Re: Updates

1

Margaret is 4 and the light of my life; Bess is still a hell of a trouper.


Posted by: Harry Truman | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:28 AM
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I'm still dead.


Posted by: Francisco Franco | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 7:34 AM
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Re: the thread about when to have kids, I put 40k into paying off my husband's law school loans. He was eventually willing to start having kids, but it would be only because he promised and not because he wanted to. It felt like the decision would be: (1) have kids and risk divorce; (2) don't have kids but maintain a happy marriage. So I gave up pushing and am trying to focus on improving my career instead. I'm deeply sad about a life without kids, but I love my husband and I'd rather have a good marriage with him then start over with someone else.


Posted by: Martha Washington | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:35 AM
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Oh. That's sad. Nothing to be done about it from outside your marriage, but still sad. I have friends in your position, and I thought they were going to break up over it, but they're through it and seem happy, and he's contenting himself with being a really good uncle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:52 AM
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That is rough, Martha. I'm sorry for your loss, if that makes sense.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:56 AM
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3 was me, I just didn't want it too easily traceable in search engines.

4: Thank you for the sympathy. Our marriage has gotten so much better in the last year, and I'm trying very hard to focus on that. Also, since I'm overly concerned about stability, I can calm down about money now that I don't have to worry about saving for college for two kids.

We moved to Utah in part because it was a great place to raise kids. So now I can focus on where I want to live without kids. I'm thinking NYC. I really miss good art.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:58 AM
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And not to impugn gswift, but the Unfogged meetups are better.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:02 AM
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Plus maybe a baby'll just show up in the subway.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:03 AM
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8: I never use the trains. Clearly I need to start. People have such huge families here I often think I could just grab one of the toddlers and no one would notice for days! (Babies need a lot more attention so people would notice faster)


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:06 AM
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3: I can sympathize. I want kids but due to factors beyond my control it looks like it's not going to happen.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:07 AM
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The bay area has much better weather and natural beauty. And you can still go skiing!


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:09 AM
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11: The bay area would make the most sense career wise, since it has the highest concentration of patent jobs. Also, the birding is fantastic. The drawback is the traffic, the housing prices, and I didn't connect to the people when I lived there before (but I would do it very differently this time). Right now my ranking is: (1) NYC; (2) Pacific Northwest; (3) Bay Area.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:15 AM
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10: As Heebie rightly said, I'm sorry for your loss.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:16 AM
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Sorry, Liz. I've been thinking about you and your dilemma a lot lately. I'm glad you do have some good plans, and the future is a big place. And you wouldn't want to live here, but come visit any time!

There are sort of updates to my presidential situation but I don't feel like typing or talking about them right now and am not supposed to anyway. Everything drags on for a long time, but people are still optimistic and I'm trying to be supportive and helpful and whatnot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:20 AM
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15: Although, and don't answer if this is overly nosy, you said something about nests of vipers that indicated that someone was currently dealing with an active nest of vipers? Which indicated possibly that while the presidential situation had involved exit from one nest, at least a new nest had been found? Or did I misread entirely? (Or does none of this make any sense to you?)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:23 AM
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I also sympathise with 3. I would, I think, have liked children, but due to Mary's profoundly dysfunctional childhood and the fact that she had effectively raised two siblings and felt that that was enough, she was not willing to consider it. In her position I probably wouldn't have been either. I anm content. The important thing is that I married Mary for herself, not for our hypothetical children.

Also, had we had a family we wouldn't have been in a position to throw money at Mary's brother when his life went belly up. We felt no moral obligation to do so, but it made life easier for everybody, including his kids, that we could.


Posted by: Abraham Lincoln | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:24 AM
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Cut open a puppy and it'll be full of vipers. Every time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:26 AM
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15: No, no new jobs, just detoxing from the old one, which is still pretty viper-heavy and still in the rear-view mirror until the whole legal process works itself out someday. Though there's at least a tentative timeline on that now, and maybe by summer we'll know more. She had an offer (not an actual job offer, but recommendation about an open job) to do something I think would be interesting in a non-profit we like yesterday, but decided she wasn't interested after I'd already proofred her cover letter and rewritten my encouraging email to her about why I think a move to a non-profit would be good on multiple levels, so I was grumpy about that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:26 AM
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14: I might take you up on your offer. Your kids are so adorable and happy. Also your house is awesome.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:33 AM
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I will say that while I work on cases similar to your presidential situation for a number of state agencies, down the hall from me are the people who work on similar cases for state employers of the puppy/viper nature. And boy do they get a lot of them, and boy are they epic and complicated. My agencies don't get themselves into nearly that much trouble. (Well, I have one pet snakepit, but it still doesn't compare. And they still mostly don't seem to break the law, they're just such an awful place to work that people sue them anyway.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:33 AM
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20: It was complicated because it (IMO) broke school policy and city law but not federal or state, or not clearly enough that the fed agency was willing to take it up, which was this week's update. So now we move to the private arena where things will actually get resolved one way or another. The lawyer keeps reassuring us this one is surprisingly clear-cut and I know there are non-vipers who will have all sorts of useful testimony, but I'm so ready for it all to be over and sick of the role I've had to play in all of this.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:36 AM
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I'd like to extend a full and abject apology to anyone lurking who can't follow the above because of all the idiotic coded language. This is just going to be that kind of thread.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:38 AM
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"Idiotic" meant to apply to my posts, not anyone else's.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:39 AM
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What coded language? I was talking about literally slicing open a puppy and watching snakes slither out of it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:40 AM
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Yeah, sorry, I said I wasn't going to talk about it and then talked about it. And that's why in the other thread I didn't confirm I meant how do you get over working in a pit of vipers when you'd thought they were not quite as viper-y as it turned out to be, because I realized I probably didn't want to talk about it that much. (Not that I'm not wanting to talk about it now, LB, so don't feel bad.)

LizS, I'm totally serious about an open invitation. If nothing else, clearly my upstairs room is never going to get cleaned and organized unless there's a guest who's going to use it. Plus, the girls are absolutely adorable and happy, especially when they have new people to harass.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:45 AM
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2010 didn't mark quite the finality that I anticipated. There was a great deal of anguish on my part, and on the part of Mrs. Harrison, who came to know. There was one further furtive encounter that ended before it got out of hand. And there was a long, painful period of grief, from which I have now almost fully recovered.


Posted by: William Henry Harrison | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:48 AM
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Sounds like it's time for ... Sneak attack plausible deniability pregnancy.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:51 AM
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Ok, not really. And I'm sorry about your situation, which just sucks.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:54 AM
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I am still suicidally depressed and on medication, seeing a therapist, going to a therapy group, and "taking it easy." Apparently it is possible to limp along like this for quite a bit longer than I thought. I have an amazing (to me) ability to rally in the short term, so I can be perfectly cheerful and lively when circumstances demand -- which is daily. The discrepancy between that outward healthiness and the underlying, immovable despair is pretty strange, and I wonder if it's actively damaging to have such a pulverized sense of self. On bad days, it seems like there's nothing at all to hold onto. On good days, everything arranges itself neatly around me and hovers long enough to give a delightful semblance of stability, until I'm all Romanticism, get thee behind me, and then there's another bad day.

I will also divulge that I need to find a (new, "real") job by July or so, and while it would be hard to write cover letters and Link the Ins under the best of circumstances... well, jesus.

The anhedonia and lack of catharsis are probably the worst parts of this. As I said, I'm uncannily functional in short bursts, and what is life but a bunch of 3-hour stretches? I know I can't wander through art museums bawling all day. I could get out more, though. (I discovered my long-missing transit pass tucked inside a pile of neglected work papers yesterday. That was just awesome. Progress!) I continue to appreciate all your kindness, and your indulgence in reading long comments like this one.

Also, sympathies to LizS and Thorn. Having seen a divorce-with-small-children up close recently, Liz, I fully endorse your marriage-first position. Fully. At least in the medium-term.


Posted by: redacted | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:40 AM
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(2) Pacific Northwest

It's beautiful, I can promise you that. It would be fun to have another PNW commenter.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:42 AM
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People sometimes forget that the Pacific Northwest extends to the Continental Divide.

Best of luck to all.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:48 AM
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I'd like to extend a full and abject apology to anyone lurking who can't follow the above because of all the idiotic coded language. This is just going to be that kind of thread.

So in a fight between a viper and a wolf cub, who would win?


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:51 AM
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And since I did end up complaining, I'll say that my life and relationship are surprisingly(?) good right now. It's nice to have someone home so I can start laundry before I leave for work and find it folded when I get home. What we have now is working fine and we're not in any difficulty. I'm mostly bothered by deeper worries and complaints, but that's partly just my personality.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:02 PM
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I've been told that there's lots of good birding in our general neck of the woods, and we love houseguests too (as long as they don't mind hanging out with a--tomorrow!--three year old, naturally).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:26 PM
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I wish someone would invent self-folding laundry. I'm at home today and started some laundry, and even put it in the dryer, but if it doesn't up and fold itself it seems very unlikely to me that it will end up in such a state before tomorrow (or, you know, Monday).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:28 PM
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I still haven't had sex with someone other than my spouse.

He recently revealed to me that he is deeply depressed so my desire to be with another person seems like a complete impossibility right now. The way in which his depression effects our relationship is that he relies on me to be even-keeled so that I am sort of a stabilizing floor that stops him from becoming even more depressed. And while I am generally pretty even-keeled, I feel forced into pretending I'm someone I'm not because I can't talk about the big things in my life with him.

Clearly we have bigger problems than me just wanting to have sex with other people.


Posted by: Hillary Clinton | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:30 PM
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34: Allow me to be the first to wish the shrublet a happy birthday!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:30 PM
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And not to impugn gswift, but the Unfogged meetups are better.

Yeah, but what about the impromptu ones where her husband kind of but not quite explicitly if you just illegally put a beatdown on a hobo? Bet you don't have those!


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:35 PM
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Uh, put an "asks" in there.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:36 PM
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38, 39: Yes, put an "ask" in there, please! He had a bit too much to drink that night, as if it weren't abundantly clear from the slurring. But, um, sorry about that.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 12:57 PM
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34: I should make it out there. My friend is frequently posting pictures of wildlife from a nearby pond. The risk, though, is I might steal that three-year old (happy birthday!).


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:03 PM
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Honestly, I thought it was pretty funny and usually would just come over and introduce myself except that that guy in particular had already threatened to get up and kick my ass, the EMT's asses, etc. and my job was to make sure he kept his butt on the ground and didn't start swinging again.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:06 PM
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I could have written 29: I am thinking about entering the Guinness World Record competition for fastest mood swings.


Posted by: Also redacted | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:12 PM
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42: Wait, you mean this conversation took place in medias res? Mr. Spigot, three sheets to the wind, decided to interrogate a random policeman about how he was treating an arrestee and it turned out to be you?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:21 PM
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Yup. Mr. Spigot and I were walking down the street when Mr. Spigot sees a homeless guy on the ground bleeding and a cop standing next to him. Mr. Spigot assumed that gswift beat him up because Mr. Spigot really doesn't like cops. But Mr. Spigot was drunk so I distracted him and we went back to walking down the street.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:24 PM
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45: Wait, but you'd already had a meetup and at least you and gswift, if not gswift and Mr. S., recognized each other, right? Because it seemed like gswift posted about it as soon as he got off that shift.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:27 PM
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45: now the new standard to by which all future unfogged meetups will be judged.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:29 PM
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29: FWIW I could have written big chunks of that myself not too long ago. Now I'm really pretty cheerful despite having some big sources of stress in my life.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:30 PM
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45: Yowza. No coincidence is too implausible in the Mineshaft.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:31 PM
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46: He posted about it? Woops! I missed that. I've met gswift, but my husband hasn't. I recognized gswift in the middle of Mr. Spigot giving him a hard time, and I tried to say "Hey" buuut, it didn't really work with the drunk husband.

Btw, Mr. Spigot has never done something like this, so of course he had to do it in this crazy situation.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:32 PM
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There should be a German word for the time when the cop holding down the violent bloody hobo turns out to be your wife's pseudonymous internet friend.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:33 PM
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Not sure how the "to" got in there...


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:34 PM
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That is such an awesome story. Isn't there another story about someone at a conference, and Gswift turns out to be the cop patrolling the conference?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:35 PM
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It was pretty funny for me, probably less so for Liz. I'm standing next to this guy and at the same time I recognize her he's "WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT MAN" and totally gives me a look that says he thinks I'm lying after I tell him it's a drunken hobo fight. She's kind of tugging on his arm and trying to say something to him and he follows up my reply with "Is that what REALLY happened?"


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:36 PM
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Coincidentally, I woke up this morning sort of looking like that guy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:38 PM
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Did you just illegally put a beatdown on a hobo is the new who wants to sex Mutombo.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:40 PM
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Anyhow, long story short, gswift broke Liz Spigot's husband's nose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:40 PM
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and Gswift turns out to be the cop patrolling the conference

It's better than that. It was the ATT shareholders meeting and I (along with with over 30 other guys) were hired specifically to guard the meeting because Sir Kraab and her union agitators were coming. We had a meetup the day before. A lot of cops were laughing about how they hired 35 guys like a bunch of terrorists were threatening the place when the reality is that some of the union people just wanted verbally take the brass to task during the Q&A time.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:40 PM
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Gswift supposes LizSpigot's husband's noses were roses.
But Gswift supposes erroneously.
For LizSpigot's husband, he knowses his noses weren't roses
As Gswift supposes his noses to be.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:41 PM
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Anyhow, long story short, Sir Kraab broke gswift's nose.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:42 PM
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58: I missed that too! So funny! Did you talk to Sir Kraab while you were protecting the shareholders?


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:44 PM
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I still can't believe "hobo" is a regular word now. When I was growing up, the homeless were "homeless," and "hobo" only referred to cartoon characters from bugs bunny with a stick with a bag on the end of it. Hobos could also be in songs written during the great depression. But no way, no way, did any hobos exist after 1950. Only homeless people.

This bothers me.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:45 PM
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I can't believe I didn't incorporate "hoboes" into 59.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:46 PM
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Gswift supposes LizSpigot's husband's noses were hoboes.
But Gswift supposes erroneously.
For LizSpigot's husband, he knowses his noses weren't hoboes.
As Gswift supposes his hoboes to be.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:47 PM
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The stick with a bag on it is called a bindle, helpy-chalk. Or a toteless.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:48 PM
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62 -- I don't think it is, outside of Unfogged. Or, I mean, there are people who are still traditional rail-riding hobos. But I don't think it's been extended to all homeless people.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:48 PM
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Did you talk to Sir Kraab while you were protecting the shareholders?

Saw her walking around a couple times with her union thug friends (cleverly disguised as old telecom workers in red t shirts) but no, I was behind the scenes most of the time guarding their little room where they were tallying votes.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:49 PM
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I don't think it is, outside of Unfogged.

It's not around here, I just think it has a hint of awesomeness that "transient" doesn't.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:51 PM
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Right. I guess there was the film "Hobo With a Shotgun." But no one calls ordinary homeless guy on the streets hobos, at least IME IRL.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 1:52 PM
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Hobo is absolutely a regular word now, with scope dictated by age-- for 6th graders, coming to school with a hole in your shirt is hobo. It's a friendly, deprecatory word, not an insult to them. I guess I shouldn't admit to reading questionable contant, it appears there also.

Adding the request to find old pseudonymous confessions in the archives increased the acticvation energy for participation by several orders of magnitude. I remember which presidents I have been, but not what I actually wrote.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:00 PM
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66: My children and everyone at their schools says "hobos." When that law firm that did foreclosures had a Halloween party mocking the people they had recently evicted, they called it a "hobo" party.

It is a thing. That is weird.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:00 PM
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70: My fourth grader uses it to describe the actual homeless people she has seen. It was more scared than affectionate.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:02 PM
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My kids say "hobo" but I figured that was just because I'm always telling work stories. I'll have to ask them if it's a thing with the youth now.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:04 PM
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I stand corrected.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:04 PM
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A more careful description of kid usage I've heard: it can be a friendly deprecation, like sketchy, but is also useful as a real description of someone destitute or dissheveled, per 72


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:05 PM
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We are more or less OK and feeling like our recognizable selves again. The grief from the second abortion/termination wasn't as shocking, although some of my behaviors got strangely compulsive for a few weeks (very driven house cleaning, reading babyloss stories, searching lifestyle blogs for something). That seems to have eased up. I tear up for my boys about daily, but I don't think that's worrisome.

These days are all about tracking down an explanation. Reading about syndromes and arranging genetic tests and costs and insurance. We've tested some stuff and it came back normal. We are just about out of things to test for, so as of this week, I'm getting used to the idea that we will not know an answer in time to be diagnostic if we conceive soon. (If we go with the most comprehensive test, we have about a 40% chance of isolating the problem. That would be nice, because then we could test earlier in the pregnancy. But it takes months.) We have to be willing to go through another 24 week pregnancy, knowing that the hydrocephalus doesn't develop until after week 20. I think we are, although now I'm trying to guess how hard twenty weeks of dread will be and if we're resilient enough to get through them.

My friends have done well in all this. The ones that stayed current can now talk easily about results of this and that test, and we do joke about the situation. I don't like to be around pregnant people or infants, so I can't stick around for the Babysplosian (which is unfortunate timing, no worse). Now I hang out at the babyloss forums, which is not so well punctuated nor responsive to much black humor.


Posted by: anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:11 PM
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"Hobo Ken"--a politically incorrect version of "Bro' Ken."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:11 PM
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YOLO, hobo, BOGO.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:11 PM
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73: Where did the hobo gladiator game occur so I can avoid that area? Please tell me it wasn't near my work.

There was a point where my work was thinking about moving our office to a less savory (but not actually dangerous) part of town and my husband was trying to get our boss to hand out switch blades with the firm's logo on them. Our boss was not amused.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:12 PM
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Peripherally, an english word with a suffix, houmlesaci, has become the preferred way to refer to the homeless in Czech, supplanting the previous native word bezdomovce, which I had first heard in the nineties.

I wonder whether emotionally charged words for social status are unusually volatile; Here's a quick n-gram for English words.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:14 PM
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49: Yowza. No coincidence is too implausible in the Mineshaft.

Beats mine from my first meet-up where I decided to walk from Manhattan to the meet-up in Brooklyn and ran into my brother and sister-in-law on an otherwise nearly-deserted Atlantic Avenue after having basically lied to them (I blamed the internet) to get out of seeing them that evening. That was one of my excuses for getting drunker than I wanted to that evening. (It was in fact a bit unnerving.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:18 PM
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78: HoBo Tagu Siam.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:18 PM
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Where did the hobo gladiator game occur so I can avoid that area?

The main areas are of course right around the shelter between 200 and 300 S on Rio Grande and 500 W and Pioneer Park. The west side of Main at 268 S there gets a bit of it but for the most part that stuff is just intra shithead violence and doesn't involve regular people.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:19 PM
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76: Glad for the update; can totally understand why you're scarce for the babysplosion season. And glad to hear that you guys are coping reasonably, and good thoughts your way towards a fullterm, healthy pregnancy.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:20 PM
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76: I missed the original posting about this. I'm so incredibly sorry for your loss. My SIL found out that her baby had genetic defects that were too great to survive at 22 weeks and had to terminate. She's currently fighting with her insurance company about performing genetic tests. I can't even imagine how hard that must be.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:22 PM
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When I was a kid, we referred to the guys who slept in the vacant lot across the street, pitching tents and lighting well-hidden campfires, as hobos--while the guys in the commercial district with shopping carts, sleeping on benches, as homeless.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:22 PM
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76. Glad you're doing better. I can't imagine how hard it would be to keep trying under those circumstances.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:25 PM
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If your SIL is struggling disproportionately, I can point her towards some emotional resources. There are facets of termination that generalized baby loss groups don't address well. (Also, after reading several years of archives on termination for medical reasons, some real consistent themes. It might help her to know that her reactions are appropriate for that type of loss.)


Posted by: anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:27 PM
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88: I think she's okay right now, but she had at least one miscarriage before this and there's some indication that she might always have this problem when trying to conceive. Which is in part why they're fighting with the insurance company to do the tests.

I saw the Empty Cradle book in the other thread and I'll see if I can tactfully mention that book to her. I'd also like to stab her coworker who was complaining to her the other day because the coworker was experiencing an unwanted but healthy pregnancy. Fuck that bitch.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:33 PM
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I should say, unexpected rather than unwanted.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:35 PM
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Eh. Once you've crossed the threshold where a healthy pregancy is a privilege rather than the norm, pregnant people basically can't do anything right. It isn't their fault and I'm sure I will like them again when my situation is resolved one way or the other.


Posted by: anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:40 PM
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For what it's worth, anon, I've thought of you a lot recently.

Liz, I'm amusing myself thinking of areas where you could best nab a toddler without someone noticing right away. Probably not the Avenues.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:50 PM
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Well, I'm no longer incredibly stressed out by the situation with my apartment, but I'm not sure things are actually improved.

I'm now locked out of the place (there's one lock on the door I was never given a key to). I got most, but not all, of my belongings out beforehand, and she sent me an email offering to exchange my tax documents for the keys, with no mention of my other belongings.

I'm not actually worried about recovering the documents, because it should be fairly easy to call my banks and get additional copies. Considering what's happened, I'm a bit worried about identify theft and fraud, though. But, I suppose there's nothing I can do about it at this point.


Posted by: upp | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:52 PM
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92: I work down the street from City Creek. It would be so easy! I saw one today on 100 S and his parents were letting him toddle five feet behind them.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:55 PM
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Sure there is. At this point, she's flatly wrong. Respond to her email and make sure you get in any facts not clear from hers, and demand that she let you in to get your stuff and return your deposit. Next step, if that doesn't work, call the police and ask for help getting your stuff back. If she doesn't return your deposit now, go to small claims court for it -- the email where she's making unreasonable demands in return for letting you into an apartment you're paying rent on should be enough to get you a judgment.

Now that she's the one breaking the lease, you're in a much, much stronger position.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:57 PM
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Seriously, this is much, much better if you want your deposit back. Now she's evicted you, rather than you wanting to break the lease because she's crazy.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 2:58 PM
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Yep, call the cops. You've got a lease, and she has to let you in.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 3:00 PM
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Thanks, Cala.


Posted by: anon for this one | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 3:00 PM
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Well, that's good news. Or, as good as I'm going to hear about this situation. Thanks, all.


Posted by: upp | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 3:07 PM
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A lot of cops were laughing about how they hired 35 guys like a bunch of terrorists were threatening the place when the reality is that some of the union people just wanted verbally take the brass to task during the Q&A time.

I think the company somehow got in its head that we were going to go all Occupy on their ass. The upside was that I got to see gswift in his guise as a regular guy talking about hiking over a vegan lunch and as a jack-booted fascist of the highest order.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 3:08 PM
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76:

Thanks for the updates, anon (and Liz and Abraham, and others who have posted).

Sometimes it just doesn't seem right to say, whatever happened with the tough thing you mentioned.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 6:35 PM
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Yeah, I echo Will's thanks to everyone who returned anonymously in this thread - I'm glad to have updates on these ongoing situations.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:25 PM
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I had the teenager who got mad at me and accused her stepfather of abuse so she could move in with her father, who had declined to take her voluntarily.

The emergency fact finding hearing started about a year later. My daughter testified for the 1.5 days allotted, then we continued 3 months later. After she finished, my lawyer called me and I testified for a few minutes. Then the judge called the lawyers into her chambers, then we had lunch.

When we returned, the judge asked my lawyer if he had any motions he wanted to make, and he moved for the case to be dismissed due to lack of evidence. She then dismissed the case against me, but not my husband.

My lawyer then turned to me and said that he could not present the case he had spent $150,000 worth of hours preparing. My defense was NOT going to be that he might have done it but I didn't know about it; it was going to be that he didn't do it and she was lying. My husband's lawyer turned to him and said that since he now needed to handle the case himself, he would need at least another $75,000. My husband decided to give up, divorce me, and accept an order of protection until the younger children are 18. The kid who accused him had already turned 18 by this time.

I am convinced that if my lawyer had told me during lunch that the judge had reminded him that he forgot to do this at the appropriate time, hinting that she was thinking of dismissing it, I would have told him to go on and present the case. If he had done it at the right time as a formality, and been surprised by the result, I couldn't have faulted him. However, I think I should have made the decision.

Then the ACS announced their intention to file an appeal saying that since I had testified for a few minutes, they had the right to cross-examine me. We didn't hear anything until right before the deadline (9 months), when they asked for an extension because the lawyer assigned to it decided that s/he knew one of my children. Several months after that, my lawyer billed me another $50,000 (despite the fact that it was due to his making a rookie mistake), and lost the appeal . At this point, my parents had no more equity in their house and I told him to settle. As the other side knew that I was out of money, the settlement was going to be pretty punitive.

Then I got billed $8000 in a month where, really, nothing was happening, and I had to give up my private attorney. The judge was generous enough to appoint a public defender. Realizing that I could now afford to go to trial, with the judge already not convinced by their case, the settlement suddenly became more attractive. Basically it was dismissed a year later, after ACS said I didn't abuse any of my kids during that time.

My middle child, having given up on the adults dealing with her misery at living with her father, had her lawyer negotiate for her to go to boarding school. She is now in her first year of college. The youngest is with me half the time and with her father half the time--actually 49/51 rather than 50/50, so that I still owe him child support. It's not a lot because he makes about 6 times my income.

His second wife, who didn't want children, got tired of having mine dumped on her (among other things) and left him. The kids like his new girlfriend, who is apparently pregnant, much better anyway. My falsely accused husband has remarried and is happy, although every time he enters the country he is held up because of the one order of protection still in place. I have also remarried and I'm happy too. I am paying $500/month toward the cash advances I took out to pay the lawyers. When I finish, I'll start paying my parents' mortgage.

In hindsight, I should have saved the approximately $350,000 we spent on lawyers and just given up the kids and the marriage the day after the cops took them.

The oldest kid still hasn't spoken to me (5 1/2 years now). She really has only 2 choices: she can be a person who was abused but courageously fought back, or she can be a person who made a rash claim in a moment of anger and didn't have the courage to admit it. If she ever does approach me, it will probably be not because of remorse, but because she wants to manipulate her father. Such is the nature of personality disorders, and I might be better off without her in my life.

I think most of the people involved really thought they were protecting my children from me. The ACS caseworkers were mostly undereducated and overworked. The cop who arrested my husband was quite honest and professional at every step, as far as I could tell. The ACS attorney did a couple of things that I consider unethical, but she is paid to win, not to find the truth. The "forensic investigator" was a joke: she never even spoke to me because, as she wrote, my ex-husband told her that I was crazy so she didn't think it necessary. She never even knew that there had been a big argument about the boyfriend coming over without permission, or several previous unsuccessful attempts to convince dad to let her move in. Nor did the judge. Heck, if I had heard only her half of the story, I might have believed it too.

The moral of the story? If you are ever falsely accused, you probably cannot afford to defend yourself. We were lucky that it was all civil, and cost us only our money and our relationships. Think of all of the Americans in prison.


Posted by: Shamhat | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 8:36 PM
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I'm glad I'm really drunk because that is horribly depressing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:25 PM
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Holy shit, that sounds like a horrific experience in every way.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:27 PM
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I was all ready to leave the bar, but some guy talking about the time he spent as a Green Beret bought me a round so I had to get him one and now I'm more drunk than I wanted to be.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:30 PM
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Uh, 105 to 103, of course. Getting drunk at a bar doesn't sound particularly horrific.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:33 PM
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It's been a weird night, but not actually bad in any way.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:35 PM
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The moral of the story? If you are ever falsely accused, you probably cannot afford to defend yourself.

No indeed, not to the tune of $350,000.

What shockingly life-changing events, Shamhat. I'd extend a hand in friendship, because it sure sounds like you need it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:38 PM
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I'm glad I'm really drunk because that is horribly depressing.

WORD. I'm going to have a few mote.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:45 PM
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Now I want a drink. I'm taking a month off after getting so blackout drunk I pissed myself. I don't really know what to do with myself at night.


Posted by: Ulysses Grant | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 9:57 PM
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What an awful story, Shamhat.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:02 PM
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Yes, awful, horrific. And you don't know me, but if you did, you would never have expected this. I was a stay at home mother, La Leche League leader, went to every school field trip. Never spanked. Let my kids choose their own consequences after discussion. Encouraged them to get along with their father after the divorce, including covering for him (he was an uninterested parent). If this can happen to me, it can happen to anyone.


Posted by: Shamhat | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 10:12 PM
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I still can't believe "hobo" is a regular word now.

I was surprised recently to talk to a few other people of roughly my age who thought it was just another word for "homeless" and didn't know anything about the riding the rails thing.

But I was even more surprised when my mom mentioned at Christmas that there was a hobo in the family when she younger.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:14 PM
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The reigning king of the hobos explains thusly: a hobo travels and works, a tramp travels but does not work, a bum does neither. He was eligible to be elected king in 2012 based on having ridden the rails in the 1940s -- if you've illegally ridden the rails even once, you're a hobo.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:26 PM
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John Hodgman made it big with his history of hoboes. So it's his fault.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:31 PM
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Hmm, Google trends doesn't support my theory.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 1-13 11:39 PM
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Hey, people have been riding the rails a lot more recently than the 1940s.

Good movie.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 12:10 AM
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Shamhat: I'm so sorry for all that you've been through. I don't know if there's anything anyone else can do at this point other than offer you our sympathy, but for what it's worth, you certainly have my sympathy. I hope you are able to find healing and peace.

I'm working on an update of my own, but I didn't want to wait before posting this.


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 3:20 AM
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That really is insanely awful. My sympathies, Shamhat.


Posted by: X. Trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 4:22 AM
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I was thinking about writing an update here anyway, so this thread is my excuse to do so. I've been writing pseudo-presidentially here for years, but maybe this thread has one of the better discussion of our issues.

Anyhow, there's been a major new development in my life recently - my wife and I are switching marriage counselors to someone who is kink-positive. Already we have found it easier to talk with her about our sexual issues than our previous marriage counselor, who we have been seeing for nearly ten years. The new counselor is also a lot more helpful with just vanilla sexual suggestions. Our first session, she noticed a reference to my E.D. issues on my intake questionaire, and she asked if I'd ever thought about using a cock ring. Um, no I hadn't, but now that she's mentioned it, I totally should look into that. Particularly since my issues there are not about getting erections, but sustaining them long enough to have intercourse. If it works, it will be cheaper and quicker than the pills, with fewer side effects.

This change of counselors has been a long time in the works. I asked my wife about switching to a more kink-positive counselor a few years back, after I started getting good results seeing a kink-positive counselor individually. She wasn't ready to switch at that time, and was concerned that someone who was identified as kink-positive would be too likely to side with me against her. So I continued to see our existing marriage counselor (EMC) with her, and tried to use my individual counselor (IC) as a resource to cover stuff that we weren't getting from EMC. But it's been awkward - my wife didn't want to consider even vanilla sexual suggestions that had originated from IC (or that she guessed had come from IC), and we weren't getting any of that from EMC.

One complicating factor is that it became clear back when I was starting to work with IC that EMC was decidedly *not* kink-positive. She was really supportive of my desire to go back into individual therapy up until I made it clear that I was looking for a specifically kink-positive therapist. At that point, EMC told me that she thought I was making a big mistake, and that what I really needed to do was work with someone to discover the bigger picture so that I wouldn't need to be kinky. So I used IC to help keep myself sane while working with EMC on the communication side of our marriage, since that is who my wife was willing to see. That's helped some, but actual progress on the sexual front has been excruciatingly slow.

A few months ago, IC passed away suddenly. Since then, I've been seeing one of her collegues, TC, who's a wonderful therapist, but didn't have the specific background working with the kink community that I was looking for. I agreed to work with her as a transitional counselor (hence TC), while looking for a new kink-positive therapist. I found such a new counselor (NC - hope the initials aren't getting too confusing here), and originally approached her about working with her individually, as I had done with IC. But the question quickly came up about whether it wouldn't be better to work with her as a couple, which lead me to reopen the question about seeing a new marriage counselor with my wife. After a couple of months of pretty delicate negotiations (much aided by some discussions I had with TC), my wife agreed to meet with me and NC for one session, without committing to anything beyond that. It turns out that my wife was much more comfortable with NC than she had expected, and within the first couple of sessions, we've both been able to relax and open up much more frankly with NC about our sex life than we ever had been able to do with EMC. So we've decided to switch marriage counselors, which is the biggest single step to help work things out that I've been hoping to do for years.

There's still a lot of work to be done, and it's not at all automatic that we will be able to successfully resolve all our issues. But I'm feeling a lot more positive about our marriage and the prospects that we actually will be able to find a way to work things out than I have in several years. And the new perspective has already paid some dividends in our sex life, and the way we talk about it together. So I'll close for now with the words of Winston Churchill, "Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 4:37 AM
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Shamhat, I'm so, so sorry. I think you're really right to generalize about the presumption that parents who are investigated are bad and unreliable about their own experiences. That's something I've definitely seen as a foster parent and it terrifies me. I've gone out of my way to get at what I believe is a more truthful version of what's going on and I do advocate for parents with the caseworkers and chilldren's lawyers, but I have no standing and what I say doesn't matter. I just feel so lucky that I don't believe any of the children placed with us were in care for bogus reasons. I still do believe that happens and am very much aware that my own assumptions could be wrong.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 5:29 AM
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I am so sorry, Shamhat.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 6:08 AM
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EDguy,
Very glad for that there might be some movement toward resolution--especially as a unit!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 7:13 AM
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|| Not a personal story, and no presidents involved. Folks may recall that my town is under federal investigation for being too lenient on rape. We just finished a two week trial, front page of the paper every day, everyone you meet was following it pretty closely (and a bunch of people were going to the courthouse to watch it). Defendant was the quarterback of the college football team (and college football is absolutely a big a deal here as anywhere you'd care to think of [ie including State College, South Bend, Norman, wherever]). It was a straight up he said she said.

She has him over to her house late to watch a movie in the bedroom. Takes his shirt off, takes her shirt off. They kiss a bit. She says she told him to stop, he says she didn't and if she had he'd have stopped. They have sex. She gives him a ride home.

He gets arrested. Suspended from team. Suspension erroneously lifted, and coach is quoted saying he's a good kid. Coach and AD summarily fired, suspension reinstated.

Defense makes something of a deal of anti-rape culture: health professionals look like advocates, prosecutors like they're trying to prove the feds wrong. Defense also tries to make it look like she didn't really cry enough in the weeks after. Testimony from her own family -- and they clearly believed her version (people who watched tell me) -- calls other aspects of her testimony into question. (Was she bullied as a kid, what role did she play in family stability). He testifies and sticks to his story.

Acquittal yesterday after two and a half hours of deliberation. Widely viewed as a legally correct result even by people who think her version more likely than his: reasonable doubt isn't that tough to make, when he testifies and seems sincere.

No idea what the feds are going to make of this. I think it's pretty clear that the case would not have been brought if the federal investigation wasn't going on: the county attorney couldn't have been confident of conviction, and doesn't want to charge people "falsely."

Hard to think that the next victim is going to be eager to press a case. |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 11:23 AM
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80: Russian has or had a word "bomzh", which sounded to be a calque of "bum" but was also an acronym for "without a defined place to live." (Bez Opredelennogo Mesta Zhit'.)

I can't think what I've gone presidential on. I think I was JFK when I was trying to decide whether to spend a zillion dollars to go to the Kennedy School for a year but I obviously didn't.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 12:51 PM
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D'oh. That was me.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 1:02 PM
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Re: 103
That is a truly horrible story. I hope things continue to improve.

I can't remember if I shared this presidentially or not, but I have a cousin who was falsely accused of molesting his kids by his nutter ex-wife. I'm not sure how much money he spent defending himself, but it was at least $150K or so. He prevailed, and got custody, and he and the kids are doing well. Luckily, he makes enough money that the huge financial hit was something he could deal with pretty well, but still, his parents mortgaged the family farm to cover the bills at the time. Kafkaesque as anything.


Posted by: William Howard Taft | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 2:02 PM
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I was commenting as President Fillmore about various reproductive travails. Your sympathy at the time was very valuable, and the offer to write a joint letter of complaint to the hospital made Mrs. K-sky laugh during an otherwise unfunny time.

I've since come clean since then that that was me and that we are now grateful to be part of the Babysplosion.

Anon for this one, all best luck, love and peace.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 2:15 PM
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Not to be glib here, but isn't part of the problem the lawyers, or at least the system where you can financially ruin someone else just by making them spend the money to defend themselves if you're dedicated enough to stick to your accusations?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 2:40 PM
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Ulysses - good for you for doing something about it. Friend of mine just admitted that she thinks she and her husband are alcoholics - hard to know quite what to say: no, you're fine! Yes, I thought you were a lush! (I didn't.)

Shamhat - what a shitty time, so sorry you have suffered through all of that.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 5:52 PM
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Asilon--thanks. Some days are easier than others. Today is a good one. What I'm really worried about at this point is whether I'll be able to handle it after the month is up.


Posted by: Ulysess Grant | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 7:50 PM
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130 -- Nothing glib about it: the transaction costs of litigation all but rule it out as a reasonable option for nearly everyone nearly all the time. Not that criminal (or civil) defendants have much option, except for abject surrender on the state/opponent's terms. Some people are willing to understand this right away, others have to learn the hard way, managing to confuse themselves with concepts like justice.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 8:11 PM
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133: I did some work for a guy who loved having one particular very expensive firm in town working for the other side. He said winning was much easier when the person on the other side had to fight a two-front war.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 8:19 PM
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12, 34: birding

I'm moderately pleased that I've managed to arrange a side trip to Patagonia, AZ during a late-breaking and otherwise half-assed business trip out that way. It is certainly above my pay grade as a birder, but what I'm really looking forward to (where's VW?) is staying at a remote B&B in the area. I'll be disappointed if I don't have to climb many rough-hewn steps to my monkish adobe cell. I'd liveblog it, but even in the remote chance there is wireless I'd hate to despoil the spontaneity of the B&B experience with such a debased, quotidian activity.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 8:58 PM
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Patagonia is awesome!!! I will email you a recommendation for where I stayed. It wasn't monkish, but it was simple and the woman who runs it has a beautiful garden where you can see hummingbirds and thrashers. If you're looking for a guide, I had a fantastic one.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 9:17 PM
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Enjoy Patagonia! Lurid and I were out that way a few years ago as part of my annual-ish Tucson family visit. It was the wrong time of year for a lot of the sights at Madera Canyon ("I thought it was going to be like a Disney movie," said my dad, ruefully), but we did get to see a) a band of eight Mexican jays trying like hell to take apart a fallen trunk, b) flock of turkeys, c) Painted Redstart.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 9:24 PM
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136: Thanks, but I've already got a reservation at one. I think I know the one you are talking about and it had no availability. I am flying out at dark-thirty in the morning and spending tomorrow evening there. (I'm still up due to bad time-management skills.)

137: Yeah, any chance to drive/wander around the backroads of the desert southwest is usually rewarded in some way.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 9:35 PM
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Sort of a different type of update from the rest of the thread, but I had my second date with Boss Niece today. I think it went well, but parts of it were very confusing so I'm not totally sure.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 2-13 11:45 PM
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It's late and nobody seems to be around, so I'll just summarize what happened and people can respond tomorrow or whatever. It was weird and I'm not sure how to interpret it, so I would appreciate some feedback.

We met this morning downtown and watched some of the ceremonial start of the Iditarod. We didn't actually watch very much, because unless you are really into it and know a lot about the individual mushers it all looks pretty much the same. Then she suggested going to the museum, which was free last weekend and we thought might be free again this weekend. It wasn't, plus she was wearing heavy-duty Carhartt overalls and was overheating in the heated building, so we instead went to see some Rondy stuff outdoors. We stopped by the Carnival, the fur auction, and the snow sculptures (which were really cool). At the latter we ate some reindeer sausages, then we got some coffee and drove up to an overview in the foothills from which we could see the whole city. After that we stopped by the mall in that part of town to see the Native arts market (also part of Rondy). Then we went back downtown. We stopped at the mall there and had some slushies, then went over to watch the Running of the Reindeer.

It was super crowded, so we couldn't see very well and didn't stay for the whole thing. When we left we went to a bar. After a couple of drinks I said I was thinking of ordering some food, and she suggested that instead we could go back to her place (!) and make something. That sounded good to me, so away we went.

When we got to her house we started watching O Brother Where Art Thou? while she made dinner (salmon and rice; it was very good). Once the food was ready we ate it while watching the rest of the movie. When it was done she offered to drive me home. I was totally not expecting that but accepted. So she drove me home. When we got to my place and were saying goodbye I said today had been fun and we should hang out again soon. She agreed and seemed to have second thoughts about calling it a night, but neither of us pursued that further and I got out of the car. I went into my building and she drove away.

So yeah, I dunno. Hella mixed signals on her part (and maybe mine too?). I'm pretty sure she likes me, but I'm finding her very difficult to read.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:33 AM
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The simplest explanation is that she is in the early stages of getting to know you, wants to continue doing so, and the invitation to her place was made out of convenience and unselfconsciously. For a second date between two people who aren't super aggressively romantic or hormy, that sounds just fine.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:39 AM
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Thanks, that makes sense. Definitely neither of us is "super aggressively" anything.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:42 AM
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My wife and I recently discussed the topic of "is inviting someone to watch movies at your house always an invitation to hook up?" (apparently people were discussing it at one of her internet forums). In both of our experiences it seemed the answer was yes. (I was able to think of one exception, but that was an old platonic friend and we were planning on going out to a movie but got snowed in.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:17 AM
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My theory would be that if you got the whole way through the movie without any cuddling or kissing that she was worried you weren't interested and so offered you a way out, which you ended up taking due to confusion about whether she was interested. No big deal, but it seems to me that you should find a way to make it clear that you're into her next time so that you don't both accidentally stumble into thinking the other person isn't interested.

But what do I know.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:33 AM
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I'm with k-sky on this one. But if she doesn't make a move next time you should (if you want to), however tentatively.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:29 AM
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You ate sausage for lunch then salmon for dinner?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 6:32 AM
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140: that is such an Alaska date it sounds like it was from a reality show. Right down to the overalls.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:28 AM
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Yeah, I would dismiss the idea of mixed signals two dates in. This was actually a big problem of mine in dating: I wanted to know Is This a Thing way too early because I knew whether I was interested. It turned out most people made this decision more gradually and sometimes I ended up looking over-eager and slightly nuts. So that's my cautionary tale!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:50 AM
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My cautionary tale is about a group of people who take a three hour tour on a small boat and become long term castaways on an uncharted island.

But 141 seems right.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:09 AM
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141 and 143 present dramatically different worldviews. I'd go with 141, but am compelled to admit that I have no idea what's up with Kids Nowadays.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:18 AM
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My read of 140 is that you are both a bit shy, and are in Alaska. Or what 141 said. Also I can't really focus rationally on that story because REINDEER SAUSAGE.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:24 AM
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Sounds like you could've kissed her at the end.

143 sounds underthought to me after 125.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:32 AM
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(152.1 is encouragement, not rebuke).


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:34 AM
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Which end to kiss?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:34 AM
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152

143 sounds underthought to me after 125.

Legally it doesn't matter, you can change your mind.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:01 AM
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Sure. So long as you can convince a jury that you did.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:16 AM
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It doesn't matter which end -- you still kissed a reindeer sausage.


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:23 AM
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PS - have you tried her on reindeer fillet?


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:24 AM
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My wife and I recently discussed the topic of "is inviting someone to watch movies at your house always an invitation to hook up?" (apparently people were discussing it at one of her internet forums). In both of our experiences it seemed the answer was yes

I can attest from personal experience as an invitee that it is not always an invitation to hook up, though you might end up making out.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:27 AM
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156

Sure. So long as you can convince a jury that you did.

Better than trying to convince a jury that a guy shouldn't take something that is usually a sexual invitation (if in fact that is the case) as a sexual invitation.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:32 AM
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My theory is that cooking and eating while watching the movie means that she didn't intend it to be a hook-up kind of thing. Also, the movie doesn't sound very make-out-y.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:47 AM
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Better than trying to convince a jury that a guy shouldn't take something that is usually a sexual invitation (if in fact that is the case) as a sexual invitation.

Even conceding the disputed assertion that an invitation to watch movies at somebody's house puts the possibility of hooking up in play, it's at most a "let's see what happens" gambit. Anybody who thinks they have some kind of right to sex on the strength of such an invitation shouldn't be allowed out without a minder, and I'd guess most juries would understand that.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:50 AM
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Since everyone else is too nice, I'll say it. Teo, you blew it. You had your chance, but now the relationship is over. Your job is in jeopardy as well.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:51 AM
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156

Sure. So long as you can convince a jury that you did.

And this shouldn't really be your primary concern.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:21 AM
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Teo, you know by now not to listen anything anyone says here, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:26 AM
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Right, I'm just saying if she said, "Hey, let's get sausage for lunch!" then went home and cooked you salmon, you missed the signals.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:28 AM
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Has anybody yet pointed out that she was probably super, super high?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:33 AM
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Here's a swell tune you can play if she's ever at your place.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:38 AM
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167 > 168.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:09 AM
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Does reindeer sausage taste different from your standard white-tail deer sausage or mule deer sausage? How about elk? Moose?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:34 AM
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Don't mind me. I'm just ruminating.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:39 AM
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Mule sausage?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:49 AM
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Aw, Teo. Who the hell knows what lurks in the minds of others? I would say that if she invited you over like that, she is open to the possibility of more intimacy with you. If I want to make someone realize that I am not interested in That Way but want to be friends, I don't do things that could be construed as romantic. The problem is knowing when is the right time to make moves.

I felt like in every other place I've lived in, not making a move by the second date just means you're not attracted to each other. Go roll the dice on someone else. I've never not slept with someone by the second date if I was ever going to sleep with them. Flirtations that are just flirtations stay flirtations, and people I fucked I fucked right away.

But now I'm in this awful, eternal, protracted, painfully slow, possibly endless semi-courtship with a friend that has gone on for months, with many periods of me or him apparently getting weary of it over and over and then starting it up again, with weeks at a time of meaningful looks and blushes and lingering tentative contact of knees, and then goodbye, see you tomorrow! We hang out together by ourselves a lot, but it's usually because he emails everyone to see if anyone wants to go do X and I am the only one who says yes. We go to a concert or dinner, and then he walks me way out of his way all the way to my house, and then goodbye, see you tomorrow! We both get really nervous whenever something might happen.

We've sort of even had conversations about it. It takes him a long time to become emotionally intimate with people, but he promises he's getting there. I say I got there right away, but I'll be patient.

So last night was the first time he invited me out to do something with him alone, but in this "I have 1 extra ticket if you want it" way. I already had plans. I invited him to go out of town with me for dinner tonight, and he's being a little hedgy about it.

Who knows what will happen, if anything. Probably we will just gradually become better and better friends until the whole idea of having a romantic/sexual relationship seems stupid.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:54 AM
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Aw, Teo. Who the hell knows what lurks in the minds of others?

The Shadow?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:55 AM
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170 -- Reindeer sausage is usually on the menu at the hotel restaurant where I stay whenever I'm in ANC. I usually have some. Not unlike elk; obviously the spicing makes all the difference.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 11:58 AM
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Hm, in my experience, sharing home-cooked food with someone is a signal that more intimacy is on the table -- it might just be under consideration, not fully decided, but it's on the table.

It's taken me a while to realize this, actually, but I've noticed it over the last half-dozen years when it seems to be specifically *withheld*. That is, I've begun a dating relationship with someone, and he's somewhat oddly declined to make dinner together: we'll go out for dinner, or get takeout and eat in, but ... why, when I've suggested cooking something together, is there resistance?

On another occasion when I'd traveled to spend a long weekend with a newish lover, I'd made tabbouleh in his kitchen one afternoon, and the guy seemed oddly resistant to having some. At the time I thought it might be because EW VEGETARIAN or because he feared that he wouldn't like it and didn't want to hurt my feelings if so. Once he did try it, he loved it, but he oddly did not want to have any the following day for our picnic. ?

This is still sort of hypothetical on my part, but I'm thinking that sharing home-cooked food is kind of like a rehearsal for a real relationship. It's like playing house together. If someone keeps shying away from it, well, he (or she) is shying away any real future for the relationship, away from further intimacy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:15 PM
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Parsi, I have likewise found new sexual partners to be really crappy and rude about accepting, say, homemade breakfast. I don't know what that's about, other than trying to hold someone at arm's distance by refusing an intimate kindness. Or somehow they thought, by making coffee and eggs, I was announcing my intention to have all of their babies, and wedding invitations were sent while they were sleeping?


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:19 PM
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I am on the other side of the teeter-totter from AWB; my sweetie and I spent five months from our first meeting to our first kiss. (Which was on the second night of a backpacking trip with one tent, and felt about like this.)

I really disapprove of the norm that inviting someone over to your house is always an invitation to hook up. There aren't enough steps between that and the norm that being somewhere it's possible to have sex is equal to consent. On the other hand, it's a signal that the inviter likes the company of the invitee and trusts them reasonably much, which should be enough to be going on with.

Specificially, Teo, I particularly wouldn't assume you'd been dismissed. You describe yourself as bing normally on the cautious and slow side, and it seems normal to me for a relationship with you to partake of that. Boss Niece could be picking up on your style or could be deliberative herself.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:21 PM
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177: Well, it doesn't happen all the time that new lovers do this. Some people are a great deal more mellow and don't sweat it to make food together. I never thought of it as a particularly fraught thing -- just noticed in the past several years that it apparently is for some people. Hence my hypothesis.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:23 PM
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In medieval times when I was having new lovers we were all poor enough that of course we ate breakfast at home. Also, that way you don't have to put all your clothes on and it's a short trip back to the bedroom.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:24 PM
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sharing home-cooked food with someone is a signal that more intimacy is on the table

Don't try that with a glass-topped table.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:31 PM
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This never seemed very appealing to me either. (In my imagination, there's not enough floating and too much squishing.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:35 PM
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178: I agree that inviting someone over does not equal sexual consent, of course. But I do think that if I actively wanted to discourage a misreading of the relationship as having sexual/romantic potential, I would not invite someone over for home-cooking and a movie, unless our relationship were explicitly non-sexual for some reason. That is, I think about things I do alone with a gay male friend (drive out of town together for a movie, invite him over alone to cook dinner and listen to music), and I would not do that with a gay woman or straight man unless there was some explicit statement of our lack of sexual intentions. I cook dinner alone with a married male friend at his house, we get drunk and watch movies and chat into the wee hours. That's fine, because we're not going to fuck. When I spend time alone with the aforementioned man, our ambiguous interest makes our physical proximity a lot more charged.

Again, it's not consent, but I don't think single people in ambiguous date-like situations who want to clarify a *lack* of interest invite someone over to make dinner.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:39 PM
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182: Lord, the writing about those tubs is just terrible.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:43 PM
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Salmon, not halibut. Bad sign. Had she at least caught it herself?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:49 PM
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I tend to agree with 183.last.

But if Teo wants to just know once and for all, he could just ask Boss Niece the next time they spend time together, "Are we having a date?"

Seriously. I tried that once with someone whose intentions I couldn't figure out, and it worked well: we discussed it.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:49 PM
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184: I suspect that it wasn't written to be read, but to be crawled by search engines.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:53 PM
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In the right thread: I sure hope inviting someone-not-orientationally-incompatible over to watch a movie is not automatically seen as a sexual overture, or my evening will be odd.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 12:59 PM
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Too late, now you need to decide about children.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:03 PM
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186 is what I was groping towards in 145. However, teo's conspicuous absence from this thread can only be explained by the fact that he's comatose from sexual exhaustion, so we're all wasting our time.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:06 PM
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I fondly imagine Teo and Boss Niece having a blubber and berries sundae with two straws. Which would be a fine time to ask if it was a date. I recommend following that up immediately with "I've been hoping it was."


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:13 PM
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If you share a language that can express the desired answer when posing a question, that would do.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:15 PM
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Teo should relate to Boss Niece the circumstances involved the last time he invited someone over to...make a phone call or come down from a meth high or whatever it was. That will be sure to clear the air and get you both on the same page if you'll pardon the mixed metaphor.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:18 PM
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178: I really disapprove of the norm that inviting someone over to your house is always an invitation to hook up. There aren't enough steps between that and the norm that being somewhere it's possible to have sex is equal to consent. On the other hand, it's a signal that the inviter likes the company of the invitee and trusts them reasonably much, which should be enough to be going on with.

In case it needs to be said, I disapprove of it too. Sometimes I just like sharing food with someone! The point about trust is important, I think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:26 PM
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194: Sure, it's dumb and annoying. I'm just saying that if Teo were trying to interpret her invitation, though, with someone he seems to explicitly be going on dates with, it might not be unreasonable to assume interest, or potential interest, on her part. Not non-interest.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:44 PM
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195: Right, I don't really see why Teo thinks the events related in 140 constitute mixed signals.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 1:49 PM
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that is such an Alaska date it sounds like it was from a reality show. Right down to the overalls.

I know, right? That's why I made sure to include all the details in recounting it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:21 PM
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I don't really see why Teo thinks the events related in 140 constitute mixed signals.

I guess partly it was that I was implicitly interpreting the invitation along the lines of 143, even though in retrospect 141 makes much more sense given the specific circumstances. It also just seemed weird that after having spent all day together, with her always seeming to express considerable interest in continuing to hang out for the next activity, whatever it was, she suddenly seemed to be saying that this was over and I should leave. I'm not sure that was what she actually meant, and some of the stuff she said in the car on the way suggests that it wasn't, but it's how I took it at the time.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:26 PM
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My read of 140 is that you are both a bit shy, and are in Alaska.

Yeah, I think this is right. We definitely are both shy and socially awkward, and I think that's pretty much all there is to this. I didn't get the sense that she was actually rejecting me.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:27 PM
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Sounds like you could've kissed her at the end.

Yeah, I think I could have, and probably should have.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:28 PM
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Teo, you know by now not to listen anything anyone says here, right?

Oh, definitely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:29 PM
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I'm just saying if she said, "Hey, let's get sausage for lunch!" then went home and cooked you salmon, you missed the signals.

Actually both the sausage and salmon were basically my idea. The former because there was a sausage stand right there at the time we were getting hungry, and the latter when she offered me the choice of chicken, halibut, or salmon.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:30 PM
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Except 191, man! Go for it!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:31 PM
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My theory is that cooking and eating while watching the movie means that she didn't intend it to be a hook-up kind of thing. Also, the movie doesn't sound very make-out-y.

This makes sense, and did occur to me at the time as well. The invitation was primarily for dinner, and watching a movie seemed to be largely just to have something to do while cooking and eating.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:32 PM
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203: Berrying season isn't for a while, yo.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:33 PM
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I didn't get the sense that she was actually rejecting me.

Of course not. Salmon is the fish of acceptance.

201 It was in the spirit of 165 that I wrote 193.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:37 PM
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Now I'm having fun trying to imagine dates in other places that would be as characteristically [SF, NYC, &c.] as that one was Alaska. It's an entertaining exercise!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:39 PM
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Salmon is the fish of acceptance.
New mouseover!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:40 PM
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She's an Alaskan. Halibut is self-evidently the right answer, and after teo chose the salmon, it all started to go downhill. Until they were out of the house, and the shock of his choice had worn off.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:44 PM
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The salmon is a food of strength. The rice, a food of weakness. If that's not a mixed signal, I know not what is.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:45 PM
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Get intentions squared away before berrying season and you can snog out in the sunshine, though. Possibly. Depending on the bears.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:46 PM
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She's an Alaskan. Halibut is self-evidently the right answer, and after teo chose the salmon, it all started to go downhill.

I dispute that halibut (or anything) is more Alaskan than salmon. And her initial suggestion was actually chicken.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:46 PM
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The salmon is a food of strength. The rice, a food of weakness. If that's not a mixed signal, I know not what is.

It's even worse than that; as a vegetable we had canned corn.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:47 PM
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(That one was definitely my choice, though; she gave me several options.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:48 PM
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In that case, text her a picture of your penis.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:48 PM
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Bedded in canned corn. (Although canned Boston beans would be funnier.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:50 PM
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it's a signal that the inviter likes the company of the invitee and trusts them reasonably much, which should be enough to be going on with.

I think this is the best way to interpret this event overall, and the point about trust is important.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:55 PM
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Now I'm having fun trying to imagine dates in other places that would be as characteristically [SF, NYC, &c.] as that one was Alaska.

First date is at a restaurant that is uncomfortable and costs too much; second date is in Connecticut.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:57 PM
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177: There's some possibility they just don't like breakfast. I don't, most days.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 2:59 PM
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Just to clarify, by "hook up" I meant as broad a notion as possible (perhaps I should have said "fool around"), and by invitation I did not mean consent.

In the original conversation my point of view was not that an invitation to see a movie at someone's house was not *code* for inviting them to hook up, but rather that it was an obvious opportunity for people to hook up, so if you hadn't had such an opportunity previously it was likely to end up with hooking up. While RWM's position was closer to the yes it's code for asking someone to hook up position.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 3:01 PM
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Yes, and given the case CharleyCarp describes, I want to push back on the `code for asking' hypothesis. "Maybe means `Yes'" slides into "and no means `Maybe'" which leaves no way to actually say No.

The other thing I would like to be believed about the invitation implying trust is that if you accept the invitation you're signing on to live up to the trust; the relationship is no longer in the atomized market where everything not enforceably forbidden is permitted, but in the realm of civility and friendship, where each of us begins to actively look our for each other.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 3:18 PM
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I too don't like breakfast. But I would never turn down coffee.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 3:50 PM
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Would you like some coffee, heebie?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 3:59 PM
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Oh, not right - HEY!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:02 PM
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It's funny, I started reading this bit of the conversation thinking "Well, an invitation home for dinner means something, obviously," but it is hard to pin down. I guess, if I were trying to say it explicitly, I'd say that I'd expect an invitation home for dinner to mean that the inviter wasn't at all worried about an unwelcome pass. Which could mean a bunch of things: a pass would be welcome; the inviter is confident the invitee is not going to make a pass; or the inviter is confident that if the invitee makes an unwelcome pass, turning it down won't be unpleasantly awkward or difficult. So, not code, exactly, but I'd think a clear statement that either the relationship is mutually understood to be non-romantic, or that making any romantic intentions explicit isn't something that the inviter is trying to avoid.

Does that sound reasonable to anyone else? Again, I'm reaching back to the first Clinton administration for direct experience here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:14 PM
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That sounds reasonable to me, yeah.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:16 PM
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Yeah, that sounds about right. (With the obvious caveat that situations and opinions can and do change over the course of a few hours. You only know that one of those possibilities *was* likely at the time the original invitation was made.)


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in" (9) | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:19 PM
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225 strikes me as reasonable.

I'm about to go pick up the guy to go out of town for dinner, and am trying to figure out if there is a behavioral corollary to 225 for ambiguously date-like behavior about which everyone is suddenly being weird.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:21 PM
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I'm about to go pick up the guy to go out of town for dinner, and am trying to figure out if there is a behavioral corollary to 225 for ambiguously date-like behavior about which everyone is suddenly being weird.

I have no idea, but good luck.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:26 PM
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As I recall, he was sort of standoffish and nervous the first time I was alone with him in his house. He might actually be afraid of me.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:34 PM
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Is this one of the guys you were talking about earlier? If so, which one?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:36 PM
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You could trip as you meet him, as physically intimidating salesmen are sometimes advised to do. Or misquote Hamlet, etc. Wear Swiss dot? Eyelet? (Who knows how they'd interpret clothing, I'm just trying to amuse you.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:41 PM
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Man #1, with whom everyone assumes I'm having sex. There is a lot of pressure for us to hook up, but I don't see any reason why that in itself should be a reason for us not to hook up. We get along really well, and he always seems happy to see me. He's very social and gregarious, but incredibly shy and romantic about sex, which everyone knows I'm not. I'm pretty sure that's the source of his anxiety about me--not that I'm a slut, but that I'm way too... advanced for him.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:41 PM
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To be honest, I think our differences are less than he imagines. It's just that a lot of my current writing and teaching is about sex, so it comes up a lot.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 4:47 PM
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I keep wanting to quote a throwaway line from Brick that's always made me happy.

"Lunch is a lot of things. Lunch is complicated."


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 5:04 PM
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Okay, but what about dinner?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 5:05 PM
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So go with eyelet and a *hairbow*, AWB! Polka-dots. Wide ribbon sash.

Not ankle socks, though; I think even the shy and romantic have caught onto that.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 5:31 PM
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Wait. What do ankle socks mean?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 5:35 PM
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she offered me the choice of chicken, halibut, or salmon.

These are all deeply coded metaphors for your relationship. By choosing salmon, you determined the course of both your future lives. Did you choose wisely?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 6:09 PM
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"The life of everyone on this blog depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only comment, but who didn't have fish for dinner."


Posted by: Opinionated Dr. Rumack | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 6:21 PM
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239 By choosing salmon, teo has indicated his intention to return to Boss Niece's place to spawn.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 6:27 PM
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Big boss niece
Can't you hear me when I call?
Big boss niece
Oh can't you hear me when I call?
You know you ain't so big
You just tall, that's all


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 6:38 PM
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241 is excellent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:04 PM
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||

Ok tell me if this is weird. I went out to dinner tonight with a search committee I'm on, and a candidate. Conversation is informal. One faculty member asks another faculty member "So were you the disciplinarian or the softie when you were raising your kids?"

She answers, "Oh, the heavy. We went through wooden spoons all the time. Made the kids pick out a switch. Etc." (Her answer is longer, but that's the gist of it.) She's in her late 40s. We all know her kids - they're at Heebie U or were recently, and they're great kids, turned out fine.

What I was horrified by was the impression she was giving to the candidate. Am I crazy? There was no "but of course times have changed..." or anything, just a straight up "Oh, we beat them with wooden spoons." We just met this candidate! We're trying to put our best foot forward!

The candidate was wearing (Buddhist?) beads along with his suit, and the Mother Jones lead article had come up in conversation, so I had an idea that he was probably left-leaning, and I was just totally horrified.

I said something like "You're so old school! Did you really?!?" just because I felt like I had to convey that she's violating PC norms and we don't all agree with her here.

Am I crazy? I personally think that corporal punishment is complicated - was the parent acting out of anger? out of step with community norms? etc - and the kids turned out great, so what do I know. But it's the kind of topic where you ought to consider how well you know the person you're speaking to, no?

|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:41 PM
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What I was horrified by was the impression she was giving to the candidate. Am I crazy?

I think you're welcome to be horrified by the content, too, but I'm a Volvo-sipping coastal type.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:43 PM
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You shoulda slugged her.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:44 PM
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You sip your Volvo?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:45 PM
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Chugging a Volvo would be crude.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:47 PM
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I'm home. It was a nice time, and nothing happened, as usual.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:48 PM
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Volvo: they're boxy, but works every time. -- Billy Dee Lin


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:49 PM
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I personally think that corporal punishment is complicated

So many styles of spoon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:52 PM
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I didn't even know that wooden spoons were a thing.


Posted by: Robert halford | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:53 PM
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Sometimes people stir their carbs. It's weird.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:54 PM
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Also, I definitely think that the candidate's impression was likely "psycho Texas nut jobs are psycho." That's for sure what I would have thought (and have thought, in somewhat similar situations involving Texans).


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:57 PM
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We don't really use wooden spoons much for cooking (or at all for child-care). I never feel they are clean.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:57 PM
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244 is weird-o-rama. Don't they know how to talk about the weather?


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:57 PM
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Ugh. That's what I was afraid of.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:58 PM
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It would be weirder if the candidate said something like that.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 7:59 PM
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254 sounds about right.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:01 PM
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257: you were afraid that Texas nutjobs are psycho?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:01 PM
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201: Oh, definitely.

Especially not me.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:02 PM
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the kids turned out great

But if you live near them, don't let your supply of wooden spoons run too low.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:03 PM
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And the Mother Jones website makes it quite difficult to figure out what the current lead article is about.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:08 PM
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My mom, who has a long career in CPS and related areas, sent me this story by Astrid Lindgren about corporal punishment. I also think the issue is complicated and generally refrain from judgments, but I did find it affecting. And now that my kid is old enough to have a personality, I could easily see that being her reaction too -- to the extent that I can even think about it without the mind swerving nimbly away, that is.

But seriously: she talked about going through wooden spoons, as in breaking them via beatings? Or was that your embellishment?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:15 PM
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Canned corn! Are you trying to tank this thing?

It's not that salmon isn't Alaskan, or a fine fish for tourists. Or dogs. Or people who don't have any halibut.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:15 PM
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No, the lead and crime Kevin Drum article.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:15 PM
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Going through spoons is not my embellishment, but it may have been embellishment nonetheless.

Until you said "as in breaking them" I had a mental image that they just eroded over time. Oh look, a wooden nub. Time to get a new spoon.


Posted by: heebie-heebie | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:18 PM
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Ah, thanks. Just wondering if the article was somehow connected to spanking or spoons. Or job interview dinners.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:18 PM
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This B&B is very nice and has a lot going for it (especially location and birds) but it is still not transcending the Von Wafer/consensus view of B&Bs.

I'd go into more detail, but it's time for me to give the wireless hot spot back ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:23 PM
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My mom will occasionally brag about breaking spoons on my butt. And she was the soft one. Depending on who you ask, I turned out fine.


Posted by: Chopper | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:25 PM
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269: If one of the other guest is Cormac McCarthy and he gets the wifi next, tell him it's his turn to "carry the fire."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:30 PM
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Especially not me.

I think that goes without saying.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:33 PM
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Canned corn! Are you trying to tank this thing?

I prefer to think of it as stress-testing her affection for me.

It's not that salmon isn't Alaskan, or a fine fish for tourists. Or dogs. Or people who don't have any halibut.

I don't know where you got this impression, but it is decidedly not a standard one in Alaska.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 8:35 PM
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Canned corn!

THAT'S ALL THE FUCK THAT WE HAD IN THE KITCHEN


Posted by: OPINIONATED COOLIO | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:06 PM
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Actually, if it implies that the spoons were flimsy, maybe that's a point in her favor.

Here is my favorite wooden spoon story:

Young woman (FOAF, but I heard her tell the story) was living in a housing co-op. There was this enormous wooden spoon that hung on the wall in the kitchen -- really big, with an odd handle. No one ever seemed to use it. One night, it fell to her to make dinner for the house. She decided to make a huge pot of chili or something similar. Maybe there were extra people coming, so the size of the pot called for extreme utensils, or maybe the other utensils were dirty or missing -- shit happens in co-ops. She took the spoon down from the wall, happy at last to have an opportunity to use it. Nice spoon! She stirred and stirred until a housemate walked in and gaped in horror. "What?" she asked innocently. "I could never figure out why no one used this spoon for the chili. It's perfect." The housemate finally found her tongue, and said: "That's the mousing spoon." The peculiar handle, she explained, was notched with a knife after each kill.

Of course I can't remember if they ate the chili or not.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:20 PM
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Why didn't they tell her about the spoon when she moved in?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:25 PM
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I mean, what if she had needed to kill a mouse?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:26 PM
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My guess is that a) she was pretty new and b) there weren't many mice. And c) it might have been a pretty stoned co-op.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:29 PM
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All reasonable possibilities.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:30 PM
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JOY.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:30 PM
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If there were many notches on the spoon, either those were the slowest mice ever or there were a great number of mice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:33 PM
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I mean, have you ever tried to hit a mouse with a blunt object?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:34 PM
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||
My mother just told me that a man at her church asked for prayers of support because he was going to go to work and ask never to go on any business trips with women, because traveling with women is a certain recipe for infidelity in his marriage. My mother, thank God, told him that was the stupidest shit she'd ever heard.
|>


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:44 PM
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Then she fucked him.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:47 PM
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284: "Now you'd better steer clear of church too!"


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:48 PM
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Or she should have tried.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:48 PM
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Maybe the mice were already incapacitated and it was an executioner's spoon.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:49 PM
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I wonder if he could ask to be made extremely flatulent if he ever traveled with a woman for business. No affairs, but less sexism.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:51 PM
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And then he was fired, and G*d said No backsies!


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:52 PM
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I used to like business travel with my cute boss even though we never went any place fancier than Dayton.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:55 PM
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288 is an excellent solution. I'll share it with her.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:57 PM
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Now that I have a first grader, my life is about 30% fart jokes. It was much easier when it was only me making fart jokes. I miss the 5% of my life I lost.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 9:59 PM
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Twice now my boss has made arrangements for us to travel together then canceled, so I went by myself. I still haven't traveled with her.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:02 PM
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Try Beano.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:10 PM
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293: Schedule a trip to Nice.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:21 PM
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295: Heh.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 3-13 10:22 PM
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272: I think that goes without saying.

In the end, everything must be said.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:00 PM
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Always already.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:02 PM
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You can say that again.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:14 PM
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But you can't make it drink.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:15 PM
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Maybe you can't.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:16 PM
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You Alaskan Jews are *so* conceited.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:22 PM
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Must be from all the chess and heroin.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:26 PM
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Who do you have to blow around here to get chess and heroin?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:31 PM
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I think you know the answer to that.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:33 PM
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Sure, but apo's rarely around.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:34 PM
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You just need to know how to call him.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:36 PM
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I think I may have said the quiet part loud and the loud part quiet at a dinner at this conference tonight.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:36 PM
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You can't just say that and not elaborate, you know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:38 PM
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The specific content is immaterial. Don't drink and be around the kind of people I was around. But they were all drinking too, so maybe it was OK. Except for the guy sitting next to me who was taking notes... just because it was his *job* to "moderate" the discussion. (It was a structured dinner.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:45 PM
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I also drove on some pretty fucking remote back roads this morning where for the first hour it was only me and five or so border patrol vehicles*. Great "desert" mountains and countryside but I guess kind of close to the border and roads not always that passable. But also saw some birds.

*One of which was a pickup dragging two tires (lying flat) behind it. Covering tracks I assume. Their own? Other vehicles so they could see subsequent footprints? Sorry for fucking that up, guys**.

**My imagined radio chatter:
"Did that old white guy in the white rental Altima come by you?"
"Yeah. Christ, what an asshole."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:55 PM
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A structured dinner, with note-taking, involving alcohol? That sounds like a terrible idea.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:55 PM
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311, on the other hand, is awesome.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:56 PM
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312: It was theoretically "off the record in some sense," but welcome to the world of AIDS ... I dunno, the world.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:57 PM
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"Don't worry, this is totally off the record. I'm just taking notes, uh, so that they can be filed away and never read by anyone. Yeah, that's it."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 9:58 PM
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I may also not be conveying totally accurate impressions of the dinner (or even the driving, but pretty sure on that) as I seem to have misplaced reliable introspective access to the relevant qualia.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:00 PM
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Boy do I ever know that feeling.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:04 PM
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C'mon, we've all had salmon here.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:06 PM
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Not salmon like this.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:07 PM
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You just need to know how to call him.

But does he come, when you do call him?

TEOFILO (sotto voce): when I call, he comes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:08 PM
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Passed about a half dozen of these signs ("Smuggling and Illegal Immigration May Be Encountered in this Area"). Also drove on the only kilometer-signed stretch of interstate in the US (I believe). And protip: figure out how to open the trunk on your smartypants rental vehicle before you come to an illegal immigrant checkpoint. But I saw a fucking Pyrrhuloxia (a weirdly colored cardinal, basically) and some other shit. Species not necessarily that special for the non-folk birders, but I like seeing the odd (to me) cousins of common things from my neck of the woods (see also Gila Woodpecker and Stellar's Jay).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:21 PM
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And I take back my wireless whinging about the B&B. At least they didn't charge $12.95/day extra (because, you know, other people's money).

I did hold a brief tutorial and successful experiment with the B&B proprietor on expanded horizons in wireless access point usage. I held off last night because I didn't want to be that guy but then I realized that I was.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:33 PM
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I held off last night because I didn't want to be that guy but then I realized that I was.

Sounds like you regained your introspective access to at least some qualia.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:35 PM
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Funny you'd have Stellar's Jays at the same time we do. I guess they're pretty flexible.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:35 PM
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324: They were right at about the highest point I reached ~6000 ft. Only place I saw them.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:55 PM
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323: At least I did this past morning. Subsequently lost it due to a combination of alcohol and conferences at "resorts."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 03- 4-13 10:57 PM
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Going through spoons is not my embellishment, but it may have been embellishment nonetheless.

Speaking from experience - and on the receiving end -
I doubt that this was an embellishment. My mother used a piece of wood, maybe an inch thick (at least in my memory), with black electrical tape for a handle. Those paddles would hold up for a long time, but they eventually had to be replaced. At school, the principal had a more formal paddle with holes drilled into it for extra ouch. I never experienced that one.

But I was born and brought up in the Stone Age, with a large and unruly pack of siblings that had to be kept under control. (On my fourth birthday, I had three younger siblings.) I went to Catholic school. I got out of it all pretty easy, as these things go.

I'll sign on to the idea that corporal punishment is complicated, but the Missus and I don't employ it and tend to view those who do as troglodytes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 7:10 AM
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I went to school when corporal punishment -- in the form of the tawse -- was still legal and used in Scotland. However, I don't think I knew of any parent who used any kind of device/implement on their kids, and even then (70 and early 80s) I think we kids would have thought any parent who did was an insane violent nutter.

I'd guess most of my friends had parents who spanked them, and one or two unfortunates whose parents bashed them around in a worse manner, but no-one to my knowledge used a belt, and a cane or spoon or piece of wood would have been beyond the pale.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 7:14 AM
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My grade school and high school both used the cane for serious offenses (the kind of thing where US schools would simply suspend or expel the student). I never got the treatment but friends of mine did.

Botswana uses the lash as a form of punishment for some offenses (petty theft, for example). It's nasty but on the other hand if doesn't take a minor offender and drop them into boot camp for thugs while their family goes without a provider the way we do in the US.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 7:49 AM
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I was always under strict instructions from my Dad to refuse 'the belt' at school. With the addendum that if I had to I was free to inform the teacher that if he/she belted me, my Dad would belt them. But it got phased out when I was about 13 or 14, and I was never badly behaved enough to get belted. Threatened a couple of times with it, but the threat was never followed through.

To be honest, it was fairly rarely used at high school. I can only remember it happening maybe twice in a class I was in in the two years I was at high school before it got withdrawn. Used a bit more often at primary school by sadistic old ladies, but still not a particularly regular thing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 7:57 AM
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I got a few whacks from the 'board of education' as an elementary school student. One I remember was for crank calling the PE teacher from a sleepover: we all got it, not just the kid who made the call.

Dealt a few open hand spankings over the years. I'm sure the kids remember, but would guess they don't remember what for. I don't.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 7:58 AM
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Striking your children -- with your hand, or an implement -- is barbaric in this day and age, when you could simply use a Taser.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:00 AM
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and even then (70 and early 80s) I think we kids would have thought any parent who did was an insane violent nutter.

This is part of what strikes me as so crazy - her kids would have been born around 1990+! It was well-established by then that corporal punishment was not politically correct, at least.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:01 AM
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Also I find this super-entertaining: friends of mine who grew up in rural Texas went to a school where the standard punishment for boys was a paddling, and for girls, they had to clean the bathroom with a toothbrush. I like to prompt them to tell that story and then say "Well, you shouldn't have been dipping her plaits in the inkwell and sticking frogs in the coat closet, now should you have."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:03 AM
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One of our legislators has introduced a bill to bring back corporal punishment as an option for certain minor crimes. I think it died in committee.

It's the same guy who wanted to be paid in gold. And introduced a bill to amend the Commerce Clause.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:03 AM
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331.1 -- Urban Texas.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:05 AM
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I guess that what gets me is that the proverbial slap on the wrist, which I've done a few times, is actually corporal punishment. Actually I think this is less emotionally wrenching for the kid than having a parent lose it with rage and yell the things at a child that you'd yell at a thoughtless adult, which I haven't done.

But sustained beatings as a punishment seem counterproductive at best, possibly much worse, certainly not something to joke about in company.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:08 AM
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I hope Heebie was able to reassure the prospective student that her institution would never beat their undergraduates with the sort of implement that would break.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 8:19 AM
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Belief based in anecdata: People who get beaten as children, whether by their parents or their schoolmates, have a greater tendency to grow up as rightwingers.

Is this true? And if so, am I confusing correlation with causation? Who knows?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 9:05 AM
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321: I love Pyrrhuloxia. They have such bright red eyes. Did you see any Vermillion Flycatchers? There's also spectacular. I had trouble getting good pictures of them because the red feathers are so bright they blurs the images.


Posted by: LizSpigot | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 9:49 AM
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(a weirdly colored cardinal, basically)

Oh, like this?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 9:52 AM
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In the utopian future you'll be able to share the design files of ideal implements on parenting blogs and print them on your rapid prototyper.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 9:55 AM
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Oddly enough the most antiquated thing in 334 is the word "plaits".


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 9:56 AM
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339: I took a good number of beatings from parents and schoolmates, but grew up on Team Commie. But I'm also contrarian and not a good representative of anything.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:05 AM
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343: A lot of U.S. black women I know use "plaits" to mean individual braids ("box braids" is the terms I'd use) and "braids" as a generic to cover french braids, cornrows, braid-based extensions, and plaits/box braids.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:49 AM
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Striking your children -- with your hand, or an implement -- is barbaric unnecessarily fatiguing for the parents in this day and age, when you could simply use a Taser.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:51 AM
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But sustained beatings as a punishment seem counterproductive at best, possibly much worse, certainly not something to joke about in company.

FWIW, she wasn't joking.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:53 AM
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(346 is not, of course, an endorsement, but closer to what I would have expected from Sifu. When he's a parent, he'll understand.)


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:54 AM
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All human contact is barbaric, Kraab.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:58 AM
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I considered going presidential for this, but what the hell? I had to complain to Nia's principal that one of Nia's teachers had had her own daughter in class with her I guess because her daughter's school was closed that day and had "whupped her," per Nia, when she wouldn't listen. It was an awkward email to write, saying that I realize corporal punishment in schools is still legal in our state but that Nia and probably other kids in the class have really taken to heart the idea that school is a violence-free place and that kids won't be hit there and that having a teacher hit a child is sort of counterproductive to that. Luckily the principal understood and so did the teacher, who apparently didn't remember hitting her daughter but said she probably could have done it given how frustrated she was and was willing to believe Nia that she had.

It is really, really hard to give kids the message that we don't hit because hitting kids is both unhelpful and not anything we can do legally as foster parents anyway, but that there are other kids who are hit but not beaten and one is okay and the other isn't. I don't enjoy those conversations at all, and we have them a lot.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 10:59 AM
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Sifume will be raising their kid in a Skinner box. Presumably with wheels and a bicycle hookup.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 11:03 AM
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OT bleg: I have a friend (no, really) who wants to read up on what we know or theorize about instinctive versus learned behavior in animals. She's especially interested in how instinct is transmitted and what's been identified as potentially or actually genetically encoded. Any recommendations for a layperson?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 11:22 AM
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Also can I just say, bower birds?


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 11:26 AM
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351: I can't wait to see the youtube videos of baby playing pingpong on a bicycle!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 11:54 AM
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352. I'm interested in behavioral phenotype-genotype correlations in insects. This paper about migratory monarchs had a couple of teasers but nothing coherent:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22118469

EO Wilson is great about ants, social insects are another interesting thing to read about. This was interesting:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22223805

I'd pick either an instinctive behavior that's tractable, maybe mole rat reproductive regulation. Or alternately maybe an ecosystem that's been very well studied and well described.

YMMV, I would be reading either for certainty or for definite information that's new to me and stable.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 12:16 PM
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Sifume

Blufu.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 1:26 PM
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(a weirdly colored cardinal, basically)

Oh, like this?


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 1:30 PM
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173: I felt like in every other place I've lived in, not making a move by the second date just means you're not attracted to each other. Go roll the dice on someone else. I've never not slept with someone by the second date if I was ever going to sleep with them. Flirtations that are just flirtations stay flirtations, and people I fucked I fucked right away.

Comments like this make me wonder how many opportunities I might have missed back in my dating days. I had a lot of dating relationships that ended when my partner concluded that we didn't have the right chemistry sometime between the third and sixth date. In some cases, there might have been a real reason why I wasn't what she was looking for, but I wonder how many might have just been a partner concluding (generally incorrectly) that I wasn't really interested because I hadn't made an overt physical move yet. A lot of those hadn't yet gotten to a goodnight kiss.

If I had the opportunity to offer some advice to my younger self, it wouldn't necessarily be something like "always kiss by the third date," but "at least if you are taking it slow, don't be afraid to say explicitly that you are interested."


Posted by: EDguy | Link to this comment | 03- 5-13 2:00 PM
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