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Insalubrious

Posted by Stanley
on 08.07.09

This gets it exactly right:

The most shocking thing, and the worst thing, about the fake healthcare riots and the very real thuggishness of the paid Republican operatives involved in them is not that they're happening. That's what Republicans do, after all. No, the really terrible thing is that by all appearances, the Democratic party was caught completely by surprise.

[…]

Shutting down town hall meetings is precisely the kind of tactic these characters love, they spend night and day meticulously planning them, and get well-paid to boot. Shame on Democrats for not seeing these latest Republican riots coming.

In the defense of the Democratic Party, it's hard to advocate for something (1) that's not yet well-defined and (2) in the face of utterly insane bullshit tactics. On the other hand, surely there ought to have been more of a plan than simply to have Barry O. send a couple of e-mails to rouse support.


 

horizontal rule

 

Also, pooping outside is weird.

Posted by Stanley
on 08.07.09

I admit it: I watched the whole series starting with this one.

My take-away judgment was: (1) it's probably stupid and expensive to drive an automobile to the North Pole, and (2) yeah, I'd probably try it, too, if I had the funding they did.

In summary, someone should give me lots of money to do something. Uh, I'll keep you posted on what that thing is, you know, later on.


 

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The jig was up, see?

Posted by Stanley
on 08.06.09

I got an exceedingly pleasant parking ticket yesterday. No, really!

In the last couple of months, I've settled into a routine of dropping my car with the blinkers on in a no-parking zone (which also happens to be a fire lane; did I mention I'm a terrible person? I am) to run in and get a quick cup of coffee. It's one of those little bargains I can make with myself: bad behavior? sure; but it's only for a couple of minutes and lots of people do it and hey look over there! what was I talking about? oh, wow, this is really good coffee, and off I go!

But yesterday, I returned to find a Community Service Officer printing off a ticket, which ticket I told him, yep, I deserved. He asked me if there was a good reason for my illegal parking job, and I said no, it was entirely selfish and he got me fair-and-square so, yeah, hand over the ticket. We were both pretty "Aw, shucks" about it.

All of which is feeling self-congratulatory to write up, which wasn't what I was trying to get at. Hm. Anyhow, it was awkward. And funny. And then I found five dollars paid the city twenty-five dollars.


 

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Everyone loves sanctimony

Posted by Ben
on 08.05.09

The naïve among us might think that the right-and-topmost image depicts a wonder just as wondrous as the bottom-and-middlemost, but in fact it's just the sort of thing one encounters in Europe, as one tools around aimless as a zephyr; hence, it is not really a wonder, for access to a wonder must be hard-won either physically or in terms of mental preparedness. Now, the pagoda down there—that's a wonder. It looks as if it must be remote, nestled as it is in the middle of that lake, and it's probably, like, super inscrutable.

I, of course, wouldn't do any of those things; rather, I would elect to tramp the barren wastes of Craters of the Moon NM.


 

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Dimensional analysis

Posted by Standpipe Bridgeplate
on 08.05.09

Prompted by togolosh's comment (linking here), I've been contemplating the width of my vagina. My thoughts developed initially in terms of self-improvement: I have measured my vagina and found it wanting; but nevertheless I shall commit to acting as if it were eight miles wide. But this line of thought immediately gave way to second- and third-order concerns.

What is the significance, for example, of valorizing a single linear spatial dimension? Is my project -- insofar as it has to be articulated, and I have to articulate it at least to myself -- undermined by its necessary embedding in a phallocentric discourse, or rather is its point, so to speak, thereby sharpened, by forcing the recognition of that very necessity?

It gets worse. I began to suspect that my particular choice of concerns, as above, was itself evidence against any hope that I might achieve, even in the limit, even at the infinite horizon, a vagina spanning a joyous and generous eight miles. I suppose I could just say, "Nope!", quash my suspicion, and dispose of the problem that way, but obviously that's not very satisfying.

I think I can do better, though. I've come to understand that in an important sense, the ways I think about my vagina don't necessarily reflect the possibilities of its width, but do in part determine them. My conclusion here is tentative, but the subjective experience of writing this post has tended to confirm it. I was particularly struck by how, in the middle of composing a Geertzian analysis of the matter (with eight-mile-wide-vagina-ness paralleling parakeetness), my vagina nearly vanished altogether.


 

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Ask The Mineshaft: It Was Broken When I Got Here Edition

Posted by LizardBreath
on 08.05.09

[Editor's note: Due to incompetence on my part, what follows is not the ATM email I received, but my paraphrase of it. If I've gotten the facts wrong, hopefully the asker will come fix the error in the comments. Also, no point psychoanalyzing word choice and such, because the word choice is mine, not hers.]

Dear Mineshaft:

Friends of mine ended a ten-year marriage amicably several months ago. Two months after that, the husband and I talked about a longstanding but previously unmentioned or acted-upon mutual attraction, and now, a few months later still, we're sleeping together occasionally. I'd be interested in a more serious relationship with him sometime in the future when he's worked through the end of his prior marriage.

Recently, the wife got in touch with me. She's moving from the city where they lived together to the one where I live, and is interested in getting in touch -- maybe having lunch, and she's looking for a place to live, so maybe she could rent a room from me. An important thing to be aware of is that while they were married, while I was friendly with both of them, I was primarily his friend, rather than hers. So, Mineshaft, what's going on with her, and what should I do? (I'm not planning to rent her a room, obviously, but beyond that?)

Innocent Bystander.

Dear Bystander:

In most divorces I've seen, there's a bit of a custody battle over the old friends, which comes down to a combination of which spouse had the stronger relationship with the friend to begin with and who can be more convincingly the injured party. That might be all that's going on -- that she thinks of the friendship with you as a marital asset and is attempting to establish her rights to it. I would guess, though, that she's got wind of the incipient relationship between you and the husband, and is either digging for information, or is attempting to disrupt it by making you feel guilty about it. But I don't think what she's doing really affects what you should do.

What is that? Well, what I probably would do is be friendly but unavailable, and never actually have lunch with her, and just not deal with the situation. But that's because I'm avoidant and antisocial -- I don't actually think that's a good way to behave. What probably makes sense to do is to have lunch or something and tell her what's going on: "I'm not sure if you know, but Ralph and I are kind of involved now. It started after you guys had split up -- nothing to do with your marriage ending. I feel weird about talking to you about it, but I'd understand if you didn't want to be friends with me under these circumstances, and so I wanted to make sure you knew what was going on." And then take it from there. My guess is that either she gets mad and never talks to you again, or that she says that it's fine, and then over the next couple of weeks gets mad and never talks to you again. But her reaction, in any case, will tell you how to behave from there.

Mineshaft -- any better ideas?


 

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It's not at all like a time warp

Posted by Heebie-Geebie
on 08.04.09

Family resemblance is pretty fraught in my family, because those of us who are genetically related have a high degree of resemblance, and then the two adopted cousins sit there stoically while we crow about how fan-fucking-tastic it is to look like each other. I'm sure that really engenders coziness and belonginess for them. (I mean, in general family resemblance as a concept shows up ranging from cozy and belongingy to outright racist and tribal.)

It's just really a tantalizing idea, to resemble your family. My parents look like each other. I look just like both of them. Without consciously realizing it, I was sure Hawaiian Punch would look just like me. Hawaiian Punch, of course, looks totally twins with her father. I was quite surprised when she came out.

So this week I am staying at my parents' house, and I pulled out the scrapbook where I was 3 months old.

Warning: under the cut is a cell phone photo of a thirty year old photo. I was improvising on the fly.

3%20mo%20old%20lo.jpg


3%20mo%20old%20me.jpg

I don't really know how to wrap this up, but, huh, we sure do look different. (Also, I can't tell if it will be as striking in these two photos as it is to me. I can post more if I need to prove someone wrong.) (Also, manymanymany people have shared with me how babies come out looking like the father, as a veldt-style paternity test. I don't really buy it, or care particularly, but it's becoming the new four hundred words for snow.)


 

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Alameetup?

Posted by Alameida
on 08.04.09

I'll be in NYC on this coming Tuesday August 4th, with people to watch my children so I could go out to a bar or somesuch. Monday night too, actually, but I think Tuesday is better. Any interest? I'm staying on the Upper East Side but don't really care about taking a taxi somewhere.

Details: Today, Tuesday, August 4th; Fresh Salt. Claims of a 6:30 pm arrival have been made, but I imagine they'll be around for quite a bit. [Stanley]


 

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Speaking of people it's easy to dislike

Posted by Ben
on 08.03.09

It just occurred to me to look for this online. Perhaps the most revealing thing in it: Christopher brought down his good Italian string. I also liked this bit:

One traveling butcher laughed. "We do farm kills," he said, "but you don't have a farm." Even though we were on the phone, I think he sensed my hackles going up, because he started to backpedal. "I mean, you have a farm, but nobody's going to go all the way down there."

(What she has is a garden in a vacant lot.) And when she goes to pick up her pigs, which were slaughtered not in her presence:

I wanted to blame America. This is how we do everything: We rush around because time is money, even at the folksy slaughterhouse. I had asked her to save the blood--I wanted it to make boudin noir--but she had thrown it out. I hated the tradition of not using everything--of throwing all that good stuff away, just to deliver me the muscle meat on a hook. It made me feel sick. The fact that I was culpable in this fiasco made it suck even more.

[…]

The killer handed me a grocery bag--about five pounds of offal, a gloppy combo of dark liver and some greenish stuff.

There is no indication that she used any of the offal.


 

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Cold Comfort

Posted by Stanley
on 08.03.09

It's encouraging, if barely, to know that I can go to a place where an astonishing number of people are more terrible at life than I. And, they're volunteering that shit.


 

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Modern Love: It's Beyond Your Control Edition

Posted by Becks
on 08.03.09

What did you think of this week's Modern Love? Conflicting emotions here: overall...positive? But taking some turns through squicky to get there.


 

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It seems like every wierdo is a DJ and they play nothing I like at anytime.

Posted by Ben
on 08.03.09

Or so complains an otherwise quite satisfied listener. I'd like to think—no, it's too much—I'd like to think terry h. is thinking of me.

Just look at what's in store for all listeners tomorrow! Tim Buckley! Sunn O)))! alva noto, Ryuichi Sakamoto, and the Ensemble Modern! Zeitkratzer! Nicola Ratti! Adem! György Ligeti! The Tony Malaby Cello Trio! Kampec Dolores! Olivia Tremor Control! The Art Bears! John Zorn! A bunch of McGarrigles! Spring Heel Jack! And MORE! Same bat time, ect ect ect.

Somewhat tangentially, has anyone got a trustworthy apricot dumpling/Marillenknödel recipe?


 

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