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Friday, December 20, 2013

77

Friday Open Thread

It's Friday, it's December 20th, it's almost the end of 2013. Truly we hurtle toward the arbitrary designation of a brand-new year together. Thanks for hanging out with us this week, in which we:

• Learned about the Dopeass Tea Wizard, who loves his fucking kettle, and received another coal-bright bit of Baba Yaga (happiness is a thing that passes through you, not a thing you meet & hold in yr deathly grip for ever afterwards).

• Wrote a sestina for a terrible publicist, formed a book club for Ross Douthat, and built spite houses for all our ex-husbands.

• Learned how to get shit done from both the original Mary Poppins and Feminist Ryan Gosling creator Danielle Henderson.

• Talked about the uncool-cool of a cappella and the seductive French mountain mysteries of The Returned.

• Debated the most important question of our age and took a two-part academic look at Roe vs. Wade, 40 years later.

• Stood in solidarity with Michelle (Hobby: Drinking / Best friend: none / Boyfriend: none) because one day, she too will be grown.

See you guys Monday!

Photo via Marie/Flickr



77 Comments / Post A Comment

coolallison

Maybe, just maybe, this will be my last job-ranting post? I got a new job! Now I just have to go through the pain of giving my two-weeks notice to my boss, which I have a feeling is going to be awful and she is going to do everything in her power to make me miserable about it. I had wanted to do the quit-with-no-notice, and given that this week I received a (fairly substantial) pay cut "due to an error at HR when I started", I feel it would be justified? Except I'm a big ol' wuss so... two weeks it is. I can always just leave if she makes things too terrible, right? The point is... THIS HELL IS ALMOST OVER! I have high hopes for 2014.

OH... AND YEAH I ALMOST FORGOT... is anyone possibly considering doing Drynuary again? My drinking has gotten a little out of control lately (holidays + job + red wine is a thing... you know how it goes) so I was kind of thinking I might take that month off again. But it's better when I know I'm not alone. Anyone?

meetapossum

@coolallison I'm going to do Dryanuary again! I felt pretty great last year (and also lost a fair amount of weight that I promptly gained back). Mine will only be til the 27th, though, because I'm going to see Neutral Milk Hotel that day and there's no way I'm not going to have a beer when I see them.

Madeline Shoes

@coolallison yes. I am totally doing drynuary (starting the second week, when I get back from vacation).

I stopped drinking for a couple months and felt amazing and then started up again at Thanksgiving and have been feeling crappy since then. I don't even drink a ton and it makes a huge difference.

DoMark

@coolallison Does January 1 count for Dryanuary purposes? As in, if Fun New Years extends into January 1, have I already blown it?

coolallison

@DoMark My official decision... no. We'll say it starts when you wake up for the day on January 1. Does that make you more likely to participate?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@coolallison I'll be doing Drynuary!

mattewmc

WOW!! This is AwEsoMe!! @t

iceberg

This week with the Bergy Bits:

The Diva already calls The Clown "Boy" - "Stop that, boy!" "Eat your breakfast, boy!" - but the other morning she literally stood on top of him. I may be raising a misandrist.

Dimples is pretty adamant that she wants to see the dinosaurs the next time we go to the zoo. I tried explaining "Honey, they don't have dinosaurs at the zoo", but she just glowered and shouted at me "I see dinosaurs at zoo!"

Bergy Bits vocab:
"It's too fit!" - it's too small and doesn't fit.
"It's too reach!" - It's too far away, I can't reach it.
"It's too stick!" - these French fries are unfit for toddler consumption.

This morning:

"Diva, do you need fresh socks? You wore those ones yesterday."

"Yeah! They stinky! And smell like poop. It's nasty!"

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@iceberg I want to go to a dinosaur zoo, too! Don't tell me I can't.

OhMarie

@iceberg OMG it's to reach

kateek

@iceberg I said things were 'reachy' when I was a toddler. Well, actually, I still say it to my parents.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@iceberg
re: dinosaur zoo. I mean, I guess if you can see some crocodiles, that almost counts as kind of like dinosaurs? However, I'm pretty sure I only recently stopped finding crocodiles scary, so she might be scared of them too.

Beaks

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) I feel like there are some pretty dinosaury birds around too (vultures , anyone?) And probably at that age anything in the reptile exhibit would totally count as a dinosaur. Komodo dragons for sure.

maxmarvel

@iceberg We had dinosaurs at the NC Zoo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTkqU_WFINM

adorable-eggplant

You guys, I loved this article: https://medium.com/p/a5e5f4e9132f

As a person who does customer service type stuff, I wish I could print it out and frame it. Just perfect.

yeah-elle

@adorable-eggplant SO GOOD. spot on.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@adorable-eggplant oh my gosh yes. This kind of rich white guy in a suit was absolutely the worst kind of customer to deal with back when I worked retail, outside of the people who were basically real-life cartoon characters. I remember one white guy walking into the store with his friend, who was not white, and the theft alarm thingy at the front doors rang as they passed. My boss was super strict about finding out what made the theft alarm ring, so I did like usual and made them both walk past it individually, so I could figure out who was ringing. (Usually, they just bought something at another store and we'd demagnetize it and no big deal.) Turns out that the black man had something on him that caused ringing. Everyone in this situation was calm except for the white man, who IMMEDIATELY accused me of racial profiling through the use of a magnetic device which did not have eyes and which I did not control. I think I blacked out with rage because I don't remember how I reacted. I really hope I kicked the white guy out and let his friend keep shopping.

Onymous

@adorable-eggplant I used to write parking tickets at a university (fewer anecdotes than you'd think) and absolutely it was the moneyed white guys that were the worst.

No that sign really does mean no parking
No you can't park in the handycap space
No not even for just 15 minutes
Look I'm not dumb I am aware that classes don't last 15 minutes

supernintendochalmers

@adorable-eggplant So great. I've been a fan of Jen Dziura's writing for a while now, but this has to be one of her best.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

Okay so last week's FOT, I mentioned this boy I met at a party who I heard was interested in me, but that I never heard from.

So um, on Tuesday he sent flowers to my office? Yeah. Really nice ones. He was not messing around.

It was completely out of left field, and felt kind of weird, but he didn't mean it in a weird way, and it's like he's trying to buy me or anything. No one other than family members has ever given me flowers. It was kind of weirdly overwhelming, and like here I am getting all attached to material things but like... I don't know, it made me feel special.

iceberg

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) I think he sounds sweet! well done you :)

adorable-eggplant

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) Flowers is a legit move.

ETA: Which I mean as a good thing: like, suave.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@adorable-eggplant @iceberg
Right? He is, by all accounts, a good guy. I don't know if I have Feelings for him, but at the very least I plan to talk to him and see him and whatnot, and then see where things go.

Plus I get to have an adventure where I carry a vase full of flowers home tonight on public transit and make people jealous!

adorable-eggplant

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) Plus, getting to pretend to be totally blasé: like, "ugh, dragging home flower (which I totally do every day)what a pain, am I right??"

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)
Flowers are a good move, but you'll know it's serious when he sends you food. Or, I guess, that's what would make it serious for me. "Oh, you send me a bouquet of bbq ribs! How thoughtful, we are in love now."

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose who knows? That might be next.

iceberg

@IROTOTRose I AM IN LOVE WITH YOU NOW LET US MARRY AND EAT RIBS TOGETHER.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg I guess it's a polite way to ask, "Will you eat my meat?"

iceberg

@Rose I can't believe my declaration of love was too subtle for you! *sigh*

iceberg

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose maybe i should send you a dozen bacon roses ;)

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@all
Okay not even kidding he chose a restaurant earlier today, and it's famous for its ribs, and I laughed just a little too hard. And then he ordered ribs. (I did not, because I would get rib sauce all over my face and hands and behave in a way that might not be acceptable in public due to having rib sauce on face and hands.)

However, I still don't know how I feel about him. even after ribs. I'm the worst.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg LET'S RUN AWAY TOGETHER

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@iceberg LET'S RUN AWAY TOGETHER

iceberg

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose <3 U YES LET'S

yeah-elle

Ugh, I got called in to my second job of the day early, which means I have less time for a restorative nap in between. I'm also breaking out, about to surf the crimson wave, and I've been feeling gross and groggy all week. I keep having stress dreams! And #1 thing I don't want to think about is my best friend moving to another continent for six months to study abroad. I'm gonna miss her so muchhhhh, ugh.

I just wanna go home and have my mom feed me cookies! Because I'm a baby. A large, adult-sized, grown baby.

adorable-eggplant

@yeah-elle Make your bf send you mail. Or bring you back presents. Or sneak you along in their luggage.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@yeah-elle stress dreams sound like no fun at all! I've had a few really odd dreams this week and I could definitely have done without them.

You're totally allowed to want cookies!

Carolyn Ray@facebook

my friend's ex-wife makes $64 every hour on the laptop. She has been out of work for six months but last month her paycheck was $21553 just working on the laptop for a few hours. go to this website ,,,,,,,,,,,,,, WWW.TEC30.COM

OhMarie

Help, I need an experience gift for my parents! I've been keeping an eye on Groupon and LivingSocial and such but nothing has presented itself.

In the past, I've gotten them a walking chocolate tour of DC and a double header historic ships/art museum thing.

They don't drink so any kind of vineyard or tasting is out. They also don't love cooking.

They do like art and music and historic houses. My mom is a math instructor/head of the math tutoring department at a community college and my dad is a retired engineer with a second career as an art student at said college. My mom is pretty active (she did a high ropes course with me last year!) but my dad wouldn't be up for much above walking.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@OhMarie Is dogsledding a thing around where they live? I didn't think there was dogsledding near Montreal, but it turns out there is!

(I haven't been because I would feel bad for the dogs, so I cannot personally vouch for it. But it sounds fun for anyone who doesn't immediately need to pet and keep every animal they see.)

adorable-eggplant

@OhMarie Is there a charity that they dig? I love getting donations in my honor (haha, that sounds fancy--but seriously, I dig it). Sometimes they send a card (or stamps, which are always handy). If they are fairly self-sufficient/not into stuff, it could be a good route to go.

I also love getting socks, though, so am a bit of an outlier...

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@adorable-eggplant ooh, charity might not be a bad idea if your parents like that sort of thing! Especially if they tell you what your donation could possibly go to - you know, like Christmas dinner for 10 homeless people, or volunteer training for the community outreach program, or the World Vision/Heifer/Oxfam gifts of soccer balls or education or a chicken. It's a great way to know just how their gift is going to help people.

OhMarie

@adorable-eggplant Oh, yeah, they are big into charity. I know they give lots of money to their church plus a bunch of other things. The only one I know about for sure is a middle school for underprivileged girls in Baltimore City. I think they would probably dig a Heifer gift.

I do like the activity stuff because it lets us spend time together (I always get at least 3, sometimes a bunch more so other family members can come), but we're all going on vacation this year so it might be a good year for a donation. Or maybe a Kiva gift card? Those let you pick the recipient, I think.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)
Kind of off topic, but a good dogsledder is nothing abusive toward the dogs. In my area, there's a guy who runs a dogsled company and gets most of his pups from the local shelters, so they aren't all of the husky/malamute variety. When I went, there was a bloodhound in a sweater on the team pulling us! A lot of the dogs really like the work, and if they have good human captains who take care of them, they are happy.

Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose That's actually pretty good to know! I wasn't sure, and I guess I just assumed, and I made an ass out of me. But not u.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that)
Nah, it would be a normal thing to assume. If it's not done properly, there's plenty of room for abuse. But these dogs I met, one of them was female husky who had been overbred, and she was so scared of people. But once she was hooked to the sled behind the lead dog, I swear to god she was smiling.

TheLetterL

@OhMarie FYI if you haven't seen it already: I just noticed this afternoon there's a $25 for two Kiva gift cards deal on Groupon!

OhMarie

@TheLetterL Wow, thanks! I am getting some of those for stockings either way for sure.

DoMark

I am cutting all of my hair off on Sunday (well, paying someone to cut it)! My hair is way too long and I have made it a far too important part of my self worth. In addition, I have come to love and trust my hair woman and know she will do me right. I am so excited!

coolallison

@DoMark Do it! Do it! Everytime I cut my hair short, I think it's super adorable and always question why I was trying to grow it out to begin with.

Myrtle

@DoMark what an adventure! Wish I'd seen this earlier-you could consider donating your hair to Locks of Love. They make wigs for kids who've lost their hair from chemo. I believe the hair they use is 10 inches long. If it's shorter they donate it to other wig makers.

DoMark

@Myrtle I went through with it on Sunday and am super happy with the result (although now have to figure out what types of products will work best to not be puffy) and saved the hair so that I can donate it!

Gin-tastic

Ugh! I don't even know where to start. I'm just going to do a bit of an emotional dating dump because I'm way too embarrassed and I'm afraid I may have caught an incredibly early case of the feelings.

I had an amazing first date with a boy. It was lovely! Physically he's not my usual type but I'm nonetheless very attracted to him. Second date he cooks me dinner, we talked, shared stories, made out and had sex. It was a Monday night so I had to leave super early Tuesday morning to go home and get ready for school (I had not planned on staying the night.) He sent a lovely text message at lunch time and I told him to let me know when he's free. He said that he would for the weekend. After not hearing from him since Wednesday, before heading out to dinner with friends on Sunday evening, I sent him a text. He responds (also by text) and tells me that work was crazy over the weekend and that he's glad that he has a few days off. He was also travelling on Tuesday to see his family in the States (we're in France). I ask him if there's anything I can do to help and I've heard nothing from him since.

So part of me realizes that it's crazy holiday season and everyone is busy (this is my first Christmas away from my immediate family in Canada...so maybe I'm a tad bit lonely) but the other part of me wonders if he really does like me and if he actually wants to see me again. Admittedly, the guys I've been with previously were way into me at first and pretty evident about it. I'm also wondering if part of this is just some regret on my part at sleeping with him fairly early (well earlier than I've ever done with a new guy). He also let me borrow one of his books.

I'm not quite sure what I'm asking. Any advice? What's your limited take on the situation? Other distractions are also welcome.

adorable-eggplant

@Gin-tastic I think if you were lent a book, that's a sign that he really is interested and wants to see you again. It's the perfect move. Read this book, we'll discuss it. And his busy story probably checks out. If he's in the Sates, maybe he doesn't want to use international minutes? And maybe he's stressed about seeing his family? Or long week at work, plus travel stress = hermit retreat mode?

Try to put him out of your mind and then be pleasantly surprised when he does contact you again (which I suspect he will) is my advice, except I know it's easier said than done.

OhMarie

@Gin-tastic Yes, I agree! Sounds like you guys had a great time, and between traveling and trying to wrap stuff up at work it seems like things would be really busy. I bet you hear from him within a few days of January 6.

frenz.lo

What! Am I going to do with my bad puppy? He's about 13 months old, and lives with me and my husband and our two cats and our good dog. We got him when he was about 7 months old. He had an old leg injury and a bad doggy cold, and he was so scared at first. I fear we spoiled him, because he was so sweet, and initially anything that showed he was getting confident was a great sign.
Now he is 50 lbs +, and his hobbies include ear-splitting barking, leaping around, and wrecking my shit. He'll come around, and he's improving with training, but I can't wait til this stupid puppy chills out!

Regina Phalange

Such sad news about Ned Vizzini. I only have a passing familiarity with his work, but it sounds like he was a genuine, caring man who fought a hard battle.

angelinha

@Regina Phalange OMG! :( Teen Angst? Nah! was one of my favorite books in high school. So sad.

flashcrash

Happy Winter Solstice!
Tomorrow after work I'm driving with my boyfriend down to his hometown for a whole x-mas week! I'm a bit nervous, I was not raised to celebrate x-mas and so this will be my first "real" x-mas with the tree and everything. (I'm 25) His family is great, but I'm worried I'll feel like an interloper the whole time, crashing the fam time.
I usually just try to chill out in instances like this, but I'm worried there's this whole other level of me being an "other" non-christian that makes his family (his mom especially) uncomfortable. Maybe I'm just paranoid. share your terrible x-mas with the partner stories and we can commiserate.

stroopwafel

@flashcrash Virtual high five! I am also an "other" but my whole family is Christian, so Christmas for me is kind of a balancing act between celebrating family while not participating in the religious stuff, but not so obviously as to incite any questions or sermons. Ugh.

Anyway, my worst holiday with a now ex-partner involved me sitting in a huge kitchen alone at his uncle's house (so everyone was kind of spread out in their own little groups talking). My ex kept running off sporadically to do things with his kid-relatives and so on, and leaving me with his big family, all of whom I didn't know very well. This would've been fine if we were all somewhat near each other talking, but with everyone being so spread out, it was really hard to start conversation and get to know anyone, or just not look like a loner in general. So started the spiral of self-consciousness, and after so many failed attempts at conversation with strangers, I ended up sitting there alone most of the day. It was my worst nightmare, and of course afterward came my ex's "why were you being so anti-social?" remarks. UGH. Never ever again!

bnna

Hey Pinners, I'm late to the game, but I'm interested in learning what Podcasts y'all are into.
I just jumped into the podcast world, and I'm loving it, but I feel like I've only tapped into some of the more mainstream stuff.

Right now, I listen (with varying degrees of regularity) to: Judge John Hodgman (soooo good!), WTF w/ Maron (hit or miss), Comedy Bang Bang (much of the time I love it), Pop Culture Happy Hour (love it), Mental Illness Happy Hour (I'm not that into Gilmartin, but if I'm interested in the guest I can tolerate him enough)

What else is out there, maybe a little further off the beaten path, with fewer celebrity guests and NPR personalities?

flashcrash

@bnna right now my faves are America's Test Kitchen - if you like hearing cooking questions, reviews, interviews with chefs, and cooking history. It sounds kind of lame but it's perfect if you have a long commute to work. Also The Moth Podcast. And the Savage Lovecast (but there are those who aren't that into dan savage so...)

kateek

@bnna The New Yorker fiction podcast is so good, I wanna marry it. I also really enjoy the Longform.org podcast, which is interviews, but with journalists and editors, not necessarily the people you're going to hear on NPR each week.

OhMarie

@bnna I'm really into Stop Podcasting Yourself. It's a two comedian guys plus guest format, but they are from Vancouver so it's a different crowd than you typically see on the million and one LA podcasts. They're so funny and cheery and awesome and it makes me happy. They are an old podcast and just had their 300th episode.

My other most favorite is Radiolab, but that is also an NPR situation.

A good way to approach comedy podcasts is to check out the big networks--both JJH and Stop Podcasting Yourself are on Maximum fun, and Comedy Bang Bang is on Earwolf. Between those two networks there's something like 20 podcasts of all different flavors.

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Hellcat

IS ANYONE STILL FLOATING AROUND IN HERE?! HELP!

Any advice on how to handle a Christmas-with-Family when I just last night found out* that my dear (needy and attention-craving) sister has been banging a serious ex of mine, and my mother and stepfather both have known for months and months and no one told me even though I already knew that they'd reconnected via Facebook and were "just friends" now (which was weird enough, considering that they weren't that tight to begin with)?

The best part? My mother called me last night to ask for advice as to how to comfort my sister… who just found out that my ex does not want to pursue a relationship, FWB or otherwise, with her.

A few details:
- It was a serious ex, and the breakup was awful for me.
- He's one of very few exes that I no longer speak to ever.
- He lives an hour away from my sister, so they did not run into each other accidentally and keep in touch. I am 99% certain she pursued him, years after our breakup, via Facebook.
- I am not jealous of this (I know that seems like a big fat lie); I am just mad at her sneakiness and her need for male attention that surpasses all else. She had ample opportunities to spill these ugly beans and she skirted around it, even though she brought up their (weird) friendship all the time.
- I don't think he is blameless, exactly, but I also don't care what he does "to" me; it's what my own sister does.
- I am happily involved with my awesome BF of 4+ years, and he is stupefied that I am not madder than I am about this.

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