Re: Dickball

1

I'm not saying the solution is to abolish softball leagues.

It's what you should be saying, though. People can play ball on their own time. That fucking tee shirt cost $5 that could have been in my bonus.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:16 AM
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You don't have to pay for the T-shirt yourself if you play? Boston has a church softball league. It costs about $70 to play, because you need to pony up for the shirt and to pay the referees.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:23 AM
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I'm joking, but no, you don't have to pay. My company is constantly giving people tee shirts and awards for various things, including the softball team, on the theory that it's good for morale. What about loner morale?!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:28 AM
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I had never given this issue a moment's thought, but by George, Becks is right. The quota rules come about because people are more concerned about winning than having fun. And if you're not in it to have fun and enjoy the company of your colleagues, you're missing the point of the softball league. It's of a piece with recruiting ringers to play on the company team. Let those fuckers win all the championships, it just doesn't matter that much.

I played soccer (very, very badly) in an informal league with my colleagues from my Paris days, and I was pretty much the equivalent of the female handicap (we had a couple of women who played on our team, and they were distinctly better than me). I would get juked, the other team would score, my teammates would roll their eyes, and life would go on. We had a good time, we worked up a sweat to make the cold panaché afterwards taste better, and that was that. Sometimes we faced all-male teams (such as L'Oreal, for chrissakes!). So what?

I still have my tricot from the team, the back of which is emblazoned with a mildly unflattering nickname that my teammates chose for me.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:37 AM
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You'd love my firm, Becks. The softball team is expressly "men only." (It's okay, women are sometimes invited to come and watch.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:37 AM
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What about loner morale?!

For that, there's unfogged.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:38 AM
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re: 4

Yeah, male European friends of mine who played informal soccer while at college in the US used to joke about the gender handicaps all being reversed.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:42 AM
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Wow, Di. In some ways your firm sounds worse than LizardBreath's old one.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:42 AM
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Oddly, the only company softball team I played on was in a league dominated by women. Men like me who had played baseball waltzed into the game thinking it was putt-putt is to golf only to be schooled by women who knew how to 1) hit a softball, 2) throw a softball, and 3) catch a softball. (Which, I quickly learned, is much more difficult to do in a glove designed to catch baseballs than softballs.)

Put another way, I think you'd have enjoyed watching hairy men with barrel chests and egos to match get schooled by women whose ponytails flounced out the back of their caps.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:51 AM
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8: It's okay. They did a survey about diversity last year, so I know they care.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:59 AM
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Damn, I'd forgotten how much the softball thing pushed my buttons. I played softball in college! I used to be good! Bastards.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:01 AM
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We have a softball team at my company, whoever plays (I'd never heard of quotas for a softball team until reading this), and women are among the best players on the team. Thhhbpt! Also, our company is woman owned and the men are pretty well outnumbered.

IM IN UR OFFIZ BILDIN INVERTIN UR STEREOTIPZ


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:10 AM
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12: Where is that prediction thread? I predict that Tweety will be completely fucking insufferable today. You know, unlike other days.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:15 AM
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The quota rules come about because people are more concerned about winning than having fun.

Almost every intramural coed system I've seen has had some rule about the number of women mostly to ensure that people are more concerned about having fun than winning.

I worry that if Becks' company abolishes the quota, the result isn't only the women who want to play playing, but the whole affair turning into a boys' club because who would ask a girl? More like Di's company.

I made a junior faculty guy blush and stammer a couple years back when he was explaining how awesome this conference was, because it was all philosophy, and then basketball, and I asked whether any women played basketball...


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:20 AM
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Almost every intramural coed system I've seen has had some rule about the number of women mostly to ensure that people are more concerned about having fun than winning.

This might be generally true, but with soccer and softball, I've always been the one who over-insisted it was about having fun because I had no hope of winning.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:28 AM
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13: tee hee!

Seriously though, I'd never heard of this. Clearly the solution is for a certain strain of embarrassingly over-competitive middle aged dude to stop thinking corporate softball is the vehicle for living out all his cast-aside childhood fantasies of playing in the majors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:30 AM
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Umpire: Okay, let's go over the ground rules. You can't leave first until you chug a beer. Any man scoring has to chug a beer. You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings. Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning.

Chief Wiggum: [in sports uniform] Hey, we know how to play softball.


Posted by: norbizness | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:38 AM
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First reaction: wow, it's like a microcosm of the politics of the American workplace.

Second reaction: There's a conservative lecture circuit that would pay cash money to hear a speech about gender and the workplace that was built around this anecdote.

Third reaction: Given di's story, the best solution is to make the softball team whites only.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:39 AM
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16: Clearly the solution is for a certain strain of embarrassingly over-competitive middle aged dude to stop thinking corporate softball is the vehicle for living out all his cast-aside childhood fantasies of playing in the majors.

Hah! Fat chance, this was basically the raison d'etre for half of the leagues I have been familiar with. There is a big range—some have fun, drink beer leagues as well. You can usually smell out which it is with a few questions to the person trying to recruit you.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:46 AM
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The closest I've seen to this is five-a-side football, here in the UK. There are a lot of competitive bastards playing which makes for a crap day out for people like me who aren't (relatively speaking) that good. The company team I (literally) once played for had one particularly infuriating middle-aged guy who was exactly like that.

Ironically, we also had one player in our team who'd been a professional player [for a team that's now in the current Scottish Premier division]. He was so much better than the rest of us* that 'competitive middle-aged guy' ought to have known to shut it and give it a rest [but he didn't].

* the cunning tactic of 'give the ball to Davey, and then watch him single-handedly run up double figure scores against the opposition while the other four concentrate on tackling the shit out of them when they got anywhere near our goal' was surprisingly effective ...


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:52 AM
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||

I'm a moderate now and I would like to suggest a compromise answer to the question "Should we invade Iran?"

As it happens, the present government of Iraq is getting uppity, talking about "sovereignty", making deals with Iran, and refusing to accept our plans for a permanent occupation. What we need to do, obviously, is invade Iraq again, and liberate the Iraqis for real this time.

That will be easier than starting a new war in a new country, because all of our troops are already there in Iraq. The new liberation government we set up can hang Maliki and Sadr and a bunch of the rest of them, we'll be welcomed as liberators, and Iraq will become peaceful.

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:54 AM
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21: I like it. Troops already in place lead to lower logistic costs, yielding a substantial cashflow upside. Patriotic fervor boosts stateside retail sales. We give Maliki a sporting chance let him run free for a bit and find a spiderhole to his liking, maybe run a reality TV show of the hunt. Profit!

And everyone has a share!


Posted by: Milo Minderbinder | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:05 AM
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(Blows ref whistle)

|| is for declarations that are not meant to derail a thread. Obviously, anything about Iraq is going to derail a thread. This is also in violation of the "no politics in non-political threads" rule. You wanna talk about Iraq, go take over that disaster of a "putative damages" thread.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:14 AM
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Is there such a rule? I have not been informed.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:15 AM
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||

If there were only some feminist bloggers, they could make it clear that Israel is fully within its rights to transfer the Palestinians to other countries. Relatedly, if Obama selects Clinton as his VP, the atmosphere will become unbreathable.

|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:22 AM
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||

Have you seen the latest McArdle atrocity? Also, analytic philosophy really isn't going anywhere these days.

|>


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:38 AM
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||

You know what rule? Strip clubs.

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:40 AM
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Just because she begins two posts with unattributable citations of conventional wisdom -- "We often here what!?!" -- doesn't mean she's writing atrocities. The real atrocity lies with whoever it is she's citing, as that person's an ignorant ass.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:42 AM
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I'm not saying the solution is to abolish softball leagues

I am. Look, you people, just because I have to work with you doesn't mean I don't have to play with you. Go away.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:43 AM
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Oh hell. Fury-inspired double negative.


Posted by: slolernr | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:44 AM
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Don't worry, I planned on picking you last anyway.


Posted by: SEK | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:46 AM
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We often here what!?!"

We often here strip naked and shave our bodies. No reason, just seems like a thing.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that I'm the only one here that has found playing in my corporate softball league to be an entertaining and harmless way to while away a summer evening in the company of beer, but I sort of am. It's slow-pitch softball! Who gives a fuck?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:47 AM
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It's slow-pitch softball! Who gives a fuck?

I once watched a colleague get deservedly ejected by an umpire for arguing balls and strikes.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:54 AM
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||

I have a lunch date with ArchivesMegan, and need to talk with her about contingency planning (in case the power in half of downtown DC doesn't get switched back on). Could someone email me her cell number via the enabled link? Thanks.

|>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:57 AM
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Almost every intramural coed system I've seen has had some rule about the number of women mostly to ensure that people are more concerned about having fun than winning.

My experience as well, but the only league I've been an actual member of is an extremely laid back summer grad school one at alma mater. The quota there is I think 2, but it's generally ignored on a game-by-game basis, and the team of ringer assholes that really cared ignored it altogether.

Of course, the league also features a lot of East Asians who need to be pointed towards first base and South Asians who refuse to wear gloves, not to mention, you know, geeky male grad students, so it's not like the women are definitively the weak link.

Personally, I've always been surprised at the lack of decent female players, as I grew up with a sporty mom and sister and take for granted that that's pretty common. OTOH, decent female players probably have better leagues to be in.

Oh, and FWIW, I thought 21 was just meant as a non-controversial joke, since it's not like anyone here would even entertain invading Iran or really anything but immediate and precipitous withdrawal from Iraq.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:57 AM
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33: ahh, our league doesn't have strikeouts. That probably helps keep things mellow.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:59 AM
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I once watched a colleague get deservedly ejected by an umpire for arguing balls and strikes.

Our league doesn't even have balls and strikes! The "strike zone" is a piece of carpet behind the plate, and the ball count is unlimited. You get two foul balls after 2 strikes before you strike out. The 1st & 3rd base coaches double as umpires!

I will admit that tempers occasionally flare, but about 90% of the time that will come from the inevitable Ringer Team. Hell, if you're short a player, rather than forfeit, the other team just lends you a catcher (who is not responsible for plays at home, I would add).

There's no beer - it's played in the campus football stadium - but other than that, it's a perfect level of softball, IMO.

On preview, I see that Tweety's league has pwned mine.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:03 AM
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I'm also pretty sure abolishing quotas isn't a good idea. I think it's safe to assume at least three groups of people: 1) dickish guys who define their self-worth in terms of beer league softball success, 2) people (women, in Becks's case, but they don't have to be) who don't want to play at all, and 3) people like Sifu who just want to get out and have some fun.

Quotas allow 1 to make life miserable for 3 for as long as 3 is required to insist that they don't want to play. But they also temper 1's influence on the actual game, allowing 3 to have a good time. Since it seems to me like the whole apparatus is more concerned with 3 (and, of course, the actual game) than it is with 2, this seems like a good thing.

The thing is, feminism and particular individuals notwithstanding, most men are better than most women at most sports. Requiring each team to include a certain number of women generally makes everyone less competitive about it, IME, allowing everybody to have more fun.


Posted by: Mother's Younger Brother | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:03 AM
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34 -- Never mind.


Posted by: Nápi | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:03 AM
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Personally, I've always been surprised at the lack of decent female players

[sexist comment here]


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:06 AM
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I think perhaps better than requiring women to play would be the enforcement of Tweety-style rules: beer, no strikeouts, and relentless mocking of anyone who thinks winning a middle-aged softball league is the equivalent of holding the pass at Thermopylae (okay, maybe that last rule is more calastyle.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:07 AM
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I don't know if our company even has a softball team in the various spring/summer leagues around here. In the fall, we do have a coed flag football team (two, actually) that competes against other company teams, which seems like it could be fun, but again becomes a slightly more competitive sport especially in the hands of our mostly-20-something analysts.

I was really happy when they changed the format of the city frisbee league I play in to create a competitive league and a normal league. Sure, each division is smaller now, but it's a lot more fun for all involved to play against people with somewhat similar skills and seriousness. Plus, they reduced the number of women required on the field at all times from 3 to 2 (out of 7), which makes it easier to put together a team and tends to result in fewer games of 4 women showing up and all of them dying by the end of the match.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:09 AM
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I thought the rationale for quotas also was so that competitive types wouldn't reflexively choose only men, not just because they aren't allowed to, but because they know all the other teams aren't allowed to, either.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:09 AM
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Umpires could also be empowered to blow calls and throw games if the inevitable ringer team gets too assholish. You'd have to make sure that the non-ringer team doesn't have any high-minded people on it to take sides with the ringers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:11 AM
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I'm the only one here that has found playing in my corporate softball league to be an entertaining and harmless way to while away a summer evening in the company of beer, but I sort of am

I likely would have, too, if I worked at a woman-owned company where the men are outnumbered and girls are allowed to play ball.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:19 AM
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Didn't someone here mention a company that had a woman's knitting circle which the men resented?

I used to know an annoying macho guy whose shrink had prescribed crocheting as therapy. He crocheted dutifully, but the heart attack everyone predicted croaked him anyway.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:22 AM
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My guess is that most places (not where you have a concentration of good female ball players and a generally egalitarian setup, but most places) without quotas, women would get completely shut out of softball leagues by explicit or implicit social pressure, as at Di's workplace. As a non-sports type, I don't have a strong opinion as to which is better or worse, the annoying quotas, or women who want to play (like Di) not being allowed to, but I'd bet serious money that teams with just a couple of women, who are actually interested in playing, is not in today's society going to be a common equilibrium result.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:28 AM
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44 sounds suspiciously like a cloaked political comment to me.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:38 AM
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45: it seems like it's pretty fun for the other teams in our league, too, but there of course could be workplace dynamics at those companies that I'm not aware of. There are also specific things about my job that could make me not aware of workplace dynamics here, so.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:38 AM
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There are also specific things about my job that could make me not aware of workplace dynamics here, so.

I'm sure all the other employees are also working out of basement janitor's closets, Sifu. That's just the kind of place it is.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:39 AM
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50: that's what they keep telling me.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:40 AM
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I used to know an annoying macho guy whose shrink had prescribed crocheting as therapy. He crocheted dutifully, but the heart attack everyone predicted croaked him anyway.

This is the inevitable result of educational theories that emphasize female rather than male ways of learning and paying attention.

"If you ever feel angry, Tyler, just sit and stare at the wall for half an hour, and before you know it you'll be relaxed and cooled down. It worked for Jessica."


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:41 AM
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I live every moment of my life like I am defending the pass at Thermopylae.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:43 AM
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53: It seems to be working for Kevin Garnett. Though sometimes shooting in the clutch moments is more important than defending the pass.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:44 AM
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teams with just a couple of women, who are actually interested in playing, is not in today's society going to be a common equilibrium result.

No offense to H-G, but LB is right. To me the solution is a low quota number (in informal/company leagues, that is; rec leagues can have truly coed and all-male and all-female divisions, and draw from broader pools, so they can do whatever) - it prevents a lot of the dynamic that Becks is complaining about (how hard is it to find 1-2 women willing to come out and hang around a ballfield?), and it establishes the overall tone of the league. If a company is lucky enough to have 2 really good women, then so be it - they likely wouldn't get a chance to play absent a quota anyway.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:46 AM
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it prevents a lot of the dynamic that Becks is complaining about (how hard is it to find 1-2 women willing to come out and hang around a ballfield?)

I bet each individual woman would be more likely to take part if the quota was, say, 8. But being alone or with some other random woman surrounded by guys who all take it more seriously than you? Hmmm.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:48 AM
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Also, not letting everybody who wants to play, play? Total dick move.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:48 AM
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52: I think the therapist prescribed the therapy for everyone else's benefit, not annoying macho guy. He was doomed, but at least he was less annoyingly macho for the last few months/years.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:52 AM
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(how hard is it to find 1-2 women willing to come out and hang around a ballfield?)

I've seen the dynamic Becks describes in 2-woman coed leagues.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:52 AM
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In emergencies homosexuals could be allowed to function as designated women. The emergency would have to be formally declared, however, and the hpmosexuality documented.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:55 AM
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And thus is another benefit of full-time telecommuting revealed.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:56 AM
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I have a softball game in a few hours. It can be a bit sexist sometimes because of the guys from the History department (sorry), but a lot of the guys are new to the game, and most of us are really playing against ourselves. I like exercising environments in which I'm mostly playing against myself, but with competition to motivate me.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:56 AM
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YOU RUN LIKE A GIRL, AWB

STEP IT UP AND SHOW US WHAT YOU'RE MADE OF IF YOU'VE GOT WHAT IT TAKES


Posted by: OPINIONATED COACH | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:58 AM
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Well, phew. Me 'n AWB 'n JRoth will be off having a fine time drinking beer and throwing the ball 15 feet over first base while the rest of you solve the problems of the world.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:58 AM
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Count on AWB to take the minority position. "Coed softball is fun". Hmph. Party-pooper.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:59 AM
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I bet each individual woman would be more likely to take part if the quota was, say, 8. But being alone or with some other random woman surrounded by guys who all take it more seriously than you? Hmmm.

Well, good point about the dynamic. I guess I'm assuming that, even though every team will have its share of over-serious dicks, it will also have its share of Sifus. Assuming you work with and like Sifu, playing softball with him should be fine as well. Also, I'm kind of presuming that there are, in fact, a couple of women at each company who to play softball, and that dragooning only happens occasionally.

If the league has a non-dick dynamic as a whole, the quota isn't also a ceiling - our league often has teams with 4 women (granted, usually out of more than 10 total on the roster)


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:00 AM
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Well, we don't have quotas, and there aren't enough from each department to play fixed teams, so teams are chosen on the field. We play pretty hard, but it's understood that there will be men and women who want to play but aren't very good, so you learn to be pretty chill about it. The only people who irritate me are the guys who are truly terrible players who insist on playing really key positions. Oh, guy with no depth perception and a tendency to drop things? Yeah, shortstop is like the perfect position for you!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:01 AM
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In emergencies homosexuals could be allowed to function as designated women. The emergency would have to be formally declared, however, and the hpmosexuality documented.

I think I've heard of this as a for-real rule in tolerant, light-hearted leagues.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:03 AM
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Also, I run the whole softball thing along with a very nice and feminist-allied dude friend, so there's not some sexist schmuck for sexist dudes to appeal to. They do often try to play this shit with my friend, who forwards me all their weird emails about how "things ought to be run" so we can laugh at them.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:05 AM
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But being alone or with some other random woman surrounded by guys who all take it more seriously than you? Hmmm.

See? This is the implicit assumption guys make about women that leads to guys not wanting women on their team. There are, in fact, competitive women. What would be annoying is being alone or with some other random woman with a bunch of condescending schmucks pandering to you like you are the dead weight on the team.

Personally, I would prefer a system where (a) the team is well-publicized, and (b) everybody who wants to play has to be given the chance to play. But that's not going to solve the inevitable issues of "Why don't you go play out in right field, honey?"

So maybe we should just get rid of patriarchy. Yeah, I think that would be good.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:05 AM
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67: Oh man, Weds was my first game with this team, which is kind of thrown together, and we were short - only 9 players, maybe 4 of whom could reliably make basic plays. It's hard to hide 5 people out there.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:06 AM
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"Why don't you go play out in right field, honey?"

But I'm already in right field! Or rather, I was, until the (informal) team captain saw me drop a fly ball (not my fault! New glove!) and decided she'd better move me to catcher.

(Yes, I totally am being insufferable. We're hiring!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:10 AM
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only 9 players, maybe 4 of whom could reliably make basic plays. It's hard to hide 5 people out there

Heh. Welcome to Little League.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:10 AM
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So maybe we should just get rid of patriarchy. Yeah, I think that would be good.

See, you try to fix beer league softball, and people start talking crazy.

Don't worry your pretty little head about it, Di. You can catch.*

* One of us will cover home in event of a play, of course.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:12 AM
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70: I'm with you there. Law seems particularly dickish, though. My friend recently started as the only female attorney at her small firm, and she's still wondering when they'll realize it's not ok to talk about how hot some women look naked at the attorney lunches.

Also, in quota leagues (particularly for man-to-man defense sports), getting some good competitive women really can make the entire team. That's how my frisbee team nearly took the entire league last year despite having just decent guys. Our girls would just run all over the opposition, and we'd give them plenty of space by drawing the male defenders away. Still, it's just harder to create balanced teams or fun competitive teams after college.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:13 AM
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"Why don't you go play out in right field, honey?"

I suppose you could solve that with rotated positions.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:16 AM
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I suppose I can be one of the competitive ones. (Well the last time I actually played was 15 years ago, and I like to think of my abilities as completely undiminished.) Just personally so; we can lose but I don't want to suck. I do get annoyed by some of the folks of both genders with no clue though (stewing inwardly without any crochet hooks in sight). For instance, let's say I'm the left fielder and you're playing third base. When the ball is hit to me and there are runners you should A) go stand next to third base, and B) look in the direction from which a throw may come.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:17 AM
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Heh. Welcome to Little League.

The nice thing is that, unlike Little League, I am not one of the ones being hidden. I was bad enough as a kid that mere competence feels like redemption.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:22 AM
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Just personally so; we can lose but I don't want to suck.

Exactly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:24 AM
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I have a feeling that I am never, ever going to play a sport again in my life.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:25 AM
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77: I dunno, I want to not suck, too. We definitely try not to put the people with zero clue in positions where that'll matter. It helps, certainly, that the women on the team are incredibly competitive.

Actually the first couple seasons of this league the woman who is now (informal) captain was incredibly competitive but didn't really know how to play yet, so she'd do things like run in from left field to cover first. "It's cool, we've got it!"


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:25 AM
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78: hah! No doubt, no doubt. Every time a throw goes to the person I intended to throw it to an angel gets its wings.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:26 AM
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One of the problems with softball and baseball is that there is a lot of skill to the game (knowing where to look, where to stand, etc.) such that if you haven't played it before, you can be reasonably athletic and still piss off your whole team, or end up standing around in right field.

Standing around is not exercise. At least with intramural soccer you're running around a lot.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:32 AM
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women whose ponytails flounced out the back of their caps.

I know it's an unfortunately perky look, but us long-haired gals don't have a lot of choices when it's hot.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:33 AM
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One of the problems with softball and baseball is that there is a lot of skill to the game (knowing where to look, where to stand, etc.) such that if you haven't played it before, you can be reasonably athletic and still piss off your whole team, or end up standing around in right field.

I'm coaching little league this year, and this is so, so true! Trying to explain to these girls the concept of not just standing there waiting for somebody else to do something is... Challenging. As is trying to rotate everyone through lots of positions such that nobody is singled out for sucking but also so that, collectively, we minimize the sucking. It's fun to think that this will all still be a problem when the girls grow up and start playing beer league ball.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:44 AM
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How about the French braid?


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:45 AM
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This is a really good post. Thanks, Becks.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:45 AM
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Standing around is not exercise.

Maybe softball is not the game for you, Cala. It's fair to say that even the very most skilled softball player is going to do a fair chunk of standing around.

As far as people not knowing where to look or what to do, it seems like it would be incumbent on the rest of the team to, you know, tell them.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:45 AM
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If Cala were more Zen she'd know how to stand around properly. Analytic philosophy has ruined her for that, though.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:48 AM
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re: 89

Analytic philosophy was partly honed by English men educated in the ways of cricket, which is the standing-around-sport par excellence.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:52 AM
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90: yeah you need to be pretty toned to stand around for three straight days.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:53 AM
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90: Yeah, but there the standing-around effect is dominated by the masochism effect. Barehandedly catching an all-leather ball with minimal seams hit with any pace or height? Fucking stings like hell.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:56 AM
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But they've gone so far from their roots, ttaM. As soon as I get interested in an analytic philosopher (Wittgenstein, Austen, Rorty) the rest of them mob them and drive them from the discipline.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:57 AM
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Gilbert Ryle had high esteem for Austen, but I don't think that makes her an analytic philosopher, John.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:58 AM
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One nice thing about softball is that knowing the rules & having a clue makes up for lack of athleticism to a certain extent. Though the last time I played I managed to foul tip myself in the head--apparently the slow-pitch pitcher from my own team put way too much spin on it for me to handle.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 9:59 AM
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91: You misspelled "stoned".


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:04 AM
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As soon as I get interested in an analytic philosopher (Wittgenstein, Austen, Rorty) the rest of them mob them and drive them from the discipline.

I have no idea what you are talking about here.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:05 AM
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In emergencies homosexuals could be allowed to function as designated women.

Go with the bisexuals, they can pitch and catch.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:07 AM
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Standing around is not exercise.

Cala finds common ground with Don Rumsfeld


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:08 AM
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Properly played, there is actually much less standing around in baseball and softball than commonly occurs. Every throw to first should be backed up by the right fielder (unless coming from right field, duh). There's yer exercise right there.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:08 AM
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Cala is obviously a youngster, though. I remember a time in my life when I said "Gardening is not exercise."


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:09 AM
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Austin not Austen. Recently someone signing themselves "Analytic Philosopher" explained here that Wittgenstein isn't regarded very highly any more, and that "ordinary-language philosophy" was a terrible mistake. Rorty is grudgingly accepted, but his proposals for a broadening of philosophy were firmly and absolutely rejected and have left little trace. I'm sure that admirers of these people have their niches, but the discipline seems to have passed them by.

But this is the softball thread! And I'm a troll!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:14 AM
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88: If I were good at softball, the standing around would be punctuated by fun. If I have to suck at a sport, I'd rather it be one where I could suck at it and have fun.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:14 AM
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100: well, right, fielders should be shifting for every batter, people should be running in to take cutoff throws, etc. Then there's the other half of the game, where everybody stands around waiting for one person to hit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:14 AM
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67- As a misanthropic, I've done well with individual sports, but decided to join my work coed-team one summer. Our team regularly competed for the championship.

So they'd invariably put the three women as catcher, right field, and first or second base. And even so, they would not actually get to play the position. The center fielder would lean towards right field and grab whatever came over there. Play at the plate? Pitcher comes over.

There were ten in the field, so they would put me in between left and center fields (don't know what that's called). I begged over a few games to play 3rd base, emphasis 'during a game that mattered'.

Finally, they put me there in a 'game that mattered' in which we were winning by seven. A couple came to me and I made the plays. But they scored runs with hits elsewhere. Then next inning I was put back to middle left-center field.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:14 AM
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But this is the softball thread! And I'm a troll!

Both excellent points.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:15 AM
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88: As far as people not knowing where to look or what to do, it seems like it would be incumbent on the rest of the team to, you know, tell them.

And many teams do: "Throw the ball, asshole. Second base! SECOND BASE!! You fucking idiot!Jeez, I didn't mean to throw it like a girl."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:16 AM
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And I'm a happy troll!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:16 AM
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I need to be braver about the double-play. I get so excited when I make a quick out at second that I have a hard time believing I'll get it reliably to first without a tragedy.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:19 AM
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I last played either baseball or softball in the summer of 2004, and mostly stood around uselessly as a fielder (third base for some reason) until I surprised everyone, myself included, by catching someone out on a line drive. Since I'm unlikely to improve on that, I refuse to play again.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:19 AM
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So does it seem to anybody else that we seem to be dividing into "people who like softball", "people who hate softball", and "Di", without any super obvious gender breakdown?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:20 AM
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Where is that prediction thread? I predict that Tweety will be completely fucking insufferable today. You know, unlike other days.

No, that's not how that thread worked. It was for predictions that proved false.


Posted by: asl | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:21 AM
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Wasn't Di's gender breakdown during the UNG period obvious enough for you?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:22 AM
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111: Well, there are those of us who just wish this thread could be about real sports. But yeah, that seems about right.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:22 AM
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112: well, geez.

Okay! Softball is dumb! Yay, hating those assholes at the office! Woo, I hate my job!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:24 AM
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There are those of us who don't really like participating in team sports of any kind.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:24 AM
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I played in a league that was even more obnoxious- if you walked a man batting in front of a woman he was given a two-base walk on the theory that you were pitching around him to get to the weaker-hitting woman and possibly set up a DP.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:28 AM
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See? This is the implicit assumption guys make about women that leads to guys not wanting women on their team. There are, in fact, competitive women. What would be annoying is being alone or with some other random woman with a bunch of condescending schmucks pandering to you like you are the dead weight on the team.

I responded to someone who was saying "how hard is it to find 1-2 women willing to come out and hang around a ballfield?", not "how hard is it to find 1-2 women who want to play softball?"

What I meant was that nobody wants to be a token.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:30 AM
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Oh fuck, I just remembered that the reason I've been enjoying softball so much this summer is that Supreme Douche has been out of town the past three weeks and might be returning today. Groan. We have a lot of annoying, legalistic assholes who play, but their king is absolutely insufferable and totally shameless about stopping the game every inning to whine about how everyone is cheating and lying and so he is struggling about whether to start cheating and lying himself, against all his principles, just to make things fair. IME, we're shockingly fair. All disputed calls require a consensus from both teams, and they're settled really quickly because everyone's so easy-going. But damn, Supreme Douche is such a fucking douche.

I saw him last September, right after the softball season, at the grocery store, and said hi. He didn't even recognize my face, much less my name. Even when I said how he knew me, that we'd played ball together every week all summer, he couldn't remember me. I RUN THE FUCKING LEAGUE. This spring, he emailed the guy I run it with to muse on whether I must think he's a bad person because he didn't know who I was. No, dude, I just think you're a bad person in general. No harm done.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:32 AM
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117: wow that's retarded.

Men: they really are assholes!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:32 AM
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How about the French braid?

a. I've never learned how to do it on my own hair.
b. It looks stupid on me.

I do, however, look cute as a button with pigtails.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:33 AM
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116: I'd join you in that group, but I'm a loner. A rebel.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:33 AM
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Ooh, pigtails! I may do that today. Of course, I'm not really someone who has the potential to look cute in softball gear (I look all butch and dykey, in the hopes of scoring with the hott lesbian who plays on the next field over), but it might keep the flyaway hair in check.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:35 AM
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Argh! Fucking patriarchy. This all makes me mad because I really like team sports, but I haven't gotten to enjoy playing them since the end of junior high because there are always fucking asshole dudes around.

I'm part of yet another generation of women getting their exercise by running on the treadmill at the gym.

I was always jealous of my older brother and friends I had in college who would get exercise by horsing around with friends several nights a week playing either basketball or soccer. I tried to do that, but it was never any fun because of all the jackasses. It's like dude, we're trying to shoot the ball between two backpacks on a patch of grass with no decent lights and you're going to be so determined to win that you refuse to pass to me? Fuck that shit.

The annoying part is that women's leagues, where they exist, tend to be for more serious players, 'cause all the mediocre people who might have been interested in playing gave up long ago.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:38 AM
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re: 122

I like hanging out with people and doing non-competitive stuff.

I just generally can't be arsed with the whole competitive-people-trying-to-win-stuff-together. I don't really care about winning much at anything* so team sports are generally shit except in those very rare circumstances when you are playing with other people who also don't care much [which is rare].

* except arguments.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:38 AM
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We're hiring, leblanc.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:40 AM
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125: I like being by myself in places far from civilization. And candy. I like candy. If there were a caramel-eating team, I'd captain the hell out of it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:41 AM
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So does it seem to anybody else that we seem to be dividing into "people who like softball", "people who hate softball", and "Di"

I can't even be on one of the teams in a stupid Unfogged thread?! God, what's a girl gotta do to get included?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:41 AM
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If you need sassy lawyers and can pay me more than $60,000 and I don't have to work more than 50 hours a week, I'm all ears.

Actually, I love my job, because I have never, not even for one single moment, had to deal with any sexist crap from anyone I work with. It's actually kind of incredible.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:42 AM
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possibly set up a DP.

This is not something you usually do in private with one or two of your closest friends?


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:42 AM
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128: okay, Di, you can play, geez.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:42 AM
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Yay!!


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:44 AM
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124: I really miss that about college. I was fortunate to have male friends who weren't assholes about playing six on six soccer in the dark, so we'd play out on the fields about twice a week when the weather was nice. Or tackle football in the snow.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:46 AM
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131, 132: psst everybody, cheat up a little bit towards where Di is supposed to comment.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:47 AM
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I just discovered that there is a d in Chicago. Run by the gays, natch, as they've got some sense.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:50 AM
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Actually, I rather like softball.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:50 AM
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OT: Regarding the situation I mentioned in the Real People thread, what exactly is the etiquette when you're seeing someone, you ask them out on a specific occasion, they can't come and are busy for a week, and will get back to you when things calm down, but then almost three weeks pass and all you get are a couple of book-recommendation text messages? Is there a statute of limitations before one says, "Hey, dude, you can tell me if you don't want to date anymore" or "Are you okay?" or renew the invitation? Or is one's best option (given that all seems to be going well and he's been the demonstrative one) to just chill out and assume he'll get in contact at some point?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:52 AM
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135 looks like it would be a lot of fun. I mean, I'd probably really like the fall flag football league if it wasn't full of my coworkers.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:53 AM
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(My inclination, given experience, is just to lay low, but it seems somewhat unnatural to simply cease to acknowledge that the last time you spoke he was all "OMG you're incredible and beautiful and we have so much fun and we should do all these awesome things together.")


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:54 AM
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110: Ben is Owen Meany.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:55 AM
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137: Possibly chill out and start arranging a couple new dates. Sadly, this just happened to a friend of mine totally out of nowhere. He was a good guy, and seemed like he'd have to balls to break things off in person, but he just dropped off the face of the earth. Weird shit happens sometimes.

But if you really like this guy, call him to set something up, people can be flakey and uncertain. Maybe he's all freaked because he thinks he's always been the person calling.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:56 AM
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||
I find women with a few curves much more attractive than these stick-thin models we're all supposed to like. Also, Obama is half way to selling out.
|>


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:56 AM
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The correct answer is to instant-message, "Dude, it's time to put out," or whatever the correct abbreviation is. DDT2PTOUT?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 10:59 AM
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137, 139: Kick him aside, move on.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:01 AM
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137: Do you have a link to the comment in the thread? I'm not sure how to advise you. People in your world don't act the same as the ones I know.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:01 AM
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It's like dude, we're trying to shoot the ball between two backpacks on a patch of grass with no decent lights and you're going to be so determined to win that you refuse to pass to me? Fuck that shit.

You should try again. IMLE, the ratio of competitive bastards to total pool changes as you increase in age or education. As long as you can match to the appropriate skill level league, I guess I'd be at least mildly surprised if it was a problem.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:02 AM
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146: yeah, I think the variety of dickheadedness in adult leagues is much greater, and if you're actually seeking one out rather than just signing up at the office or whatever you should be able to find people who are non-jerky.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:04 AM
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137: I say don't try to figure out what's going on in his head, which is impossible and tedious. If you're really fine with just drifting, then drift. Otherwise, I'd say, "I haven't heard back from you about our rain check. If things are still busy for you, that's cool [assuming it is cool with you]. Let me know when you've got some time to get together. There's that great new indie film opening next weekend. But if there's something else going on, you can tell me."


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:06 AM
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I think I'd proceed as Sir Kraab said, but not put a lot of weight on anything further happening.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:08 AM
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141, 145: Thanks. (Here's the link.) I don't really know what the situation is. He's way, way out of my league in every objective sense, so I think I've been a bit fatalistic about it, though very much enjoying it while it lasts, so it's possible I've failed to be as demonstrative as he has, though not shy about asking him out. Or it could just be that he's stressed with stuff and wants to see me when he's feeling calmer. I'm not used to feeling like I have the luxury to care about a continued relationship, but I had felt that in this case it wasn't unwarranted. But, at any rate, I will know him for the next thirty years or so, as we're in the same field. I just don't want to make things awkward by pressing something he doesn't want.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:09 AM
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75: man-to-man defense sports

Um . . .


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:09 AM
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137: Aren't you the person here who's supposed to know these things? Aren't most of the rest of us social inept or married or both?

My advice remains the same as always: forget the guy.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:10 AM
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75: Still, it's just harder to create balanced teams or fun competitive teams after college.

My experience across more years and sports and age groups and league setups than I care to enumerate is that team sports really only "work" at the extremes. All out for winning, or pure yucks and beer (like the one Sifu lied about above until he admitted a drop in RF got him demoted), everything in between is pretty made out of fail and hard feelings. But don't let that stop anyone. It's a good experience to figure out if you're a sports asshole or not (ahem .. Po-mo ...ahem).

But the best "asshole filter" off all is to coach youth sports. Everyone should follow Di's lead and do that at least once. It really can have the most amazing transformative effect on seemingly sane people ... or yourself!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:10 AM
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148 sounds good. Maybe I'll give it another week and then ask what's up.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:11 AM
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How appropriate that we're talking about AWB's dating life in the Dickball thread.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:13 AM
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Youth sports also brings the worst in people. Sports is a lot like relationships.

Pro sports too. Good sportsmanship is sports is like diamonds in a diamond mine, rare, precious and embedded in slag.

That's not necessarily true, but I'm playing to type.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:14 AM
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women whose ponytails flounced out the back of their caps. Hawt. Not kidding.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:18 AM
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Perv.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:19 AM
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he was all "OMG you're incredible and beautiful and we have so much fun and we should do all these awesome things together."

There's a certain profile of people who I very much detest, who fall in love with a new best friend for a month or two, then totally ditch them.

I'm not saying this guy is that guy, but if he is, fuck him.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:21 AM
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AWB, I liked Po-Mo's advice in 141, because you really never do know when someone is just thinking, "Am I always the one calling? Maybe I will wait for her to call!"

I vote casual invite for the weekend, and if he declines explicitly say, "Okay, ball's in your court. Let me know if you want to get together."


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:21 AM
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"Dickball" seems like a good thing to shout in frustrating traffic situations.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:23 AM
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I'm not saying this guy is that guy, but if he is, fuck him.

But only for a month or two....


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:23 AM
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"Dick Ball" seems like the type of inadvertent naming tragicomedy a middle aged man might suffer from.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:24 AM
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I've worked for two companies that had softball teams and neither had membership quotas. Is this something required by the leagues or is it required by the company in order to have the company's name attached? Either way I think if women who work there are not interested there should be some way to take a pass and let those who are interested keep playing. At the very least it should involve bad drag and comical antics.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:25 AM
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Off to my game! Thanks, all.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:28 AM
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||

The video that got Judge Kozinski in trouble

|>


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:29 AM
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Both the coed soccer teams I play on have quotas, but it works fine, probably because it's not linked to where anyone works.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:30 AM
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166: just linked Lessig's response -- which mnentions that -- in the original thread.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:31 AM
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The non-sexist video that got Judge Kozinski in trouble, I might add.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:31 AM
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157 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:36 AM
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170: Apo has 10 years of the College World Series for Softball on tape and disc. Some of it will still even play.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:42 AM
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It's probably just the fetishization of my college years, but jeans, an oversized sweatshirt, and a blond ponytail out the back of a baseball cap makes my knees go weak.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:45 AM
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That might be arthritis.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:46 AM
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Or just a misreading of the definition of "knee-trembler."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:47 AM
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163: Dick Trickle.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:48 AM
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172: I'm sort of the same. I don't think it's a fetishization of college. I think the current description of the Girl Next Door ideal includes a certain sportiness. I'm not sure how much of a change that is from past descriptions.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:51 AM
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Women, like the handicapped, ruin the integrity of the game. If a guy on your team sucks, you can relegate him to oblivion or yell at him; if a guy on the other team sucks, you can take advantage of him to win. If a woman sucks, and you do any of those things, you're a competitive dick. Why play? If we're not going to keep score, I can think of a million better ways to spend my time than on a dusty field trying to hit a ball with a bat. And if we are keeping score, then yes, I want to end with the most points.

The problem, of course, isn't women (and the handicapped) as such, but the culture that says you have to treat them gently. When y'all are down with taking advantage of gimps, I'll know you're serious about gender equality.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:52 AM
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153: It's a good experience to figure out if you're a sports asshole or not

177: Indeed.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:55 AM
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I just want to point out that 177 again confirms how insufferably awesome my work team is, since the women are both competitive and good, and we win most of our games. Goooooo TEAM!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:55 AM
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but jeans, an oversized sweatshirt, and a blond ponytail out the back of a baseball cap

Works only when worn without a bra. The girl I mean. I never wear one. Well, almost never.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 11:58 AM
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177: Oh, I know you're just trolling, but I really don't get boys.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:01 PM
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"get" as in "understand," that is. Although.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:01 PM
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I just want to point out that 177 again confirms how insufferabley awesome my work team ogged is. , since the women are both competitive and good, and we win most of our games.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:02 PM
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177: You don't actually play any team sports, do you?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:02 PM
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Oh, I know you're just trolling

Oh no he isn't.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:04 PM
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Ogged is competitive; this isn't news. See his earlier post about playing with handicapped kids.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:05 PM
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And "old enough to lose".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:05 PM
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You don't actually play any team sports, do you?

Not since college. Have the rules changed?

Seriously, the only troll-y joking part of 177 is the last sentence. It really is a problem that women are expected to participate without a concomitant regarding of them as actual equals, as opposed to tokens. A lot of this is probably due to the fact that we're at a transitional phase in this culture with regard to women being integrated into sports.

Off to swim!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:06 PM
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185: What is that phrase -- "narcissism of small differences"?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:07 PM
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Not since college. Have the rules changed?

There's a shot clock now.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:08 PM
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Why play? If we're not going to keep score,

Dude, I thought were you a swimmer? The keeping score part is just for show in individual sports. In team sports, score is the only thing that matters. Highlight reel bullshit in a losing effort is wasted, Kobe. I love the baseball speech in "The Untouchables" just before DeNiro busts that guys head open with the bat. "Team" they all echo, "team".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:09 PM
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Here is why 177 is insultingly dickish: Any competitive league has more than one division, so inexperienced women can play alongside inexperienced men.

So fuck you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:09 PM
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So, ogged does make an interesting point; many of the complaints from women upthread are about the men they're playing with not being willing or able to give them space to play the game. If they were regarded as presumptively competent equals, that wouldn't happen. Of course they'd probably get mocked viciously by the assholes when they fucked something up, but hey, happens to us guys, too. Not on my team, though. We're very supportive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:10 PM
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"regarded" is fairly important in that sentence.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:12 PM
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It's a good experience to figure out if you're a sports asshole or not (ahem .. Po-mo ...ahem).

Yeah... I guess I'll cop to this. I really try not to be, but I am naturally a competitive ass.

I play with the college team for that, since it's all a bunch of college guys so everyone's expected to be kind of a competitive dick in the game.

For the summer city league, it helps that I'm playing with a couple good friends, so we just relentlessly heckle one another as an outlet. In frisbee, this is entirely welcomed.

(now I'm going to run through all my comments and look for what was the most dickish, since I didn't think I'd gone too far here...)


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:15 PM
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Not on my team, though.

A cult is not a team, Sifu.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:16 PM
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The hardest part about coaching a coed team is not finding competent females. The hardest part for a guy, imo, is how to criticize that competent individual when she inevitably fucks up. "There is no crying in baseball". I do not have the vocabulary, neither verbal nor physical.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:16 PM
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194: by the people who don't already think they are. Have I mentioned that I get schooled by the women on my softball team all the time?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:16 PM
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It really is a problem that women are expected to participate without a concomitant regarding of them as actual equals, as opposed to tokens.

That's not how I'd describe the problem. It's not that the poor women are so disabled and the guys won't or can't go all out in exploiting that weakness, but that whatever the strengths of the women involved, dickish guys are dicks to them in ways they wouldn't to a similarly weak guy.

That and thinking that the Middle-Aged Farts weekend softball game is Thermopylae.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:16 PM
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Ogged!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:17 PM
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It really is a problem that women are expected to participate without a concomitant regarding of them as actual equals, as opposed to tokens

Yeah, and the only conceivable solution is to be an asshole, equally, to everyone. Because, if I'm not on the team and I'm watching from the sidelines and you yell at the teammate who sucks, I still think you are a competitive dick -- no more or less than if you do it to the girl. But, at least based on conversations with the last guy I went out with, this is apparently just "a guy thing." Ergo, I just don't get boys.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:18 PM
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Oh, and they're worried about making us cry, too.

I'm outta here before you all whine about how hard it was having to make sure Susie didn't break a nail.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:18 PM
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I do think, in general, competitive sports could do with more yelling at (a) oneself and (b) the other team and less yelling at your teammates. Look to yourself first, Spartan.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:19 PM
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Furthermore, my coed league is not quite the same game as my women's league either. Just like a men's league differs from a coed league. You compete by cooperating with the people on your team.

I can't believe how much 177 got under my skin.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:19 PM
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How about the way one should constructively criticize anyone in any situation?

- What do you think went wrong there?
- Here's why I think that didn't work.
- Next time, you'll need to ....

The rules for not being a dick in other parts of life apply to sports.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:19 PM
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75: man-to-man defense sports

Um . . .

Yeah... sorry. I guess I've never heard it called anything other than "man d" as opposed to "zone d". "Individual d" is a little too unwieldy, "person d" feels too deliberately cleaned up. There has to be a better non-sexist name/description for those forms of defense.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:20 PM
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The hardest part for a guy, imo, is how to criticize that competent individual when she inevitably fucks up.

I... why does anyone have to criticize anyone in these things? I totally don't get it. Do you think other players don't know when they have fucked up? Well, no, I get that there are kinds of fucking up that need to be addressed, like if someone is always insisting on calling dibs on plays that he or she inevitably fumbles, or something. But that doesn't seem so impossible to address. "Hey Eleanor! Quit calling dibs on those!"


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:21 PM
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206: one-on-one d?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:21 PM
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The hardest part for a guy, imo, is how to criticize that competent individual when she inevitably fucks up.

"Next time, try to get down lower, two hands, like this [demonstrating]."

It's not all that hard. Really.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:22 PM
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205: Including on the field? Or are you making a joke?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:23 PM
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Can I just state even more strongly that I reject the whole "dude, what the fuck was that? Catch the fucking ball!" as a valuable part of team sports? I was talking more about some men's tendency to not give women the space to play their position.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:23 PM
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the slow-pitch pitcher from my own team

Oh, I'd forgotten, that was the rule in my youth church league - clever at defusing competitiveness, but challenging for the infielders.

That league also had a quota, but given the hormonal/moral situation, that wasn't a big problem - it was an excellent "safe" outlet for B-G interaction.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:23 PM
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My son's 9th grade basketball league was torn between two factions, the asshole guy faction that wanted to win the champion, and the nice mom faction that wanted everybody to be a winner. Really, if you loved sports, you had to be in the asshole faction. If you just loved kids, you might be in the mom faction instead.

Because anything competitive produces winners and losers, and sometimes the losers are humiliated. One of my son's team held a neighboring team scoreless for 1 1/2 quarters before they put in the subs. One of the starters was pissed because he had conceived the goal of holding the other team scoreless for four quarters.

The mom league was sort of like an Anglican or Unitarian Church that keeps religion barely alive in a safely neutered form.

I am actually open to the anti-sports argument, but not so much to the nice sports argument.

IIUC British gentlemanly fair play was actually just a genteel expression of the same meanness. Losers are always made to understand that they are losers.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:23 PM
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209: Are we still talking about sports?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:24 PM
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198: Don't worry, Sifu. I know you're down with the gentinas.

What I mean is that the problem is often not a woman's level of competence but that she is condescended to, or assumed to be incompetent, or made to feel like the rest of the team is just suffering her presence because of stupid-ass quotas and that it's her fault if the team loses.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:24 PM
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Disagreed. I'm going to hypothesize that the reason that these leagues have to bug women to compete is that women, still, are less likely to feel like sports=free time (a bad thing) and that work=the main part of my life (a good thing).

I'm especially hung up on the former at the moment because I've noticed that the girls in PK's second grade class will hang back and passively resist participating in PE, just like I used to do when I was a kid, and it pisses me off. So I've started participating in PE with the kids, to set an example. Which helps a *lot*, actually. It's still true that boys are *expected* to be physically active and girls aren't, and this is not good for girls.

So I'm gonna say that the pain-in-the-assness of being nagged to be on work softball teams is the price young women have to pay to make sure that the next generation will be sportier than we are (and that the guys on the team will all vow that *their* daughters aren't going to get away with that girly malingering crap).

That said, required work socializing can really suck, and softball isn't my sport. I think people should have co-ed work soccer leagues.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:25 PM
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215: with our comity we will destroy the opposition!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:25 PM
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204 definitely strikes me as right, at least it's the same in the local frisbee scene.

Coed and the city leagues are generally meant to be fun, so anyone going into them being too competitive is just sort of being a dick. The women who play on those teams probably aren't too serious about the sport, just like a lot of the guys, but everyone does fine. However, the women's club teams are where the women who've played since college go, and many of them could kick my ass. It's all just a matter of what leagues tend to attract what seriousness of people, and that there are probably more excess guys who take sports too seriously but aren't playing for the good club teams than there are women.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:26 PM
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There has to be a better non-sexist name/description for those forms of defense.

Player-to-player or one-on-one get the job done.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:26 PM
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Well, I suppose it depends on the situation. One would not have the same level of expectation of competence in a church league than at a sign up rec league. And I don't coach my Little Leaguers the same way I coach my college players.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:26 PM
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Have I mentioned that I get schooled by the women on my softball team all the time?

Is that because you're fat?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:27 PM
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How about the competitive mom faction that wants to see the kids really reaching for their potential and developing the kind of confidence that only comes with real mastery? You know, the ones who care about winning and love championships but don't buy the theory that humiliating people is an effective way of accomplishing that?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:28 PM
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221: no, lazy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:28 PM
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I think people should have co-ed work soccer dodgeball leagues.

There are definitely a couple of women I work with who I'd love to peg in the face with a big rubber ball.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:29 PM
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My ex-wife is playing in an adult co-ed hockey league.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:30 PM
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Well, I suppose it depends on the situation. One would not have the same level of expectation of competence in a church league than at a sign up rec league. And I don't coach my Little Leaguers the same way I coach my college players.

I thought we were talking here about rec games with no coach. Berating your own teammates for their failings seems exceptionally dickish to me. Teasing them, sure. But who the fuck is any team member to take it upon himself to yell at his teammates for fucking up?

Ugh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:31 PM
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214: Erm... The point is, yelling probably isn't going to help.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:31 PM
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There are definitely a couple of women I work with who I'd love to peg in the face with a big rubber ball.

ogged's post about his dream about Hillary making you feel like you need to share too, apo?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:32 PM
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206, 219: Please no. Can't we just agree that everyone understands "man-to-man" as a defensive strategy, and not a description of requirements to play that strategy. I'm happy to retrocon it into some sort of shorthand for "hand-to-hand" or something.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:32 PM
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225: I hope gender equality in the number of teeth knocked out is strictly enforced.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:32 PM
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If it's not a competition sorted out by skill, then there is no need to pretend that it's the fault of the women that it isn't a real competition. (Psst: you're old and out of shape. It's not my boobs that are the thing keeping you from being Leonidas. It's the fact that this is a work softball league and you're a bunch of desk jockeys.)

If it is, then just play as you normally would because it's already been sorted out by skill level. If you're normally a dick, again, that's your fault.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:33 PM
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Even in professional sports, the players who lose their shit during a game/match/meet and scream at their own teammates for being insufficiently awesome qualify as assholes.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:33 PM
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Jeez, sometimes it's just easier to do sports where hitting people is allowed ... there's a lot less passive-aggression and/or aggressive trash-talking.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:33 PM
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232: Depends a lot on how much he wins and who handles his PR.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:34 PM
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222: You can be as nice as you want in sports but a lot of people still end up finding out that they're not any good. It's structured that way.

America is intrinsically competitive, and uncompetitive people are punished, so you want to teach your kid to compete, and you also want your kid not to be a loser, but to be a winner. (There is a booby prize niche for the untalented player who comes to every practice and accepts his or her lowly position, but that's not really something you want for your kid.)

I definitely think that music is better training for life than sports, because even though there's competition, music isn't structured so that every event has to have a loser. If a group performs well, everyone wins even though the soloists get more glory.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:34 PM
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re: 232

Goalkeepers seem to get a pass on that one. Every goalkeeper is supposed to yell at his defence -- he can see stuff they can't. Plus, everyone knows goalies are crazy.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:34 PM
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206: one-on-one d?

Now I just feel like the idiot that I am.

Also, the reason that criticizing and helping someone competent who screwed up (no matter what gender) is so difficult is probably because it's usually unnecessary. Screw ups still happen among good players, and chances are that they know full well what happened and are pissed with themselves. The best constructive criticism I got during a game when I had screwed up a couple times was "You know what you're doing wrong. I've seen you play better, so... just do that."

Note: constructive criticism is utterly unnecessary between friends, and in fact deprecated.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:34 PM
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You're right, RFTS. In my advanced age, I have graduated from playing to coaching, so that skews my reference point. Fellow players who try to coach are to be shunned.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:34 PM
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229: No.

Cf. chairman, Congressman, salesman, fireman . . .


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:35 PM
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Depends a lot on how much he wins and who handles his PR if he's white or not.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:36 PM
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The fundamental problem with ogged's 177 isn't the sexism, the trolling, or the overall dickishness. It's an utter alienation from team sport.

Softball cannot be played without teams - pretty big ones at that. The only way to play softball on a semi-regular basis is in a team and league context*. Therefore, it makes complete sense to be on a team and to care about one's own play without caring about who wins. Not that score shouldn't be kept - it's part of the rules and provides context, and winning is fun - but focusing on the score isn't necessarily relevant to the goals of the players.

I play softball because I love the game. I may not have the skill, and definitely don't have the time, to play on a good team in a competitive league/division. By playing in a casual, not-very-competitive league, I get to do what I enjoy doing - fielding, throwing, hitting, running bases - without a lot of stress or tension from dicks who think they're at Thermopylae.

I get unhappy if I play shitty, but why should I get wrapped up with how someone else plays?

* This applies to soccer, football, and other team sports as well. Basketball less so, b/c the game works at any scale (up to 5-on-5, obvs.).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:39 PM
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re: 241

Soccer also scales. We had all kinds of rule systems when we were kids that let us play competitively with teams as small as one.

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


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:42 PM
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240: Compare Kobe and Jordan.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:42 PM
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243: Kobe is a bigger asshole, and whiter, and still is beloved. Seems to fit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:45 PM
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Um, holding the pass at Thermopylae was a losing effort, in the end. D Day is a better metaphor. Many casualties, but eventual victory.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:45 PM
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Even in professional sports, the players who lose their shit during a game/match/meet and scream at their own teammates for being insufficiently awesome qualify as assholes.

Kobe.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:47 PM
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244: Even prior to '04, Kobe was less of an asshole and yet roundly hated outside of LA.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:48 PM
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I was speaking of the attitude as popularized by the movie 300: this is where we fight! This is where they die!

This is also a game in which the balding keeper is in middle management.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:49 PM
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Soccer also scales. We had all kinds of rule systems when we were kids that let us play competitively with teams as small as one.

I was thinking about that, but figured that, below 3-on-3, you're playing something pretty unlike (and inferior to) proper soccer. Whereas, IME, 1-on-1 hoops is just as good as any other kind.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:49 PM
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The fundamental problem with ogged's 177 isn't the sexism, the trolling, or the overall dickishness.

No, actually it is the sexism, the trolling, and the dickishness.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:49 PM
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Cf. chairman, Congressman, salesman, fireman . . .

Iris pointed out, with some surprise, "I saw a mailwoman."

I, of course, heard "male woman," and was a bit baffled (we were biking past an office building with no apparent trannies around).

But it was genuinely news to her that mail could be delivered by a woman - with her n of 1.

A bit alarming, frankly.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:52 PM
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The thing with 177 is that it's incredibly dickish and asinine to yell at *anyone* on your company softball team for being worse than you are. Whether they're a man or a woman. Complaining that you feel less free to be an asshole to women compounds dickishness with sexism. I regard the former as a greater problem than the latter, actually.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:53 PM
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I definitely think that music is better training for life than sports

I was a complete gimp at sports as a child, but still enjoyed running around outside. Tunelessly murdering innocent songs is nobody's idea of a good time.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:54 PM
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251: explain to her that "mail carrier" is the proper term, just like you wouldn't say "herpesman" or "aidswoman".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:55 PM
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roundly hated outside of LA.

Not sure that I buy this. There were some issues attached to his ground-breaking youth, but he was the Nice Guy compared to the Iverson types (IYKWIM).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:56 PM
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251: She's four, right? This is the age of trying to figure out the world by generalizing furiously.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:56 PM
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256: an age that lasts for the better part of two decades.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:57 PM
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She's four, right? This is the age of trying to figure out the world by generalizing furiously.

Indeed. This was the age when Rory expressed her profound shock upon learning that boys could be lawyers.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:58 PM
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256: True, but it drives me nuts. On topic, it also drives me nuts that she sees sporty Dad and non-sporty Mom. My mom was the serious sports person in my family, and my sister was far better athletically than I was, so that was my baseline. Iris will grow up seeing old-fashioned gender roles in sports, and I hate it.

Gotta get her to some Pitt women's b-ball games.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 12:58 PM
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250, 252: YOU COMMENTERS SUCK.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:01 PM
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I heard a great story about a four year old trying to figure out who had a penis and who didn't, and finally deciding -- based on the hobbies of the people he knew -- that the determining factor was whether you rowed crew.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:01 PM
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IT'S LIKE YOU WANT TO LOS--

Whoa, what just happened?


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:02 PM
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It's kinda funny when the kid generalizes about things lke 'only girls like steak' just from parental preferences.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:02 PM
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D Day is a better metaphor. Many casualties, but eventual victory.

Then again maybe not. Eventual failure is a pretty good model for a lot of things.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:05 PM
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251: Officially, it's letter carrier. And, in an excess of information you don't need to know, mail handlers load and unload the trucks and move those big-ass sacks of mail around, distribution clerks sort the mail, and window clerks work the front counter. "Postal worker" covers everyone.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:05 PM
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W00t, I get to play the "superior parent" game by pointing out that four was the age where PK was pointing out to me that it was sexist to say that only women could be queens.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:05 PM
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266: Not sexist, just dismissive of gay culture.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:10 PM
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266: I don't think of it as "superior parent" so much as "inferior child."*

If #2 isn't spouting feminisms by age 4, he's off to the orphanage.

* Mine, not yours.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:14 PM
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I'm very much a fan of games of all sorts and I'm very competitive by nature. At the same time, I've never been much of an athlete and have considerable experience in team sports with opponents attempting to take advantage of me the way ogged describes in 177.

I find participating in those games - the ones where someone is trying to make a fool of me on the court/field - preferable to the ones that aren't so competitive.

Fair competition is a pleasure for its own sake.
In the process of learning tennis, I played a lot of 2-6, 1-6, 1-6 matches, and wouldn't have enjoyed it as much if my opponents had eased up on me. I also got better, quicker because of that attitude, but that's merely a side benefit.

ogged's 177 was incomplete only in that it failed to acknowledge the different and distinct pleasure of play that isn't competitive. But hard competition can be very satisfying, even to people who lose.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:15 PM
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My theory of sports failed to take masochists into account, obvs.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:17 PM
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||

R Kelly, not guilty? For real?

|>


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:17 PM
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I know a 4-year-old boy who demands to be called "Firefighter Zeke" rather than "Fireman Zeke." Aside from living on a dead planet, the Thunderdome Generation will turn out just fine.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:18 PM
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271: never underestimate THE MOLE.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:23 PM
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If #2 isn't spouting feminisms by age 4, he's off to the orphanage.

Send #2 to me!


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:25 PM
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Send #2 to me!

We've already discussed this, B.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:29 PM
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This post title just makes me think that now that pornography is mainstream, "Stickball" can be updated with even worse lyrics.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:32 PM
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four was the age where PK was pointing out to me that it was sexist to say that only women could be queens.

Sexist but accurate, modulo 267.

Like saying only men can be mailmen—quite right, which is why mail carriers are now so called.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:33 PM
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I remember the recurring joke on Salute Your Shorts where the camp counselor's girlfriend was a letter carrier. He would say "she's a mail woman. I mean a female man. I mean...a postal worker."


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:35 PM
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Ladies are sometimes called Kings to emphasize that they've inherited the title rather than married into it as Queens do. Jadwiga of Poland and Tamara of Armenia are two examples. Jadwiga also was declared a saint for marrying and Christianizing the beastly Lithuanian pagan Jogaila / Jagiello.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:36 PM
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So that's why Princess Michael of Kent isn't called a Prince.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:37 PM
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I worry about this a bit if and when shivbunny get around to having kids. Due to mostly class-based reasons, he's not only a lot bigger and stronger than I am, but has a lot more mechanical aptitude than I do just due to his work experience. And as a result, while I do have the ability to do minor household repairs, I tend to defer to him on things like the car. In turn, he tends to defer to me on anything about education, requiring research, or general book smarts.

At least he cooks. 'Only boys make baked goods and fix cars, and only girls work at universities.'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:37 PM
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Send #2 to me!

B's next career: commandant of feminist reeducation camp. Heavy emphasis on self-criticism sessions. Advance students log on to support her in Unfogged comments.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:38 PM
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I worry about this a bit if and when shivbunny get around to having kids.

f he can do it by himself, any kids he has will be a fuckload more inclined to treat gender as problematic and not terribly telling than anyone else ever born.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:41 PM
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I know a 4-year-old boy who demands to be called "Firefighter Zeke" rather than "Fireman Zeke.

At my daughter's pre-school graduation, they asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. One kid said that he wanted to be a plastic-surgeon/president. My daughter wants to be Stella from the Winx club.


Posted by: Lemmy Caution | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:42 PM
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Wow. No more masturbating to Tim Russert. So young.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:43 PM
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283 was me. Russert thing should link to NYT front page.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:44 PM
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No more masturbating to Tim Russert

Holy shit.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:48 PM
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Holy shit!!!!!!!!!

to 285.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:49 PM
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Damn, 58 is awfully young to be checking out. I won't miss his presence as a debate moderator, though.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:50 PM
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I haven't read much past 177, but geebster, I really wasn't trying to offend. My apologies. I was, admittedly playfully, making a point about what happens when people of widely divergent skills try to play a team game.

Ok, now to catch up.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:52 PM
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Wow.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:53 PM
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Diabetic, according to Wikipedia.

Trying to find out when Big Russ died - doesn't seem to be on Wiki.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:54 PM
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I'm shocked by Russert's death.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:54 PM
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No problem, Awgged. I was feeling a bit sensitive; it's been a hard week.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:56 PM
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OK, based on the book cover shown here, Big Russ lived to a ripe old age.

Huh.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 1:56 PM
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Jeez. He died this afternoon at work.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:01 PM
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296: After returning from a trip to Italy with his family, though - there are worse ways to go, surely.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:03 PM
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285. So, he'll never retire to "Florida Florida Florida".


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:07 PM
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Big Russ is still alive in his late 80s, NYT says that Tim just helped him move between nursing homes.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:11 PM
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I worry about this a bit if and when shivbunny and I get around to having kids. Due to mostly class-based reasons, he's not only a lot bigger and stronger than I am, but has a lot more mechanical aptitude than I do just due to his work experience. And as a result, while I do have the ability to do minor household repairs, I tend to defer to him on things like the car. In turn, he tends to defer to me on anything about education, requiring research, or general book smarts.

Should he not defer to you, when you've expressed your pride about being the relatively smart and intellectual one? It seems odd to me that we should hope to model complete equality in microcosm, with no partly-inherited and culturally reinforced specialization or complementariness, as if we were raised on some other planet.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:11 PM
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JUPITER IN THE HOUSE!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:18 PM
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300: There's no need for the microcosm to be perfectly balanced, but it would be nice if it weren't skewing so much along gender lines. The rest of the culture will broaden their horizons somewhat, of course, but I am not confident that the rest of the culture is really feminist when it comes to car repair.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:24 PM
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is "JUPITER" the new thing to post on comment 300? Or was that totally random


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:24 PM
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303: I assume it was in response to the last sentence of 300.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:26 PM
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It seems odd to me that we should hope to model complete equality in microcosm

Yeah, probably no need to overworry about the microcosm and the macrocosm will even that all out in time. To whatever extent Rory may once have had the impression the mommies go to jobs and daddies stay home, she now knows from her neighborhood friends that having a mommy that works is in fact strange and exotic


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:28 PM
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It seems odd to me that we should hope to model complete equality in microcosm

No, but seeing how closely kids follow the models they see, it's hard not to think about, and be frustrated by, the stereotype/patriarchy-enforcing ones they'll grow up with.

Just this morning I was reflecting on the fact that I do 90% of our family's driving. There's very good, non-culturally-imposed reasons for this (I come from a family that cares about cars, and follow in my father's routing-obsessed footsteps, whereas AB never owned a car before marrying into mine), and so I don't stress about it, but I try to head off Iris assuming that boys drive and girls don't.

Also, I only pee sitting down, and make AB stand - equality is for every room in the house, says I.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:28 PM
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she now knows from her neighborhood friends that having a mommy that works is in fact strange and exotic

But strange and exotic in a good way, like cardamom!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:32 PM
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No, but seeing how closely kids follow the models they see, it's hard not to think about, and be frustrated by, the stereotype/patriarchy-enforcing ones they'll grow up with.

Sure, but then, my mom was a stay-at-home mom and I did just fine adapting to the expectation that I would work -- because she made it abundantly clear as I grew up that it sucked not to have a choice about going to work and I could damn well be a doctor if I wanted. Just because your kids will be exposed to patriarchal norms doesn't mean they will adopt those as values -- it's all in how you explain the world to them.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:35 PM
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But strange and exotic in a good way, like cardamom!

If I ever change my pseudonym, I will change it to CardaMom, which incidentally is delightful if you toss a pod or two into the pot when preparing rice.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:37 PM
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This weekend I plan to bake a cardamom cake that I've been told is especially wonderful.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:39 PM
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Just this morning I was reflecting on the fact that I do 90% of our family's driving. There's very good, non-culturally-imposed reasons for this (I come from a family that cares about cars, and follow in my father's routing-obsessed footsteps, whereas AB never owned a car before marrying into mine), and so I don't stress about it, but I try to head off Iris assuming that boys drive and girls don't.

I was thinking about this comment, and realized that really, what happens when you grow up really does overshadow the things that happen when you're a kid. When I was growing up, my mom did literally 100% of the driving. So I thought that moms did all the driving. Then my mom died, my dad learned to drive, and he did all the driving (when we werent' taking cabs). When I got to college and learned how to drive, my first (for 4 years) boyfriend ridiculed and criticized my driving such that I never drove if we were together. And I developed a complex about my driving.

Fast forward to the future: I just bought a car two months ago, and my current boyfriend doesn't drive, so I drive us both around everywhere. And I realized that I actually really, really like driving and am quite good at it.

But it's funny how I still have some deeply-held belief about how men are better drivers. I think a huge part of that comes from men tending to act more confident about their ability to drive well.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:45 PM
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310: Ooh, let us know how it turns out.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:53 PM
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And I developed a complex about my driving.

That really sucks, and was very stupid of him.

If I ever (unlikely) were to have kids, I'd quite likely run into issues of how to deal with the stereotypes just because of upbringing and history. I've worked as a mechanic, in construction, etc. etc. so a lot of those things around homes and automobiles etc. that there is a bullshit societal tendency to think men are better at innately, also happen to be things I've done as jobs and am quite good at. I could see this becoming an issue if the `natural' division of labor became too stereotypically gender based.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:55 PM
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I suspect we've talked about 313-like issues before, but i'm too lazy too look.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 2:56 PM
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Heavy emphasis on self-criticism sessions.

Probably the best evidence that you don't understand me at all, PGD.

I was thinking on my walk to the store about how I would answer the question of what *does* matter, if not grades. We should have a thread about that sometime.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 3:02 PM
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My brother makes an excellent Cardamom ice cream.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 3:07 PM
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310: Ooh, let us know how it turns out.

Will do!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 3:08 PM
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the question of what *does* matter, if not grades

In my experience, charm and manners will cover a multitude of deficiencies.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 3:12 PM
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Cardamom, too.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 3:13 PM
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Euphemisms, Apo. We don't all have classic artisanal penises.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 3:32 PM
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So are you interested in car repair? Does he do it secretively, when you're not around, or might he welcome a visit to the garage or curbside, to ask what's going on, what he thinks the problem is, what the plan is and how hard it will be? I'd really welcome that much attention, and sometimes have gotten it. I feel valued by such visits, there are no stupid questions, and in the effort of explaining what I think comes next, have very often had a better idea. So that I more-or-less beg for such visits and interest, with frustratingly limited success.

I think many people resent working on cars, or just don't feel very competent at it, and are looking forward to being able to afford not to. Gender equality is very much easier in any relationship that has lots of money and just pays for services. But the more you rely on skill to make up the difference you can't afford, in any activity, the more training and aptitude and experience count, and it's seldom going to be equal between partners on any given task, and may not be in general.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:05 PM
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I get the feeling I can reply to all of comments 250-300 from the point of view of my own little Lucretia, who loves the Disney Princesses, has no interest in making things with a hacksaw with me and Napoleon, in general regards boys as "silly", but nonetheless takes after her mother and will for that reason be "just fine". One doesn't have to do manual labour or sports in order to rule the world, you know.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:15 PM
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316: Your brother doesn't by any chance share that recipe, does he?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:19 PM
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310: AB has this fantastic cardamom coffee cake recipe, but it takes literally hours to make, so complex and ingredient-filled is it. But a nice breakfast/brunch/mid-afternoon snack.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:20 PM
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Di, I have one, but the hazelnut ice cream turned out much better, I thought.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:21 PM
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This is supposedly delicious AND quick, which excites me.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:21 PM
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Your brother doesn't by any chance share that recipe, does he?

He owns an ice cream shop, so his recipe involves a commercial ice cream churn.

It isn't that complicated though, just the standard ice cream base, cardamom, and (I suspect) a little vanilla. The trick is getting the cardamom as fresh as possible. They get it as seeds, and then grind it fresh immediately before making it into ice cream.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:29 PM
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The trick is getting the cardamom as fresh as possible.

Not just ice cream, this always helps. And don't mess around with anything but the full pods.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:30 PM
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Above, some people suggested that the proper way to respond to a woman who fucks up at a play is to suggest how to do it better, and I guess I personally find that really sexist, since no one ever jumps in to "help" the shitty guy players. They're tolerated to no end with no advice. Plus, as I talked to my friends about after today's game, I really hate when I do something mildly right (like a base hit) and there are suddenly whoops of shocked "Oh wow, AWB, that was AMAZING! What a RIP! Way to GO!" while I'm thinking, "Eh, that was, like, fine." They didn't agree that it was fundamentally sexist. Whatever. At least no one's telling me how to choke up on the bat more or whatever. I'm a middling player, but I just don't see either behavior directed at the middling guy players at all.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:51 PM
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Also, Tim Russert? Wow.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:52 PM
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I'm a middling player, but I just don't see either behavior directed at the middling guy players at all.

Be the change you want to see in the world, AWB.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 4:53 PM
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re: 322

Yeah, my niece is incredibly girly, loves pink, princesses, dancing and all that stuff. But is also tough as nails, determined, smart and into books. I imagine she'll turn out just fine, too. I think the appropriate reaction in 20 years time will be to fear her, rather than patronize her.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:02 PM
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I do get totally irritated with my teammates at times, but it tends to be with the personality by which they screw up. If the person is basically trying, and I like them, then we're fine.

Here is a conversation that always perplexes me, though: women on my team or the other team who compliment me for being fast.

I always want to respond (but never do), "Look, it's because I'm working twice as hard as you. Just try harder. Did you notice how after the play, I was doubled over with the heaves, and you trotted off? That's why I can outrun everyone. It's harder work to run faster."


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:03 PM
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re: 332

And, also, as in 322, takes after her mother, who is probably the toughest/bravest person I've known.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:04 PM
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322/332 I think are missing the point. Not sure, but I thought what people were on about wasn't a claim that `girly' girls, (or boy'y boys) couldn't turn out just fine, but about the implicit gender roles being presented in the home.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:04 PM
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Is rolling naked in the mud a femme trait? My nieces do it. Should we worry that they're going to become Barbies?


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:07 PM
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re: 335

Well yeah, but there was also an implicit concern about a particular direction that gender roles can sometimes take in the home. That is, reinforcing a particular gendered helplessness (for example) with certain practical tasks. I took dsquared to be offering an anecdote in favour of the view that not all confirmatory instances of such things are necessarily pernicious depending on the individuals involved. Something mentioned already by others, too, of course.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:08 PM
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337: fair enough. I can see people wanting to attempt to avoid reinforcing things, but also hopefully not worrying too much about the actual dynamics as the fall in for particular personalities.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:12 PM
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336. If there is wrestling involved, one might worry. My understanding is that mud wrestling has been superseded by hot oil wrestling, so you may want to introduce that gradually.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:17 PM
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338: If my hypothetical daughters end up viewing cars as a waste of time and money, they'll be prepared for the new bicycling economy.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:20 PM
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340: As long as they can wrench their bicycles, you're golden.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:21 PM
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mud wrestling has been superseded by hot oil wrestling

It's all about the beach wrestling now, old-timer.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:29 PM
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341: My technical incompetence (and lack of interest, which is the real problem. shivbunny would teach me, and be patient, but I so don't care about those metal lifesucking bastards) is limited just to cars.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:32 PM
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Seen it.
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0368533/


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:34 PM
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and lack of interest, which is the real problem...I so don't care about those metal lifesucking bastards

You mentioned your parents' bad experiences last week.

For me they've always been a source of empowerment and competence, something I could do for myself and my friends and family. An offering, as it were.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:52 PM
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As a child, I had the empowering experiences of: shingling rooves, running electric wires through insulation, crawling under the house with electric wires, painting the house etc. Despite that, I am not very good with household fixing----enthusiastically cheapskated, but not talented. My honey is much more of a "look carefully at the problem, then call in professional help" kind of guy.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 5:59 PM
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346: In my experience, there's a really big difference between `I did this once or twice at home', and `I did this working for someone who really knew what they were doing'. Even if you didn't work the job for long.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:02 PM
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338: yeah, exactly.

347:

Yeah, I can do a lot of practical stuff to a 'just about barely adequate' level of competence. Soldering electrical stuff [which was my job for a while], basic household maintenance, basic car stuff, basic carpentry, etc. But I wouldn't kid myself that I have the remotest clue compared to someone who's done those things for a living for a long time.

I remember decorating a friend's house, as a wedding present. His dad was a professional decorator/painter/carpenter/house-fitter type, and we did an entire house in about 7 hours. Everything. Carpet laying, painting, wallpaper, plumbing, carpentry, the lot. All of the friends who joined together to do it could have done the stuff, but it'd have taken us days or even weeks. With his dad on hand -- someone who really knew their stuff and who had the right tools -- it was a completely different experience.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:31 PM
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345: That's very sweet.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:33 PM
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Oh sure. However, there is also a difference between "hey, this is broken. Better call the super" and "I'll bet I can fix that, if I just figure out how to mix plaster right, and hey, well, no harm in trying, eh?"

One formative experience, back when I was about 14, was mounting bookshelves in my bedroom. I called my dad in to help me find the studs in the wall (har har) because I was a bit nervous about drilling the holes (yes, yes). The studfinder was completely useless (*), and my dad started drilling holes into the wall every which way, muttering that he'd find them eventually. I was like, "dad! you're going to have holes everywhere!" and he was all, "it's my wall; I can drill holes in it if I want to." Liberating! Home improvement as the artist's empty canvas, or something...

(*--Okay, I was halfway through this anecdote when I realised how massively Freudian it sounds. Shut up, all of you.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:36 PM
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350 to 347.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:37 PM
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"it's my wall; I can drill holes in it if I want to."

This sounds like me and my mother trying to mount an 8 foot long curtain rod thingy with a draw-cord in front of her sliding glass doors. Damned stud-finder.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:44 PM
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I mean, studs are supposed to be 18 inches apart, right? I heard that somewhere.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:45 PM
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re: 350

Drilling holes in walls can have consequences.

I remember fitting a coat-hook to an ex girlfriend's wall. I checked where the electrical fittings were, made sure I wasn't drilling orthogonal to or directly above or below one, etc. Fine. Masonry bit, into the wall. Bzzzzt. Sudden flash of flight, building goes dark.

This was in a victorian tennement building and it turned out that when they wired the electricity, someone ran a cable diagonally across the wall -- not standard good working practice -- under a thick layer of plaster. Luckily, no-one got electrocuted.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:46 PM
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354.---That is precisely the sort of thing that worries me.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 6:56 PM
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I am posting my greatest triumph in drilling-holes-in-walls in the Flickr group.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:06 PM
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354: talk about starting off "Letters to Penthouse" and finishing up "Letters to Watchdog".

356: I, on the other hand, am keeping my greatest drilling-holes-in-walls triumphs to myself, as any gentleman should.


Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:12 PM
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357: we share everything in this debauched age. Even glory holes.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:19 PM
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I mean, studs are supposed to be 18 inches apart, right? I heard that somewhere.

Often, but not always. Depends on whether loadbearing and other factors, such as the wood and hight of the studs. I've had to drill for studs in the last year, and fortunately found the second stud in three holes.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:24 PM
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that should be height, shouldn't it?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:25 PM
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16" centers yo.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:28 PM
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(Probably)


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:28 PM
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359: Yeah; in this case, the house was old enough, and rather hand-built, that we found insulation in some areas comprised of old newspapers. Tucked around the electrical wiring! Half-eaten by chipmunks! I'm sure you know what I mean.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:30 PM
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You know, that motherfucker Tweety can really attack things to walls. Sorry I ever said anything bad about him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:33 PM
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Usually 16" here too, but I'd not be surprised if age and regional differences change what to expect. And you'd still not be sure.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:34 PM
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That means a lot, John.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 7:34 PM
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Above, some people suggested that the proper way to respond to a woman who fucks up at a play is to suggest how to do it better, and I guess I personally find that really sexist, since no one ever jumps in to "help" the shitty guy players.

Yeah, I (and others, the way I read it) only suggested giving constructive advice -- to any player -- in response to TLL talking about his role as a coach. As a fellow player, as TLL himself said, it would be completely obnoxious.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:46 PM
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As a player I'd think that your responsibilities begin and end at "good hustle!" and "okay, shake it off."


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-13-08 8:57 PM
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With the exception, sometimes, of the pitcher/catcher combo. In my experience, a good catcher can give an awful lot of constructive advice to her pitcher mid-game without being a jerk.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:30 AM
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369 is the sexiest comment I've ever read.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 8:35 AM
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368: As a player I'd think that your responsibilities begin and end at "good hustle!" and "okay, shake it off."

Unless you're a blond with a pony tail coming out of your baseball cap. Then your responsibility extends to "being there for apo".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 9:09 AM
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I mean, studs are supposed to be 18 inches apart, right? I heard that somewhere.

Often, but not always.

Jesus* wept.

Pretty much every stud structure built in America in the last 60 years has 16" centers; occasionally you'll see 24", but not often enough to think about.

Even 100 year old houses are almost always 16" centers, but they cared less, as they weren't dealing with 48" sheet goods, so you can't rely on it.

Hole drillers: You know that you should drill at an angle, right? Ups yr odds of finding the stud, and reduces the risk of missing by 1/16".

* Caroenter's son, you'll recall.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:02 AM
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As a fellow player, as TLL himself said, it would be completely obnoxious.

To be fair, if you observe a player heading from home plate towards the second baseman, I think pretty much any teammate is justified in providing guidance.

The other day I called out for the 3B to "Tag!" the runner approaching him, partly out of excitement, and partly out of a lack of conviction that he knew that he had to do so in order to record the out. I did apologize later.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:05 AM
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372*: "p"


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:11 AM
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I must be familiar with more than my share of non-professional walls. I agree 16" is what you expect and often find, but you often find other spacing, which was my point, if misleadingly stated.

I can see that diagonal hole technique, but with plaster and lathe I'm not sure my bits would always be long enough to keep the chuck from gouging the plaster.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:17 AM
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I can see that diagonal hole technique, but with plaster and lathe I'm not sure my bits would always be long enough to keep the chuck from gouging the plaster.

And again.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:25 AM
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Mine appears bigger than it is, being wide but not so long.

Foreshortening yet again rears its ugly head. I seem to recall reading about the need to explain this to your sons at one of those "show your son your penis" places. Looking for that I came across this essay which begins with F. Scott Fitzgerald in Paris being reassured by Hemingway that his penis was not too small. And in trying to verify if that was accurate I came across one John Emerson at Unfogged referencing the story in a comment.

Unfogged, a critical spoke in the Great Wheel of Penis Size Anxiety.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 10:50 AM
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Oh, goody, we've moved on to home repairs.

I think we might be offering to pay half a million for a house, people. Please tell me I'm not completely fucking insane.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 11:41 AM
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That is a lot. On the other hand, to move into our perfectly reasonable apartment now, instead of when we did eight years ago, would probably run us that much.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 11:48 AM
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You're completely fucking insane. That's 30-50 times the Elgin price. Is it worth $480-490 k to live in LA rather than Elgin?

Probably yes, but you're still completely fucking insane, or other reasons.

At the same time, even here in Wobegon, far from the bright lights of Mpls, a pretty nice house is at least $100 k.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 11:52 AM
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You're not insane. Prices (in places where many people want to live—sorry Elgin) are.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:01 PM
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Even my house—for which I paid $38K, you'll recall—would probably go for nearly $400K now, and I live in a B-list city. Figure out how to do your own home repairs and you'll save thousands.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:05 PM
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It's a house that would have been listed at like $700, $750 a year or two ago. So there's that. OTOH, a Minneapolis friend who is a financial planner and pretty much embodies solid midwestern values re. money, thinks I should wait six months or so and let all the subprime mortgages that'll mature this summer go into foreclosure, and that we should wait until we can afford something at the $417 or below price point, i.e., which we can afford with a VA loan.

OTOH yet again, it's a Spanish style house with the potential for a little rental income, it's adorable, it's in a perfect mixed neighborhood on a gorgeous street, it's about two miles or less from both the beach and downtown, and it's in lovely shape--well taken care of, but not "updated" with ridiculous "improvements." Basically exactly the kind of house I want. If I were a responsible human being, we'd buy less house (or rent cheaper and save) and then move into this house in 3-7 years

It would have been nice if they'd taken our first offer, but they didn't. So.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:14 PM
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Own home repairs, no worries. We're all over it. Our Canadian house was a dump which we completely remodelled (including plumbing, electricity, and a new kitchen) all by our widdle selves.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:17 PM
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384: Right on. I recently added gas plumbing to my repertoire. At this point, the only thing I couldn't do on my own was put in the new furnace, because it had to be done by certified installers. Certified, schmertified. I totally could have done it myself.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:22 PM
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I recently added gas plumbing to my repertoire.

Don't you have to warn the neighbors? Your estate will be liable for broken windows and PTSD, you know.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:24 PM
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$500k seems totally reasonable to me for a house, but I live in the land where $350k gets you an 800 square foot condo in a century-old triple-decker, with no parking.

As long as your mortgage is sensible (predictable, really), it almost doesn't matter what the sticker price is.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:26 PM
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Here's another question: would any of the more outdoorsy guys have rented, for $100-200 below going rates, a studio apartment in which the door to the bathroom was actually off the patio, requiring you to go outside for a short walk to the potty and shower? I'm thinking, temperate climate, college students and surfer dudes, no problem.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:26 PM
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The house I grew up in, outside of D.C. just sold for over a million. How much over a million, I don't know. They asked a million, and got more than that.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:26 PM
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389: Your federal tax dollars at work.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:28 PM
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Mortgage is "sensible" if I get a p-t type job that pays $1000/month or so. It's doable if I earn less. It's not *quite* doable on Mr. B.'s salary alone. (And the raw figure seems outrageous to me, but y'know, it serves us right for not having a down payment in an expensive market.)


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:28 PM
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389: See, this is my worry. That the market's going to drop another 50% and we'll be fucked.

That or president Obama will cut defense spending radically, and Mr. B. will lose his job.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:30 PM
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would any of the more outdoorsy guys have rented, for $100-200 below going rates, a studio apartment in which the door to the bathroom was actually off the patio, requiring you to go outside for a short walk to the potty and shower?

No problem. And not even in a temperate climate.

I admit that, in a climate with real winters, I would be tempted to at least have a chamber pot equivilent, so there would be the option of not going outside in the snow, but I doubt I would end up using it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:30 PM
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388: What's the visibility of the patio? If you have to be dressed for the street to go to the bathroom, I'd think that'd be annoying. On the other hand, if it's a reasonably private backyard, not so bad.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:30 PM
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real winters

I should clarify that I'm thinking of Pacific NorthWest winters, which are only "real" by contrast with Southern CA.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:31 PM
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386: Hey, that reminds me. Do you remember the guy who committed suicide somewhere in NE Portland by blowing up his house (as in letting it fill up with natural gas and lighting a match)? I think it was about 25 years ago.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:32 PM
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I was sort of thinking of that.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:34 PM
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Yeah, private backyard. And *we* won't care if Mr. Dude is wandering around the yard in his boxers. And PK's a boy.

Do we have to put in one of those Ikea cupboard kitchens that basically has a little sink and a couple of burners? They're stand-alone units and not terribly expensive, but I guess we'd have to hook up the plumbing and electricity.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:34 PM
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396: Leland Stanford Stamper?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:35 PM
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398: A sink, a little fridge, and a burner in the room has got to raise the rental value by a lot (or, really, the absence will lower it). Not so much the burner -- someone renting a room like that isn't going to cook much -- but if you even have coffee in the morning, you're really going to want to be able to wash your cup without a big hassle.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:43 PM
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399: Is that what happened? I didn't make it past about page 50.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:44 PM
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Right, fridge, duh. Easy enough. Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. Not being able to cook is one thing; not being able to heat water or fry an egg would really suck.

On the up side, as many fresh oranges as can be picked, for free.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:54 PM
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402: probably worth thinking about a toaster oven and/or microwave, for that matter.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:57 PM
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B, I would have done that in a second.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:57 PM
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If you have storage available for the renter, a diver would love it. Maybe even as a pied a terre for trips to the Channel Islands.


Posted by: TJ | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:59 PM
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You could even just wire the place adequately and tell them that they can put in their own burner, microwave, refrigerator, coffemaker, etc. You'd need to plumb it though.

Building codes may interfere. Have a friend inquire for you.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 12:59 PM
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Bullshit, the renter can buy his or her own damn toaster oven.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:02 PM
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405: Yeah, I'm thinking something like that. And yes, the room is basically half of the garage, so storage is easy.

Re. building codes, the room(s) (actually there are two, but I can't see getting two renters to share an outdoor bathroom) are both unpermitted, so.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:04 PM
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407: eh, i dunno, depending on the target (students?) it might help, and they are cheap. but whichever.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:08 PM
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401: Is that what happened? I didn't make it past about page 50.

Well he tries (and I think you would have hit in the first 50 pages, although maybe it is revealed in a later flashback), but then he breaks out one last cigarette, and blows his place up just as the mailman arrives with a postcard from asking him to come work in the business thereby setting in motion the main narrative. Hank and he are both alive and still competing at the end.

Not my taste now, but I enjoyed it back in the day. Actually the movie adaptation, Never Give An Inch has grown on me on the strength of its simplicity and a few arresting scenes, including the best drowning scene ever ... and here it is, YouTube rules.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:09 PM
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I haven't tasted the cardamom cake yet, but it looks great so far. The only irritating aspect of making it was that it calls for whole cardamom seeds in quantity. At most stores, cardamom is sold ground or in pods, and getting a whole tablespoon of seeds out of the whole pods is a time consuming and irritating process. Next time I will go to the trouble of getting shelled whole seeds from Penzeys or an Indian grocery store.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:24 PM
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I have the shelled whole seeds from Penzeys. Their ground cardamom is really nice, too. Best of all their products, IMHO, is the Vietnamese Extra Fancy Cassia cinnamon. To die for.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:27 PM
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412: Second the cinnamon call. Last order I made, they screwed up and sent ground, but were happy to just send another packet of pieces. So now we've got lots. mmmmmmm.

decent ground cardamom is fine when fresh, it just doesn't last well.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:30 PM
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decent ground cardamom is fine when fresh, it just doesn't last well.

Agreed on both counts. Interestingly, this cake has the seeds actually go in whole (after a very very light bashing), which is unusual for a baked good.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:32 PM
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Yeah, building codes might be an issue. I don't think you can rent a unit here in MA without a functional stove (probably based on the idea that if you do, the tenant will get some less-safe portable electric or worse burner, and be more likely to burn the place down).


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:40 PM
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So do we get the recipe for this cake?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:45 PM
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Yes, just as soon as I have a piece (tonight) and confirm that it's good, I'm going to post it on AWB's wiki. I've already transcribed it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 1:51 PM
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417: Yay! I was about to ask.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 2:15 PM
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Fuck, they took the other offer.

That said, it's a pretty good thing, finance-wise, that it did. So whatevs. Eventually we'll buy one of these damn houses, though. And I'm sure I'll angst about it all over the comments here every time we look at anything I like, until you're all sick of me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 3:49 PM
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And I'm sure I'll angst about it all over the comments here every time we look at anything I like, until you're all sick of me.

Oh, no need to worry about that.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 4:06 PM
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Hey, I almost commented earlier that maybe it would be safer to wait to see how markets shift after the election before buying, but thought that would be a really sucky thing to say if they actually accepted your offer. But! It seems like a more positive thought now, so.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:00 PM
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Bummer, B, sorry. But good attitude.


Posted by: Sybil Vane | Link to this comment | 06-14-08 6:15 PM
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I'm with di! it sounds like a great house and I know it's annoying they didn't accept your offer but when you see its twin for sale at 375k in late 2009 you will think fondly on the whole affair (even if you bought in the meantime at some intermediate price). a tsunami of further foreclosures and forced sales by banks is about to hit LA, which has been annoyingly remaining relatively impervious to all this (some areas have seen less than 5% drops!). if it can't last forever, it wont, and this won't. your dream house at a monthly cost you could afford on mr b's salary alone will be all the more dreamy. I wish you good housing mojo! I have one more year on my incredibly great lease, and then I'm not sure what I'm going to do.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 6:52 AM
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B, that's too bad. But! probably your Minneapolis friend is right, and six months from now you will be very relieved not to have bought that house, and you'll be able to buy a similar house for less money.


Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 7:36 AM
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I agree with my counterpart, whoever he or she may be. Especially in the crazier real estate markets, we have not seen anything like the bottom yet. Here in my neighborhood, the bottom is rapidly approaching. Per my landlady, the largest plurality of foreclosures around us is landlord walkaways from rented housing which has gone into negative equity. (Here in Mpls. at the end of the internet bubble rentals were sky-high, which was a big contributing factor in our overall real estate run-up. Now you're lucky to have renters. Many of your speculator friends are already this fucked.)


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:12 AM
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Homeownership is, of course, almost the biggest problem with relationships, along with sex and housekeeping, but I encouraged B to buy, in my left-handed way, because she seems to be inextricably related already, twice at least.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:19 AM
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your dream house at a monthly cost you could afford on mr b's salary alone will be all the more dreamy.

So true. Good housing luck to you!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:26 AM
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The cake recipe is up on AWB's wiki now. Some (not Ben or AWB, I somehow imagine) may be worried by the fact that it's a genoise, but if cake-impaired me can make it successfully and consider it easy, so can you.

Last night we went over to a friend's house and he trained us in all his Mexican grandmother's best methods for flour tortilla making. Fun!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:29 AM
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Thanks, all. Except for JRoth, who I *think* is insulting me.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 06-15-08 8:38 AM
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378

"I think we might be offering to pay half a million for a house, people. Please tell me I'm not completely fucking insane."

What does the equivalent house rent for? $2500/month or $30000/year appears to be approximately the sane amount.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 06-16-08 5:25 PM
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