I did data entry again this week (not with the awesome laser gun but (gasp!) by hand). What did you do this week?
There's still time left this weekend for canvassing! Or you could do early voting tomorrow -- the more people who vote early, the shorter the lines will be on Election Day, meaning that people will be less likely to get discouraged and leave without voting.
The other day, I told you that my grandfather announced that he was voting for "that colored fellow". I didn't tell you the entire story.
My grandfather actually announced that he's voting for "that colored fellow" even though he knows he will be assassinated and, when he is, there are going to be riots in the street and black people around the country will BURN SHIT DOWN and random white people will be pulled from their cars and murdered in retaliation. He begged me to move out of DC before all of this goes down. It's inevitable, you see, and it sickens him to have to put Obama in office when it means this is going to happen but America has a better chance of surviving the coming race war than a McCain presidency.
John McCain: Even Worse Than A Race War
A faithful reader informs me that Frank Bruni gets questions:
We ate at Convivio last night. We have lived in New York City since 1985, but had never been to Tudor City. What an amazing hidden enclave!
The menu: tripe, sweetbreads, goat, duck hearts, livers. Ugh! I do not eat those kinds of things. Who does?
Who indeed would condescend to eat goat?
Somewhat more substantively, another questioner rebukes Bruni for the frivolity of restaurant reviews over against actual reporting, and his answer is not satisfactory. I suspect that my question ("what qualifications did you have when you were elevated from humble foreign correspondent to the most powerful restaurant reviewership in the nation?") would not be published.
First, aren't Obama and his grandpa twins?
You know what this means, of course. There can be black people with white skin lurking all around you, and you might not even realize it. Even that sweet old lady next door!
(Much more interesting post here.)
A likely story within a domestic setting: At a party at a friend's apartment some time ago, a fratty economist who was drunkenly hitting on anyone in a skirt (and quite a few people in pants) offered to prepare a drink for a young psychologist. This offer being made good on, and the drink being tested by the latter, the following exchange ensued:
Psychologist: This is really strong.
Economist: Yeah well I hope it'll be strong enough.
An enthusiasm: I just love urban fiction! For instance, the Glasgow of books one and two, and Unthank of three, of Lanark, the New York of The Recognitions, and, uh, the Rome of I, Claudius? ... well, I guess my paltry reading doesn't actually include much that can be called "urban fiction". Still and all, I'm glad its popularity is on the rise.
Oh, wait, what's that? "Urban fiction" is just a euphemism for "fiction about black urbanites of a certain SES", and has nothing to do with the urbs generally, and the Times doesn't even have the decency to put it in scare quotes?
(I'm actually not sure how best to express my annoyance with the euphemism "urban". I surely don't want to say something like this: it's bad because it associates city life with black people.)
A likely story furth of a domestic setting: Walking down Church Street, I overheard a man urgently inquiring of his phone, "but what is the nature of pleasure? And what is its relation to knowledge?".
A content of the only law: Amber says:
How much of your psychosexual formation is tied to things like movies you saw in fifth grade or what your strangely attractive neighbor used to wear or whatever is a little scary. I prefer not to think about it, to the extent that I can. Also: Ayn Rand has a lot to answer for, for her crimes against the tender psyches of teenagers. That is all.
Amber may want to play it as if that "also" is, you know, just a useless appendage, just a lazy dependent, just a non-canon obiter dictum, and that Ayn Rand doesn't have anything particularly psychosexually formative for which to be blamed. But I, almost-all-knower, am wiser than that, and not to be fooled. But my knowledge does not extend to the works of Rand. So I am predictably in the dark here.
What, hypothetically, could have motivated you in a class where you really didn't enjoy the material, if there were no grades?
When I heard about the outrage about the $150,000 Sarah Palin has spent on hair and wardrobe for the campaign, the first thing I though about was hip-hop. Specifically:
"Hair and makeup is killing female hip-hop...The grooming cost to break a female rapper versus a male rapper is 10 times as much per appearance. That tends to have an adverse effect on a record company's willingness to even entertain a female rapper."
Like it or not, women in power are expected to project a certain image and, at the level of a national election, they're not only being compared to other politicians but to movie stars and other celebrities. Look at Nancy Pelosi and how much of the coverage after she took over as Speaker of the House was on how she used fashion to project an image of power. The same is true of men (Obama can't exactly be running in something off the rack from Men's Warehouse) but the cost of grooming them up to an equal level is much cheaper.
Now, I don't know where the money should come from and it certainly shouldn't be diverted from little Grandma Betty sending in money that she thinks is going to buy an issue ad in Iowa but there needs to be some way for a third party to fund this stuff without outrage. If not, political opportunities for women are going to be limited to people wealthy enough to buy the right image. Sure, we could magically change everyone's opinions on how women are judged and standards of beauty and power and whatever but good luck with that. Until then, the right for a campaign to take their candidate on a shopping spree at Neiman Marcus is a feminist issue. As it is, this is a dangerous enough juncture as the parties realize that fielding women candidates is going to cost them more money.
Not that anything about the current "socialism" rhetoric is meant to be taken seriously, but isn't the closest thing to socialism on the American policy agenda the status quo situation in . . . Sarah Palin's Alaska? You have collective ownership of valuable natural resources that generates lots of revenue for the state, and then the government makes "spreading the wealth around" through the Permanent Fund, etc. its main priority. It's actually, for all the flaws of Alaska politics and public policy, a pretty good system. But I think the best way to think about it is that it's an example of a somewhat special case in which socialism is a good idea.
Of course another time where you need a dose of socialism is if, for example, there's a financial system emergency and the government needs to partially nationalize large banks in order to recapitalize them. But that's been brought to us by George W. Bush with the support of John McCain.
Apologies for quoting the whole post. I assure you there are plenty more smirk-making reads over at his (relatively) new internet home.
I just found out two of my friends, who are married, will be working in the same restaurant, both in the back of the house. I suppose this sort of arrangement must be pretty common in restaurants and other similarly sized organizations. And, I imagine, results vary wildly according to the different couples and the way they communicate, etc.
The (rather large) company at which I work proscribes against couples (dating or married) working in the same department. To which my immediate reaction is: that seems reasonable.
But I'm wondering what the Unfoggedtariat thinks is reasonable for smaller, mid-sized, and large companies (let's say, over 500 people as an indicator of "large"). Because the motivation, when I think about the proscription at my own workplace, doesn't seem to be a fear that couples are going to sneak off to bump uglies on the clock, but something more vague like "professionalism" whatever that's supposed to mean. What's really going on there?
JRoth has two questions, which he has sent to an email address I can only access from work, and which I have forgotten to forward to my home address. From memory, then:
(1) He is in possession of a large pork bone, rich in meat and fat. Under the assumption that this is a real question and he isn't just bragging, what should he do with it?
I say split pea soup, but any other options (throw it to a beloved dog?) are welcome.
(2) He has devised a recipe for pumpkin chocolate-chip quickbread, in attempted emulation of a particular WholeFoods muffin. He's got it to the point where it tastes really good, and has an excellent crust, but it won't cook through -- 70min in the oven, and it still comes out raw in a layer near the bottom.
My initial thought is to give up on the loaf pan, and bake it as a flat cake. Another possibility would be, I think, to try less pumpkin -- I'd think a less dense, runnier batter would cook faster. Other than that, I dunno -- lower temperature for longer? Maybe 90 min at 300°?
Any ideas welcome, as are corrections from the questioner -- I'm sure this is all confused.
Jim, over at Sweet Juniper, has a small collection of entries tagged with "terrifying nixon-era children's books." Which I find totally hilarious. Even though the style is totally familiar, I can't remember any specifics this great from my early childhood. (A lot of Value Tales, Blueberries for Sal, Grandma Upstairs Grandma Downstairs, and I loved Richard Scarry. (Isn't that weird to remember loving something, but have virtually no clue what it's about? All I remember is a cat in liederhosen and Lowly Worm.))
Anyway, the Unfoggedtariat has a steel-trap memory. Make me laugh with the terrifying educational materials you received as a small child.
I've always been a very deliberate person, starting to research decisions well in advance. My latest information-gathering assignment I've turned my eye to is buying a condo. Sure, I can't afford one at all and I've yet to see a reasonably-priced place where I'd actually want to live but I figure I should learn about it now so that if the market keeps crashing and by some miracle a spacious place in a perfect neighborhood comes available, I'll be ready to pounce.
What advice do you have? Any books or sites you'd recommend? Things I should do to get prepared? Things you wish you'd done differently or known going in? I have absolutely no idea where to even start on this and am still not even wholly convinced it's a smart thing to do.
One thing that I got from my family was a fast adoption of traditions. Traditions aren't just something we've done since childhood, or even something we've done for a number of years. We make our traditions quickly and hold fast to them. I didn't even realize this until a few years ago when my brother protested that we had to make a certain meal for his birthday because it was the meal we'd had the year before and, therefore, "tradition". None of us could argue with that and we've had it every year since.
I've carried this tradition of traditions over to other parts of my life as well. I find the continuity of traditions comforting and at the same time enjoy being dynamic in forming new ones so things don't get in too much of a rut. The only thing that can be difficult about this is that viewing things as a tradition so easily can lead to a number of disappointments when traditions are ended and it's hard to respond to "A tradition? We only did it once!" and not sound kind of crazy.
People who do not live in the Mission (or, living there, keep clear of the "intellectual" rat-runs, or, attending Stanford, avoid building 260) would find it very hard to credit the extraordinary guff that passes for enlightened conversation when a couple of beards and corduroys get together. It is very funny. It is so good that it should be recorded. In fact, it is being recorded—by me. To-day I inaugurate a feature unique in the annals of blogdom. I print below the best of these spiels that has come to my notice. With it I give the reader my categorical assurance that it is genuine. It has not been added to or altered in any way; the words are given exactly as they were spoken:
I remember when we thrilled in retrospect to the bizarre adventure of quattrocento ballistics and thought of Leonardo as the spiritual father of Nobel and Maginot! But for me there is nothing in the whole history of quattrocento, cinquecento, nor even in the late horror of the seicento so terribly exciting as those charming words of Pontus de Thiard:
Houura! Cornes-au-cul! Vive al Père Ubu! In France still beats the gervent heart of humanism, and no pigment from the palette of George Braque could fail to excite the palate of Rabelais or Montaigne. Then you get that gigantic efflorescence of tectonic virtuosity round the Île de France—I can still recall the ecstacy in which I first saw the west façade of the glorious little Church of Saint Dagobert sans Culotte (corner of the Rue des Grues Nues); there the joyful old masons had so done their work, each stone fitted into its neighbor so exquisitely, each quoin worked so independently, so proudly, yet with such true Gallic sympathy, that (irresistibly reminded of Vlacsz' "Waterworks" quintet) (Bé-mol, No. B36, L, 41) I cried out:
See! They are singing! Singing! Singing!
If any reader can recall ever having heard anything to beat that, let him or her write to me and tell me. Such things should not be kept in secret for selfish pleasure. It is no use, however, inventing speeches that were never said, because a child could tell the genuine article from any concocted substitute.
I wandered into a bookstore on Friday looking for a specific book that had been recommended by a friend (the book the TV series "Dexter" was based on.) Went to the Mystery/Thriller section, and looked under L for Lindsay, and found nothing, not all that surprising as it's a couple of years old by now. So I wandered around looking for something else, and picked up a Donald Westlake novel I hadn't read. As I was leaving, I noticed some books displayed face-out on racks on the end of the shelves -- the book I was looking for was on a rack about eighteen inches above floor level. So, they gave the book 'preferential' display space somewhere it couldn't easily be seen, and didn't have a copy in alphabetical order where someone who was actually looking for it could find it. Brilliant.
On an entirely unconnected note, in memory of Ogged, PBUH: the Mexican connection is confirmed.
I missed all three presidential debates, due to school functions. Fortunately, Jammies rummaged up this helpful recap for me:
Via BWE. As they note, it's the uncomfortable pauses that really make it.