper hand, and I got her in contact with an OA friend. but there's this tiny part of me that says, I bet she shops in the kids section of the store for jeans, I wonder if she has a 20 inch waist? jealous.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:23 AM
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Why won't I just shut up?


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:24 AM
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59: I don't know how many of your friends have been hospitalized because they hadn't eaten in weeks and can be triggered again so easily, or how many times you've sat around with women who tried to shame you by pointedly declaring themselves to be "totally grotesque" at a size 2 when you're a size 12, or been told by your mother every fucking day of your life that no one will ever love you because you're not skinny like she used to be. I guess if you've never experienced that, it might seem stupid.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:25 AM
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Will someone please tell me to shut up?


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:26 AM
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bouncing back from my first pregnancy to my pre-first-pregnancy weight (132, my true goal) when my oldest was 9 months old (that was great)

I think this might be the kind of thing AWB was talking about in 57.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:26 AM
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Well, I think you all look lovely.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:30 AM
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I used to have a flat tummy and a roundish tush, and they've switched places.

We could rehash the vitriolic "mom jeans" thread, I suppose.

A gorgeous, multidimensional asshole.

Because eventually you'll have to pass the Unlimited Pancake.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:35 AM
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I'm always already passing the Unlimited Pancake.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:37 AM
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Ultimate Pancake isn't as much fun as it sounds. The syrup gets all over your cargo shorts and everything.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:39 AM
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OK, fair cop. sorry awb, I'm not trying to be an asshole. and it's not like I don't recognize this is crazy, disordered thinking. but we don't have trigger warnings for rape stories on unfogged, either. my stepfather used to tell me I was disgusting and fat every day also. you know, when I was a healthy but thin teenager. anyway, don't be friends with dudes, they're dangerous. sure, we're crazy and vicious and capable of crushing people's souls just by laughing, but we're almost certainly not going to rape you. look at the good side.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:39 AM
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Oh here's a good one! One of my students announced to the whole class that I really need to get in better shape if I'm going to expect him to have to look at me for 75 minutes in a row. That was awesome.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:39 AM
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77: Just flunk him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:41 AM
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That makes me want to punch him. What a fucking ass.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:42 AM
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What's a normal college-teacher response to a disruptive student? I assume you can tell someone to leave the class and not return under some circumstances, and personal abuse aimed at the instructor seems like a good candidate for those circumstances.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:43 AM
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Is there a worse-value proposition for a man than commenting on this thread? Probably not. But since I'm an idiot, I'll say that my current thesis is that the great horror is that women (and, increasingly, men) who are very thin but not fit are considered attractive. Which, in turn, leads to insane behavior like eating nothing but raisin bran and not exercising is anything but a ridiculously horrible, indeed, despicable, idea.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:44 AM
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"I was going to read your paper, but I was all winded and sweaty from trying to get in better shape so I just gave you an F instead."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:44 AM
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of my class of around 65 at a private girls' school, 4 had to be hospitalized with eating disorders in our senior year. think of how many were suffering from eating disorders not quite horribly enough to get put in the hospital. at one point I toyed with not eating so that I'd get so thin my stepfather would leave me alone, if I was so fat and disgusting that--wait a minute. I sensibly realized that he wasn't going to leave me alone anyway and didn't try.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:44 AM
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What's a normal college-teacher response to a disruptive student?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3m1ZpT4-SA


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:46 AM
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But since I'm an idiot, I'll say that my current thesis is that the great horror

My dad's biggest fear is that they'll invent a pill which replicates exercise and all its benefits, and all his hard work will have been wasted. Wasted!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:46 AM
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But since I'm an idiot, I'll say that my current thesis is that the great horror is that women (and, increasingly, men) who are very thin but not fit are considered attractive.

You've identified yourself as an idiot already, and I think what I'm going to bitch about is a drafting error rather than what you actually meant. But saying that it's a 'great horror' that anyone, regardless of whether or not you approve of their body type, is considered attractive, is seriously none of your business. If someone else wants to consider thin but unfit people attractive, and isn't hurting anyone by doing so, that's no skin off your nose.

That people aspire to 'thin but unfit' in the belief that it will make them more attractive, and that other people hold this out as a general purpose ideal, does seem to me to be a problem, and that's probably more like what you meant. "Great horror", eh, I think is still overblown.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:48 AM
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84 is awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:48 AM
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85: I have similar fears about cleaning the garage when a flood might somehow cause the Mon to rise 300 feet above its banks and ruin the garage floor anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:49 AM
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god, that student deserved to be jonah in the belly of the fail whale. the funny thing is that awb is just super-sexy in real life. somehow giving off this awesome vibe that she's self-confident, and would be direct about her desires and just generally fun, in a specifically sexy way. sorry if this is an unpleasant compliment, awb; people often tell me I'm sexy and it's sort of a strange thing to respond to. but you're hella sexy! and one of the things I try to use to reason with myself when I step on the scale and instantly think, I should just kill myself, is, do you want all your cool beautiful friends who weigh more than you to get killed? not really, huh? maybe you're tripping?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:52 AM
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71: Bragging?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:54 AM
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The more serious point is that I don't think we're ever going to get to a point at which we stop making relative aesthetic evaluations of other people's bodies, and I also think that, e.g., obesity is a real problem, largely for the limitations it puts on peoples lives, and that it would be a good thing for overall happiness if more people were in shape.

My thesis (such as it is) is that if you could replace the category "thin" as the culturally desirable quality with the category "fit" you would be doing everyone, and women in particular, a world of good.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:55 AM
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Yes, I think one of the first things you figure out when trying to deal with body image is that it is not helpful to say that the mainstream "ideal" is ugly. Because everyone is supposed to hate themselves. Self-loathing is not even just for women anymore. For about 6 months I was dating a guy who had in the past been an obsessive weight-lifter, and then got life-threateningly ill and stopped going to the gym. Jesus fuck he hated himself. Having been sick gave him a sense of perspective and joy for the first couple of months we were dating, but then the status quo that I didn't know about crept back in. He started going to the gym again and was all, what do you think of my body now? What do you think of my body now?

Another thing I have learned about myself: I am not a good partner for someone with body issues.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:56 AM
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It is odd how disconnected our standards for ourselves often is from our standards for our friends.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:56 AM
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My thesis (such as it is) is that if you could replace the category "thin" as the culturally desirable quality with the category "fit" you would be doing everyone, and women in particular, a world of good.

If you could do this and actually do it, it really would be great. Right now there's a whole thing where "fit" is a codeword for "thin", and fat fit people get told they're not actually fit, etc.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:58 AM
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"fit" is a codeword for "thin"

Maybe replace "fit" with "fetch"?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:00 AM
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Or maybe "gay", and kill two birds with one stone.

I just have to get gay before our beach trip in August.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:01 AM
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no, identifying certain weights and responses to life-changing results like pregnancy as acceptable and others as unacceptable, when you know perfectly well lots of your readers will now fall into the unacceptable region. that's more like being an asshole than bragging per se. but there was an element of bragging, I guess. the thing was, it just happened by itself! the disappointment and horror I experienced when this emphatically did not happen after the birth of my second child was awful. I more or less stayed the same as before she was born. it was a huge driver of my drinking. I felt unutterably repulsive, while still finding other women who weighed the same perfectly attractive. this is because, as is well attested, I am crazy. when neil the ethical werewolf first met me in real life, I asked him if I was what he was expecting and he said, that no, I seemed pretty normal and not crazy. I explained I was faking it.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:01 AM
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I at least, and likely Halford who can speak for himself plenty fine, have the zeal of the convert. We want everyone to feel boundy and springy at all times and also reduce t-shirts to shreds when they flex. It feels great. They should have that!

This zeal is countered by a pernicious category of people who aren't fat, but also not in shape. They are (often) putting a lot of energy into body modification, but not in the way that makes them feel best, as I know from personal experience. It is none of my business and mostly the mouth-filter works, but inside I still wish they would do things my way. Because I'm right!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:02 AM
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94.2: it has already happened, at least in Knifecrime Island. "Fit" is synonymous for "attractive"; you'd say someone (of either gender) is "fit" in the same way that I think USians would say "hot".
"On the prowl for a fit bloke", etc.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:03 AM
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99: Here too -- 'fit' in a dating context tends to mean 'hot in a skinny kind of way'.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:04 AM
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I don't think it has any connotation of skinniness over here, tbh.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:05 AM
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Seriously, people are much better off eating a nutritionally well-rounded diet, and exercising to keep their metabolisms up, and losing weight slowly if desired by reducing portions or cutting out unnecessary things like cookies or whatever, and reshaping their various parts if desired through targeted exercise, even if weight-bearing exercise doesn't result in weight loss and may even increase poundage a bit (muscle mass weighs more than fat) ... than they are going on near-starvation diets, which make the body freak out and try to do crazy things to compensate ... because the former approach makes you *feel* much better, and the latter approach might make you feel not very good.

I speak from experience.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:06 AM
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It is odd how disconnected our standards for ourselves often is from our standards for our friends.

This is interesting. For how many people here is it true? I don't think I have this disconnect.



Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:06 AM
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89: Thanks! And yeah, I mostly get through my life without thinking about shit like whether I'm fat to live. My response to that kid in the class was to say something hilarious and awesome. But obviously, it stuck with me. No matter how confident I am as an adult, it's hard to forget trying to kill yourself at 8 because everyone in your fourth-grade class thinks you're too fat to live.

I get treated like shit a lot by men. The line seems to be that since I'm confident and smart, I can "take" it. They don't have to be polite or decent or careful with me, and what a relief, huh? I'm pretty enough to sleep with, but not pretty enough to be seen in public with, and that's part of being sexy but fat. I'm the girl you invite over at 2am when no one's going to see her come into the building. I am fully aware that this is about my size. I also know that it's bullshit, and it makes me mad. But I actually comfort myself by saying it's because I'm unlikeable rather than that I'm ugly.

I don't think anyone deserves to be treated like shit. But the more we tell each other and ourselves that we're unacceptable due to this or that body feature, the more we justify people acting this way.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:07 AM
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I might be wrong, but I'd tend to assume that, say, a personal ad looking for someone 'fit' would be privileging 'visibly low body fat' over either 'pretty' or 'could successfully perform feats of athleticism.'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:08 AM
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105: might be one of those "divided-by-a-common-language" things then...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:11 AM
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105: It's like the wonderful euphemism "takes care of herself." As in, "I'm looking for a nice, normal girl who takes care of herself." He doesn't mean she eats right and washes her hands.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:12 AM
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105: but wouldn't "fit" be sort of an obnoxious word to put in a personal ad? Say "athletic" if you're looking for someone who will play sports with you; say "thin" if you want someone thin. "Fit" just seems too judgmental.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:12 AM
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Huh. I take those ads at face value and show up to the first coffee with kettlebells.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:13 AM
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Fifty-threes, if you must know.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:15 AM
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I am aware of the Knifecrime use of "fit." "She's well fit" could mean she has great tits or a pretty face. I found it confusing at first too.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:15 AM
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108: Well, yeah. I'd take 'fit' in a personal ad, unless accompanied by cues demonstrating that it really did mean "I want a marathoning partner/someone to go on 50-mile hikes with/a point guard for my basketball team" to be a sign of obnoxiousness, along exactly those lines. "I'm going to present my esthetic preferences as health-based, and think of you as a lazy slob if you don't have the look I like."


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:15 AM
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who takes care of herself

"...because I fall asleep as soon as I'm done."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:16 AM
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Have Halford and Megan started dating yet?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:17 AM
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show up to the first coffee with kettlebells
*swoon*


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:17 AM
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show up to the first coffee with kettlebells

How many??


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:19 AM
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the disappointment and horror I experienced when this emphatically did not happen after the birth of my second child was awful.

This may just be another of those things - like no longer having 20 orgasms at the drop of a hat - that is a real departure from your own experience and is truly upsetting to deal with, yet is not going to get much sympathy when articulated to a larger audience.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:19 AM
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This talk of personal ad language fills me with despair. I read them as meaning what the words actually mean. "Takes care of herself" means she is not dependent on someone else to ensure she's fed, housed, clothed, and so forth - self sufficient, in other words. "Fit" means she can spend a day hiking without getting exhausted. "Rubenesque" means she looks like a delicious sandwich. OK, not that last one, but the other two are pretty much accurate.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:20 AM
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113: Why wait that long?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:21 AM
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111: I am tempted to assume that it's 'fit' in a Darwinian sense, as in "Ah ha! Clearly that bloke carries several desirable alleles! I must attempt to mingle his DNA with mine at the earliest possible opportunity."


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:22 AM
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I think I've mentioned before that whenever I'm with my parents, my mom keeps on ragging on me for being fat. For the record I'm 6-2 and my weight these days tends to be about 160-165. My mom thinks I need to lose about 10kg (22lb). Fortunately, among my many self-esteem issues, weight and body image in general has never been a problem (other than balding, but I've gotten over that now). She's about 5-5 and 115, all muscle and bone.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:23 AM
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How many??

Four, obviously. She wants to be sure you're fit too.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:24 AM
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"Rubenesque" means she looks like a delicious sandwich.

But not a kosher one. Perhaps a plain pastrami on rye should be renamed the 'Zaftig'.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:24 AM
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I think of 'fit' and 'thin' in online personal ads as a real distinction. 'Athletic' is like a next step in which you actually race or compete in stuff or in which exercise is just a huge part of your life.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:25 AM
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For how many people here is it true? I don't think I have this disconnect.

I think it is very common for women, about their looks/weight. I don't know that it's necessarily common for Unfogged women.

I can somewhat identify with it, but not entirely, because I'm pretty forgiving of my own misshapenness.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:26 AM
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121: I should introduce Buck to your mother in the hopes that he can cut you out of your inheritance. (Actually, by her standards, he's still overweight at 6'2" 155, but closer.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:26 AM
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(sometimes. I'm pretty split, I guess.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:26 AM
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I was a bit thrown glancing at Craigslist ads at how many people seemed to be into rock climbing and skiing. Then I found out that they weren't talking about my sort of sports.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:27 AM
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"Rubenesque" means she looks like a delicious sandwich.

"Rubenesque" should mean "capable of producing wonderful paintings of the Flemish Baroque school". Rubens himself looks as though he was fairly skinny.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:28 AM
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I'm not sure I understand 128. Are those things euphemisms now?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:29 AM
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130: yes.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:31 AM
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Hmm. It seems they are indeed. I'm surprised that many people would express an interest in skiing. But maybe it's a thing.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:33 AM
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For the record I'm 6-2 and my weight these days tends to be about 160-165. My mom thinks I need to lose about 10kg (22lb).

Bwaahahahaha. My brother's 6'0" and when he weighed 140 he was running eighty miles a week and winning the Big East 5,000m championship.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:34 AM
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You guys are making me feel fat, at 6'2", 185lb. From now on, only Limited Pancakes.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:38 AM
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Your parents, they fuck you up and all that. 6'2" and 155-165 is so absurdly not fat that I'm amazed; but we have to stop listening to our parents at some point, right? My mom sometimes told me that she couldn't see how any man could find me not disgusting, since I don't shave my legs. The only response to this kind of thing is, "Yeah, mom, well, it works out fine."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:39 AM
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I did manage to get down to about 130lb once at my current height. Back then my normal weight was around 150, I went through a breakup and killed my appetite for two months. I was a fucking biology class exhibit, especially since I was simultaneously doing tons of hiking and biking. Friends got worried looking at me.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:46 AM
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I am 6'4" and weight around 200 lbs. The above height-weight combinations are making me feel a bit big-boned.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:46 AM
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al, I vote stop, which of course everyone else will too. You'll fuck up your metabolism and once you do that, things are bad. I was anorexic for a long time and so I don't know how much

I have mostly stopped hating how I look since Mara joined the family and I've absolutely stopped saying anything negative about my body because I don't want her internalizing it from me. (And my mother, too, thought it was disgusting when I had hair on my legs and forbade shorts/skirts for that reason. Now I still don't wear shorts, well over a decade later.)

I've been thin but not fit and am now not particularly either. I don't suppose I've ever been fit. I mean, yeah, I can hike for a few hours at a time, but I'm not actively exercising and not likely to start exercising soon. I'm doing my physical therapy exercises since the scoliosis-related pain seems especially bad these days, but other than that and lots of carrying a 40-lb child, nope. I don't think I aspire to be attractive, really, but I do still occasionally wish I were thin. I'll probably never be rid of that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:48 AM
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I at least, and likely Halford who can speak for himself plenty fine, have the zeal of the convert. We want everyone to feel boundy and springy at all times and also reduce t-shirts to shreds when they flex. It feels great. They should have that!

Everybody's body is different.

I've been enjoying going to the gym, and it's been good for me, but I definitely feel like, compared to some people, I need to be cautious about minor aches and sprains. I feel like my recovery time from gym work is longer than many people's (and I don't think I'm overdoing anything, I just feel like it isn't good for me to push the frequency of weights work if my body isn't happy with it).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:49 AM
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Wait, so does "rock climbing" mean crack smoking or having sex with large women? Urban dictionary gives both definitions, and they would seem to be in some tension.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:50 AM
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You guys are making me feel fat, at 6'2", 185lb

Man, if I could get down to 185, I'd (be able to) jump for joy. As it is, just getting back under 200 (I'm probably 215-220 right now) would be lovely. I got down as low as 170 in the wake of my divorce and thought it looked great, but practically nobody else thought so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:50 AM
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138's first paragraph was supposed to end with something like "I don't know how long it takes to reset your metabolism in a bad way, but it's much quicker than getting it back to a normal is."


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:52 AM
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140: That's the sort of thing that really needs to be clarified before showing up for coffee.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:53 AM
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The above height-weight combinations are making me feel a bit big-boned

I'm 6'1" and right now am probably at about 255. My goal weight is 230 so I wouldn't feel too bad about being big boned. At 240 I actually feel pretty good.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:53 AM
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136, 137, 141: Like I said way up above, everyone's body is different. Buck looks like a skinny guy at 6'2" 155, but not unhealthy or anything. My dad's the same height, and I don't think I ever saw him below 180, and that was very very fit and low-body-fat. To get down to 155, he'd need to amputate a limb.

Comparing height-weight numbers from person to person really doesn't work well at all.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:56 AM
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It is truly not the same when men toss around specific height/weight numbers. I'm marveling at how casually this is happening.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:56 AM
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everyone's body is different

Yes. My ex is famously 125 pounds and 5'10". On most normal-sized frames, this would just look awful.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 9:59 AM
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146: Why is it not the same?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:01 AM
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And I've seen him, and it doesn't look weird on him at all. A bit ethereal, but not as if he's starved or anything.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:01 AM
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148: Doesn't seem so loaded? Seems more like they're discovering a topic they don't think about comparing very often? It reminds me of how you hit a certain age in school, and all of a sudden you realize you're not supposed to say "I got a 98! What did everyone else get on their test?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:03 AM
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148: I think men have a rather broader spectrum of acceptable-to-good builds at any given height, even if the "best" physique for any given man tends to be pretty narrowly-defined (by that man, often).


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:03 AM
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I think men are more likely to recognize that 200 pounds does really look different on different men, in part because men's weights are so often announced in sports, so we see super-athletic men of many weights. But I do think men can be as cruel to themselves about their bodies as women are; it's just not as focused on weight. It might be hairiness, or muscles, or genitals, or whatever.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:04 AM
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I think everyone should try social dancing a lot, any partner dancing that improves with practice, because (a) there are lots of ways to be wonderful to dance with, few of which are determined by thinness; (b) I suspect, with Ehrenreich, that it satisfies deep human urges; (c) more for me to dance with.

I can't tell if all the competitive ballroom on TV is leading to more social dancing. They aren't the same but they pretend to be.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:04 AM
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152 pwned by 151.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:05 AM
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It's not the same in that a whole gamut of guys have casually volunteered their actual weights in this thread, but practically no women have.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:06 AM
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154: But I didn't get the hairy, muscular genitals point.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:07 AM
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155: I don't actually care if everyone knows my height/weight, but it seems tactless.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:07 AM
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I offered my dress size. My mother is the one who cares about my weight. I care about whether I look good in my clothes, because I can't afford to replace them.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:07 AM
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I didn't get the hairy, muscular genitals

I'm sure you have a fine personality, Flippanter.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:08 AM
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156: hairy, muscular genitals

This would make an amazing surrealistic gay art-porn film.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:08 AM
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157: Well, yeah. For women, it's hard for specific numbers not to come off as either self-loathing or bragging, depending on the audience.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:10 AM
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Right. I didn't mean to call a bunch of us tactless, I just meant that was the self-policing in my head. Whereas men are more free to just be sharing the news.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:12 AM
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I can't figure out which is the right thread to interrupt for this, but

||
I'm going to be in Portland next week Tuesday-Sunday. Is anyone else going to be around there to drink beers with me?
|>


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:13 AM
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Plus, SIGH, we'd like to have more kids, and we're on a tight-ish time schedule because I want to have mastectomies in a few years.

You *want*...? OK...


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:13 AM
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Yeah, men can have plenty of body image issues, but they aren't really all that tied to weight (can we agree that height is less fraught, and taboo only as it gives context for weight?)--in my case, they certainly aren't. When I was in the best shape of my life I was also pretty close to my (current) maximum weight. Then I quit my very-active sport, and simultaneously lost weight and gained fat.


Posted by: Osgood Yousbad | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:13 AM
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I'm tempted to throw out more height/weight numbers for men now: my housemate is 6'7" and about 215, I think. He registers as lanky, but not trim (bit of a belly, not much heft around the shoulders/pecs, but very little body fat, and very very strong). I tend to think he should eat more.

I'm 5'7", and for a few years I was around 123 lbs. -- I heard from friends several years later that they thought I was overly thin, and they worried a bit. Yet I see photos of myself from that period and think, Wow, amazing, not likely to happen again. So yes, it is a problem.

Sorry, I'm lagging behind the thread a bit -- doing stuff in between.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:13 AM
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A couple of days ago I got cornered by someone I didn't--couldn't!--have sex with because of his body issues. He's about my height, cute, in great shape, but he wouldn't take his clothes off. He had pursued me for months, and when we finally tried to hook up, he just couldn't do it. I'm the one with the not-small body, goddamn it!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:14 AM
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my housemate is 6'7" and about 215

You're shacked up with Fontana Labs?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:14 AM
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I think 167 was about body hair. It pissed me off because I'd already had an orgasm and gotten naked and he's all "I'm too shy!" But I guess body shame is powerful stuff for guys too. I just didn't know it was the kind of thing that made men non-functional.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:16 AM
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158: My dress size is pretty similar to yours, though there's so much variation in sizing that I'm not even sure what that means. I do remember thinking the other day that I'd probably be unhappy with myself if I lived in one of the coastal regions where thin is truly the desired and fetishized norm rather than here in the Midwest, where being in the normal BMI range is neither unusual nor censured. I have no idea whether that's accurate.

I'm at the top of the "normal" BMI range now, 165ish at 5 foot 9, and I've been at the low end (129, according to some online calculator) when eating like a normal person. I think my body is and feels healthier at the upper end of that band than at the lower, but I liked how I looked at the lower end more.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:17 AM
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170: Crazy. I weigh a lot more and am a lot shorter than you. Dress sizes are weird.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:19 AM
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||
Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow is looking for a tutor for her kids. Qualified applicants will be "fluent" in Ancient Greek, Latin, French, and Spanish. "Probably" educated at Oxford or Cambridge. "Talented" at tennis and sailing. 98K/yr for 2-4 hrs/day. Maybe alameida can get this job? I fail on the Spanish and the sports (and my French is certainly sub fluent these days). But Gwynnie is bugging me with the "fluent" in Ancient Greek and Latin. Not really how it works!
|>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:20 AM
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168: Shacked up? Housemates! But yeah, I kinda tried to chat amicably with Labs at UnfoggeDConII about tall men-ness. He didn't seem very interested, which after 2 seconds I got: oh, right, talking about how tall you are is pretty irritating, isn't it? Anyway, Labs is only 6'5". Pff.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:20 AM
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I'm a good 30lbs heavier than I ought to be -- for appearance, but mostly for preventing injuries when doing sport, and general comfort -- and I'm finding that losing weight at all now that I'm getting towards 40 is bloody impossible.* There's no body issue, as such. I have a realistic sense of i) how fat I am, and ii) how fat I don't want to be.

* OCD counting of calories for 6 weeks reveals that I should actually be losing crap-loads of weight unless I have a freakish metabolism.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:21 AM
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Labs is only 6'5"

He's 6'8" with an erection, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:22 AM
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I do remember thinking the other day that I'd probably be unhappy with myself if I lived in one of the coastal regions where thin is truly the desired and fetishized norm rather than here in the Midwest, where being in the normal BMI range is neither unusual nor censured.

I think this is overstated -- from my perspective, in NYC, the higher BMI categories are probably seen as more unusual and more negative than they are outside of urban coastal centers, but unless you're literally in the fashion industry I don't think there's any significant social penalty for being in the normal BMI range. (And I don't actually know about the fashion industry.)

What I'm calling 'bone skinny' when I was younger was dead square middle of the normal BMI range -- I'm heavily built, and getting to BMI underweight just wouldn't plausibly happen except under medically weird circumstances. But that was treated socially as genuinely skinny, not overweight because it wasn't a model-level-of-skinny.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:24 AM
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171: I'd have said I was more a 14, probably. I think the jeans I'm wearing today are 14 and somewhat loose everywhere except the thighs. Women's clothes and sizing are ridiculous.

Lee and I were measured as having the exact same bra size and yet there's not much visible similarity there either. How's that for oversharing?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:24 AM
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176: I'm sure it's an unfair conclusion and think I came to it from reading other people's blogs, which is also unfair. I was just thinking I'd probably care more (and I have, at times, cared to unhealthy degrees about my body shape, despite not dressing well or wearing makeup or anything like that) if I were plopped down into the same body/class/etc. but elsewhere.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:27 AM
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177: So much depends on what body-measurement the particular garment you're wearing thinks of as the bottleneck. I'm broad-shouldered/big-ribcaged/thickwaisted/not-particularly-broad-hipped. Something that's nipped in at the waist, I'm going to be wearing a much, much bigger size than something that's tighter over the hips.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:27 AM
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I think 167 was about body hair.

Men sometimes take a lot of shit for that. I know whereof I speak. It's something that you carry through life with you from the bad times in high school. I have to say though that that seems an excessive reaction.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:29 AM
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I would say I feel more sexually attractive to people in NYC than I have anywhere else in my life (midwest, plains, south). I was totally sexually invisible in Cleveland and Kansas City.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:31 AM
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re: 180

Yeah, I'm reasonably hairy,* and while no woman has ever told me she didn't like it, and several have told me they liked it, I've heard enough complaints from women talking about some 3rd party that I can see how someone might develop a bit of a complex about it.

* 60s Sean Connery sort of hairy, not big-foot hairy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:32 AM
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What is freakish is the range of weights that fit into a clothes size. These days I'm mid-170s (5'8") and wearing size 8 jeans.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:35 AM
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182. I am bigfoot hairy. As a kid I got a lot of yuk from girls if I appeared without a shirt. Grown up women don't seem to care so much.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:37 AM
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complaints from women talking about some 3rd party

Indeed. Also, it's now practically impossible to find media images of men without fully shaved torsos.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:37 AM
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I can't imagine body hair as a dealbreaker, as long as it's not, like, palms and eyelids. I remember overhearing some 17-year-olds I worked with at the spa talking about how they like a man with no hair on his arms, that hair on arms is disgusting. I asked them if they'd tried having sex with women, because I'm classy and a good listener with a lot of friends.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:39 AM
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I figure than when you're with someone you like, you like what you're with. When that means hairy, you find out you like it just fine. I'm always sad when I hear men denigrating their bodies. I like men's bodies! I wish they did too!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:39 AM
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I had the opposite problem with body (and facial) hair in middle and high school. It was agonizing waiting for that bit of puberty to really kick in. Turns out, I'm still waiting.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:40 AM
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I asked them if they'd tried having sex with women, because I'm classy and a good listener with a lot of friends.

[Looks at own hairy forearms.] Even that might not work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:43 AM
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I have super-hairy arms, too. But their chances would be better! Both of them got their arms waxed.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:43 AM
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I don't have particularly hairy arms, it's mostly chest hair and facial hair, but I know my wife finds the hair on my hands somewhat werewolf-like [and not in the teen pr0n/dark-romance sense].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:44 AM
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Have you tried sexing it up with prosthetic fangs? You need to work with the assets you've got. Slit-pupiled contacts can add to the effect.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:46 AM
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6'1" 220, don't know my Myers-Briggs, 4th finger a millimetr longer than my 2nd. In Japan, blood type is the equivalent of astrological sign (A-, aries).

Do levis have waist/inseam visible in all their markets and at all sizes?

Mens Health is the new Cosmo, definitely, concentrated self-loathing tied to the superficial. The recent focus on the superficial is something that puzzles me-- there's definitely been a market for substantive self-loathing, but even for religious people, not that popular currently. There'd be a way to mass-market consumer goods to cover up greed or sloth or whatever.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:47 AM
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My ring fingers, especially the right one, are significantly longer than my index fingers. Am I a dude?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:50 AM
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I've heard enough complaints from women talking about some 3rd party that I can see how someone might develop a bit of a complex about it.

I still remember seeing "The Godfather Part III" in the theater and hearing a couple of women go "oooh, gross!" at a scene of a shirtless (and very hairy) Andy Garcia.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:54 AM
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I figure than when you're with someone you like, you like what you're with. When that means hairy, you find out you like it just fine.

I may have been vocally squeamish about chest hair until I discovered that in context I liked it just fine. My apologies to anyone who may have received a complex from this.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:55 AM
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OT: I hadn't noticed til now that that guy who used to blog here apparently has a baby now.


Posted by: David The Unfogged Commenter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:56 AM
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186, 187 get it right. I acknowledge that when I was younger, I aesthetically favored the relatively hairless male sort, but then a person grows up and finds out that the fuzzier specimens of our human tribe are also hot.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:57 AM
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198: Or grows up and is a lesbian. But hairy men isn't why, I swear!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:59 AM
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172: I was about to post this, too! When I saw that, I thought: surely this will be some commenter's big payday.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:59 AM
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Or grows up and is a lesbian. But hairy men isn't why, I swear!

Set off this song in my head.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:01 AM
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Body hair is fun, gives one something to root and nuzzle in. Hairlessness also fun, especially when sweaty. Thumbs up, would have sex again.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:01 AM
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200: That's quite a range of skills and interests. Maybe the Unfogged Collective should raise the baby.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:01 AM
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191. Me too. I've won bets with guys on who had the most body hair based on hands and forearms. All these dark wire-haired guys throw their money on the table, and then I take off my shirt...

190. The sexiest woman I ever knew, in the purely able-to-arouse-animal-lust-by-walking-into-the-room sense was seriously hairy and did no give a damn. She was also a stone genius (PhD in nuclear physics) and as funny as hell. And married.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:02 AM
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What is all this comparison of finger-length stuff about, anyway? As I contemplated my toes recently, I decided that my first toe and big toe are basically exactly the same length, but I don't know whether this is supposed to mean something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:03 AM
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But Gwynnie is bugging me with the "fluent" in Ancient Greek and Latin. Not really how it works!

Tell it to Montaigne!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:03 AM
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199: Yes, sorry, I was being heteronormative.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:04 AM
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Maybe this language school can let her in on where they get their native speakers of Latin.

http://www.sandfordlanguages.ie/courses/Evening/Latin?gclid=CJeZ9q2pmqkCFUFC4Qodmypxsw


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:05 AM
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193.last: Without self-loathing there is no relentless drive to consume products that claim to mitigate it. I honestly think it is that simple. An emergent property of capitalism is making people feel bad about themselves in order to get them to consume, as well as the destruction of obstacles to that end such as communities which reinforce values other than consumption and anything that shores up self esteem without generating a transaction.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:05 AM
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205: Ring fingers longer than the index in women are supposed to mean higher fetal testosterone. I'm not sure how solid the science is on any of it, but it's certainly current pop-science to look at one's longer-than-index ring fingers and think of oneself as manly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:06 AM
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I figure than when you're with someone you like, you like what you're with.

I like this formulation! It's so true.

This thread has been really interesting to read. I've been working through some body issues in the last few years and I think I'm maybe, finally, almost at a place where my attitude is mildly healthy towards my body and all of its many betrayals.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:06 AM
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parsimon is right. Also, whether my second or fourth finger is longer depends on what angle I put my hand on the table. Is my gender so fluid?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:07 AM
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re: 205

Relative length of ring and index finger is supposed to be an indicator of pre-natal androgen exposure (and also testosterone levels). So, long ring finger relative to index is supposed to be 'testosteroney', and vice versa.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digit_ratio

I expect like all of these things the actual truth of the matter is much less interesting than the popular received version.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:08 AM
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Is my gender so fluid?

Not if you're bigfoot-hairy, no.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:08 AM
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testosteroney

One of the less popular shapes of pasta.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:09 AM
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One of the less popular shapes of pasta.

Don't go there. I bet somebody makes them.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:10 AM
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http://beersforbreakfast.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/popk61jv0owmqb.jpg


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:12 AM
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Self-loathing is also how parents inspire fear and obedience. If you want to make sure your kid never does anything without asking for your permission, teach him to think he's ugly and stupid, and possibly crazy.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:12 AM
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209 gets it exactly right, and let's not forget it. I don't know how many times it has to be repeated.

Also 202 is funny and made me laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:21 AM
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Yes, 202 is lovely.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:26 AM
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I care about whether I look good in my clothes, because I can't afford to replace them.

This. I mean, I'm also feeling serious self-loathing because I'm about 20lbs more than I used to be and feel I ought to be--I'm now 165, 5'7"--but it doesn't help that I'm reminded of it by the fact that none of my pants really fit me anymore, and only 3 pairs are even wearable. So every morning, a nice little reminder. And yes, I realize that at this point I should just go and buy something cheap, but that feels like giving up. (I also feel that since the weight gain is largely from depression-sparked binge-eating, it ought to be easily reversed.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:27 AM
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||
Either my data or my analysis routine sucks donkey balls. Doesn't matter which 'cause I'm not a donkey and I just want it to stop.
|>


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:32 AM
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221: Do you think being in SF is affecting your view of yourself?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:32 AM
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I'm lucky in that depression makes eating an unpleasant chore, and I'm good at avoiding those.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:33 AM
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Do you think being in SF is affecting your view of yourself?

Science Fiction really does have some ridiculous body types.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:35 AM
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It's not the same in that a whole gamut of guys have casually volunteered their actual weights in this thread, but practically no women have.

I wouldn't. I casually volunteered my income once upon a time to Sifu's great amusement, but no go on the weight discussion. Hell, I've lied about my height since the first time I wrote a personal ad (which was a fairly long time ago.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:42 AM
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But Gwynnie is bugging me with the "fluent" in Ancient Greek and Latin. Not really how it works!

Too awesome. Interestingly, no mention of Sanskrit. Maybe it's out of fashion in the flashy erudition department.

Now that I think about it some more, I do know several people who are Oxbridge educated, literate in Greek/Latin and a couple of continental languages, good at sailing--and I'm pretty sure I would not let them anywhere near my kids.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:45 AM
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(Also body hair goes in and out of vogue among the gays, it seems to me, but in rather long cycles. Sadly I've been a sexually active adult and viable libidinal object not in the hairy 70s but in the youth-obsessed 90's-and-beyond, where looking like you're 16 is a huge advantage. Sometimes it feels like it's swung back the other way a little. Huge parenthetical because I feel silly talking about this but sort of can't help talking about this.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:47 AM
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Do you think being in SF is affecting your view of yourself?

No, I felt the same in HD (and really, it's probably easier here--in the summer--than either NYC or HD, simply because the weather makes long sleeves reasonable). Though actually stepping on a scale for the first time in ages, and seeing the damage quantified, didn't help. Anyway. If I just stop bingeing--either food or drink, but preferably both--I'm sure I'll get back to where I used to be.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:50 AM
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body hair goes in and out of vogue among the gays

Beards seem to be on the rise currently around here.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:50 AM
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Well of course your body image is going to suffer in HD. It magnifies all the flaws.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:54 AM
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I care about whether I look good in my clothes, because I can't afford to replace them.

I totally let this be an excuse to not exercise more. What if I lose weight! I won't have anything cute to wear anymore! But then I remind myself about the time I lost 25 pounds (giving up sugary drinks had an amazing effect) and changed exactly one dress size and realize I'm being silly. And then don't exercise, and while not exercising, I find $5.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:54 AM
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229: Okay. Reduce the caloric intake and exercise more, I guess. I asked just because you hadn't expressed these concerns before moving back here, though there hasn't been a thread like this for a while.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:03 PM
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Men's biggest body image obsession may be their penises. I suspect if we were having a thread where women were supposed to provide their breast sizes and men their penis measurements you'd get a lot more infro from the women.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:03 PM
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My great aunt might have qualified on all counts except for the Oxbridge one, that and being dead for the past seven decades. Taught Greek and Latin at a selective high school, spoke native level German and Polish and could get by in French. She also liked tennis. Not sure about the sailing.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:06 PM
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We could all email pictures of our junk!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:07 PM
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6'1"


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:07 PM
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UNLIMITED PENIS!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:08 PM
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Breast size according to what measurement standard?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:12 PM
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Also. Breast size changes with weight gain or loss, and I don't think penis size does. False equivalence!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:14 PM
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239: Hat size?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:14 PM
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But I kid. Water displacement, is, of course, the correct answer.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:15 PM
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Bra size? Bra size conversations have come up spontaneously a number of times.

It's funny. I accept that men are insecure about dick size, but I really don't get it. No one knows other than the people you're having sex with, and if they're happy, what's to be insecure about (and if they're unhappy, isn't that what you should be worrying about?) Barring unusual extremes, I'd just think it would be a private enough fact that it wouldn't be worth devoting worry to.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:15 PM
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234: The lack of generally accepted standardized measurements makes penis size comparison difficult. Scientists who study these things use a measurement that yields an average of about 5.5 inches (140mm), but everyone else uses the stupid way of measuring along the outside of the penis, which leaves the base completely undefined. That's where crazy claims of 12 inch penises come from. Also girth is not generally reported but is much more important for vaginal stimulation.

The lack of comity on penile metrics is the only reason for my reticence, I assure you. Laydeez.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:16 PM
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Obviously, LB isn't on my twitter feed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:17 PM
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lw's is 6-1 but does it have the appropriate PMI for that length?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:17 PM
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Anyway, I don't think men should worry much about their respective penises. The vast majority of them are fine.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:18 PM
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Barring unusual extremes

Didn't we have a whole "micropenis" discussion?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:20 PM
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Parsimon has personally evaluated a vast majority of the world's penes.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:20 PM
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244: You have to properly stretch them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:20 PM
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248: Yes, but we just go in and change his comments to Pauly Shore.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:21 PM
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Gosh, x.trapnel, may the depression improve.

On self-loathing and kyriarchy and standards one would not inflict on one's friends; I have been thinking of self-respect as a goal better than self-esteem. I'm only going to esteem myself if I win, but I can respect myself if I do what one ought. Conveniently, it's the latter that's under my control. Also, the didactic literature is free on P Gutenberg. If I must read self-help books to finish the diss, I'd rather they were Maria Edgeworth than that 4-hour guy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:22 PM
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That's right, and I'm here to tell you that there's no need to be worried.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:23 PM
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than that 4-hour guy.

I think that was Sting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:24 PM
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248: Every so often Dan Savage links to some study showing that sex partners of men with 'micropenes' are more satisfied with their sex lives than the average.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:25 PM
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I've just always kind of assumed this was the case, but 176 reminded me not to take it for granted: everyone knows the "official" body mass index (BMI) system is really very low compared to the average American and maybe even the average human being, and doesn't have much to do with other measures of health, right? I mean, from Wikipedia:

The medical establishment has generally acknowledged some shortcomings of BMI.[17] Because the BMI formula depends only upon weight and height, its assumptions about the distribution between lean mass and adipose tissue are not always exact... Mathematician Keith Devlin and a restaurant industry association The Center for Consumer Freedom argue that the error in the BMI is significant and so pervasive that it is not generally useful in evaluation of health.[18][19] University of Chicago political science professor Eric Oliver says BMI is a convenient but inaccurate measure of weight, forced onto the populace, and should be revised.[20] A study published by JAMA in 2005 showed that "overweight" people had a similar relative risk of mortality to "normal" weight people as defined by BMI, while "underweight" and "obese" people had a higher death rate.

I'm not familiar with the sources cited there, but overall, it seems convincing. Not only should we not worry too much about weight, but to the extent that we do worry about it, we shouldn't put too much stock in BMI categories. Personally, my BMI today is around 26 and the "overweight" category starts at 25, and these days I am probably in better shape and have a healthier lifestyle than I've had in seven years, if not 10.

And as for body hair, my legs are hairy but my chest and back, while there is some hair there, definitely aren't anywhere near "60s Sean Connery sort of hairy". Maybe they will be in 10 years. I definitely have noticed change in hairiness over the past five years, even though puberty is supposed to be long over.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:32 PM
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Hopefully by way of explaining my fit about body-shaming way above:

Sure, we all have body issues. Even those of us who mostly don't have body issues are actually treated badly because of our bodies. Everyone probably even has imagined their own point at which they would say, nope, too fat, got to take drastic measures [starvation/surgery/suicide].

The thing is, when I read someone saying that the fattest they've ever been, at which they felt *not too* "unsightly" is still thinner than I am, then I start to realize something that I work very hard not to think about, which is that people really hate me because of the way I look. My students tell me I'm too fat to look at. Potential sexual partners think I'm too fat to be seen with. My parents think I don't even deserve love because I'm fat. I don't ever think about that shit, until someone else reminds me that I'm supposed to worry about it.

I have my own failsafe point, which I set when I was 13 years old and have never crossed. But I'm not going to fucking tell people what it is, because someone reading here is bigger than that and doesn't need to be reminded that someone else would basically kill herself if she were that size. It's horrible.

Also, I was hella PMSing this morning. But I don't think I was wrong.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:33 PM
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244: I think a metric involving 242 and the geometric mean of circumference and dorsal surface length is the way to go.

I'm very rigorous... laydeez.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:33 PM
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257: I should stay away from this as I'm both clueless and clumsy and I realize your point is not just about yourself, but, fwiw, judging by the pictures you put on flickr recently, you are beautiful.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:39 PM
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My students tell me I'm too fat to look at. Potential sexual partners think I'm too fat to be seen with. My parents think I don't even deserve love because I'm fat. I don't ever think about that shit, until someone else reminds me that I'm supposed to worry about it.

I don't want to deny you your worldview, but is it possible that people say that because they can tell it'll hurt you? Also, having seen your picture, it just doesn't seem plausible that they'd be saying it with any objective measure in mind. alameida is right in 89 even outside of real life.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:40 PM
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re: 256

Well, yeah, but I've always assumed doctors used it as a rough guide rather than a hard and fast rule. I'm obese by the BMI standard [and somewhat fat by any standard] but have a low resting heart-rate, low blood pressure, low levels of bad cholesterol, good levels of the other kind of cholesterol, and all of the other markers of good health. As a result no doctor has ever asked me to lose weight. Still, I'd bet that my GP wouldn't have tested those things at all if I'd been mid-range on the BMI, and I'm not sure that's a bad thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:41 PM
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you are beautiful

Listen, I know. I'm fantastic-looking, and very confident and blah blah blah. But because I'm a woman who isn't ashamed of herself and doesn't cringe around or apologize or participate in conversations about self-loathing, other people feel the need to remind me that I am not acceptable. And good God, I work very hard at repressing that.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:43 PM
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256: It has a lot of uses, clinically and in research. Like most created scales, it has its weaknesses.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:44 PM
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But I'm not going to fucking tell people what it is, because someone reading here is bigger than that and doesn't need to be reminded that someone else would basically kill herself if she were that size.

You can't go by numbers at all, really. My sister with the same height and same face as I have, has a very different build. If I were at my college weight, which would be about the lowest I've been in my adult life, I would be at her pregnancy high. Neither of us would strike any onlooker as outside the normal range of active healthy women.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:47 PM
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Further 262: I don't actually think I'm very pretty, of course, but I am acceptable, and I really don't think about my looks until other people bring up that I'm supposed to. Or they start going off about how much they hate the parts of themselves that are far more traditionally beautiful than those parts are on me and my confidence gets shot.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:47 PM
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257: I've never actually thought about how big would be too big for my self-image to manage, not when anorexic or after, and I'm sort of surprised to learn that others have. (And I can't help thinking of this as "too big to fail," even though that makes no sense.)

I was sympathetic to what you were saying when you initially objected to the trend of conversation because I do try to avoid body-shaming conversations, but on the other hand it's really useful to see women I talk to every day here and like and respect talking about how they are the awesome people they are and yet still have these hangups that are or aren't like my own. I dunno.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:50 PM
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The thing is, when I read someone saying that the fattest they've ever been, at which they felt *not too* "unsightly" is still thinner than I am,

The horror of self-deprecation strikes again. What I was going for with 'not particularly unsightly' was 'I looked fine at that weight'. Before I got near 172, I would have guessed that I would have looked extraordinarily different than I did at my college weight, and then as it turned out I didn't.

My takeaway from the experience is that I don't have a failsafe point -- there's probably some level of weight gain that would make me distinctly unhappy about it, but I have no idea what it is in terms of numbers on the scale.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:51 PM
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But because I'm a woman who isn't ashamed of herself and doesn't cringe around or apologize or participate in conversations about self-loathing, other people feel the need to remind me that I am not acceptable.

I'm like all the things that come before the comma, but somehow the second part never happens to me. I'm glad. I wouldn't know how to react.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:51 PM
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257: I don't think you were wrong either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:51 PM
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I don't particularly like how my arms make me look skinnier than I am (judged by weight). I wouldn't mind being in better shape, which would probably mean being thinner, or having stronger arms. But I never do anything about it. It doesn't help that I hate weight training but am in such poor shape that it's not easy to start running either.

One thing I really liked about being in SF last summer is that it made it really easy for me to just go walking places. It was too chilly to do a lot of sitting still, not too hot for exercise, and not rainy. Also, the area is kind of nice.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:52 PM
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My understanding was that the BMI was meant to correlate well with bodyfat percentage. Strangely, there are other scales that are a ton better that require only a couple more measurements (neck and elbow circumferences in addition to waist and weight).


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:53 PM
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Presumably, you don't get the stuff after the comma because you can beat the living shit out of people and then lift them over your head for a body slam.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:53 PM
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And somehow people can just tell that about me. Maybe it is the shredded t-shirt.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 12:57 PM
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The horror of self-deprecation strikes again.

Yeah, it's funny. I even saw that's what you were doing, and I know you would never be shitty to me. I'm as surprised by my reaction as anybody, but I think the indignities of life have just been piling up. And additionally, I am also aware of several commenters who I hope aren't lurking today who were the people who taught me why we shouldn't say things like X weight or Y size is unacceptable.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:00 PM
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re: 273

And the green skin and tefal forehead?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:00 PM
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But usually I present as Dr. Banner. I don't know what they're picking up on.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:07 PM
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257: I'm intrigued by this, because you're more slender than I am and I've never been made to feel as though I was fat directly by anyone else. (Myself, yes, but that's another story.) It makes me angry to think that you've been made to feel that way - like, seriously enrages me (even though I know I only know you through blog comments). Also, I know you're probably not looking to have anyone say this, but still - I'm gonna say it - which is you're so not too fucking fat to be seen with. Not in the least.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:13 PM
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Oops, should have previewed.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:14 PM
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My students tell me I'm too fat to look at. Potential sexual partners think I'm too fat to be seen with. My parents think I don't even deserve love because I'm fat.

Those people all sound like assholes.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:14 PM
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It is obvious that Megan could rattle your armor upon you. I am pale and envious. ...Part of spending my adolescence almost entirely among guys is that I worry about being short and small and weak as much as about not being bony thin, and at least fixing the former is better for me.

Or maybe I picked my survival strategy on the math team because I could be stronger than expected but not prettier. Doesn't matter as long as it still works for me and I don't leverage it against other people's weakness. Not that I ever figured out at what point I should not lend men my strength just to preserve their pride over my own.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:18 PM
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It is obvious that Megan could rattle your armor upon you. I am pale and envious. ...Part of spending my adolescence almost entirely among guys is that I worry about being short and small and weak as much as about not being bony thin, and at least fixing the former is better for me.

Or maybe I picked my survival strategy on the math team because I could be stronger than expected but not prettier. Doesn't matter as long as it still works for me and I don't leverage it against other people's weakness. Not that I ever figured out at what point I should not lend men my strength just to preserve their pride over my own.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:18 PM
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279: Yeah, it's interesting how frequently assholes pop up in your life when you're fat.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:20 PM
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282: We're just trying to help you!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:24 PM
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Also, smile!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:41 PM
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I got down as low as 170 in the wake of my divorce and thought it looked great, but practically nobody else thought so.

Me too on this. I loved it, but people were worried about me. I'm also 6-2, and at 170, I admit I do look rather like a stick figure.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:42 PM
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(muscle mass weighs more than fat)

This is my mantra--Five months of vinyasa 4-5 days a week and six weeks of low carb diet and I've lost, like, 6 lbs? Oh well. I can do Marichyasana I and Crow (for a few seconds, before I fall over), so what the hell.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:51 PM
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I always though BMI was weird because assuming omnidirectional proportionality, mass should vary as the height cubed, not squared. But I guess omnidirectional proportionality is a bad assumption.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 1:56 PM
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I have two artist friends with adjacent studios who were working together on a photo series. One comes into the other's studio with an armful of second-hand clothes for a shoot, holds up a dress someone gave her and says "Just kill me if I ever get this fat. Do you want to try this on? I think it might fit you."


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:13 PM
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288: Artists are assholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:16 PM
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286 -- weight is a dumb metric, and height/weight ratio is dumb too. Badassery is an awesome metric.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:16 PM
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mcmc, what did the other say?

(It's funny how jerks just turn up everywhere when you aren't the skinniest one.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:16 PM
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She just waited for the other one to come out of her narcissistic trance and die of shame. Which she almost did.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:18 PM
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She just waited for the other one to come out of her narcissistic trance and die of shame. Which she almost did.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:18 PM
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Is it a mitigating factor that speaker was around 25 and the other was 50? So of course too old to care about looks!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:20 PM
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288: Ha! That's how I got the skirt I'm wearing. When I was working at the spa in 2003 they had a sale of things from the previous year's catalog, and two of the horrible 17-year-olds (see above, discussing hairless arms) were talking about how there was the cutest skirt but no human being alive is fat enough to wear it. It was my size yay!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:21 PM
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279: AWB encounters hundreds of times as many assholes as anyone else.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:22 PM
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296: I'm just alive to the experience, man.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:23 PM
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everyone knows the "official" body mass index (BMI) system is really very low compared to the average American and maybe even the average human being

It can be really off for different ethnicities too. For instance, I once read that BMI measurements often skew artificially high for Chinese people.

Didn't stop my ob-gyn from warning me the last time I was there that I'm in danger of edging into the 'overweight' BMI category. I know she was just mentioning it and didn't really think about it, and I otherwise really like her, but I just can't get it out of my head. So in preparation for my next visit to her soon, I've been preparing a response if she says anything about my weight again. In my head it comes out something like, "Look bitch, I can balance my entire body weight on my arms in nine different ways," but I'm sure that's not how it will actually come out.

(mcmc: yay for yoga!)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:23 PM
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I DISSENT


Posted by: Opinionated Proctologist | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:25 PM
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298: I love all those arm balances--I'll get there some day.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:26 PM
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You will! With a lot of them I've found that after a long time (we're talking years) of trying one and making little or no progress, all of a sudden something about the way your weight has to shift will just become evident, all of a sudden, and then you can do it.

Of course, with others you just fall on your face again and again until you develop the specific muscles needed to do this weirdo thing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:30 PM
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God DAMN do I wish I could do handstands and handstand push ups. I'm hoping 301 is true.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:37 PM
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and two of the horrible 17-year-olds

BTW what were these 17-year-olds doing at the spa? Were they hired to hang around and make the grown women feel bad about their skin? Or what?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:43 PM
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Handstands are way harder than arm balances where your arms are bent. And while arm balances use your core, I find the core strength needed to hold your bent and/or twisted body up in a particular place is way easier to achieve than the kind you need to keep your body straight.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:43 PM
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287: Remember that if you just scale all directions equally then weight would grow like the cube while ability to hold up your weight grows like the square (cross section). So rescaling all directions the same is probably not the right model. I'm not sure what the right model is, but lots of body-related things follow power laws between 2 and 3.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:46 PM
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303: Actually, that's exactly why they were hired! It was the main marketing strategy of the spa, to be young and fresh and better looking than you, and to make fun of you when you say what you use to clean your face. We were trained to do that. I refused.

In my case, because I was old (23) for a counter girl, they asked me to please wear more makeup, buy a bra that would make my tits look smaller, and speak with a higher-pitched voice, please!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:46 PM
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I believe the conversation was, more precisely, (staring at my tits) "Do you have a different... bra? This... 'look' is not really part of the Bl/iss image."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:48 PM
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306: Ugh. They are horrible. For some reason I started getting their catalog a couple of years ago. The horrible cover illustrations filled me with hate and I would throw them in the recycling (okay, the trash) instantly. Eventually they stopped coming.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:51 PM
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302 - If it is an important goal of yours, I presume you've tried the usual beginning steps. I don't mean to give you advice you already tried. But, no luck trying to do handstands against the wall?


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:52 PM
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buy a bra that would make my tits look smaller

The world is so confusing.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:53 PM
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307: Christ, you'd think you were Marlene Dietrich slutting it up in a top hat and singing Lili Marlene between customers. I would like that, actually.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:53 PM
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298: My impression was that although there are health risks associated with obesity, being "overweight" is overall at least as healthy as "normal weight" and that these ranges are chosen for cultural/aesthetic reasons and not medical reasons.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:53 PM
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306, 307: Smaller?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:55 PM
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As a spa marketing strategy, I mean.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 2:56 PM
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311: Next time you want to go shopping for skin care products, let me know and I'll whisk you around a store while doing a naughty song and dance number.

313: I know! They're not even big! But they don't look like little-girl boobs, so they stood out (ahem) among my coworkers'.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:02 PM
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I wrote a Hung spec inspired by AWB's writing about that spa.

Every time I start to worry that I have a bit more belly than I'd like, I think of this Unfogged comment and relax. Because I don't actually have much in the way of either muscles or inclination to exercise, I've misremembered this as "have nice shoulders and don't worry about the belly."

I used to go between Small and Medium, then decided that I was sucking too much in for Smalls, and besides, even the ones that kinda worked were usually too tight in the shoulders. Then Mrs. K-sky brought me home a size medium short-sleeve shirt with snaps from Zara, and I was able to burst the snaps by flexing my chest. Because the shirt was tiny in the chest, not because my chest is awesome. I do have decent shoulders, though.

5'8", just under 170, still doing the hundred pushups challenge (Week 6, Column 1).


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:08 PM
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309 -- I've been trying against a wall -- just have a lot of natural weakness and about 35 years of zero strength training to overcome. But I think I'll get there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:14 PM
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302: I saw a guy at the gym, in the middle of the floor with nothing to lean on, go from standing, to squatting, to leaning on his hands, to balanced on his hands, to slowly straightening his legs and body towards the ceiling, to doing balanced push-ups in that position.

Then I bought some Vibram FiveFingers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:17 PM
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318 -- the pleasingly insane guy* who runs my gym can do that, as can a bunch of other folks there.

*one guy, who tbh was kinda a douche, angrily quit his membership (after being there for a week) because he felt the place was too hostile towards his Veganism, saying that they should have a "no vegetarians" sign on the door. So the crazy owner commissioned a graf artist to do a huge piece on the wall that said "We Eat Vegetarians". Except that the artist forgot the "s," so for a few weeks there was a big graffiti sign that read "We Eat Vegetarian."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:25 PM
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204 She was also a stone genius (PhD in nuclear physics)

Can we stop implying that advanced degrees in physics are indicative of genius? Just think of all the impressionable commenters reading this who might be getting some sort of complex.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:30 PM
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That was one of my first goals when I joined the gym, to be able to do a handstand press. But we haven't worked on it consistently enough and I still can't. I am very comfortable in a handstand against the wall, though. We should return to that goal.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:34 PM
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Stone geniuses are in geology.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:39 PM
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Stoned geniuses are wondering if we're all, like, atoms in some sort of macrouniverse, man.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:44 PM
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Can we stop implying that advanced degrees in physics are indicative of genius?

Especially nuclear physics. Sheer rote memorization.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:47 PM
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324: It's the only way they'll learn how to pronounce the name of their field.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:50 PM
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270 I don't particularly like how my arms make me look skinnier than I am (judged by weight).

This amuses me. I've always thought it was odd and a little unpleasant that even when the rest of my body gets kind of flabby, my arms tend to remain stick-thin.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 3:56 PM
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312

Correct. A NEJM study reports that BMIs between 18.5 and 28 have minimal effect on morbidity. The average adult BMI in the US was 28 back in 2000.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 4:55 PM
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298: "Look bitch, I can balance my entire body weight on my arms in nine different ways,"

Holy crap, you can do that? Wonderful. I need to get back to that kind of thing.

The thread linked in 316 makes me miss ... things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 5:09 PM
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I am slightly uncomfortable with the turn toward celebration of physical prowess that this thread has taken (thinking of 321 and previously related). Put it this way: physical health and mental health go hand in hand. When you feel good, or well, physically, you feel psychologically and spiritually able to address what the world presents you with. That sounds like so much pap, but is a truth that goes underremarked, I think.

You don't need to be able to do the awesome sequence recounted in 318 in order to feel good (well), is the thing. Badassery may be marvelous when it obtains, but we really don't all need to be badasses.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:01 PM
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Isn't it better to celebrate what your body can do than it is to pick on your flaws? I mean, we all have something that we're proud we can do, right? I can't go anywhere near a handstand, I'm horrible at anything uphill, and I'm overall pretty out of shape, but there are a few things I'm capable of (that plenty of other people are capable of) that please me,* and I think it's usually a good thing when you're able to take pleasure in your body.

*And hey, these things change as you age or your body changes in sickness and health. My grandfather, for instance, is pleased that he can walk up and down stairs unassisted, which ain't no small thing when you're 91.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:05 PM
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I can do a mean crow into headstand.

Did I mention that I am eighty-two weeks into the six-week Hundred Pushups challenge?


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:14 PM
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I can visualize embeddings of SO(3) in three-space.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:16 PM
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Oooh, heebie, that actually makes me really jealous.* Organic chemistry and my failure to be able to visualize anything in three dimensions was one of the reasons I turned away from the sciences in college, and just think -- I could have had a real career by now if I hadn't!

*emoticons deprecated but please imagine some sort of winky smiley to indicate sarcasm.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:19 PM
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I like hearing other people enjoy their competence. Their strength doesn't diminish me.

When I'm too unhappy to feel that, Eeyorism doesn't make me feel better. And I've hated having to hide my strength enough that I don't wish it on anyone else.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:24 PM
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I hope I wasn't engaging in Eeyorism.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:29 PM
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Isn't it better to celebrate what your body can do than it is to pick on your flaws?

Yes! Everything I learned in yoga was about this, and then years later what I learned in physical therapy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:31 PM
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Hm, I never contemplated what being raised by a physical therapist did for my body image, but maybe that's where I got that general idea. (It's awfully handy having one for a mother. Mom! My back hurts! What do I do? And then she hands you a list of stretches you dutifully perform for awhile, until your back feels better, and then you slowly stop doing them, and then the cycle repeats itself.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:33 PM
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Any tips on what to do if you wake up with a painfully stiff lower back? It helps if I sleep with a pillow under my legs, but I'd love stretches/exercises that would make it go away entirely.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:38 PM
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re: 330

Yes! There's things I can physically do that I'm (very moderately) proud of, and the fact that on the wider scale of things they are still mediocre, and that I have friends who can do all of them (music, sport, whatever) much better than I can doesn't matter, it's still fun to learn to do stuff and try to get better at them.

My grandfather is 97, and recently we went for a walk round Kew, and he was a bit apologetic that he had to take a few rests after we'd been out for 2 or 3 hours and walked a few miles when, ffs, he's 90-fucking-7.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:41 PM
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The one that I remember (aka, the one that worked for me) is hideously simple. Lay flat on your back (bed is ok, so you can do it right when you wake up and before you sleep, but don't have your head elevated much). Raise one knee to your chest (or as close to it as possible. Hold for 10 seconds, breathing in and out nice and slow. Repeat with the other. Do that a few times, until you feel it begin to loosen. I usually did it 5 or so times after I ascertained that it wasn't making anything worse, but I think you can sort of just choose what feels best to you. I also remember my mother telling me to avoid twisting stretches when my back hurt like that, even though it seems like they'll be just what you need. I can ask for more tips, if you like!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:43 PM
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re: 338

For me, lower back stretches -- e.g. lying on your back and curling your legs up and hugging them to your chest -- hamstring and quad stretches -- the usual ones -- and just ordinary walking. Also, I'll go to a martial arts class stiff as hell and after 90 minutes of twisting and turning, which you'd think would make things worse, the stiffness is gone. So maybe dancing or yoga would be a similar equivalent?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:44 PM
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pwned by 340.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:45 PM
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After reading 341, I should add while my mother cautioned me to avoid the stretches that specifically twist the back she encouraged me to do sports (softball-esque thing) that had a significant amount of twisting. I don't know why the contradiction, there.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:46 PM
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re: 343

I'd guess it's the dynamic versus static stretching aspect. Smooth, fast but not ballistic movement, so you aren't likely to linger too long in a position likely to provoke a muscle spasm or facet pain?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:48 PM
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So 340 sounds like I can just treat the symptoms on demand, more or less?

In hindsight, I'm not surprised at all that the solution involves bringing your knees to your chest, because that's precisely the range of motion that's lost in pregnancy. Limiting any range of motion for months is going to make those muscles unhappy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:49 PM
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344: That makes good sense. She's a fan of low-impact treatment in all forms and instead encourages her patients to modify daily activity into something that will be helpful for their specific problem.

345: That's how I treated it, yeah -- I had a specific injury when I asked for advice and I was careful to do it for about a month, but now when I wake up like that I just do the stretches for a few days and I tend to feel better.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:51 PM
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Depends a lot on the source of the stiff lower back, but yeah, roughly, the bringing knees up to the chest is what I do.

Slightly more elaborate, and better for my own situation: bring the left knee up toward the right shoulder. Don't push it; breathe. Then switch legs: bring the right knee up toward the left shoulder. You're opening up your lower vertebrae. Rest in between -- don't do this rapidly like some kind of whew-whew-whew and jump up thing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:53 PM
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Thanks all. I'll keep you posted.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:58 PM
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Because everyone is dying with curiosity about whether or not my back feels awesome.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:59 PM
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I am! And if it's not you can email me more of your specifics and I'll take it to my mom. She retired recently and I think misses getting to think about how to make people feel better. When she's not gallivanting about the world, that is.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 6:59 PM
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The 'Treat Your Own Back' guy recommends arching the back, like the yoga Cobra [Naga?] pose. I don't find that does much for me at all, though, as that is geared to people with insufficient lordosis, I think.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:00 PM
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332 I can visualize embeddings of SO(3) in three-space.

This troubles me.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:00 PM
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331

I'm glad I'm not the only one. It's especially bad since I started in Week 4 and I'm still in Week 5 after 2 months.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:14 PM
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351: Yes, as counter-intuitive as that sounds. According to my physical therapist, the Cobra pose should be done only after first opening up the vertebrae, via the knee-to-opposite-shoulder maneuver.

That's actually my morning routine, with the addition of this: first, using a scarf or towel or stretchy band thing, put a leg up in the air, other leg flat on the floor, with the scarf over the ball of the foot, and gently pull the straightened leg back toward the head, also stretching the foot/ankle and the calf. No pushing hard on this. Do other leg. Keep breathing.

Then do the knee-to-shoulder thing. Then Cobra.

Then a cup of green tea and off to work!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:19 PM
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I fully agree with Paren in 330 and Ttam in 339. Just to be clear, because this is always in the back of my mind but not clear on these threads, I'm about the world's worst "natural" athlete; last to be picked on teams as a kid, freakishly low strength, etc. In the gym I am regularly the absolute worst and get consistently beat by people who just started things I've been practicing hopelessly for months. I think the general mantra that we are only supposed to do things we're good at is incredibly destructive -- and is a destructive habit that smartypants like the folks here are especially prone to. I had that disease for years, and as a result didn't exercise, so I've learned the hard way that taking pleasure in what you can do and modest improvements is important. By "badassery" I mean the ability to set your fears aside and focus on developing skills, not that we all need to be like my freakishly athletic gym owner or consider ourselves worthless.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:45 PM
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Thanks for the clarification. That's pretty much what I thought you thought.

I think the general mantra that we are only supposed to do things we're good at is incredibly destructive

Yeah, it is. I think my fussiness earlier had to do with any suggestion that the things most worth being good at are physical-prowess types of things.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 7:57 PM
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I used to be proud of being able to jump, from a walk or run, onto the backs of park benches or the tops of nearly waist-high rail fences and then balance there and start walking, but then I got out of shape enough that I lost confidence in being able to do that without getting hurt. Also, as a sedentary adult, the opportunities to try to do that without looking silly are scarce.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:03 PM
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I think the general mantra that we are only supposed to do things we're good at is incredibly destructive

Truest thing you e'er wrote.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:19 PM
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I am! And if it's not you can email me more of your specifics and I'll take it to my mom. She retired recently and I think misses getting to think about how to make people feel better. When she's not gallivanting about the world, that is.

Oh boy! Any tips for a stiff and sore upper back/back-of-shoulder/trapezius area?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 8:49 PM
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I'll try to eat something normal today for all you unfogged commenters out there.

117: seriously? look, no woman knows what it's like to be pregnant until it happens. I had a great first pregnancy; I was glowing with life, I felt good, I lost all the baby weight without trying. I thought that was how it went. my mom's pregnancies were both like that.

my second pregnancy I started unexplained bleeding at 19 weeks. fresh bright red in the toilet, and they didn't know what was wrong. I was on bed rest for three months. because my auto-immune problem causes the lining of the cavity of my internal organs to become inflamed, having the baby upside down and kicking on my diaphragm was agonizingly painful, to where I was crying even though I was taking doctor's approved painkillers.

and drinking, because I was a fuckup alcoholic remember? 2 beers a day, my only ever experience with controlled drinking. how do you think I felt about what I was doing? I thought it was literally the worst thing you could do short of murder, to hurt that little growing person before she even has a chance to live. and after she was born I went into my final phase of alcoholism, and I nursed that baby drunk as hell, every day, and I slept with her in the bed when I was in a blackout, every night, risking her life every single fucking night of the week--for nothing. because I needed to get wasted. and I gained weight after she was born from all the drinking and binge eating cakes I baked for myself, and everything in my life was a nightmare, and I was fat and wanted to kill myself. I couldn't bear the thought of leaving them alone so I was going to take the children too when I went off the balcony of the 19th story. it was only my terrible fore-knowledge that the day was coming soon when I would truly do this thing that allowed me to get into treatment and get sober. are you fucking sympathetic now? or is my life too fucking great with roses and sunshine such that I don't deserve sympathy? let me know when I qualify.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 10:13 PM
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Alameida, Jesus Fuck knows nobody here thinks you haven't dealt with the serious shit. All I wanted was for it not to spiral into a conversation about how we all think there are parts of our bodies that we find so unacceptable that we want to end it all, because that's another kind of Serious Shit that sucks supremely.

I don't know where the boundary is between talking about the shit that sucks and the good we expect, because I've gotten called on both, here and everywhere. I'm lucky in a lot of ways, and unlucky in others in ways that couldn't be predicted by anyone. I've had an incredibly shitty and an incredibly amazing family, etc. The only thing I ask for is no numbers, please, on weight/size. What's totally inhumanly awful to you is someone else's goal. I know it matters to you, and if I went over my upper mental limit, I'd be horrified, but I'd also be horrified if my friends--fuck, my girlfriends--who are above that ever felt like they didn't deserve to live just because I wouldn't.

I've been a PMSing cunt all over this thread. I'm sorry.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 3-11 11:48 PM
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In another month, it'll be the third anniversary of when my weight loss began. Seventy pounds, in all. If there's one thing I've learned along the way, it's "but by the grace of god go I."

Reading about the "max-weights"... I spent a year and a half twenty pounds over more than I thought was acceptable, which itself was 30 pounds over the weight I was when I said I would never weigh +30 again, which was twenty pounds over... you get the idea.

I suppose that as long as you're talking about a couple pounds shortly after they're gained, it's not a huge problem. But one of the most counterproductive things I did was press myself on the issue. The more I pressed, the more I thought about my weight, the more I thought about food, the worse it went. My current weight-loss started as a couple minor modifications until "I figure out what the hell I'm going to do about this." Then the changes and weightloss started snowballing in the positive direction.

The thing is, if you'd given me a list of the things that I've done, I would have tried and failed miserably. And if you'd told me the things that I *still* do (3-5 soft drinks a day, for instance, and cheese when I want to eat it) I would have said that weight-loss would not be possible.

Anyway, enough about my biography and more about the thread. Reading about how you "will have to do something" when you reach [a certain weight] just screams counterproductivity to me. The stress alone negates any health benefits. And the attractiveness gains, for that matter (confidence is sexy, stress isn't confident, etc.). But mostly, if my varied experience counts for anything, you end up with the stress and the weight and the lack of confidence.


Posted by: Trumwill | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:39 AM
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361: What's totally inhumanly awful to you is someone else's goal.

I try to remember this on the occasions (not all that frequent) when I see someone much fatter than me. As in, "quit feeling like such a failure because you're not as thin as person X, 'cause person Y would love to be your weight." I'm not sure if that is really so helpful on some levels.

On the advice of my doctor, I am trending towards veganism, not, of course, because there aren't fat vegans -- I have met quite a few of them -- but because it will definitely help me cut back on the junk food. Vegetarian again since Monday, yay!

The thing is, being a fat guy who is also moving towards early middle age, I'm really not seeing that much opprobrium directed towards me anymore. It's mostly the things like clothes being hard to find, and outrageously expensive/shoddily constructed that bug me now. Oh well.

Sigh.

||
NMM to Minnesota's premier gun-nut.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:03 AM
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I propose that this from AWB:

361: What's totally inhumanly awful to you is someone else's goal.

is related to this from Halford:

355: I think the general mantra that we are only supposed to do things we're good at is incredibly destructive

One can revel in modest accomplishments, even while understanding that other peoples' accomplishments are wildly superior by objective measures.

I'm jogging again - regularly doing 2 miles in 20 minutes! I rule! Sure, I try not to brag excessively about this around my friends with bad knees, but when I've done so, I suspect they understand that this isn't about them, any more than it would be about them if they were marathon runners.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:09 AM
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OK, sorry, that just rubbed me the wrong way, obviously. I included the numbers because I thought it illustrated the stupidity and arbitrariness of the situation, but I didn't mean to make anyone else feel bad about it. in the future I'll leave out those details.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:02 AM
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for me to get on the scale and see any number at all and have my instant thought be: "why don't you just kill yourself then" is disturbing and crazy, it really doesn't matter what the number is. I'm much less prone than I used to be to think like that all the time--I'm actually quite happy. that's part of the reason it's so weird and fascinating that I should suddenly discover some awful new arena of fantasized control. and I really don't go around thinking other people should off themselves because they're perceived to be overweight; in fact I spend a lot of my time trying to talk them out of it--almost every woman I know in AA has some weird eating habit cross-addiction. so, again, I didn't mean to make anyone feel bad about themselves; I'm just relaying a crazy story, the depth of which craziness can be better assessed when you know the details.

on a more positive note, I ate a real dinner, with salad and chicken and rice. the rice part of singapore chicken rice is prepared by toasting the dry rice in chicken fat and then cooking it in rich chicken broth with secret ingredients known only to the stall holders. I partly posted this because I would see how much stupider it looked written down, and then feel obliged to tell you all i wasn't going to subsist on raisin bran for the next 6 months. and natilo, right on on the vegetarianism!


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:18 AM
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Part of the problem is that acting crazy is kind of glamorous and edgy. So when anyone writes about how they're observing craziness in themself, they're in danger of sounding like celebrating their dysfunction.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:24 AM
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the rice part of singapore chicken rice is prepared by toasting the dry rice in chicken fat and then cooking it in rich chicken broth with secret ingredients known only to the stall holders.

I am vegetarian, but I like thinking about how delicious it would be if I were not and I could eat this right now.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:33 AM
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celebrating their dysfunction.

This is probably the very first thing I learned about southern femininity. I am very good at it!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:34 AM
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I'm overweight to the point of health worries - possibly obese per the BMI, I've avoided checking. WW and regular exercise seems to work, but slowly and I gained a lot back recently (last semester of school, yet another excuse).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:03 AM
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You can't celebrate dysfunction in my family, because everyone will offer up solutions, and argue with you if you don't want to adopt their solution, and then for months they will badger you "Have you tried solution X? Is it working? If not, why?" to which they'd of course offer a different solution. It is an extremely efficient method of ensuring no one ever bitches again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:23 AM
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When I hear stories like this, I always expect them to end with, "until everybody snapped and now Gary can't walk without a cane."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:33 AM
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I've gotten my mom to no longer offer up unsolicited advice, and sometimes I do explicitly ask for her advice. Now we have an ongoing debate about whether or not this is Heebie's Weirdo Quirk or if everyone would prefer not to receive unsolicited advice. I maintain it's a general courtesy, but mom swears that she is glad to receive unsolicited advice, and that she treats her friends the same way she treats me, and they are glad for it. I have no idea, honestly. Maybe it's generational, because I do think mom is generally grateful for unsolicited advice, even though she's totally competent and doesn't walk around like an exploding mess or anything.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:45 AM
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Everybody gets unsolicited advice from their moms. That's different.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:47 AM
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So:
1. Everyone in my family doles it out. But mom, who loves receiving it, was the only one receptive to me screaming STOP.

2. She maintains she doles it out to her friends , and they to her, in equal quantities. And that they all love this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:50 AM
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Maybe they just don't bring things up if they don't want advice. Maybe the filter occurs internally. Me, I like to bitch about everything, without automatically being on the hook for having solved it from that point forward.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:51 AM
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I have heard that the mother son relationship can be easier than the mother daughter one just in general.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:06 AM
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But, yes, the internal filter. I have relatives who have heard third hand about some problem I have been through and they'll say, "Why didn't you mention it when we talked last? I could have helped."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:09 AM
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In my family, people express how crazy they are and then everyone shakes their heads and says "She's crazy." We are very helpful.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:35 AM
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I have heard that the mother son relationship can be easier than the mother daughter one just in general.

My family fit this stereotype growing up. But now my mom and I are very close, and my brothers have more distance. I'm glad to have a close relationship with her.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:50 AM
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In my family no-one talks about their feelings much, or how crazy or not they might be. I tend to view this as a good thing. Also, no-one would ever offer me advice unless I explicitly asked for it, which I wouldn't.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:54 AM
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"Feelings"?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:57 AM
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382: They're sort of like gin + recriminations.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:03 AM
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Tangentially, that's what I thought about the Tiger Mother fuss; not being allowed to fail is only half the crazy, the full game is when you also aren't allowed to show any effort or, indeed, emotion. Leads to a few Spences, who might have happened anyway, and a lot of alcoholism and eventually hypocrisy.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:09 AM
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383: Is it Christmas already?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:15 AM
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not being allowed to fail

In our family, you are lovingly allowed to fail. We just want to know why? why? why? what happened? why did that happen? and that? and can we fix it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:17 AM
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381 doesn't mean they/we aren't interested in each others lives, or don't talk, but generally not in that kind of way -- people just tend to get on with stuff -- and by far the most whiny member of the family is me.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:28 AM
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My parents developed the theory that they shouldn't offer advice even when asked. We also implicitly agreed to not talk about any personal problems.
I can't recommend this approach.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:31 AM
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381 is like my immediate family growing up. My poor grandmother, of very demonstrative Italian background, was annoyed with this to no end.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:32 AM
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386:
My In-laws do a variation on this. Very immediate family is allowed/expected to ask you this sort barrage of concerned but pointed questions until you shout "I don't know! Jeez! Just give me a break for a minute!" I am only considered immediate family, in this regard, to my wife, so I get a little bit of a break, but for extended family it is acceptable to focus this relentless questioning on potentially knowledgable third parties ("Why would he do that? Doesn't he know that's only going to cause trouble?" &ct. No one seems to enjoy this when it's directed at them, but they all keep doing it.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:38 AM
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)


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:38 AM
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re: 390

Yeah, my wife's family are like that. I cunningly don't speak the same language as them.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:40 AM
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We don't have feelings. We just are crazy. It's a thing. Oh, "furious." That's a feeling, right? It's one of the words I heard most frequently when I was little. I am furious at you!


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:49 AM
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One time I thought it would be good to ask my mom if she knows what "furious" means, and that it's generally not applied to, for example, someone forgetting to polish one side of the TV stand, but then she would verify for me that she really did in fact mean "furious."


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:52 AM
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392: That is cunning. I'm not sure whether they would buy it from me at this point, but it might be worth a try.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:54 AM
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395: My wife tried it on her own parents in a failed attempt to miss her cousins wedding. (I sided with her parents because it was open bar.)


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:20 PM
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Very immediate family is allowed/expected to ask you this sort barrage of concerned but pointed questions until you shout "I don't know! Jeez! Just give me a break for a minute!"

And from having grown up with this, I have a deep conviction that this is how you show love. You pester someone to death.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:28 PM
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"Feelings"?

I always liked the line from Weeds (yeah I know but the first season was a good ride) about being a WASP. "I like gin and I'm not much for hugging."

This one time in 1999 when I was renting a room in a 1-bedroom in Hell's Kitchen my family visited me and kind of insisted on staying with me IN MY ONE ROOM so basically my folks slept in my bed while I slept on the floor at the foot of it, resulting in me being no more than two feet from my parents for a period of 48 hours. A friend of mine said "this would never happen to you if you were a WASP" and so I have periodic fantasies about being a WASP. I like gin, and the hugging thing is very much on a case-by-case basis.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:32 PM
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398 is me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:33 PM
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My family fit this stereotype growing up. But now my mom and I are very close, and my brothers have more distance

Closer relationships are often harder relationships.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:33 PM
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You could try Irish. It's kind of like that except 'gin' is broadly interpreted. But, even though there are no hugs, cramming a bunch of people in a small room does happen.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:35 PM
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401 to 398/399.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:35 PM
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I want to hug Smearcase right now.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 12:38 PM
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Closer relationships are often harder relationships.

My therapist was fond of saying "Distancing is a way of managing intense emotions."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 1:18 PM
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403 to usually.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 1:38 PM
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Closer relationships are often harder relationships.

My therapist was fond of saying "Distancing is a way of managing intense emotions."

I was going to say something about how "managing" is often the right thing to do with intense emotions, and then I realized that the line that came into my mind was,

The ones who love us best are the ones we'll lay to rest
And visit their graves on holidays at best
The ones who love us least are the ones we'll die to please
If it's any consolation, I don't begin to understand them

One of the things about life is that it's possible, even easy, to get into intense emotional dyamics with somebody who is not on your side (I'm thinking mostly of work, but true in many areas).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 2:01 PM
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My folks, like Eggplant's, studiously refuse to give advice of any kind, even when directly and repeatedly asked. Also, plenty of gin, sleeping in one room is unthinkable, but not so much for the recriminations, thank God.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 2:06 PM
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381 is my family, and God is it awesome. My wife's family is the touchy-feely "talk about your feelings" type, and they all hate each other, while everyone in my family gets along perfectly fine.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 2:42 PM
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re: 408

Yes, ditto, more or less. My family are funny, and talk about somewhat interesting stuff, generally. Much less histrionic.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 2:55 PM
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Dunno, smearcase, family bluewater sailing is pretty WASPy; everyone in a tiny tiny space for weeks. Probably no discussion of feelings, though. More of a chance to exercise stoicism.

"Those who wan't don't ask; those who ask don't get."


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 3:03 PM
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An ex-girlfriend of ... a non-WASP ethnicity typically associated in American popular culture with a certain emotional vividness once quoted the following from Talladega Nights as proof that she understood me:

Cal: "I'm just kidding you, man. I don't wanna win. I'll just bury it down inside."
Ricky: "Bury it deep down in there, and never bring it up again."
Cal: "It's painful, and I love you!"

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 3:05 PM
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Somebody should put that on a Valentine.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 4:29 PM
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||
You know how I brag about being an inconsiderate neighbor who blasts her music all the time? My great neighbor of ten years moved out. Her new tenants are a fussy older couple with three pugs. Apparently they value quiet.

Last night, I was home alone, sorting bills and listening to This American Life, not notably loud. You couldn't have heard it from the front of the house. But they finally lost it. One of 'em opened his window and tired and pissy as he was, started with "You aren't a good neighbor, you know. We have lost so much sleep because of you. You think the world revolves around you?! It doesn't and we are ready to move over this."

They had complained to my neighbor, who had called me before, and I'd said to her what I was thinking, which is that I'm not about to change my ways. If I'm awake, there's music on. It is a shame our houses are so close and their bedroom is five feet from my dining room. But I listen to music all the time, and generally like it loud enough to focus on and hear the parts.

I was pondering how to answer him, and sorta hummed under my breath. Hmmmmm. Because I don't want to promise it'll get better or apologize for listening to TAL in my own dining room. "Yeah," he said sarcastically. "HHHHMMM."

That cracked me up. Dude, if you can hear me humming under my breath in my house, there is no level of noise that's going to suit us both. I do understand that sometimes I'm an asshole with the loud music, but this wasn't one of those times. I haven't even played loud music since they moved in. When I play loud music, they'll know by the windows rattling. Then he threatened to call the cops, which made me grin even harder. You going to call the cops on the girl playing This American Life while she sorts her bills? I hope they send two cars to that call. So I said "Nice talking to you." and ignored him while he blustered for a while longer.

It is so odd to be falsely accused of something I would totally do but didn't happen to be on this occasion. Of course people could fault me for my loud music, but with these guys I'm getting faulted for volumes as low as humming in my house.

The first weekend they moved in, after complaining about the music to my neighbor, they were doing construction at about midnight. That gave me hope, because I thought it could be the start of a beautiful relationship of ignoring each other's late night noise. I guess that's not how we're going to play it. They've threatened to move twice now. I think that's the right choice. I feel bad for my neighbor, but she was mellow about it when she and I talked.

|>


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 4:50 PM
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411: JUST SAY "WOP" AND GET IT OVER WITH!


Posted by: OPINIONATED SOCIETY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF CONNIE FRANCIS | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 4:56 PM
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413: You think he was more upset that you weren't answering a very reasonable complaint than upset at the the humming?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:06 PM
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That is, he maybe wanted to address the window rattling, not TAL.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:08 PM
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I think he started off upset, and got more pissed. I hadn't reacted good or bad when he got sarcastic about the humming. It was early on; I could have been about to say "So sorry! Lemme turn that down!" I wasn't gonna, but he didn't know that yet.

It isn't really a reasonable complaint. The acoustics of the two houses are bad, but truly, it wasn't conspicuously loud. (I would say if it is.) It isn't reasonable for them to enforce silence in my house, and anything more than silence (literally humming) bothers them.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:12 PM
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There hasn't been window rattling yet! It has only been two weeks and I haven't played loud music yet. Just regular music in my own house. That's why this is funny. I would totally behave poorly in that way, but I haven't yet and they're still pissed.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:13 PM
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It isn't reasonable for them to enforce silence in my house, and anything more than silence (literally humming) bothers them.

FWIW, based on what you've said it doesn't sound like he would have complained about the humming in a vacuum; he complained about it because it was your response to him getting pissed off. (And also, FWIW, I would have responded the same way. Well, no, I would have asked you very politely if you could turn things down, and would have tried to work with you to find a mutually-agreeable solution.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:16 PM
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Maybe 'regular music' is also pretty loud? [I don't know]

FWIW, I couldn't live next to someone who played music at window-shaking volumes, and it's assholey to expect anyone to. Acknowledging you can be an asshole isn't the same thing as not actually being one.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:18 PM
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It wasn't my response yet. It was my hmmmming while I was figuring out what to say. Honestly, I don't think there is a mutually-agreeable solution. If I were in the bad-behavior range (which I do), I could back it down to reasonable. But I'm in the reasonable range, which is as far as I'm willing to go.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:19 PM
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418: Maybe that's the problem: they don't yet have perspective.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:20 PM
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Clearly it is loud to them, but these things are relative. I'd bet considerable money that last night I wasn't breaking a noise ordinance, which is what the city decided was loud.

My previous solution was to live next to someone who also wanted to be intermittently loud and never complain about the other. That worked great.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:24 PM
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I wasn't gonna, but he didn't know that yet

Maybe he's got good intuition along with extraordinarily keen hearing.

You better watch out. This is the kind of thing that ends with the neighbor getting a parrot and teaching it to scream "Megan is an asshole!" and then you finally snap and strangle the parrot and then it's off to the slammer for you, while your neighbors enjoy the blissful silence of your empty house, unless you rent it to a death metal band while you're away.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:27 PM
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God knows, if you're not breaking any noise ordinances, no one has any right to complain.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:27 PM
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I'm not really getting the loud music thing. If it's loud enough that it causes distress to people who aren't ordinarily overly sensitive to these things [possibly not the case with the current neighbours] turn it down.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:28 PM
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414: I don't even see ethnicity!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:28 PM
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What could he be talking about with "We have lost so much sleep because of you"? It sounds like maybe 'regular music' is pretty loud by their standards, as ttaM suggests.

Not saying you're an asshole with regular music levels, just that there's got to be something that has them ticked off.

For what it's worth, on the occasions on which I and/or my household has come under fire from neighbors, we had to do some thinking about what the hell had precipitated the freak-out. In one case it was that we had a tendency not to be as neighborly-friendly-chatty as the neighbors wished (merely nodding and smiling and waving a hello rather than pausing to actually chat for a few minutes). In another, it was that we were a household of 4 single people whose dates came and went, sometimes spending the night, so that the datee left early in the morning with a kiss goodbye on the sidewalk outside (this was very bad, it turned out: we were a house full of sluts).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:30 PM
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Precisely, nosflow. It doesn't take away their right to complain, but I feel no compulsion to honor their complaint when I'm below the threshold chosen by the city for this purpose.

Heh. A parrot wouldn't work. Our next door neighbor growing up kept thousands of birds; we got the dawn and dusk screaming every night. Slept through those like a baby.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:32 PM
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Precisely, nosflow. It doesn't take away their right to complain, but I feel no compulsion to honor their complaint when I'm below the threshold chosen by the city for this purpose.

Not a position likely to incline many people to sympathise, I suspect.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:35 PM
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But ttaM, I like it at those volumes. Listening to music at different volumes brings different experiences and sometimes I want the experience of being more moved by it. It improves my quality of life. I value that more than good vibes from the neighbors. Honestly, I'm surprised most people are willing to forfeit that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:37 PM
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I wasn't looking for sympathy. I just thought it was funny to be yelled at for something I would but haven't done.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:40 PM
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I get it, you value your quality of life more than other people's quality of life. Now I refer you back to 430.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:44 PM
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Tell them you're very sorry but you keep it at those levels to cover up the sounds of you fucking.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:44 PM
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Now you're talking, Eggplant. But without the apology first, because I'm not actually sorry.

433: Eh. That makes me a bad match for these neighbors, but not objectively a bad neighbor. I'm a great neighbor for people who want to do eccentric or loud things in their house.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:49 PM
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If any of my neighbors' music or TV can be heard in my house after say ten on a school night or later in the weekend, I complain. It doesn't happen very often and nobody has ever not turned it down since I stopped living in apartments.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:50 PM
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With my own windows shut, of course.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 5:51 PM
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I'm confused. You were in your house and he was in his, complaining through his open window? And he heard you quietly say "hmm"? Was your window open the whole time?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:07 PM
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435

... but not objectively a bad neighbor. ...

It appears to me that you are a bad neighbor in that you are unwilling to make the slightest effort to get along with others.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:18 PM
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439: An expert opinion.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:18 PM
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Yes, he heard me quietly say Hmmm under my breath as he was talking through his open window. My window is always cracked, since that's how the cat comes and goes. No, I can't switch out the cat window; the other options are worse for different reasons. I've considered that.

The fact that he can hear me quietly say "hmmm" is what makes me laugh. Yes, I'm sometimes too loud, but apparently any volume is audible to them and I'm not willing to be silent in my house. This is why I don't think there's compromise. Note that this didn't bother my old neighbor for ten years.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:19 PM
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unwilling to make the slightest effort

Sure I am. I'm willing to go from unreasonable to reasonable, and willing to admit that sometimes I'm unreasonable. I am also willing to be extremely tolerant of some stuff that bothers other people.

But I'm completely unwilling to go from reasonable to satisfying their fussy needs, and I'm amused that that's the range we're talking about. The problem should have been when I'm actually loud.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:22 PM
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I still don't think you can take hearing 'hmmm' to mean anything. He asked you a question and was obviously going to listen for a response. Having your question evaded is irritating, regardless of volume.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:23 PM
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Your previous neighbor is the owner of the house next door, who has now rented to these new tenants?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:25 PM
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I guess I haven't told the story well, but it wasn't evaded yet. When he jumped in to be sarcastic, there was still conversational time for me to be polite and helpful. He just started off pissed.

Hearing "hmmm" convinced me that they can hear the slightest sound from my house. That's not a level I intend to accommodate.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:26 PM
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I am also willing to be extremely tolerant of some stuff that bothers other people.

This is only a bargaining chip if the other people want to do annoying things too.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:27 PM
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when I'm below the threshold chosen by the city for this purpose.

And this right here is why I love Megan. My city, similarly, does not prohibit piles of sticks in one's yard. And therefore the neighbor who bitched about my pile of sticks has now guaranteed they are a permanent feature in my yard. To think, a little civility and they might have enjoyed the fruits (and/or vegetables) of my garden in a few more months.

People, as a general rule, suck. And mostly not in the good way.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:28 PM
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Yes, exactly, parsimon. That's why she isn't too sympathetic to them. They're complaining to her about stuff that didn't bother her for ten years. Shame if she loses paying tenants and I hate to put her out. But I'm not giving up music at night, which appears to be what they'd need, to avoid that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:28 PM
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I'm saying there is a difference between what he can hear awake and deliberately listening and what will keep him awake at night and that maybe you haven't accommodated the later and he took your 'hmmm' as a passive-aggressive blow-off.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:29 PM
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I'm now visualizing houses that are so close together that Megan's neighbor could practically reach out his window, into hers, and turn down the volume himself.

I did live in an apartment once where I'm sure my neighbors could have heard a quiet "hmm," but that was a case of thin walls, and there was really nothing to do about it except try to keep music or some kind of white noise on at all times so I wouldn't hear their arguments.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:29 PM
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if the other people want to do annoying things too.

I know. That's why I was so hopeful when they started the midnight construction. It looked like it could work for us both!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:30 PM
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You guys are the best.


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:30 PM
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I would have yelled at the midnight construction quicker than I'd yell at music.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:32 PM
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Looks like the houses are 7-8 feet apart. Their bedroom/my dining room siting is very unfortunate.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:32 PM
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448: Yes, exactly, parsimon. That's why she isn't too sympathetic to them.

Ah. I hadn't realized that the other neighbor to whom they complained was their landlord (your former neighbor who lived in the house). I thought it was a third neighbor who lived, like, across the street or something.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:34 PM
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But ttaM, I like it at those volumes.

I'm sure ttaM can recommend some lovely headphones.

Seriously, if you're actually keeping him up, scoffing at how ridiculous that is is pretty shitty behavior.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:37 PM
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I would have yelled at the midnight construction quicker than I'd yell at music.

One happy equilibrium is for no one to yell at either.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:38 PM
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When he jumped in to be sarcastic, there was still conversational time for me to be polite and helpful. He just started off pissed.

Oh, Megan. I wish you could move in with me. Old dude next door begins with question on whether I ever am going to take care of my brush pile. I mention I have been having some health troubles, to which he responds (a) that he doesn't care, (b) that he is 84 and still gets "his work" done, and (c) that his wife just had a mastectomy and I don't care about that either. Brush pickup was just the Tuesday before.

Um, on that Tuesday, I was having an EEG. The Friday before an MRI/MRA. All things scary ruled out, mind you, but at that particular time not so functional. But whatever. You don't need to care, old neighbor man. I actually am sorry to hear about your wife, because she's always been so kind to me, but wow, what a shitty way to share that. And bummer that you don't care about my health weirdness. Turns out that I don't care about your aesthetic concerns about sticks. And now that I've gone to the trouble to review the municipal ordinance in depth... Yeah, my yard is going to be as hideous as the law allows.

(Actually, I'm planning out a native prairie restoration sort of landscaping, which will require extensive planning and a permit. But I actually will love it, and even more so knowing they will hate it.)

Also, unhappy breakup in progress. Totally OT, but feel like shit and thought I'd share.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:42 PM
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457: It's not an equilibrium is one person is unhappy.

458.last: Sorry to hear about that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:43 PM
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The first "is" s/b "if".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:44 PM
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scoffing at how ridiculous that is is pretty shitty behavior.

I don't feel tardy.

Look, the mismatch is a shame for them. But this has been a rare two weeks where I'm not actually behaving poorly. Accommodating their level of sensitivity would call for sacrifice on my part of something I value intensely. Since I'm not (in this interval) doing something wrong, I don't intend to make that sacrifice. This is just regular volumes in my own house, not audible from the sidewalk. It is audible to them, but so's a hum. It would have to be silence, and giving up music in my house isn't an option.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:46 PM
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457: Now that's just silly. What if you have an infant in the house? Then midnight construction is a serious problem! There's no need for yelling, no, but asking to have a civil conversation about limiting late-night noise is completely reasonable.

For whatever reason, these people have a bug up their butts, and it's probably best for them to move, but my question about the landlord of the house next door was with a mind toward the possibility that she might want to screen future tenants for tolerance of noise. From what you say, she would understand that, which is good.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:47 PM
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You really need to let go of your 'hum' point. The fact that they could hear it doesn't say anything about what level they would consider reasonable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:50 PM
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457: It's not an equilibrium is one person is unhappy.

Right. Quiet-quiet is an equilibrium. Noisy-noisy is an equilibrium. But noisy-quiet is a bad equilibrium for both parties, and there's no moral ground on either side. Costing me music is as bad, no worse and no better, as costing them quiet. Since I'm within my closely defined rights on this very subject, I'm not going to be the one who yields. It is just a bad match.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:51 PM
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Costing me music is as bad, no worse and no better, as costing them quiet

I find this hard to believe even as stated, and it seems to be coming from someone who's never actually been disturbed by anything, but, how about if you add being cost sleep to their side? Meanwhile, you can just listen to your music at a lower volume or purchase headphones.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:55 PM
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You're right. I'm making the assumption that since they were objecting to This American Life that they would object to most things I would listen to, and knowing that they can hear slight sounds from my house implies to me that they aren't going to like any level of music that lets me hear it as more than background. I could be wrong about those assumptions, although I don't think I am.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:55 PM
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I have no idea if you are within your rights or not. I don't even know what local ordinances are here, let alone in other states. But, it does seem that he asked you a very reasonable question and you responded with the equivalent of "la, la, la, I'm not listening" and then faulted him for being angry.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:55 PM
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If they claimed you were costing them sleep, Megan, and had been for a while, their complaint may not have been specifically about that one incident of TAL-listening.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:57 PM
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465: Exactly.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 6:58 PM
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He didn't ask me anything. Re-read the conversation. He was angry to start with and this was his first ever direct address to me. He shouted and threatened to call the cops. I knew what the complaint was, but don't think he got around to asking me to turn it down anywhere in the conversation.

He happened to be right, in that he isn't going to get much satisfaction from me, considering our relative stances (me reasonable, them fussy. Again, when it is me unreasonable, them reasonable, I'd shift down to reasonable). But he didn't give that a chance to happen yet.

I'm sure their complaint isn't about the one time. But their complaint is that I listen to music at reasonable volumes in my house, and that will always be the case. If I'm home, it is on. That's part of why I have a house, so I can do that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:04 PM
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Since I'm within my closely defined rights on this very subject, I'm not going to be the one who yields. It is just a bad match.

If I were your neighbor in this circumstance I think I would eventually come to the conclusion that I had to move. Since I hate moving, I would be exactly as unhappy with you as you would expect from somebody who felt like you were forcing them into an unpleasant, expensive, and time-consuming task.

In fact I could imagine being grumpy for years afterward about the time that I had to move because of the neighbor who wasn't willing to turn off their music at night.

This isn't, at all, to say that you should give in; just to say that you can't be surprised that they would be grumpy. Of course things might have been more polite if they'd said something earlier, before having worked up a head of steam over the issue, but if the likely conclusion to this story is them having to move . . . again, it isn't surprising that they would be unhappy.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:06 PM
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I wonder what would happen if Megan asked them what had been costing them sleep, explaining that she had been listening to TAL rather quietly and so was stumped about all this, and listened to them explain. If they then said that the other day when she was listening to A Prairie Home Companion, they had been driven up a wall, she could say, Well, sorry, but nothing's going to change.

The thing is, it sounds like even if they said that they were miffed about last Tuesday when Megan was listening to pounding hip-hop at 11 p.m., Megan would say, Well, sorry, but nothing's going to change, because that hip-hop wasn't that loud by my standards. So there doesn't seem to be any point in having a conversation with them.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:07 PM
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Also, unhappy breakup in progress. Totally OT, but feel like shit and thought I'd share.

Ugh. I'm so sorry, Di. You should vent to us. We care!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:07 PM
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I'm sure they're grumpy. They can think whatever they will of me. I only told the story here to laugh that when my music-listening ways led to this outcome, it wasn't when my music was actually loud.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:08 PM
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I looked it up for Pittsburgh.

No person shall operate, or cause to be operated any audio amplification system on public or private property, which generates an A- weighted sound level in excess of 68 dB(a) in a residential area measured at, or adjusted to, a distance of 75 feet beyond the boundary of the property in which the audio amplification or reproduction system is located.

I think that's fairly loud, if you figure the 75 feet rule and are instead talking about 8 feet.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:09 PM
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I feel like I'm in between the two opposing noise camps. I live in an apartment, so it's a different set up, but when you're close together like she is with her neighbors, don't you just assume that there's going be a certain amount of neighborly noise? I hear their music, football games, radio programs, arguments, babies screaming, video games, someone who incessantly practices guitar badly, children playing (turns out this is actually most common AND noisiest, but, well, it's kids), etc. And thus I get to play my music loud when I want, so long as it's before 10 pm (my own rule) and I don't worry when I have friends over and we're up late talking. It does seem to me that unless Megan is playing music at window-pane shaking levels (that does strike me as assholish if done frequently), the neighbors should perhaps think about it as just the price of living in a city near other people. I've actually convinced myself I like hearing my neighbors. (Maybe I should come be Megan's neighbor. It's plausible, actually.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:12 PM
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Next time my dad visits, I'll ask him to bring a noisemeter. He has about a million. But I'm quite sure I was under that last night, which is why I grinned when he threatened me with the cops.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:13 PM
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Oh, please do, Parenthetical. I bet the house opens up in the next few weeks! I'll bring you pies.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:14 PM
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Like I said, it wasn't audible on the sidewalk, which is probably 30 feet. They're fussy.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:15 PM
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I'm sure they're grumpy. They can think whatever they will of me.

Sure, sure.

Let me just add this to my comment. I am aware that my desire for quiet at night is fussy. It's definitely something that I would try to take into account when I was looking for a place but, for obvious reasons, that isn't always something that's easy to predict until you actually move somewhere.

Because I know that I'm fussy in that regard, it makes the idea of talking to a neighbor about the issue somewhat fraught. I don't want to make unreasonable demands but, at the same time, my desired outcome is in the territory of unreasonable.

Combined with my general level of conflict aversion that means that I'd probably suffer in silence for a while before working up the motivation to say something.

I'd hope that when I did say something I'd be more reasonable, less shouty, and more apologetic about the whole thing than they were. But I can sympathize with the fact that they may have been stewing for a while, not just about the noise, but about the question of how they could bring it up.

That said, I can't fit the midnight construction into my attempt at a generous reading of their behavior. *shrug* Perhaps they are just difficult people.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:15 PM
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And I'm sorry, Di. I hope your sorrow spends some time with coffee ice cream and trashy books.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:17 PM
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Also, why other people have said, my sympathies for DK, for both the health concerns and the breakup. That sounds like an awful emotional load.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:17 PM
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If your neighbor was doing construction at midnight in a rental, that means he's a serial killer or an Ikea shopper. If you don't see boxes in the trash that say things like "FLÓRVËNÍ," they have a dungeon now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:20 PM
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I wondered whether they were trying to punish me back. Give me a taste of my own medicine. I don't know that, of course. I hoped they were just doing their moving tasks when it suited them best.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:20 PM
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I'll bring you pies.

Pie! Unfortunately, I'm locked into a lease through the summer (if we ever get a summer). I'd love to live in your general neighborhood, though!

OT: Anyone have some good remedies for nausea? I tried ginger, which usually soothes my stomach, to no avail, along with an alka-seltzer earlier. I don't know what's causing it, so I feel rather helpless. And sick to my stomach.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:36 PM
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I'll bring you pies.

Pie! Unfortunately, I'm locked into a lease through the summer (if we ever get a summer). I'd love to live in your general neighborhood, though!

OT: Anyone have some good remedies for nausea? I tried ginger, which usually soothes my stomach, to no avail, along with an alka-seltzer earlier. I don't know what's causing it, so I feel rather helpless. And sick to my stomach.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:36 PM
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I knew that was going to happen! Grr.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:36 PM
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Vomiting usually helps me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:41 PM
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486: Dry toast and flat 7-up.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:45 PM
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Maybe that's what you eat after you vomit. I'm not a doctor of anything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:50 PM
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488: Totally tried that. But I can't make myself puke and I can't seem to get to the correct level of nausea to do it naturally - I just hover right before it.

489: Went the toast and herbal tea route. Sort of helping at the moment.

Also, my cat seems to be sick. Crap.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:53 PM
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473: I'm honestly too upset to vent in detail about the breakup. Nasty neighbors with fussy landscaping standards are a different story. Wither way, I'm just pathetically begging for sympathy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:55 PM
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491.last: I know what do to for sick cats. Call a cat-loving acquaintance you don't really like or one who has no carpets at all. Say you are leaving town and ask to leave the cat with them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:57 PM
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No carpets or upholstered furniture.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 7:58 PM
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Yeah, the value of having someone other than you to deal with cat puke cannot be overstated.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:07 PM
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Yeah, the value of having someone other than you to deal with cat puke cannot be overstated.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:07 PM
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Yeah, the value of having someone other than you to deal with cat puke cannot be overstated.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:07 PM
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Or, it seems, said often enough.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:08 PM
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492: Sympathy you have.

She's not puking, but she did just pee on me. I suppose that's better than the bed. Ugh, this is not good.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:16 PM
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If the bed pees on you, get out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:17 PM
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That's not as bad as if the walls bleed, but it still isn't good.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:20 PM
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Sometimes when ginger alone or as tea doesn't help me, I find solace in quite plain, but fairly salty, congee made with a big piece of ginger simmered along with the rice. Like, just rice and a piece of ginger and maybe a clove of garlic cooked until the rice breaks down, in enough well-salted water to produce a thinnish soup (starting with leftover already-cooked rice makes this go faster).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:29 PM
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Thanks, redfoxtailshrub! I totally saw your PT request; I'll ask my mom soon. She's travelling right now to take care of my grandpa so things are a little busy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:30 PM
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Thanks, redfoxtailshrub! I totally saw your PT request; I'll ask my mom soon. She's travelling right now to take care of my grandpa so things are a little busy.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:30 PM
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Not that I've done it, but I bet reading this thread straight through would be pretty fucking weird.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 8:39 PM
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Too all the Megan jumper-on-ers, if the dude's first words (to her ever?) were in fact, ""You aren't a good neighbor, you know. We have lost so much sleep because of you. You think the world revolves around you?! It doesn't and we are ready to move over this.", I think a "hmmm" is a very mild response. Fuck the old fucker.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:12 PM
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Megan's not that old, JP.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:22 PM
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505: Let's have a thread where we all report what volume our stereos are set to!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:31 PM
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Mine is set to 11.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:46 PM
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Not that I've done it, but I bet reading this thread straight through would be pretty fucking weird.

I just have, and yeah, it pretty much is.

A couple of things from upthread: first, Messily and I are meeting up next week, and all are welcome to join us. No plans set yet.

Also, the mention of Labs reminded me: you know the atrocious warblogger SdB who tried to out Labs (and was also, I believe, the target of dsquared's first uses of the "shorter" meme)? I just learned that his sister is a friend of mine. It maybe should have occurred to me to ask if they were related, give that their surname is unusual, but it's hard to imagine how they could be family. The other night she mentioned "my brother Steven", and I was all wait, what? But I guess she has basically nothing to do with him, and she doesn't spend time in the blogosphere, so she doesn't know the extent of his activities. She said he was a shut-in, and that "I think he writes a blog about anime". I refrained from cluing her in.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 9:53 PM
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OT: Does anyone have any opinions about the neighborhood around 13th and C NE in DC? Do the neighbors listen to public radio on high volume while sighing under their breath?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:05 PM
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Also 506 is right, regardless of whatever else has been said in this thread. It would be different if the guy had come to the door and brought up the volume issue.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:17 PM
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510.last: Sadly, No! post with links to the original shorter Steven Den Best stuff. At some point there SdB actually had on editorial in the Wall Street Journal (although they are as nuts as him with some frequency).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:18 PM
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Hah, a few years ago my parents resolved a dispute with their neighbors by building a fence. It cost money, but it removed all doubt about where is the property line? (here!) will we mind if they bend the rules a little bit? (yes!) and aren't we interested in being neighborly? (not any more!)


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:21 PM
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510 - Oh, that brings back MetaFilter memories from a decade ago, like the time that he insisted on a gravitational anomaly causing the San Jose Mystery Spot Oregon Vortex or the time he condescendingly and incorrectly explained (to my friend with a Ph.D. in linguistics) what an "alphabet" was. Good times indeed. (A man worth publishing in the Wall Street Journal op-ed pages, to boot! Right around the time D-squared accused him of playing Top Trumps to determine whether the U.S. would win our forthcoming shooting war with France.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:30 PM
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Here's D-squared. Actually, SdB earned his tiny place in weblog history (aside from being Sausagely's "wingnuttiest warblogger of all time") there -- I believe the entire "shorter" trope started with D-squared summarizing SdB's thoughts of the day.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:32 PM
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514: I have a lingering one with a neighbor over an ingress/egress easement across my property that flared up a bit last week. I actually want exactly what he wants (for the township to allow him use a much shorter "paper street" around the block for access) and am prepared to help him do that if there is any way that I can, but he is so fixated on his misinterpretation that he actually owns the property where the ROW runs that I have not succeeded in completing a sensible discussion with him about it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:33 PM
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516: The first "shorter SdB" I could find was from earlier that day. Although it can be read as if "shorter" was an established concept. Too bad, "the author is dead", or this one could possibly clear that up for us.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:41 PM
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I was tempted to tell her that he's kind of famous, but I sensed she'd rather not know.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:46 PM
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519 me, obvs.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 10:49 PM
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the dude's first words (to her ever?)

Yes, which was made even more odd by the fact that at first I didn't realize where the speaker was coming from. Their lights weren't on, leaving me completely illuminated and listening to a disembodied voice. I assumed he was tired and pissy and didn't fret much over it.

I was a little perplexed by the concept of expecting the world to revolve around me. I'm alone at home, pensively sorting bills. How can a person who is alone be expecting the world to revolve around her? In the alternate, I am in my own home, by myself. Should I not be the center of everything when I am in my own home, alone? I was distracted by that concept too.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:12 PM
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Nonetheless, as a neighborly gesture, you could buy him some good foam earplugs.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:19 PM
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Turns out my cat seems to be dying, barring extreme intervention. Fuck.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:25 PM
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I would be more than happy to buy them some good foam earplugs.

But I don't get too far into how they addressed me. Because even if they'd written me a valentine asking me to please turn it down, my answer would be, No, listening music is too important to me. I would phrase it politely and deliver it with cookies, but I want my music on.

And, if he'd stomped over like an asshole when I had it unreasonably loud, I'd turn it down to reasonable. The manner of the complaint doesn't especially matter. What matters to me is whether I'm listening to music at a reasonable volume in my house. Which I have been since they moved in. So it's not much to me whether they're pissy or sweet. I'll be civil and play music either way.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:30 PM
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I'm so, so sorry, paren. That's awful.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:30 PM
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Oh no, Parenthetical. That's so sad.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:31 PM
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I'm so very sorry to hear that, Paren.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:43 PM
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516: Wait, Dsquared invented the whole "shorter" trope? IDNKT.

Wow. Now I either have to treat him with more respect, or less, depending on how one assesses the evolution of that trope.

Or I suppose I could just say fuck it, the default of treating him like a crazy Welshman seems to cover both bases.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:46 PM
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Oh, I'm sorry Paren.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:47 PM
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Thanks for the sympathy. I thought I had about 10 more years at least before I had to deal with this sort of thing. She might recover but it is a long shot. Ugh.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 4-11 11:51 PM
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It's impossible to settle the Megan v. Neighbors: Who is the asshole? question without knowing how loud the music has been, and when it was played. Plausible support for the anti-Megan camp is that it is not appropriate to have the window right next to a neighbor's bedroom open if you know noise will be an issue (and no, cat egress is absolutely not an acceptable excuse). If you consistently want to play loud music, you can buy thick windows and shut them.

Sympathies to those with breakup and cat problems.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:33 AM
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But their complaint is that I listen to music at reasonable volumes in my house, and that will always be the case. If I'm home, it is on. That's part of why I have a house, so I can do that... Because even if they'd written me a valentine asking me to please turn it down, my answer would be, No, listening music is too important to me. I would phrase it politely and deliver it with cookies, but I want my music on.

Ugh. So Megan basically likes to listen to music, loud, all the time and regards it as her sacred right to do so.
I sort of agree with 420.2 after reading this.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:28 AM
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Sorry, paren


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:56 AM
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Of course it's your sacred right to listen to music loud in your own home! It's also appropriate (nice, neighborly) to take reasonable measures to accommodate your neighbor if they complain politely. But that's all barely relevant to the situation at hand which was not-loud NPR and a very rude neighbor.


Posted by: ursyne | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:46 AM
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Saying you must leave that particular window open for the cat is lame. You own your house: install a fucking cat door somewhere else and close the window. Problem mitigated.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:05 AM
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Paren, sorry for your cat and the ill-timed cat jokes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:17 AM
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Re: 511

13th & C NE is an interesting place. When I first read the address, it seemed for sure to be Capitol Hill-style yoga pants, baseball caps and baby strollers -- in which case your neighbors would almost certainly be NPRers, but I can't imagine of the window-rattling sort. More likely early on a Saturday morning while they're planting petunias.

But now, having looks at a map, you're sufficiently far enough east and north to be "transitional" and might have to suffer through those vagaries. That area is simply odd to me, in that you can be walking along a pleasant, maintained street with a pinwheel stuck in every lawn, and turn a corner into, bam, crazy DC poverty and such. Walking through a while back -- this area is near the H Street corridor, which is the eternally up-and-coming alternative entertainment scene -- a friend literally stopped in the middle of the street and said, whoa, I can see the physical line between where the black people and white people live.

I hope that's helpful? I think it's a great neighborhood -- though it might be a minor food and services desert? -- and would be happy to live there.


Posted by: Boo | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 7:13 AM
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1. I'm on Team Megan. Her capacity to be an asshole is irrelevant, since she hadn't yet played the music at asshole-vibrating levels. The neighbor should have initiated conversation in a friendlier, more polite manner, before it dragged on long enough for him to get so angry. Sounds like a basic neighborly incompatibility.

2. I'm also on Team Di and Paren, because break-ups and sick cats are both awful. Sympathy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 7:26 AM
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1. I'm definitely on Team Di and Paren, for all the obvious reasons.

2. I'm also on Team Megan's Neighbour. Megan seems to be doing the whole Ugly American thing - it's not illegal so fuck you. This is the same attitude as people who drive selfishly in SUVs. News flash: sleep deprivation is worse than turning your radio down; also it can make you crabby. She needs to grow up.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:11 AM
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But she hasn't played the radio at rattling levels. The proximate offense was playing This American Life in the middle of the afternoon.

I admit Megan lost me a little when she said that even if she'd been approached nicely, she'd dig in her heels.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:14 AM
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I am so sorry to hear about kitty, paren. Will hope for an intervening miracle.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:30 AM
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re: 540.1

Late in the evening, and Megan thought you couldn't have heard it 30ft away on the sidewalk. Given that the neighbours aren't 30ft away ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:35 AM
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Careful with the "what I'm doing is legal" when it comes to noise. Our code contains the following.

2. Radios, Television Sets, Musical Instruments And Similar Devices:
b. The operating of any such device between the hours of nine o'clock (9:00) P.M. and seven o'clock (7:00) A.M. the following day or, between the hours of nine o'clock (9:00) P.M. and nine o'clock (9:00) A.M. when the following day is a Sunday or legal holiday, in such a manner as to be plainly audible at the property boundary of the source...

IME lots of people look at hours and the decibel table and don't realize that property line provision is in there. Class B Misdemeanor too, which means belligerence and/or intractability can get a trip to jail instead of a ticket.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:36 AM
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I had a neighbor who I'm sure would have said his music wasn't very loud, and, you know, maybe it wasn't. What it was was club music of the oonce-oonce-oonce variety and that noise came right through walls and could be plainly heard over our own tv, etc. I wished him ill.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:46 AM
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Her capacity to be an asshole is irrelevant, since she hadn't yet played the music at asshole-vibrating levels.

This inference is highly illogical. Obviously either "vibrating" s/b "being" or "be" s/b "vibrate".


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:50 AM
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543: The Dad State has gone too far.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:54 AM
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re: 544

I had a mostly good-natured dispute with a flatmate who liked to play techno at 2am. It wasn't crazy loud, it was the sort of volume that I'd guess most people would find fairly normal loud-ish daytime listening volume, but at 2am the incessant 4-to-the-floor drove me nuts. He was an otherwise decent bloke and it was absent-mindedness rather than real lack of concern on his part, so it remained good-natured.

However, 18months back we had a downstairs neighbour who played 'bangin' music* that was i) really fucking loud all the fucking time and ii) played on a shitty little stereo that was distorting like fuck. If he hadn't been evicted it would have come to violence. No buts, no equivocation. One of us would have gotten their head kicked in. Possibly me, but still, it couldn't have gone on.

* I don't know the correct genre label. Some form of lowest-common denominator hardcore/happy-hardcore. Dickhead music, anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 8:57 AM
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The Dad State has gone too far.

That kind of clause is pretty common. Sacramento's is pretty broad as well.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 9:39 AM
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's funny how the type of music matters quite a bit, relative to volume. And yet it does!

I'm now envisioning Megan in her house, window open, listening to hip-hop, while the neighbor, facing window open, listens to Wagner. Megan then switches to techno, and the neighbor switches to bagpipes. Megan sighs and decides to mellow it out a bit with some Motown, and the neighbor switches to flamenco, with castanets.

Heh. At some point someone will have to switch to marching band music, the other to language lesson tapes; also Broadway show tunes vs. didgeridoo.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 9:41 AM
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It's perilous to judge these situations without all the facts, which deficit is inevitable in this medium, but I think, Megan, you might be jumping to conclusions a bit about what the neighbors want. Not only whether to take his reaction to your "hmm" as standard-setting or as conversatonal, as discussed above, but also what volume they find unacceptable - it might not be the volume just when he yelled, but rather a straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back situation, i.e. what they hate might be when you were too loud by your own admission, and the in-itself acceptable volume that later evening brought back the earlier times (including possibly the high frustratin of lack of sleep) and their lack of resolution and made him snap at you.

He definitely seems like an avoidant asshole, not bringing it up before yelling at you, and not even doing that to your face, but if you can drag a dialog out of them, this might not be as irreconciliable as it seems.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 9:56 AM
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547.last: ooh, I hope it was Donk.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 9:57 AM
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re: 551

Heh. I'm guessing it was probably just one 'Bonkers' compilation CD that he had.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:05 AM
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We have friends who live on a fancy street in an inner-ring suburb, with big turn-of-the-century houses, massive oak trees, groomed lawns -- and a next door neighbor who likes to watch reality tv at full volume out on the back porch. It sure does add a real je ne sais quoi to a summer afternoon.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:06 AM
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550: Otherwise look forward to bagpipes!

Sorry, I'm fooling around. There's a distinction to be drawn between the situation as it's evolved to date (Megan hasn't been particularly loud by her standard), and what Megan says she would do if she did choose to be loud, which is mostly stand firm but perhaps back it down a notch. A lot of us are responding to the latter scenario rather than the first. We've also had this conversation about Megan's perspective on this before, in greater depth, and I at least find myself importing some of that discussion into this one.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:11 AM
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537: Thanks. I thought it might be in that transitional area, but wasn't sure how much things had changed since I was last in DC. In any case, I'll be in DC only for a couple of months so the food/services aspect is less of a problem. Actually getting a place set up is the bigger issue.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:27 AM
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553: Pellet gun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:28 AM
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Or smear the TV with a suet/seed mixture and let the birds short it out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:32 AM
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A couple more thoughts:

1) I'm on team Megan insofar as I think it's good for her to be very clear on her position. Given that her position is, "My desire to listen to music at night is as strong as your desire to sleep well; as long as I'm listening at reasonable volumes I am not willing to make any further accommodations." Assuming there is an actual conversation at some point, it wouldn't benefit anybody for Megan to make polite noises about how she'll "try to be accommodating" if she isn't going to do anything. Far better to communicate the fact that there are non-negotiable limits on the degree to which she believes that anybody else has the right to restrict what she does in her own home.

I still believe that the most amiable possible ending to the situation would be a conversation in which Megan can say, and mean, "I've lived with the previous neighbor for years, the sort of behavior that your complaining about was never a problem. If you decide that it isn't something you're willing to live with, I'm willing to try to be helpful if you decide to move. I'm not trying to get rid of you, I hope that you'll acclimate but, if you don't, and you want help finding a different place, I can keep my eyes and ears open for you."

I can't actually imagine the interactions with the neighbors getting to a point at which that would be a productive comment, but I think that really is what Megan has to offer at this point.

2) If anybody does want headphone recommendations I should mention that the Denon D-5000s are great and, based on what I've read, I strongly suspect that the D-2000's are absolutely amazing headphones for their price. If they can deliver 80% of the performance of the D5000's (and I believe that they can) for half the price they're well worth their cost.

3) The question that comes to my mind, which may be a complete non sequitur, is, if Megan moved into a new house where the neighbors had been living in their houses for years, and those neighbors objected to Megan's music, would she be willing to find a new place to live, or would she insist on her legal and moral rights to do as she pleases within reasonable limits on her property? Part of what makes me sympathetic to Megan in this case is the facts that (a) she's thoroughly settled into here house, (b) she owns the property and the neighbors are renting, and (c) there's been ample precedent for her behavior being acceptable. If those conditions were reversed, I would be less sympathetic to the claim of property rights and would think that if those factors favored the neighbors it would give more weight to a certain amount of fussiness.

I haven't thought this through carefully, and I know friends who bought a house and have had strained relationships with overly fussy neighbors who had lived there for years, and I was not sympathetic to the neighbors. But I think that context matters.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:38 AM
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Oh, well, my position is easy. The default favors me, so I'm happy to let it ride. Honestly, if this is a happiness-ruining irritant to them, they should move. It would be a happiness-ruining irritant to me to keep it silent (although you say that's not necessarily what they want, that's the sense I have). Six of one, half a dozen of the other, so I'll go with the one that leaves me comfortable in my house. At their levels of sensitivity (again, it hadn't bothered my old neighbor in ten years), I don't think there's much mutual ground. Hopefully a band will rent the place next.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:44 AM
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558

... Given that her position is, "My desire to listen to music at night is as strong as your desire to sleep well; as long as I'm listening at reasonable volumes I am not willing to make any further accommodations." ...

Her actual position is more like "your desires don't matter at all to me".


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 10:58 AM
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558.2: Just a note, upon examination it looks like the prices of all of the Denon Headphones have gone up 30-50% in the last year or two. Like any high-end headphones, I would not recommend paying retail price, and it should be possible to find them significantly cheaper if you look around (most likely on ebay).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:02 AM
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The problem is "reasonable volumes" = the volume Megan was listening at, and Megan's desire to listen to music is, I suspect, as strong as their desire to sleep well by definition. (And, I guess, a desire as worthy of being satisfied.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:03 AM
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I'm right here, Shearer. You don't have to put words in my mouth. NickS stated it correctly, somehow managing to accurately extract my message from the tens of comments I've written. I view the two desires as equally important and incompatible. I don't think theirs don't matter. They don't matter more than mine, however.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:03 AM
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Oh, well, my position is easy. The default favors me, so I'm happy to let it ride.

The flip side of this is that, if the default favors you, it could make more sense for you to put more energy into having a productive dialogue, because you're not distracted by grumpiness.

Again this isn't to say that you have an obligation to be forthcoming. 506 and 512 are correct, if they haven't done anything to ask for respect, I think ignoring them makes sense (further, given that they could be crazy (as many people are), you never want to put yourself in the position of trying to mollify a crazy person, because it's likely to be a huge amount of wasted effort).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:07 AM
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The 'reasonable volume' is doing a lot of work, and given that Megan has been pretty clear that her preferred volume, at least some of the time, is really fucking loud. I don't think we are dealing with two equally reasonable desires.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:09 AM
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Indeed, the consequences of sleep deprivation are more demonstrable than those of lack of music .


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:12 AM
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We do also, however, have 10 prior years of non-complaint.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:12 AM
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(I guess this argument bloomed and fizzled while I was elsewhere but I wish to say I think there is a certain unsavory chutzpah in terming "fussy needs" the desire not to experience the sonic life of one's neighbor.)


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:20 AM
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563

I'm right here, Shearer. You don't have to put words in my mouth. NickS stated it correctly, somehow managing to accurately extract my message from the tens of comments I've written. I view the two desires as equally important and incompatible. I don't think theirs don't matter. They don't matter more than mine, however.

This seems like a pointless distinction as you intend to act as if their desires don't matter at all.

And if they called the cops per the link in 548 and the cops said you had to close your window would you move like you think they should?


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:20 AM
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We do also, however, have 10 prior years of non-complaint.

Indeed. My guess is that the volume is reasonable but that some people object to having a constant audible background noise, and other people don't.

I say this as somebody who can can be fussy in that way. Sound at a perfectly reasonable volume, that I don't have control over, will start to drive me batty after and hour or two of continuous exposure -- particularly if I'm trying to sleep or otherwise in a state of mind to value peacefulness (and quiet).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:21 AM
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568, me also. Not intended as an anonymous swipe.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:21 AM
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The datapoints I've seen seem a bit scanty is all. Ten years without complaints is a good start, I missed that, but neither is it definitive of norms. Still, you're the one on the ground.

Also, "they can move" tbh rubs me the wrong way. Yes, they can spend thousand of dollars and take days or weeks off work, what a great alternative. Certainly justified if what they want is an unreasonable imposition on you, but see above.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:24 AM
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If it isn't obvious, part of why I find the situation interesting is because it's easy for me to have sympathy for both sides.

As somebody who hates conflict and hates moving, I'd really painful to be either party in that case but having been in situations where I've been reluctant to ask people to turn off noises which were (a) reasonable and (b) bothering me it's interesting to think through it, at a distance from the situation.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:24 AM
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We do also, however, have 10 prior years of non-complaint.

Yes, 10 years of prior non-complaint between neighbors who both wanted to be loud.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:34 AM
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I'm getting a little hung up on this part:

But their complaint is that I listen to music at reasonable volumes in my house, and that will always be the case. If I'm home, it is on. That's part of why I have a house, so I can do that.

Because if you lived in an apartment, you think it would be inconsiderate to have music on all the time? Can you expand on that?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:39 AM
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I'm mostly on team Megan here, except that she should close her damn window. Your neighbors are more important than a pet.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:44 AM
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Based on 548, I'd guess that the neighbors could both involve the cops and bring a civil nuisance suit. If I was a landlord and losing rent and tenants because of an unusually noisy neighbor, that's what I'd do; the courts would not be sympathetic to the "if you don't like my music, move" argument.

It's a little hard to tell who's being unreasonable here, but, again, the failure to close the damn window inclines me towards team neighbors.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:46 AM
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Mostly if people need a lot of quiet then they should find a living arrangement in the middle of the woods. If you're living right next to someone else, then you have to be willing to deal with a certain amount of noise.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:46 AM
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575: I don't want to put words in Megan's mouth, but I think it's a strong belief in private property rights over community.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:50 AM
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Perhaps, but Megan may (as do many people) be overestimating the property rights she in fact has.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:55 AM
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I'm at work on a Sunday (unusual, thankfully) and stalling so . . .

I don't want to put words in Megan's mouth, but I think it's a strong belief in private property rights over community.

One neighbor isn't "community." That's part of why I postulated 558.3 as a thought experiment.

In this case I think it really is two opposing parties with minimal opportunities for compromise (if Megan is correct), in a situation where one of them is going to be happy and one isn't. I don't think it's a lack of respect for community for Megan to take her own side in the dispute (referencing the quip about liberals).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 11:57 AM
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The 'reasonable volume' is doing a lot of work, and given that Megan has been pretty clear that her preferred volume, at least some of the time, is really fucking loud.

I don't get this at all. Why can't someone enjoy loud music, and have a good handle on community standards for a reasonable volume?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:03 PM
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but Megan may (as do many people) be overestimating the property rights she in fact has.

Word. Off to work and doubtless I'll get a couple of noise calls tonight. Everyone, talk things out with your neighbors lest you find yourselves at the mercy of whatever responding officer thinks is "reasonable".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:04 PM
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581: One neighbor isn't "community."

Right, and true. I'm afraid I'm again thinking of the last time we discussed this, when the topic extended to dancing around naked in front of your living room window when there's a children's schoolyard across the street. (This is vaguely remembered; it doesn't necessarily do this thread a service to be importing that one onto this, though.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:07 PM
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Berkeley had some ridiculous noise rule where if you had a party and people complained about noise then you weren't allowed to have more than 10 people in your house for two months whether or not the officer thought that the complaint was reasonable.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:09 PM
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I would think the fact that I freely admit that I listen to and prefer loud music, and am amused that this complaint came now, should lead you to believe my assessment that for the moment, the volume is reasonable. If it were loud, I'd just say so. I have before.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:10 PM
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I just can't imagine that Megan is listening to talk radio at an unreasonable volume, during normal waking hours, even with her window belligerently open.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:13 PM
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Sorry for the piling on, Megan. I believe you that the volume is reasonable now, and sure: if you haven't been loud since the neighbors moved in, yet they're still complaining, then no, you aren't going to agree to utter silence, and I wouldn't either.

Sucks that the houses are so close, eh?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:17 PM
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586: Sure, but loudness is relative (for most purposes except penal code related).


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:19 PM
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I'm tentatively on Team Megan's Neighbors. Listening to NPR pisses me off.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:27 PM
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re: 583

Megan has repeatedly stated here and elsewhere that she sometimes likes music at self-described asshole volume. Apparently this wasn't one of those instances, but the general view that she ought to be able to do so, and that community standards and neighbours don't trump the 'right' to do that, is well-established in previous discussions and here.

We aren't talking about 'reasonable' standards. Megan's view seems to be that she doesn't see the need to be 'reasonable', although in this particular case, as far as she knows, she wasn't in fact being unreasonable.

I can see why the latter would be annoying. We have a neighbour who sometimes complains about non-existent noise: viz about washing machines being on late at night when we haven't even been in the house for a few days, and she has complained, for example, about me running a tap for a glass of water. That's kind of irritating. But the idea that people ought to make some sort of good faith effort to be somewhat accommodating to those we live beside doesn't seem an unreasonable expectation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:28 PM
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Whoops, I forgot it was TAL. I was imagining being forced to listen to David Brooks, et al.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:29 PM
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Gratuitous overuse of the word reasonable there. Damn.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:29 PM
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Am I the only one who sees a parallel between Megan's experience and Ignatius playing his lute to the irritation of his neighbors in A Confederacy of Dunces?

Also, all of them policemen are cawmuniss.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:33 PM
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Part of what's going on here, I think, is that people are missing the possibility that everyone's behaving badly. If the neighbor brought the issue up in a hostile way at a moment when no unreasonable noise was being made, which is what it sounds like they did, they're unreasonable and badly behaved.

OTOH, just because these neighbors are badly behaved, doesn't mean that Megan's music-listening habits don't make her an unpleasant neighbor for people with reasonable expectations. I can't tell, not being there (and I'm way over on the oblivious scale -- growing up on a street with a bunch of hospitals, I can ignore pretty much anything that I don't think is actually my problem. But that's a quirk of mine, not something you can expect from your neighbors.) I'm kind of figuring that anyone with enough experience with what happens when they call the cops on you for noise to not worry about it is probably loud enough to be legitimately irritating.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:37 PM
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Since this has been done to death...

413 says it was at night; what time? A daytime reasonable volume isn't an after-10 reasonable volume, especially if it's regular and not the occasional party.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:38 PM
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11 pm.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:39 PM
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Yeah, 11pm through an open window, at a volume loud enough to be heard through a neighbor's closed window, is objectively not OK.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:46 PM
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And her dining room faces their bedroom, right? And bedroom proximity is specifically mentioned in that ordinance.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:49 PM
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597: OK, listening to the radio, loud, at 11 pm, with the window open five feet from the room that you know your neighbours sleep in is not reasonable behaviour. How could anyone ever think it was?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:52 PM
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11 pm does change things. OTOH, it was a Friday night. I'd expect community quiet hours to be after 9:30ish Sunday-Thursday. 11 pm on a Friday is borderline.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:54 PM
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OK, listening to the radio, loud, at 11 pm

Again, how loud can it really have been? Comfortable talk radio levels are not crazy. If I had a roommate, I'd expect to be able to listen to the radio next door to their bedroom.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:56 PM
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601: I dunno, I've had some weeks recently where it gets to Friday evening and I just want to go home and sleep, and if someone started playing loud music or whatever at 11 pm I would be tempted to go all ttaM nattarGcM on their ass.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:57 PM
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I'm also thinking that if it was This American Life, it probably wasn't louder than conversation level. It conceivably could have been loud, but I doubt it was.

If I lived in a house laid out like that, I'd be thinking about planting a big tall shrub/hedge kind of thing on the property line in front of that window. If the other house is that close, there's probably not a lot of light coming in there anyway.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 12:58 PM
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I watch TV at a normal (not quiet) level in my livingroom at 11:30 every weeknight with the window at least a little open and a neighbor's appt. 5 feet away. I have no idea what room they sleep in, but this is totally normal reasonable behavior in the absence of complaints. (In my neighborhood the noise level is such that no one would consider complaining about radio or TV.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:00 PM
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Heebie, if your neighbor was keeping you awake listening to talk radio or reality television, and could soften or eliminate the noise by closing a window, would you be at all annoyed if they refused to do so?


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:00 PM
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It's at a volume loud enough to be heard through a closed window in a house that doesn't share a common wall. Whatever Megan thinks, that's probably unreasonably loud for 11pm.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:00 PM
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re: 603

FWIW, with my evicted neighbour I didn't do anything other than grumpy complaint. But we both knew, I think, where it was going. He was a vile prick, though, so there was more than just noise at stake.*

* fairly sure he was beating his girlfriend, he definitely stole all of his grandmother's life savings,** and he definitely tried to stiff me on some shared bills. Plus he had a whole irritating plastic-Jock thing going.

** from a reliable source


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:00 PM
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Especially if they were leaving it open so their cat could go out and murder endangered songbirds? Megan is just evil.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:01 PM
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Remember that these are california walls/windows that we're talking about.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:02 PM
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It's kind of amazing how much fun I'm having arguing someone else's position. I don't enjoy being the subject of an argument.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:03 PM
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Thing is, the two positions are reciprocal. I had to be up until midnight, when my guests arrived from L.A. I don't want to do that in silence. It is equally and opposite-ly unreasonable to ask me not to listen to TAL in my own dining room. Like I said, there are two equilibriums, and the mismatch is very unfortunate, but there's not objective morality on either side. Sometimes there is, and sometimes I'm an asshole. But this hasn't been those times, so it has been funny to be in this situation now.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:03 PM
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Has is been established yet whether the complaining neighbors' bedroom window is open or closed? Or what time of night the complaint was made? I am sympathetic to the effects of sleep deprivation butt how much effort are the crankikins making tomitigate their own problem?


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:05 PM
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Heebie, if your neighbor was keeping you awake listening to talk radio or reality television, and could soften or eliminate the noise by closing a window, would you be at all annoyed if they refused to do so?

We'd have the last laugh when our kid starts the day screaming at 4:30 am, and we ignore it for a good 45 minutes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:05 PM
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I still think it's completely unreasonable of you to insist that you *have* to have the window next to their bedroom open.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:05 PM
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What about (a) closing the window (b) putting on headphones (c) if this is a lifestyle choice, putting in noise-dampening windows?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:07 PM
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One of our neighbors has had a broken window to their living room for the past two months. For a while it was taped up, but now it's just the broken shards showing.

I really don't understand how this has come to pass. They don't seem furious with their landlord or anything. My guess is they are totally apathetic about it. But seriously?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:12 PM
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579

I don't want to put words in Megan's mouth, but I think it's a strong belief in private property rights over community.

Like Megan McArdle? Except I think McArdle would be more reasonable.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:17 PM
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I am slightly confused about why using headphones at night isn't an option.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:20 PM
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614: We'd have the last laugh when our kid starts the day screaming at 4:30 am, and we ignore it for a good 45 minutes.

Good grief. Why is everyone so aggressive about this?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:21 PM
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Huh. After 11 and neighborss window shut does kind of pull me over to the neighbors' side. Though I'd have a hard time being any less intractable about it than Megan given how it was raised. Though, living with chronic sleep deprivation, I am also sympathetic to the difficulty in remaining diplomatic and civil.

In conclusion, I'm not moving my sticks.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:21 PM
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620: How so?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:22 PM
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I mean, we really do ignore her for 45 minutes. That's not for the neighbor's benefit.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:23 PM
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Or, they could move their bedroom into their dining room and put up noise-damping curtains. I don't actually think they should have to do that, because my bottom line is that people should live like they want in their own houses. It is my house. If I can't live at my comfort in my house (in this case, listening to TAL at a reasonable volume, unlike the other times when I'm an asshole, which they haven't even seen yet), where can I? If the answer is nowhere, you live in a community, you must always accommodate, I'm gonna turn up my music and drown you out.

I get that some folks have a quiet bias, but it is just that, not moral truth. In the noisy-noisy equilibrium, I'm an unusually generous, accommodating and helpful neighbor who never ever calls the cops.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:29 PM
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Gotta run. Back later.

I need more bee supplies, so I can have two hives. I named the second one "Halford."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:30 PM
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I get that some folks have a quiet bias, but it is just that, not moral truth.

Eh, I'm not sure that's right. I think there is a moral basis upon which we ask people to restrict actions which impose costs upon others.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:33 PM
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626

Yes, but Megan's point is that both actions impose costs on others. Her noise bothers them, their insistence on quiet bothers her. And ignoring the libertarian connotations for the moment, I think that's right. Why is forcing Megan to wear headphones fundamentally a more moral solution than forcing the neighbors to wear earplugs or get a white noise machine?


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:40 PM
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Obviously the challenge is determining what counts as an "imposed cost." I believe Megan that turning off the music would be a significant cost to them. I don't believe Di Kotimy's neighbors that having to look at an unsightly lawn is a cost to them.

My point was that, in the abstract, a bias towards "quiet-quiet" equilibria over "noisy-noisy" isn't a completely arbitrary bias (with a big caveat about cultural norms here).


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:45 PM
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Because earplugs are really uncomfortable to sleep with andnot everyone finds white noise machines soothing. It is hard to see why headphones would be much of a burden for Megan, especially if only during hours when people ordinarily sleep.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:45 PM
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My lawn, incidentally, is significantly more unsightly since the ex-boyfriend broke my electric mower. Which kind of leaves me feeling conflicted about whether or not I care.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:48 PM
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I'm pretty confident that lost sleep beats 'not being able to listen to music at my preferred volume at night' in terms of imposed costs, and that the person whose habits are crossing their property line and causing hardship on the other people's property should, as a rule, give. (That is, the neighbors don't do anything that hurts Megan on her property. Megan hurts the neighbors on their property. We're analyzing whether asking her to stop hurting them is going to cost her more than it costs them to be hurt.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:54 PM
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I cannot believe that I am the first to bring up the best -- nay, only -- solution:

Thunderdome.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:55 PM
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I'm fairly certain that urban living at densities that could slow the pace of global warming depend on some reasonable standard of quiet at night for people who live close to others. Megan is trying to drive everybody with ears to the exurbs and kill the Earth.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:57 PM
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I strongly disagree with the idea that the one making the noise is always at fault. If people are picky and fussy then it's their own problem that they shouldn't burden other people with. If you're picky and don't like food, make sure you have a snack before dinner and don't complain. Similarly if you can't sleep with another house within 5 feet of yours, then don't live within 5 feet of another house!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:58 PM
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These Younger Generations just don't understand the idea of the commons. I blame Reagan.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:59 PM
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The weirdest thing to me is how Megan's stance is that of a hippie. "Hippie" obviously means different things to different people.

Anyway, really, I doubt anyone is saying that adverting to a least-common-denominator understanding of accommodation to the most quiet among us is the appropriate thing to do: obviously the wishes of those who desire absolute silence don't trump the wishes of the audially inclined. This to 624.1.last.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 1:59 PM
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then don't live within 5 feet of another house!

Because that is an option everywhere and for everyone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:03 PM
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People should close their windows tags.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:04 PM
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But AFAIC, the Megan question is mostly for me empirical:How loud is loud, what time, what kind of people the neighbors are, etc. I would have to have pretty personal knowledge before I could judge.

I play music, my neighbors 10 feet either side have parties, dogs, children...we all seem to get along.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:06 PM
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637: If it's not, well then it sucks to be you. But anyway, poor neighborhoods are usually actually loud not this NPR "loud" bullshit.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:07 PM
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The moral here is that since apparently Megan does play music loud quite often, the neighbor made a massive mistake by approaching not during one of these instances, but during a period when she was playing NPR.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:13 PM
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It's at a volume loud enough to be heard through a closed window in a house that doesn't share a common wall. Whatever Megan thinks, that's probably unreasonably loud for 11pm.

Hell, I have had my floors shake, felt the fucking bass, at 3 AM from a next door party. As long as it isn't a habit, not on every worknight but just once a month or week on Saturday, what the hell.

And we mow each other's lawns around here, for free. It's how we fuck with each other, send messages.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:13 PM
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||>
This suggests several possibilities:
(A) Everyone who writes for the Telegraph is a moron
(B) Everyone who reads the Telegraph is a moron
(C) Everyone who writes for the Telegraph and everyone who reads the Telegraph is a moron
(D) Everyone is a moron

I mean, for real, the capitalists are poisoning your food EVERY SINGLE DAY. How many actual instances of "agroterrorism" have there been in recent history? A smattering, if that? Gaaah, why does everyone have to be such an idiot all the time?
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:16 PM
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642 gets it exactly right. Of course, I live on a busy street, across from a fire station. And I grew up on a busy street in the flight path of a major airport. So a little talk radio, even at a fairly high volume, seems like a pretty ridiculous thing to get worked up about.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:18 PM
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634, 644: My sense of what's loud is pretty strongly related to the level of ambient noise in the area. Something that wouldn't be noticeable at all over the sound of traffic might sound awfully loud if all it's competing with is crickets.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:23 PM
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Cryptic Ned is the only one who understands me. And F. The reason headphones would be a hassle is that then I'd be tethered to my amp, but I want to listen to music as I do dishes, fold laundry, sort bills and walk to the recycling. I don't have the small portable gadgets. Well, I do, but it hasn't worked recently.

On my errand, I figured out the solution to Di's dilemmas. She should get bees. They are lovely and interesting company, so she can enjoy that while she's sad. Further, they would distract her judgmental neighbor such that her vegetable garden no longer disturbs him. Also, she'll have honey and wax and pollen which is supposed to be mystically healthy. All the answers, neatly bundled.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:27 PM
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646

... She should get bees. ...

Keeping bees in urban areas is often illegal. Of course if you are on good terms with your neighbors they might not complain.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:30 PM
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If getting an iPod would let you listen to music at your preferred level at any time of night without bothering your neighbors or being tethered to your amp, would you have any principled objection to doing that?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:30 PM
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I wouldn't have a principled objection to that. I would have a few objections to it on the merits (the sound may not be as good; I like listening to Pandora, etc). But if it were an equally convenient substitute (which it isn't, at the moment, for dumb reasons about my creaky laptop, so I can't load the iPod), sure, that'd be fine.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:38 PM
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The reason headphones would be a hassle is that then I'd be tethered to my amp, but I want to listen to music as I do dishes, fold laundry, sort bills and walk to the recycling. I don't have the small portable gadgets. Well, I do, but it hasn't worked recently.

Of all the obstacles to a solution, this seems like the most easily overcome.

I understand that listening on headphones isn't the same as listening on speakers, and that you wouldn't be willing to shift all of your listening to headphones. I'm with you on that.

But I would think that, at very least, radio listening could be shifted to headphones easily, and that it wouldn't be too expensive to have an option for headphone listening that had reasonable sound.

Out of curiosity, what format is your music stored in? LPs, CDs, Cassettes, or computer files?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:39 PM
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Computer files. Until I get a new laptop, however, it is a bottleneck on all sorts of things.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:42 PM
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I wouldn't have a principled objection to that. I would have a few objections to it on the merits (the sound may not be as good; I like listening to Pandora, etc). But if it were an equally convenient substitute (which it isn't, at the moment, for dumb reasons about my creaky laptop, so I can't load the iPod), sure, that'd be fine.

This is the point at which I feel like you're potentially being difficult. If you were inclined to be accommodating (and, I realize, that you didn't even know that there was anything to accommodate until Friday) then it would seem churlish to insist not only on, "I want to listen to music whenever I'm home" but also on, "in whatever format and circumstances I want."

If (and it's a big if) the neighbors approached you in a way that made you convinced that you were willing to take steps to reduce noise late at night, then it would seem worth at least thinking about what would be required to make it possible to listen to music on headphones while moving around the house.

I understand that it isn't a simple goal to achieve, but it is achievable.

But that is all based on an assumption that some productive negotiation with the neighbor is possible, which is completely hypothetical at the moment.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 2:54 PM
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I'm right here, Shearer. You don't have to put words in my mouth.

Given that you've previously expressed the same atitude toward maintenance of your lawn/property, walking around naked in front of windows, and now noise levels, I'm inclined to agree that you are indeed probably a bad neighbor and that Shearer's original wording was pretty much on the money.

But you live clear across the country from me, so, you know, I'm not complaining.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:05 PM
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Oops. That was me.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:09 PM
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Eh. The way they approached me is neither a plus nor minus in my book. But on the whole, I'm not inclined to be accommodating. Once I realized that a hum is audible to them (when they're listening for it), the "they can hear me in their bedroom standard" is too strict for me to meet. My fear is that the level that annoys them would ratchet down past reasonable, since this dilemma started at reasonable (which is the funny aspect in this whole story). It could well have started where I was unreasonable, and then I'd have to be balancing my asshole loudness with their fussiness. But it didn't happen to!

Really, I'd like to get back to the noisy-noisy equilibrium where I lived peaceably for ten years. Fortunately, my old neighbor and their landlord is familiar with that firsthand, and all the times I didn't complain about her crowd smoking and talking on the porch very late are about to pay off for me.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:12 PM
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you are indeed probably a bad neighbor

In some respects! On the other hand, I have neighbors who love my hive and thank me for it every time they see me. And neighbors who tell me my plants are gorgeous and smell fantastic and thank me with tears in their eyes since they picked flowers for their moms or friends. And neighbors who photograph my plants. And neighbors who have parties to no complaint from me. And neighbors who stop to thank me for my porch decor. I even have neighbors who stop on my steps to listen to my music.

It is almost as if there are different qualities, and I am wonderful along some dimensions and indifferent along others. Or as if some people like the things I like. Quiet-quiet and drab-drab are a race to the bottom.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:18 PM
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It seems like you are reaching for a reason -- they can hear humming, mon dieu! -- to just do whatever the hell you wanted to do anyway.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:20 PM
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I didn't mean 653 to sound like I'm wagging my finger at you, because it's genuinely neither here nor there to me. Just that you have often times seemed, when discussing neighborhood issues, to start from the position of "I will do what I want and everybody can else can just fuck right off."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:23 PM
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It is almost as if there are different qualities, and I am wonderful along some dimensions and indifferent along others.

I have a hard time processing this -- it would not have occurred to me that maintaining a pleasantly decorative house and grounds would in some way give you extra rights to be actively annoying.

But it's your neighborhood, and I'm not there, and wouldn't personally be annoyed even if I were there, given what I'm used to screening out. I do still think that you're being unreasonable.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:25 PM
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"I will do what I want and everybody can else can just fuck right off."

That's most of what I think. But some folks very much like some aspects of 'what I want', so that position on its own hasn't tipped the balance into good or bad neighbor.

It is the interaction that makes me a good or bad neighbor, and that interaction makes both sides of the interaction equally good or bad so long as we started in the reasonable range.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:28 PM
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It could well have started where I was unreasonable, and then I'd have to be balancing my asshole loudness with their fussiness. But it didn't happen to!

While talk radio seems pretty quiet, you have to figure that their initial complaint was intended to cover all your behavior since they moved in, not just that evening. If you were listening to music late at night (after ten or eleven, say) with an open window seven feet from their bedroom in that period, I'd say you can look at the situation as having started out with your being unreasonable.

In that kind of close quarters, during normal sleeping hours, unreasonable starts well short of window-rattling.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:29 PM
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646.2. Alas, I am a bit phobic. Which is a shame, b/c I would love the fresh honey.

Wireless headphones? I'm pretty sure you can get good headphones with a transmitter that plugs into your amp.


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:34 PM
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Do let us know, by the way, what ends up happening with these neighbors. I'm curious.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:37 PM
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Re 660

The fact that you aren't a difficult person to live beside in all possible respects is neither here nor there. If someone complains about noise, 'but my garden is pretty and I don't piss over your fence' is no response. There isn't a points system, ffs: +3 for garden maintenance and +2 for nice cooking smells cancels out my -5 for noise.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:39 PM
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I am the anti-Megan! I am very quiet, but my yard is fuggly!


Posted by: di kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 3:59 PM
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My yard used to be ill-kempt! These days it is nice, but only 'cause I got around to it, not 'cause some neighbors objected.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:01 PM
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It was probably a good thing that you were nice to the neighbor-now-landlord, because many landlords in the same position would sue, and, (on the facts as presented here) probably win, making you pay for lost rent, damages, or facing some kind of court order to make less noise.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:06 PM
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Good thing I never told her to keep it down when she wanted to do stuff at night. Let this be a lesson to all of you.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:10 PM
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My yard looks like shit, fwiw.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:13 PM
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I just want to say that I too am the perfect neighbour, as long as I get my own way on absolutely everything. Nobody whose life has happened not to have been affected by my desire to do whatever I want, has ever had a single complaint about me.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:14 PM
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Really, this all comes from an egregious misunderstanding of "love thy neighbor as thyself."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:17 PM
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"love thy neighbor as thyself."

My neighbor was pretty forceful in his explanation that he doesn't want me to jerk him off before he goes to sleep.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:24 PM
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Which is weird, because I never got any complaints from the guy who lived there before him.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:25 PM
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Okay, 673 is awesome in the context of the thread.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:27 PM
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673: Stop getting the good hand cream?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:42 PM
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I'd be thinking about planting a big tall shrub/hedge kind of thing on the property line in front of that window

Or putting in a dog run. The cat might consider another entrance.

walking around naked in front of windows, and now noise levels, I'm inclined to agree that you are indeed probably a bad neighbor

Well, good neighbor, then bad neighbor.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 4:50 PM
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666: What's most amusing is that, when neighbors have voiced complaints (the once via anonymous nastygram, and most recently in old-man person), I've received said complaints whilst actually outside tending to the yard. And in each case, receipt of said message has led to my immediately discontinuing said tending to of yard. My vegetable garden, however, remains painfully beautiful. And I am going to have such amazing produce.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:03 PM
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We're growing one eggplant, two things of basil (one indoor), and a thing of parsley.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:09 PM
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We also have a raspberry bush, but I planted that last year and it isn't technically in my yard.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:11 PM
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672-673 are great, and made me laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:16 PM
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||

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/02/total-recall-retromania-all-rage?INTCMP=SRCH

Maybe something interesting? Front-page posters?

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:24 PM
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I have carrots, several lettuce varieties, onions, potatoes, purple kale, eggplant, mustard greens, purple basil, Mr. Stripey tomatoes, Cherokee Purple tomatoes, a yellow grape tomato variety, and parsley. I think that's it.

My garden makes me happy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:38 PM
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I have carrots, several lettuce varieties, onions, potatoes, purple kale, eggplant, mustard greens, purple basil, Mr. Stripey tomatoes, Cherokee Purple tomatoes, a yellow grape tomato variety, and parsley. I think that's it.

My garden makes me happy.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:38 PM
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I wish I had room for that size of a garden.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:50 PM
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Have you thought about planting miniature vegetables?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:52 PM
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I'd be interested to know how the onions go: I've never tried them or garlic. My understanding is that you have to turn them up and let them lie (lay?) above-ground for a bit to, er, crisp up the peels.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 5:56 PM
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Yeah, this is my first attempt with the onions. I forgot, I also do have garlic going, too. That was easy enough last year, though I only had a couple planted. I think I only have 4 or 5 growing right now. Also have some french tarragon in that hasn't died yet.

I dug up about a fourth of my backyard for this year. I expect I will keep expanding.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:00 PM
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I mentioned here that I had been in a car accident and that I found the other driver interesting.

Now I have the police report. It seems the person who hit me told the officer that I was driving down the road, perpendicular to her, as she was pulling out of a parking lot, and that I struck the front of her vehicle with the back-right of mine.

She really, really didn't understand why the officer found her to be at fault.

Why did I not mark this comment off-topic? I leave that as an exercise for the reader.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:10 PM
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We you reversing down the road again?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:11 PM
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s/b "Were you..."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:14 PM
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When I say "back-right" I mean on the right side of my car, but toward the back. So apparently I was going sideways.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 5-11 6:29 PM
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People not being able to describe what they saw, happened, etc. in clear unambiguous terms is the bane of my work. "Driver side" and "passenger side".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 12:00 AM
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Cryptic Ned is the only one who understands me.

Oh we understand all right. We just don't like what we understand. However, I live even further away from you than Apo, so my indifference is ultimately at least as great as his.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 12:07 AM
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338: I don't know if Texans have this problem (it's worst for me in the winter, though AC also induces it), but I desiccate overnight, which makes all my joints stiff. I have had some luck with chugging a large glass of water first thing in the morning.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 12:50 AM
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The soundproofing is so pathetic here that I think there's a kind of equilibrium - if anyone in the building (or indeed the terrace) complained about noise, we'd all have to complain about each other and life would be intolerable, so everyone keeps quiet and turns the hatred and frustration within, where it belongs.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 1:45 AM
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681: I remember reading similar articles in the mid-1990s and I bet the sentiment wasn't new then. His moaning about "retro" is itself quite retro.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 1:47 AM
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re: 696

Yeah, there was a fair bit of that complaint made about Brit-pop at the time: that it was just tired retreads of the Kinks and the Beatles. I think you are right that it's an old complaint, and there have always been pop classicists: artists who were explicitly and consciously interested in excavating and reviving the past, and pop modernists complaining about them. But he does seem right that the last few years have seen more of that 'curatorial'/retrospective element at the foreground. I expect he wants to identify a difference of kind when what there is is really just a difference of degree.

Not true across the board, though. UK 'urban' music hasn't been backward looking, or US hip-hop RnB. Although, saying that, I'm amused how much some of the dubstep-influenced UK pop [Jamie Woon, for example] sounds like not-very-good Prince B sides from the late 80s.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 2:11 AM
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"Driver side" and "passenger side".

the trouble is that you Yanks have the driver on the passenger's side.

But he does seem right that the last few years have seen more of that 'curatorial'/retrospective element at the foreground

'Twas ever thus though - between British blues and the folk revival, museum-pop has been a thick 20% of the best music. I remember once on CT there was someone complaining about how "Kids Today Are Just Copying Stuff From Forty Years Ago - You Wouldn't Catch The Rolling Stones Doing That!"


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 3:11 AM
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"Kids Today Are Just Copying Stuff From Forty Years Ago - You Wouldn't Catch The Rolling Stones Doing That!"

This was intended as a funny, no?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 3:16 AM
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I seem to remember the person saying it was dead serious and Chris B had to gently upbraid him.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 3:23 AM
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Well, the electric blues stuff was more like 15 years old at the outside (T-Bone Walker, 1947 or thereabouts) when they started. But for most of the last 40 years they've been plagiarising their own work from 40 years ago.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 3:31 AM
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A fair bit of confusion of commercial motives with artistic ones as well in that article. The fact that Hollywood makes lots and lots of remakes of movies not very good the first time is not evidence for the idea that we're all retronauts, just that Hollywood is creatively bankrupt.

There is some point to be made about the idea that we are living in a world in which everything ever made is available, but that isn't quite a new idea anymore either....


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 4:58 AM
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re: 702.last

Yeah, although I was at a conference in the Netherlands last week [big European metadata/collections integration project] and looking at libraries and museums, what's actually available is only a tiny skelf/sliver off the top surface. And even that is weirdly biased as a sample because of copyright laws, hence the 20th-century-black-hole problem.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:24 AM
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703. Good point. What was the next product from the workshop that made the Antikythera mechanism?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:29 AM
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Even of the historic manuscript/printed-book content that's actually been digitised, only tiny fractions are accessible. Most is sitting in archives. I'd guess that sort of thing holds across the board and across many types of 'cultural heritage' organisation.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:34 AM
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UK 'urban' music hasn't been backward looking, or US hip-hop RnB

You think? Seems like it really depends on the group/era/moment, and certainly hip hop per se is one of the most historically informed genres out there.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:49 AM
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692: they didn't perceive what happened clearly and unambiguously, so why should they be able to describe it that way? They're giving you an accurate picture of what they know.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:51 AM
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They should know more.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:52 AM
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re: 706

It certainly sounds -- or has sounded, I'm not sure we are in a particularly creative/interesting period right now -- more forward looking than a lot of 'guitar music' has over the same period. There's probably a false dichotomy at work as often, as already mentioned above, some of the more interesting and new music is often made by people who think they are reviving or restoring the past.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 5:57 AM
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709: new-school R&B has definitely been in a more forward-looking phase for a while, but even that has involved the borrowing of sounds (if not beats or structure) from '90s electronic music, and I wonder how much it has to do with producers finally coming to grips with the demise of layered sampling as a plausible tool for hit records.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:02 AM
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Of course I'm a noted skeptic of most "guitar music", so should probably not be trusted on A-B comparisons of genres.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:03 AM
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re: 710

Yeah. TBH, to my taste a lot of the late 90s/early-2000s RnB was more interesting. The current wave of stuff that sounds like crap lowest-common denominator Eurodance with some RnB vocals on top, not so much. Although there's some stuff I've liked that seems to be borrowing from more interesting dance music.

re: 711

Even as someone who likes a fair bit of guitar music there's a lot of stuff, even among the stuff I'd think of as pretty decent and which I might listen to, which isn't exactly breaking new ground. That said, a lot of the electronic music breaking through onto the UK radio stations that I listen to seems to be retreading long-familiar paths, too.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:11 AM
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What was the next product from the workshop that made the Antikythera mechanism?

Most of the developers walked after they hired Stephen Elopius.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:15 AM
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late 90s/early-2000s RnB was more interesting

Very much so.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:17 AM
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712.2: yeah, I've been downloading a lot of stuff that I like, but that I like because it's familiar. I just found the first dubstep track that I've gotten sucked into enough to listen to over and over again (I previously tolerated the genre more than most in my cohort, but didn't really seek it out/get amped up by tracks) and that's pretty much because it's an over-the-top vocal house anthem with some of the drums missing.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:17 AM
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Yeah, I've found much of the dubstep I've listened to a bit 'meh', and for exactly the reasons you cite. It does sound like very familiar music with some minor tweaks. That said, I like a lot of the UK hip-hop/grime stuff which seems to often be produced by the same people:

e.g.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP11r5n5RNg

which isn't that different from stuff that Roots Manuva has been doing for years, but it's still nice to my ears.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:21 AM
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This is the track I was so happy with, which I link to in the full knowledge that it's kind of silly and I might get mocked. I still think it's awesome, though.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:25 AM
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Just for the hell of it, to make clear I'm not to be trusted.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:28 AM
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re: 717

Ah, yeah, I've heard that on the radio.

I don't mind a lot of the fairly mainstream dubstep-ish pop that's on the radio at the moment. Katy B, Magnetic Man, etc. I wouldn't seek it out, but it's a lot less annoying than some.

e.g. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXzMPd9pib0


Posted by: nattarrGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:28 AM
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re: 718

Heh. Step too far!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:32 AM
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719.last: I don't mind the production, but man I'm just so tired of auto-tune, even when it's underplayed.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:32 AM
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It's subtle enough there that it doesn't bother me. But yeah, I know what you mean. Generally I'm with you on that one. As a deliberate effect [rather than just pitch-correcting bad vocal tracks] it's massively overused.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:36 AM
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I weigh 124 which I gained on BC pill; I definitely felt much hungrier and was eating more--so not clearly causal. That now seems to be a set point.

When I had my horrible WH foods job, I was at 115 or less. (105 at 17) 95 for most of highschool. 115 was really good. I didn't exercise, but I was always walking on the job, and I couldn't snack except on breaks. I was also probably not eating enough at dinner, but I'd still like to fit into those clothes even though I know that I look fine.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:44 AM
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Did you miss the no numbers requests?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:51 AM
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It was hard to hear it over the radio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:54 AM
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Blume, do you have any online intro yoga recommendations?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:42 AM
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726: I do yoga on the Wii. When I started, I couldn't touch my toes or balance on one foot for more than a couple of seconds. I've gotten much better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:43 AM
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Blume is distinctly unconvinced by Wii yoga, but if helps you, I say go to it.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:47 AM
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I don't really have anything to compare it to. I'm not about to do yoga in front of other people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:48 AM
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BG didn't provide units, though. She means that she weighs 124 stone.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:49 AM
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727: I forgot about that option, and I do have a Wii that's gathering dust. Well, I call it dust, but it's really cat hair.
The problem with this route is that I like to exercise while watching something (often sports), and I don't want to buy another television.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:49 AM
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727.2: The female Wii yoga trainer has a nicely animated ass.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:51 AM
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The female Wii yoga trainer has a nicely animated ass.

Yeah, a flat affect would really ruin the image they're trying to project.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:52 AM
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My wife has a couple of yoga DVDs which I find quite helpful. I think you need to see people moving rather than just look at photos of static postures.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:53 AM
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Come to think, there must be thousands of youtube videos demonstrating yoga.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:55 AM
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Most of my online yoga has been limited to looking up youtube videos of people teaching a particular pose I'm having a hard time with. It's useful to hear and see a lot of people explaining a pose, because often someone will say that one little thing that clicks and makes it possible for me.

A friend recommended YogaGlo to me and I've had it bookmarked for a while, meaning to try it when I get some more time. It's a subscription site, but you can do a 15-day free trial. Which is annoying, I know. But that's all I've got!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 7:55 AM
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As for Wii yoga, I don't like the poses (like warrior) where you have one foot on the platform and one off. I can see how the thing could be a good introduction for basic stretching and balance, though. I also found the image showing your center of gravity interesting. As you're holding a pose for a while you become conscious of the way you constantly sway and bring yourself back to center, and seeing that on screen is novel, if not practice-changingly useful.

As for this, I'm not about to do yoga in front of other people.--

I had a moment a few months ago in my intermediate astanga class, which is pretty small and usually the same group of 3-8 people, when it all of a sudden struck me how crazy it is that I do this stuff in front of others. In that class in particular we are often trying new things and utterly failing, so sometimes other people are watching me fall on my face again and again and giving me advice about it.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:05 AM
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so sometimes other people are watching me fall on my face again and again and giving me advice about it

Yoga: the blogging of exercise.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:07 AM
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I also like the thing where you float down the river in the bubble that you steer by shifting your weight.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:10 AM
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722: We should go back to the days when the goal in using autotune was to make it completely undetectable.

In the past we've discussed how guys who say they don't like women who wear make-up were really just into women who knew how to put on make up so you don't notice it. That's what autotune needs to go back to.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:11 AM
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We do a lot of fun balancing stuff in our thingie class.

Stand on one leg and raise the knee of the other leg towards your chest, until the thigh is at least parallel to the floor. Hands by your side, or on your head. Now close your eyes. Most people last a couple of seconds. I still suck at it.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:15 AM
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I actually don't think it's particularly possible to use auto-tune so it's unnoticeable (or, at least, so I don't notice it); the characteristic distortion might have been written off before it started getting used as an effect, but now it's unmistakeable unless the vocals are otherwise very highly processed.


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:18 AM
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741: Now try it with your raised leg straight!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:23 AM
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744

743: and out to the side, right?


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:27 AM
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re: 743

Heh. It's the eyes closed bit that kills me, rather than the balancing per se. Although holding the leg straight out in front with no support for any length of time completely kills my hip-flexors. Much pain.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:28 AM
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744: Utthita hasta padangustasana does have a part with your leg out to the side, but only while you're still holding on to your foot.

ttaM, I just tried it with my eyes closed! Definitely harder. It's not for nothing that yoga teachers harp so much on focusing your gaze.

(I just looked up 'drishti' online - that's what the gaze focusing is called - and YogaJournal says "The practice of Drishti is a gazing technique that develops concentration--and teaches you to see the world as it really is." Puke!)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:34 AM
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Yoga videos: I've liked some of the Jason Crandell ones at Yoga Journal.com. http://www.yogajournal.com/video/jason_crandell

I also have a set of 4 dvds from Total Yoga that are pretty good.

It's better to go to a class though.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:37 AM
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748

510: I'm still in DC so far, but I'll be in Portland tomorrow. I have dinner plans on Wednesday and otherwise am relatively unscheduled (although I've requested interpreters for a few of the reunion reception event things, so I need to either go to them or give a couple days notice that I'm not).

Anyway, I'm guessing from the lack of response that no one else around here is in Portland? If someone else is in Portland and wants to hang out, speak up! I'll be there until Sunday.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:39 AM
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743: I have fun doing raising my leg straight forward, rotating it to the side, and then to the back (for this I lean forward), but I haven't tried eyes closed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:45 AM
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750

I can't get my leg very high, but I can do it with my eyes open. Why would I want to do it with my eyes closed?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:47 AM
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751

I also tried that pose Blume linked the other day, and I'm pretty sure it's impossible. I don't see how the trailing leg doesn't unbalance you.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:47 AM
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It certainly sounds . . . more forward looking than a lot of 'guitar music' has over the same period.

At the risk of violating the analogy ban . . .

I was recently describing and recommending the book Sleights Of Mind to my father. When I mentioned the various examples in the book of professional magicians saying, "I can control and direct the audience's attention by doing X" and the neuroscientists would say something like, "wow, that's really interesting. It makes sense, but we never thought about that particular idea. We should study that." He responded by commenting that that sounded much better than many popular science books about music in which the scientists would write something like, "we've proven that human's naturally respond to rhythm." Or, as he said, something like, "now we can explain to all those musicians how rhythm actually works."

I mention this just as an introduction to say that something that the book strongly demonstrates about magic and sleight of hand is that there are a variety of techniques many of which have been around for literally centuries but that magicians come up with new "tricks" by figuring out how to create a new presentation and narrative that uses those techniques.

I think the same is largely true of music, there's a basic set of building blocks which are pretty stable (in part because they are things that our brain responds to) which get incorporated into new musical narratives.

So I am not inclined to care, overly much, whether a given artists is explicitly borrowing/referencing the past or not. The important question is, do they make the trick work? A trick can fail because it's too old-fashioned, and too familiar, but the familiar can also be made fresh again by being revisited with new energy.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:48 AM
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753

We do a lot of slow partnered kicking drills, sometimes leaning back or at an angle, as they are good for core strength, balance and fine muscle control. They are fun. Lots of people falling over, it's quite hard to do well when you get the giggles.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:49 AM
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re: 750

It's good for developing your sense of balance, proprioception, etc. Also quite good for all those little odd muscles in the ankles.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:50 AM
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755

I don't see how the trailing leg doesn't unbalance you.

You have to hold it up with your core! Also, when you first start working with that pose you end up having to lean much further forward, with your face pretty close to the ground. As you get more comfortable with it, then you can work on getting everything higher.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:56 AM
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I don't think that's true of music, except at such a high level of abstraction as to be uninformative. I had a friend who had studied some sort of classical Indian music, and he hated all kinds of characteristic gestures of Western music. For example, he loathed modulation.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:59 AM
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752: You think of music as effective tricks?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 8:59 AM
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I think of pretty much every skill as effective tricks.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:01 AM
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752: I would say it is pretty far off the mark to say that scientists who study musical perception are unaware of the knowledge real musicians bring to the table. I would recommend staying away from those popular science books, I guess? If anything, researchers into music tend to be much too attuned to the musical "building blocks" of their own cultural tradition, which leads them to claim as neural regularities/inherent perceptual features things which are heavily culturally dependent (starting, probably, with the development of Meyer's theory of musical expectancy, although I don't know the literature all that well).


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:03 AM
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I don't think that's true of music, except at such a high level of abstraction as to be uninformative.

Well, okay, I'll concede that it's more of a rhetorical move than an attempt to describe what's going on.

You think of music as effective tricks?

That isn't how I experience music, no, but that isn't how you experience magic tricks either. My point is that (more or less) any performance creates it's own narrative in which the events that occur seem either surprising or inevitable and that narrative is resting on a structure which could be used for any number of purposes.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:03 AM
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Remind me never to have email exchanges about climate-change data with politicalfootball.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:03 AM
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755: Do you have to be able to do the splits? Because I once was pretty close but am no longer, thanks to some groin injury I never had diagnosed.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:04 AM
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I would say it is pretty far off the mark to say that scientists who study musical perception are unaware of the knowledge real musicians bring to the table.

I didn't take his comment to imply that all books on the science of music were bad just, you know, 90% of everything is crud.

He was saying that it was a good sign for the quality of the book that the scientists begin by going out and listening to the practitioners in the field explaining what they do, not that it was unique.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:05 AM
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it's quite hard to do well when you get the giggles

Sometimes in class we'll go from wide-legged plow with hands holding on to big toes to balancing on sitz bones holding on to toes with legs in a V. Because you want to stick the balance and not overshoot it, this ends up involving rocking back and forth, not quite getting to an upright position, and often results in lots of laughter.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:06 AM
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Mom took me to Supercuts and now I look like Pete Wentz!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:08 AM
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Do you have to be able to do the splits?

No (and I don't come close), but it's helpful to be able to get your leg over your shoulder. Start out in down dog, and bring your foot up in a lunge to the outside of your same-side hand. Then move that hand to the outside of that foot, and work your shoulder under your knee.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:12 AM
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765 is just great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:14 AM
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There are a lot of David Swenson Ashtanga demo videos on youtube. I think they're pretty good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsiwAw6OcZ0

If you want to skip straight to the beginning of sun salutation A, it begins at 7:29


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:17 AM
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Hold me. I'm a fermata!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:18 AM
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Let me put it another way.

I've said before that I don't spend a lot of time specifically looking for contemporary music. If I come across something that I haven't heard before I'm happy to add it to my body of musical knowledge whether it's a new recording or an old recording which is new to me.

So, of course, I'm going to be less inclined than some to feel like whether an album is "retro" or not. At the same time I feel like pop music is always of its time, in important ways. So I think it's largely a foolish project for somebody to attempt an "authentic revival" of older musical forms as pop music. But I have no problems with somebody who wants to play with older styles in whatever form fits their own musical sensibilities.

Obviously this creates some tensions when you're talking about the intersection of folk and pop music, but that's a separate concern. My goal for pop music is to attempt to take it on its own terms. I'm interested to think about what influences it may have and whether or not it wears those influences on its sleeve, but that isn't a primary reaction for me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:19 AM
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I think you need to see people moving rather than just look at photos of static postures.

Actually, many people enjoy frozen yoga.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:20 AM
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that isn't a primary reaction for me.

Another caveat: I often approach new music by analogy to things I already know, "this is like X with more Y" but I do think of that as just an entry point.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:21 AM
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I recently had frozen kefir in Chicago, which I can also recommend!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:21 AM
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771: we call it "FroGa"!


Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:21 AM
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many people enjoy frozen yoga

I can't believe it's not prana!


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:22 AM
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Mom won't let me use her eyeliner, but she said she'd take me to Wal-Mart to get some of my own. I'm going to learn how to play bass, and then you'll all be sorry for making fun of me!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:22 AM
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Still, you guys are the best. THE BEST! THE BEST!!!


Posted by: Pauly Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:25 AM
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Re newness in music, NickS, have you read The Rest is Noise?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:27 AM
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Hey, you know what I just noticed? That Congressman who's in trouble for tweeting his pee-pee? His last name is Weiner! Which is another word for somebody's pee-pee! Holy cow!!!! When everybody else realizes this, I'll bet there's gonna be some jokes about THAT!


Posted by: Pauly "Little Pony" Shore | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:30 AM
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Re newness in music, NickS, have you read The Rest is Noise?

No, I haven't. I've seen it mentioned, but haven't looked at it.

Can you say a bit more?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:39 AM
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Jumping in: It's basically a history/guide to 20th century classical music. I have it, but have been going through it at glacial speed while I check out the music he talks about on Spotify. Good, though, so far.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:43 AM
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The froga is also cursed.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 9:44 AM
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The book is largely about creating newness in (classical) music.

It seems to me that a lot of your theory about an artist making music 'work' or not is reliant on an idea of music creation that is about audience response. Whereas in the narrative Ross tells, the decision to, say, use a certain chord can come as much from the music's internal structure as from a desire to make people go "ooh".

But I'm probably crossing arguments to bring in classical music where you're talking about a particular slice of pop.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 10:08 AM
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It seems to me that a lot of your theory about an artist making music 'work' or not is reliant on an idea of music creation that is about audience response.

Well, sure. Specifically it's about my response.

Let me think about that for a bit (I should actually get some work done), but I'll make two notes.

(1) My use of "narrative" above was very broad, intentionally, to make the analogy to magic tricks (perhaps there is a reason analogies are banned). I think there can be narrative either in the sense of the song telling a story, or in the music itself. I think of "narrative" as filling two roles, first it's what we would reference to answer the question, "why did that just happen?" or "how does that part fit into the song as a whole?" Secondly, "narrative" is a way of directing the attention of the audience (trying to keep the analogy alive). We don't hear music as a set of random noises -- we have an expectation for what will come next, and the performance can create that expectation in various ways.

(2) I'm not trying for an "objective" judgement on music, I'm trying for a thoughtful, informed, subjective judgement. Ultimately much of what I'm trying to do when I talk or write about music is to be as precise as I can about what it is that I like or dislike about a particular piece of music.

I'm honestly pretty weak in my sense of music theory. I think it would be useful to have a better sense of that, but I also don't think music theory is necessary to be able to say interesting things about music.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 10:49 AM
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705: Even of the historic manuscript/printed-book content that's actually been digitised, only tiny fractions are accessible. Most is sitting in archives. I'd guess that sort of thing holds across the board and across many types of 'cultural heritage' organisation.

That's one of my frustrations in reading big fat proper history books, as the best are full of references to original sources not or barely available online. I would love to be able to read some of the late Roman/early Medieval historians on my Kindle on my Android phone, but apart from the usual suspects there isn't that much available.

And that's for stuff out of copyright. Huge swatches of 20th century material might only start to become available in the next century, which means all sorts of obscure writers can still be lost to us even though we have the means to keep them forever.

But you knew all that.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 12:22 PM
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But you knew all that.

Doesn't make it any less true.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 12:32 PM
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re: 785

I can point you in the direction of some links to stuff I 'curate' [in the digital sense] but it's stuff you'd probably need some paleographic and language chops to read.

re: 20th c. stuff -- there's a big project on-going [run partly out of the KB in the Hague] to try and solve that. A sort of data-mining copyright clearance engine.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 3:38 PM
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A propos of nostalgia in music some of you may be interested in "High Wide And Handsome"

I'm not a fan of Loudon Wainwright, but what I've heard from the album is interesting.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-11 6:24 PM
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Martin, what's your email address? I can't see an email link over at cl0ggie. I'll pop you some links to online manuscripts and things, of you are interested.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 7-11 12:31 AM
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789: as long as it ends in @cloggie.org I'll get it, but the easiest is to put martin in front of it..

And thanks.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 06- 8-11 11:33 PM
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lou/don is my real-life cousin, you know. or would know if you RTFA I guess. I just feel compelled to mention every time he or ruf/us comes up.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06- 9-11 1:43 AM
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