I have an employment case in which we filed a summary judgment motion about two years ago -- it sat around undecided until last week, at which point I got a call saying that the judge wants to hear oral argument on Wednesday. It's a complicated case, with a lot of causes of action, and a lot of conceptually distinct reasons why each of them should be dismissed, and our original moving brief (which was written by a lawyer assigned to the case before I got there) is unclear.
Going through the papers this weekend to prep myself for oral argument, I realized that it was hopeless trying to keep track of everything in my head, and I'd have to make a table of the causes of action with the reason summary judgment should be granted on each before the argument, or there was no way I'd have any hope of making sure I'd covered everything. Then I picked up the reply brief, which I wrote two years ago, and found a footnote on page one informing the court that a table of the causes of action, with the reason summary judgment should be granted on each one supported by references to the appropriate pages in our briefs, was attached as Appendix A.
My memory may be shot to hell, but I like the way I think.
I can get why people are upset about the Rolling Stone Dzhokhar cover. Probably some of them see it as glamorizing a murderer, and some of them also have a bit of "Don't portray Muslim extremists as ordinary people!" anger, which is of course the subtext - he really was a regular guy.
Apparently HEB, the main Texas grocery store chain, (and some other businesses too) are refusing to carry it, though, which seems a bit extreme.
When I try to understand how the gay rights movement accelerated so wildly fast, I usually attribute it to the power of individuals coming out of the closet. But I think the 18-30 year old set may have a second reason, unique to them: they would have been young enough to watch Ellen and Will and Grace and have it shape their sense of what's normal. Ellen ran from 1994-1998, with the memorable kiss coming in 1997. Will and Grace ran from 1998-2006.
There were other gay characters on mainstream sitcoms - Ricky on My So-Called Life, the gay bff on other movies and Sex and the City, etc - but none of those look like they dress at the Gap and are aspiring to the same life that your parents want for you. I can't think of other famous gay characters that peddled mainstream uprightness so thoroughly, in the late 90s. And I don't think Hollywood would have much impact beyond 11-15 year olds - but it could really make a dent on that crowd, enough to break with their parents on the issue.
I saw this post imploring women not to fake orgasms, and thought, that would be good fodder for Unfogged. Someone should link it. Then I realized I could. I don't fake orgasms! But somehow dudez sometimes get the impression I'm deeply enjoying myself when I'm not, and I'm not aware that I'm doing anything to fake anything, exactly. This is not usually during intercourse, but during other kinds of interactions. Just the other day a guy (while sort of making out at a bar) was all, "I love how peaced out you get," and I thought, "Hm. What I'm experiencing right now is mild anxiety and constraint." "Then he said, 'I get the impression you have a very active mind and like to turn it off.' " And I thought, "Hm. That's true, but that's definitely not what's happening right now." I realize not saying that is sort of like faking, but I definitely was not performing any overt behavior to create the illusion I was into it.
Meanwhile, I just took an accidental 90 minute walking tour of New Haven in not the ideal weather for it, but! I wandered into a bookstore, and discovered a book, When Women Were Birds, that I believe has managed a new speed record in the written word category for making me cry: <300 words. I read the first tiny chapter out loud to the bookstore clerk and had to choke out the last line.
I've been growing my hair out, and I'm kind of antsy. Let's talk about haircuts. Here are my rules:
1. it needs to be easy to get it off my neck, because hair on my neck drives me absolutely nuts.
2. the front must be at least 5" long, because otherwise it doesn't have enough weight and stands straight up in the air.
It's interesting to watch your kid learn to read. We were holding the book 'Ten Apples Up On Top' and I was encouraging Hawaiian Punch to sound out 'top'. She obligingly went "tuh...ah...puh...." then looked at me and brightly said "Apples?" Like, right now she is totally unclear on the basic concept.
(It's faintly fraught to discuss milestones in your child's life, and how your child hasn't mastered them, because it invites everyone to reassure you that your child is perfectly normal and you should not worry (if your kid is behind the curve) or it sounds like you're bragging (if your kid is ahead of the pack). At age 4, I'm pretty clear that Hawaii is in the range of what's completely normal. Also she didn't crawl until she was nearly a year old, and everybody bizarrely comforted us about that for months, to the extent that one person gave us a lazy susan contraption that your baby was supposed to find so super fun that they couldn't help but want to crawl.)
Hey all, M/tch has a shot at winning!! Get out the vote! Let's get him in! It only takes about 20 seconds, and you don't have to reveal any personal info or sign up for anything. Vote Here!
In all seriousness, M/tch is terrifically funny. Go vote. (Then post something to FB and get your friends and family to vote.) Final countdown! Every vote counts!
As an added incentive, if he wins, M/tch will release a video of himself, and probably a couple of classmates, singing a totally-made-up-on-the-spot soaring and anthemic Victory Song. He promises it will be awesome. So please, good people, get to it!
Questlove writes a really poignant article on going through life looking like the stereotypical brutal savage.
My friends know that I hate parking lots and elevators, not because they are places that danger could occur, but they're prime places in which someone of my physical size can be seen as a danger element. I wait and wait in cars until I feel it's safe for me to make people feel safe. I know most of y'all are eye-rolling, but if you spent a good three months in these size 14s you'd understand why I take that position.
I've never been perceived as a physical threat to someone, so I can't claim that I identify with him in this article (although you can't help but want to give him a hug), but it vaguely resonates with feeling self-conscious about your weight. When I've been most upset about my weight, it does feel like you're just occupying more space than you're allowed, and that everyone just wants you to reduce.
McDonald's helps its employees figure out how to live on minimum wage, by providing a handy-dandy sample monthly budget.
The most amazing part, right after your income from working 40 hours/week at minimum wage, is the second line of the budget, your income from your second job. Your second job brings in nearly as much income as you make from McDonalds. Also you only pay $20/month for health insurance, have no heat, and get $189/week for food, gas, and anything else. Have fun!
Via delagar, elsewhere
A good personal blog is hard to find. They seem to grow by the inch and die by the foot. For a while now I've enjoyed reading Swistle. It's ordinary daily raising a family stuff, but I find her voice charming. Enjoy.
Nick S writes: This is an interesting item about Free-To-Play (F2P) online games with a good (and often funny) discussion in the comments.
[Ramin Shokrizade] This is my favorite coercive monetization technique, because it is just so powerful. The technique involves giving the player some really huge reward, that makes them really happy, and then threatening to take it away if they do not spend. Research has shown that humans like getting rewards, but they hate losing what they already have much more than they value the same item as a reward. To be effective with this technique, you have to tell the player they have earned something, and then later tell them that they did not. The longer you allow the player to have the reward before you take it away, the more powerful is the effect.
Heebie's take: Nefarious!
I keep seeing articles like this one about the underground flea market abortion scene. (Prior I'd wondered if the underground abortion network would have trouble developing, because midwives and grandmothers would have lost the surgical knowledge in the intervening decades, and it hadn't occurred to me that the pill form would fill that niche.)
It's so tempting to try to figure out if the underground abortion scene good or bad, but that isn't the right framework. When you make abortions illegal, you're really just making safe abortions with proper oversight unavailable. The underground abortion scene is just the consequence of terrible policy decisions.
This guy is asserting that the way we use 'because' is suddenly evolving. He thinks it's a phenomenon that soon it will be widespread to say 'because [noun]!' because languages change and grow, and look what he's detected.
I think he's an idiot who is confusing a meme that people use intentionally to be funny, with the unconscious drift of languages over time. Because please.
The ongoing investigation of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, First Lady Maureen McDonnell, and their ties to Star Scientific just keeps getting weirder and weirder. Today's edition:
The former mansion employee and four people who work with current and former staffers alleged that she had screamed at employees, called and sent text messages to them in the middle of the night for minor matters, such as a lost household item, and pushed them to pursue extravagant plans, such as her ultimately aborted effort to install a $400,000 Georgian-revival fireplace in the federal-style mansion dining room over the objections of architectural advisers. She has reduced maids and a state trooper to tears, the people said. [My emphasis]
Four hundred grand for a fireplace is pretty bold. I almost want to applaud her audacity. Almost.
M/tch M/lls writes: Beloved commenter M/tch M/lls has been nominated to appear in an improvised musical, and he needs your help! Cut to the chase and vote for M/tch here (you must vote before this Wednesday, July 17th). Or read more about it:
Girls Girls Girls is an all-female improv troupe in Austin who make up Broadway-style musicals on the spot based on an audience suggestion. They're awesome and hilarious. Each summer, they put on a run of shows called "Boys of Summer", where they invite a different male guest to perform with them for each show. These guests are generally well-known Austin improvisers and/or actors. Here's an example of a show from a couple of summers ago.
This year they're doing something a little different: the last guest spot will be decided via fan voting. Twenty-five different guys have been nominated. M/tch is pretty sure he's the one on the list with the least experience and dues paid, as he only started doing improv this past January. But he'd absolutely love the chance to perform with Girls Girls Girls.
You can only vote once, and the Unfogged tradition of using bots in such situations is, sadly, deprecated ("GGG reserves the right to disqualify anyone who isn't playing fair"), but in addition to voting you can also forward the link to as many people as possible and encourage them to vote too.
So, help a fogga out? Before this Wednesday, July 17th? Please??
Heebie's take: M/tch is hella funny, and I'm an excellent judge of what's funny. A vote for M/tch is a vote that reveals excellent taste.