Re: Reasonably attractive

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I think I'm so used to being underdressed that I'd have a hard time feeling awkward about it. Exceptions might include events that are important to people, like weddings and funerals.

This post confuses me. Without context, I took Thorn's comment to be about keeping in good physical shape, but, apparently, that's not what's being referred to?


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:13 AM
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"has taken reasonable steps to maintain physical attractiveness" -- to me, this means has bathed recently.

For Hollywood Halford, I would guess that would definitely include Botox, but not necessarily plastic surgery.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:14 AM
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I don't think there's a level of one-time polish that would make me feel uncomfortable.

Long term polish is another thing, though, since it can distinguish between people who can pass at a level from time to time, and people who are used to it. If the men were wearing good business suits (and different ones day to day) then I'd feel a little awkward. I assume there's some equivalent level for women, but my male privilege blinds me to it.

Actually, if anyone has any book (or article) recommendations on a concise and clear description of what kinds of clothing are considered appropriate in what contexts, I'd find that fascinating and probably quite useful.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:15 AM
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My hair is a sticking point. It's longer than what nearly all men in suits wear nowadays. It's not long at all compared to what men in suits wore in the 1970s, but it's fluffy. If I wore a suit and my hair was this length without my making an effort to gel it, I would clearly look like someone who never wears a suit.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:17 AM
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4: My hair is a sticking point.

I think that's what happened to heebie-geebie's hair when she stopped shampooing it too.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:25 AM
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When I lived in LA I would feel super schlubby and unattractive if I didn't put in an effort before going to the local Trader Joe's (it was a total singles scene). That was fun in some ways (lotta attractive people in LA) but mostly kinda blew.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:26 AM
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You're not using "business class" in the context of, like, sitting in the front of the plane, are you? It sounds to me more like you're using it to mean something like "in a business setting", but then I'm confused about why the word "class" is there.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:28 AM
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Although when I was in LA last week I was amused to notice that most of my male friends there had gotten a little fat. Uh oh, here comes aging!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:28 AM
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In context, I just meant doing more than the total neglect of one's appearance that is the mark of the stereotypical "nerd." So don't do that.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:28 AM
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A better commenter would have sent you the link. I would not dress up for a lecture on QUASARS but I do bathe frequently.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:29 AM
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For me [in terms of things to do to myself, not things I'd expect in others], reasonable steps* would mean something like:

Bathed / showered / smell good [or at least not bad]
Shave and beard trim
Nails [I have long nails on one hand for guitar, and it's easy for them to get ugly]
Assorted grooming [eyebrows, nose hair, etc]
Clothes clean and not too wrinkled, clothes not too scruffy.
Hair cut fairly recently

* I'm not including 40lb weigh-loss and sudden regrowth of hair


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:31 AM
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I could give a flying fuck what people look like. It is not great when they smell, but looks, mostly who gives a shit.

There are very few occasions when I give a flying fuck what I look like. There was one occasion recently where I felt sort of underdressed wearing a suit, though. It was a green suit, and the vast majority of the men there were wearing black or dark blue suits. But then I decided I was a devil-my-care radical, and was comfortable again.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:31 AM
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what level of polish would you start to feel awkward and self-conscious?

I wear jeans almost every single day. Much fancier than khaki pants and I feel like I'm either wearing a costume or going to a funeral.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:32 AM
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I fucking love that I have a job (it's not exactly a job, but bear with me) that does not require me to shave more than every couple of months or so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:32 AM
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I also haven't had a haircut in close to a year.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:33 AM
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I has thinking about Halford's comment the other day, because I've decided he missed the important point. He started off by saying that being socially maladjusted is a bad thing, and that self identified nerds should stop taking pride in that. I totally agree.

But the main kind of social maladjustment that nerds have isn't grooming. Its things like treating every conversation as an opportunity to prove that they know more than you. Also persistent sexism and an general indifference to other people in conversation. That's the real problem.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:33 AM
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12: Was it a funeral or black-tie-optional event? If not, there's no reason a dark suit is "better"; they were probably just wearing the only suits they own.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:35 AM
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17: it was neither. It was a party someplace very fancy and status sensitive. They were definitely not wearing the only suits they owned.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:39 AM
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Sorry, Rob, if this seems like picking on you. Your comment just kept rattling around in my head because I've decided to try to lose some weight and gain a little fitness without actually excercising (also no paleo, so double sorry!) and so the extent to which I don't really bother is on my mind. Lee would be happier with how I look if I made more effort, and I don't know why that's always seemed like more of an imposition than knowing she'd be happier if I didn't keep piles of books on the floor on my side of the bed and so right now there are only two books there and probably I'll pick them up tonight.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:39 AM
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I used to have very long hair, and within the past 6 months I've grown my beard out pretty long, too, although I've since trimmed it back. But, since I don't have long hair and my hair varies between thinning badly and thick as fuck depending on the part of my head, I look more presentable with a fairly regular hair cut. Ditto the beard. If it's not a really long beard, on me, I look more presentable if I trim it once or twice a week.

re: grooming

When I used to manage an ISP tech support team, I had to take one guy aside to tell him that he stank. I'd had complaints from female members of staff who sat near him, and to be fair, he was a mess and smelled like rotting milk. Sadly, at the point I took him aside to have a word, he misunderstood what I wanted to talk about, and took the opportunity to tell me he'd been cutting himself. That was a shitty conversation for all concerned.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:40 AM
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I also wear jeans to work almost every day. This is how I'm justifying certain things I'm itemizing, in fact: of course I bought it for court--when else do I wear a tie? [Truthiness: ~25%]

I feel schlubby* when I go to court on no notice, dressed for a normal schlubby day at the office. I usually say to someone, when they call me "counsel," "oh, no, I'm just a social worker. Attorneys don't dress like this."


*Schlubb, I think from Russian жлоб though the meanings are not quite lined up.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:41 AM
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18: OK. Was my prior (that such things are uncommon) wrong, or was this an unusual case?


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:42 AM
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@16

I think nerdom may have become more toxic recently* because it's more divorced from simple enthusiasm for nerdy things.

Back in the day, just reading comic books or being into The Lord of the Rings or playing rpg's or whatever was enough to give a nerd identity.

Now that most of that stuff is mainstream, being a nerd becomes more a matter of deliberate self identification, which distorts the whole thing.

*not that there weren't always toxic aspects, but I think they were less prominent.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:43 AM
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I'm reading this thread while sitting at home in my pajamas. I should probably shave and shower and go in to my office so I can feel more virtuous while reading this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:43 AM
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I'll sign on to 16.

Since we're making a minimums list, I'd say:

Haircut reasonably often, unless you're intentionally growing your hair out, and hair not cut in a really really needlessly bad way.

Bathing/basic hygiene/shaving (shaving unless there's something intentional going on here, either growing a beard or for the ladies a kind of feminism that I'm not really buying but whatever)

Clothes are clean and not ridiculously ill-fitting. Casual clothes are fine but just showing up in billowy sweatpants or 15 year old cargo shorts probably puts you under the line.

Frankly -- and this is where it gets into "deliberately offensive" territory, but I think it's true -- one needs to keep in mind the general physical appearance/effort in dressing ratio. If you're 20 years old and naturally super hot, you can legitimately not give a fuck about how you dress. If you're an obese 45 yea old, a greater degree if effort is "reasonable." You're not just benefitting yourself, you're benefitting those around you and society as a whole.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:50 AM
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My * above is wrong. The internet tugged on my sleeve and told me the Russian comes from the Yiddish and maybe means about the same.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:50 AM
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I'm used to being at the bottom end of acceptable professional grooming, so while I'm always vaguely insecure about it, I don't really feel out of place due to being scruffy because it's the norm. But my scruffy is lawyer-office scruffy, so I'm clean and my clothes are unstained, although probably less pressed than they should be. And on court days I fit in fine, although perceptibly on the less femmy end of female lawyers (pants, flat shoes, no makeup, no jewelry).

(I also probably exaggerate how visibly underdressed I usually am. I think I'm, through luck rather than skill, pretty successful at saving effort without looking too out of place -- I'm putting a lot less attention into my appearance than I'm supposed to be, but I'm passing fairly well.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:50 AM
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You're not just benefitting yourself, you're benefitting [...] society as a whole.

This is some arrant nonsense boy howdy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:59 AM
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Honestly, I like looking good pretty well, and mostly put in some effort, not just for my own sake, but Halford is making me want to stop doing that as a political statement.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:00 AM
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By being the worst dressed person in the room think how much better I make the next most slovenly person feel.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:01 AM
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Or at least they would feel better if I weren't so goddamned gorgeous.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:02 AM
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You're not just benefitting yourself, you're benefitting those around you and society as a whole.

Sounds like someone's been listening to a lot of gym instructors.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:02 AM
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Like, if you are trying to attract somebody or you want/need to be treated with a certain kind of attention or it makes you feel better or you need to present a certain image for professiona or personal reasons, okay. But that shit is up to the individual, and the idea that we as a society or as individuals should treat people badly or think less of them simply because they don't care that much about whether they have a shitty haircut and/or are wearing sweatpants? That is straight up shitty.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:03 AM
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when I was in LA last week I was amused to notice that most of my male friends there had gotten a little fat

Meanwhile, I was in the bathroom with two other women, watching a lesson in how to put on fake eyelashes. They're great for everyday wear, apparently.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:04 AM
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I've been growing my beard since November, but I have yet to figure out how to groom it. I do feel I should maybe figure out how to groom it but mostly I'm disappointed that my beard isn't thicker or longer. I always figured that my beard would be as thick and long as the hair on the top of my head, but this is wrong.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:04 AM
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I feel underdressed if I know Jeeves would not approve.

Less self-parodically, I am, I guess, too old to feel comfortable without a suit or at least a sport jacket when meeting people, especially strangers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:05 AM
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25, 28, 29: It's obnoxiously stated, and I don't live up to it, but I think Halford's saying something I sympathize with. I would much rather look at a roomful of people dressed with some flair and attention, whether or not I find them personally attractive, than a roomful of schlubs. Really, if I weren't actively on the prowl (which, obviously, I haven't been since the very dawn of time) I'd rather look at a roomful of interestingly dressed and well groomed ugly people than smokingly hot schlubs. (There's some crossover point here, I'm only human, but to some extent this is true.)

I don't actually dress with flair and attention, but I like that other people do.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:05 AM
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(And I don't actually think less of people for dressing badly, lots of my favorite people dress badly. But I do think of well-dressed people as having done something that makes my life actively more pleasant.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:07 AM
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I like it too! But not paying attention to it (barring mitigating circumstances, such as a party or an office or a restaurant at which people are expected to put in some effort) is at worst neutral.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:08 AM
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38: so, right, yeah. Does it add value? Sure! Does the absence of it subtract value? No. Should people feel obligated to live up to those standards as a baseline for getting treated in a friendly way? No.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:09 AM
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I think other people derive the most pleasure from observing people that appear to put effort into dressing well and fail horribly.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:14 AM
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I would get my hair cut more often if the very fact of needing to get my hair—which will just grow out again—cut, by someone who might want to engage in conversation with me, over the course of god knows how long, an activity I find not very enjoyable, did not offend me so deeply.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:15 AM
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I don't mind shaving because I can do that relatively quickly, and I don't mind having to eat or sleep because I enjoy both of those things.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:16 AM
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42: Is it the "want to engage in conversation" part that you find so deeply offensive?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:18 AM
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I can hardly fault a body for wanting to engage in conversation with me, wonderful me.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:21 AM
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This morning, dropping the kids off at daycare, I caught sight of myself in the mirror and saw that two inches of belly skin were visible, hanging down between my shirt and pants. So that is awesome.

Right now I've got the shirt tucked in, but I'm about to go teach and I'm not convinced it will stay tucked in as I write on the chalkboard, without monitoring.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:22 AM
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I hate haircuts because someone wants to talk to me when I'm not wearing my glasses. Anyone wants to have a conversation when I can't see their face, they'd better be a member of my nuclear family.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:22 AM
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46: could you write a secret message there in sharpie?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:22 AM
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I don't mind getting my haircut, although the hair-washing and head massage part* can be a bit awkward. There's something a bit odd about a very heavily made-up teenager rubbing your head.

* I stopped going to an old-school barbers as the hairdressing place I go to gives noticeably better haircuts for not a lot more more money.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:23 AM
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I think other people derive the most pleasure from observing people that appear to put effort into dressing well and fail horribly.

This is where we realize that not everyone knows about the perfect outfit.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:24 AM
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Right now I've got the shirt tucked in, but I'm about to go teach and I'm not convinced it will stay tucked in as I write on the chalkboard, without monitoring.

Have you got a stapler?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:24 AM
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I have been cutting my own hair for the last several cuts, and Lee did the few before that. It doesn't look hideous or anything, but feels a little sordid. I am doing it out of cheapness and to avoid conversations, especially conversations in which I have to explain how I want my hair to look.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:25 AM
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Every time people start going on about how you need to take care of your appearance, I think, "Great, another thing I have to worry about."


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:26 AM
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There's something a bit odd about a very heavily made-up teenager rubbing your head.

People pay good money for that sort of thing.

Come to think, I suppose that's exactly what you're doing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:31 AM
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After being disdainful for most of college of the idea of paying attention to appearance, I gradually learned about more femme-y things over the course of my 20s. Makeup, eyebrow plucking, more complicated clothing and shoes. I have since all but completely jettisoned the makeup again, for perhaps less reactionary reasons than in college but ones that basically come down to the same thing ("why would I paint my face that's time-consuming and kind of gross"). I don't go around being particularly conscious of not wearing makeup, but every once in a while I do get a window (like the eyelash lesson mentioned above) into how shockingly routine it is for a lot of women.

On the other hand, I can style a scarf better than any of those makeup-wearing women.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:34 AM
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But the main kind of social maladjustment that nerds have isn't grooming. Its things like treating every conversation as an opportunity to prove that they know more than you. Also persistent sexism and an general indifference to other people in conversation. That's the real problem.

I dunno. Certainly you're describing an identifiable type of social maladjustment, but I wouldn't call this "nerdy." I'd guess that maybe half the members of Congress fit in your category. Some nerds are arrogant pricks, but not all arrogant pricks are nerds.

Here's an alternative definition: Anyone who self-identifies as a nerd, is one. Most people who don't, aren't.

I'm kind of a nerd, and kind of an arrogant prick, but usually not both at the same time.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:40 AM
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especially conversations in which I have to explain how I want my hair to look.

Well, this thread is making me feel considerably less weird. I, too, am antisocial around barbers, and am at a loss to explain how short I want my hair if "above the ears and proportional all around" is insufficient - as it often is.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:48 AM
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The instructions I offer when I get my hair cut are "short. Make me look less balding, if possible." Luckily the dude that cuts my hair now knows what to do.

Count me in the antisocial posse, though. I would definitely get my hair cut more often if it was done by robots and I could just sit quietly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:53 AM
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Make me look less balding, if possible.

You really want to watch who you give that instruction to. Some day, you're going to walk out with a comb over.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:55 AM
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You're not just benefitting yourself, you're benefitting those around you and society as a whole.

This is absurd, really, and where I and my francophilia part ways.
In that theme, I read a memoir written by some woman (Australian?) who'd married a French guy and moved to France. One morning she was about to run across the street for croissants, when her husband stopped her, aghast. "Where are you going?" "Just across the way to grab a couple croissants?" "In your gymnastic pantaloons? That is not very nice for the baker man."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:56 AM
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59: I try to make clear that "short" is the overriding constraint.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:57 AM
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I seem to usually find that barbers will be quiet, but not friendly, if I don't seem to want to chat much after the brief introductory pleasantries. There was one barber in Ithaca who kept trying to engage me in conversation about sports and/or how my classes were going, neither of which were things that had any relevance for me, and that got tiresome. And at some point I was getting my hair cut by a woman who would ask me if I was off work for the day, and seemed to have an inordinate amount of trouble with the concept that no, I could just step out for an hour to get a haircut because I didn't really have fixed hours, and that would lead to awkward and stilted conversation.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:59 AM
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"but not unfriendly," I mean.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 9:59 AM
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In your gymnastic pantaloons? That is not very nice for the baker man.

I'm not sure what "gymnastic pantaloons" are exactly, but if they are anything like the tights that women now wear as pants, I don't see how the baker man could complain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:00 AM
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58 I would definitely get my hair cut more often if it was done by robots and I could just sit quietly.

Why are you not building a hair-cutting robot?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:02 AM
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am at a loss to explain how short I want my hair if "above the ears and proportional all around" is insufficient - as it often is.

Oh yeah, that thing. The worst are people who are like "can I use clippers on the back?" and I say "sure, that's fine with me" and they say "which number?" and then I'm clueless.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:04 AM
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Seems like there would be liability issues.

The state of the art is not very promising.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:05 AM
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66: If they ask for a number, say 4.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:06 AM
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The lower the number, the shorter the hair. 1 is basically fuzz, then longer from there. 4 or 5 is about what you'd get if someone cut it short with scissors. Each grade is about 1/8 inch (or 3mm).


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:07 AM
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especially conversations in which I have to explain how I want my hair to look

My wife actually writes me a little note to take to take to the hairdresser explaining how to cut my hair. I've been going to the same woman for a while now, so I don't have to bring the note.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:07 AM
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66: Yes! The worst of it is that I'm pretty sure I have a preference regarding clippers, but I have no idea what it is.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:07 AM
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I do seem to recall that I've had good results with "4."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:08 AM
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Heh and ! at 70.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:09 AM
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Just tell your hairdresser "Gimme the Bieber". They'll know what to do.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:10 AM
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74: I've always wanted to look like a 19-year-old lesbian, but I think I'd need more than a new haircut to pull that off now.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:17 AM
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I would much rather look at a roomful of people dressed with some flair and attention, whether or not I find them personally attractive, than a roomful of schlubs.

All things beging equal, me too! But, alas, all things are never equal. For example, like ttaM, I'm now fatter, balder, and limpier than I used to be. I also wear whatever I want to the office (though not to teach). I'm sure I'm quite the eyesore. Sorry about that! I try to add value in other ways!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:18 AM
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Topically, I've continued my relatively new practice of wearing a sport coat on days when the weather is such that I can't wear just a shirt but do not need a winter coat. Now I can feel like I'm doing my small bit to make the world a better place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:22 AM
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re: 76

I'm glad I'm the go to example for the porky-balding-bastard body type.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:30 AM
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That and when I yelled at the woman whose dog took a huge dump on the sidewalk were my good deeds for 2012.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:30 AM
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78: I was only referring back to what you'd said in this thread. In my mind, you're a young Sean Connery, though higher kicking.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:32 AM
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77: They're surprisingly practical garments. I'm in a blazer today for warmth myself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:32 AM
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Also, I might have implied that you limp, which was probably unfair.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:32 AM
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re: 80

I'm only kidding. I don't mind, honest. I'm self-described that way.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:34 AM
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I _am_ limping. Swollen knees after kickboxing on Monday [lack of recent training, age rather than a specific injury].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:34 AM
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All kidding aside, looking good takes a lot of work (usually abetted by a lot of money). And for some people, crippled either by being ugly or poor or, heaven forfend, both, it's nearly impossible to accomplish. Given that, I think I'd rather have everyone spend their time trying to make the world a better place in other ways. I do, though, think people should bathe pretty regularly.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:35 AM
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And for some people, crippled either by being ugly or poor or depressed or preoccupied or incredibly busy learning everything there is to know about quasars.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:38 AM
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81: I'm still waiting for a wash and wear one. Anything that has to be dry cleaned isn't really practical.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:40 AM
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Oh yeah, that thing. The worst are people who are like "can I use clippers on the back?" and I say "sure, that's fine with me" and they say "which number?" and then I'm clueless.

I'm always tempted to just respond: "you're the professional." to questions like that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:41 AM
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Looking interesting takes less money and effort than looking youthfully sexy (assuming you're not, currently, youthfully sexy). Like, all the incredibly high-skill subtle cosmetic stuff that I completely fail to understand is intended to make women like me look more like flawless nineteen-year-olds: that takes money and time and skill, which I'm never going to invest and don't feel even a little bad about. Looking interesting and esthetically appealing (which I also don't do, but do kind of feel bad about not doing) requires some taste, but much less money and time.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:41 AM
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87: You can go surprisingly long between cleaning them if you don't drop too much food on yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:42 AM
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I do, though, think people should bathe pretty regularly.
I was going to point out that water conservation is a virtue but I spotted a loophole.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:42 AM
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90: I take them off to eat, unless I'm with people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:44 AM
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One word: moisturizer.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:46 AM
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My hands are indeed covered in raw skin which cracked open in several places.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:48 AM
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There's a barber in my building. The thing is, probably about a third of the people who work here are uniformed members of the armed forces, and the higher you get in management the more likely that is, so most of the barber's business is buzzcuts, maybe a very short trim that the guy keeps neatly parted. I've gone there for years, just because it's cheap and incredibly convenient. T. doesn't approve, saying I should spring for a better haircut. However, she goes to California for her haircuts (only a slight exaggeration), and I'm definitely not going to do that.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:58 AM
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My barber invented a scissor-comb combination tool that he uses to cut hair. Maybe I should suggest he move on to robots.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:59 AM
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Come to think of it, I think of the central tenet of the cult that runs those L/o/ving Hut restaurants is that everyone should dress nice and be pretty.
(The one in Chicago is really good!)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:07 AM
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I work in an office where almost all the men wear suits. I almost never do. My excuse is that I have to maintain my credibility as the office's IT nerd, and people are more likely to heed my opinions if I look the part.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:08 AM
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I make a modest effort to dress within the range for the context, shower every day, comb hair, shave. Anyone who finds that my appearance lowers their quality of life can go fuck themselves.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:08 AM
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I do shower every day, pretty much, but I stopped washing my hair every day. During urple's elaborate prank about soap-free washing, I decided that there really was no reason I had to use shampoo every day.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:15 AM
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All this talk of hair care is making me happier and happier that I decided, once I started losing my hair, to just go with it and shave/buzz my head. No more faffing about with it in the morning, no more scheduling haircut appointments. Just 20 minutes with a razor every other week and I'm golden.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:24 AM
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85 is where the "reasonableness" concept comes in. No one is saying that if you're 55 you need to look 25, or that if you're poor you need to look rich.* But that's different from deliberate, needless disregard total of appearance by, I dunno, perfectly well off middle aged male software engineers. That's just a kind of social rudeness.

*You know where people really put a lot of time into appearance? Poorer neighborhoods, or at least my neighborhood.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:25 AM
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I'm very grateful to Michelle Obama for affirming that cardigans are appropriate business wear. They're so much more comfortable than blazers or sportcoats, and machine washable as well. I can't get on board with the wide belts or dirndl-shaped skirts though, sorry FLOTUS.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:26 AM
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I think you're supposed to call them shitty neighborhoods, Halford.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:26 AM
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Aside: I have never seen the acronym FLOTUS without thinking "Kiss my grits" and then thinking "I sure wish my brain would stop doing that".


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:28 AM
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Thanks for sharing/spreading that particular meme.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:29 AM
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I hear a dose of TamiFlo will get rid of it, but I don't go to the doctor much.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:30 AM
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only a slight exaggeration

Nevada? Utah?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:30 AM
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California may be an exaggerated Nevada but it is completely different from Utah.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:32 AM
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I make a modest effort to dress within the range for the context, shower every day, comb hair, shave.

This. My office has a dress code where jacket and tie are required. When I have to go elsewhere, and they have a different code (often unofficial), I try to dress appropriately.

Cyrus is right about the barbers who are used to military customers. They have two or three options and all of them are short haircuts—in length and time.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:32 AM
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That's just a kind of social rudeness.
Weird. Do you mean at social events or as an everyday matter?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:33 AM
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As an everyday matter, if you are out among other people. With what you need to do meaning no more than "I make a modest effort to dress within the range for the context, shower every day, comb hair, shave."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:34 AM
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Essear, you really should try the barber shop I told you about. Not chatty, and they won't make you tell them a guard number.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:35 AM
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I still don't see the need to shower every single day. Unless you sweat, it takes longer than that to stink. It's really fucking cold and warm water makes for dry skin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:36 AM
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How lucky I am then that my natural good looks save me from being boorish.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:37 AM
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I don't comb my hair, don't shave, dress pretty much the same way every day. And whoever can fuck right off about it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:38 AM
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You know what's totally rude? If somebody's all like fat and gross. Ew! Just, like, die.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:40 AM
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(We're still watching the Tudors, and I'm kind of impressed that they couldn't find a suitable actress to play Anne of Cleves. Not an ugly face in the entire industry.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:45 AM
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You know where people really put a lot of time into appearance? Poorer neighborhoods, or at least my neighborhood.

Those homeless people I sometimes see around should really step it up. That layering thing they've got going on is totally not working for them.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:47 AM
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It will be more interesting when she gets older and we learn about how Anne of Cleves ages.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:49 AM
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There was one occasion recently where I felt sort of underdressed wearing a suit, though. It was a green suit, and the vast majority of the men there were wearing black or dark blue suits. But then I decided I was a devil-my-care radical, and was comfortable again.

you've reached a certain point in your professional assimilation where you feel that you are making a radical individualist statement by wearing a suit that is tan/forest green/whatever rather than a grey or blue pinstripe one. I remember noting this for myself a while ago.

My problem is that I have to dress well many days but am not naturally all that attentive to it, so my suits/shirts/shoes stick around some years past the point where I should just go out and drop $1000 on some new ones. I also try to sneak in jeans when I can but then half the time get hit by an unforseen meeting.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:50 AM
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I treat haircuts as an opportunity, really my only one, to practice my Russian. Some great majority of the barbers in NYC are Bukharian Jews. The conversation is never interesting but it lets me make sure I still remember case endings and stuff.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:52 AM
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76: Somewhere on the internet, someone has written a passionately reasoned blog entry on what hat goes best with a limp.

Also if the place Bave is talking about in 113 is the one I went to when I was up there, I endorse. There was no Russian practice, but it was a good, quick, non-chatty haircut that has grown out uncommonly free of weird sticky-outy patches.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:00 PM
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shower every day, comb hair, shave

You know who else showered combed and shaved? Hitler, that's who!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:01 PM
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Basic hygiene is good. Beyond that... Dressing up is fun sometimes, but mostly I am happiest surrounded by schlubs. Unfortunately, my friends are mostly no schlubs, so I just feel awkward and unkempt a lot.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:04 PM
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And whoever can fuck right off about it.

Pretty much the definition of entitled rudeness.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:04 PM
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I actually hadn't meant to put "entitled" in there.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:05 PM
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Look, Halford, just because you have to wear a monkey suit to work lest one of the slovenly creatives that pays you one sixteenth of their salary to keep them in sweapants complains doesn't actually mean you get to impose your stockholm syndrome on everybody else.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:09 PM
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I still don't see the need to shower every single day. Unless you sweat, it takes longer than that to stink.

In practice, I could probably get away with fewer showers, but for precautionary reasons I'm diligent - my nose is insensitive enough that I flatly won't notice any light odor, and the washing is a pre-emptive strike.

I am also only likely to shave if I've just come out of the shower, and not shaving in 24 hours sends me to an unsettling state of scruffiness.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:13 PM
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Yeah, I'm sometimes a little slow to put the empty garbage cans away on garbage day. The day my grandma died, one of the neighbors put my empty cans in the middle of my driveway with the idea that I'd have to put them away to get in my garage. So I of course drove around them over my lawn because fuck you neighbors. And then had a fight with a friend who told me how rude I was being to my neighbors to not get the cans put away right away.

That's pretty much what 116, 117, and 126 reminded me of. I suppose I can see how it bothers people that empty garbage cans are at the curb, I can certainly see that sooner than I can see people being bothered if someone's hair isn't combed, but since it bothers *me* that anyone should take such stupid crap so personally, I conclude that any rudeness that may be implied is mutually self-canceling. I'm rude for leaving the cans out, you're rude for being a passive-aggressive prick about it, even!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:15 PM
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a kind of feminism that I'm not really buying

No wonder Halford hates Boston (/Cambridge /Massachusetts) so much!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:16 PM
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No, no, I excuse lack of grooming on purely political grounds, even though that's not exactly my politics. It's like intentional rudeness through protesting or something.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:18 PM
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Clearly, somebody is getting riled, but seriously this "why can't we go back to the old days when the unpopular kids stayed unpopular unless they shaped up and conformed" thing is so much fifties Organization Man ill-considered bullshit. Hey guess what Halford some kids who got picked on make way more money than you because they have skills that you don't. Put on Free To Be You And Me light a doob and catch up to three decades ago, instead of trying to recruit people for your "wait we never should have stopped picking on the fat kid" program.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:19 PM
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I think you may be talking to yourself here, but since I on principle am never passive nor passive aggressive in responding to attacks here, why don't you go fuck yourself.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:20 PM
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133: So what you're saying is, Halford has a shitty job?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:21 PM
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Why don't you go cry in the corner at the crew team party because you know they only like you for your car.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:21 PM
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Anyhow, that's not at all what I'm saying. We do live in a society and a minimal level of social integration is a pretty good thing, appearance can play a marginal role in facilitating that. I feel like 133 may prove some other point about the asshole/self-defensive computer geek that I would like to make elsewhere, but so be it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:23 PM
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That layering thing they've got going on is totally not working for them.

...is making me laugh and laugh. Man, homelessness is hilarious.

Also, seriously, Halford, if you're trolling, well done. If not, you've lost your way. You, too, LB. Many, many, many people have much more pressing, important, or interesting things to do with their time than trying to be aesthetically pleasing. I know it might not seem that way in New York and LA. And I know, too, that it's wonderful how many people are aesthetically pleasing in New York and LA (I'm completely serious about this). But you should both still consider getting over yourselves.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:23 PM
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Hmm, I hadn't seen a bunch of comments preceding 138 when I wrote 138, and now I fear like this has all taken a more serious turn about which I want no part. Unsightlies of the world unite!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:25 PM
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Also, I've forgotten English. Unsightly and illiterate in my second language. Rats.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:26 PM
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Well, I guess it's my first language now. But it was once my second language. Sadly, I'm illiterate in my first language as well, so I guess I'm just flat-out illiterate.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:26 PM
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And unsightly.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:26 PM
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But I don't layer.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:27 PM
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I don't see how *maintaining absolutely minimal standards of grooming and dress* is a commitment to being "aesthetically pleasing" at all times, any more than having reasonably decent manners means you need to be obsessive about using a properly-sized bouillion spoon. And, in fact, when I look around, most people are doing just that in terms of their dress -- that is, meeting those minimal standards -- regardless of whether or not they also have "pressing, important or interesting things" going on in their lives.

In fact, this doesn't really seem to be an issue for anyone other than a certain subset of somewhat privileged (mostly white) man.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:27 PM
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I have been misconstrued -- I'm not saying that being appealing to look at is a requirement, just that Halford's statement that "You're not just benefitting yourself, you're benefitting those around you and society as a whole," was not entirely wrong. Looking interesting can be a benefit to society, without having to be more important than any other good thing, and without being required: I can think Halford had a point in the sentence I quoted without judging anyone negatively for having priorities other than their dress.

(And NYCista though I am, I'm pretty sure I'm not blinded by the glamor of my surroundings. State government is fairly schlubby here, as I believe it is everywhere else.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:31 PM
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this doesn't really seem to be an issue for anyone other than a certain subset of somewhat privileged (mostly white) man

To be fair, that's probably because people outside that subset can't always get away with being schlubby, not because they wouldn't prefer it.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:31 PM
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But the main kind of social maladjustment that nerds have isn't grooming. Its things like treating every conversation as an opportunity to prove that they know more than you. Also persistent sexism and an general indifference to other people in conversation. That's the real problem.

I endorse 36's rebuttal of "prov[ing] that they know more than you" as endemic among non-nerd demographics, and I can't endorse the idea of inherent nerd sexism because my nerdiest friends (by a long stretch) are woman mathematicians ... but the last symptom helpy-chalk cites points toward something I meant to post in the thread about nerds before it faded.

These days, I think I use the word "nerd", or especially "nerdy", in two diametrically opposite ways - as a euphemism for the socially maladroit people we're mostly talking about, but also (as a newer use) for people who are utterly absorbed by science, etc., and make that charismatic. The defining symptom, for the ambassadors as well as the stumblebums who do disrupt, interrupt, and inadvertently dominate conversations, is enthusiasm, and control or lack of it is an independent variable.


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:31 PM
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146 may be true.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:32 PM
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my nose is insensitive enough that I flatly won't notice any light odor

Me too! In fact, I haven't been able to smell since I lived in New Orleans in my late 20s, at which time my allergies when from bad to worse. But when I had to go on prednisone last fall for limp-related reasons, I got my sense of smell back. It was weird because of all the buried memories that, triggered by olfactory associations, came to the surface. Sometimes that was even nice. And oh man, the taste of food! It turns out that really good cherry preserves don't just taste sweet; they taste like cherries. Yum. On the other hand, people fart a lot, and farts smell bad. And it's a good thing that I shower every day. Because when I don't, I sometimes smell not so fresh, especially if I've had a lousy meeting in which the vice-provost and I are doing our very best not to raise our voices at each other.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:32 PM
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144.2 is a sweet rhetorical move. Nice!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:33 PM
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(147 cont.: Which implies that there's a silent majority of enthusiastic professionals and hobbyists who I should also categorize as nerds if I want to be consistent, but I don't see myself doing that.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:33 PM
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*maintaining absolutely minimal standards of grooming and dress*

Those who push the envelope on minimizing the minimal standards are doing the Lords work, by making those of us who come in slightly above the minimal standard look not quite so bad.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:34 PM
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You're welcome, Spike.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:36 PM
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State government is fairly schlubby here, as I believe it is everywhere else.

I mentioned this elsewhere, but when I was in DC last fall I realized that it's the least fashionable place I've ever been. I don't think even Pittsburgh in the mid-'90s beat it out.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:36 PM
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Halford actually just hit on the other reason that this is in my head. As a middle-class white woman with an office job where no one from the public sees me, I can get away with a certain amount of scruffiness, particularly if I do it in what seems to be an intentional way. I don't feel like my girls will have that flexibility as they get older, or not in all the same contexts. And I don't exactly think that I owe it to them to dress more nicely or anything, and in fact I let them choose their clothes and only edit for drastic clashing or weather-inappropriateness, but it's on my mind.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:37 PM
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150: yeah I was going to be snarky about it but it's really rather well accomplished. Able parried by 146, though, and in a much nicer way than I'd have done.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:37 PM
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When I was in state government, I wore a tie every day. That's something that I've never done otherwise.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:38 PM
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I also see that we've reached the point in the thread where we'll cut our meanings increasingly fine. Which, great. In that spirit, if all you, Halford, mean is that people shouldn't wear Gaultier garments that will poke others in the eye, fine. But if you think that people have any moral responsibility whatsoever to conform to whatever standards of dress the dominant culture decides are the baseline this week, you're out of line, especially so if you start arguing that there's real benefit to such conformity.

And LB, I'm really not sure what you mean any more. That people who look interesting are interesting to look at? With no value judgement attached to that statement? Allowing for the fact that people who don't look interesting aren't in any way a problem? Okay, then.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:38 PM
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Thorn, have you read The Year of the Book? It's a bit old for your girls, maybe, but it's really nicely done, I think, if immigration is something that interests you at all.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:40 PM
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That people who look interesting are interesting to look at?

Yes.

With no value judgement attached to that statement?

No. A positive value judgment, noting that they're doing something that takes effort and skill and is a benefit to people who have to spend time around them.

Allowing for the fact that people who don't look interesting aren't in any way a problem?

Right, because although taking the effort to make yourself esthetically appealing is a good thing to do, it isn't an obligation.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:42 PM
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Also, it's sometimes hard to balance instilling self-confidence in their looks with helping Nia transition to believing that there's more to life than looking cute. But having her melt down in Toys R Us because all the dolls were white and she wanted white skin right after coming from the African festival where several people were shitty to me about her hair just because I was white and not because it was outside the bounds of acceptability left me pretty much wanting to tell the world to just leave us the fuck alone.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:42 PM
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left me pretty much wanting to tell the world to just leave us the fuck alone

Yaaaay!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:43 PM
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At my last job, the office was about a third black, a third white, and a third Indian. The black people always dressed well, the white people were all schlubs, and the Indians ran the gamut.

Not to generalize, or anything.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:43 PM
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You're likable reasonably attractive enough, Unfogged.


Posted by: Barack Obama | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:43 PM
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I really don't want to know how smelly and slovenly other commenters are. It messes with my mental image of Unfogged as a sophisticated salon of some type. Yes, I know this was always farfetched but parts of this thread are a direct assault on it.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:44 PM
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Yeah, I'm on board with 160. There's no *moral* obligation to dress in a particular way. I do think that intentionally disregarding one's appearance can, in the aggregate, make for a less attractive world, which is, in itself, a bad thing (though not the worst thing in the world). I don't see how that's "out of line" and it seems to me that most people, in fact, act on the assumption that there's something rude about dressing radically poorly in public, even if they're not going to condemn those who do as evil villains.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:44 PM
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I smell like roses and freshly baked bread.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:45 PM
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Everyone else who shows up for the NYC meetups is well-dressed and impeccably groomed. Really!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:46 PM
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159: I haven't, but I've read one of her other books. I've put it on hold at the library and maybe we can get to it soon. The idea of friendship and what it entails is hard for both girls to understand right now.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:46 PM
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To be fair, Tweety, that's pretty much my general perception. But that's also the white privilege talking, I know.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:48 PM
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dressing radically poorly in public

But what does that mean? Other than being dirty?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:49 PM
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170 to 162?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:50 PM
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But what does that mean? Other than being dirty?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:52 PM
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Most people act on all sorts of assumptions, Halford. That doesn't mean that one should believe that the outliers are necessarily mistaken or less than. In this case, you seem to be making a broad-based case for conformity. Now, I think conformity in certain instances is a societal good. For example, I'm on board with the idea that people shouldn't kill each other, and so I'd like everyone to conform with that societal norm. But when it comes to how people dress themselves, or, more basically, how they look, I don't think conformity necessarily serves society's interests. I say "necessarily", because I can imagine situations in which conformity -- very low-cost school uniforms, for instance -- in dress might be a societal good.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:52 PM
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re: 173

He's so hip you can't even appreciate his hipness, old man.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:53 PM
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166: I used "out of line" because I was talking about conformity. If you're more comfortable with "wrong", I'm cool with the substitution.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:54 PM
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People looking nice is ... nice. I don't think you have to read much more than that into what LB has written.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:54 PM
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So the dress code for Unfoggedydodocon is white tie, right?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:55 PM
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Conformity in dress is kind of useful in that it helps people coordinate what to wear for what. It's pretty helpful for me to know that for certain kinds of committments a dark suit will always work, end of story.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:56 PM
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172: Yes!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:56 PM
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178: White tie and your fanciest aged oak barrel.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:57 PM
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169: the same is true for my five-year-old. He is, though, sort of interested in what muti-cultural friendships mean, probably because all of his friends are foreign-born (almost all Asian).


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:58 PM
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177 is kind of the best response to 174, and is really all I'm trying to say.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 12:59 PM
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178: Evening wear of some sort, at least. Nothing special, just what you'd wear to the opera.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:00 PM
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But, you know, horribly dressed, unbathed software engineer guy is a NONCONFORMIST striking a blow for FREEDOM.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:00 PM
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178: Until 10 pm. Afterwards, bare as you dare.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:01 PM
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183: dude, you said that people not dressing nice or whatever is actively rude. If 177 is what you meant to say, you really whiffed.

180: okay! Well, you work that privilege. Be a beacon to others who would like to tell the world to fuck off on such matters.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:02 PM
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Clearly, somebody is getting riled

Namely, AFAICT, you?

so my suits/shirts/shoes stick around some years past the point where I should just go out and drop $1000 on some new ones

Dude I thought your suits and shoes at least were supposed to be able to last like decades.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:02 PM
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185 completely obviating 183, oh well.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:03 PM
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Not being nice is being actively rude. Sometimes people are rude, and it's not the worst thing in the world, but it is in fact rude.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:03 PM
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188.1: yes, that is to whom I was referring.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:04 PM
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I do deliberately dress less well than I could at work because I believe the only reason we have a tendency toward fancier outfits is that my boss likes to shop and this gives her a reason. (Or maybe the beauty of the office is a balm to her soul; dunno. I just stay in my cubicle.) So I push by, for instance, wearing black denim today even though it's not casual Friday, and not doing fancy things with my hair or wearing makeup or dress-up jewelry. I'm not breaking the dresscode, but I think it's silly we have the dress code we do and our sister office recognizes that no one sees us and what matters is that people do their job. I'd probably dress the same way there, but here I feel more like I'm outside the norm.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:04 PM
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190: so what you were saying was actually not what 177 was saying, but something distinctly shittier, as I surmised all along. Noted, but this is tricky to follow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:05 PM
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188: Shoes? I've had to cut back on my walking/running, but I still need to buy two new pairs of shoes a year.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:05 PM
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Halford's ability to maintain a defensible position is compromised by his inability to avoid bizarre sniping at Sifu.

Not being nice is being actively rude.

No, it isn't.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:05 PM
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I think of it as striking a blow for not feeling uncomfortable, socially and physically.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:06 PM
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Someday Halford will discover the superogatory.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:06 PM
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177 not meant to imply anyone has any obligation to do anything, btw.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:07 PM
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It's funny because, as a woman, I feel like there should be some difference but I agree with 11 for myself though maybe with a slightly different order:

Bathed / showered / smell good [or at least not bad]
Clothes clean and not too wrinkled, clothes not too scruffy
Assorted grooming [eyebrows, nose hair, etc]
Nails (no chipped polish*)
Hair cut fairly recently (I have long hair so I can go a long time between cuts but I appreciate recent cuts on men)

*I have chipped polish right now and it is making me feel like a failure to everyone - to men (and some women) because I am too girly (it's pink and sparkly and I work in wildlife academics) and to (some) women because it's all chipped and I've failed at perfect nails. I'm going to get those fancy polish jobs (low hanging) that cure under UV light and last forever. It's perfect for my lazy but colour-appreciating lifestyle.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:08 PM
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Well, there's a continuum. But, if I show up to your wedding wearing a stained ill-fitting t-shirt, unshaven, and old cargo shorts, is this a form of rudeness? Almost certainly, yes. If I'm in Thorn's (presumed) office, and no one can see me? Probably, no. If I'm going out to get a coffee at Starbucks? Not really actively rude, or that much of a problem, but I've arguably made the Starbucks (marginally) less pleasant for the other customers there, and in that sense have engaged in a (very mild) form of anti-social behavior.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:11 PM
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I doubt you've made the Starbucks any less pleasant, you just haven't made it any more pleasant.

In fact, you might have made it more pleasant, just not because of the direct pleasure your person affords.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:13 PM
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Halford, you'd be a lot prettier if you smiled.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:13 PM
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I pass the criteria in 199 (except for the bit about nails, because climbing destroys nails), but, I suspect Halford would still consider me rude.

On preview, 200 confuses me. It seems like a much weaker statement than you were making previously.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:13 PM
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Everyone else who shows up for the NYC meetups is well-dressed and impeccably groomed.

Except me because I've been explaining how I want my hair cut in broken Russian!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:14 PM
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I have to confess I did once show up at a wedding halfway through in jeans and a t-shirt, but it was for the noblest of reasons. Really.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:17 PM
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To the list in 199...:

I think I smell fine (though I have that insensitive sense of smell others have mentioned, so maybe I smell like poo and don't know it).

I'm wrinkled more often than not. Clean depends on how far I can get in a day without spilling something on myself. some days are better than others.

I don't have nose hair. I tend to my eyebrows maybe twice a year, if I get bored and feel like waxing them.

If there is polish on my nails, it will be chipped polish. Without exception. A manicure lasts maybe two hours on me before I muck it up. My nails usually are unpolished.

I do get my hair cut fairly regularly. Because I like the woman who does it and people give me compliments when I get it cut. If people told me how nice I look when I iron shirts, I might do that more. But they don't, so.

My professional branding is that I'm one of the Writers in the firm. So I figure scruffy, disheveled, with a hint of personal chaos is dressing the part.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:17 PM
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183: 177 is no kind of response to 174 at all, actually, but if it's all you mean, comity. For what it's worth, I think it's nice to look at people who look nice and interesting to look at people who look interesting* -- so long as people who don't look nice or interesting don't feel any obligation to ratchet up or alter their appearance to fit whatever suits my fancy.

* It's also banal to be banal. Alas, I can't help it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:18 PM
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203.2 -- it was intended to be consistent with everything else I've said, but maybe it wasn't. All I've been trying to say is that maintaining a reasonable, minimal standard of grooming and dress is valuable (perhaps among other reasons) because it creates a more pleasant environment for others. Obviously that is not the only consideration in the world or the only thing that would create a pleasant environment for others. Most people IMO seem to have a fairly intuitive understanding of this, but apparently it's controversial.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:19 PM
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200: If you show up to the Starbucks in a stained, ill-fitting t-shirt, unshaven and in cargo shorts, you've made it *more* pleasant for me by reducing the perceived pressure to live up to some standard of acceptability. "Oh, we can chill out and just order coffee here? No one is giving me the side-eye for how I look? Awesome!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:21 PM
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I do deliberately dress less well than I could at work because I believe the only reason we have a tendency toward fancier outfits is that my boss likes to shop and this gives her a reason.

Oh, man, Thorn, if this were said by anyone but you . . .


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:22 PM
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All I've been trying to say is that maintaining a reasonable, minimal standard of grooming and dress is valuable (perhaps among other reasons) because it creates a more pleasant environment for others.

Probably the nerds made some kind of gizmo that kept you from actually saying it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:22 PM
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209: rather. I would have been way happier if people hadn't dressed so nice at that damn Trader Joe's.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:23 PM
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Most people IMO seem to have a fairly intuitive understanding of this, but apparently it's controversial.

And with that, I say again, well trolled!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:23 PM
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I never polish my fingernails, am not diligent about plucking my eyebrows but am okay with the form they take on their own, and otherwise meet the criteria from 199 whenever I'm out of the house. My skin is not great, and I'm not sure how offensive to the public good it is to be somewhat blotchy, but covering it up with makeup doesn't seem like it would be all that great for me.

I'm not sure if that is "nice" and not sure what is covered under "ill-fitting." I've taken to wearing larger shirts or sweaters than would be form-fitting because since I gained weight a few years back, the curve of my spine makes my sides curve in noticeably different ways and I'm sure no one has ever noticed it, but it makes me self-conscious as looking weirdly lumpy and so I try to wear other things.

I think my goal is to be interesting as LB suggests and instead I've been buying boring clothes when I do buy clothes because they're easy. I also only buy unflattering pants because there are no pants that flatter and fit my thighs in the whole world, so maybe I should just take up skirts. I don't know.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:24 PM
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What? No links to TFA? (among others)


Posted by: F | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:25 PM
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I just can't get there with manicures. They look fine on other people, but on myself I find painted fingernails freakish. During the above-mentioned stage of paying attention to such things in my 20s, I was into red pedicures, but now I think that looks weird, too. During open-toed shoe season I wear brownish-flesh-colored polish about half the time and nothing half the time.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:25 PM
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210: Because that's sexist and awful enough that I considered not saying it? She's sort of said as much, though, when people have asked why we don't just go casual all the time. She has said she thinks it's good to wear new things and so work gives us all a reason to shop, sweartogawd.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:27 PM
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178
So the dress code for Unfoggedydodocon is white tie, right?

Memorial Day in late May in downtown DC? Everyone should feel free to come in shorts. The sartorially minded can wear a t-shirt with the slogan of a Broadway musical on it. I'm not saying that dressing for the summer is going to be absolutely necessary, particularly for those from even more humid climates (Rio, for example) but I'm not saying it won't be either.

190
Not being nice is being actively rude.

I'd really like to see you elaborate on this. If merely "not being nice" is "actively rude," is there any such thing as being "passively rude?" Is nothing neutral? If I'm sleeping on my couch in my living room, am I doing a favor to the guy walking by on the sidewalk, or harming them somehow? Which one? It must be one!


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:28 PM
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Halford, you'd be a lot prettier if you smiled shaved your balls.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:28 PM
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All I've been trying to say is that maintaining a reasonable, minimal standard of grooming and dress is valuable (perhaps among other reasons) because it creates a more pleasant environment for others.

Sometimes when I go into a Starbucks (or a grocery store, or the subway), there are construction workers or painters there who are super dusty and/or wearing clothes covered in paint. They don't make my environment any less pleasant. In fact, I like seeing them.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:31 PM
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I dunno, I think avoiding making minor, reasonable, context-appropriate efforts to appear reasonably dressed and groomed for other people and that this a form of politeness, avoiding it is a (minor) form of rudeness. Whether you have an "obligation" to avoid that rudeness is too deep in the weeds of moral philosophy for me, and obviously varies greatly based on circumstance and setting, but I'd probably say no.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:32 PM
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I have honestly never thought about my personal appearance as anything related to politeness, and I think I'm generally a fairly polite person. Other than things like profane tattoos and offensive t-shirts, I've never had that view of others' looks either. This is all very odd to me.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:35 PM
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During open-toed shoe season I wear brownish-flesh-colored polish about half the time and nothing half the time.

There is fruit here, but I'm too weak to harvest it.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:35 PM
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I noticed, but was too lazy to fix the comment to remove the fruit.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:36 PM
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This is all very odd to me.

Actually, it's all fairly intuitive.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:37 PM
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I would guess that you've never thought about it much because you conform your dress to reasonable standards of appropriateness without consciously thinking about it in those terms, and so do most other people.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:37 PM
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225-6: Right, sure, I dress for the occasion and think about other people and all that. But the idea that I have a moral obligation to look good and increase the beauty in the world strikes me as gross.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:40 PM
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Yeah, outside of social events it had never occurred to me that people might find my dress rude. Inside social events I'm too busy feeling self-conscious to worry.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:41 PM
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a moral obligation to look good and increase the beauty in the world

Not what I'm saying!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:41 PM
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Cutting hair strikes me as kind of a shitty job.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:42 PM
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If there isn't any kind of obligation to do so, how can it possibly be rude not to?


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:42 PM
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I think of "politeness" and "moral obligation" as pretty distinct categories.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:43 PM
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I lean towards the LB/Halford side of things myself and am probably an idiot for being surprised at some of the heat in the conversation.

Lee would be happier with how I look if I made more effort, and I don't know why that's always seemed like more of an imposition than knowing she'd be happier if I didn't keep piles of books on the floor on my side of the bed

A certain amount of spousal indulgence is fairly common and probably not a huge deal, within reason. Work these days requires daily shaving but really the job hasn't changed my habits in this regard. I'm aware that my wife's reflexive "type" tends to be muscular clean shaven guys. I was into strength training and weightlifting before I ever met her but I'd be lying if I denied that part of the reason I kept at that stuff even when I had office jobs was because I know she digs it esthetically. She also prefers the "less" side of the body hair scale and while genetics mostly takes care of this for me I buzz my leg and arm hair two or three times a month to keep it down.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:43 PM
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It's not what you say you're saying, but it's what keeps coming through to me anyway. It's not as specialized and sexist as men who tell women to smile, but I have never thought of my presence in a Starbucks as improving anyone else's experience there in any way and I don't want to do that. I don't like the idea of my body and self-presentation being something that improves anything, I don't think.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:43 PM
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Context dependence-- Halford's sentiment seems right for drifting around pleasant indoor places in CA or Chicago. But one could use the same words to describe an exclusionary dress code that you're just supposed to know.

My favorite fashion phrase: upscale casual.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:44 PM
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227: Honestly, I think most of what Halford's been saying is that there is some obligation of manners to meet minimal standards of appropriate grooming and dress -- like you said "dress for the occasion and think about other people and all that". And I agree with that, although it's not a terribly important obligation that may be overridden by other, more important things.

And then I went off on a tangent saying that dressing in an actively visually appealing way was a good thing to do, but I don't think anyone called that an obligation. I didn't mean to and I don't think Halford did.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:46 PM
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222 describes me as well. I'd add this:

Yes, it's rude to come to a wedding grossly underdressed: rude because it's a hosted event, and one has an obligation to the hosts. Imo, it's not rude to wear the same outfit to Starbucks, or some place swankier. That's a commercial transaction, and if what's in your wallet is the right color, and if there aren't explicit rules, you're dressed right.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:46 PM
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My professional branding is that I'm one of the Writers in the firm.

This makes me think of you as a literary person who's been seduced by the money of a professional job -- a less neurotic Barton Fink if you will.

Memorial Day in late May in downtown DC? Everyone should feel free to come in shorts.

Thank you, I was resolutely trying to not have this thread make me concerned about being under-dressed and was beginning to fail at that.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:47 PM
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I sign on 100% to 236. "dress for the occasion and think about other people and all that" is all that any conceivable obligation (which, again, I think of as a politeness, not a moral obligation) would require.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:48 PM
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233.2: I agree that it's normal and reasonable, which is why I am doing more and thinking about this stuff in the first place. And this is a topic that came up recently, not something I've been ignoring for years. I mean, she would probably prefer it if I wore makeup every day like her old girlfriends did, but we both know that that's not going to happen if I'm also going to happen every day and I think she's fine with that. But there are other things I can do rather than fall into the stereotypical I'm-a-mom-and-so-I-don't-care-about-how-I-look thing that I'm not even entirely sure is real.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:48 PM
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238.last: I mean, I won't be speaking to you unless you meet my sartorial standards, but I'm sure other people may.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:50 PM
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|| gswift, you guys already have this, right? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:50 PM
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I think avoiding making minor, reasonable, context-appropriate efforts to appear reasonably dressed and groomed for other people and that this a form of politeness, avoiding it is a (minor) form of rudeness.

And, see, I think tolerance of someone else's desire to feel reasonably comfortable and relaxed is a form of politeness and purporting to prescribe what is or isn't a n acceptably reasonable, context-appropriate effort is a form of rudeness. So, huh, different values, I guess.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:52 PM
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re: 218.last

Like a sort of 'Cambridge rudeness'?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:54 PM
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re: 218.last

Like a sort of 'Cambridge rudeness'?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:55 PM
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241: I have been lead to believe that even if you aren't speaking to me your eyebrows will communicate like semaphore flags.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:55 PM
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Gah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:55 PM
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246: Perhaps it would be polite of me to have them waxed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:57 PM
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246: Mine would, if left to their own devices. Two years ago I would have thought of trimming my eyebrows or my unibrow as being way too fashion-conscious for comfort. Then my eyebrow hairs got so long they grew into my eyes and, well, it was the lesser of two evils.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:57 PM
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I think I had a dream that a thread went to 1,000.

I need to spend less time at a computer. Much less time.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:57 PM
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tolerance of someone else's desire to feel reasonably comfortable and relaxed

Sure. But I don't see anything in, say no. 11 on this list, or, I think, in no. 16, that would generally interfere with that. And course "reasonably comfortable and relaxed" is extremely context-dependent, as well.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:58 PM
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249: I had a professor at U of C with very fast growing, completely out of control eyebrows. Over the course of a couple of weeks they'd get visibly longer until they were hanging down and starting to hide his eyes. Then he'd trim them and the cycle would begin again. It was mesmerizing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:59 PM
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|| gswift, you guys already have this, right? |>

Ha, not yet but at this point fuck it, why not. Our plan already covers ten visits a year to a chiropractor. Might as well throw a few more totally bogus procedures in there.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 1:59 PM
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Perhaps it would be polite of me to have them waxed.

Oh, sure, the one meet-up I plan to attend and you might show up not looking like yourself. I'd feel cheated.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:00 PM
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251: You don't, sure. But for me an expectation of eyebrow-grooming, unwrinkled clothing, and nail-maintenance does, in fact, interfere with just being comfortable and relaxed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:01 PM
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252, and actually this whole discussion, reminds me of something


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:01 PM
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251: Certainly not the part of 11 where it says "in terms of things to do to myself, not things I'd expect in others".


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:01 PM
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A newish thing that's bugging me about these conversations (there was another on Metafilter recently) is that people think that me dressing up = me bowing to the system (or something, I'm working on this theory). Sometimes, i.e. with my nails, I like having crazy colour on them because it entertains me when I wave my hands around while I talk. I also like to wear heels occasionally because I have great legs and they look extra muscley in heels. I like wearing make-up because it is super fun to watch how my face changes as I add things until I look like some fake version of myself. I don't want people to be looking at me thinking 'Oh, that poor woman! Buying into the patricarchy and putting herself to all that uncomfortableness when she could be slubbing around in a robe and pjs'.

If you (no one in particular but sometimes nerdy guys can get this way) don't want me to judge you for buying t-shirts that are too big and khakis that make you look like you have weird fat pockets, then don't judge me if I want to teeter around in heels when I have a presentation.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:04 PM
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251. 257: Wow, well, hell, if all you're talking about is a standard you hold yourself to, Halford, then I'll grant that there should be no tension between your position and Tweety's, but you couldn't have been making your point more badly if you tried.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:04 PM
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Eyebrow grooming is something I'm particularly sensitive to in myself because I grew up with, let's say, early Brooke Shield's sort of eyebrows.

Unwrinkled clothing I get around by not buying stuff that requires ironing. I'm probably also covered in an inappropriate amount of dog hairs (more low hanging fruit).


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:08 PM
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I'm not just talking about a standard I hold myself to, but about the existence of a minimal standard of grooming and dress necessary to appear, in a context-dependent way, reasonably polite. Thorn's "dress for the occasion and think about other people" is actually the best summary. And no, if you're not acting politely you haven't committed a grave moral wrong, and yes, there's also a countervailing politeness obligation to make people feel comfortable.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:09 PM
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Someday Halford will discover the superogatory.

The legal profession is not its natural habitat.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:11 PM
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258: If you (no one in particular but sometimes nerdy guys can get this way) don't want me to judge you for buying t-shirts that are too big and khakis that make you look like you have weird fat pockets...

Save your judging, my family already lets me know that many of my T-shirts (ND Women's Soccer! Matt Moore Surf Shop!) are way too big. ms bill calls them my "tunics."


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:12 PM
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superogatory

This place used to have standards, man.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:15 PM
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I am currently wearing wrinkled clothes, cargo pants, worn-out tennis shoes--and I think I wore this sweater yesterday. I didn't quite have time to shower this morning so put on perfume instead. (I don't smell bad usually, but I really like perfume.) I do not match the sartorial splendor of my boyfriend, and he has chosen to be (mostly) amused by this.

To the Unfoggededrome, I might wear a silk caftan because that would crack me up. The rest of youse can amuse yourself however you like.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:20 PM
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alas.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:20 PM
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Yes to silk caftans! My friend and I would (window) shop at thrift stores and figure out what drink to have with each outfit. Cocktails with muumuus.

I might have to check out the local thrift stores before Unfoggededrome.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:23 PM
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me dressing up = me bowing to the system being yet another hot chick who won't fuck them

FTFY


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:23 PM
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(I don't smell bad usually, but I really like perfume.)

Maybe you could find a perfume that doesn't smell bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:25 PM
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On the original post, I do think that it's about time for me to decide how I plan to maintain a reasonable degree of physical fitness. Being skinny isn't the goal--not being creaky in the mornings is the goal.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:27 PM
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261: Yeah, the part where you lose me is where you seem to define buying coffee at Starbucks as an occasion for which one should think about other people when selecting attire.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:28 PM
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Heh. I actually think of morning creakiness as a downside of exercising, not something cured by it. Keeping reasonably fit is good for all sorts of things, but at my current advanced age I do wake up sore after a workout.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:29 PM
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268 is interesting as commentary, actually, because attention to attire/makeup/grooming often feels (subjectively, to me) like I'm supposed to be trying to be *attractive* to others, which is all sorts of fraught because if you don't get any attention, it's kind of a sad little feeling of rejection/failure, and if you do, it's all, "Hey, I don't want to be objectified!"


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:32 PM
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I have to warm-up when I get out of bed or I can't walk down the stairs without hobbling.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:32 PM
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re 270 & I've decided to try to lose some weight and gain a little fitness without actually excercising

Losing weight without exercise is something people certainly do, but I would have thought that getting "fit"--if by that is meant more muscle, more endurance, more ability to do cardio-y stuff, more flexibility--really requires something of the sort. Am I wrong?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:33 PM
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Lately when I've been getting up in the mornings, the moment when I put any of my weight onto my lower-spine vertebrae is this awful, careful ritual. That is a situation that I think I can exercise my way out of.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:35 PM
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264: goddamnit. Naturally I turn off my inner spellcheck when I read a comment by nosflow, knowing that nothing would get by him. I was betrayed!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:35 PM
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I figure Thorn meant something like making an effort to walk more -- exercising, but not the kind that you have to change clothes to do if you see what I mean.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:35 PM
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274: My theory is that some people make an effort to look good, thinking, "at least it looks like I tried."

Other people don't make this effort, thinking, "at least it looks like I don't care."

Stereotypically, the first group is primarily female, and the second group primarily male.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:37 PM
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Oh. Yeah, that probably works fine for general cardiovascular health, living longer and so on, maybe even feeling more energy, but I'm kind of in the Halford/Megan camp that if you want to change the way you look, you want to build muscle, which means hard (but not necessarily time-consuming) exercise. But I don't actually know anything.

Speaking of which, I should try to do some pull-ups on the pull-up bar I just installed. Woo.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:38 PM
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Does running down 5 flights of stairs count as exercising? I take the elevator up to my office, but I take the stairs down. I think this has added to my reputation for oddity, but everyone paying any attention had probably pegged me as an oddball already anyway.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:41 PM
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273: Yep. But most of the time I'm attired/made-up because it makes me feel better/different.

268: Oh, you flatterer. I don't actually think this is the reason because these are the same guys who see me looking schlubby too. I think they might be misunderstanding the motives behind clothes/grooming and assigning me the one that makes me come off worse.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:41 PM
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No.

And oh my god, pull-ups are fucking bullshit. I hate everything.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:41 PM
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283.1 to 281.1.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:42 PM
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the Halford/Megan camp that if you want to change the way you look, you want to build muscle, which means hard (but not necessarily time-consuming) exercise

Actually, (changing subjects here) if you want to change your body composition and add muscle mass, sure, you need to lift, but a lot of people just want to lose weight, which is really almost entirely about diet and very little about exercise. And which (that is, losing weight) also doesn't have very much to do with fitness (some, but not very much).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:43 PM
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275: What LB said. I don't think I have the time and energy (or interest) to add a formal exercise routine to my life right now, though I may start taling a class at the Y when the girls start back with tumbling and swimming lessons. But I'm making an effort to get more exercise where I can in the course of my day and also to get back in the habit of doing my physical therapy exercise so my back will behave.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:43 PM
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285: yeah, I put that badly. What I meant was that the part of changing-how-you-look that exercise *can* affect is the body composition part, which means pushing hard, but I didn't mean to imply that this part is more important than diet.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:46 PM
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280.2 and 283.2 are making me laugh.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:48 PM
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286: You could challenge Nia and Mara to 2 on 1 wrestling matches.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:48 PM
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289: Believe me, I spend more time lifting 50-lb. weights than probably anyone here!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:50 PM
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280: I love my pull-up bar. But I'm on the "Use it 6 months/Forget about it 6 months" plan.


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:53 PM
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290: Have you read about this study?
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17792517


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:54 PM
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JM, I don't want to resurrect the thread about how quickly people can pop up off the floor or anything, but do you get out of bed by rolling on your side and moving your legs fall off the bed as a sort of lever to pull your body up? Others have described this more effectively in TFA, but it's what my physical therapist recommends so you don't further stress your spine by pulling yourself up and can instead sit there and stretch a bit before you really get moving.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:56 PM
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293.--I do when my backs hurts, yes. But when I'm slightly more fit, I can get out of bed like a normal person without thinking about it so much.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 2:58 PM
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At the very mention of caftans I hear, in my mind's ear, Elaine Stritch proposing a toast.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:01 PM
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I feel the need to add "in sympathy" to 288. My shoulder has kept me from doing any upper body excercise for the last year and a half, and I had arms like cooked noodles before.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:03 PM
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A newish thing that's bugging me about these conversations (there was another on Metafilter recently) is that people think that me dressing up = me bowing to the system

I certainly don't begrudge anyone the pleasures of dressing it up. If you want to put in the effort to rock your look, then rock on! Just so long as you don't look askance at me for my failures to so rock, we are totally good.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:05 PM
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I am shocked by 197.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:15 PM
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(But because I don't want to make B-Wo feel bad, I will report that he is the one who told me the word was "remunerative", as opposed to with the N and M reversed. When he corrected me, he appended the phrase "I am deadly serious," and to this day, when I correctly say "remunerative", I silently append, "I am deadly serious" in my head.)


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:16 PM
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Apparently my deadly seriousness was a joke in context. Regardless I am glad to have made such an impression and I will strive not to commit any more errors, especially not any more errors as egregious as that in 197, in the future.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:20 PM
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I don't actually think this is the reason because these are the same guys who see me looking schlubby too. I think they might be misunderstanding the motives behind clothes/grooming and assigning me the one that makes me come off worse.

If they know you then maybe that's true. But I remain a tad suspicious of a schlubby dude showing disdain for muscly legs in heels because he's a feminist or something.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:22 PM
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280.2 and 283.2 are making me laugh.

Me too. Starting back up is the worst.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:24 PM
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Alas, I must note that I've had my bra in inside-out all day, though on the plus side that's probably why my tank top fit weirdly. Point is, maybe don't trust me that I can dress myself acceptably.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:37 PM
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I was a few blocks out of the house when I noticed that my sweater was on inside out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:46 PM
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I had to turn a knit top I was wearing under a sweater around at about 11 am yesterday, because I had been wearing it back to front.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:50 PM
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Isn't that a nerd marker of some sort?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 3:56 PM
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Perhaps, although to be clear, my personal idol Ogre/Donald Gibb is equally guilty of the form of mild fashion rudeness I described above.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:00 PM
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I noticed this morning that I had tied my tie such that it was a little too long.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:00 PM
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The rest of youse can amuse yourselfme however you like.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:01 PM
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TWYRCL gets expensive haircuts and stylings for free. She always comes home with steeply-discounted hair goop.*

* Not the industry term, I believe.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:14 PM
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My wife brought me home expensive shoe swag today. Perks.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:15 PM
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TWYRCL

She has suddenly become Welsh.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:16 PM
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She's my pretty gyggyhhfdddxcgglddfh.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:21 PM
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310: For a long time I got free fancy cut/color/styling/goop from this place in Soho (they needed one person in each of a whole bunch of hair categories, and I happened to fit one), but after the time they kindasorta made me get highlights (I haaated them), I quit. I regretted it, cuz free. Pout.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:22 PM
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* Not the industry term, I believe.

To the contrary.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:23 PM
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TWYRCL gets expensive haircuts and stylings for free.

One thing I loved about NYC was the availability of free haircuts from apprentices at very high-end salons (there's some of this in SF, but not nearly to the same degree). They often took forever, because they need to have their supervisor check after every step, but since I actually like being fussed over and given scalp massages and whatever (because I'm starved for affection), that was a feature rather than a bug.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:24 PM
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303, 304, and 305 are all very politely comforting. I wore my sweater inside out for a good hour at the office yesterday before I noticed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:39 PM
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46: Bella Band! And then you can wear your regular pants under your bump. (If you're carrying high. But the bands are still good for gap-coverage.)

I've been dressing a bit nicer lately, because I can't pull off jeans or casual tops without looking schlubby, and because I feel kind of blimpy so making sure I look presentable makes me feel a bit better.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 4:48 PM
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I actively try to dress my daughter in cuter clothes so that people treat her better. I don't want her to look grubby and in baggy clothes bc I want people to like her.

I am fortunate bc I do not have to worry about a 20 year old being picky about her clothes. And I am fortunate bc I don't have to spend too much for a crazy nice hair cut and regular manicures. (She does get her nails painted somewhat regularly.)

Me? I probably only wear a suit once a week. My practice has transitioned to where I mostly avoid court. So, nice pants, shirt, tie, and a sports coat that doesn't really get worn.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:41 PM
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||

King Crimson? Never Heard of 'Em

Heh.

|>


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:48 PM
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Frankly, I wouldn't start with In the Court of the Crimson King. And I'd pretend that The ConstruKction of Light just doesn't exist.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:51 PM
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I actively try to dress my daughter in cuter clothes so that people treat her better. I don't want her to look grubby and in baggy clothes bc I want people to like her.

This reminds me of the advice someone (Apo?) once posted here about traveling with small children, and which I think of frequently when traveling or indeed just being out in public with mine: "Dress 'em cute and keep 'em clean."


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:51 PM
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Frankly, I wouldn't start with In the Court of the Crimson King

Perhaps not. Although I do kind of totally love the title track.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:53 PM
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Maybe not, no, and agreed that The ConstruKction of Light is, let's say, an acquired taste. I may have mentioned before that I had to leave the room, for a breath of air, the first time I listened to it.

What would you start with? I'd say Discipline.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:57 PM
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248 New mouseover text.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 6:58 PM
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325: Would have worked better immediately preceding the current one.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:01 PM
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I've never heard of free fancy haircuts. How much choice do you have in how they make you look? ... I assume TWWERCL is just so charming that she's an advertisement to the shop, like Wimsey and his shoes.

The difference, health-and-body-wise, between no exercise and walking is huge, probably more important than the difference between just walking and work that cuts the abs. I keep seeing proper articles about this, but various tweedy great-aunts convinced me long ago. However, I've given a couple of relatives some of those little step-and-elevation trackers and the effects have ranged from okay to excellent. (Was nervous doing so, it's such a pushy present, but one person thought the data would be fun and then each saw the previous one in action.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:03 PM
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TWWERCL

The woman we 'eprobates remember calling Lunchy?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:04 PM
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Bella Band!

To protect your tiny vampire fetus?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:07 PM
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The Woman WE Reprobates Call Lunchy. Our glory is irreducible.

This is practically the same thread as Two Bits/No True Nerd for me, as there is very scant overlap for me between `dressed nicely enough to look professional' and `too girly not to get attacked for not being a trunerd'. You'd think middle age would help, but it hasn't.

From above -- I can't endorse the idea of inherent nerd sexism -- it's not that it's inherent, but that it's endemic, apparently with money as a vector.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:35 PM
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(The scant overlap would be troublesome many places, as it's the spot labeled `My niece also wears comfortable shoes, you should have dinner!')


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:36 PM
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Frankly, I wouldn't start with In the Court of the Crimson King

Starting with about a year of psychedelic abuse before listening worked well for me.

Actually in the 70s KC's 1st four albums were my mother's favorites in my collection.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 7:49 PM
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You'd think middle age would help, but it hasn't

Everybody keeps saying how great middle age is, but so far I can't see any benefits either.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:09 PM
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Well, some of the idiocy of youth does seem to have worn off -- or worn down -- or worn out; and there's only forty years left of the idiocy I can't get rid of.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:19 PM
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I'm not saying people didn't oversell the whole "youth" thing, but some of the idiocy was fun.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:23 PM
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113: I know, I should. I realized the one I was thinking about when you mentioned it is a different place a couple blocks closer to campus, so I've never been to the one you recommended. Shortly after the meetup I went to a place in Davis Square where all the other customers were at least two decades older than me and I had to wait an hour.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:33 PM
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233

I lean towards the LB/Halford side of things myself and am probably an idiot for being surprised at some of the heat in the conversation.

I am a bit surprised too but I guess people who don't like each other can get into a fight about anything.

I have never made much of an effort personal appearance wise but I agree with Halford that this is a little bit rude. Just as Di Kotimy is being a little bit rude in ignoring community standards re garbage cans.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 8:42 PM
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330.last: What do you mean by "endemic, apparently with money as a vector"? I'm reading it as approximately 'nerd culture is being poisoned by profiteers aiding and abetting sexist trends', and I suspect that I'd agree with that if I had more relevant knowledge, but I'm not sure I'm reading it right!

(Above I meant mostly to disapprove, in passing, of the notion that sexism is fundamental to nerdhood, which I thought I'd seen in rob helpy-chalk's 16; on further reflection, it's fairer to read that comment as not a definition, but a diagnosis of the subset of "maladjusted nerds". My 147 isn't too germane in that light.)


Posted by: joyslinger | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:03 PM
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338:

Most of the nerdhoods I'm familiar with have been having nasty outbreaks of misogyny in the last few years. Joe Peacock was the most embarassing one in visual skiffy, Elevatorgate among the organized atheists, the right of Ruby developers to put porn in presentations, et alia. It's not always the first incident that's so poisonous, but the number of people who justify it because `real nerds are all men who want to act like that'.

The odd thing is that plenty of this is worse, more violent and vulgar, than I remember nerd culture being twenty-odd years ago, and I don't remember it as being egalitarian. Lots of possible choices: the long arc of history is bending towards justice (yay!), leaving a few smoggy spots to stand out by contrast; my memory is wrong; the baseline culture has gotten more violent and vulgar; and one that I fnd matches up well with where and when the outbreaks occur, that worldly success in a subfield makes misogyny more virulent because there's more to be fought for.

Although, thinking about (say) Harlan Ellison's public behavior, the long arc of history is probably most likely. And it's the most optimistic of the choices! I should sleep on that.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:20 PM
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339.2: it seems different to me, too, but what do I know.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:23 PM
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340: Baseline culture, nerd culture, or both?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:34 PM
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Nerd culture.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 10:38 PM
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They're on our *lawn*.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-24-13 11:08 PM
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||

Mrs y's PC got taken over by some shit called Magic Desktop, which bills itself as a cute (ie. insulting) interface for kids. I found my way back to the real desktop (W7) and got rid of it through Control Panel. But does anybody know anything about this, like how it got there and whether it's likely to come back?

|>


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:12 AM
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344; I know some screensavers come with irritating browser interfaces - I had to clear one off for our bookkeeper in the office - so maybe that?


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:40 AM
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||

This might be the place to say that, because I am reasonably attractive, my wolf cub [job, for those not following along] has chosen to live two years longer than expected. Long live wolf cub! The administrator who called kept me on the line for a long time telling me how unusual this is, and that people went to bat for me in a way she's never seen before. It means a raise, substantial research funding, etc. And I get to watch some of my dear ones graduate, which will be very sweet.

|>


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:45 AM
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Great news. Except that I never have been able to keep track of the animal to job translation matrix. Is there a key?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:48 AM
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Lone Wolf and Cub is a really great series with a lot of lovely ink-wash work, but even at 28 volumes it shouldn't take two years to get through.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:51 AM
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Woot! Congrats, AWB.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:51 AM
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No one can. I just work in a short-term but extremely well-supported way at a very weird place that I adore in the middle of nowhere. We're tiny and strange, but people who have been here a while forget that the rest of the world is not at all like this. So it may be difficult, in the long run, to get permanent work elsewhere because these years of my life are going to mean (to others) that I have been ridiculously spoiled and possibly insane. TRUE.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:53 AM
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350->347


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:53 AM
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Yay wolf cub! It'll be a grown up wolf in two years with a bit of luck. No, you must be intensely relieved and a little flattered.

emir, we don't use screen savers for precisely that reason. I'm guessing it came bundled with an automatic upgrade of some kind.

People on the internet say that uninstalling it leaves a bunch of files lying around and you need some proprietary uninstaller to get shut of them. That makes me irrationally angry. As far as I'm concerned software that doesn't uninstall cleanly is malware, and the people who wrote it should be boiled in oil.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:53 AM
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Congratulations AWB!

In related news, the imminent evaporation of my job has been delayed by four and a half months during which time I have to develop a hella fast camera. Job plus challenging and interesting work equals win!


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:57 AM
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I never thought AWB would turn out to be the werewolf in the Unfogged movie. I sort of expect Halford's paleo thing to end up fangy one of these days, though.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:58 AM
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Yay, AWB!!!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:00 AM
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Yay AWB!

Yay for togolosh's delay!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:03 AM
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Boo malware!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:03 AM
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I use malwarebytes and also a second suite of software for win cleanup. There's probably a way to tune the thing to clean up registry keys and hidden scripts for a particular program.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:08 AM
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Yay, AWB!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:23 AM
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346: That's great.

:)


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:26 AM
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Yay, AWB! That is wonderful news. I'm glad that all the apparent weirdness earlier was just people being cagey when/because they didn't know if they'd be able to get to keep you.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:30 AM
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I like sending emails to German because the reply suggests I'm nobility: Von Moby Hick.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:38 AM
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Congrats, AWB!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:51 AM
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Congrats, AWB! Great news.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:51 AM
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365

That is great news, AWB!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:58 AM
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366

Hurray for White Bear and her wolf cub (White Fang?)! And surely this sort of thing bodes well for whatever happens in two years.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 8:40 AM
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367

Congrats, AWB!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 8:43 AM
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368

346: Yay! Glad to hear it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 8:43 AM
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369

Huzzah, AWB! Fingers crossed on your wolf cub adapting to a grain-based diet.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 8:45 AM
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370

Congrats!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:04 AM
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371

Hooray!


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:05 AM
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372

Congrats. Sounds great.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:13 AM
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@346

Congratulations!


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:20 AM
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374

Congrats!


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:22 AM
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375

Woo hoo!

361 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:24 AM
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Oh awesome! That must be such a tremendous relief for you.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:32 AM
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377

Bears and wolves together! Woo!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:36 AM
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378

Congrats!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:44 AM
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|| I'd like to see the President submit nominations for every vacant DC Circuit position today, and Reid announce that no further Senate business will be done until those vacancies are filled.

In any event, the filibuster deal should be abandoned immediately. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:46 AM
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I thought the filibuster deal passed already? Does it actually have any merit to it?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:48 AM
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381

Oh, maybe it did. Oh, well, Reid can and should still stop the Senate until the DC Circuit can be packed.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:53 AM
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380.last: No. It's watered-down rubbish. Minor tweaks around the edges.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:53 AM
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|| On first read, I guess I'm not totally shocked with the decision on the meaning of "the" but have to agree with Griffith on lack of necessity to decide the meaning of "happen." |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:55 AM
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384

382 is correct. God, but the Democrats suck at this game.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:01 AM
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385

Hooray for Bear and cub!


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:02 AM
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386

384: The alternative is that many of them are playing a different game than advertised.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:02 AM
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387

And further to 383, I predict that nearly all the news coverage will be about the "the" and very little about the much more troublesome "happen" holding.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:03 AM
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386: Yes, I suspect the real motivation here is that a lot of senators from both parties enjoy being the 59th vote for something their constituents desire but their donors oppose.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:05 AM
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388 -- I agree with that. There are also plenty of members of the majority who remember having been in the minority, and think it likely that they might be in the minority again some day. Even if you don't actually use it often, the ability to filibuster gives some leverage.

There probably aren't going to be significant filibusters of legislation in this session, so it was really about appointments. And the recess interpretation that just got struck down was a safety valve on that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:11 AM
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Reid really needs to insist on filling every vacancy, obviously, not just of courts where Reagan appointees are still making critical balance/separation of power decisions.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:13 AM
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391

AWB's hard work has finally been appreciated!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:14 AM
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(Ok, the decision is tl,dr. The DC Circuit says that recess appointments can only be made between sessions -- a very very short window nowadays. In the second part of the decision, it reversed a 190 year old understanding of the Constitution, and said that even then the appointment clause only applies to vacancies that come open during the recess between sessions. This more or less completely eliminates the recess appointment power.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:20 AM
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392: Wow. Got a link to the decision?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:23 AM
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394

http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/D13E4C2A7B33B57A85257AFE00556B29/$file/12-1115-1417096.pdf

I guess this means that John Bolton's tenure at the UN was unconstitutional.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:30 AM
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395

So now a single Senator can prevent an agency he doesn't like from existing, forever, by preventing a quorum from being appointed to it?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:30 AM
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a very very short window nowadays

Not just a very very short window, but potentially no window at all, if I'm understanding all the parliamentary procedure bullshit in the opinion right (which I might not be).

I thought the "the" argument was nonsense, as was the handwaving about their jurisdiction to decide this in the first place. Moving on to the "happen" holding is just flat-out outrageous.


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:36 AM
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397

Thanks, dudes! I am a very happy bear today.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:36 AM
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395 -- As the Circuit interprets the RA clause, it's not about dealing with a hostile Senator, but dealing with an absent Senate.

I predict a grant of cert. But no decision from the SC during 2013.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:38 AM
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395 -- And actually it was the House that sought to prevent a recess appointment (under the 'the' holding) of the CFPB chair, which will* fail under the 'happen' holding anyway. The House can refuse to adjourn, and thus prevent (or limit) a recess. And the 'happen' holding very significantly increases the House's power on this.

* It's at issue in a separate case. The CFPB will lose because DC Circuit panels can't disagree.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:54 AM
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400

396.2(a) -- I don't know, it doesn't seem that farfetched to me to say that in the 18th century, with a part time legislature, physical absence of a quorum from DC was a pretty big concern.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:58 AM
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I haven't read the opinion yet, but "authored by Sentelle" "striking down long held understanding" "reaching out to decide an unnecessary issue" and "contempt for actually existing political practice and whichever political branch isn't controlled by the Republican Party" all strike me as telltale signs of the worst aspects of our current predominantly Reagan/Bush I and II federal judiciary.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:03 AM
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400: sure, but their faux linguistics on the implications of the definite article was just stupid. (I don't necessarily think their conclusion on the original understanding/meaning of the clause as a whole is far-fetched, but I also don't particularly care.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 11:03 AM
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398 on: holy cow. That's a broad reaching ruling. What can of worms are they trying to open?


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 1:51 PM
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401: Sentelle? That fucker's not dead (or at least gone from the court) yet? Sentelle, Faircloth, Helms & Starr; what a little cesspool of evil.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:11 PM
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405

Not even 70. But he's taking senior status next month when he turns 70. I hope they already have a nominee ready to go.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:17 PM
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404: Thanks for the informative link.

Jesse Helms is dead
But his spirit lives on and on


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:21 PM
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(So it's an 11 judge court with 3, soon to be 4, vacancies. Currently 3 GWB nominees, 3 Clinton, 1 GHWB, 1 Reagan among active judges. Senior judges lean heavily Reagan. This is a place where O & Reid can make a real difference.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:22 PM
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405.last is a joke, right?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:22 PM
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The do have 2 nominees for the 4 positions (including Sentelle's). To be fair, this is a tough court to fill, because of the lack of direct patronage and concomitant lack of respect for direct patronage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:31 PM
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(I've said before, I have no idea why there are so many vacancies, a lot with pending nominations, in New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. You'd think the pols could get this done.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:35 PM
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And 3 in the N.D. Cal. Why isn't DiFi stamping her feet?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:38 PM
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||

Whew. I just read a student's outline about Manifest Destiny.
1. It's really great, and about spreading our ideals!
2. The era of America as the World's Police ended with our downfall in WWII.
3. Today's new manifest destiny spreads peace and liberty.

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:54 PM
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Congratulations, AWB! Glad you didn't have to get recess-appointed.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:56 PM
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411: She only stamps her feet when she doesn't want to do something, like vote against a GWB appointee in committee.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 2:57 PM
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Also MD has a lot to do with the American Revolution and the Civil War, and inspired the French revolution.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:00 PM
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our downfall in WWII
Right, when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:01 PM
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417

(I was trying to think why Judge Trott's seat on the 9th Circuit hasn't been filled, and was thinking it might have to do with his other career as a folk singer. But now I see he lives in Idaho. Oh.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:01 PM
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414 -- Hard to respect a politician who won't exercise patronage for the benefit of her friends. I wonder again, what on earth is up with the Northern District of Illinois? Have I been mislead about the Chicago style?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:04 PM
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419

415 -- That's what the complaint in the Declaration about the Quebec Act was really getting at.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:05 PM
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420

I know so little history that you could very well be making a valid point. But I trust you're mocking my student out of a general comradery.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:09 PM
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421

Horay for A.W.Bear!


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:19 PM
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422

Isn't this guaranteed to go to the Supreme Court given the William Pryor precedent? (Also, isn't the idea that recess appointments can be made only if the seat comes open during the recess completely insane?)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:26 PM
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|| Pooh, I have no tartan ribbon to wear on Burns night. (Mock away, ttaM.) |>


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 3:51 PM
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422: Yes, essentially guaranteed that the Supreme Court will review; though I wouldn't put much on them fixing things. As to the vacancies thing, I don't know that I'd say it's quite insane: the clause covers "vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate", and I don't think it's crazy to read "happen" to mean "arise" rather than "exist". But it's certainly at odds with practice going back to at least 1823, and especially on an issue like this that ought to be far more relevant than any original meaning/intent bullshit. (The genuinely insane part is that the panel admitted that they didn't need to figure this out, but two of the judges said fuck it and did it anyway, without explanation.)


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:09 PM
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Yay for AWB!

And yeah, the judicial appointments thing is maddening. A few people have been harping on it for three years or so. One thing that I've caught glimpses of as a law student is the whole vast farm-team system for elite lawyers and judges. Not enough district and circuit appointments now means bad options when a Supremes seat opens up, obviously. But it also means that the truly progressive top law students are scrambling to clerk for the dwindling minority of truly progressive judges (or settling for some Bush I appointee) (NB I am not one of these top law students), and super-qualified progressive lawyers are doing fine work for private clients but not writing opinions (and elevating their own networks of mentees). And Obama should know this -- he was president of the fucking Law Review, and he knows where his classmates are now and how they got there. Rick Perlstein's recent blog posts have interested me as a start on the "what's the deal, Obama?" question.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:18 PM
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420 -- You are correct. But so is your student! The grievance is that the colonists were not allowed to bring the advantages of Anglo-Protestantism to the heathen savages west of the Proclamation Line (essentially the Appalachians) nor the idolatrous Catholics to the north. Said advantages to be conferred in exchange for the lands of the savages/Catholics, of course. And total domination. And maybe some genocide.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:22 PM
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427 -- Boy that really tells me how different your law school is from mine.

A friend of mine was nominated and confirmed in 2011. It's a tough process. They're looking to fill two district positions here: Sen. B has created a committee of 9 worthies to sift through the 31 folks who've tossed hats into the ring. I suppose they'll give the President 5 names. When my friend was up, the WH and Sen B both wanted 3 names. They got 1.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:31 PM
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428

427->425


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:34 PM
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But then they got to Texas, where they could steal land from the heathen savages and the Catholics. MD, woo!


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:36 PM
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I have an elderly relative who was/is(?) a fed judge and I've wanted to ask him about the confirmation process back in the '60s when he went through it. He's never really talked to me about the work he did, but he had some great desegregation rulings and once he was semi-retired became one of a group of similar judges who refused to hear drug cases with mandatory minimum sentencing as a protest of sorts. I'm not sure how effective that sort of thing would be, but I know he was glad to be able to live by his principles. Didn't get to see him at Christmas, though, and I don't know when or if I'll get to really hear the stories from him rather than other family members.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:38 PM
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Old judges are the coolest, when they're not total assholes.

And yeah, the confirmation process must be horrific these days, and obviously a ton of work required by many parties to make the confirmation succeed. (Was it more machine-driven but less awful back in the day?) And then it turns out that, mostly, the worst are full of passionate intensity, etc., so they sit on the DC Circuit.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:44 PM
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432

Yay AWB!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 4:59 PM
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I decided CCarp should have all the information about the student, in case he wants to defend him further. Check your email, Carpy!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:02 PM
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434

Congrats AWB!

Yay togolosh! If you succeed in building the hella fast camera, can you then get another challenge? Flying car, 9 months!


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:26 PM
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435

Hair-cutting robot, six months!


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:33 PM
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436

If six months seems long, consider the effort required just in calculating and testing the fashion/hair type matrix.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:38 PM
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On the DC Circuit Court's decision regarding Obama's recess appointments to the NLRB, I have an ignorant question: what happens now?

I gather that this will wind up in the Supreme Court, but that could take quite some time. What happens immediately, effectively, upon a ruling like this? Is the NLRB supposed to (immediately) consider itself non-functioning somehow -- because it allegedly has only one legitimately appointed board member and is therefore without a quorum?

Presumably it will not do so. So does the NLRB and everyone involved in bringing cases before it just carry on as before, as though treading water? I don't really understand what the actual, on the ground, impact of a ruling like this is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:54 PM
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438

Not enough district and circuit appointments now means bad options when a Supremes seat opens up, obviously.

Um, hello?! I'm right here.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:55 PM
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439

I see you more as a Pip than a Supreme, neb, but best of luck!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:56 PM
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440

It concerns me that I'm nearly certain that neb would do a better job on the bench than whomever is likely to be appointed next.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 5:58 PM
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441

437 cont'd: Or what the procedure is for figuring out whether or when the NLRB should politely dismiss its 3 allegedly illegitimate appointees, or what the timeline is. Is it only the Supreme Court who has authority to effect a dismissal of these board members?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:00 PM
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442

439 is funny.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:01 PM
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Finally: it occurred to me today that I don't mind Obama having dared to make questionable recess appointments -- when Congress was in fake-not-actually-recess, yo -- because we might as well get this ironed out one way or the other. The fake recess crap is obnoxious, after all, so let's get a ruling.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:08 PM
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444

Huh, I thought Bush had recess-appointed Steven Bradbury, but apparently he was just non-confirmed appointed for a couple years.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:22 PM
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445

Neb, you know you're near the top of my list, but you also know that that's one of many reasons no one will ever care who's on my list.


Posted by: Bave | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:28 PM
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446

435: I could team up with a research hairdresser. I'd rather work with a professional mermaid, though. The intersection of experimental physics and merperson studies is poorly explored.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:33 PM
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447

437 -- I suppose the government will move to have the mandate stayed pending their cert petition, and then get their petition in. Everyone who's got a proceeding before the board, or has been injured by anything the board has done for the last year, is looking to see how to raise this issue.

Reid should get these folks confirmed asap. It doesn't moot the case, but it limits the damage.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:34 PM
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448

437 I've seen it suggested that the decision invalidates all actions of the NLRB taken with the suspect members. That seems to me to open a Pandora's box as it brings into question all the actions of all recess appointees who don't meet the new standard, which is a whole bunch of people.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:35 PM
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449

448 -- I'm not sure what I think about board actions for which the time to appeal has run.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:37 PM
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450

Woot! AWB!!


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:37 PM
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451

(If I had a client with one, I know what I'd think. But I'm not sure how I'd proceed.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:42 PM
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447: I suppose the government will move to have the mandate stayed pending their cert petition

Thanks, Charley. I really was asking about the technicalities.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:46 PM
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453

Not that I really know what a cert petition is.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:49 PM
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That's how you ask the Supreme Court to take the case. You file a petition, the other side files a response, the clerks write a memo, the justices conference to decide whether to take the case. 4 votes required. They issue a briefing schedule, briefs get filed, they hear argument, 5 votes wins.

Not much to it.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:51 PM
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In the cert petition you tell them why its important that they take the case, in addition to why you should win. Cert is a lock, I think.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:53 PM
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456

Got it!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 6:54 PM
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CC can tell me if I am too cynical, but my guess is no way that Santelle takes that position on a GWB appointee. I don't think he's some kind of principled opponent of executive overreach, right? Unless done by a Democrat and a nigra to boot.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:26 PM
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458

Congrats, AWB!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:28 PM
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459

I've just caught up with the thread: congratulation to AWB at what must be a glorious relief, and a smile on her face. Also congrats to togolosh, who deserves to be able to build things at his own command.

I must say, though, I'm still having a hard time avoiding the image of neb as a Pip.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:33 PM
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neb just needs his Gladys.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:35 PM
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461

Just as long as neb avoids his Miss Havisham.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:47 PM
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462

And I am reminded of this Doonesbury strip.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 7:51 PM
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Oh my gosh, that seems rude. Surely it's not easy to be a Pip.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 8:02 PM
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464

Surely it's not easy to be a Pip.

s/b It's hard out there for a Pip.


Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:09 PM
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465

I am extremely bored. Would someone do something entertaining, please?


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:21 PM
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466

I suppose I could write this letter of recommendation that needs writing.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:21 PM
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467

Or I could read a book that needs reading.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:22 PM
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468

I could argue with you in the other thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:25 PM
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469

465: okay, wait, ready? Check this out


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:26 PM
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468: which thread? The one about meat? Sure, have at it. Though be warned, I suspect you'll win rather easily, as I'm not committed to any one position. I actually hoped that Halford would have something smart to say on the subject, but he's been off his game the last few days.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:31 PM
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469: cool.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:32 PM
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472

wait for it


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:36 PM
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473

Oh, that wasn't it? Tease.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:38 PM
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474

hold on


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:39 PM
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475

almost


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:41 PM
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476

okay BACKFLIP!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:44 PM
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477

464: YOU THINK IT'S THE PIPS THAT HAVE IT BAD?


Posted by: OPINIONATED JOHN OPENSHAW | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 9:44 PM
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478

Well done, AWB! Congratulations!


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 01-25-13 10:04 PM
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479

Congratulations on your wolf baby, AWB.

For everyone else, imagine Charlton Heston brought to his knees on a beach with the remains of the Statue of the Analogy Ban submerged in the sea before him.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 01-26-13 12:12 AM
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480

Great news, AWB. Congratulations!


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 01-26-13 12:29 AM
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481

Woot AWB: and also, I am so relieved that people you know were being shifty because of good news they couldn't talk about rather than bad news they wouldn't warn you about.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 01-26-13 2:17 PM
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