Re: Diversity!

1

I'm not sure how many friends I really have. How do I count them if I think they don't actually like me? 3/5ths?


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 11:37 AM
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and don't count Jews as white (and you shouldn't)

Ha! Nice try, but no.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 11:39 AM
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Ogged, I don't know what to make of this post. Is it a humblebrag? It puts me on the defensive, and I suspect that's because I think more in terms of (economic, educational) class than in terms of race where diversity is concerned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 11:49 AM
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I totally have a lot of white friends!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:00 PM
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One thing I noticed about living in New Orleans: it was easier to make black friends, in part because it's a majority-black city and but also because it's not racially segregated in the same way as many other US cities. That is, there are certainly predominantly white and predominantly black areas, but big swaths of the city are really quite integrated compared to other places I've lived. My neighborhood was a mix of students, families, and retirees from a variety of racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Short story long, I think residential segregation plays a big role in how diverse a given person's friend pool is.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:02 PM
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It is very easy to have Hispanic friends in this town, for the reasons given in 5.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:04 PM
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Along with residential segregation -- which assumes that one finds one's friends from the surrounding pool -- is that people tend to self-select according to class. Not to harp on that or anything.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:08 PM
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Depending on the emanations of penumbras of the friend zone, I have some black work-friends and some black and Latino neighbor-friends, but that's about it. Another thing that plays a role is being a socially deformed misanthrope.

The diversity thing makes me feel slightly sad, but I really don't want to make a conscious effort to make Friends of Color, for obvious reasons, though I do have vague plans to conform to, though not consciously follow, Fitzgerald's famous advice: don't befriend people of color; go to where non-white people are, and form friendships. Yes, it's a mystery why I don't have a large and diverse social circle, isn't it?


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:13 PM
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Blau (1977).


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:18 PM
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pp38-44.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:20 PM
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I must be stupid, because I think that pdf is telling me that there are only 30 pages.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:25 PM
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There are 30 pages in the pdf file; the article has its own page numbering.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:27 PM
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He said, to the bookseller.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:28 PM
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Oh, I see. And that has nothing to do with bookselling, sir.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:31 PM
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I realize I am being a bit of a jerk, but does Kimmel's bit ask people if they have black friends, or non-black people if they have black friends?

There is also the eternal question of how expansively people are defining "friend." I could see a funny bit riffing off of people's answers (white person says "Yes! Randy!" and screen flashes to Randy going "You mean....the guy who sometimes comes in here to buy his lunch?")


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:36 PM
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Sadly, I'll have to read it later, but a quick skim indicates that you're all the real racists.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:36 PM
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The Kimmel bit is worth watching, Witt (it's just a few minutes). They only ask about five people, and one of them is black, and they ask him if he has any white friends.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:37 PM
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They only ask about five people, and one of them is black, and they ask him if he has any white friends.

I hope he didn't reply, "not if you don't count Jews as White (and you shouldn't)."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:42 PM
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I just watched it! Better than I expected. The audience was awfully over-optimistic.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:42 PM
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I just watched it as well, I found it interesting but not funny (but, as discussed, I don't enjoy watching potentially embarrassing situations). I'm glad that they person asking the questions did appear on camera at the end.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 12:47 PM
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I don't even see black people.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:11 PM
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Fitzgerald's famous advice: don't befriend people of color; go to where non-white people are, and form friendships

That sounds like great advice, but it would involve leaving the house.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:12 PM
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15.2 is kinda what I would worry about. Esp. now with FB -- and my time in the arts scene -- I've got lots of contacts who are Black or otherwise not white. And Jews up the wazoo, of course. But how many of those people are really my friends?

On the other hand, I was thinking just the other day that quite a few of the kids in my circle are from multiple racial backgrounds. Which I don't think is all that unusual these days, at least around here.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:23 PM
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I'm your white friend, ogged. I'm not like the others. You can trust me.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:27 PM
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[It's kinda interesting, when going through your FB friends list to see how diverse it is, to note how many people have names that good be either Gentile or Jewish German names.]


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:37 PM
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Without trying to parse what friendship means, I'll just go with "people I take affirmative steps to spend time with for non- instrumental reasons." And I don't have any black friends at the moment. I have most other times in my life, and it may be related that I've been pretty intensely antisocial since I moved back to the Bay Area, and don't have many people in that box.

And hey, vaguely related: anyone local want a ticket to see En Esch tomorrow night at DNA? The catches are, it is with me, and it is En Esch. What can I say, it is a nostalgia thing and I impulse-bought the tickets. My date rather suddenly temporarily moved to Tokyo.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:51 PM
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Without trying to parse what friendship means, I'll just go with "people I take affirmative steps to spend time with for non- instrumental reasons."

When you put it like that... man, dyadic withdrawal is a bitch, isn't it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 1:58 PM
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Is sex "instrumental"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 2:11 PM
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Is sex "instrumental"?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 2:11 PM
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The first time doesn't count with sex.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 2:12 PM
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Is sex "instrumental"?

Not if you're sleeping with someone in an a cappella group.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 2:19 PM
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27: I've never liked the rhythm method, either.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 2:23 PM
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man, dyadic withdrawal is a bitch, isn't it.

At least you've got a dyad.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 2:56 PM
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My best friend is black. Has been his whole life. Regrettably, he's bourgie, descended from WEB DuBois, so maybe he doesn't count.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 3:38 PM
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Has anyone done something on the Insane Clown POSSLQ? 'Cause that would be funny.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 3:39 PM
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Oh here comes multicultural Von Wafer showing us how it's done. My-ah blahck friends are-ah descended from moar eminent ancestahs than you-ah blahck friends! No one denies this!


Posted by: FL | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 3:46 PM
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In college, my room mate was everybody's black friend. We still hang, whenever I'm back in town.

When I got married, my Dad - who had had a few drinks - put one arm around him, and another arm around my one of my Indian friends, and blubbered about how proud he was that they were my friends, and that he was so happy they had been able to come up to New England to be seen by all the white people on the bride's side of the family.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 3:47 PM
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Heh, I had a college friend who used the "jews don't count" distinction so she could say she had no white friends and still keep me around.

Of course Jews count...our piles of money!


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 3:57 PM
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My closest black friend in LA is the keyboardist who answered my Craigslist ad when I tried to start a band, hashtag instrumental reasons. We like each other a lot but we're not super close, although I keep meaning to start a kiddie music playgroup with Φ and his kids.

Pretty sure there were no black guests at either of my weddings, other than one friend's plus one, and we have a good shot of his yarmulke on his dreads.


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 3:58 PM
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My only close black friend (I have a large number of non-close black "friends" because of my nabe) now owns three black-oriented strip clubs in the ghettoes of the upper midwest, making me the most authentic of all.*

*it's actually the same guy who's The Dutch Cookie's friend, and one of the clubs is called W.E.B. DuBoobs.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:05 PM
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41

That's better than Booker T. Wobbleknockers.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:17 PM
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Frederick Dougl-ass.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:19 PM
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Malcolm Sex


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:24 PM
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A black man and his white wife and biracial children walked past my house today while I was doing yard work. We exchanged waves. By PDBS standards, this counts as having a black friend, I think.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:34 PM
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I don't know anybody who owns a single strip club.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:35 PM
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Les dames de la terre


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:42 PM
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Alternately, perhaps, The Ratchet of the Twerk.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 4:44 PM
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Thighly Selassie's


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:02 PM
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I don't have any close black friends, and working in tech in the Bay Area sure isn't generally a good way to meet a more diverse group of people, but my new job is doing better at it than any place I've ever worked before. (I was pleased, a couple of weeks ago, to realize during my team's meeting that I was the only white dude in the room. Although I guess I forgot about the two Canadians.)


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:08 PM
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I don't either. Kid A does - her school is very mixed. She was worrying the other day that university will be less diverse - "I don't want to have only white friends and end up an accidental racist!" The others have non-close black friends, if we're using that as a category.

There are 24 people in my cohort on my uni course. I was watching OITNB last autumn when I started, and amused/horrified to see that we divided into tribes just like in the show. (I'm in the oldies group!)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:26 PM
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No black guests at the plantation wedding I attended last weekend.* Which was something of a scandal: my dad's sister and her black** granddaughter were not invited.

My dad had called his sister when the wedding date and location was announced -- I'm sure she was excited, because she lives in Raleigh (as does her granddaughter and grandson-in-law) and Charleston would be a lot easier than Colorado or Sonoma -- but then my sister-in-law made my dad call back to uninvite them. As it turned out, my aunt wouldn't have been able to come anyway, having fallen and broken ribs etc a couple of days before the wedding. Insult and injury.

* Except ghosts one might imagine hanging around the huge 300 year old tree where the wedding was held.***

** Black father, white mother (my first cousin); she identifies as black.

*** We talked about having the German portion of our 2 part movable wedding under a big old oak. Looked great, easily accessible. Turns out, though, to have been a popular wedding venue for people going all in with a "recovered traditional view" in the 1933-1945 time period. Nein danke.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:29 PM
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This seems like an appropriate thread to report this mildly awkward interaction. Actually it was totally fine and not a big deal and all the awkwardness was in my head, but it was definitely awkward in my head. I was out on a date with a black guy last night, and somehow I got reminded during conversation about how I'd seen a video earlier that day about the woman who holds the Guinness world record for largest butt. She has to turn sideways to go through a hallway. This woman is black, although I didn't mention this in conversation. But he asked me how I wound up seeing it, and I said, "Oh, I subscribe to something on Facebook that showed it to me," and he said, "what?" and then I was forced to say "The Root." So, like, yeah, I subscribe to the half serious/half exploitainment network of your people just to follow the world's biggest butt links, I felt like I was saying. And then I found two reasonably close black friends.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:34 PM
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51: Wow. Why weren't they invited?

52: How did he respond?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:39 PM
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53: He just laughed, and perhaps quietly processed this piece of information in some way I don't know, but it did not seem to keep him from responding positively to me or expressing interest in sex, so its effect can't have been too severe.


Posted by: Tia | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:47 PM
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Depends. Because of trying for sex, men have ignored that a woman stabbed them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 5:59 PM
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I would have interpreted that exchange as checking to make sure you weren't subscribing to a hateful ridicule site.* The Root isn't perfect but I would never describe it as hateful.

*One of the side effects of following the Black Lives Matter work very closely is that I've seen more screenshots of crazy racist cartoons and stuff** than I have seen in my previous 35+ years of living.

**Posted by various police officers. Ugh.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 6:30 PM
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one of the clubs is called W.E.B. DuBoobs

Featuring the Topless Tenth.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 6:43 PM
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This is embarrassing. Two black Facebook friends, but one is someone we employed as a housekeeper and the other is my former secretary. Both have really cute kids.

My son's closest friend is black, and I'm sort of friends with his mother, but the mother is white so it hardly counts.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 6:51 PM
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I mostly hang with dudes who are either Chinese, Japanese, or Indian

If you can't tell which they are, they're probably none of the above.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 7:00 PM
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Laotian, prolly.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 7:23 PM
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I'm thinking close friends is dependent on how we look at it. Of college friends of ours, present at our wedding and always in touch, about 3. Our block is a source of conviviality, with evening drinking parties on porches and patios and the odd open house/party. Nobody on the block we've been friends with for years and get together with is black.

Professionally, I have made some of the closest black friends I've had since Jr. HS in the last few years. On a long term doc review project you get to know the people close around you well, and may spend more time talking to them than you will to anyone else you know for weeks on end. I've made some friends I keep up with by email that way, and we always try to sit together if we find ourselves on a project at the same time. My closest black friend from work was killed last year, a miserable business.

My kids have at least since HS had a much more diverse set of friends than I ever did. Two of my son's close friends from HS, one his roommate through college, both black, are in the next room right now. They both spend a lot of time here, sleeping over several nights in the week when, as now their summer jobs haven't started and their time is their own. There's push and pull to that, neither has a happy or stable home life, and we often, as tonight end up feeding everybody dinner.


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 7:31 PM
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Speaking of diversity, don't you think Vladimir Putin should make a state visit to Ethiopia, where he could be presented with some kind of honorary dukedom, and henceforth be known as "Ras Putin"?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 7:33 PM
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I would say I have black friends, yeah.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 7:40 PM
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Well, it sounds like we're all about ready to launch The Crusade for Moorish Dignity. Who's bringing the banner?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 7:49 PM
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I have a proportional number of black friends.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:22 PM
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65: So the newsflash is you've figured out how to divide by zero?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:29 PM
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51: No black guests at the plantation wedding I attended last weekend.

The one I attended last weekend (newer venue but rural and patterned somewhat on a plantation) was bi-racial. So unsurprisingly, a lot of black guests. A small amount of racial "crossover" among who a guest was there "for," but aside from a few young'uns who knew the couple, it was pretty much the white folk of the groom's family, and the black folks of the bride's.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:30 PM
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That hurts, Thorn, that really hurts.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:32 PM
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:)


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:33 PM
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66: As you can see, Eggplant, we're here for you!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:33 PM
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It spoils the joke of I'm too friendly!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:40 PM
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If. Not friendly with autocorrect, for real.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:40 PM
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Or phone typing in general, since I should own my errors regardless of source. Anyway, good night, bloggy friends and white people alike!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:45 PM
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Goodnight, Thorn!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:46 PM
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Goodnight, moon!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:58 PM
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Goodnight, throon!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 8:59 PM
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Goodnight red balloon.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 9:38 PM
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Our refrigerator is so full of cake I think it might explode. Greens have been banished to an annex. My bench mixer is panting in a corner, and I haven't tackled the Swiss buttercream yet.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 10:40 PM
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Pause, playa, etc.

One of my most important mentors at work is black, many friends, colleagues, students are black, east Asian, south Asian, Hispanic ...


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 10:43 PM
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Oh, if we're counting workplace, I have a black coworker. Most everyone else I work with is Russian or Ukranian.


Posted by: grumbles | Link to this comment | 06- 6-15 10:55 PM
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37. Dads tend to do that kind of shit. It's a good reason not to have black friends (unless you can avoid having a dad). Saves hours of embarrassment.

I have one black friend at the moment, who is actually a cousin in law. OTOH I only ever have about a dozen friends in real life at any one time, so maybe that's proportionate for middle class white guys. I think the demographics are different here anyway, you have to ask if people have a South Asian friend.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 2:51 AM
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If any of the Pittsburgh gang would like a black friend and don't mind that her age is in single digits still, I'll be bringing the girls there the last weekend of June (26-28) and I'm definitely up for seeing people.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 3:22 AM
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83

Everyone else working at my law firm is Assiniboine.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 6:29 AM
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I just realized the OP is probably part of a viral marketing campaign for this movie.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 6:48 AM
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83: true for me too, except for the last eight letters.


Posted by: Unimaginative | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:24 AM
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Exact numbers from baby shower yesterday: 12 people total not counting us, 2 non-Jewish men, 1 Jewish man, 2 black women, 1 Indian woman, the rest non-Jewish white women.

One of the black women was a neighbor, for better or for worse. W


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:34 AM
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82: I'll be around and would be happy to meet up.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 11:35 AM
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The only black friends I have at the moment are other parents from my sons' football teams, which are by far the most socially diverse groups to which I've ever belonged. You've got white, black and Asian, university professors and lawyers rubbing shoulders on the touchline with decorators and restaurant kitchen staff, all screaming with a single voice "Ref! Are you *&$'&ing BLIND?"


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 2:26 PM
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87: Same.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 5:16 PM
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I would be happy to meet up, but not sure if I'm here. I'll know shortly. I just have to see how a trip settles out.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 6:41 PM
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If any of the Pittsburgh gang would like a black friend and don't mind that her age is in single digits still, I'll be bringing the girls there

Wait, you're saying the Pittsburgh commenters can be friends with just one of the girls? That's cold, Thorn.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:11 PM
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I would be happy to meet up, but alas I'm almost certainly out of town that weekend. But if something changes I'll be there.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:21 PM
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91: I took it in the sense of limit one to a customer.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:29 PM
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I guess I was assuming one would be enough, though you two haven't even met me, which might be why you're pro-meetup. You can email motherissues on gmail if you'd like to try for individual plans or (inclusive or) I can ask for an official meetup post.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:43 PM
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I should probably do a full-disclosure thing that I'm finally in the early stages of a breakup and may or may not be at my best at the end of the month, though I certainly am now. I don't know that I'm that great at meetups anyway, but whatever.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:51 PM
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Here's wishing you much strength in what lies ahead, Thorn.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:53 PM
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Yes, what he said.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:54 PM
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88: Your use of the words "football" and "touchline" in the same sentence, or rather, to refer to the same sport, strongly suggests to me that your are unAmerican, and should probably not be part of this discussion.* In this country, we call the sport that I think you are referring to "Soccer"!

*The only reason I have any doubt about this is your use of the word "teams" rather than "clubs". This might indicate, however, that you've been here long enough to have learned some of the local dialect.


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:55 PM
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Thirding what Barry said.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 7:58 PM
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I'm fine. It's going to be slow and probably brutal on and off, but Lee will be recreating overseas while we're in Pittsburgh regardless. She's finally getting fed up with me and when I got shingles in April, I'd gotten her to reevaluate the relationship if she couldn't manage to be home 25% of the evenings before she heads overseas, which isn't even mathematically possible now. So all the odds are on my side finally.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 8:05 PM
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I think congratulations, even though I know there will be very hard parts yet.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 8:12 PM
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Really almost anybody can get to Pittsburgh without too much trouble. Let's not give a trophy for everything.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 8:15 PM
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Having now gone through one very sad and one unrelatably-awful breakup of long-term relationships, and been much, much better off for both of them --- my sympathies. Also, from experience, having vaguely-sympathetic people who don't know the (soon-to-be?) ex to vent to can be very heplful.
I'd suggest the meet-up post, actually. I am happy to volunteer my house, if that's agreeable, and it will not, this time, be vetoed by a partner (see 2nd beak-up above).


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 8:23 PM
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Best of luck, Thorn!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 8:31 PM
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Thorn, also wishing you a good outcome. Oh, and you're great at meetups.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 10:14 PM
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Thorn, also wishing you a good outcome. Oh, and you're great at meetups.

I second both of these.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 06- 7-15 10:18 PM
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Sympathy to 95. Sorry I won't be able to make the meetup - I will be hosting a pair of visiting itinerant Australian jazz musicians that weekend - but we will hoist a G&T or similar for Absent Friends.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 2:45 AM
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98: Not remotely American. The kids belong to *football* clubs but within those play for their age groups' teams, which is where all the parental interaction occurs. The only time you ever see anyone from another team is at the end-of-season club party, where the ones that have done well in their leagues get to gloat openly over the teams whose coaches start their speeches with "Well, it's been yet another tough year ..."

95: What everyone else has said, Thorn. Wishing you strength and good luck.


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 3:01 AM
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95: This is probably the wrong thing to say, but thank fucking God. Lee was the goddamn worst.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 3:29 AM
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That reminds me of President Taft's controversial "Who needs a big fucking boat" speech.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 4:55 AM
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109: No problem. It was hearing the older girls say basically the same (though they love her, of course) that pushed me to be stop being weepy and frustrated and just move through whatever's happening. There's still a lot of "I'm done" alternating with "Maybe I could learn to be in love with you" from her, but I'm settled and stable and finding most of the flailing more amusing than anything else. We'll probably end up trying to coparent in the same house for a while, but I assume at some point one or both of us will be moving out. I'd been hoping I could muscle through for another year or so, but the idea of not having to is a huge relief.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 5:23 AM
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95: Endorse your IRL persona thoroughly. I'm sorry you'll have some lousy times ahead, but I'm sure you'll feel so much better on the other side. Wish you stamina and resilience for the next couple months.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 5:29 AM
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Here's hoping things go smoothly with your breakup, Thorn. You'll be better off on the other side of this, I'm confident of it.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 5:46 AM
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Good luck, Thorn. 109 seconded.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 8:02 AM
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Seconding 112. Good luck, Thorn!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 8:08 AM
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Thorn, I'm so sorry. Things have sounded shit for a long time and I hope that this leads to something better for you and the girls. Godspeed and excelsior.

As for meetups: I'm a random internet asshole. Unless talking with a random internet asshole on a weekday is ameliorative for you, I'd say just let it pass this time.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:16 AM
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116.2: It's a weekend and I'd like to meet you, but no pressure at all!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:21 AM
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Aw, Thorn, I hope it goes as smoothly as may be. Do I remember right that you're in a big old house? Can it be set up with two entrances? (Put green baize on both sides of the interior doors...)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:31 AM
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111: What precipitated my parents' divorce: my mother asked my father if he loved her and he said (she says) "I've learned to be very fond of you "


Posted by: opinionated tad lincoln | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:33 AM
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That's some high-level honesty right there.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:35 AM
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Oh, good, Thorn. I am sorry for any parts of breaking up that make you sad, but from far away, it looks like life will be much more pleasant.

I like Clew's suggestion. I love physical solutions to problems.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:38 AM
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Just like Stalin.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:40 AM
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When asked point-blank by Nia if we were breaking up, I said I didn't know and that we'd always work to put them first and that if that happened one of us could go live on the third floor or something and immediately both big girls started shouting about how that couldn't be me because they need me around to hug them and so they can feel safe in the night. In theory Lee was going to start sleeping in her attic room last week, but then she forgot or decided not to or something.

So much of our stress is about how awful she is about everything that I do in the house that I'm not sure how long living together would be sustainable if it means yelling at me and at children about mess everyday, but it should certainly make whatever the transition is easier.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:43 AM
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117: I probably misread 94. I probably can't make any group meetup on that weekend. Anyway, I hope your time up here goes well, at least.

If it weren't for tiny lungs, I would recommend having the meetup at mobybar for maximum burghness.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:45 AM
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Stalin was also very into water and the infrastructure thereof. I'm just saying.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:46 AM
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124.2: It's an actual crime to bring a child in.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:47 AM
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Everyone has a good side.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:49 AM
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126: Oh, fine, if it weren't for tiny lungs and the rest of the tiny person, as pursuant to the laws of the Commonwealth.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:50 AM
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124.2: Wait, which one is mobybar?


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:51 AM
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Squirrel Cage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:53 AM
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The one enshrouded in a perpetual fog due to its patrons' practicing of the ancient traditions.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:54 AM
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Sure, if you want to take all the mystery out of it, you can call it that, too.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 9:55 AM
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Come on, we're from a more tobacco-y commonwealth than you guys. I doubt they'd be impressed, plus I'll have the little one's rescue inhaler in my bag as usual.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:01 AM
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I wonder how many people did a silent "Yes!" when they heard your news, Thorn. Bc we believe in you and that you will be better off. Sad that it didnt improve. But you will be better off.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:07 AM
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Well, it's no solution, but it might be a significant amelioration. Especially if a lot of the arguments were about house standards.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:11 AM
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130: Makes sense.

131: That describes at least two places in walking distance of my house in Shadyside.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:32 AM
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The place that smells most like smoke is Poli's.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:35 AM
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Ugh, I'm sorry Thorn. I agree with everyone that it will be long-term for the best but let's not just walk over your right to feel bad in the short term. If you are going to co-parent I recommend as detailed an agreement as you can do, just as a stress reliever.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:37 AM
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We have a very detailed co-parenting agreement with who claims which child in taxes which year, who gets custody on odd-year Christmases, the whole deal. I don't think we'll actually abide by it (and it does request we go to mediation to pin down details in the event a breakup happens) and it's already on file with family court in our county. So I haven't worried about any of that. I also think people here have been plenty good about giving me space to feel bad and are just being happy I'm not doing that at the moment. But thanks, even though it sounds like I'm callously brushing off your entire comment! Oops!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:43 AM
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An understanding, welcoming couch has helped several friends through rough breakups, I sure hope the virtual version of the couch here is helpful to you Thorn.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:58 AM
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I hope all of you make it through this okay. I've been trying, all this time, to put myself in Lee's place, occasionally, and wonder what she's really thinking about everything. Life is bitter.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 10:59 AM
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I stand by my congratulations.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 11:10 AM
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Stand by your paean.


Posted by: Opinionated Tammy Wynette | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 11:16 AM
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The only thing that's stood in the way of my offering full-throated congratulations is that sometimes if the couple gets back together then things are awkward with congratulaors. But that doesn't seem likely to be an issue with you and this blog Thorn so allow me to add my congratulations to you AND your daughters who I am pretty sure will benefit from a not as oppressed you.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 11:43 AM
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Oh, I'm not likely to be hurt by anything anyone says and have heard worse in private. It's very sad because, as those of you who've met her know, she's a fun and warm person who is even fond of me to the extent she can manage. I can't really figure out everything she's thinking except that she wants to live the life she wants to live and is very frustrated by the real world that's keeping her from doing that. I'm heartbroken for her and wish she were seeing and doing things differently, because I do think her life is going to get worse in a number of ways, but I don't control that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 12:20 PM
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even fond of me to the extent she can manage

Gosh!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 12:25 PM
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I am not very whatever-the-fondness-version-of-lovable is, it seems. And to be fair, I'd answer something like that I love her but am deeply hurt by her behavior over the last many years or something like that, which is hardly a ringing endorsement.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 12:27 PM
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Fondable has a nice ribald ring to it. Don't get all invested in your inveterate unfondableness as seen from within the confines or wreckage of this relationship. Keep yourself open to the possibility that many other people may find you compellingly fondable.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 12:42 PM
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Right, I was considering the source rather than dealing in absolutes.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 12:44 PM
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I second the congratulations. And wishing good luck for the next few months. Sometimes complete strangers can see things with clarity that are hard when you're intimately involved. Also, toxic relationships have a way of sucking out self esteem. You can and will do better than Lee. It sounds like being single is better than Lee, so you're already doing better.*

*Being alone is a thousand times better than sharing a room with someone you're pretending doesn't exist. I don't know if it got toxic in that way, but not having to walk on eggshells or worry why Lee is out when you're not or why you're doing all the housework when someone else isn't is going to be such a psychological & emotional relief.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 12:57 PM
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At work we have to listen for cues like "My grandmother passed away..." or "Our oldest is starting college in September..." and empathize appropriately. This is always tricky when the cue you get is "I'm getting divorced". Can't just say "congratulations!" every time, obviously.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 1:15 PM
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whatever-the-fondness-version-of-lovable

Fondleable, obviously.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 1:28 PM
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Fondue. I wish you the best, Thorn, although I know this stuff can get tough. I also think you should, just maybe, consider a celebratory new pseudonym.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 1:46 PM
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...such as "Spine."


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 1:47 PM
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149: well then the only bone I have to pick with you is you aren't here eating cake. Most people are in the same boat.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 2:37 PM
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Anyway, Cosma, would Saturday work for you?


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 7:05 PM
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she wants to live the life she wants to live and is very frustrated by the real world that's keeping her from doing that.

ME TOO GOD DAMMIT

Sorry/happy to hear that, Thorn. I think you're great!


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 8-15 7:15 PM
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156: Absolutely.


Posted by: Cosma Shalizi | Link to this comment | 06- 9-15 5:58 AM
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"...don't count Jews as white (and you shouldn't)..."

Wait. What now? Most of the Jews I can recall appear to be caucasian (except Sammy Davis, Jr.). I suppose, given the nationalistic origin in the middle east, the term "semitic" might be used. But by and large they've appeared more white than black, brown, yellow, or red.

And isn't Jewishness more of a religious distinction than a racial one? I mean, one can convert to Judaism but not to Asian or Native American. And if a white person does convert, are they then no longer white? I'm a bit confused here.


Posted by: Steve | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:10 AM
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I'm a bit confused here.

Don't worry about it. That just indicates you're thinking.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:13 AM
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It's the drinking I find confusing. How did this drink get in my hand? I keep thinking if I drink it, then it won't be there anymore, but then there's another one.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:16 AM
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161: Are you in a bar?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:21 AM
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161 -- is this heaven ... or hell???


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:23 AM
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I'm in my car.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:24 AM
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A car endlessly circling a bar, forever.


Posted by: TRO | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:26 AM
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164: Are you in Montana? Because they say that in Montana, every car is a bar.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:27 AM
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163: To know that we would need to know the drink, right?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:27 AM
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161 could be the start of the lyrics for a Talking Heads song.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 9:30 AM
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Hell, perhaps.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 06-11-15 10:40 AM
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