Is there a name for that thing you do when you see an acquaintance out in public (say, an old roommate you spot in a café)—someone with whom you could have a genuinely sincere catch-up conversation about what the both of you have been up to—and instead of having a conversation you just do the avoidance thing? Because that thing should have a name, and I'm really good at it.
Years ago a friend of mine attended one of Ruby Payne's workshops on A Framework for Understanding Poverty. Her big thing is the hidden codes of different SES classes, and how if you teach poor kids, you need to teach them hidden codes of the middle class, or else they will have a harder time getting out of poverty. My friend had a totally fascinating handout on "Could you survive in poverty/middle class/wealth?" which I've been on the lookout for ever since, and located the other day.
Do you know how to move in half a day? (poverty)
Do you know how to order comfortably in a nice restaurant? (middle class)
Do you know how to ensure confidentiality and loyalty with domestic staff? (wealth)
There are definitely criticisms that her work is classist, and I'm sure you guys will enjoy debating the accuracy of the quiz, but it's still insightful. Enjoy.
I'm not a student of pre-modern urban warfare like some people, so take my argument with grains of salt as appropriate. Nonetheless, it seems pretty obvious to me that, rather than trying to hold positions with/against paving stones, sheet metal, and gasoline bombs, the Egyptian protesters could save themselves a lot of blood and effort by adopting some of the tactics shown here, which even appear to have Egyptian origins.
A reader writes in:
Long time reader, once frequent commenter, now blah blah blah. So here's the deal, it'll take a dull while. Married, have no children, love my wife, but have done her dirt. (Not in the D.H. Lawrence sense, just in the "I looked at pornography on the Internet when she didn't know it existed.") (So yes, I'm in my thirties, as is she.) Finished my Ph.D. two years back, but she's still a ways away from finishing hers, even though she'll run out of funding come June. She supported me while I wrote my dissertation, and I'm committed to supporting her and have been for two years, but because of the dirt I've done, I've heard tell from her and inside my head that she won't stick with me once/if she finishes. I'm fine with that, as she bought a product she wasn't sold, but here's the problem: I love her, madly, like only a dead president can, and only realized the depth of said love after I'd done her dirt. (Don't get any ideas.) So what I'm wondering is whether there is any way to bring it back, if any of y'all have successfully slapped the re-ignition switch and lit the grill of love anew ... because I can't seem to, and the alternative life dreads me with despair. More is involved, obviously, and I don't want flower recommendations or the like, but if there's a way that doesn't involve helping-her-with-her-dissertation or doing-everything-in-the-kitchen or killing-yourself-with-three-jobs-so-she-can-see-archives-in-Italy, I'd love to hear it.
My answer under the jump.
So, both grad school and the transgression (looking at porn??? Seems like it's got to be more complicated than that) are red herrings, and the type of non-solutions you say you don't want, you won't get from me, because I don't think they address anything. Furthermore they're not sustainable.
The basic problem is that she wants out of the relationship and you want to stay together. Everything else is window dressing. You need to find out why she wants out of the relationship, because that online porn reason just doesn't pass the smell test. These are the possibilities that I see:
1. The online porn thing is much more involved and ongoing than you let on.
2. She is done with the relationship, and citing the porn thing to avoid telling you that it's actually the whole relationship she's done with.
3. She is unhappy with the relationship, in a way that's salvageable, but still is avoiding telling you what's wrong.
So, here is your course of action: you need to find out what's going on. If she is not giving you the whole story, then that's a combination of her being chickenshit and you having to rein in your reactions, because reactions are intimidating. You're totally allowed to have any opinion you want, but rein in your reaction while you're trying to get the real reason she's talking about leaving.
Next: Still don't react. Take a few days to digest. Once you know the reason, you need to do some soul-searching to determine how much it would sacrifice from you to address the reason properly and permanently. Do this with your head, and not your heart. This is like changing your lifestyle, and should not be taken lightly.
After all that thinking, you should have a conclusion about whether the relationship is over or salvageable. If it's salvageable, get into couples counseling. If it's over, end it.
However! The last complication is that she is planning on staying with you until she finishes her dissertation. And that you want to support her during this. But whatever. You can support her after the end of the relationship. It is not good - like really not good - to have a relationship that only exists for this kind of logistical reasons. So if the relationship is over, end it, and send her a monthly check for some agreed upon amount of money.
Finally - I'm really sorry. This all sounds super painful. Anyway, be courageous and clear-headed, and use your head to properly vet whatever your heart thinks it wants to do.
I've never been part of rolling blackouts before. California makes them look so fun! Our morning was exciting, full of frozen bursting pipes and no way to thaw them until Saturday, and 55 degrees in the house and no power and my car wouldn't start, but at least we didn't have this morning, this morning.
He's a founder of OK Cupid (which was recently sold to match.com and concurrently removed its rather scathing criticism of it from its blog) and also is one of the two central members of noted pop band Bishop Allen, apparently. I found myself nonplussed on learning this. And now you have learned it as well.
A long article, on how advances in technology are changing stock trading.
And on the lighter side an article, about computer games for cats.
From James B. Shearer
I'm thinking of doing the New York City 5 Boro Bike Tour on May 1 this year. Any NYC commenters up for a forty-two mile bike ride, in a leisurely and non-competitive spirit? Anyone interested should sign up fairly briskly -- it's my understanding that registration fills up pretty fast.
On another note, Bloomberg is a terrible person. On the morning of the last big storm, an announcement went out that all non-emergency city workers should stay home. Now, they're docking people's vacation for doing just that, unless they can come up with a specific excuse. That's just lousy.
I've mentioned before that I like running to a particular Alkaline Trio song. In general their songs work well for running purposes, as does a lot of pop-punk-ish stuff. (Paramore? Hi. Don't tell anyone we were hanging out during that run, kthx.)
I'm amused when something weirder or at least less excersise-y comes up on the iPod and turns out to be a good song for running. Most recently, Weezer's "The Sweater Song" and, today, Radiohead's "Airbag".
Checking the metronome, I see that they're both in the mid to high 80s for bpm, so I guess that's the magical comfortable spot for me. (Is it weird that I tend to try to run in tempo? I don't always do it, but when it fits it's quite a nice feeling.)
I also ran in shorts today for the first time all year, so that was special.
There's been a standing offer for guest posts for a while now, but of course, you're stuck writing a guest post. From time to time people send me links, but if I can't think of something to say, they've been known to languish unposted.
Somehow the following variant never quite occurred to me before (even though other blogs do it all the time): if you just have a topic or link you'd like a thread on, shoot me an email and we can have an open thread. No one really has to write a post at all. (Also, I can't imagine the other active front page posters would mind posting an open thread, either. I didn't actually bother to check, but they all seem like nice people.)
Hopefully this will lead to a wider assortment of topics than we would otherwise have. Also my unfogged email address is always confusing because there's no hyphen and half the time it doesn't seem to work, but you can also reach me at heebie.geebie, which is a gmail account.
In discussing a forthcoming CD-release show, I and some bandmates were discussing doing a free-CD giveaway for the first 100 people through the door. The thinking is, the opener has a strong pull among high schoolers, and we could put our CD in their hands.
I jokingly asked, "Do high school kids even use CDs anymore?" We all had a good laugh and then realized, uh, yeah, um, I guess not.
Corollary: I had a follow-up conversation with a housemate who's trying to release her band's album. They're leaning towards a pretty vinyl thing for the people who want the physical object, along with a digital-download code for the rest of us.
I realized today that I'm sitting on two save-the-date cards for the same day. Both weddings are in the same town, and I've verbally said yes to both (in the off-handed, "oh, of course, I plan to come to your wedding" sort of way; so far, no formal invitation for either ceremony). It would be insane to try to attend both, right?
If so, then it feels like the right thing to do is to attend the one I agreed to first. (As a decision-facilitating bonus, a very good friend will be flying in for that wedding.)
On the other hand, I suspect I could convince myself there was ample reason to attend either wedding, if I really wanted to do the mental bargaining. For instance, I bet I could convince myself that I'll know more people at people X. Or that wedding Y will be a better party. (To be absolutely clear: I'm not saying either of these things. I'm saying I think I could convince myself that these were good enough reasons to choose one or the other, absent any other compelling reason, such as the I-said-yes-to-this-one-first reason.)
Which then makes me wonder: should the I-answered-first reason be the overriding one? Would you be weighing other factors if you were in my shoes?
On the third hand, today I learned the expression, "Marry in May, rue the day."
I meant to add: On the fourth hand, maybe it's a huge relief to have a few people politely decline to attend your mega-fest wedding.
There are many women who I think are super funny, but they don't bother to make jokes that often. In fact, many of the women on Unfogged are in this category - when they make jokes, they crack me up, but it's not their primary interest in the conversation. You could argue that this is the result of socialization, but the women here are generally self-aware enough to overcome the indoctrination of the patriarchy when they're so inclined. Or possibly women are exhibiting normal free discourse, and men have been socialized to jockey for jokes incessantly.
What is it? Is it really just socialization that accounts for the differential by gender in joke-making, here at Unfogged? Furthermore, the gender gap is not straight-forward - I don't find that men's writing contains more jokes than women's writing, when they're going for similar purposes, or that more men opt for funny writing. And certainly when I'm in a group of all women, some of the women switch gears and become much funnier. Anyway I like jokes. Make more jokes.
(I took a class called American Womens Humor, my first year in college. I decided to write a paper on Kerri Kinney, who was then on The State. I sent an email to MTV and forgot about it. One weekday night I was two sheets to the wind, and she called my dorm room. I was incredibly embarrassed on the phone and couldn't make heads or tails of the conversation. I somehow managed to get her email address so that I could email her some interview questions. Then I came up with a bunch of truly terrible email questions, which she dutifully answered over email, and I felt bad thereafter that I'd squandered such a neat opportunity.)
Let's have a dating thread. How are people's dating lives going? Anyone have a horror story or need a platform to complain? Anyone have a dilemma that wants solved? Feel free to happily note your one-month anniversary here, too.
And what is hip-hop? It rose in the African American communities of the United States, perhaps in the 1970s, perhaps a little earlier. It depends on whom you ask. What is indisputable is how universal hip-hop has become as culture and as art form. It's on the street, it's in the commercial dance studios, it's on television (So You Think You Can Dance, et al.), in various forms, pure corrupted, subject to scholarly analysis and debate, and, thanks in large part to Rennie Harris, it's on the concert stage, in venues where ballet and modern dance are the norm.
The above is the second full paragraph of a piece about Rennie Harris, written by former New York Newsday dance critic Janice Berman, which appeared in the program that one of the organizations at my institution that puts on performing arts events distributed prior to one such event. Note incorrect use of "et al.".
Conservatives latch onto prison reform. Reduced sentences and rehabilitation programs once were branded as liberal. But now, states such as Republican-dominated Texas are seeing success after adopting the approach.
Lord knows that the Democrats have totally abandoned prison reform, so I'm glad if anyone is taking action that's consistent with my values. On the other hand, it's really hard to believe that Republicans are actually doing something consistent with my values. But if they are, I'm not going to knock it.
I wonder if his claim that access to social media is a fundamental right akin to the right to free assembly ("gathering in a public square", I think he says) reflects the official stance of the executive.