I am so failing to be an adult. My car keeps breaking in the most terrible ways. Right now:
1. The heater and AC only work on full blast.
2. The key-in-ignition beep has been beeping for the past three weeks.
3. The dome lights stopped working.
4. The sun visor fell out of the ceiling.
None of them are safety hazards, but wow do they make it unpleasant to drive back and forth to work. I keep trying to rank them in terms of how annoying they are, but all I can conclude is that the broken dome lights matter least.
A third-hand anecdote that was shared with me today involved a gay friend marveling to his straight friend how overly repressed the straight dating scene is about getting to the physical part of a relationship, often taking three or even four dates to have sex, whereas in the gay dating scene, he explained, it was pretty much standard practice for two interested parties to have exchanged nude photos before the first date even happened.
While I was not party to this conversation, I've got a whole wide internet to talk to, and I think this statement sounds like someone over-generalizing from personal experience, and that the reality probably runs a similar gamut in both the gay and straight dating scenes, from hand-holding prudes who took ten dates to get even there all the way to manparts/ladybits-photo-swapping hedonists.
Late-Night Bacon. Also the comments are funny.
Erica Jong trolls fans of attachment parenting.
My suspicion is that the future grown children of parents who toe the line on (attachment parenting, organic everything, parenting books, etc) will judge as follows: "They basically did a pretty good job. My one criticism is that they were stressed out about the whole thing. I'm not going to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but I'm not going to be so hard on myself about doing every last detail, either."
My 13-year-old lives, eats, and breathes hockey (of all the weird-ass, non-native sports) and plays goalie for the area travel team. In the off-season, he's the goalie for his middle school's lacrosse team. Last season, one of the other hockey parents asked me how I could stand watching K in the goal, that they would just be a nervous wreck. After a couple of confused blinks, I said that, you know, it's a bunch of 12-year-olds playing a game. As long as nobody got injured, I didn't really have much invested in the outcome.
Anyhow, I've seen a few parents who take the entire enterprise entirely too seriously and we're all familiar with the type. What I haven't seen, thankfully, is the parent who believes that not approaching a middle-school rec league game as the vehicle of transference for their own suppressed frustration and aggression constitutes yet another chapter in the duToitian pussification of the American male. Fortunately, Barry Rubin is there to carry the flag. In his imagination.
Being the dutiful son that I am, I called my sainted mother today. She recommended to me the movie Winter's Bone, which she had recently seen, and concluded her recommendation with a satisfied, "so there!".
In fact, I think every member of my immediate family considers "so there!" an appropriate way to conclude a monologue of any length whatsoever.
Veteran's Day (yes, yes, Remembrance Day for the Commonwealthy) is an odd holiday. I'm not particularly proud of any military action taken on my behalf during my lifetime. (And my timeline starts somewhere in here.) But I absolutely believe that individuals who put on uniforms and follow the orders of our civilian command structure deserve a special day of recognition.
More specifically, what they deserve is world-class health and mental care, especially when the voting majority decides it's a good idea for them to go shoot at people and get shot at by people. And to that end, I was pleased to hear today's Diane Rehm Show dedicated to VA-related issues.
But I have a request. Can we all agree that talking about current military personnel as "warriors" sounds simply ridiculous? (And, yes, it's even worse for a basketball team, but that's like problem #23,542,902 on that state's list of things to vex about.)
When the objectively worse artist or band makes the better version of the song:
1. Club Nouveau's "Lean On Me" over Bill Withers' version.
2. Pet Shop Boy's "Always on My Mind" over Willie Nelson's version.
One hapless Green Party Candidate's tale of woe.
Elevators, thermostats, crosswalk buttons: LIES, LIES!
Via Liz Spigot's buzzfeed
Man, I should go on midday runs followed by vegging-out sessions in front of daytime television more often. I learned from The View about this Secret SMS Replicator, which you can use to spy on your significant other by getting a secret copy of each of his or her texts. Or, at least you could do that before the Android store suspended the app.
Anyway, the View people decided that it was bad to cheat but possibly even worse to put a spying app on your significant other's phone—a not uncontroversial conclusion!
Also, and related to the running thing: if any of you has seen the old man who stole my hip flexors and gave me his, I'd like to have a word with him.
I have boatloads of work to get done over the next two weeks, and today is unexpectedly clear. Am I capable of actually being productive and proactive on my pending tasks? It's a mystery!
This seems like uncontroversial news:
Now, the humble suburban lawn is a test case for the Obama administration, which is trying to overhaul the long-failed effort to clean up the bay.
Its vision calls for unprecedented - and perhaps uncomfortable - changes on land. Farmers will cut back on fertilizer. Taxpayers will shell out to improve sewer plants and filter storm runoff.
And your lawn might need to be replaced by rain gardens or shaggy fields of native plants.
What's missing is a detailed plan - and an assurance that residents will choose a distant estuary over the beloved patch of green outside their door.
"The well-manicured, beautiful, dark-green, over-fertilized lawn can be part of the problem," said Randy Bartlett, a public works official in Fairfax County. He said that in addition to paying more fees, residents might see new rules or incentive programs designed to make them view their lawn differently. "It's kind of like with the seat belts. It took us a while to get used to it."
I predict that it will be embraced without issue, and that we won't hear a bunch of frothy-mouthed complaining that Obama's got a czar coming for your lawn and he's going to replace it with a Muslim prayer garden disguised as a rain-collection system.
Yep. That's my prediction.
A commenter writes in the following:
So, this very dear friend of mine is going through a very rough patch. Her three year relationship with her egomaniacal, abusive boyfriend is nearing the end and it looks like the current breakup just might stick. Aside from the standard grief of dissolving a long-term relationship, she is struggling in particular with the problem of loneliness. For years, he has filled her every spare moment and now she is at a loss as to how to fill that time in any way other than wallowing alone in her grief and growing depression. Who better than the Mineshaft to offer advice on coping with breakups, loneliness and depression?
But just to keep it challenging, she is a recovering addict/alcoholic (three years clean and sober! Hurray!), and has, for the time being anyway, sworn off men completely. So, what's needed is advice for filling the loneliness *without* sex, drugs, or alcohol. I have, of course, already encouraged obsessive commenting on Unfogged, as that worked out quite swimmingly for me. Other thoughts?
Loneliness was one of my big demons, pre-therapy. If I was in a relationship, I enjoyed spending time on my own. But if I was single, being on my own sent me down a path of overwhelming lonely despair. Filling my time with activities was good to a point, but at the end of the day I'd still be confronted with letting myself in to my apartment, by myself, and it would wash over me. In therapy, this turned out to be very closely tied to this huge internalized misogyny I carried around. Post-therapy, (about 18 months of hard work), I really cherished living on my own, single, until eventually dating Jammies and later moving in together.
Couple take-aways from my story:
1. This was a huge developmental event in my life. So it's tempting to get evangelical and demand that everyone follow my path.
2. This story spans roughly the first two-thirds of my twenties, which feels more and more distant all the time. It's sort of like when someone offers you dating advice based on something that happened to them in high school or college...it ceases to apply after a while.
So...do activities help loneliness? Yes; definitely. But often there's processing that needs to take place, too. (Which sounds idiotic now that I've written it; duh, she just had a break-up. Of course there's processing to do.) And therapy isn't a universal path to processing. And, uh, take it away, Mineshaft.
Which items do you feel strongly about buying generic, mainstream brand, or organic? I'm just curious and could be talked into reconsidering items I've never thought much about. Off the top of my head, I feel strongly about buying meat and dairy organic, but we fail if we're buying meat because the grocery store doesn't carry organic meat, and the farmer's market is hard to fit into our schedules. I feel strongly about buying generic cereal, because it's so much cheaper. For vegetables, I'm inconsistent.
Where does generic fail miserably? Batteries? Tissues? For paper products we tend to buy the one that's been green-washed. Somehow I bet this topic has been a post before. It seems obvious.