Re: blech

1

Wait, is the idiocy contained in the article or in the (alleged) phenomenon it discusses? I need guidance for my raillery. A guiderail, even.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:02 PM
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The article, as I would have thought was plain, even if you also think the (alleged) phenomenon is idiotic.

The phenomenon it discusses seems to be just as well, or better, describable thus: "there are stores with a low density of wares of diverse categories, and which have a 'design-y' look".


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:04 PM
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Actually, I have to go to bed. But my gut reaction is that this is just another form of hipster-blaming*, pretending that a thing that's been around for a long time (retail driven more by the owner's notions than by rigorous market research) is somehow new and contemptible. The fact that Portlandia is cited only makes it more egregious.

* Oh God, when everyone who was culturally aware in 1968 is dead, Americans will flip seamlessly from hippy-punching to hipster-punching, won't they?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:04 PM
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new and contemptible

"new and praiseworthy", I think you mean, or didn't we read the same crappy blog post?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:05 PM
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Oh good, 2 confirms that my 3 was on track.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:06 PM
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Perhaps I was misled by "fucked up" as an adjective. It's very late here in the Eastern time zone.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:07 PM
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It's fucked up retai! It's somehow antithetical to consumerism because … the wares are likely to be really expensive?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:08 PM
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The picture in the article looks like it could be from Urban Outfitters. Per 7, they apparently don't care about profit because they (successfully) charge people $50 for t-shirts and $150 for jeans.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:10 PM
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I'll admit to being surprised that lobster traps are available for purchase in trendy boutiques in LA. That's certainly fucked up!


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:10 PM
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Actually, I'm going to argue a little orthogonally from nosflow. I've been in shops like this, and a neighbor/friend has opened 3 different boutiques that are at least obliquely along these lines (she opens them, gets bored, and passes them on to partners who may or may not keep them going). And ISTM that there is a clear aesthetic desire among some people to open this kind of shop. Many of them succeed at creating an interesting/compelling space with "curated" wares. But only some of them actually pull off the trick of selling garments at a major upcharge due to their trendy surroundings. The rest fail, either before or after burning through a chunk of somebody else's money.

Point being, these shops are in no way exempt from market forces; some of them are run better, some worse. But (and here neb is correct) none of it has to do with philosophical statements about consumerism. It's just a kind of shop that people who aren't Mitt Romneys like to open without doing a lot of market research and so on (ISTM that those who succeed do so more by [perhaps well-informed] intuition than rigorous planning).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:22 PM
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The Portlandia sketch says everything that needed to be said. The article says additional things which did not need to be said.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:29 PM
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That guy's whole site is what I worry about sounding like when I write. Insights that show cerebral effort but which neither make sense nor are funny.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 10:32 PM
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Hey, I know the proprietor of one of the stores mentioned. TBH I've wondered about the business model. But AFAICT it's run like any other luxury goods store, with high markups making up for low volume. Plus unique selection due to connections w artists. And of course it's run partly for fun and not as a maximally profitable business venture for someone who wouldn't care if they were running a cracker factory.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 11:02 PM
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14.last has it. The space between maximizes profit and not gping bust is quite large in some sorts of retail and that is where these shops exist.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-30-12 11:08 PM
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That guy's whole site is what I worry about sounding like when I write. Insights that show cerebral effort but which neither make sense nor are funny.

You and me both, brother.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 12:49 AM
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It's like the blogger has never seen Black Books.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 1:00 AM
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re: 16

Aye.

[That's the Dylan Moran sitcom, not the Verhoeven breast-fixated inexplicably-well-reviewed WWII exploitation movie.]


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 1:14 AM
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That's Zwartboek.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:23 AM
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I vaguely know a woman who opened a slightly down market version of one of these in Sheffield and made enough money out of it to go and open another one in Bath.

They make commercial sense because there's a market that they cater to. The people who run them understand that market because they're part of it; they drink with people who like these shops; they fuck people who like these shops; they get feedback all the time.

The key to success seems to be location, and being solidly connected to the customer culture. If the person who wrote the article in the OP isn't so connected, they won't understand the logic. But they don't matter to it at all.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:39 AM
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That's Zwartboek.

OT and spoilers: The ending of that still makes no sense - that they'd let the Wehrmacht carry out an execution post surrender doesn't seem plausible somehow - I know a lot of military disciplinary functions were allowed to carry on for a spell post VE Day, but to the extent of allowing an execution to take place?


Posted by: Richard J | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:30 AM
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In the '90s in SF I used to mock those as "two t-shirts and a hat" stores. Apparently I was ahead of Portlandia on that one. Suck it, Portlandia!

In SF at the time, in addition to two t-shirts and a hat, they also often sold a record or two, and also had an in-store DJ.

My instinct always was that they did not in fact make commercial sense, and were more a product of some kid with a trust fund and a dream. This instinct was strengthened by the fact that most of them closed pretty quickly.

If your rent is cheap enough I assume it's doable.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:36 AM
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There's one in Oxford that's a combination coffee shop, hairdressers, guitar shop, and photography gallery. I can't see how it makes any money. I like three of those things but I've never been in as it looks too much like you'd be intruding on some bloke's living room/play space.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:41 AM
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There's a heavy curated vintage crap store down the street from here that has survived for years despite not evidently having items anybody would ever want to buy. I think it's a combination of online business on the side, tax writeoff, and the proprietor living in the back. So in that sense it really is a bit like stepping into somebody's living room.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:47 AM
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"heavily curated". I do not know if the shop per se is heavy, although I imagine it is probably heavier than things which are not buildings full of stuff.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:48 AM
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ISTM that there is a clear aesthetic desire among some people to open this kind of shop

This is clearly true, and also ends up being the thing about these shops that annoys the shit out of me. The 'curators' seem to see it as a creative outlet, and while good taste and intuition and such must certainly be necessary to make such a shop work, it's a mistake to elevate them to 'creative' or 'artistic' status.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:49 AM
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But Blume, you must have heard by now that curation is the true art form of our time.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:55 AM
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That's not what bikesnob says!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:56 AM
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On the other hand, there's:

http://anonym.to/?http://www.objectsofuse.com/products
http://anonym.to/?http://www.objectsofuse.com/shop

in Oxford. Which I expect does quite well, as it sells lots of boutique-y/handmade practical stuff which are very 'wanty'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:57 AM
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One of the things that is most marked about the store Tweety mentioned in 23 is the contrast of cheap stuff that is not worth anything and stealth expensive stuff. For example, a bunch of plastic alphabet magnets in a bowl that I'm pretty sure was a particularly rare sort of Depression glass. The juxtaposition is so very deliberate.

(Of course, maybe plastic alphabet magnets of the kind common when I was a kid are now retro cool and expensive?)


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:04 AM
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Ox horn paté spreader
Egg or baby spoons


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:22 AM
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If the goose had to suffer, you don't want to cheapen the thing by using a plastic spoon from Burger King.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:29 AM
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Tweety's 2 tshirts and a hat and a house dj stores also frequently sell expensive Japanese sneakers. Like one limited-edition style at a time.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:39 AM
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I never knew Japanese sneakers were a thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:42 AM
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Ox horn paté spreader
Egg or baby spoons

Early 1930s surrealist verse?


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:47 AM
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Because I tend to fetishize random bits of junk, there is a risk that I can get sucked into that sort of aesthetic. The main thing that saves me is the belief that random bits of junk should continue to be cheap. I once bought something from Archie McFee's that was labeled "Long blue stuff" because the woman behind the counter said it was the biggest, weirdest thing I could buy for a dollar. I kept it for three moves, much to the consternation of my wife.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:49 AM
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There are stores like this that I've seen which may sell enough not to close, but I really wonder whether they're fronts for something else.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:50 AM
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33: Racist.


Posted by: real ffeJ annaH | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:51 AM
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There are various ethnic restaurants in Sheffield which remain open for years but in which I have never seen anyone eating. I can't decide whether they're fronting for drug traffickers or liberation struggles (or both).


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:53 AM
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What kind of something else, BG? Some of the "nine records and a poster" stores do most of their business on eBay.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:53 AM
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The joke was always that they were selling drugs. I don't really think that. There's one wonan's dress shop in Harvard Square which is very expensive, and I've never seen anyone in it. I'm actually inclined to think that the person who runs it is not dependent on the store for his or her livelihood.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:58 AM
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Wasn't the store Judy Davis and someone opened in The New Age a jab at these places, fifteen years ago? I remember there was a line I found awfully funny--"we've got some sort of wonderful sarcastic lounge dresses!"--that now seems less satirical but maybe wasn't to begin with.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 5:59 AM
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I didn't know sarcastic lounge dresses was a thing either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:13 AM
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I didn't know sarcastic lounge dresses was a thing either.

They give you somebody to talk to if you're being ignored at parties.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:15 AM
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(Of course, maybe plastic alphabet magnets of the kind common when I was a kid are now retro cool and expensive?)

Kind of, yeah. We had to buy ours in a set from Europe (umlauts!) because they mostly sell lowercase sets in the States now. Not really clear why, but the letters that were ubiquitous 30 years ago simply aren't any more.

Further, the kind of people who would have a preference about such a thing are precisely the people who would A. patronize a 2-shirt store and B. overpay for such letters - especially when you buy just the ones you need for a message that communicates what a Unique Snowflake you are.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:16 AM
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20

OT and spoilers: The ending of that still makes no sense - that they'd let the Wehrmacht carry out an execution post surrender doesn't seem plausible somehow - I know a lot of military disciplinary functions were allowed to carry on for a spell post VE Day, but to the extent of allowing an execution to take place?

Long ago I saw a different movie in which post WWII German POWS try and execute one of their number (with the acquiescence of their jailers) so I suspect that this did happen (although perhaps not often).


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:19 AM
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Not really clear why, but the letters that were ubiquitous 30 years ago simply aren't any more.

They ran out of lead-based, cherry flavored plastic colorant.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:28 AM
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the contrast of cheap stuff that is not worth anything and stealth expensive stuff

So on the proprietor side, the plastic letters aren't cheap stuff that's not worth anything: they may not specifically know that such letters are no longer available in every toy and dollar store, but they probably did notice them at a yard sale (or wherever) and recognize their appeal to their demographic target. On some level they may have noticed/realized that they weren't so current anymore. What it decidedly is not is somebody buying $2 bags of 50 letters and selling each letter for $1 or whatever.

And yeah, doing that sort of thing in a way that pays (or at least sustains itself) requires some sort of skill/talent/flair. But, as I said last night, such stores have always been with us. This very specific form is a bit newer (although they've certainly been around for a decade or three), but shops that exist as personal outlets more than solid business propositions must date back a hundred or more years. Was The Olde Curiosity Shoppe a progenitor? That kind of crowded, junky aesthetic is very different*, of course, but many shops along those lines came from exactly the same sort of individual urge.

* when hippy types opened them 40 years ago, they tended towards the overcrowded feel, but presumably that has to do with the lack of rigorous organization that is the hallmark of a certain kind of hippy.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:28 AM
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WWII exploitation movie

I'll admit that I"m having trouble parsing this. Is everyone wearing really flamboyant fatigues while driving blinged-out Jeeps and listening to badass swing music?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:30 AM
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47: They are available, upper and lower case and multicolored, on Amazon for $11.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:31 AM
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49: Mara's first name required us to buy two sets because of an unusual repeated letter, though my mother was the actual purchaser. I think even though Nia's real name is longer we'd be able to manage it, but I should probably check that. We have both the fancy lowercase sets from my mom with vowels and consonants in different colors and the regular uppercase colorful leftovers from my childhood. But Lee scorns refrigerator magnets as "clutter" and so we don't have enough out to spell anything useful.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:44 AM
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48: that Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, KCB, DSO, RN, sounds like one bad motherf --


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:44 AM
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when hippy types opened them 40 years ago,

I think there's always been a certain kind of vintage store that catered to bohemian types that wanted to look/dress non-mainstream but didn't have money to shell out on high fashion/design. But the aesthetic of those things was largely opportunistic rather than "curated": there happened to be a lot of unused Victorian clothing and furniture lying around attics in mid-60s San Francisco, so the hippies in the burgeoning Haight mashed together cheap outfits that looked good on acid. I think the hipster revival of trashy 80s glitter-glamor happened the same way: it's what was available in thrift stores in the late 90s and early 00s.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:44 AM
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I knew a guy whose wife ran a charity thrift store. He had a never ending supply of Protestant golfer pants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:49 AM
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48

I'll admit that I"m having trouble parsing this. Is everyone wearing really flamboyant fatigues while driving blinged-out Jeeps and listening to badass swing music?

According to wikipedia (I had never previously heard of this movie much less seen it) the movie (among other lurid plot elements) features women seducing Nazi officers for the good of the resistance which could certainly be depicted in an arguably exploitive way.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:50 AM
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I'll admit that I"m having trouble parsing this. Is everyone wearing really flamboyant fatigues while driving blinged-out Jeeps and listening to badass swing music?

Clearly someone hasn't seen The Dirty Dozen.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:50 AM
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That was a great movie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:52 AM
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||

M/tch's influence is vast.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:54 AM
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38 - there's a cafe round the corner from me like that - always the same bunch of slightly intimidating-looking blokes in there drinking coffee.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 6:59 AM
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52. Extremely curated though, in the best known instances, even if they were inspired by the opportunistic availability of stuff. Nigel Waymouth was about nothing if not ambient design:

Initially the ambience was a mixture of New Orleans bordello and futuristic fantasy. Marbled patterns papered the walls, with rails carrying an assortment of brightly-coloured clothes. Lace curtains draped the doorway of its single changeroom, and a beaded glass curtain hung over the entrance at the top of steps, which led on into the shop. In the back room, an Art Deco Wurlitzer blasted out a selection of music.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:01 AM
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He had a never ending supply of Protestant golfer pants.

"In the first place, Herb's name isn't Tarlek, it's Nietzsche. He's directly related to the famous nihilist philosopher. See, he came to America to prove through the use of polyester that God is dead, and I think he's succeeded admirably, don't you?"


Posted by: OPINIONATED DR. JOHNNY FEVER | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:01 AM
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54: Black Book is a very amusing example of a filmmaker attempting to tell a story of grave and somber import (Dutch resistance, Jews, Nazis, traitors, etc.) but being hamstrung by his native taste for incident, pulp and nudity.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:03 AM
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60: Those were just tacky pants from the 70s. I'm talking old-money pants.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:10 AM
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49: What's this "Amazon" you speak of?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:12 AM
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I'm talking old-money pants.

Nantucket Reds, poison green corduroys, embroidered dogs/lobsters/sailboats/ducks, et hoc genus omne?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:13 AM
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But only some of them actually pull off the trick of selling garments at a major upcharge due to their trendy surroundings. The rest fail, either before or after burning through a chunk of somebody else's money.

Well, sure; the reason there's no mystery about how these shops stay in business is that either (a) they pull off their high prices or (b) they don't stay in business, and a couple months later, walking by, you think to yourself, "wasn't there a store here? Never did see how it would stay in business."

There was a shop in Hayes Valley last year that sold macarons for like $1.75 a pop, on Hayes. Guess what? It's gone now.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:14 AM
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64: Yep, except I never saw any corduroys.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:15 AM
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65.2: What is a good price for a macaron?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:19 AM
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What's this "Amazon" you speak of?

Well, JR, sometimes when a man (or a woman) and a small independent bookstore love each other very much, the man (or woman) needs the local bookstore to dress up like Xena, Warrior Princess to keep the spark in the relationship.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:20 AM
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I might eat one if you paid me $1.75.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:20 AM
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Actually, none of the ones on the first page are the ones from our childhoods - different fonts, sizes, and then there's the lower case. Which isn't to say that they're inferior, but it reinforces my point - that the ubiquitous letters of the 60s/70s/80s are now a less common item.

At the bottom of page 2 is an imported set for $14 that are the ones I mean (and that AB and I, raised 1,000 miles and 4 years apart, both remember as the kind everyone had, but I'm sure you will all say you've never seen before).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:22 AM
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I'm not very fond of them either, but I still eat them when they are free.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:23 AM
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71 to 70.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:23 AM
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I'm not very fond of them either, but I still eat them when they are free.

[Truly awesome self-restraint. Saintly, even.]


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:24 AM
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Yeah, I don't like macarons, but that price (presuming a trendy location in an expensive city) doesn't shock me. Unless they were quite small.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:26 AM
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I actually do like macarons! But you'd have to sell an awful lot of macarons to make rent, not to speak of a profit, no?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:27 AM
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(There was never precisely a line out the door.)


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:27 AM
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More of an ill-formed mob?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:29 AM
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There is often a line out the door and down the block for the Ladurée shop on Madison Avenue.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:29 AM
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Pittsburgh somehow manages to support more cupcake stores than I would have thought possible, but a cupcake is more filling than a macaron.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:30 AM
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Cupcakes are the most feminist of confections, apparently.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:32 AM
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a cupcake is more filling than a macaron

Sure, the really special ones. But a lot of the regular cupcakes have frosting only on the top.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:39 AM
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I never thought cupcakes at $4 a piece or croissants at $3 would be successful either, but those places have lines out the door.


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:53 AM
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The cupcakes are only $2.50 here.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:55 AM
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That was me. I'd go get a cupcake now, but the walk is about 15 minutes each way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:56 AM
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I bought ms bill's engagement ring at a long-gone place in Harvard Square called the Golden Temple. It was run by Hare Krishnas and mostly sold clothes and shoes with a little jewelry. Nobody ever called it "heavily curated" but maybe it was.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 7:59 AM
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Cupcakes are the most feminist of confections, apparently.

There's always too much icing. Just don't go backa nd add the third wave, and it'll be fine!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:08 AM
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38: I can't decide whether they're fronting for drug traffickers ...

Exactly our thoughts here in L.A. about the proliferation of places doing stuff to nails (the kind at the end of fingers and toes) run by Vietnamese and always seemingly empty. I'll have to look the next time I'm out, for a while there seemed to be one on every block.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:19 AM
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I think that just might be ordinary exploitation of cheap labor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:21 AM
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@87

During my time in Cleveland I was amazed at how economy-proof hair salons seemed to be. On streets where just about every other business was boarded up there would be salon, sometimes more than one.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:49 AM
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would be "a" salon.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:50 AM
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the hippies in the burgeoning Haight mashed together cheap outfits that looked good on acid

The Cockettes offers a good example of that (and is an interesting movie generally)


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:51 AM
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I have heard it rumored that cupcakes are out and macaroons are in.

I wonder what they are doing with all the egg yolks?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:08 AM
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92.last: fancy cocktails.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:10 AM
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A giant vat of Hollandaise sauce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:10 AM
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Someone whose opinion I respect* just told me that they thought Vanilla's cupcakes are the best s/he'd had, bar none. Still too much frosting IMO.

* don't recall who, but someone well-traveled and foodie


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:11 AM
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I don't like macaroons, but I've never tried one with Hollandaise.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:12 AM
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Pound cake in the back room, IYKWIMAITYD.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:12 AM
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Thereqqq jdjxfffffgffffffffffffffffffffffff5nzngnzbngn gm m b


Posted by: Oliver | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:43 AM
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98 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:44 AM
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98 gets it consonantly.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:48 AM
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ISTM that there is a clear aesthetic desire among some people to open this kind of shop

I still want to open a cafe and bake for it. I know I would only like the labor of baking for a few weeks. But I'm telling you, that cafe would be damn cute. This fantasy was just re-enforced by winning a blue ribbon at the State Fair for my cheesy scones. They were good. Now I want to know how damn good the Best In Show blueberry-oatmeal scones were.

Strangely, my pie wasn't even scored. Was it dq'ed? Why?!?! I won't find out for weeks.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:18 AM
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Was it dq'ed?

Dairy Queened?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:19 AM
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Disqualified.

It feels strange to compete in the pie category, because you have to submit a complete pie, so you can't have tasted it. I wouldn't normally serve something I hadn't tried myself. Everything looked and smelled good though, so I can't think what went wrong.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:22 AM
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There was a dried piece of deli meat baked inside the pie.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:25 AM
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But, congratuations on the cheesy scones.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:26 AM
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I have heard it rumored that cupcakes are out and macaroons are in.

Lost lyrics from "Losing My Edge"?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:29 AM
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DQ.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:33 AM
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104: plus forceps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 10:33 AM
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DQ.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 11:29 AM
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91: The Cockettes is one of my favoritist, saddest documentaries ever.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 11:36 AM
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Wow, that's a lot of comments. You guys are a little bit angry. It was just a sketch of an idea I was working on, not yet articulated really. But lots of great ideas here in this conversation, and many odd connections that are already somewhere near my thoughts.

Also, k-sky, you're right that the site is not funny! In fact, I consider it desperately unfunny (I am not a comedy writer (though I do live in LA), nor do I aspire to be one). To stop making "sense," well, that's a kind of luxury that a blog affords--or fucked up retail too for that matter.


Posted by: CulturalAnalysis | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:26 PM
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Isn't everyone a little bit angry about something? I'm still pissed off at the BTK killer.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:33 PM
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I'm FUCKING FURIOUS. Rarr!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:39 PM
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I'm angry at BTO because "Taking Care of Business" keeps running through my head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:40 PM
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I'm angry at ELO because Evil Woman has troubling gender politics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:41 PM
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And at OPP because I have no pants.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:42 PM
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114 yeah, now mine too. Thanks.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:42 PM
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Thing I found out about why hair salons last through anything: people get their hair cut a lot more than I ever imagined. Well, no, and more than that, some women who keep their hair really straight go in every few days for a blow-out?! I think this means "hair is made especially straight through blow-drying" rather than "big exciting event" or, you know, anything sexual.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:46 PM
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111: Have you considered taking a violin and a gifted child to North Africa?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 2:53 PM
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Most of my anger related to this post is directed at cupcakes. Fuck cupcakes and fuck the Magnolia Bakery owners and the horse they rode in on. Fuck macarons too. I hate trend baking and baking in general. I'd rather have 10,000 stores selling nothing but vintage fridge magnets than one more goddamn cupcake shop.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:10 PM
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The Cockettes is one of my favoritist, saddest documentaries ever.

I agree, I think it touches a number of really interesting issues (not least the point at which they go to NYC and go from being a cult act to a situation where people have expectations and don't have a sense of history and attachment to them and all of a sudden think, "they aren't any good." They were never "good." They were fun and interesting and connected to a community and scene and that doesn't travel well).

And, of course, the personalities of the people and the times are well drawn.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:16 PM
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Most of my anger related to this post is directed at cupcakes.

This story is almost two years old. I want more pies and fewer cupcakes, darn it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:19 PM
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I want more stores selling bison with a fried egg on top as a snack.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:25 PM
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Dude. I made an apple-cheddar-jalapeno pie for last pie contest. It took 2nd or 3rd I think. Not all my pies are mysteriously disqualified without telling me why.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:25 PM
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124: I want your cheezy scone recipe!!!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:27 PM
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It turns out that the GF's home-cured bacon is way better than mine. I guess I should feel happy that I have a source of companionship and better home-cooked bacon, but I am feeling like I lost a competition.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:27 PM
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Then Ima go to halford's house and bake them. And sneak la halfordette tofu.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:28 PM
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I think taco trucks are the new cupcakes, right?


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:29 PM
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123: Very surrealist, but the bison might not stand still for long enough to be appreciated.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:30 PM
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Don't get me started on the 5 course vegan meal I was forced to attend last week. Sometimes I wonder at the incredible hardships I have to face sometimes. Fortunately I brought some stealth boar sausage.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:30 PM
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Honestly, they are basically these ones. I should write to Deb and thank her. I switch the cheese to whatever is on hand (Trader Joe's has a cheddar-gruyere mix that does well).

My pro-tip? Mix the dry ingredients, then grate the butter in with a cheese grater. Barely stir them together. Super fast, and it gets the right consistency without working the flour at all. Add the cheese and herb fanciness, then the buttermilk. I don't insist that the buttermilk mix in thoroughly with the biscuits. I start with the quantity in the recipe, and scoop out as many biscuits as are moistened. If there's dry, crumby mixture in the bottom, I add more buttermilk to gather it up. The dough gets worked very little in the whole process.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:34 PM
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128: There are at least two cupcake trucks around here.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:36 PM
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Dude. I made an apple-cheddar-jalapeno pie for last pie contest.

That sounds wonderful, but it doesn't help me.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:37 PM
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There's a paleo food truck here, of course.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:39 PM
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Stealth boars have lots of flat panels to break up their radar shape.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:50 PM
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134: does it stop or do you have to chase it down?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 3:50 PM
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I like this idea that the restaurants which bafflingly stay open despite an utter absence of customers are drug-trafficking operations. It would certainly explain Aberdeen Steakhouses. That said, I'm not sure what can explain what's happened to the Aberdeen Steakhouse opposite my work, which has been closed down and gutted, apparently in anticipation of being reopened as another, different, retro looking restaurant nobody in their right mind would pay for a meal at. Even more mystifying, there are about four genuinely good burger joints within 100 yards of it.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:06 PM
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(Trader Joe's has a cheddar-gruyere mix that does well).

That stuff is awesome. Another awesome thing I discovered today? The little Montchevre log flavored with Peppadew.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:08 PM
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136: Bravo.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:08 PM
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Restaurants, cafes, nail bars, slot machine arcades. Anywhere that does a lot of cash in hand business is great for money laundering.
The horrible Aberdeen Steak Houses are kept alive by the tourist trade, I think - poor blighters don't know any better.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:15 PM
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I just made a peach crisp. Om nom nom.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 4:30 PM
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I just thought, you know, eggs and babies are totally different sizes. A spoon that would do for one is probably the wrong size for the other.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 8:57 PM
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Eggs can't even hold a spoon! Ooist.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:05 PM
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Some babies are precisely egg-sized.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:26 PM
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I thought it was an alternation between, on the one hand, eggs, and, on the other hand, baby spoons.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-31-12 9:38 PM
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The horrible Aberdeen Steak Houses are kept alive by the tourist trade, I think - poor blighters don't know any better.

Well, British food has a reputation to live down to, so somebody has to do the dirty work, now that you can actually eat well pretty much anywhere. And Aberdeen Steak Houses have clearly taken one for the team (TBH I didn't know they were still going. Yuk.)


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 3:41 AM
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111: Have any of the people who've stopped by here because we were trashing discussing their blogs ever stayed around once they discovered how insightful and charming we are? (Or for the cock jokes, puns, or food and grammar debates.) I don't recall any.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:23 AM
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131: Thanks! I made this for cow-orkers this morning and it was highly lauded.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:39 AM
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147: Megan?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:49 AM
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No kidding! That's awesome, Minivet. Pretty easy, right?

No competing against me at the State Fair.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:53 AM
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Huh. Yeah, I fit 147's description. Y'all are surely insightful and charming.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:54 AM
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If any NY people are unaware, good cheesy scones are available at Harney and Sons in soho.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:04 AM
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CAME FOR THE INSIGHT AND CHARM. STAYED FOR THE PUNS!


Posted by: OPINIONATED MEGAN | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:10 AM
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152: If you are aware, you can't have a scone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:19 AM
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147: This site makes me laugh a lot. But unfortunately I've got some highly unimportant other things to do. Thanks for the charming insights. More puns please.


Posted by: CulturalAnalysis | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 11:55 AM
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151: Then it's all been worth it.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 12:31 PM
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CulturalAnalysis, I hope you understand that my criticisms, while neither constructive nor kind, were at least marinated in my own self-hatred.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 12:49 PM
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138: A supermarket near here sells peppadews stuffed with chevre. Also nom.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 1:00 PM
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||

Who would have guessed that we would see a respected political journalist for the Washington Post referencing a Pixies song in their headline.

Proof indeed of a certain sort of generational turnover.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 1:06 PM
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So, nobody probably cares at this point, but I just spoke with the owner of one of the stores profiled about the business model. It turns out, everything is sold on consignment. Rent is relatively low, staff costs are minimal, and inventory costs are almost zero, so it's very cheap to run. And has been going for years as a profitable business, with zero trust fund help or the like. So it's very much a going commercial enterprise in a traditional sense.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 1:58 PM
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Did you buy anything?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:04 PM
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The only thing I ever bought there was a $150 art book that I expected to get as a free gift.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:07 PM
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You should buy some rocks to throw at the window of the person who failed give you the book.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:10 PM
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||

One more random link: Is it just me or is the NYRB review of Prometheus, absurd, pretentious, and overwritten:

But what is this genre? Call it the speculative science-fiction epic willing to flirt with cosmic pessimism; the eternally recurring saga of the space voyage toward our point of origin or ultimate destiny (they generally turn out to be pretty much identical); the drama of metamorphosis in which animals become human and humans become machines; the proleptic chronicle of a future depicted as so endangered it may not even come to pass, and so unappealing we might well wish it wouldn't.

blech.

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:47 PM
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link

|>


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:47 PM
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163: There's no good store to buy rocks. What Halford should do is open a rock store, specializing in consignment sales of stones and pebbles. He'll be rich in no time.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:51 PM
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166.1 is actually not true at all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 2:59 PM
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167: Halford only pitches the fanciest geodes through store windows.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 3:01 PM
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Halford huck a cathedral, yo.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 3:02 PM
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166: I just bought about $100 worth of rocks at a store. I shopped around for prices, and I think I have enough, but I am still finding the pile they are in for the moment to be somewhat disappointingly small.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 4:02 PM
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170: save up for a trip to Quartzsite this winter.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 4:13 PM
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Just don't take the place for granite.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 4:20 PM
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Speaking of "blech," is this national douchebag bigots go to Chi-fil-A day? People I went to middle or high school with are posting photos of crowded Chik-fil-As to Facebook with comments congratulating each other. Ick.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 4:27 PM
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160: everything is sold on consignment. Rent is relatively low, staff costs are minimal, and inventory costs are almost zero, so it's very cheap to run. And has been going for years as a profitable business, with zero trust fund help or the like. So it's very much a going commercial enterprise in a traditional sense.

It's really hard to run a profitable consignment shop business, in truth. Depends on your percentage of sales as the shopkeeper/seller/consignee, I guess. 50%? Halford, would your acquaintance be willing to tell you what his/her percentage is?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 5:52 PM
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Rarr!

My influence is vast!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:00 PM
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Megan, a neighbor of mine scratches her chef itch by subbing. You wouldn't get to decorate, though.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:24 PM
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I'll put this at the very bottom of a longish thread. My bookshop has now relocated. We're now working out of my partner's new house, which has a huge outbuilding, for the books, which is great.

My partner's wife, though, will be having trouble adjusting to the notion that a business is being run out of her home. I've had a few conversations with my partner about this: I respect the wife's space, obviously, which is why I want us to make space for my own coffee machine etc. in our space, the business's space. (We basically have the basement, which is renovated and pretty nice, with central air and carpeting so I can walk around barefoot, and a downstairs bathroom, thank god.)

There's also a sort of family room, with sofa and fireplace, in one of the downstairs rooms, and one of the spare bedrooms is there. My partner mentioned that since my commute is more lengthy now, I can spend the night sometimes if I wish, but not when his wife is out of town, "because she'd go ballistic, because it's her house, and it would be a war of women kind of thing."

What?

Right, well, here's my thing: the wife's husband, my partner, runs a business. It makes a decent enough amount of money which the wife benefits significantly from, enough to have enabled them to buy this house. Now the business runs from here, and frankly, it's going to need physical space. My partner keeps telling me that his wife's view is that "it's her house". Sure, whatever, of course, but if she tries to say we can only have one tiny room or some other stupid thing, there's going to be a problem, because I have business to conduct there.

"Go ballistic"? What is that? I know there will be some awkwardness as we work things out, but for god's sake. We're running a business. That means it's actually not entirely her house.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:28 PM
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If you spend the night, wear footie pajamas or something.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:42 PM
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I'd not like 177 to go uncommented upon, unless it must.

What I'm interested in: relations with a business partner's significant other. Relations when a business is located in the home, where there are obviously space/ownership issues.

I'm not screamingly freaked out at all -- we're working it out fine so far, as of day one -- but I'd like to hear whatever people might know or have to say.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:48 PM
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Also I totally don't get the "war of women" thing. I run a business from that space. Well, for one day so far.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:53 PM
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Aside: She means the rest of you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 6:54 PM
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It sounds like your partner and his wife are not fully in sync about operating out of their house, and she possibly feels intruded upon. I would highly resent it if I were having my quiet time alone at home. If I were working outside of the house, I don't think I'd care.

It sounds like the "go ballistic" comment is referring specifically to her jealousy? I don't see why her jealousy would increase with you guys changing location.

I'd say cut a wide berth and let him deal with her. At least until everyone settles into a routine.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:08 PM
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Wait, is he saying that you can't spend the night when wife is out of town? That strikes me as a straight-up "she'd think we were having an affair" type of comment.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:15 PM
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184

That's how I read it.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:16 PM
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185

Me too.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:25 PM
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Me three.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:26 PM
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Nobody ever had an affair while wearing footie pjs.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:32 PM
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183: Apparently. I confess I laughed when he mentioned that, before cutting it short out of respect. I asked whether that meant that the neighbors would notice [that my car hadn't left] -- because they wouldn't, because it's kind of out in the boondocks. That's when he said that his wife would go ballistic, it's her house, so it would be a kind of woman-on-woman thing.

I've heard of a thing that some wives or significant others have whereby they feel that their husbands have a daytime wife and a nighttime wife. In that case I'd be the daytime wife. In the view of the the actual wife.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:34 PM
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That's the kind of weirdo jealousy that I can't understand, but is so common that I've just had to assume it's like I'm colorblind or something. The angry person really is seeing something that's very obvious to them and no amount of reassurance makes it go away.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:38 PM
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188.2: I recall reading that Rice was Bush's "work wife." I assumed it was just the usual media fluff and not a thing for reals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:44 PM
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I can easily understand it. She could feel like Parsimon has more in common with her husband than she does, and feel fundamentally inadequate. Especially if she already feels insecure in the relationship.

Also, tons of affairs start at work. Just because Parsimon is not interested in this particular case doesn't mean the fear isn't grounded.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:45 PM
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This is super weird. Did no one foresee territory issues when this move was being contemplated? Was the move not thoroughly discussed/cleared with the wife? Did you really expect houseroom whenever as part of this deal?


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:49 PM
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Of course, they should have had all kinds of great affair-sex at the old place. There is no reason to be more afraid now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:50 PM
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Megan, a neighbor of mine scratches her chef itch by subbing.

That seems like a very specific sort of scene.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:54 PM
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I shouldn't be coy in 188.2: I've encountered this before in working one-on-one with a man who was encoupled: his significant other once called me the day wife.

I'm not sure what to do about it now, though. On the one hand, I don't need to do much. The wife is welcome to observe our daily business endeavors, which will be detailed and possibly deeply unclear to her, because we're running the business *which your husband has been running for nearly 20 years now* and we have stuff to do.

What I do not want to do, and am really pretty unwilling to do, is duck and cower while I'm in the house. I'm not an employee. It's not entirely your [her] house. I said something fairly close to that to my bookpartner toward the end of the day today when we were talking about these things, and he understood (but he's also running interference, probably, in his mind).

* I've been more or less friendly with the wife for about a decade. I should say that she's out of town for the rest of this week, which is very good, so we can get things set up without her trying to take over (she can be kind of bossy, it's a thing she has, from her mother).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:54 PM
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s/b "could". Stupid phone.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:55 PM
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The second/third-person confusion in 195.2 is deeply distressing to me.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 7:58 PM
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192: Did you really expect houseroom whenever as part of this deal?

What is houseroom? Houseroom whenever? You mean for me to spend the night? Hell no, except in the direst of circumstances, like if there's a blizzard and I can't get out of the driveway.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:03 PM
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197: Sorry. Her husband, obviously. Not quite her house, though, is the point. I anticipate having a discussion with her about all this (about the space needs of the business) at some point, since I do respect her, and she me, I think, so I'm mixing things around.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:09 PM
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I think be yourself, do your thing, interact with the husband how you always do, but with her, give everything a chance to settle into a routine. It's disruptive and brand-new.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:20 PM
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200: I disagree. Parsimon, clearly the wife is crying out for help with things around the house. While she's out of town, reorganize the fridge, pantry, and all the bathroom cupboards. She'll really appreciate the assistance.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:32 PM
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Pretty much. I just need to defend business space a bit, that's all, and I think I need to do it from the get-go. It's fortuitous that the wife -- this term is needlessly dismissive, let's call her M. -- fortuitous that M. is out of town for this week, so my partner begins to see what we do need to set up.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:33 PM
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You think? Maybe Parsimon can invite her out to go shopping when she gets back. First Target. Later when she builds up some trust, they go to Victoria's secret.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:34 PM
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202 to 200.

Stanley! As it is I'm worried about whether she'll be upset over the toilet paper I use in the downstairs bathroom.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:36 PM
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205

Start dinner for her. Restock their condoms.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:37 PM
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In the middle of the night, leave deli meat on their bedroom floor.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:38 PM
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Buy her a puppy. The companionship of a small animal can bring joy to any tense household environment.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:42 PM
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And you guys have no idea. As they've been setting up their new house and buying stuff, one of them (I don't know which)* has been signing the business email address up at various outlets. We're getting Williams-Sonoma spam at the business email address.

* Got to be my business partner, right? I've told him to cut that out, and he gives me a bleary uncomprehending look and shrugs. Why does anyone give their email address when they buy something from Williams-Sonoma?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 8:42 PM
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206 is right so far as I care.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:03 PM
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Why does anyone give their email address when they buy something from Williams-Sonoma?

Lots of good recipes in the catalog. I still make their chili every year or two.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:05 PM
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I hear that. You don't give your business email address, though, unless you're a spaz who doesn't distinguish between personal and business email. (We're also getting business email spam from Big Lots, Best Buy and a couple of others. It's annoying.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:19 PM
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I used to work in the warehouse for Big Lots. Very dusty.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:21 PM
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There was a tall, white guy who was in charge of us. I always felt sorry for him as he had to run that place well in order to get out of it. I just had to exist for three for months.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:23 PM
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I maybe should have tried to feel sorry for the guys who were trying to stay there for a career, but they got to drive the cool machinery so I envied them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:26 PM
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I'm always suspicious of the food at Big Lots. Why is it so cheap compared to the grocery store? What happened to this can of soup?


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:27 PM
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Hey, parsimon, since they're emailing you anyway, can you ask? Thanks.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:28 PM
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Don't eat the food at Big Lots.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:28 PM
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216: What happened to it is that somebody tried to wholesale it to a grocery store and failed. It was bought, much too late, at auction by somebody who got promoted out of the warehouse at Big Lots. A redneck with terrific motor skills, no impulse control, and a per-piece pay scale then unloaded it from a truck as fast as he could without tipping over a forklift. Then, somebody else who got promoted out of the warehouse, but not very far out of the warehouse, decided how many cases to ship to each store and turned that into labels that were given to various people willing to work for $7/hour who picked up the soup on a pallet jack and drove it to a place where a guy named Tim wrapped it with a giant roll of cling film.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:33 PM
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I still remember the wicker reindeer decorations. I'm not surprised the wicker reindeer go remaindered, but I'm horrified somebody paid full retail for them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:36 PM
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What happened to this can of soup?

Moby has a more nuanced answer, but back before there were Big Lots, we used to refer to stores like that as "the dented can store". Because the can would be slightly dented (but not badly enough that the contents would be damaged), or the label had been put on slightly askew. It wasn't limited to cans.

No email list. Also I think Big Lots is different.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:42 PM
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Mmm. Denty Moore.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:44 PM
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Right, I think Big Lots is remainders, not dented cans. I haven't been to one for a while.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:45 PM
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Moby had a tough year in Ohio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:45 PM
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Anyway, we certainly weren't supposed to dent the cans but it did happen from time to time.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:47 PM
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Then I found somebody willing to pay me to do statistics.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:49 PM
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I think I would be more comfortable buying the can if it were dented.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:49 PM
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224: I'm a little surprised you haven't shared this before. People here are interested in the ways in which goods make their way here and about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:50 PM
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Perhaps we should have all the commenters list all the jobs they've ever had. And also how much they made.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:53 PM
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I've mentioned it before.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:54 PM
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Only the first two of those are actually on target.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:55 PM
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Well if you weren't expecting to stay the night then who cares if mrs partner doesn't want you to?


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 9:56 PM
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L. I think you are not getting the point, which is that it should not matter if mrs partner is there. No chaperones (or nannies) are needed. It appears that mrs partner doesn't like my friendship or partnership with her husband, and that's a bit of a problem. Which will be worked out, so don't worry yourself about it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:22 PM
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232: IME, there's very little you can do to make her realize she's being unreasonable in this case. That is, it's not like you can just calmly explain that you're not going to fuck anyone; she's mad at the idea of you being there in itself, not your potential desire.

I have had very close male friends and colleagues whose wives thought it was of course reasonable for the two of us to, say, share a hotel room or whatever. They are in the minority. I've tried all kinds of shit to communicate the clarity of my sincere uninterest in fucking their husbands. I've tried being friends with the woman. It's clearly not what is wanted.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:31 PM
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However, if you figure out what eases her mind, please, please let me know. I've been unsuccessful, to the point that I barely have straight male friends at all anymore, and it's a category of person I miss.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:32 PM
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she's mad at the idea of you being there in itself

Thanks, AWB. It would seem so.

In this case I'll try to make it clear that I'm there to do business, be in business. That in itself might make it clear in fairly short order.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 1-12 10:44 PM
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It sounds like you haven't had any direct communication with the wife at all. Your partner on the other hand is going full passive aggressive, inviting you then uninviting you to stay over at the same time, and blaming his wife. Is it likely that he had even discussed that particular issue with his wife? If he did, why is he sharing her reaction with you? Someone is uncomfortable with boundaries in the home business, but it may not be the wife. Talk to the guy.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:50 AM
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I've tried all kinds of shit to communicate the clarity of my sincere uninterest in fucking their husbands.

There's a form you need to complete. You can get them in the Craftsman section of Sears.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:17 AM
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: Is it just me or is the NYRB review of Prometheus, absurd, pretentious, and overwritten:

By all accounts, Prometheus itself is absurd, pretentious and overwritten.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:18 AM
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This really sounds like all your partner's problem: as far as I can tell, the wife hasn't directly caused any trouble, the partner's just being weird. I'd ignore the weirdness unless it becomes direct.

The space issue does sound a bit strange, although I may just be misunderstanding how you've described it. Is there a clear distinction between the store's space in the house and the family space, or are you sharing rooms to an extent? Because having a business semi- occupying my living space would annoy me. (Also, is there a money issue? Is the business renting the space, or has the wife just seen her basement disappear for no additional money coming in? That also might make me cranky.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:31 AM
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239 last is what I was about to ask. If they've got a mortgage and the bookstore isn't paying any rent, your partner should be getting compensated somehow (greater share of profits or something like that).


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:19 AM
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Come to think, you know what led me to wonder about the money? This:

Not quite her house, though, is the point.

Unless your business's name (or your name) is on the deed and the mortgage, it is "quite" her house, in the sense that it's owned jointly with her husband. If your bookstore is renting space, it's a tenant in her house, with the rights of a tenant. If the bookstore isn't renting space, it's a guest of the owners of the house.

That's an uncomfortable situation for everyone: if it were me, I'd be much happier actually renting the space. But if your and her husband's business is just sort of informally occupying part of the house she and her husband own, I think it's probably a mistake for you to think that you have a lot of room to 'defend the business's space'. The space the business occupies in the house is a matter for the owners of the house to decide, and that's her and her husband.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:41 AM
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I think, and I'm not an expert, that somebody needs to defend the business's space if your want to deduct that portion of the house from your taxes. Anyway, if you don't have some separation, I odn't think you are supposed to be able to deduct it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:50 AM
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Sure, but again, that's a problem for the owners of the house. Parsimon isn't deducting any of the expenses relating to a portion of the house from her taxes unless she owns the house.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:53 AM
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She's selflessly helping the owners.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:55 AM
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Or she could spin it that way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:56 AM
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Parsimon: If you havent yet had sex with him after being alone with him many times over the last decade, it seems unreasonable for her to freak out over it now.

On the other hand, maybe she was ok with you two getting it on like bunnies at the business, but doesnt feel comfortable with you two having sex at her house. Kind of a don't ask, don't tell deal. Lots of couple turn a blind eye to things.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:02 AM
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Thanks, this offers some helpful perspective.

239: Is the business renting the space, or has the wife just seen her basement disappear for no additional money coming in?

Leaving the old shop is saving us close to $50k/year, which isn't nearly matched by their mortgage payments -- the business will be making that much additional money per year, so she will be seeing additional money, yes.

They are getting a greater share of profits in acknowledgment of their mortgage payment.

This:

Unless your business's name (or your name) is on the deed and the mortgage, it is "quite" her house, in the sense that it's owned jointly with her husband. If your bookstore is renting space, it's a tenant in her house, with the rights of a tenant. If the bookstore isn't renting space, it's a guest of the owners of the house.

annoys me a bit. It's not as though the business's money-making activities (highly beneficial to the wife) happen by magic, out of sight and mind somewhere, though it may have seemed that way to her in the past. I suppose we could say, if we must think legalistically, that the bookstore is renting space insofar as the legal owners of the property are getting a greater share of profits. However. The legal owners of the property can't exactly evict the tenants, not in reality land, given that the tenants are their primary source of income.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:27 AM
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Wow. How much space did you have before?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:31 AM
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I understand that the business is the income for the wife's family and that she benefits from the profits, but if possible paying an explicit amount of rent for a set amount of space would be clearer.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:33 AM
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236: Your partner on the other hand is going full passive aggressive, inviting you then uninviting you to stay over at the same time, and blaming his wife.

Thanks, unimaginative. It hadn't occurred to me to think of his behavior that way. I don't think it's all on him, though; I know the wife well enough that she is quite likely telling him exactly what he says she is. At some point, once she's back in town, I'll have to talk with her about boundaries. I can do that. It's not awfully fraught for me -- we just have a business to run. I don't want to interfere with her space, for both our sakes (i.e. I wouldn't want someone helping herself to the coffee machine when I'm shuffling around in my bathrobe either!), but we do have a business to run and she needs to get used to that. Maybe partner and I should give her a tour of the basement setup.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:36 AM
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248: I couldn't tell you how much in terms of square footage. What we had before was 6 floors, 5 of which were storage*. Now we have a huge book building for storage.

* We were paying way too much for that, which is why we got out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:42 AM
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if possible paying an explicit amount of rent for a set amount of space would be clearer

It would be clearer, but it's not going to happen.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:44 AM
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I'm not trying to be annoying, just trying to make it clear what might be making the situation difficult. (And to be clear, you haven't said anything indicating that M. is actually being difficult herself, just that your partner is being weird. Is this the same guy where you have to wear a shawl to cover your chest because he gets distracted by your tits?)

The legal owners of the property can't exactly evict the tenants, not in reality land, given that the tenants are their primary source of income.

It doesn't sound as if you have particularly strong boundaries between your conception of the business and your conception of your partner's family's finances. Of course the owners of the house (your partner and M.) could evict the bookstore tomorrow if they felt like it. She could get a different job to cover their expenses, he could get a different job, they could inherit money, they could sell the house and move, they could go massively into debt and ultimately into bankruptcy. Any of those decisions would affect you as his business partner (that is, they'd probably mostly involve bringing the partnership to an end), but you don't have much (really, any) of a right to a voice in how they manage their family's finances.

In her shoes, if I knew you were thinking along the lines that it's "not quite her house" and that she and her husband couldn't really evict the bookstore if they decided to, I'd think you were astonishingly presumptuous and would be kind of angry about it.

I'd think it would smooth things out quite a bit to get the rental agreement on paper in some format -- explicitly define the space the bookstore is occupying and the money they're receiving for it, as well as notice for bringing it to an end if that should happen. You can always change it later if the initial agreement doesn't work, but getting it on paper might help you set some boundaries in your own mind, define what the boundaries are that you actually could appropriately defend, and reassure M. (if she needs reassurance) that you're just her husband's business partner, rather than an undefined co-participant in all of their housing and financial decisions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:51 AM
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It would be clearer, but it's not going to happen.

May I ask why not? Who would be against it?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:03 AM
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I get the point just fine, thanks very much. I just think that no matter how unreasonable Mrs. Partner's "no spending the night when I'm out of town" rule is, you're being unreasonable too. I get that her rule is insulting and irrational. I get that it grates that she feels like she gets to make rules, because that means she might feel entitled to make rules that would affect the running of the business. My point is that the sleeping over rule does not affect the business, sleeping over is not something you expected or want to do, and it seems pointless to pick a fight with your Partner's wife over this. If what worries you is rules that affect the business, wait for her to try to make one of those before you pick a fight. Right now, you're arguing with irrational jealousy, which as awb points out cannot be argued with, and your argument is "you don't get to make rules because it's not your house" but it is in fact her house. "you cannot make this rule because it impedes our business" sounds much better, and there's a chance she'll never try to make a rule that impedes the business anyway.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:05 AM
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"you cannot make this rule because it impedes our business" sounds much better, and there's a chance she'll never try to make a rule that impedes the business anyway.

Indeed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:14 AM
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I'm not trying to be annoying, just trying to make it clear what might be making the situation difficult. (And to be clear, you haven't said anything indicating that M. is actually being difficult herself, just that your partner is being weird. Is this the same guy where you have to wear a shawl to cover your chest because he gets distracted by your tits?)

The legal owners of the property can't exactly evict the tenants, not in reality land, given that the tenants are their primary source of income.

It doesn't sound as if you have particularly strong boundaries between your conception of the business and your conception of your partner's family's finances. Of course the owners of the house (your partner and M.) could evict the bookstore tomorrow if they felt like it. She could get a different job to cover their expenses, he could get a different job, they could inherit money, they could sell the house and move, they could go massively into debt and ultimately into bankruptcy. Any of those decisions would affect you as his business partner (that is, they'd probably mostly involve bringing the partnership to an end), but you don't have much (really, any) of a right to a voice in how they manage their family's finances.

In her shoes, if I knew you were thinking along the lines that it's "not quite her house" and that she and her husband couldn't really evict the bookstore if they decided to, I'd think you were astonishingly presumptuous and would be kind of angry about it.

I'd think it would smooth things out quite a bit to get the rental agreement on paper in some format -- explicitly define the space the bookstore is occupying and the money they're receiving for it, as well as notice for bringing it to an end if that should happen. You can always change it later if the initial agreement doesn't work, but getting it on paper might help you set some boundaries in your own mind, define what the boundaries are that you actually could appropriately defend, and reassure M. (if she needs reassurance) that you're just her husband's business partner, rather than an undefined co-participant in all of their housing and financial decisions.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:17 AM
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Whoops, I'm not sure how that repost happened. I think I just hit refresh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:19 AM
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Maybe you were distracted by tits.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:20 AM
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I don't know what 256 is supposed to mean.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:22 AM
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Unless the position is more different in the two countries than I believe, what needs to be done is for the areas of the house dedicated to the business to be formally demarcated so that in due course the tax authorities can be informed and Mr & Mrs Partner can save money.

But that's something that has to be agreed between Partner and M; parsi should be least in sight while it's being negotiated. If Partner isn't capable of doing this I question whether you want to remain in business with him.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:24 AM
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Anyway, I agree with 257. Lots of people live in households where one person's job is the primary source of income for the whole family and nobody objects that they expect an equal voice in the residence. It is different with self-employment, but not different enough for me to see why M. is obviously unreasonable.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:28 AM
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253: I'd think it would smooth things out quite a bit to get the rental agreement on paper in some format -- explicitly define the space the bookstore is occupying and the money they're receiving for it, as well as notice for bringing it to an end if that should happen.

I just don't see how this could happen, and I think you're thinking needlessly legalistically again. Partner and M. are fully invested in the business, and they're in their early 60s. They're not going to find other careers, they're not going to sue themselves for nonpayment of rent, or declare bankruptcy should the bookshop fall on hard times. This kind of talk is not appropriate to the situation. They are doing fine financially.

In her shoes, if I knew you were thinking along the lines that it's "not quite her house" and that she and her husband couldn't really evict the bookstore if they decided to, I'd think you were astonishingly presumptuous and would be kind of angry about it.

I'm giving this some thought. I was afraid of this: that I'd come to seem an employee. This was my worry (countered by $50k/year of profit savings). Let me think about it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:31 AM
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Why "employee" and not "tenant", which you are?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:32 AM
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This is a fascinating conversation. I don't have anything to offer, but it's interesting to watch parsimon explaining and thinking through the various levels of emotional symbolism that she reads in the situation.

I guess my impulse would be, like LB, to think that formalizing the relationship would improve things -- but I suspect that's just because I like formality, not that it's necessarily the best approach.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:37 AM
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I'd think it would smooth things out quite a bit to get the rental agreement on paper in some format -- explicitly define the space the bookstore is occupying and the money they're receiving for it, as well as notice for bringing it to an end if that should happen.

The problem here is that Parsimon may end up as one of those behavioral economics test cases where things that people were doing anyway are formalized legally and then people become more likely to break the rules because it is now just a business relationship instead of a personal relationship.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:39 AM
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I think you're thinking needlessly legalistically again.

I'm a bit confused as to how it's 'needless' to define the space you're using. Don't you need to do so to keep track of it as a business expense?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:39 AM
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261: Unless the position is more different in the two countries than I believe, what needs to be done is for the areas of the house dedicated to the business to be formally demarcated so that in due course the tax authorities can be informed and Mr & Mrs Partner can save money.

It may be different in the US: there doesn't need to be a formal demarcation. It's just taken on faith in tax filings that x% of the home is used for business.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:39 AM
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267: see 268. You define it yourself. You declare that x% of the home is used for business, and you deduct that percentage of household expenses (rent/mortgage, utility bills, etc.) as business expense.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:43 AM
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268 is what I meant. You say that n rooms out of a total of m are dedicated to the business, or however they want you to put it. But M must agree that the requisite rooms are in fact dedicated to the business, or confusion will ensue. Also, 267.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:43 AM
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I do not think that the "on faith" part is true, and have seen reports that business use of a residence is the most common audit trigger. Many in-home business pay the expense of a separate entrance to make the space division explicit, since an audit winds up being more expensive than a door. There are books about this.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:44 AM
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It doesn't need to be formally demarcated like with a wall, but it is supposed to be exclusively for business.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:44 AM
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271: There was even a movie about Doors.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:45 AM
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Also, if you have a business with no other place of work and this business is the source of most of your income, you are on better grounds, IRS-wise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:46 AM
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263: Partner and M. are fully invested in the business, and they're in their early 60s. They're not going to find other careers, they're not going to sue themselves for nonpayment of rent, or declare bankruptcy should the bookshop fall on hard times. This kind of talk is not appropriate to the situation.

I recently sat down with a local business owner and heard her horror story of why she is now the sole owner of a business that she started with two partners. It involved: tens of thousands of dollars going missing; unequal distribution of work; having to sue themselves in order to get rid of one partner; huge amounts of legal fees to make sure that didn't happen again; more money going missing; another partner fired; and of course, lots and lots of recriminations and bad feelings amongst people who had once been close friends. Hopefully nothing like that will come to pass here, but this is often the sort of situation where everyone thinks everything is fine, until it isn't.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:48 AM
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I think Parsimon's issue is that if the business is located in Partner's house, suddenly it feels as if it's Partner's business and Parsimon just works there, so instead of being an equal partner, she's worried that she may come to feel and be treated more like his employee. If I can pick at the concerns with M., it's that Parsimon wants to keep it clear that M. has no direct voice in the business or authority over Parsimon: M. isn't the boss's wife, she's just Parsimon's partner's wife.

Parsimon -- seriously, I think getting a little more formal about the physical and financial demarcation between the business and the family house will smooth out the problems from both ends. M. isn't your boss and she isn't your boss's wife, but she really is your business's landlord, and there's nothing I can see about the situation that makes it possible to treat her as less than your landlord. If you've got a clear demarcation, though, there's nothing difficult about her being your landlord and presumably a friend at the same time. When she's in the rooms that are the business premises, she has the rights that a landlord has, but no more, and you have an agreed-upon right to control your business with your partner. When you're in the rest of the house, you're a guest.

I'm not sure what the barriers are to formalizing the tenancy, but I think it'd help the interpersonal situation to even make a half-ass gesture at formalizing it: explicitly clarifying that these rooms are the store, and any intrusion on the rest of the house would be an occasional favor, but nothing regular.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:49 AM
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270: Right. Yes.

But M must agree that the requisite rooms are in fact dedicated to the business, or confusion will ensue.

She doesn't do their family's taxes, but leaving that aside, sure, of course the rooms dedicated to the business should be clear which is what I am trying to accomplish. Ahem.

I just seriously don't want the partner wrapping (boxing) books for shipment in the same room as my desk, because he's annoying when he does that, throwing bits of cardboard and wads of packing take hither and yon. Yo, not in my office, seriously.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:55 AM
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You define it yourself. You declare that x% of the home is used for business, and you deduct that percentage of household expenses (rent/mortgage, utility bills, etc.) as business expense.

I wasn't talking about for tax purposes, but rather for the purposes of keeping track of finances within your business. I wouldn't want to peg my business expense to someone else's household spending.



Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:55 AM
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packing *tape*, not take.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 9:56 AM
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Do they make tape dispensers that can be permanently mounted to a wall? If so, just put one in a different room, except ask his wife before you drill a hole in the wall.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:03 AM
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276: When she's in the rooms that are the business premises, she has the rights that a landlord has, but no more, and you have an agreed-upon right to control your business with your partner. When you're in the rest of the house, you're a guest.

I should clarify: the spaces are pretty clearly demarcated already. The business is in the basement. She wouldn't have much reason to spend time down there. I'm absolutely fine with her being a landlord -- the partner can work out the rest. I'm a tad disappointed that I can't come in through the basement door (but it's not possible, it's a sliding glass door with no external lock), but that's fine, I can come in the front, wave to M. and call out that I'm heading down to work now.

As for "When you're in the rest of the house, you're a guest" I have no need to be in the rest of the house.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:05 AM
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What of the family room and downstairs spare bedroom? What side of the line are they on?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:08 AM
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There's also a sort of family room, with sofa and fireplace, in one of the downstairs rooms, and one of the spare bedrooms is there. My partner mentioned that since my commute is more lengthy now, I can spend the night sometimes if I wish,

Sounds like everyone is blurring boundaries. The partner is suggesting stuff that people don't ordinarily do in their business offices. I've never stayed the night in mine. LB is so right to suggest a lease. Nolo Press would be happy to sell you one.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:14 AM
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Is this strictly a mail-order business? No customers?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:17 AM
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282: Good question. That's clearly guest space. There's another family room and spare bedroom upstairs, the downstairs ones are spares, but given my partner's weird yes-no behavior regarding spending the night, I'll leave it to M. to let me know whether I can have a beer with my partner in the downstairs one at 6:30 p.m. before leaving. We used to do that sometimes after heavy frantic good selling days. He offered to have a beer last night before I left, but I wanted to get home.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:18 AM
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Internet only bookselling, which means mail order. There are customers, silly, but they don't walk in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:20 AM
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And get a kegerator for the basement.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:22 AM
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They are getting a greater share of profits in acknowledgment of their mortgage payment.

This gives your partner, personally, the tax write off for the space, instead of giving it to the business. (If you had a proper lease, the rental payments would be (1) a deductible expense of your business, and (2) ordinary rental income for your partner and his wife, just as if they were renting their basement to any tenant.) I hope you took that into account in figuring out how much greater a share of profits he gets.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if, on audit, the IRS decided that what's "really" going on is that the business is renting the space from your partner, and tries to re-characterize the whole arrangement, which could be a big mess.

BTW, are the utilities in the basement separately metered?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:31 AM
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A kegerator doesn't draw that much power. Because you only have to open the door to change the keg, it is very efficient.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:33 AM
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urple, your contract lawyer voice is gaining control of you, to unsavory effect.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:42 AM
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urple, your contract lawyer voice is gaining control of you, to unsavory effect.

Parsi, you keep characterizing straightforward business relationships as somehow distasteful.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:44 AM
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Or, if you don't want your business relationships to sound like business, don't complain when a wife doesn't understand what your relationship really is, or when a husband treats you occasionally like a guest and occasionally like an employee and occasionally like a tenant.

You can't pick and choose the best of a business partnership, with the best of a friendship, with the best of a landlord/tenant relationship. You especially can't do that in a vague way to the IRS.

The lawyers in the crowd (and my law school background is showing) are saying to pick the formal one, and I personally think that as well. But if you aren't going to pick the formal one, don't complain about the results of informality (like, the husband and wife don't agree on whether you're a guest).


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:50 AM
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291 is onto it. This could well end just as nicely as your cousin/tenant.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:52 AM
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I'm stopping complaining. I'll leave it to the rest of you to be peaceful with formal business relationships.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:54 AM
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I'm curious -- what feels like the negative aspect to you of being formal about the business arrangements? Does it feel untrusting of your partner, or that your partner doesn't trust you, or would you be happy with everything more formal but you can't get him on board so you're frustrated about it, or what?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:56 AM
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And 293: Hush. I have a very good understanding with my business partner which I did not have with the cousin/tenant (which whom we did have a lease). I'll thank you not to equate the two.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:57 AM
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295 was before I saw 294.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 10:59 AM
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I'm out for now, sorry. You all are pissing me off. Why not talk about M's felt need for female dominance? That was really what I didn't know how to deal with.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:00 AM
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Why not talk about M's felt need for female dominance? That was really what I didn't know how to deal with.

Because we don't have any simple way to know what M is thinking about the situation. Discussing what you're thinking about the situation is more interesting just because we can interrogate you.

(That said, I'm surprised that this conversation ended up pissing you off. )


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:02 AM
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Call it insane jealousy (which it is), but I'd probably not be thrilled with the idea of my spouse having an opposite-sex acquaintance sleep over while I was out of town. It just seems... fraught.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:04 AM
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Why not talk about M's felt need for female dominance?

Because there doesn't seem to be any good reason to think that's what's going on. The situation you're describing would make me terribly uncomfortable with a business partner of Buck's whether the partner was male, female, or a cactus; interpreting it as some kind of 'two hens in a henhouse' problem seems to me to avoid the concrete issues that could be solved and which might solve any interpersonal issues.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:06 AM
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Although, I don't have a problem with my spouse staying with opposite-sex acquaintances when she's out of town. Which seems indistinguishable. So, I'll grant this is irrational.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:06 AM
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302: No, that's a distinction that makes some kind of emotional sense to me (although I don't think I'd have a problem either way). I'm not sure what the difference is, but I don't think it's purely idiosyncratic. Might be irrational, but there's something there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:08 AM
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301. If Buck proposes going into business with McPedro, you've got bigger problems than dividing the apartment.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:09 AM
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I have a fear that attempts to create physical barriers within the house, create separate utility metering, build unnecessary doors, all for the purpose of clarifying things for tax purposes, will lead the wife to start saying "This would be so much easier if you cut Parsimon out of the thing, then you could just be self-employed".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:12 AM
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I don't know how henlike I am, but I don't like people being in my space. I don't mind having people over, but I wouldn't want Lee bringing friends home from work to spend the night because either I'd have to wash the sheets after (or she would, but it would feel like I would because I'd be cranky about it and inflating my annoyance) or the coworker would try to do laundry, which means going in the basement with the litter box and Lee would be appalled about that and I'd have to hear her complain about it....

I don't really think this is an entirely weird way to be. If M wants the job life and home life to be as separated as possible despite the physical overlap, that seems to make a certain amount of sense and doesn't require assuming she's jealous or an ogre.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:20 AM
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"This would be so much easier if you cut Parsimon out of the thing, then you could just be self-employed"

I had been assuming "the business" was an actual legal entity, the ownership of which would make this very difficult. I suppose that may not be a good assumption.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:21 AM
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If it's a partnership without much in the way of capital, it wouldn't be hard to shut it down and reopen as a sole proprietorship. There'd have to be something done about current stock, but other than the inventory of books, what'd be the obstacle?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:23 AM
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Well, I don't know much about the business, other than that it's an internet retailer of books. Presumably in addition to the current inventory of books, the entity owns a url, customer lists, etc. The partner can't just take all that for himself.

Obviously it's not impossible to shut down a business and restart another from scratch. But it's usually not easy.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:28 AM
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Actually, I don't even know that it's a retailer. "An internet seller," I should have said.

A well drafted partnership agreement would also generally restrict a partner's ability to try and quit the partnership and engage in the business as a sole-proprietor, through covenants not to compete, etc.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:32 AM
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A well drafted partnership agreement

Looking back over the thread, what do you think are the odds of this being in existence? Or of anyone being in a financial position to enforce it?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:36 AM
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311: I'm not talking about something Cravath would prepare. I mean the sort of form you could get from legalzoom for $299, or from a local attorney for $1200.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:38 AM
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I hate you all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:38 AM
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According to 111, we are a little angry. For the record, I think 307, 311 and the like are a bit much.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:43 AM
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Looking back over the thread, what do you think are the odds of this being in existence? Or of anyone being in a financial position to enforce it?

I see that parsimon said something but, honestly, this is kind of an obnoxious comment. Even if it's true it sounds (to my ears) like a combination of, "discussing somebody present as if they aren't in the room" with a tinge of "patronizing and threatening."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:44 AM
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Have we fully established that parsimon isn't having an affair with her partner?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:44 AM
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293 is also a bit much IMO.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:45 AM
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Let's just cut to the chase, here: parsimon should just dtmfa.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:47 AM
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I part with the other lawyers on the need for a strong partnership agreement or more contracts between the people. From experience as a litigator, they don't really help when partners have a serious falling out and end up in Court. It's just one more thing to argue about. It's also pretty obvious that the particular problem that has arisen wouldn't be resolved by a written agreement.

Re: 298 and 313, see 179.

for


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:47 AM
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318: But keep the baby.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:47 AM
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I will cop to 311 being flip. But I was making a serious point -- parsimon's been consistent about describing her business relationships as informal, and about not having a lot of money to throw around on lawyering. Thinking about her interests as being likely to be in any meaningful sense protected by the terms of her partnership agreement seems implausible.

Now, that took off from 305, where Ned speculated that her partner might try to squeeze her out of the business, and I don't see any particular basis to think that's likely, which means I really shouldn't have joined in on speculation as to what would happen if he did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:49 AM
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That was one of my big take-aways from law school, actually. I decided that one of the reasons lawyers get paid a lot is that they are paid to handle the cognitive dissonance of analyzing how things can go wrong. Laypeople don't want to do that ('I won't get audited.' "My partner would never leave me.' 'A person who is well-meaning now wouldn't shaft me down the line when circumstances change.') Lawyers think like that, and they see all the times when someone should have.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:49 AM
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322: Given what you do now, I'd guess that your biggest take-away from law school is that you don't want to practice law.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:51 AM
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321 crossed with 319, which I largely agree with. The point of formalizing the tenancy seems to me to be much more about managing the interpersonal issues and the finances, rather than actually protecting the parties against bad faith between them. Once that's what you're worrying about, contracts only really protect people with the resources to litigate over them, on the issues that they've explicitly dealt with.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:52 AM
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Moby, you have been absolutely on-fire the past few days, and you are also right on in 323.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:52 AM
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I part with the other lawyers on the need for a strong partnership agreement or more contracts between the people.

Not actually what I was suggesting for the situation at hand! Those comments were only offered in response to LB's inquiry about how hard it would be just to boot parsi out and run a sole-proprietorship.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:55 AM
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I think NickS is correct. It's not normal to introduce lawyers into one's life. It's a sign that either some disaster has happened, or one's life is becoming scarily complicated and unpredictable.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:55 AM
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LB, just don't lecture me, please.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:56 AM
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Actually, I was responding to you on that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:56 AM
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You were responding to 307.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:57 AM
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329 to 326. To 328, if you describe a situation and ask for advice about it, I'm likely to give you advice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:57 AM
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And I was responding to your 308.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 11:59 AM
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331: how does one get you to stop?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:01 PM
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What I mean, by 326 in response to 319, is that of course I'm not suggesting that creating a good partnership agreement would address any of the issues that parsimon is actually facing, or is in any way relevant to her problem. It's relevant to the question of how easy is it for one partner to effectively hijack a partnership and turn it into a sole-proprietorship, which is the context in which I brought it up.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:01 PM
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It's not normal to introduce lawyers into one's life.

For people making business agreements it is.

This is not an argument for or against parsimon involving a lawyer, but the idea that it would be abnormal is just wrong.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:02 PM
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333: Tranquilizer darts would probably work.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:03 PM
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But even if there's a legal entity at all (who cares about an agreement) that owns the assets, just quitting and starting over would probably not be an easy option for her partner.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:03 PM
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(333 was just a confusing joke. I don't want LB to stop doing anything. Except meth, I guess, if she's started.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:03 PM
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Doesn't some kind of formal agreement have to be reached as to the nature and extent of the tenancy in the partner's house for tax purposes if nothing else?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:03 PM
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Now, that took off from 305, where Ned speculated that her partner might try to squeeze her out of the business, and I don't see any particular basis to think that's likely, which means I really shouldn't have joined in on speculation as to what would happen if he did.

Oh, I didn't mean he would actually do that, I was more suggesting that a source of marital strife would be the presence of the business itself in the house, rather than the presence of Parsimon's physical form.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:03 PM
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336: hah! Advice!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:03 PM
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For clarity, 337 is a restatement of 307. I felt it was needed, in light of 329.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:04 PM
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331: how does one get you to stop?

Legally binding commenting partnership agreement.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:05 PM
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Of course, I do disagree with the spirit of 319. I would think you'd want a partnership agreement to deal with those sort of issues, and also issues like what happens if your partner gets divorced? Does his wife get half of his share of the business? What if he dies? Does she get all of it? Or do you? Etc. There are lots of other, similar issues. An agreement forces you to think through all that on the front end, and comes to terms that everyone's comfortable with.

But, again, those aren't related to the problems parsimon is facing now.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:10 PM
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I think NickS is correct. It's not normal to introduce lawyers into one's life.

That wasn't my point, necessarily (I have friends who are lawyers). But I do think the lawyering discussion, while interesting, is less interesting than helping parsimon figure out where the emotional sticking points lie.

Of course I don't know if we were actually being helpful on that, but that was what I found interesting -- the exploration of the belief that both M and parsimon had points on which they were prepared to dig in their heels but had a poor understanding of why the other was interested in fighting those points.

From that perspective, for example, I found 263.last really helpful.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:11 PM
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345: I think the point of the lawyering discussion, at its outset, was that making the concrete elements of the business relationship clear could either solve the emotional sticking points or make it clear where they are. Way back in the first post on the topic, Parsimon said:

My partner keeps telling me that his wife's view is that "it's her house". Sure, whatever, of course, but if she tries to say we can only have one tiny room or some other stupid thing, there's going to be a problem, because I have business to conduct there.

That problem is absolutely soluble by formalizing it. If the worry is that M. has unreasonable expectations about how much space the business will take up, you fix that by explicitly telling her how much business the space is going to take up. And then if she has a problem with that, you have a clear issue to negotiate, rather than worrying about how maybe there's going to be a problem in the future.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:17 PM
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I like NickS's 345.2. I think the biggest problem is that all of this in both directions is being filtered through the husband, who should really have a better handle on how things work in both his romantic and business relationship by now. (Though on the other hand, moving a business into your home seems like a physically and emotionally stressful thing.) It does sound like something problematic and passive-aggressive is going on with him, but I can't even guess what.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:18 PM
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Listen. You guys are basically declaring disaster at me when I'm trying to smooth over some rough patches. It really is incredibly irritating to be lawyered at when that was not the nature of the inquiry.

It's especially annoying to be told by someone with what is, I'm sure, a sound employment contract that contracts are the way to secure a business, when that employee is spending half the day not actually working, but commenting here.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:22 PM
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Ouch.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:25 PM
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I think the point of the lawyering discussion, at its outset, was that making the concrete elements of the business relationship clear could either solve the emotional sticking points

Sure, and (from my perspective on the sideline) that seemed like a good question. I was hoping that parsimon would answer the questions about why they didn't just have the business pay rent, rather than defining the payment as a percentage of profits.

I'm just saying, at this point, that at some point the thread went from being nosy towards parsimon to making a bunch of, "bad things could happen if X isn't written in stone" which seems like it's almost certain to try somebody's nerves -- who would enjoy having an unexpected conversation with a bunch of strangers about the possible importance of doing some unpleasant and expensive project?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:25 PM
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It really is incredibly irritating to be lawyered at

New here?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:26 PM
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I've never seen a written copy of my position description. For all I know, this could be my job, technically.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:26 PM
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350 is missing several words and was also cross-posted with 348.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:27 PM
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Sorry, 348 was intemperate. I'm taking all of this under advisement.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:29 PM
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Actually, I don't even know that it's a retailer. "An internet seller," I should have said.

Oooh oooh "etailer"! This word doesn't actually exist, is not used by humans, but the NYTimes crossword is positive it exists and uses it almost weekly.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:30 PM
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I can't tell if 348 was directed at me? If so, let me say, again (as I did in 326 and 334), that 288 is the only comment I've offered in response to any of the issues you've raised in this thread. The rest of my comments were not even directed to you, much less intended to be "lawyering at" you. They were answering other specific questions asked by other people.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:32 PM
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I'm fairly certian that Elon isn't a real school either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:32 PM
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357 to 355.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:33 PM
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Oh, no, sorry, my 300 and 302 were also to you. They were an effort to talk about M's felt need for female dominance, since you said the earlier direction of the conversation was pissing you off.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:34 PM
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contracts are the way to secure a business

What's at issue is not really securing the business itself, but the distinction between the business and the household its sharing space with.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:35 PM
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it's


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:36 PM
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You guys are basically declaring disaster at me when I'm trying to smooth over some rough patches.

Really, no. At least I was trying to help you figure out what the sources of the problem were likely to actually be.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:40 PM
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348: nice


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:44 PM
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A job creator vs. wage-earner fight . Finally!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 12:48 PM
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I also really have no idea what 348.2 is getting at. A swipe of some sort, obviously, but I don't get it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:03 PM
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I think the idea was that it's easy for people with cushy, stable jobs that let them comment all day to advise keeping business relationships formal, but it may not be practical for others.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:11 PM
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I have a crappy, unstable job, so I should probably take over all the advice giving about business.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:13 PM
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I technically don't even have a job, so: plastics.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:13 PM
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Not "I'm being advised on employment contracts by people whose own contracts can't even manage to keep them actually doing work?"


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:14 PM
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369 was the meaning I took. Which is super stupid, but there you have it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:16 PM
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369 has it, I think.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:18 PM
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http://www.milwaukee-business-lawyer.com/my-favorite-lawyerclient-joke/


Posted by: unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:18 PM
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I'd actually think the thought process laid out in 369 would suggest that we're all awesome negotiators.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:19 PM
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369: More like that.

But I don't like to hurt members of the unfoggedtariat. When events further unfold at my workspace, maybe there will be something more to say about M. and her dominance issues. Otherwise I ... well, I shouldn't have asked you guys in the first place.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:21 PM
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Don't worry about having offended anyone -- I don't think you've caused any hurt feelings.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:28 PM
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Not if you don't want the type of advice a bunch of lawyers are likely to give. You might consider, though, that you described a set of circumstances that made all the lawyers (and one who isn't even a lawyer) perk up and think "this is solvable with law techniques and similar to things that we see go wrong without them."


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:30 PM
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This place used to be a bunch of philosophers. I still haven't gotten used to the change, I guess.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:37 PM
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It seems to me pretty common for people to have strong reactions to other people in their homes. If someone's uncomfortable with someone staying in their place while they're out of town, that's a totally normal level of irrational. Everyone has some things that make them uncomfortable for idiosyncratic reasons.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:38 PM
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Wait, it was? When?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:39 PM
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Often women seem to identify very closely with their homes. Men sometimes with beloved cars. Both attitudes are pretty strange.

Good luck. I hope this isn't picking at a scab, but an unwritten extra share of the profits as rent-in-kind arrangement has got to have screwy tax consequences-- at the very least, shouldn't rent be an explicit business expense?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:39 PM
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IANAL, but my intuition agrees with everyone else: it'd be worth formalizing things a little bit. In fact, I think it'd be worth spending a little money installing a new door to the basement and having the door from the basement into the house locked with a key that you don't have. Then it's much clearer what the division of space is, and it's clear where you should be able to be without her permission.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:40 PM
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379: Oh, back in the day.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:47 PM
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Speaking of working in a private home, the guy that my parents bought their current house from was running an insurance agency out of the basement. The neighbors, who were glad to see us until they realized just how long it would take our dog to get calm enough to stop barking whenever he was left alone, reported that he had close to ten employees who would report to work each morning by going around the back to the basement door. It's a nice enough basement. Really more of a half basement and there is a ton of sunlight. However, the employees had not access to upstairs and the only bathroom in the basement had no sink. There was just a container of hand wipes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:47 PM
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I have a friend who is currently fighting with his neighbor over whether the fact that she's trying to start a voiceover business in her apartment means that he needs to remove his one year old daughter from her nursery (or, you know, stop her from making any noise) for several hours every weekday.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:50 PM
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I gotta say I mostly side with my friend on that one.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:50 PM
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384: Oh my god. I would listen to nothing but the Boredoms all day, while poking O. with a stick.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:55 PM
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I could also imagine that she has in her head an "old-fashioned" life/business split where she thinks that it's her husband's responsibility to bring in money and her responsibility to keep house. In that paradigm she shouldn't have to make sacrifices in the home in order to make more money, her husband should be providing without her being impinged upon. Not sure that this is what's going on here, but it wouldn't be surprising.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:58 PM
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386: his go-to song has been this little number.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:59 PM
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384: At least she's not trying to make them shit without a sink for afterward.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 1:59 PM
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388: Wow! That's "Foot-Foot" level!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:00 PM
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I definitely do not have an employment contract.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:02 PM
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I've always intended to mandate in my will that, as a condition of my next of kin inheriting my increasingly-meager assets, they would have to arrange for a New Orleans style brass band to play at my funeral. I now intend to add a clause by terms of which, if such a group of musicians is not readily available, my inheritors could simply arrange to have the music from 388 played over a PA system as they lower me into the ground.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:08 PM
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Don't worry about having offended anyone -- I don't think you've caused any hurt feelings.

I don't have hurt feelings, but I definitely felt like I tried to offer well-meaning advice, and was attacked and insulted for it.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:15 PM
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Why can't I go back?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:15 PM
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394: Were you trying to go someplace particular?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:16 PM
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393 -- it's not you, it's just that Parsi misses the practical, experienced business advice of philosophers.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:18 PM
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394: You're Eddie Money.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:18 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out who the philosophers in question were. WWFLD?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:20 PM
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395: home.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:22 PM
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Wolfson, Ogged was at least philosophy undergrad, wasn't he? Emerson may not have been an academic philosopher, but I think he counts, Matt Weiner... there must be more, but I can't remember.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:23 PM
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I miss Wolfson. This nosfloW character isn't the same.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:23 PM
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Aren't all the backward-spelled, not upper midwest people philosophers?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:23 PM
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Cala, of course.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:25 PM
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Alac?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:26 PM
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377: Oh, okay. I say throw her over the bridge and stop the trolley.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:27 PM
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NtEW?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:27 PM
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Cala, of course Cala. But she's been around some again lately.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:29 PM
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I mean, there was a goddamn Heidegger reading group.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:29 PM
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Labs?


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:29 PM
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I was in the goddam Heidegger reading group. That is some dense, dense, dense, dense shit, which I utterly failed to understand.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:30 PM
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Yeah but it had pretty much petered out by the time parsimon got here, no?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:30 PM
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Maybe bob is right about everybody being a Nazi.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:30 PM
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Or at least, it had pretty much petered out by the time I got here, which is not that long after parsimon got here, from what I remember.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:30 PM
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I'm just saying, that seems fairly philosopheresque. I can't see that happening now.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:32 PM
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When did parsimon get here? I have no idea.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:33 PM
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Don't worry about having offended anyone -- I don't think you've caused any hurt feelings.

I was kinda cheesed off about 232, but I avenged myself with that tart little "thanks very much" in 255. Zing!


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:34 PM
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That is some dense, dense, dense, dense shit, which I utterly failed to understand.

And you've never had to use it again!

Now you know how some people feel about algebra.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:36 PM
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ttaM produced a succinct definition of a neat idea, supervenience, here in the last year, and I got a recommendation for Taylor's Hegel book. In what sense do web pages exist, anyway?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:36 PM
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416: The system works!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:37 PM
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Ogged was at least philosophy undergrad, wasn't he?

If that counts, well, you've got me. And I took graduate classes on Wittgenstein and Heidegger. I don't think it made my contributions to this thread any more welcome from Parsimon's POV.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:37 PM
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baa has a philosophy background, I think. Also, Ted H (?) and maybe one or two other people who got really engaged in some discussions but didn't comment on everything.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:40 PM
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I was in the goddam Heidegger reading group. That is some dense, dense, dense, dense shit, which I utterly failed to understand.

Ugggh, I really wanted to up for that, but it just happened to occur at a period in time when work was trying to kill me. I have a memory of trying to read it and the words just swimming before my eyes.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:40 PM
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I was fresh and well-rested and attentive and the words were still swimming before my eyes. I think they did some kind of special typesetting thing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:43 PM
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I guess that's why ogged wanted everybody to have the same version.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 2:46 PM
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374: But is it clear that M. has dominance issues? One possibility that occurs to me is that your partner is aware that this change is likely to be stressful for everyone: you're getting less (or different) space than you're used to for your office; they're getting less space than they're used to for their house; and so he senses that both you and his wife are likely to be unhappy. But rather than acknowledging those feelings and dealing with them explicitly (whether or not lawyers are involved!), he's defaulting to culturally-familiar archetypes: the wife who doesn't want another woman in her kitchen; the vixen who seduces men at work. I'm with those on this thread who wonder if your partner is giving an accurate account of his wife's views, but of course you know them both and so can judge whether he is.


Posted by: Mme. Merle | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:05 PM
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rob is a philosopher. I* was (kindasorta) an undergrad phil major, and certainly took graduate philosophy seminars. I think Parsi means meeee!

*Benquo, too.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:07 PM
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I* was (kindasorta) an undergrad phil major

I majored in political philosophy, for what it's worth.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:10 PM
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I feel like I should have something to contribute to this thread, because (a) I took an undergraduate philosophy class in which we "read" Being and Time and (b) in exactly 57 minutes I'll be officially unemployed. But I got nothing.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:33 PM
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in exactly 57 minutes I'll be officially unemployed

You should (intend to) learn to code!


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:42 PM
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428: Good luck, what ever you are trying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:48 PM
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Unless you're trying to become a Nazi philosopher or one of those people who sell videos of women in heel smashing small animals.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 3:58 PM
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The thread is called "blech".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:03 PM
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Voluntarily? Expected?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:05 PM
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433: Both of those, yes, I'm thankful to say.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:08 PM
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434 to 431!!!!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:16 PM
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Heh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:21 PM
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You should (intend to) learn to code!

Ouch.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:22 PM
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I was a philosophy major and took a philosophy class in law school. For purposes of this thread that's an autonegation.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:44 PM
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437: I was including myself, in that too.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:56 PM
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-,


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 4:56 PM
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Philosophy major here, too. Second PhD field in theory.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:04 PM
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I'm surprised at the failure to recall the philosophers in residence.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:20 PM
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Major field political theory, but then, as I confessed at the meetup, I never actually read Theory of Justice all the way through. The few philosophy PhD classes I sat in on during my graduate education made me feel like everything bad they say about philosophers is true.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:35 PM
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That came across as even more snarky than intended. I should merely say: I think I prefer the way philosophy was covered in the law school & politics department.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:37 PM
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The few philosophy PhD classes I sat in on during my graduate education made me feel like everything bad they say about philosophers is true.

It is.


Posted by: beamish | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:43 PM
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Okay, further clarification, and I really don't want Parsimon to think I'm piling on here: the few philosophy PhD seminars I sat in on all felt hostile, if perhaps to a lesser extent, in the way that SEK implied that the UCI writing workshops were. I'm sure everyone involved was a perfectly nice person, but the interpersonal dynamics, particularly among the students, seemed to be driven by the urge to score points. (Others brought up philosophy departments in that same thread; I don't think this department is a complete outlier, here, though I also wouldn't be surprised if it were above the median on this dimension.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:45 PM
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I mean, I like philosophers! Just not a bunch of young, hyper-ambitious ones, all in the same room, all trying to outdo each other in front of their God-King.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:46 PM
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447: Oh man. That is not pretty.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:48 PM
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444: I may have mentioned this before, but the philosophy program at my grad institution was apparently so analytical that anyone wanting to read, say, Kant, had to take classes in my department. My (awesome!) late modern class with M/ary D/ietz (who left during our lamented great theory exodus) included two phil. grad students, one of whom transferred to my program (and apparently attends the same protests as does Natilo).


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:50 PM
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the interpersonal dynamics, particularly among the students, seemed to be driven by the urge to score points

Gawd. Only some departments are like that, okay? Really, please. The political science department at my university (actually the theory folks) were like that. It's department by department, and has nothing especially to do with the discipline itself.

Why and how on earth and in hell has this turned into a philosophy-bashing thread?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:55 PM
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||
Someone just texted a Google Voice account I supervise a photo of a trailer with some building materials on it. Weird. Is it some kind of virus? It shows as a local number, so I'm assuming wrong number, but still, weird.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:55 PM
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449: I have often heard that program described as "fascistic". Although, to be fair, that's what the same people call the Art History and Music programs there too. It's just a nest of crypto-fascists once you cross the street from the Viking.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:57 PM
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Why and how on earth and in hell has this turned into a philosophy-bashing thread?

Sorry! I didn't mean to do that. Everyone else was identifying their kinda-sorta-philosopher-ness. And then I felt I needed to clarify that last throwaway remark. But I don't think I clarified in a helpful way.

Okay, I'm going to try fixing my bike now.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 5:59 PM
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Not bashing, just observing that that what counts as "philosophy" and in which departments it is taught can be weird.

Nat: I don't know anything else about that program--it's actually the CSDS folks I've had the most negative interactions with, though I understand that isn't your experience.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:05 PM
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374

... Otherwise I ... well, I shouldn't have asked you guys in the first place.

There does seem to be a bit of a double standard. When some people here complain about things in their life everyone is supposed to be supportive and not question their perspective in any way. But for some reason this does not apply to parsimon.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:29 PM
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Shearer I'm sure you could share your painful, personal traumas.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:31 PM
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455: Really? I haven't gotten that impression. Seems pretty much like equal opportunity problem-solving trending towards bad jokes and digression for everyone.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:35 PM
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454: Oh, I was talking about Philosophy, and the perspective of CSCL people on it. Now I'm confused.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:35 PM
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455, 457: I know what you're getting at, Shearer, but I don't think I've been unfairly treated. I know what's in the cards when I put out personal information here; it's a known crowd.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:47 PM
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You know what I really hate about the new work arrangement: the commute, which involves highway driving. I hate that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 6:58 PM
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I'm a tad disappointed that I can't come in through the basement door (but it's not possible, it's a sliding glass door with no external lock)

How about instead of lawerly advice we go with handymanly advice. I'm pretty sure the above could be fixed with a trip to Home Depot and a screwdriver. But wait, would it be written off as a business expense or a home improvement? Man, pitfalls abound.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:02 PM
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The locks on sliding glass doors used to suck and they may not have one for security purposes. When my brother, who is now a lawyer, was ten to so he was able to break into ours in about thirty seconds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:08 PM
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Heh. You rock, gswift.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:09 PM
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Philosophy major and several years of philosophy grad school here. The seminars were hostile, but not in a personal way. Law school classes are warm and cuddly compared to some of those seminars, but law school has a significant minority of assholes and sociopaths, and when lawyers get nasty it often seems personal.

I don't think philosophers would help with this thread, except to speculate about things they don't have any knowledge of. And in interpersonal situations like parsimon's, the most interesting people to hear that kind of speculation from are psychoanalysts.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 7:27 PM
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Philosophy grad school dropout, here. Thought about teaching high school math (in conjunction with fundamentals of programming!), but I decided I would probably end up "dropping out" of that eventually. Decided to learn programming more thoroughly. Am part of an inchoate business partnership that does web development. I've got every base covered for these threads this week!


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08- 2-12 8:31 PM
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458: Eh, I should just stop publicly bitching about departments i haven't encountered in a few years.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 08- 3-12 8:54 AM
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420: ogged was in a philosophy grad program. I don't know whether he finished. He, I think, liked Continental philosophy, and that was one reason he wasn't in the field. Kotsko was a theologian.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-12 9:12 AM
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457: I think that there's a range. Sometimes I find it supportive and snarky. Other times, I might just be venting and I feel somewhat attacked.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08- 3-12 9:36 AM
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The horrible Aberdeen Steak Houses are kept alive by the tourist trade

FYI, it looks like the tourist trade wasn't enough. There's now an eviction notice on that restaurant near my work.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08- 8-12 10:52 AM
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