Re: Let's not wear dumb shoes.

1

Skechers is making MBT knockoffs now? Oy.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:44 PM
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Skechers is making MBT knockoffs now? Oy.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:44 PM
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Josh is double commenting now? Oy.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:52 PM
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Also, heebie: are you talking about a specific pair of shoes on that "what's hot" page, or every pair?

I don't really understand this sentence: "Maybe there's a case to be made that these shoes are perfect for the person who doesn't want to carve out time to work on their core muscles." But then I don't know much about shoes.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:54 PM
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I'm talking about the first four rows of "Shape Ups". After that, I don't have an opinion.

I think I may need you to help me help you on the sentence you quoted. Tell me a little more about what's got you puzzled, son.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:57 PM
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I could fathom them if they were only being pitched as gear for a specific workout regimen, but that doesn't seem to be the case, since several are dark brown or black.

I don't get it. Why does the color of the shoes militate against a finding that they are geared towards a particular workout?


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:57 PM
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7

Ugly! Ugly! Ugly!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 1:58 PM
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8

I could just gobble them down

Whoa, what? I thought one gobbles things up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:00 PM
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8: I've heard both.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:02 PM
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If you go around indiscriminately gobbling things up or down, then you really need to carve out time to work on your core muscles.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:04 PM
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11

Are these those shoes with the curved bottoms so you rock back and forth, like balancing on a ball? The pictures on the page aren't clear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:05 PM
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12

I chow up and eat things down, especially bulgur wheat.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:05 PM
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Whoa, what? I thought one gobbles things up.

I think I usually say gobble up, but now I can't quite tell.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:07 PM
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11: They are. More like balancing on a cylinder, but yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:08 PM
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I don't get it. Why does the color of the shoes militate against a finding that they are geared towards a particular workout?

Workout shoes are almost never brown or black. I feel like I'm admonishing some fashion decree, but I'm just being descriptive. Brown or black is code for leisurewear or work or somthing.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:10 PM
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16

I think "gobble up" is much more common.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:13 PM
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I chow up and eat things down, especially bulgur wheat.

B is for bulgur. Bulgur bulgur bulgur start with B.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:17 PM
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On the subway, there are ads for "fit flops," which are tacky sandals that work your ass, in case regular shoes that work your ass is too much hassle.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:18 PM
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Workout shoes are almost never brown or black.

They're almost never brown. There are black athletic shoes, but they almost always have contrasting trim, which the shoes you linked to don't.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:18 PM
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20

I could never date anyone who wore Tevas Shape Ups.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:22 PM
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21

I know someone whose Dad -- a butchy butch former Air Force officer -- wears MBTs for his back. I had never heard of this. Maybe he is secretly vain about his ass?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:29 PM
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So are the gobbling down ones the Jubilees or the Sassies or some future shoe to be named later.

I'm vaguely and pointlessly unnerved by the name "Sassies".


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:38 PM
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23

What is it with the question marks today.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:39 PM
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"Gobble up" contains the implication that nothing will be left; "gobble down" that it will be unattractive to watch.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:41 PM
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24 sounds right.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:43 PM
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What is it with the question marks today.

I, for one, am refusing to use any vertical punctualtion until comprehensive health care reform with a public option is passed. The bastards can only hold out for so long.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:51 PM
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26: Great idea!!


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:54 PM
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In 2007 Mary Ann Akers at WaPo did a piece on Ted Stevens wearing "Masai balance shoes." They're weird-looking too (the shoes).

"No wonder Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) looks so fit and has such nice posture.

The octogenarian senator has started wearing those cutting-edge Masai balance shoes, the ones that supermodels, actresses and rock stars are sporting these days, the ones that give you a Pilates-style workout the entire time you wear them."


Posted by: bill | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 2:54 PM
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29

No, see...


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:00 PM
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30

"I'm going to gobble you in" would be a threat of assassination by my devourment of you; whereas "I'm going to gobble you under" threatens your defeat, by my devourment of things unspecified; "I'm going to gobble you out" means I will ruin you via devourment; "I'm going to gobble you over" means I will bring merely unspecified unpleasantness by this means.

English is subtle.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:02 PM
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30: What about the abessive and the ablative?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:03 PM
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32

I gobble them off.


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:04 PM
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33

You abscond with them by means of gobbling?


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:06 PM
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34

On the other hand, "gobble you sideways!" is a way of expressing strong displeasure with someone.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:06 PM
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"I'm going to gobble your gobble", gibbered the barnyard thief.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:07 PM
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I display my contempt for and indifference towards them by eating in a manner that annoys them


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:10 PM
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Blume and I wore awesome, awesome shoes today. They worked our awesome muscles. We got the shoes here in Germany, though, so you would say it "sie bearbeiteten unsere ehrfürchtigen Muskeln".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:34 PM
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38

"It" translates to "sie bearbeiteten unsere ehrfürchtigen Muskeln"? Wow, German really is wordy!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:42 PM
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39

I'm descriptivist to the core, JP.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:44 PM
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37: So you bought Birkenstocks then?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:46 PM
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Zappos allows browsing of shoes purchased nationwide in realtime on a map.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:55 PM
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I know someone whose Dad -- a butchy butch former Air Force officer -- wears MBTs for his back.

!!! This is awesome and bizarre.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:55 PM
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I am also, I confess, surprised that so many here have apparently not encountered this phenomenon in its original MBT form. "Masai Barefoot Technology" -- the idea is that the crazy soles replicate walking barefoot through sand and as you go about your ordinary walking business they will magically make you toned and muscular and at one with the cellulite-free universe.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 3:59 PM
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44

|| Do I finally unfriend the Mark Steyn quoting Euro-racist (oh noes! the white wimminz is no having baybeez! muslins are coming!) who just made a Chappaquiddick joke on my FB page? Or does that seem . . . cowardly? thin skinned? |>


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:06 PM
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45

44: I say do it.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:08 PM
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46

What are you getting out of this supposed friendship, anyway?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:10 PM
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47

44: is it the same jackass who always does stuff like that?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:11 PM
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44: Yes. It sounds... just about right.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:12 PM
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Wasn't there a conversation here some time ago about the relative benefits of getting MBT, vivo barefoot or some other shoes that were supposed to mimic barefootedness? IIRC, ogged ended up getting the super gross fingery feet shoes.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:12 PM
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50

Unfriend, delete the comment, and then bask in your personal utopia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:13 PM
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51

What I recall is that the only such shoes of which the BPL approved were the individual-toe shoes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:13 PM
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46/47: He was a pill, but non insane, in college and I liked him. He was a genuinely nice guy. He's a douche now. No, he isn't the American idiot; this is a fellow from EuroCountry A married to woman from EuroCountry B who now lives in EuroCountry C. Yeah, I'm such a wimp sometimes. Obviously he's done various aggressively obnoxo things so I should pitch him overboard.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:17 PM
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50: Sifu, you could go beat him up for me right now? Pretend you are some Masshole enforcer squad????


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:18 PM
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54

I'd heard of the Barefoot Benefits and all that stuff - here, no less, with that fingery-shoe conversation - but I didn't realize that by "barefoot" they meant "nothing to do with bare feet whatsoever, but rather walking on barrels like an idiot".


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:19 PM
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Yeah, no, these are a different phenomenon from the barely-there shoes that hippie lifeguards like.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:23 PM
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56

I always feel a bit smug about the barefoot conversation because soccer cleats are as minimal as possible, aside from the cleats.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:26 PM
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57

Underneath these clothes, I'm completely naked.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:27 PM
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58

Speaking of Facebook, since Sifu told me how to magically make the quiz things go away before -- is there any way to disable to "X is now a fan of Y" messages? Charming as it is that someone feels the need to flag themselves as a "fan" of PF Chang's, it would be nice to hide such things. Also, some new breed of quizzes seems to sneak past the filter.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:31 PM
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59

That's a misuse of the concept of nakedness, NPH.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:31 PM
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60

58: You can't do that without deleting everything that person says. But that might be a good idea.

I didn't realize there were people who were unaware that you can delete certain people or applications from your feed. Without doing that, it would indeed be a bad experience.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:33 PM
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58: That may be as bad as being a fan of Mark Steyn.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:34 PM
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62

59: That's what he hears all too often.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:42 PM
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63

59, 62: Some people around here need a cleat in the ass.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:48 PM
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64

Which is almost like wiggling one's naked toes in those people's asses.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:49 PM
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65

COUNTERPOINT: why not dumb shoes?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 4:50 PM
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Yeah, now I'm sort of thinking I want these weirdo shoes. The look kinda fun. Okay, they look like the orthopedic shoe thing I had to wear when I broke my toe.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:10 PM
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And I would totally unfriend the guy, Oud. On your wall, he is your guest. You wouldn't think twice about asking someone you didn't particularly like or who was behaving offensively to leave your home. So why is it "cowardly" to evict him from your FB zone?

(Disclosure: I'm exceedingly thin-skinned, have historically been a bit rigid about who I will friend in the first place, and have unfriended even people I genuinely like out of a sense of protectiveness of my FB space. But I don't understand the reluctance folks have to turn down invites or unfriend people, etc.)


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:20 PM
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68

Di, you are of course right. But I sort of feel that if I find what he says so objectionable, I ought to just rip him a new one. But responding to vile (and unprompted) Chappaquiddick jokes just seems degrading. I also feel bad as he has a very sick and small infant (and yet bashes health care reform at every opportunity while saying that, well, yes, he is glad not in the states for his child's illness, but um, socialism bad!).


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:49 PM
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69

You can always send him a note explaining why you are de-friending. Maybe he'll reflect and see the light.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:53 PM
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Ack! And the twat (Sorry! CA just said I should write "What a twat!" and unfriend him) just posted something about Saddam and the meeting Prague on someone else's page. Holy god. DOUCHE.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:54 PM
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69: Oh lord no. He is fully committed to his Euroracism -- the muslins is gonna git us.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:55 PM
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72

Sorry -- I am done! (As is he.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:55 PM
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73

You don't need to apologize for calling someone a twat.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 5:57 PM
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74

I am amused by the (I think British, or at least, that's where I was introduced to it though it may have been idiosyncratic) word twatwaffle.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 6:00 PM
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74: Ha! That is my *favorite* word.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 6:02 PM
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76

Wow -- 68 is filled with errors! Ben, are you being polite?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 6:04 PM
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77

OT: You have all stopped masturbating to Dominique Dunne?


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 7:25 PM
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77: Shit, will, you ought to have done that in the 80s. I think you mean Dominick.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 7:28 PM
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Oops. Yes. Dominick. (and that wasnt even an intentional mistake to irritate Ben!)


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 7:32 PM
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80

ick. i like those toe-shoes, but for running and stuff. These shoes are for streetware, rigiht? so, they'll be worn to push gas pedals or to excercise on the mall-veldt. And they look like those poofy skater shoes/moonboots, airwalks i think. actually, at first i thought they were those shoes that have the inline skates built in that make me want tto clothesline kids who should be out playing in a park.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 7:38 PM
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DIALECTICAL SYNTHESIS: Dumb shoes sometimes.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 7:45 PM
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I love Keens. love, love, love them.

Arroyo IIs

And smart wool socks.

I never thought I could love shoes and socks.


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 8:11 PM
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rfts, The MBT wamba black things don't look half bad and comfy in a Dansko kind of way. If they cost half as much, I might consider them.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 8:11 PM
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DIAL-A-LECTIC
Call now! Lucious Hegelians are standing by.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 9:40 PM
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85

Hmm. Given the commenter, "Lucious" is probably some obscure pun that went over my head.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 9:45 PM
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86

It was a typo.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 9:46 PM
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87

Was vernünftig ist, das ist Wirklich; und was wirklich ist, das ist vernünftig—auch Druckfehler.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 9:48 PM
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Lo que es verdadero, es alemán, y lo que es alemán, es del hijo de lupo.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 9:58 PM
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89

y de la jibi gibi, claro.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:09 PM
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90

OK, 89 made more sense in my head.


Posted by: paranoid android | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:11 PM
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91

I wear black sneakers with black socks to work out at the gym. I guess this means I'm doing it wrong, but nobody stops me.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:22 PM
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92

Nathan, stop that!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:30 PM
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93

What, Earth shoes aren't enough?

While we're making micro-distinctions, could someone explain to me who's supposed to wear Boden's women's clothes? Are these the 'yummy mummies' or are the English now wearing more colors than Americans or is it actually targeting Californians? (which would explain why I get a catalogue a month despite never having bought anything from them?)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:39 PM
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I bought something from Boden a few years ago; it was definitely cut matronly. (Data point: Californian, with a bit of Anglophilia, but not a yummy mummy.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:41 PM
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95

Parenthetical is only a reasonably palatable mummy.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:48 PM
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96

Hey! I'll take the reasonably palatable, but don't cast aspersions on my character - I would never have a child out of wedlock!

And I returned the item I bought from them. I'm not a huge fan of looking 10 years older and 20 pounds heavier.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:51 PM
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Data point: Californian, with a bit of Anglophilia, but not a yummy mummy.

This looks like English, but I don't have a clue what it means.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:51 PM
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98

You should have spent more time in Santa Barbara, essear.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:52 PM
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99

Tell me about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:55 PM
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96: Sorry, I will make arrangements to have your scarlet letter rescinded.

98: "Yummy mummy" is used in SB? I thought that was a UK-only term, with the same demographic here being described almost entirely as "MILFs". But I don't spend a lot of time discussing the sexual attractiveness of specifically mothers, so I may not be the best judge.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:56 PM
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101

Wow, I had heard the term before, but I didn't realize things like this existed.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:56 PM
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102

100.1: I think I was born with one, or I am at least as marked as Pearl ever was.

100.2: Oh, no, I have no idea what term they use in SB, I was just being silly.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 10:58 PM
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102.1: Sillyness! Why, I never!

Urban Dictionary, as always, is here to clarify things:

There is an important age distinction between a yummy mummy and a MILF. Yummy mummys are younger than 30, while MILFs are older than 30.

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:03 PM
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101: But if you read the About page, you'll see that "yummy is a state of mind", not about wearing heels or misunderstanding brain anatomy. I may be paraphrasing slightly. It does apparently require being a former sexpot and current professional. Qualifications for sexpotdom are not spelled out.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:05 PM
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Qualifications for sexpotdom are not spelled out.

Proof of reproduction?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:09 PM
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106

Note, on the About page: bright colors. This is not my world.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:11 PM
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107

misunderstanding brain anatomy

Yeah, I'd be really surprised if the purely visual stimuli of waggling finger puppets could do much for the cerebellum. All the data I'm aware of suggest that cerebellar learning requires the pairing of a motor behavior with an error signal. Of course, that all comes from work with the fairly limited paradigms that have been beaten to death over a half century of learning theory, and maybe the Yummy Mummies are alluding to some of the fMRI data that has shown activation in the cerebellum during some surprising tasks. I probably should give them the benefit of the doubt.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:12 PM
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108

There's even a MILF page.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:14 PM
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107: Ok, I retract my premature criticism. I was going off the simpleminded thought that "well, the visual cortex is up here, and the cerebellum's back there, and probably isn't activated by other people moving, so...", but I should have considered the possibility that yummy mummies are well-informed about fMRI studies. Mustn't underestimate them.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:22 PM
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The yummy mummies are looking for experts on anything, OvB. You should offer to keep them up-to-date on how to stimulate cerebellums.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:23 PM
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111

Proof of reproduction?

Hmm. I would have thought that isn't necessary or sufficient for sexpotdom.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:25 PM
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111: I phrased that badly. Should have been, proof of intercourse?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:27 PM
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113

Proof of intercourse? Like, a videotape?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:28 PM
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114

Oh, I'm confused, aren't I? The visual cortex is actually pretty close to the cerebellum, compared to most parts of the cortex. I was thinking of where the somatosensory cortex is. Brain anatomy FAIL for me. Foot in mouth. Not that it has much to do with whether wagging fingers stimulate the cerebellum.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:30 PM
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113: Or a child. But I give up on trying to make the joke work. Parenthetical, hugely unfunny.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:30 PM
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This one dude named Schneider who seems to have been the subject of at least five different studies by different German authors after the war comes up a lot in The Phenomenology of Perception. Brain injuries! So weird!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:31 PM
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117

Perhaps the trouble is with defining "sexpotdom."


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:31 PM
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118

But less unfunny than I am!


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:31 PM
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119

So I was incredibly tired at, like, 8, and I was thinking "I should take a nap", and then "but if I take a nap, I won't get to sleep at a reasonable hour", and here I am, not getting to sleep at a reasonable hour. I think what I'm saying is, don't ever not nap.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:33 PM
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120

Always be napping.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:36 PM
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121

120 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:36 PM
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But I can't nap!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:37 PM
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123

I'm sure neb would be happy to teach you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:40 PM
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124

I'm not sure that's a teachable skill, teo.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:41 PM
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Yes it is! The latest in brain science confirms that waggling finger puppets helps you learn to nap.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:43 PM
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126

The thing is, though, that you have to use the finger puppets to stimulate the cerebellum directly.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:45 PM
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125: God, it would be so wonderful if that were true. I am seriously envious of the nappers. And the people who can sleep anywhere. I can't remember the last time I managed to sleep in a quasi-public place (ie, plane).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:45 PM
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Perhaps () has a cerebellar injury.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:45 PM
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The visual cortex is actually pretty close to the cerebellum, compared to most parts of the cortex. I was thinking of where the somatosensory cortex is.

Early visual areas (and what is "visual cortex", really? hard to draw a line as you get further downstream!) are in fact closer to the cerebellum than, say, S1, but visual cortex and the cerebellum are worlds apart phylogenetically, anatomically, physiologically, etc., so your initial mockery of the yummy mummies' haphazard selection of a fancy-sounding brain term was in fact pretty on target.

If the YMs were to hire me to make weakly sourced claims about the neurological effects of waggling finger puppets at your child, I would be more apt to say that you are stimulating his or her mirror neurons by doing so. (And there are no mirror neurons in visual ctx, AFAIK. I believe they were first discovered in ventral premotor cortex, which is way the fuck anterior to the central sulcus.)

But more seriously, my understanding is that respectable folks think the cerebellum may be involved in considerably more stuff than classically thought (motor coördination/learning). The cerebellum isn't my immediate area of research, though, so take that with a grain of salt. Like any self-respecting grad student, my knowledge is an inch wide and a milequarter mile deep.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:56 PM
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The visual cortex is actually pretty close to the cerebellum, compared to most parts of the cortex. I was thinking of where the somatosensory cortex is.

Early visual areas (and what is "visual cortex", really? hard to draw a line as you get further downstream!) are in fact closer to the cerebellum than, say, S1, but visual cortex and the cerebellum are worlds apart phylogenetically, anatomically, physiologically, etc., so your initial mockery of the yummy mummies' haphazard selection of a fancy-sounding brain term was in fact pretty on target.

If the YMs were to hire me to make weakly sourced claims about the neurological effects of waggling finger puppets at your child, I would be more apt to say that you are stimulating his or her mirror neurons by doing so. (And there are no mirror neurons in visual ctx, AFAIK. I believe they were first discovered in ventral premotor cortex, which is way the fuck anterior to the central sulcus.)

But more seriously, my understanding is that respectable folks think the cerebellum may be involved in considerably more stuff than classically thought (motor coördination/learning). The cerebellum isn't my immediate area of research, though, so take that with a grain of salt. Like any self-respecting grad student, my knowledge is an inch wide and a milequarter mile deep.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:56 PM
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It must be convenient to have your knowledge be an entire separate graduate student.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-26-09 11:57 PM
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I know! I just party and smoke weed and all that while the other grad student does all the work.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:00 AM
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You brain scientists have all the luck.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:02 AM
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You brain scientists have all the luck.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:02 AM
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I should have practiced brain science, if only so that I could call myself a brain scientist.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:03 AM
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Brain science! Plastic tubes and pots and pans etc.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:04 AM
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Meanwhile, I am catching up with the exploits of Boston's self-proclaimed Yummy Mummy (who, at 30, is on the cusp of MILFdom):

I am constantly channeling my inner Martha Stewart and my inner Rachel Zoe (try putting those two in a room together). If you saw me walking down Newbury street you may think of me as your typical Boston Yummy Mummy. Bugaboo? check; Equinox Gym Membership? check; Unseasonable tan from all that park time? check; This season's hottest frock? check; Starbucks cup attached firmly to my hand.....you get the idea.

Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:14 AM
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It's so terrible when someone lets a chance to employ a diaeresis slip by like that.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:16 AM
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You should start a charitable foundation that works to prevent the occurrence of such tragedies.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:21 AM
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AH, BUT NAY! RACHEL ZOE'S LAST NAME IS A MERE ONE SYLLABLE!

UNLEsS YOU MEAN "EQUINOX" SHOULD BE "EQÜINOX"


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:21 AM
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"Martha Stuärt"


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:22 AM
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130.4 isn't so much a claim about Otto's knowledge being a grad-student as about the dimensions of self-respecting grad students, though. And! the latter claim is trivially true, no matter what it is! Is that the joke?


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:26 AM
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neb was picking at the dangling modifier in "Like any self-respecting grad student, my knowledge is ...".


Posted by: wispa | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:01 AM
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AND THAT IN NO WAY IMPLIES THAT HIS KNOWLEDGE IS A SELF-RESPECTING GRAD STUDENT, MERELY THAT IT SHARES A CERTAIN CHARACTERISTIC WITH ONE.


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:02 AM
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Can anybody recommend a good introductory
book on brain science for someone without a backgrond in science who's willing to work through things?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:13 AM
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Parenthetical -- I too cannot nap! It is a great tragedy.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:22 AM
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145: Isn't there a Brain Science for Dummies?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:43 AM
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parenthetical and rfts, I can fall asleep in cars and occasionally, unwittingly, on the subway, but I'm not good at napping.

If I fall asleep, it can extend for 2-3 hours which doesn't leave me raring to accomplish anything. I knew someone who could take a cat nap for 20 minutes and awake quite refreshed. Not fair.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:51 AM
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"I always feel a bit smug about the barefoot conversation because soccer cleats are as minimal as possible, aside from the cleats."

What are soccer cleats? Are they football boots? Or those trainers which are basically football boots for use on astroturf? Or something else?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:37 AM
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And football boots have fairly rigid non-minimal soles, too, tbh. That is, they aren't minimal at all.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:39 AM
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But no padding. And the point is for them to be as tight on your foot as possible. I stand by my assertion.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:40 AM
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What are soccer cleats? Are they football boots?

Yes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:40 AM
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149/50: Yes, soccer cleats = football boots. And I don't think of them as particularly minimal, either.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:41 AM
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There's definitely that thing in soccer about revering apocryphal stories about people who played barefoot. That's the starry-eyed dream, although everyone sane would wear shoes.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:43 AM
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re: 151

Yeah, but they have a whacking great rigid plate along the bottom with studs screwed into it. Your foot doesn't flex at all, nor does it spread naturally, so it's basically about as unlike being barefoot as it's possible to get short of wearing Edwardian diving boots.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:46 AM
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The sole is rigid, but I honestly think that's just because it hasn't occured to any manufacturers to innovate there and jack up the price on high end flexi-soled shoes. There's no real reason to have a rigid sole, and certainly no one is marketing extra-rigid soles or extra support or anything like that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:48 AM
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Can any shoe lacking Gore-tex not be dumb?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:48 AM
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Your foot doesn't flex at all,

What? Of course it does. No one is dancing en pointe out there.

Even when there's an actual metal plate in there, it's just to attach scarier-looking cleats to, and it's only on the arch portion of the foot. Around the ball of your foot, you arch plenty.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:50 AM
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"Cleats" means shoes with spikes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:50 AM
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re: 156

Except for the fractured metatarsals, you mean? It's pretty common for players to break those bones already, due to the lighter modern boots.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:51 AM
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re: 158

It's still really unlike being barefoot.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:53 AM
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How does putting a plate under your foot protect the metatarsals? It's not like you wear shinguards around your calf.

I think most people break their feet when other players come down hard on them, with their cleats. Not from hyper-extending them or something.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:54 AM
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||

Jesus H Christ on a bike!

|>


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:56 AM
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It's still really unlike being barefoot.

But it's also really unlike the bouncy springing running shoes which were hyped as "stabilizing", etc, which the barefoot movement was responding to.

They are minimal! No ankle support whatsoever. You're supposed to have as much sensitivity and balance and touch as possible. People roll their ankles all the freaking time.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:56 AM
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Most of the recent attempts by manufacturers to make boots lighter and more flexible do get blamed for foot injuries, although I get your point re: the studs of other players coming down on the foot being a common cause.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:57 AM
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Most of the recent attempts by manufacturers to make boots lighter and more flexible do get blamed for foot injuries,

I'd comity it up right here - there's a tension between "lighter and more flexible makes you play better" and "too light and flexible and you'll wreck your feet". (Still, since they hold light and flexible up for reverence, I secretly think I won the debate.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:00 AM
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re: 164

I don't buy it. They aren't maximal in the same way as running shoes, because they are designed for a very different purpose. That doesn't make them like being barefoot.

Similarly, the squash shoes I wear for kickboxing aren't heavily padded in the way that running shoes are [they are more like football boots that way] but they do have a fair bit of heel cup stabilisation because that's what they are designed for -- sudden lateral shifts in movement.* They aren't maximal in the same way as running shoes, but they aren't like being barefoot either.

* I'd also be damned surprised if football boots don't also do the same.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:03 AM
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Comity at: I think we can all agree that heavily springy running shoes aren't used in pretty much any other sport [or by actual competitive runners in races, either].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:03 AM
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This is about me being a girl, isn't it? Sexist.

I win.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:04 AM
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The squash shoes I use for cooking gourds make a terrible mess.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:05 AM
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You should make them out of butternut squash. Better ankle support.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:07 AM
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163: The mind reels. Particularly with regards to Winter Wonderland.

And everyone should do everything possible barefoot -- the only respectable use for footwear is to keep your feet clean and to keep sharp things out of the bottom of them.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:07 AM
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re: 172

They are quite handy when kicking people.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:08 AM
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Basketball players generally wear the biggest, fattest, fluffiest shoes around, and they still roll ankles quite regularly. For ballers it is landing on other people's feet. For footie players its tripping or hitting the ball at an odd angle. I don't think the choice of shoes has much to do with it.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:09 AM
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168: What sorts of shoes do people run marathons in?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:11 AM
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173: Okay, you can have an exception if you're using them as weapons. Everyone else, barefoot! (Shoes for cold and wet are also permissible.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:14 AM
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175: No shoes, if they want to win.

(Also, racing flats.)


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:14 AM
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OT: I am not the silliest person in my office building. Riding up in the elevator with my ridiculous little wadded-up bike, a guy looked at it and said "Is that a Bike Friday?"

"No, a Brompton."

"Where'd you get it? Bfold?"

"Yeah, isn't it great?"

"I love that place. I have a tandem from there that folds up small enough to fit in this elevator."

Now, tandem bikes are silly enough to start with, but a folding tandem bike? What on earth is the point?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:16 AM
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re: 175

I'd iamgine it's quite different depending on whether you are talking about some Kenyan elite runner, and Joe Bloggs who is doing it for fun. I gather race shoes are much lighter than what people ordinarily buy for training, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:17 AM
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178: So it can fit in the elevator!


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:19 AM
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re: 176

Yeah, proper savate boots have hard soles and toe caps. Even when people aren't trying to hurt you, they sting a bit.

http://www.whywenothithard.com/2008/01/savate-shoes.html


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:19 AM
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178: I like to imagine his honey works in the same building, and they ride in together. So romantic.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:25 AM
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178: So that you can stay in costume when commuting to your job as a two-person horse.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:26 AM
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but a folding tandem bike? What on earth is the point?

I would assume in NYC the point would be storage. A regular tandem would be quite long and hard to get into and out of an apartment.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:29 AM
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I like to imagine his honey works in the same building, and they ride in together. So romantic.

I wager he's single, and he uses it to meet chicks.

She: [Sees man ostentatiously unfolding his bike] What's that you've got there.

He: It's my folding bike.

She: A folding bike? Neat!

He: [just completing the unfolding] Would you like to join me for a spin?


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:29 AM
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would be quite long and hard to get into and out of an apartment.

That's what the she-bike said.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:29 AM
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Or maybe the she-apartment. Do bikes screw apartments or each other?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:30 AM
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187: Each other -- why do you think bikes are one of the only machines with gender?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:35 AM
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187: Bikes screw like bananas.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:38 AM
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There's definitely that thing in soccer about revering apocryphal stories about people who played barefoot.

Playing barefoot when everyone else is playing with boots is definitely something that deserves reverence, not to mention hospitalisation.

I can kind of see what heebie's talking about. I don't play footy all that much any more, but when I did, boots always felt much lighter and more, well, sock-like than trainers.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:41 AM
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Time screws like an augur.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:42 AM
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163: Wasn't this one of the plots in Love Actually?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:43 AM
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163: The real question is whether he will cover "Hallelujah" on it.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:45 AM
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why do you think bikes are one of the only machines with gender?

"The gross and net result of it is that people who spent most of their natural lives riding iron bicycles over the rocky roadsteads of this parish get their personalities mixed up with the personalities of their bicycle as a result of the interchanging of the atoms of each of them and you would be surprised at the number of people in these parts who are nearly half people and half bicycles...when a man lets things go so far that he is more than half a bicycle, you will not see him so much because he spends a lot of his time leaning with one elbow on walls or standing propped by one foot at kerbstones.'"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:50 AM
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Manicycles are the new centaurs.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:51 AM
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185: Which inexorably brings to mind "Daisy, Daisy"...

"Stop, Dave. What are you doing?"


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:51 AM
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194: Flann O'Brien?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:52 AM
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And everyone should do everything possible barefoot -- the only respectable use for footwear is to keep your feet clean and to keep sharp things out of the bottom of them.

My charming housemate the programmer quite literally walks everywhere barefoot when there is no snow on the ground. He carries shoes in his backpack and puts them on as needed in businesses. His feet? Sturdy! He does pick up glass splinters sometimes; last weekend we were discussing the best kind of tweezers for him to carry for extraction purposes.

Whenever we walk anywhere together I end up looking at the ground the whole way out of glass-based anxiety.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:53 AM
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a folding tandem bike? What on earth is the point?

Travel (ease of taking it with you, that is). That's one of Bike Friday's main selling points, anyway.

63: I would triumphantly declare pwnage, but my initial comment about the Dylan Christmas album is lost in the hoohole. Still, the project deserves relentless mockery. "Here Comes Santa Claus"? Is there a more execrable holiday song?

||
So I go away for a few days, and what happens? Soup leaves, minne leaves, and parsimon has chat sex with a total stranger. Fucking hell, people.
|>


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:55 AM
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197: "The Third Policeman". I couldn't find the quote about the scandal of the postman, himself 65% bicycle, who lent his bicycle to a married woman...


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:56 AM
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198: Think of it as an exercise in expanding your glass-consciousness.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:56 AM
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Is there a more execrable holiday song?

"Silver bells . . . . SILVER BELLS!"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:58 AM
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Have I mentioned before how much PK Dick's Ubik resembles The Third Policeman? Because it does. Which really freaked me out when I read them one after the other completely by chance.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:01 AM
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202: Horrid, to be sure, but not in fact more execrable.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:01 AM
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"Do they know it's Christmastime at all?"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:01 AM
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204: But have you considered "Jingaling . . . . HEAR THEM RING!!!"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:02 AM
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His feet? Sturdy! He does pick up glass splinters sometimes; last weekend we were discussing the best kind of tweezers for him to carry for extraction purposes.

He's probably toughened his feet to the point where most ordinary sharp things just don't penetrate. In Samoa, I had a several week period where I had no shoes at all (a dog had run off with my flipflops, and there weren't any for sale in the country that week, until a new shipment came in.) In a surprisingly short period of time, I got so I could walk over this evil ground-cover they have there with tiny little razor-sharp thorns without noticing it -- the thorns just didn't stick in my feet much, and when they did it didn't hurt, I just had to pull them out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:04 AM
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I also have a very special hatred for "pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum."

David Bowie and Bing Crosbie made a duet of it that is truly horrifying.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:05 AM
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Wow, the lyrics to 205 are even more imperialistic than I remembered. I think my favorite line is:

And the Christmas bells that ring there
are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it's them instead of you.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:05 AM
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209: Didn't they realize that we are the world?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:07 AM
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Is Dylan going to do Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You"?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:07 AM
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203: Huh, that's an interesting pairing!

PKD couldn't have read The Third Policeman, right?
At least he couldn't have read it before writing Ubik, I think.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:08 AM
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I'm hoping for "Santa's Super Sleigh", myself.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:08 AM
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How about "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth?"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:09 AM
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The she-sleighs love Santa's super sleigh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:09 AM
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No, "It's Christmas All Over Again" by Tom Petty is the worst Christmas song ever. It contains the phrase "Christmas is a rockin' time". Followed by "so put your body next to mine". This song is on the holiday tape loop used by my local Saver's; every year at Christmas my thrifting tapers off because I can't bear this song.

I picture a drugged-up desperate Tom Petty cynically recording the song and then I imagine his horror at having recorded it and sent it out into the world. Really gets me down.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:10 AM
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What about Paul McCartney singing "We're sim-ply, hav-ing, a wonderful Christmas time"? That makes me want to machine gun people. Particularly Sir Paul.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:13 AM
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Well, get ready for the Tom Petty-Bob Dylan duet on that song, Frowner.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:13 AM
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216.1(c): Mon sembable, mon frère. Austin has a bunch of different thrift store chains and each has its own soundtrack the order of which I used to end up memorizing back when my thrifting habit was really bad.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:14 AM
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217: Oh yeah, that one is truly awful.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:15 AM
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Bob Dylan has announced the plans for his second ever Christmas record - Christmas In The Heart

Second???????

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/theampersand/archive/2009/08/26/316124.aspx


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:20 AM
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219: Now that I think about it, "hypocrite lecteur" is probably as good a description of the Unfoggetariat as I can imagine.

Of what does the badness of these Christmas songs consist? The Tom Petty song is loathesome because of the cynical, greasy, I-just-shot-up vocals and because of the attempt to describe a rock-and-roll Christmas, which does neither rock and roll nor Christmas any credit. It's rather reminiscent of the "rap" version of Moliere to which I was subjected back in 8th grade french--neither rap nor Moliere emerged well and the whole thing produced in me an intense embarrassment for the performers.

"Simply having a wonderful Christmas time"...Is that bad because it's smug? Or bad because it's late-period Paul McCartney?


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:21 AM
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Worst Christmas song is about a 500-way tie for first.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:22 AM
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Madame Perdu loves -- LOVES -- schlocky Christmas music. I have to put up with it from approximately the day after Thanksgiving until sometime in mid- to late January. We have every execrable Christmas song ever written, many of them in multiple renditions. You want Alabama singing "Christmas in Dixie"? We got it. You want Celine Dion singing "O Holy Night"? Bette Midler singing some appalling original compositions? It's on auto-repeat.

Holy Sweet Baby Jesus it makes me want to stab my eardrums out with a pencil just thinking about it.

I surmise that record labels have figured out that a Christmas single is like an annuity revenue stream. It might only get airplay a few weeks out of the year, but it will survive until Christ's triumphant return and possibly longer. Plus, no royalties for the songwriter if it's a traditional tune!

I'm hoping for, I dunno, maybe a Jane's Addiction Christmas album or something. The lyrics of "Here Comes Santa Claus" could be easily set to the tune of "Ocean Size".


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:22 AM
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I think some tandem-owners use them to seduce people into bicycling, not into bed.

I can't decide if the worst Christmas Muzak is based on songs I originally liked or ones I never liked.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:23 AM
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This is the only Christmas album you really need. You should also own as many renditions as possible of "Zat You, Santa Claus?"


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:24 AM
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222: I don't actually know what's wrong with it, I just know that it makes me want to commit mass murder. I'm really stupid about music -- there's some stuff I like, and lots I don't care about, and mostly I don't have any conscious thought process about it. But I hate that song. It's like listening to the Barney theme song.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:25 AM
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143: yes, and I think he parsed it wrong, hence my.... oh, never mind. I'm with Grandma.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:25 AM
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228: Who had better watch out for herself.


Posted by: OPINIONATED REINDEER | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:27 AM
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Now that I think about it, "hypocrite lecteur" is probably as good a description of the Unfoggetariat as I can imagine.

Eh?

That sounds plausible, but not obvious, can you elaborate?


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:31 AM
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224: Your and my houses have strikingly similar holiday soundtracks, I'm pained to report.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:33 AM
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230: Yes, for more obvious is:
Il en est un plus laid, plus méchant, plus immonde!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:35 AM
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223 gets it right, but "Here Comes Santa Claus" is especially loathsome because both melody and lyrics are utterly insipid.

Like Mme Perdu, my wife likes awful Christmas songs, notably "Winter Wonderland". More than holiday parties or any other festivity, this is why my alcohol intake rises dramatically at Christmastime.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:35 AM
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230:

In translation:

"Ennui! That monster frail!--With eye wherein
A chance tear gleams, he dreams of gibbets, while
Smoking his hookah, with a dainty smile. . .
--You know him, reader,--hypocrite,--my twin!"

If that's not us, I don't know what is.

"Like some lewd rake with his old worn-out whore,
Nibbling her suffering teats, we seize our sly
delight, that, like an orange--withered, dry--
We squeeze and press for juice that is no more"

...might be over-egging it a bit, though, although maybe it refers to some of Apo's links.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:36 AM
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PKD couldn't have read The Third Policeman, right?
At least he couldn't have read it before writing Ubik, I think.

I don't know if he did, but I've often wondered. When I first read Ubik, the obvious inspiration seemed to be taking acid, rather than any direct literary source. And somehow I doubt that's what Flann O'Brien did. But when I read the Third Policeman right after Ubik, the parallels were so strong I found it hard to believe they were coincidental.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:38 AM
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I just wish the Christmas songs would update their choice of archetypal children's names. "Johnny"? "Tommy"? "Susie"? Try Aidan, Dylan, and Kaitlyn.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:38 AM
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That sounds plausible, but not obvious, can you elaborate?

I just realized, this could be a new phrase for spam-bots -- syntactically valid, but free of content and a valid response to almost any observation.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:38 AM
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Good comment, 237! There are also good comments at FUCKWORLD.EE


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:40 AM
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233. Ogden Nash did a wonderful deconstruction of "Winter Wonderland" when it first came out. I can't understand how it survived it.

Unrelatedly,

Daisy, Daisy
The coppers are after you-
They've gone crazy
Because of the jobs you do!
They'll tie you up with wire
Inside a Black Maria,
So ring your bell, and pedal like hell
On a bicycle made for two.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:42 AM
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Pace ned, my vote for Only Christmas Album You Ever Need goes to Oy to the World.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:43 AM
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235: I guess it's just possible -- The Third Policeman was finally published in 1967, and Ubik came out in 1969.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:45 AM
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240: I prefer "Oi to the World."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:46 AM
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I like this xmas album, though the track on it I like most is an original.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:47 AM
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This is the only Christmas album you really need.

I prefer this one. "My First Christmas as a Woman" is a particular favorite at our house.


Posted by: JL | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:47 AM
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Anal Cunt should put out a christmas album.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:49 AM
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209: wow. "Thank God it's them instead of you?" Vicious stuff.

I can't stand Christmas songs and avoid shops that play them. This rather limits my Christmas shopping options to a) getting it all done by early November b) Fortnum & Mason c) amazon - but that's worked out OK so far.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:54 AM
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Christmas music, like religious music, has really gone downhill since about 1840 or so. Before that: Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Handel's Messiah, etc. After that: Joy to the World and Winter Wonderland. And Christian Rock.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:57 AM
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my vote for Only Christmas Album You Ever Need


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:57 AM
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My dad used to do a great imitation of Dylan singing "Blue Christmas." (Note: To my knowledge Dylan has never sung "Blue Christmas.") If that's on the album I'm totally buying it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:01 AM
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CA, the former Head Chorister, makes me listen endlessly to Lessons and Carols.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:02 AM
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Handel's Messiah

Originally an Easter oratorio.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:05 AM
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Everybody should have James Brown's "Soulful Christmas." Everybody needs to hear James Brown yell "James Brown loves you! You lucky so-and-so!"


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:11 AM
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The only Christmas album we have is the James Brown one.

Bizarrely, a six or seven years ago Belle and Sebastian did the John Peel christmas show, and they did a version of Brown's Santa Claus, Go Straight to the Ghetto, as well.

Streaming version can be played here:
http://blip.fm/profile/dommage/blip/1249704/Belle_and_Sebastian-Santa_Claus_Go_Straight_to_the_Ghetto


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:16 AM
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Christmas music, like religious music, has really gone downhill since about 1840 or so. Before that: Bach's Christmas Oratorio, Handel's Messiah, etc. After that: Joy to the World and Winter Wonderland. And Christian Rock.

Could be an artifact of survivor bias. If "Here We Go a' Wasailling" is any indication, the popular Christmas music of the that era wasn't much better than "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus".


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:34 AM
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I really don't like Christmas music. I can handle some of the older songs, like Greensleeves, and Handel and that sort of thing, but beyond that...not a fan. And so far, every single roommate I have ever had has been obsessed with Christmas music. I do mean obsessed, along the lines of Madame Perdu. I've just realized that the small perk of living alone this holiday season is that I will not have to hear any Christmas music!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:36 AM
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247: I'd give the late Victorians credit for doing up sentimental songs thoroughly and with a lot of melody (cf: that Picasso, at least he could draw). The Rossetti/brainfreeze hymn is excellent -- 'snow on snow on snow'...

I spent most of the night almost writing a full, general solution to the wrong problem. Easier than actually writing up what I've done/mean to do. Stupid.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:37 AM
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I think one can make the case that Christmas music jumped the shark with "The Christmas Song" (the one that begins "Chesnuts roasting on an open fire..."). The self-referential loop ("Yuletide carols being sung by a choir...") marks the transitions from songs that celebrate Christmas to songs that celebrate the celebration of Christmas. That genre seems to have crowded out all the rest.

Bah, humbug.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:41 AM
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I'm torn here. I really want to defend Christmas music. I love the opportunity to sing along in the holiday spirit. But I can't disagree that most of the songs are annoying. But still. Greensleaves. O Come O Come Emmanuel. I'm sure there must be others.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:47 AM
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It occurs to me that there is an opportunity for a strange bedfellows-type alliance with the Christian Right on getting rid of bad Christmas music. Cut out all the songs that mention Santa Claus or don't mention the nativity, and you eliminate a good portion of the dreck. If we could further convince them to object to any sacramental Christmas music written after the 19th century (like some of them object to any post-KJV English translation of the Bible), we'd really be cooking with gas.

Step one: convince them that Obama is a big fan of "Jingle Bell Rock".


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:49 AM
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I can't stand Christmas songs and avoid shops that play them. This rather limits my Christmas shopping options to a) getting it all done by early November b) Fortnum & Mason c) amazon - but that's worked out OK so far.

How quaint! The Christmas onslaught doesn't start until after early November in your part of the world?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:50 AM
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258: Greensleeves gets a pass for not actually being Christmas music, I think.

"O Come O Come Emmanuel" is another one that Belle & Sebastian have done, and it's not a bad recording, but Isobel's part is a bit too breathy and anemic. (Somehow I feel like this has been discussed here before, but I can't find it. Is the hoohole expanding?)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:53 AM
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258: I'm willing to grant a waiver for Greensleeves and O Come O Come Emmanuel. Throw in some concessions on, say, eliminating special Christmas edition packaging on consumer goods, and I'd be willing to extend the waiver to encompass "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing".


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:53 AM
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Ooh, I like singing the "Glo-oooo-o-oooo-o-oooo-oria" bit of AWHHOH. What about just banning recorded Christmas music in public places? If you want carols, keep them at home or sing them yourself.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:57 AM
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I almost said Angels We Have Heard... because I guiltily enjoy the glo-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-or-oria part. What will you trade for the abolition of coordinated neighborhood lighting schemes?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:57 AM
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Maybe I'm just remembering this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:57 AM
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The hoohole is definitely back. I've looked for a couple of threads that I know I have good search terms for, and they don't come up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:57 AM
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259: OOOoo, that sounds like it would work and then have side-effects that both sides hate, but mostly us.

'In the Deep Midwinter', that's the song. There's a good mystery novel of the same title with a female ex-military Episcopalian priest as the protagonist.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:58 AM
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Christmas carols can be like smoking. In your own home, or outside at least 15 feet from building entrances of bus/train stops. Grandfathered in at existing churches, but if you build new, you don't get to sing carols.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:59 AM
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263: Heck, I don't think there should be any amplified music in public places ever. Narrowcast to headphones, or get the crowd to sing, or play the bagpipes, but get outta my noisespace.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:01 AM
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Ooh, I like singing the "Glo-oooo-o-oooo-o-oooo-oria" bit of AWHHOH.

I just sing "AWWWW-HHHOOOOHH" to that part.


Posted by: Cry[ptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:04 AM
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I just sing "AWWWW-HHHOOOOHH" to that part.

Werewolves in London!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:04 AM
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"O Come O Come Emmanuel" gets a pass for being from the 8th century or so. "In the Bleak Midwinter" is a lovely song. Some of the rest can be redeemed by 4-part harmony. Still, an album of truly pleasant Christmas music would be awfully short.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:05 AM
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258: Greensleeves gets a pass for not actually being Christmas music, I think.

I think the reference is to "What Child Is This?".


Posted by: Cry[ptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:05 AM
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I secretly like "Santa Baby" but I don't want to lose my hata-cred.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:10 AM
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I like "Baby, It's Cold Outside". But not the version with Brian Setzer.


Posted by: Cry[ptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:12 AM
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The self-referential loop ("Yuletide carols being sung by a choir...") marks the transitions from songs that celebrate Christmas to songs that celebrate the celebration of Christmas

Isn't that true of Christmas celebrations generally?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:30 AM
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I like Weird Al Yankovic's Christmas œuvre. Unfortunately, though, I only know of two songs, "Christmas at Ground Zero" and "The Night Santa Went Crazy." There might be one or two more I'm forgetting or just never happened to hear, but there probably aren't enough for a full album.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:34 AM
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Christmas carols can be like smoking.

Too many and you're just asking for a tracheotomy.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:41 AM
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275: Rape apologist.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:42 AM
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254: There is at least one good version of Here We Go a' Wasailling.


Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:44 AM
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I LOLed at 278.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:50 AM
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Though I do still enjoy this song.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:53 AM
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Handel's Messiah

Originally an Easter oratorio.

McQueen, I thought that it was first performed during Lent, since you weren't supposed to have opera during a penitential season.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:08 PM
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Rape apologist.

Sometimes "no" means "keep trying", manhater.

What will you trade for the abolition of coordinated neighborhood lighting schemes?

Children under the age of 10 will be permitted to sing "Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer", and a single televised performance of "White Christmas" by Natalie Cole will be sanctioned.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:14 PM
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The second line was Jesus's and was supposed to be italicized. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is not actually Christmas music; it's Advent music.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:15 PM
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I love Christmas movies. I'll watch pretty much any vaguely Xmasy movie made prior to 1960. The Thin Man is even sorta kinda part of the genre, but The Bishop's Wife? Christmas in Connecticut? Sign me up!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:18 PM
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I thought we voted this as the best Christmas song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P37xPiRz1sg&feature=PlayList&p=87BE84F6E958A24D&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1


Posted by: Will | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:18 PM
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O Come, O Come Emmanuel is not actually Christmas music; it's Advent music.

That's splitting hairs a bit, don't you think?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:24 PM
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I'm feeling very alone sitting in the Corner for Irreligious Unfoggedtarians Who Actively Use the Phrases "Passed" and "Passed on" When Referring to Deaths Not To Mention Who Very Much Enjoy Christmas Music, Even the Schmaltzy Stuff.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:26 PM
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283: Right, Handelian oratorio was basically a format for opera-style works to get around the Lenten prohibition on opera performance. Messiah was first performed in the Easter season, though, not during Lent.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:28 PM
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Would it help if I said I very much enjoy Christmas food and drink?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:29 PM
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O Come, O Come Emmanuel is not actually Christmas music; it's Advent music.

Specifically, it's a paraphrase of the O Antiphons, which were sung in the final week of Advent, so the Advent/Christmas distinction there is pretty fine.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:33 PM
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I'll have to look into all y'all's offerings, but the best Christmas album in my collection is this.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:39 PM
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289: Quick, somebody bring Stanley some figgy pudding!


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:40 PM
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293: Yeah, that's a gooder.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:41 PM
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That's splitting hairs a bit, don't you think?

Keep in mind that BG comes from a denomination where the liturgical calendar is fetishized. "Joy to the World" is never sung before Christmas Eve or after Epiphany.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:41 PM
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Oh! M/tch just reminded me that I love the Muppet Christmas album. (Because he said "figgy pudding" and there's this bit where Miss Piggy thinks they said "piggy pudding" and gets all upset, but Gonzo quickly explains, "Figgy pudding -- with figs!" Then more softly, "And bacon.")


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:43 PM
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294: The Wikipedia entry suggests that figgy pudding can be fried. That sounds odd.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:48 PM
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I'm going to have to physically restrain myself to keep from buying that Vandals album.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:51 PM
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298: He won't go until he gets some.

Tangentially, the lyrics of those Victorian christmas songs suggest that Christmas caroling was a very thinly disguised form of extortion. No wonder Scrooge couldn't stand it.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:54 PM
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300: Suggest? Try "state outright."

Trick or treating too. Are other cultures so big on fanciful, ritualized, group begging around certain holidays, or is it just an Anglo-American thing?


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 12:56 PM
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The Thin Man is not a christmas movie.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:02 PM
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Eric Cartman's rendition of "O Holy Night" is my favorite Christmas music, after Bach's Christmas Oratorio.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:14 PM
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Actual shoe Question.

Am I stupid to want to buy these? Or their updated, lighter version?

I want them for weight lifting, the elliptical, treadmill walking, cycling and group classes. In the group class studio you're not supposed to wear shoes which have been outside.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:17 PM
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"Santa Baby" is the one Christmas song that Dylan needs to cover.

Madame Perdu loves -- LOVES -- schlocky Christmas music.

"Do They Know It's Christmas?" is uniquely awful even among bad songs, but I love a lot of schlocky Christmas music. I do have my limits, though. I've worked enough retail jobs to know that too much Christmas music is a method of torture only Dick Cheney could approve of.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:19 PM
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302: "kinda sorta" -- but takes place during Christmas, that it is Christmas time is frequently mentioned, has scenes around tree, gift exchanges, delightful Christmas morning sequence, and possibly more delightful Christmas Eve party -- "Is your husband working on a case? Yes. A case of scotch."


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:22 PM
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you're not supposed to wear shoes which have been outside

The pernicious influence of Big Shoe, no doubt.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:24 PM
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In the group class studio you're not supposed to wear shoes which have been outside.

"It will be well to begin by noticing two of those rules or taboos by which, as we have seen, the life of divine kings or priests is regulated. The first of the rules to which I would call the reader's attention is that the divine personage may not touch the ground with his foot. This rule was observed by the supreme pontiff of the Zapotecs in Mexico; he profaned his sanctity if he so much as touched the ground with his foot. Montezuma, emperor of Mexico, never set foot on the ground; he was always carried on the shoulders of noblemen, and if he lighted anywhere they laid rich tapestry for him to walk upon. For the Mikado of Japan to touch the ground with his foot was a shameful degradation; indeed, in the sixteenth century, it was enough to deprive him of his office. Outside his palace he was carried on men's shoulders; within it he walked on exquisitely wrought mats...."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:24 PM
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JG Frazer?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:31 PM
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Yesssssssssssssss


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:31 PM
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"Do They Know It's Halloween" is a decent tune.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:32 PM
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Who else commanded such breadth of reference so elegantly?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:32 PM
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The first sentence was the giveaway.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:37 PM
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308: Reminds me of this Jimmy Breslin column.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:37 PM
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I used to try to explain something to people by referring to that section of TGB, which I thought was one of the more famous ones, given the song etc., but only one person ever appreciated what I was intending.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:42 PM
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What thing were you trying to explain and what song are you talking about?

I would have thought the introductory sections were the most famous, but really, whaddo I know?

"The object of this book is, by meeting these conditions, to offer a fairly probable explanation of the priesthood of Nemi."

Check it out!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:49 PM
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"He was a priest and a murderer; and the man for whom he looked was sooner or later to murder him and hold the priesthood in his stead. Such was the rule of the sanctuary."

Daaaaaaaaaaaamn.

I guess that's Frazer's abridgment and not the really real full thing, but still, that's pretty awesome.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:50 PM
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I was trying to explain convey what it felt like to land after my first mountain paraglider flight, which had lasted much longer than any of my earlier flights and had included the odd experience of seeing hawks circling below me.

"Not to Touch the Earth, Not to See the Sun": One of the Doors' many underwritten songs, but a catchy title.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 1:57 PM
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318 reminds me that I recently learned about a very oddly named Ecuadorian airline.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 2:02 PM
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A North American Indian thought that brandy must be a decoction of hearts and tongues, "because," said he, "after drinking it I fear nothing, and I talk wonderfully." ... The people of Darfur, in Central Africa, think that the liver is the seat of the soul, and that a man may enlarge his soul by eating the liver of an animal. "Whenever an animal is killed its liver is taken out and eaten, but the people are most careful not to touch it with their hands, as it is considered sacred; it is cut up in small pieces and eaten raw, the bits being conveyed to the mouth on the point of a knife, or the sharp point of a stick. Any one who may accidentally touch the liver is strictly forbidden to partake of it, which prohibition is regarded as a great misfortune for him." Women are not allowed to eat liver, because they have no soul.

That's some old school patriarchin'.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 2:02 PM
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FID, dude.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 2:03 PM
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"Do They Know It's Halloween" is a decent tune.

This made me laugh.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 2:24 PM
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How I read it: "Outside his palace he was carried on men's shoulders; within it he walked on exquisitely wrought nuts...."


Posted by: tierce de lollardie | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 2:34 PM
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319: From the linked Wikipedia article: Icaro Air, in an effort to increase passenger number, has recently begun employing female lingerie models to walk the aisles of the airplanes during flights.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 2:59 PM
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I don't think that it's exactly a conspiracy of Big Shoe; they just don't want dirt and marks on their wood floor.

Too bad nobody's actually interested in giving me shoe advice. Are they that awful?

I have to say that it's amazing how expensive joining the Y can actually be--given that it's a community oriented institution. Athletic shoes are obscenely expensive for one.

But the actual YMCA charges for an awful lot of things: all of the swimming lessons AND the aqua aerobics and stretch and swim. The weight loss group costs money as does the course teaching women about free weights.

My favorite part is the Reach Out Aid policies. If you make less than approximately $36,000 you pay $40/ per month (reduced from the regular $57), but if your income is too low, they want proof that you'll be able to make the payments. And this particular branch is very clear that all of the fundraising they do goes back into their own branch and not into the rest of the greater Boston YMCA.

Still it's the only decent place near me that's less than $95/month. Planet Fitness weirds me out, and I don't think that I coculd take the purple and yellow.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 3:51 PM
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I don't think that it's exactly a conspiracy of Big Shoe; they just don't want dirt and marks on their wood floor.

That's what They want you to think. Get outside the Thoughtbox!


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 3:56 PM
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Are they that awful?

They look fine, as shoes go. If money's an issue, though, given what that you're doing (lifting, elliptical) mostly sounds like very low impact, maybe you just need a cheap pair of Keds (or similar rubber-soled but otherwise non-serious sneakers).


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:00 PM
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Too bad nobody's actually interested in giving me shoe advice. Are they that awful?

Nah, I like 'em. The newer version more than the older, but they're both fine. Spend away!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:03 PM
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The shoe of choice at my gym is Cons, for the thin sole. I'm told that running shoes pad the heel, tipping one slightly forward and changing one's squat form.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:25 PM
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Yay, Chuckies! Also my biking shoe of choice.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:29 PM
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The shoes would be a gift, so I don't want to be a spendthrift, but I'm not overly concerned about the cost.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:35 PM
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Does cons stand for "converse"? Are they okay for walking/running on a treadmill too?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:36 PM
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Yep, Converse. People used to play professional basketball in them, so I'm sure they're fine for walking/running.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:38 PM
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People used to play professional basketball in them, so I'm sure they're fine for walking/running.

People used to play soccer in actual boots, too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:41 PM
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Or you could get the pro-union anti-Nike Converse-a-likes made by the good people at Adbusters. I have a pair of the Unswoosher boots.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:41 PM
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333: On the other hand, many of those people are dead now. Can't be too careful.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:42 PM
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I'd like to look vaguely sporty, not like I'm a slacker skateboarder. The stability ball workout I went to had a lot of side to side movement, so I'd need some lateral support, and I'm not wearing high tops.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:49 PM
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I've tried to wear Chucks a couple times. They're just too narrow for my foot, so by the time I get into one that fits comfortably, I'm a size past my normal size and I feel like Sideshow Bob.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 4:58 PM
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If you make less than approximately $36,000 you pay $40/ per month (reduced from the regular $57), but if your income is too low, they want proof that you'll be able to make the payments

This does strike me as very expensive for a Y. The rate I get for my 24 Hour Fitness is $27 a month (month-to-month contract after the first two months), which includes any classes and facilities offered at the gym.


Posted by: Criminally Bulgur | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:01 PM
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I think that some of the other YMCA's offer better deals. Other than Planet Fitness, there's nothing less than $30 here, and the Y does have a pool. The Cambridge Y charges an extra $30/month if you want to take Yoga, and its facilities are not as nice.

This suburban branch apparently provides valet parking. Health clubs around here aren't cheap. The Y does charge a joining fee, but there's no contract which I like.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:23 PM
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Yay, Chuckies!

Whatever floats your boat.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:24 PM
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24 hour fitness's website looked good, but they're not in MA.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:25 PM
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338: Same here. I know I'm blessed with peasant feet, but I just for the life of me cannot understand how they're comfortable for most people. Second worst blisters of my life came from a pair of those.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:31 PM
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319: Wow, that airline's name is horribly named. It's right up there with Trojan condoms.


Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 5:48 PM
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Keep in mind that BG comes from a denomination where the liturgical calendar is fetishized. "Joy to the World" is never sung before Christmas Eve or after Epiphany.

That this should count as fetishizing is bizarre. Why else would you have a liturgical calendar, except to observe it?


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 6:27 PM
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To observe it furtively, perhaps.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 6:27 PM
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To observe it in the breach.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 6:29 PM
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Why else would you have a liturgical calendar, except to observe it?

To remind the Christmas-and-Easter people that the life of the church continues in their absence.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 6:30 PM
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So that one might feel guilty and aroused at not observing it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 6:30 PM
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So that one might feel guilty and aroused at not observing it.

I feel guilty and aroused at not observing your pants.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 6:32 PM
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I just saw the first Christmas shopping commercial for 2009. K-Mart. I am so sad.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:00 PM
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351; and further to 350. That is why we observe a liturgical calendar. During Advent you get to think about the New Year and prepare for Christmas, you get to enjoy Christmas itself and then there's Epiphany. By concentrating Christmas stuff around Christmas time, it gets to be special.

Also, it's still summer, please don't remind me of a holiday during the darkest days of the year.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:03 PM
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Ordinary Time's a bitch.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:07 PM
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Let's all fall down.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:08 PM
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I've been waiting for death to overtake me for a whole day. It's not working!


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:09 PM
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By concentrating Christmas stuff around Christmas time, it gets to be special.

Christmas is special. It's Christmas stuff that sucks.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:11 PM
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Because I could not stop for death,
I got really bored.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:18 PM
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Why would you haters restrict the time that children could enjoy things like this?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:19 PM
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356: Yes. Except the food. We eat squid every Christmas Eve.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:20 PM
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358: Bad taste makes Baby Jesus cry.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:21 PM
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319: Wow, that airline's name is horribly named.

However, its name's name is very well named indeed.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:31 PM
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What its name is called is a litte more appropriate.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:40 PM
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Too litte, too latte, neb.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:45 PM
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I have a blister on my forearm.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:46 PM
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Hetter Sketter!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:50 PM
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I have a blister on my forearm.

This is begging to be made fun of, but first, I really want to know how you managed to get a blister on your forearm. A burn?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:51 PM
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I'd like to look vaguely sporty

I just wanted to repeat that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:53 PM
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365->366


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 7:55 PM
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A burn?

A chance encounter with an oven rack.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:39 PM
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But seriously, guys? You shoulda seen the oven rack.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:43 PM
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369: Ah, I have casual encounters with oven racks all the time. I'm beginning to think that burns on the forearms and thumbs are perfectly normal.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:46 PM
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casual encounters with oven racks

I think Craigslist has listings if you're searching for more.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:48 PM
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It was pretty hot.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:49 PM
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371: The burns are why Craigslist is getting heat for its Casual Encounters section.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:49 PM
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pwned. I'd better just take out the garbage.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:50 PM
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To be fair, Moby, you were cleverer than I about it.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:54 PM
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And I am so glad y'all took the bait.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:56 PM
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I'd still better get the garbage out before I fall asleep and get pwned by the trashman.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:56 PM
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377: Anytime.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 8:59 PM
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I have to admit, I was shocked, simply shocked when I realized that the Casual Encounters section was not about making friends.

(And yes, the disclaimer section should have made me realize what was in there.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:05 PM
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I tried to get them to put a disclaimer on the real estate section. Something like, "Fixing shit costs much more than you think."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:08 PM
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Speaking of economizing, I'm trying to figure if drinking Taylor port is closer to hobo-drinking or a hipster-PBR-drinking. I just really like port and can't taste that much of a difference between the good stuff and the cheap stuff.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 9:15 PM
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The whole point of port is to be able to suffer through adverse conditions and still taste good. You could think of the process of making cheap port as a sort of adverse condition.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:28 PM
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I just really like port and can't taste that much of a difference between the good stuff and the cheap stuff.

I thought the whole point of port is that the cheap stuff is actually pretty good. But I also like PBR, so.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:33 PM
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It's like you read my mind.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:35 PM
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Retroactively.


Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:38 PM
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If your port comes to a point, that means you've frozen it using a funny-shaped mold.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:40 PM
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Maybe the port is too strong. I've had two little glasses and I think I'm hallucinating. Either that or the Pirates won.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:43 PM
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You can't freeze port cuz of the alcohol you'd maybe wind up distilling it kinda sip sip sip sip BURN sip sip BURN DEATH


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:43 PM
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It doesn't matter whether or not the port is of fine or inferior vintage. What really matters is how you drink it. Reference this quote from the tutor to Richard "King" Carter's family, one of the great colonial planters, concerning a common man invited to dine with the family: "He held the Glass of Porter fast with both his Hands, and then gave an insignificant nod to each one at the Table, in haste, & with fear, & then drank like an Ox."


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:49 PM
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It's amazing how he intuited the customary practice.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:51 PM
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Discussions of port inevitably lead my low-brow mind to think of this.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:54 PM
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According to my friend THE INTERNET, port is typically about 40 proof, and a 20% ABV solution freezes at about -10° F. If your home freezer doesn't go down to -23.3° C, then your freezer, and by extension you, SUCK.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:55 PM
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My freezer barely goes down to freezing. It's a pain, because when I buy ice cream I have to eat as much as I can as quickly as possible. Somehow I've never gotten around to fixing the darn thing.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 10:59 PM
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Gah! I may have misread the internet. The correct value for the freezing of your 20% port seems to be 15° F. Sorry, good Sirs and Mlle.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:02 PM
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Perhaps your "friend," this "internet," is trying to mislead you.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:08 PM
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The internet always tries its best to tell me the truth! If I end up with the wrong information, it is only my fault for misunderstanding it.


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:12 PM
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Speaking of economizing, I'm trying to figure if drinking Taylor port is closer to hobo-drinking or a hipster-PBR-drinking.

You'll want to ask that in a thread posted by the hipster/hobo, not the matron/educator.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:25 PM
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I'd like to look vaguely sporty, not like I'm a slacker skateboarder.

OH, WHO ARE YOU TRYING TO IMPRESS?


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 08-27-09 11:33 PM
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re: 390

Porters are a type of beer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter_(beer)


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 12:02 AM
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400: I am well aware. However, from the rest of the context of the quote, I believe that it's an archaic spelling issue, not actually beer.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 12:05 AM
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re: 401

Ah, OK. I assumed because of the holding 'with both hishands' bit that we were talking a big mug of porter (the beer). That and the drinking like an Ox both scream 'beer' to me, but I haven't read the context, so am probably wrong!


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 12:10 AM
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Yeah - I should have made it more clear that the family/tutor was aghast at his behavior. That's primarily why I decided it wasn't actually porter, along with the context of the timing - after the meal, and the setting in a fine house (because otherwise, if it was porter, said behavior would be in fact appropriate).


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 12:15 AM
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I'm trying to figure if drinking Taylor port is closer to hobo-drinking or a hipster-PBR-drinking.

There's Taylor's port and then there's Taylor's port. None of it is hobo stuff, though. Have one for me.

(If you're ever in Porto with a few Euros in your pocket, eat at the Taylor's port lodge restaurant, Fladgate, for the full experience.)


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 1:12 AM
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"This is very good port they have given me," remarked William Ewart Gladstone, visiting the home of the young Bertrand Russell, "but why have they given it me in a claret glass?"

Also encountered as "Capital port you have here."


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 8:09 AM
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405: "Nice port. Wanna fuck?"


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 8:14 AM
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"but why have they given it me in a claret glass?"

Given that Russell was the son of an earl, and descended from a long line of dukes, this would have surprised me too*, as I'd have supposed his family would have set him up with the right stuff.

*Or it would have surprised me if I'd known what the fuck a claret glass is supposed to look like.


Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 8:27 AM
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if I'd known what the fuck a claret glass is supposed to look like

You're just saying that to piss off the French.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 8:43 AM
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407: If I recall correctly, Russell was very young at the time of the encounter, but as the only man in the household had to play host to Gladstone in the post-dinner, pre-"Shall we join the ladies?" pantomime of which Victorians were so fond.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 8:46 AM
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You're just saying that to piss off the French.

Not really. "Claret" as a name for a wine doesn't really exist in contemporary France.


Posted by: pain perdu | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 8:48 AM
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||

I give a semester pre-test that is worded fairly conversationally. Almost everyone has to ask me for help on at least one or two of the questions, so I tell them up front that I'll give answers away freely, just come by my office.

Second, we are being totally deluged with Swine Flu Iz Death warnings about staying home, or staying in your dorm room, if you feel the least bit icky.

So I get the following e-mail from a student:

Dr. Geebie

my plan was to come by your office this afternoon, and get help on the basics test. unfotunatly when i woke up, i realized that i should stay in my room. so to avoid getting you sick is it possible for you to send me like al the answers on here? because i need help on just about every one. because the way you worded it makes me think im right, then wrong, and im not even sure anymore.

thank you,
-Student Who Spies An Opportunity

(No, I'm not going to type up the entire test. I just need to figure out a tactful way to tell him that he can type up the entire test and ... I don't know ...)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:03 AM
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|>


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:03 AM
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409: Not to mention that Jeeves was away for the evening.

410: The French are pissed off about that too.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:06 AM
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412: heebie just wants to play.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:09 AM
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414: She's not a player, she just crush a lot.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:11 AM
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415: I don't hate her. The game, on the other hand . . . .


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:17 AM
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Playing Yahtzee with M/tch was a real disaster.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:25 AM
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417: Word. Dice EVERYWHERE.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:27 AM
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You wouldn't think he'd be so terribly dense about Yahtzee strategy, but wow.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:29 AM
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419: Just roll a lot of sixes, right?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 9:59 AM
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420: I roll twenties.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 10:02 AM
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Damn, d20 Yahtzee would be an interesting game. I guess the bonus would have to be closer to 350 than 35.


Posted by: Mo MacArbie | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 10:10 AM
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404: Then there is the Taylors port they sell in the Pennsylvania State Stores at something like $10 for 1.5 liters. The label says 'New York', which probably explains why it tastes a bit like Manischewitz mixed with brandy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 08-28-09 4:25 PM
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420 be rollin'.


Posted by: Sno*b/nny | Link to this comment | 09- 5-09 3:46 PM
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