Our baby-sitter just emailed us:
Is it okay if I bring my homework to work on after the kids fall asleep?
I guess so, you irresponsible slut.
I don't really have anything to say about the indictment story. I tend to wish the presumption of innocence were taken more seriously, be it a high-profile defendant or some Jane Regular.
But maybe there's something to talk about. And if so, let's let the other threads have peace, shall we?
Chris Y sends along an article informing me that bikes aren't stable because of the gyroscopic effect of the wheels, but for some other reason entirely, and scientists are going to figure out what that is any moment now, which will allow thrilling new bike designs.
First, it's kind of neat that something as simple as a bicycle can still involve really difficult physics. Second, whatever holds a bike steady, I swear that even if it's not the wheels being gyroscopes, it's got something to do with how big they are. I love my tiny little Brompton, but if I took my hands off the handlebars for a second I'd be falling over -- it's much less stable than a regular bike.
At the end of last year/beginning of this year I had to go on three different courses of steroids (the anti-inflammatory, wreck up your immune-system kind, not the awesome muscles kind). As a result I gained weight, to an amount I regard as unacceptable, to wit: anything over 140 lbs. I am 5'7". (Actual unacceptable weight in this case: 145.5) And then just recently I got the unfortunate diagnosis that due to my stupid ill-defined auto-immune ailment, I have arthritis, and that all the cartilage in my left knee is gone, and that agonizing feeling at a certain angle is when my femur is actually touching my patella, which, gross. Also, dag, I didn't know that would hurt so bad.
My sister is of course way worse off than me, having had lupus which attacked her joints all her life, so that her doctor said she could be in a wheelchair in as little as 10 years. He also told her to go find a husband who would take care of her while she was still young and beautiful, because it would be too late later. (Pro tip: that was an asshole move, Dr. Jerkface.) This has stuck with her because in a horrible way it's also kind of good advice.
Anyway, so I have to run in the pool for 30 minutes a day, which is OK, and I decided to go on a diet also. Why not? Steroids make you accumulate fat in random places. Because I am crazy, though, the diet consists of this: raisin bran with a little bit of sugar on it and milk. That's more or less it. Maybe some yogurt at night because I have pills I have to wash down with food. Also, carrot juice, and coffee with milk and sugar (but only 2) and soda water. If I get really hungry or someone is watching me I will eat the dinner but not the starch, and since we eat pretty healthy this will be white meat chicken and steamed broccoli, or steamed salmon and salad I can just put lemon juice on. But I'm still bad! I messed up and ate food! This is obviously stupid and crazy. But it's working! I'm losing weight like crazy; down to 141.5 in like 7 days.
I have a couple of set points that I tend to be very stable at; I just need to bump myself down to the next stable point (136) and I can go back to normal. And by normal I mean gross and fat and totally insane because, I know you hear me on this, most of the time bitches be tripping.
And it's late. Because I'm not very good at watching basketball, but I'm watching it right now.
Down yonder in the blog, parsimon made a comment:
Vaguely apropos of the Weiner discussion, have people seen the recent Gallup poll results on people's responses to the moral acceptability or non-acceptability of various controversial behaviors?
I say vaguely apropos because it seems to me that Weiner's response to this pseudo-scandal is essentially: "Whatever, there may be pictures of me and my parts in existence, but a person lives a life over time, and keeps it private, and no I didn't send any such picture, and this is stupid."
The Gallup poll results reflect an increasing acceptance of things that were once verboten, and as I talked to a friend about this today, we observed that sheer familiarity, and perceived prevalence, gradually make for an "Ayup" response from people. e.g. Divorce? not so bad. We can't have failed to notice the shift in presidential candidates' responses from "No, I have never ever tried pot, are you kidding?!" to "I tried it, but I didn't inhale!" to "Sure, I tried it and inhaled, but whatever, long time ago."
The relatively recent shift in acceptability of gay and lesbian relations (as the Gallup poll puts it) is accompanied by a simultaneous belief on the part of quite a few that gays and lesbians make up 20% of the population, which is apparently a serious overestimation, though I forget where I read that. However, if people think that 1 in 5 people is gay, that would probably make them decide that maybe it wasn't such a bizarre thing after all.
And that comment reads an awful lot like a guest post to me. So I stole it. Without permission. (Hope that's okay, parsimon.)
This story caught my attention:
A group of more than 200 Japanese pensioners are volunteering to tackle the nuclear crisis at the Fukushima power station.
The Skilled Veterans Corps, as they call themselves, is made up of retired engineers and other professionals, all over the age of 60.
They say they should be facing the dangers of radiation, not the young.
I'm bothered that my knee-jerk reaction is something like, "Hmph, would never happen here with our selfish old people."
I'm bothered because that reaction doesn't square with my own experience with people over 60 (namely my grandparents, but my own parents are headed there within the next ten years). I don't think of them as selfish at all.
Or maybe I don't have any point other than the banal observation, "Generational divides are more complicated than stereotypes and, in particular, the current political climate would have you believe!"
In any event, I've managed to react to this story about Japan by reflecting on the US of A. And what's more selfish than that?
I've been reading Middlemarch, and I have a really hard time imagining that Mr and Mrs Casaubon's marriage has been consummated. And yet its not having been consummated would by now (I'm about a third of the way through the third book, so there's a ways to go yet, but they've been to and returned from Italy on their honeymoon) be somewhat remarkable, no? But then again if it had been consummated how could whatever took place fail to have figured in the descriptions of Dorothea as she was in Italy, or Casaubon after their return? It really is unaccountable how all mention of this question, which is obviously fairly intimately associated with marriage, has been omitted from the book (thus far, anyway).
There are men putting a new roof on our house right now. It might be 100° out. I'm usually not this close to the discomfort/suffering I cause others. Jammies and I flicked the marble that started the chain of events that led to this a long, long time ago, so in that sense I feel removed from guilt. By which I mean we handed everything over to a contractor back in December. Or at least I compartmentalize. I'm trying to be honest but I don't feel like being judged.
What are employee evaluations like at your job or past jobs? Effective on any level? Or just measuring the friction between you and your supervisor? Or just perfunctory bullshit?
Update: I washed my hair with shampoo this morning. I waited the full two weeks, and sure enough, along the way my hair stopped being oily and my skin felt normal. But my hair was really stiff, which I didn't like. I was really ready to quit a few days ago but I've got an unhealthy self-discipline for sticking out experiments like this.
Also I had four things or so to post today, and in the harsh morning light they all look dumb.
I just yesterday learned of Planking:
Planking is the act of lying face down with arms to the sides of the body, in unusual public spaces and photographing it.
I'm not really sure what to make of this trend, other than express surprise to learn that it can be fatal.
I'm indoors on a lovely day rewriting a brief and attempting to make myself carrot soup without forgetting about it for long enough that it burns, and I never post anymore. This isn't actually a post, I just wanted to link to Belgian Waffling, a wildly funny personal blog I found in Redfoxtailshrub's blogroll. The blogger is an Englishwoman living in Belgium with her two pre-teen kids and depressed dog -- it's not really about anything other than owls more often than you'd think, but I love it a lot.
From Parodie, we have an open letter from Storm's mother. I find her rather sympathetic and likable. She seems thoughtful and supportive of her kids.