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Friday, February 28, 2014

62

Friday Open Thread

Outside it may be shitty; inside, I am channeling this dog. How are you doing? Tell us in the comments, and feel free to catch up on anything you may have missed this week:

The ultra-foxy Paleo people of legend, dinosaur dishes from Katy & Katie, cryptid dating tips

A coming-out party for Elsa & a True Detective rabbit hole from Edith & an INS-resistant Vegas wedding officiated by Elvis

• Chats with Jolie Kerr about her new book (!) & with a psychic from New Mexico

Advice from Baba Yaga & cultural know-how from women around the world (don't miss Older Danish Women Don't Mind Looking Leathery)

• Lessons from a family lawyer & plant genius Helen Yoest

• The inability of one particular woman to deal with writers' residencies as well as MFA vs NYC

• Finally, a refusal to either dance for justice or just "soak it all in"

Remember, we've got askhairpin@gmail.com open for any advice questions you might want answered. Have a great weekend, everybody.

Photo via Still Burning/Flickr



62 Comments / Post A Comment

stonefruit

One thing I would like to see more of on the Hairpin is pictures of Jia's dog. (Emma, do you have pets? Can we see pictures of them too?)

/slash was that a creepy request?

jazzloon

@stonefruit NO I'VE ASKED FOR THE SAME EXACT THING. more puppies.

adorable-eggplant

@jazzloon Not my puppy (I wish) but in going with the polar bear theme from earlier, look at this little champ:

Clara Morena

@adorable-eggplant them eyes....

Clara Morena

@stonefruit Nope More doggies!

meetapossum

@stonefruit

This is my puppy when she was a puppy.

adorable-eggplant

@meetapossum Clearly we need to see that cutie all grown up now.

DoMark

@stonefruit Gah, so cute!!

meetapossum

@adorable-eggplant Now she's just a big doof.

adorable-eggplant

@meetapossum Ahaha! So cuteeee!

isabelle bleu

@adorable-eggplant YAAAAAASSSSS. Puppy pics please! It is that kind of TGIF.

stonefruit

thank you everyone for turning this into a puppy/pet subthread! It's just what the doctor ordered.

SwissMeringue

@stonefruit A german short haired pointer!? My parents have one and I am in love with her. Possibly the only breed of dog maintains equal parts majestic and doofus at all times.

meetapossum

@SwissMeringue She is a GSP! She's my parents' dog, too. I grew up wih them. They are so smart but so dumb.

Onymous

I made gnocchi from instant potato flakes last night. They weren't as fluffy as using real potatoes but holy shit 5 minutes total start to finish and soooo much cleaner because exactly X-much water is in them instead of the potatoes giving up more water as you go along.

Just mind blowingly easier. It turns gnocchi from an occasional treat to a possible (emergency) dinner staple.

I also ate like an entire pound of asparagus.

adorable-eggplant

@Onymous Oooh I will have to share this fact with my boyfriend, who is a champion gnocchi maker. Other tricks: sweet potato gnocchi with chili sauce. I could eat those all day.

Onymous

@adorable-eggplant

-1 c + a healthy shake of potato flake
-1 c boiling water
wait a second to cool a little
-1 egg yolk
-1 c flour
-some salt or whatever

5 minutes and that includes boiling the water.

I've done sweet potato gnocchi + mole poblano once but I wasn't impressed with the brand of mole so I was a bit ambivalent towards the endeavor. I also tried but failed (to dry never bound right) to make plantain gnocchi but I think it's a good idea.

adorable-eggplant

@Onymous Thanks! Plantain gnocchi does sound good in theory, but I imagine tricky in practice. Maybe dehydrate/bake them too? I'm not a gnocchi maker though, just a gnocchi consumer.

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

@adorable-eggplant My family has a recipe (that I do not know by heart) for PUMPKIN GNOCCHI. That is all.

(Sweet potato gnocchi sound amazing, to the point that I would use "Sweet potato gnocchi!" as an exclamation of surprise.)

Onymous

@adorable-eggplant
I think I could do plantain easily enough if I tried again it was just that day I made a series of bad decisions in my attempt to cook the plantain.

snuffleupagus

This has been an absolute bully of a winter, you guys. In addition to colds and flus and money woes, my father-in-law died rather unexpectedly just before Christmas (he got sick around Thanksgiving and had ups and downs before taking a rapid turn for the worse). My mother-in-law is very sweet, and is clearly grieving. But she's also only thinking about herself - she has not offered any support to her children (my husband and his sisters), has not asked them how they are doing, dismisses their arguments that they might want some of their dad's things and keeps trying to throw out the boxes in the basement. Every time she wants to do something it's a crisis situation and has to be done NOW. She also doesn't seem to understand the concept of now being on a budget (deceased FIL was the sole earner) and keeps buying things "from savings" that she can't afford (including a new car!) and with a bashful smile keeps telling me that she hasn't cared to cook or clean since FIL died. I finally called her out on this last one - she didn't do that stuff before, he did, and it's only now that she's noticing.

This is so frustrating because I have no idea how to navigate it. Is this a normal part of grieving? Is this just her? Would it be possible to ask her to have some compassion for her kids and their own grief? Any other advice on how to help my husband deal with this loss would also be helpful.

And now if you'll excuse me, I need to locate some chocolate.

adorable-eggplant

@snuffleupagus That sounds like a really tough situation for everyone. I know people do uncharacteristic things as a result of intense grief, so hopefully it will settle over time (with counseling perhaps). Big hugs though, because it has to be hard to see that happening and not be able to change much. I'd suggest counseling (because it's almost always helpful) and then being compassionate towards everyone in the situation, but also look out for yourself (chocolate! yeah!). It's not a situation I have dealt with myself though, so I can't give much more specific advice.

DoMark

I would really like it if the people who said they would write letters of recommendation for me would write the letters, then I would like it if the stupid, overpriced bundle of uselessness known as LSAC would send those letters so that I could try to get into an LL.M. program. That is all.

stonefruit

@DoMark The LSAC is honest to goodness an evil entity. Solidarity.

DoMark

@stonefruit Thank you! I would like to give them a Piece of My Mind but I can't because they control my destiny. Hate, hate, hate.

adorable-eggplant

Thanks to the pinner from last week who suggested a Duolinguo account! I took the plunge and am obsessed! So many lingots to collect. Anybody else? What's your language?

twotacosplease

@adorable-eggplant YES! I am "learning" French, which I took for 8 years in school, but I really like the way Duo teaches. I am also very susceptible to game-ified learning, so for some reason I care about the lingots... I'm on a 53 day streak :)

OhMarie

@adorable-eggplant I just signed up! I am also doing French as a refresh from school.

adorable-eggplant

@twotacosplease @OhMarie So many French leaners! I'm also working on French and am going to hit Spanish next.

I'm impressed by that 53 day streak! I'm also someone who responds well to the game aspect, although I wish I could spend my lingots to get digital stickers to decorate my profile and maybe some animated avatars.

I think it really is useful as a brush up. I'm not sure how it would work if I'd never had any exposure, but I've been finding it really useful for helping me make the jump from "oh that's a rule I kind of know" to "oh yeah, I definitely know that". We'll see if it helps me to develop the ganas to actually speak with people...

OhMarie

@adorable-eggplant I was wondering the same thing about a brand new language. I was thinking about Spanish (aka the most useful language) but I have, like, Sesame Street Spanish and no more. Maybe that's enough to get a foothold in the method. I've always wanted to try Arabic and I'm sure the 0% knowledge and different alphabet would make this method impossible.

stonefruit

Phew, this has been a bear of a week at work. Actually it's been a bearish three weeks (office-wide scrambling to finish projects in advance of someone's retirement). I'm treating myself to curly fries and root beer for lunch, and I plan to sleep SO MUCH this weekend.

adorable-eggplant

@stonefruit I've already set my heart on some animal style fries and a milkshake. Nothing else will do.

stonefruit

@adorable-eggplant Let's talk about their milkshakes, though. I am apparently fussy and old-fashioned, but I like my milkshakes made with the actual flavor of ice cream advertised, not vanilla + flavored syrup. Thoughts?

(Animal style fries are perfect though. No concerns there.)

adorable-eggplant

@stonefruit For me, it is more a vehicle to put some rum in when I get home, so I'm not picky. Actual ice cream is milkshake best practice though, so agreed.

isabelle bleu

@stonefruit I am agreed! Actually, even more, I will only really accept a strawberry milkshake if it is vanilla ice cream + fresh chopped strawberries. Nothing else can really compare.
ETA: That's not quite true, I will still accept any other kind of strawberry milkshake. See also: McDonalds'.

Clara Morena

annnnnnnnnnnnnd I'm stuck with my part time job until April. I actually like the kids but it's the parents( and my boss) , I cannot stand. Yesterday one parent(who is an unpleasant person), complained to my boss that her 6 year old daughter was not done with her homework ergo it is my fault.
On the bright side, my Uni will mail my diploma soon and I will get my paycheck today! *snoopy dance*

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

@ clara morena Parents are kind of the worst. I'm not sure if this is any consolation.

meetapossum

Ok, soooo, I was catching up on the Hairpin open thread last week, and feeling kind of bad because I've been on the Toast more. But then I remembered why I stopped coming to the OT in the first place: the comments section is still all messed up! I'll get e-mailed responses and try to go to them, but they won't show up. The comment number on the main page will say one number and it'll drop when I open the page. Constantly logs me me off still.

It's not you guys, I swear! I just get frustrated with the system.

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

@meetapossum Some days the comments work fine! Others, not so much. But it's better than consistently not working, right?

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

Sooo since I do not want to talk about work, let's talk about friends!

A couple of my friends are going to meet the guy I've been seeing! It's a friend's birthday dinner and I'm bringing along to eat with in case the restaurant/company doesn't jive with me. We haven't really met each other's anyone except for the friend who introduced us (and his best friend was there when that happened) so this might be exciting! I don't know.

On the flip side of that:
Never let your friends move to LA. I recently got confirmation that my friend, who moved to LA five and a half years ago, has turned into an LA monster and there might be no return. (This may very well happen when friends move to other places, too.) She's gone from the awkward, funny best friend to someone that I don't think anyone in my circle wants to hang out with anymore, unless she's visiting and has basically dictated when we will hang out and what we'll do and how loudly she'll recount stories of things she and her roommate did because they're so crazy! with little to no regard for how things are going with us. (A little less crazy!) She doesn't tell us any of the important stuff unless she can profit from it (money-wise, I mean) and seems to have a completely warped idea of who exactly these friends are that she left behind. I don't think I can go through with a friend breakup, since there'd be too much collateral damage, but when someone literally stops caring about you and then tells you you're being mean to them, what else is there to do?

isabelle bleu

Great Pin-Hivemind: Seeking your advice...have a costume party to attend tomorrow, in which I must don a costume based on a "villain from film or literature", and for some reason I'm drawing a blank. Have all day tomorrow to pull together a costume, and getting a little crafty is not beyond me, but...Halp! Any great suggestions? I am very suggestible, and will consider any and all ideas!!!

stonefruit

@isabelle bleu Ratty black drapey fabric: a dementor.

Cruella Deville? Big white coat (I suppose you'd need one of those though) and a white streak?

The white witch from Narnia? Just lots of white, and a crown.

adorable-eggplant

@isabelle bleu Inspector Javert could be fun. Here's an illustration from his wiki page:

Top hat, awesome coat, cane, fake mutton chops, ta-da!

adorable-eggplant

@stonefruit Wait! I change my vote. Totes witch from Narnia.

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

@stonefruit Bonus points if she can find a tin of Turkish delight.

I really like the idea of wicked witch of the West, too! Not sure how easy that is to pull off, though.

isabelle bleu

@stonefruit @adorable-eggplant Gah, yes, the White Witch!!! Excellent suggestion, and very apropos for the crowd too, lots of attendees that I expect will dress on the sci-fi/fantasy axis. THANK YOU, else I probably would have chosen something impossible like The Bomb or Mushroom Cloud Sequence from Dr Strangelove and collapsed in a heap of quivering tears when I couldn't pull it off.

isabelle bleu

@Rookie (not the magazine) (not that there's anything wrong with that) Plenty of Turkish Delight to be found on the street where I work, I shall presently pop along to find some!

isabelle bleu

@adorable-eggplant Oh, how he glowers!

OhMarie

Guys I watched The Best Man Holiday last night and I SOBBED. I had no idea it was going to be sad, I thought it was supposed to be a fun reunion romp.

Onymous

@OhMarie My brother was unaware that Pan's Labyrinth was rated R. He went in assuming it was a darkish kids movie.

Imagine his surprise.

OhMarie

@Onymous OH NO!

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

oh also:

What is everyone doing for the Oscars and will you paint your nails for the occasion?

Miss Maszkerádi

OK ladies. Everyone who's ever read my whining on here knows that I'm the world's oldest virgin, but I'm hoping to get that particular missed life milestone out of the way sooner rather than later. I'm not looking for Mr. Right Forever or Prince Charming anymore, I'd just like to casually date some nice people and explore some sexual experiences and enjoy a part of life that has been completely closed off to me till now. I'm not into anonymous one-night stands (would feel violating and gross to me) but I'm also not at a place in my life where I want A Serious Relationship you know? Sort of...affectionate flings and summer romances sound lovely right now.
My problem is birth control. I am terrified beyond all terror of getting pregnant. I was on the pill very briefly a few years ago both to attempt to deal with some really nasty periods and because I was in a relationship at the time (which fizzled out before anything sexual ever happened, epic fail.) And the pill was a nightmare, I cried every single day, my thinking was fuzzy, my libido disappeared and I was constantly terrified of blood clots. So I'm not trying that again. IUDs look like pretty brilliant options if one is in a serious long-term relationship, but it feels kind of dumb to go to all that trouble and pain and expense and deal with having a piece of equipment jammed into my uterus when I don't even have anyone I'm for sure sleeping with. Sponges and diaphragms and stuff just look so cumbersome and ineffective.
So basically, my question to the experienced ladies here: is relying on condoms going to land me in the maternity ward? And, will any man on the planet voluntarily use one? It just seems like my only option right now save dying a virgin. But if there's any chance that it would put me in serious danger of pregnancy - I'll just abandon all hope of ever getting laid, because the fear of pregnancy is TOO much.

ETA: should I just try the pill again? My periods do come with massive mood swings that I'd just as soon be rid of, and it's possible that my misery on the pill was actually misery due to the completely fuckass terrible relationship I was in at the time.

Onymous

@Miss Maszkerádi This is the blind leading the blind here but: condoms are effective birth control and yes guys use them willingly and you should probably insist on them using one even if you are on hormonal birth control.

frenz.lo

@Miss Maszkerádi Don't bang dudes who won't wear condoms, whether you're on the pill or not. Condoms work fine. Read up on proper usage. Don't open the packs with your teeth.
Some birth control pills affected me pretty badly, but I had good experiences with the Nuvaring.
Casual sex with a nice partner that wasn't of the random hookup variety was always tougher for me than just (at least nominally) dating towards relationships.

frumious bandersnatch

@Miss Maszkerádi

On condoms: yes men will use them and if they don't want to omg chuck them. (I mean, if you're not at let's-both-get-tested-three-months-since-last-sexual-encounter-with-someone-else, you should be using them anyhow!) You should be safe, especially if you know how they're supposed to be used and enforce them. However, to give you some peace of mind, you could also try a rhythm method type approach, where you don't have sex around ovulation. (If you're using condoms, you probably don't need to measure your cervical mucous and all that, but maybe you'll want to!) [ETA: to be clear I mean using the rhythm method or natural family planning in addition to condoms]

On IUDs: if you're still having nasty periods, I would encourage you to consider a Mirena. Still hormone-based, but it's local and the side effects tend to be much less. It's a very effective baby-preventer, yes, but it will also likely lessen your periods and it lasts for 5 years and THANKS OBAMA is free. Plus reducing ovulation decreases your risk of ovarian cancer. So it might still be too much hassle and worry about pain and side effects, but it has uses beyond just sexy times.

Of course, you should first talk to a doctor. There are different types of pills (like maybe you could go on a progesterone-only pill which tends to have fewer hormonal side effects) and levels of hormonal options and a good OB-gyn should listen to your concerns and desires and talk through options with you.

I am happy to talk about birth control until the cows come home. I wish you all luck in your sexual and romantic endeavors.

frumious bandersnatch

@Miss Maszkerádi help my comment is disappearing

[sorry if this is a repeat]

On condoms: yes men will use them and if they don't want to omg chuck them. (I mean, if you're not at let's-both-get-tested-three-months-since-last-sexual-encounter-with-someone-else, you should be using them anyhow!) You should be safe, especially if you know how they're supposed to be used and enforce them. However, to give you some peace of mind, you could also try a rhythm method type approach, where you don't have sex around ovulation. (If you're using condoms, you probably don't need to measure your cervical mucous and all that, but maybe you'll want to!) [ETA: to be clear I mean using the rhythm method or natural family planning in addition to condoms]

On IUDs: if you're still having nasty periods, I would encourage you to consider a Mirena. Still hormone-based, but it's local and the side effects tend to be much less. It's a very effective baby-preventer, yes, but it will also likely lessen your periods and it lasts for 5 years and THANKS OBAMA is free. Plus reducing ovulation decreases your risk of ovarian cancer. So it might still be too much hassle and worry about pain and side effects, but it has uses beyond just sexy times.

Of course, you should first talk to a doctor. There are different types of pills (like maybe you could go on a progesterone-only pill which tends to have fewer hormonal side effects) and levels of hormonal options and a good OB-gyn should listen to your concerns and desires and talk through options with you.

I am happy to talk about birth control until the cows come home. I wish you all luck in your sexual and romantic endeavors.

OhMarie

@Miss Maszkerádi My husband and I have been using condoms for like 13 years now, no babies--they totally work and guys will totally use them (and, like everybody else said, if they won't kick em to the curb).

Miss Maszkerádi

@everybody thanks very much for your input! An IUD is definitely something I'll be looking into in the future, but for now I'm feeling more at ease about condoms (plus being careful with timing.) Now, hopefully, I can meet some nice guys that I can stand to be around AND want to do, who also want to do me. (Is that really as hard as it's been for me all these years? Why is that hard?)

Jenny Scott@facebook

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marry

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