An Actual Voice Mail From My Mother


OK, J.G., it’s one thing for you to use all those awful words you use and to write all those things I don’t agree with on your blog, but it’s something else entirely when you can’t use “who” and “whom” correctly. Chris Bolender who I have not seen in 30+ years What? Wha. What are you doing? I can’t stand that- “WHOM YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IN 30 some years.” Goodbye.

Speaking of familial pain, I will be missing the first Game of Thrones because of the Pens.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

187 replies
  1. 1
    sharl says:

    Well done, Ma Cole. Keep him in line!

  2. 2
    trollhattan says:

    Hi mom, er, mother, I mean, JC’s mother. How are you today? And by “How are you today?” I mean to engage in light, social conversation and am not digging into the particulars of you personal life.

    Am I going to be okay?


  3. 3
    scav says:

    You can sleep with all those other words, those other grammars, but do you have to be seen with them in Public!

  4. 4
    Tokyokie says:

    She’s right you know. You should heed her sage counsel.

  5. 5

    My dad died almost 18 years ago, Cole. If he were alive, he’d be leaving me similar VMs.

    May your mama live another 40 years. And may you correctly apply the subjunctive mood as the Good Lord intended.

  6. 6
    kdaug says:

    Jaygee’s mother, whom I’ve never met, strikes me as awesome. (As an outsider).

  7. 7
    Josie says:

    This is classic. You can use all the terrible words and write all the terrible political bullshit you want, but don’t, for heavens’ sake, forget to use proper grammar. I feel a real kinship with your mother, John, and my boys would say she sounds just like me. You and she are both very lucky to have each other.

  8. 8
    WaterGirl says:

    I think you left off the “love you!” at the end, right?

    I, too, have trouble with who and whom, so we can do the walk of shame together. I can’t feel too bad about it, though, because right this second I am eating the best blueberries I have had in at least 3 years. Yum!

    P.S. Love you, Mrs. Cole!

  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    One of a multitude of sins. And she’s correct. Still puzzling over the capital used in Ottoman the other day (as that makes it a whole ‘nother thing than an item of furniture).

  10. 10
    Fake Irishman says:

    @NotMax: Yeah — it’d be darn near impossible to hide that cat under a fez. (Though cats in Instanbul pretty much do whatever they want to — even by feline standards)

  11. 11
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Your mother is a great American. Your mother is a great human being. Your mother kicks ass. If I were ever going to gay propose to a younger woman, I would gay propose to your mother. Your mother rocks.

    You’d better give your mother a goddamn nice present next Sunday, and I don’t mean just your own sweet self showing up for dinner at her house.

  12. 12
    NotMax says:

    Oh, and should you have a hankering to get mom’s Irish up, do inform her that it is more proper usage to write Good-bye rather than Goodbye.

  13. 13
    ruemara says:

    She’s not wrong, Cole.

  14. 14
    dedc79 says:

    Rangers appear to be doing their usual follow a playoff win with a loss routine.

  15. 15
    Genine says:

    Your mother knows what’s important.

  16. 16
    Anya says:

    John, you’re mother sounds like an inteligent and caring woman. I hope she’s not a wingnut. It pains me when inteligent people believe in harmful politics.

  17. 17
    ulee says:

    Nobody has your back on this one, Cole. Listen to your mother.

  18. 18
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    write all those things I don’t agree with on your blog,

    Like what?

  19. 19
    different-church-lady says:

    You’re lucky. If I had a blog my mother wouldn’t stop talking about herself long enough to find out I had one.

  20. 20
    NotMax says:

    @ulee, et al.

    Timeless words of wisdom.

  21. 21
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: All of them, Katie.

  22. 22

    @Anya: Please tell me that syntactical abuse, putting a contraction where a possessive pronoun belongs, was autocorrect. Or a joke.


  23. 23
    WaterGirl says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I thought she meant all the swearing and cuss words. But maybe not. Let’s get Mrs. Cole to guest blog some time. What the hell, let’s include all the siblings and pets, too.

  24. 24
    Chris says:

    Fan fucking tastic.

    I have a father whose grammar corrections I can actually hear in my head whenever I make certain mistakes.

  25. 25
    Poopyman says:

    Don’t worry about GoT. Someone will be gruesomely offed, and plot exposition will occur during a sex scene (or 2).

    Hope there weren’t any spoilers in there.

  26. 26
    WaterGirl says:

    @PhoenixRising: What was that awesome sign Betty Cracker posted with all the extra apostrophes? I think it was some sandwich place. That was a hoot.

    I took Tucker for a walk a few minutes ago and we passed a house with a yard sign – something like:

    “He listens. You can, too, and be blest“. With the name of some (I assume) christian radio station. Can’t these people use spell check?

  27. 27
    different-church-lady says:

    Hey, wait a minute… what’s the G stand for?

  28. 28
    Heliopause says:

    Consider yourself lucky. The typical e-mail from my mother is that another relative of hers (she had dozens) has died.

    And your mom is right, you’ve got quite the potty mouth.

  29. 29
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @WaterGirl: I would LOVE that! Mom and Dad and Seth and Annie and Devon as front-pagers! AND their little dogs, too!

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Heliopause: My mom doesn’t email. I did talk to her for over an hour this morning though.

  32. 32
    nancydarling says:

    @PhoenixRising: Homonyms suck,

    I’m with your Mom on this one, Cole. One of my pet peeves is “than me” instead of “than I”. I correct my kids about that one all the time. I almost have it drilled into them. It seems like the whole world does it—even President Obama.

    I lost my dearest friend in March and we had a pact to correct each other’s grammar. She said mine had gotten worse since I moved to Arkansas.

    Y’all feel free to parse my posts since my main grammarian is no longer with me.

  33. 33
    raven says:

    My old man was an English teacher and a coach, steady kicked my ass.

  34. 34
    ulee says:

    Jesus, it’s all notes from the underground with Cole. We know you are angry and alone and that your liver is going bad. Move on.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    Can guarantee without reservation something other than what it stood for in the case of the character Maynard G. Krebs on the old The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis show.

    That G. stood for Walter.

  36. 36
    different-church-lady says:

    I will be missing the first Game of Thrones because of the Pens.

    Not to worry: soon you’ll be missing the Pens because of the Bruins.

  37. 37
    different-church-lady says:

    @NotMax: EVA MARIE SAINT: What does the O stand for?

    CARY GRANT: Nothing.

    Bonus points if you know who Lehman and Hitchcock were mocking with that line.

  38. 38
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    .One of my pet peeves is “than me” instead of “than I”. I correct my kids about that one all the time.

    Apparently, that issue is subject to debate.

  39. 39
    Jerzy Russian says:


    Hey, wait a minute… what’s the G stand for?

    Griffin, or possibly Gorilla.

  40. 40
    John Cole says:

    @different-church-lady: Griffin. My dad is John Orville, I am John Griffin, so since we were both named John, they called me J.G.

  41. 41
    lamh36 says:

    I like George Clooney even more now. Clooney that type of friend who ain’t gon let nobody else talk about his friend….good friends do that!

    George Clooney Interrupts Engagement to Eviscerate Las Vegas Hotel Mogul in Scathing New Statement

    …Wynn decided to make an appearance on Bloomberg to dredge up the old argument and further diss the groom-to-be. “George didn’t call me an asshole,” Wynn said. “He was a little into the tequila, but he is fun to be with. He’s a good storyteller. . . .George Clooney is fun to be with. . You just have to watch your timing.” Presumably having had enough with Wynn’s condescension and self-serving cable interviews, Clooney has issued a new statement in which he eviscerates the hotel tycoon’s argument piece by piece…

    teve Wynn and I have met three times, two times for dinner. That is the extent of our knowledge of one another, so I will refrain from trying to categorize him based on the little time we’ve spent together, but I will not let his version of the truth go unchallenged. He now says he didn’t call the president an ‘a——.’ That is false. He bellowed ‘I voted for the a——,’ and then called him the same thing several more times as the dinner came to an abrupt end. Again there were eight people at the table, eight witnesses. I did in turn, call him the same body part, and walked out. Again he can make up whatever story he wants, but these are the facts. He said I drank 16 shots of tequila. I didn’t drink one shot of tequila, not one. We were drinking but it was early and we still had two events to attend.

    He said I live in a bubble. More of a bubble than Las Vegas? Honestly? He says I’m ‘molly coddled,’ that I’m surrounded by people who coddle me. I would suggest that Mr. Wynn look to his left and right and find anyone in his sphere that says anything but ‘yes’ to him. Emphatically. I did not attend a private boys’ school, I worked in tobacco fields and in stock rooms, and construction sites. I’ve been broke more of my life than I have been successful, and I understand the meaning of being an employee and how difficult it is to make ends meet. Steve is one of the richest men in the world and he should be congratulated for it, but he needs to take off his red sparkly dinner jacket and roll up his sleeves every once in a while and understand what most of the country is actually dealing with … or at least start with the fact that you can’t make up stories when eight people who are not on your payroll are sitting around you as witnesses…

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:


    inteligent people believe in harmful politics.

    An oxymoron, no?

  43. 43
    ulee says:

    All happy families are alike, and the unhappy ones…well, there’s always Balloon Juice.

  44. 44
    efgoldman says:


    If I had a blog my mother wouldn’t stop talking about herself long enough to find out I had one.

    How did your mother get to be my mother in law?

  45. 45
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Just because it’s Sunday night and just because I can:
    Greg Lake, solo acoustic, “Still You Turn Me On”

  46. 46
    efgoldman says:


    let’s include all the siblings and pets, too.

    I thought the pets already wrote half of Cole’s posts.

  47. 47
    Felonius Monk says:

    Mom Cole rocks.

  48. 48
    different-church-lady says:

    @efgoldman: I don’t know, since I’m pretty sure you’re not married to my brother.

  49. 49
    NotMax says:


    Strictly a stab in the dark: Harry S. Truman?

  50. 50
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: I am pretty sure that Lily writes most of the foulmouthed rants.

  51. 51
    lamh36 says:

    @lamh36: a bit more of Clooney

    What happens in Vegas . . . doesn’t stay in Vegas when you are George Clooney and get in an argument with a hotel tycoon over President Obama. “There were 9 people at that table. . .So you can ask them. . .Steve likes to go on rants. . .HE called the president an asshole. . . that is a fact. . .I said the President was my longtime friend and then he said ‘your friend is an asshole.’ . . .At that point I told Steve that HE was an asshole and I wasn’t going to sit at his table while he was being such a jackass. And I walked out. There were obviously quite a few more adjectives and adverbs used by both of us. Those are all the facts. It had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with character.”

  52. 52
    nancydarling says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I skimmed that link and now, nobody is more confused than me am.

  53. 53
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I dunno — it’s hard to believe Lily could be that dumb about the lead-up to our non-invasion of Syria.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh36: One does get the impression that he is pretty decent guy at a core level.

    @different-church-lady: Oh, it’s definitely performance art.

  55. 55
    ruviana says:

    @lamh36: I want George Clooney to write a blog! Maybe Cole can invite him to be a FP’r.

  56. 56
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @lamh36: I’m guessing a third dinner together is not very likely now.

  57. 57
    gene108 says:

    I caught GoT for the first time in a while. I started reading the books after season two and I’m chugging through book 4 now.

    What strikes as a possible cause for Martin’s “writer’s block” is if he’s trying to fit the later novels to the ages of the younger characters on the show.

    Arya stark in Book 3 is still 10 years old, but the actress playing her hit a bit of a growth spurt in the last couple of years and really cannot be mistaken for a boy anymore. I’ve noticed the same with the actor playing Brandon stark, as well.

    If Martin doesn’t speed up time in his books and the series continues for 3 or 4 more years, you’ll have an actress in her late teens trying to convince us she’s playing a 10 or 11 year old girl and that would be a stretch for the make-up artists and costume folks.

  58. 58
    lamh36 says:

    On a pop culture movie note, I saw spider man 2 today.

    My review was….meh. I was kinda bored even with the special effects and junk.

    I really only saw it because I wanted to see if it followed the comic book plotline.

    Spoiler alert….


  59. 59
    different-church-lady says:

    @NotMax: Darkness does not bleed. Anyone else?

  60. 60
    NotMax says:


    He’s getting along in years now, but always thought Daniel Day-Lewis would be a wonderful choice to play Namor in some Marvel pic.

  61. 61
    ulee says:

    @lamh36: No Tobey, no Spiderman. This ain’t Darrin we’re talking here.

  62. 62
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: Selznick?

  63. 63
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Requiescat in pace Bob Hoskins. He passed away yesterday.

  64. 64
    lamh36 says:

    @ulee: agreed. the new “Amazing” Spiderman movie more closely follows the comic evolution of Spiderman (he does meet Gwen Stacey before ever dating Mary Jane) and this Spiderman is a bit too cocky as Spiderman (I always figured Peter Parker to be a bit more “geekier” than the way Andrew Garfield plays him) but I don think the Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield combination has better chemistry than Tobey and Kirsten did

  65. 65
    max says:

    I can’t stand that- “WHOM YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IN 30 some years.” Goodbye.



  66. 66
    mattH says:


    I think you left off the “love you!” at the end, right?

    She’s of German decent, so no.

  67. 67
  68. 68
    ulee says:

    Elizabeth Montgomery. She was a good looking woman. I used to watch Bewitched just to look at her.

  69. 69
    PaulW says:

    Tomorrow’s a busy day, see you then.

  70. 70
    Culture of Truth says:

    The Throne is mightier than the Pens

  71. 71
    ulee says:

    As Neil Young said–I used to order just to watch her float across the floor.

  72. 72
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    Homonyms suck,

    I am so tired of all you homophobes.

  73. 73
    JoyfulA says:

    Tip: Just substitute “he” and “him” for “who” and “whom,” and figuring out “who” or “whom” is easy.

  74. 74
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Leviticus!!!!!

  75. 75
    Culture of Truth says:

    Heaven Help Us (1985)

    “To whom, brother! To whom, brother!”

  76. 76
    🌷 Martin says:

    @lamh36: It was difficult to tell from the first trailer whether any carbon-based life forms were used in the filming of the movie.

    I decided to pass.

    I’ve decided that the less comic-book-like the adaptation, the better I like it. I was never a comic geek.

  77. 77
    different-church-lady says:

    @John Cole: Thank You. I’m sure it’s not the first time you’ve been asked.

  78. 78
    different-church-lady says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: DING! You control the board.

  79. 79
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Polyester blends! Pu pu pu pu pu!!

  80. 80
    different-church-lady says:


    Tip: Just substitute “he” and “him” for “who” and “whom,” and figuring out “who” or “whom” is easy.

    ‘Chris Bolender he I have not seen in 30+ years‘

    ‘Chris Bolender him I have not seen in 30+ years‘

    Oh, yeah, that clears it right up…

  81. 81
    RandomMonster says:

    “Whom” is archaic, and worse, many people use it incorrectly. You’re on the side of modernity if you simply ignore it.

  82. 82
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @RandomMonster: No.

  83. 83
    MikeJ says:

    I have not seen he.

    I have not seen him.

  84. 84
    Roger Moore says:


    Strictly a stab in the dark: Harry S. Truman?

    That’s Harry S Truman. There’s no period after the S because it’s his full middle name, not an abbreviation.

  85. 85
    RandomMonster says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:



  86. 86
    different-church-lady says:

    @MikeJ: Who?

  87. 87
    Anya says:

    @PhoenixRising: stupid iphone is stupid. Also, too, I was in a hurry so I missed it.

  88. 88
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @different-church-lady: First base.

  89. 89
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Whom’s on first?

  90. 90
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I don’t know.

    Third base!

  91. 91
    Anya says:

    @lamh36: George Clooney rocks. Hopefully, this will teach him to avoid rich assholes.

    All these stupid rich people are annoyed because Obama didn’t kiss their asses. They all expected him to suck up to them and invite them to the White House for sleepovers and ask for advise and guidance. When they didn’t get any of that from him they started trashing him. Fuck these assholes!

  92. 92
    Omnes Omnibus says:


    Hopefully, this will teach him to avoid rich assholes.

    I don’t think his career field permits that.

  93. 93
    different-church-lady says:

    @Anya: You could substitute “progressive netroots” for “rich people” and your statement would still be pretty accurate.

  94. 94
    scav says:

    @different-church-lady: That’s where my mind usually starts stripping what few gears I devote to the preservation of the estimable m. If I’m to hold a conversation in near-real time, I sometimes just grab the nearest rock and tap home the final finishing nail.

    Eta. And yes, I wouldn’t be surprised to find George Clooney at third, even with my mother.

  95. 95
    Matt McIrvin says:

    In 2004, Geoff Pullum announced that “whom” was nearly dead.
    In 2014, he reconsidered based on startling new evidence that it can get you laid:

  96. 96
    MikeJ says:


    Whom’s on first?

    No, “he’s on first”, therefore who, not whom.

    I was working at a top 40 radio station and my gfriend at the time was always amused when I insisted that Aretha Franklin’s song should properly be Who’s Zoomin’ Whom?

  97. 97
    Fair Economist says:


    If Martin doesn’t speed up time in his books and the series continues for 3 or 4 more years, you’ll have an actress in her late teens trying to convince us she’s playing a 10 or 11 year old girl and that would be a stretch for the make-up artists and costume folks.

    The books don’t make a big deal of exact time. The world of Westeros has a completely different kind of calendar anyway. Most of the characters are already old enough that it doesn’t make much difference that they’re several years older (e.g. Sansa could certainly have been a young women by Book 4; I can actually think of one arc where it would be a benefit.) There are going to be problems with Arya sneaking and Bran being carried but those threads can be rewritten without profoundly changing the characters’ arcs.

    In any case, I expect the series to diverge from the book shortly, partly because Books 4 and 5 are so meandering, but mostly because there’s almost no chance that Martin will have wrapped things up in the 3 to 4 years before the series will need to be wrapped up.

  98. 98
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: Aretha can get away with stuff that you and I cannot.

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: He can hang out with self absorbed Hollywood folks but Vegas moguls are a different story.

    @different-church-lady: At least progressives want something positive for the country.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    Drove to Duluth this weekend to visit family. as I travelled, whenever I stopped, I called a bike shop to find a very particular kind of bike (single speed 29er mountain bike. There is exactly one for sale in Minnesota…in the wrong size.

    The last shop I called was a little mom and pop shop in Duluth. The owner’s son had a used one in my size he wanted $225 for. I was literally willing to pay at least a thousand for a new version.


  102. 102
    Suzanne says:

    @Matt McIrvin: Someone once criticized my writing by informing me that “semicolons are only to prove you went to college.” I told him that my student debt is north of $110K, so I get my fucking semicolons, fuck you very much.

  103. 103
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): Single speed mountain bike?

  104. 104
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Anya: He invites them to the White House all of the time. He has summitts. He is asking GE and JPMorganChase CEOs to sit on blue ribbon panels. He’s got nothing to offer for centralized planning. He’s having his people put tons of free data online so that those big data people can go about selling their analytics. What don’t they got?

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: That might be the single most idiotic writing criticism ever.

  106. 106
    MikeJ says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: They don’t actually have mountains in Minnesota.

  107. 107
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @MikeJ: I know, but they do have hills. I guess I put it down to being a Vikings fan. That shit ain’t right.

  108. 108
    Suzanne says:

    @Suzanne: The first time Mr. Suzanne and I met, I apparently used the word “heretofore” in our conversation. (This is how nerds flirt.) He complimented me on it and asked me out. LOL.

  109. 109
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yeah, it’s really fucking asinine; I use semicolons often, just to spite his ass.

  110. 110
    Roger Moore says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    What don’t they got?

    Obama’s nose isn’t brown, or at least no browner than the rest of his face.

  111. 111
    Roger Moore says:


    Someone once criticized my writing by informing me that “semicolons are only to prove you went to college.”

    How else are you supposed to separate items in a list when the items are complex enough to contain commas?

  112. 112
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Roger Moore:

    How else are you supposed to separate items in a list when the items are complex enough to contain commas?

    Probably also seen as proof you went to college, you elitist bastard.

  113. 113
    Suzanne says:

    @Roger Moore: Word. Not to mention, there are some people (clients, for example) whom I WANT to consider me educated.

  114. 114
    max says:

    @Suffern ACE: What don’t they got?

    “What do we want?”
    “When do we want it?”
    “What kind of servant does this President think he is?!?”

    [‘Own it all; drain it all.’]

  115. 115
    joeyess says:

    Cole, you have the best life in the entire blogosphere…… and I don’t care whomever (whoever?) agrees.

  116. 116
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @joeyess: @joeyess: who

  117. 117
    joeyess says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus: @Omnes Omnibus:

    yeah, I know…. cut a fella a break, would ya? I’m on an iPad 3G

  118. 118
    joeyess says:


  119. 119
    trollhattan says:

    Day-umn! All that, and he’s a Dapper Dan man.

  120. 120
    trollhattan says:

    I love the semicolon; I love the dash—it’s dashlicious.

  121. 121
    Suzanne says:

    @trollhattan: I am a fan of both the en and the em dashes. So much sassier than hyphens.

  122. 122
    ulee says:

    This is an east coat blog. Most people have gone to bed.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: No.

  124. 124
    ulee says:

    Well, we are wearing coats, dammit.

  125. 125
    max says:

    @ulee: This is an east coat blog. Most people have gone to bed.

    Uh-oh. Is it subjunctive slash fiction time?

    [‘SEE! John & Shawn in a trashed Subaru! SEE! Two dogs and a cat! SEE! A jar of mustard! SEE! A complete lack of pants!’]

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @ulee: No.

  127. 127
    max says:


    That was an *imperative* teaser, of course.

    [‘Cogito ergo sum caseum.’]

  128. 128
    Suzanne says:

    @ulee: It was north of a hundred here today. We are officially in the time of year in which I must plan all errands and outdoor activities for evening hours.

  129. 129
    trollhattan says:

    Yikes. We hit 94 last week but it’s calmed down to the low-70s, which is as close to heaven on gaia that this place ever approaches. The heat can wait, thanks.

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: I do not see how people can live there. I would burn up like a vampire exposed to the sun.

  131. 131
    cokane says:

    I actually don’t think that grammar correction is accurate. Whom is just the object form of the pronoun, and it wasn’t necessary to use it there.

  132. 132
    trollhattan says:


    Dear Lord, please smile upon us and have Cole call Mrs. Momma Cole to state exactly that counter-argument. And if we’re worthy, please provide witnesses.


  133. 133
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: The heat part really sucks and I deal with it by staying inside during almost all daylight hours between May and September. But I will be complaining just as hard as everyone here did about all the cold, white, fluffy stuff. The part that annoys me the most is when I say that it sucks, and douchebags who have never been here make some fucking idiotic comment about how “it’s not so bad—it’s a dry heat! It’s that humidity that’s bad!”

    No, motherfuckers, the OVEN is a dry heat, and I don’t recommend that you climb in there, either. Not to mention, humidity would hold the temperature down by fifteen degrees and we wouldn’t have to deal with nosebleeds and peeling skin from the extreme dryness.

  134. 134
    NotMax says:

    @Roger Moore

    Sorry, but the signature displays otherwise.

    If that’s the way Give ’em hell Harry wrote his name, that’s good enough for me.

    Another example from much later in his life.

    (And yes, it was technically short for nothing, but was given him as an initial to memorialize two relatives whose names began with S.)

  135. 135
  136. 136
    ulee says:

    @Suzanne: Here in Maine, it’s cold. It’s been cold for a long time. And we have water. Lots and lots of water.

  137. 137
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Suzanne: I didn’t complain about the snow. The cold became annoying, but I did not complain about that either. I am a person of northern European stock who has spent the majority of his life in similar environments. Summer in southern Oklahoma (115 degrees) proved that I do not belong there.

  138. 138
    Steeplejack says:


    Heh, indeed. Aren’t they one of the police departments that spend the other 364 days of the year manhandling the public?

  139. 139
  140. 140
    Suzanne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I spent the first half of my childhood on Long Island, so that may be why I have a hard time with it.

    But really, the most common thing I hear from newbies before their first summer here is, “Oh yeah, it’ll be okay, I love the heat! So much better than the snow!”. Then by Halloween, when it’s still 90 degrees, they say, “Uh, I didn’t mean I like it THAT hot….”.

    If you go into it with the mindset that it sucks but that it will be worth it in December, you are okay. If you go into it expecting to enjoy it, you are sorely disappointed.

  141. 141
    SatanicPanic says:

    My house has one rule on swearing- not in front of grandma AKA my mom

    (thought grandma swears often enough)

  142. 142
    ulee says:

    The west coasters should be mobbing this blog. Hard to charge and all that. It’s just us easters, I guess. Most gone to bed.

  143. 143
  144. 144
    NotMax says:


    Once I’m dead, don’t give a crap whether I’m poached or baked. while living, shall pass, thanks very much.

    (Still shudder remembering one year in Minnesota when it was 110 in early September and -40 in January.)

  145. 145
    James E. Powell says:


    At least progressives want something positive for the country.

    But they’re always so shrill about everything.

  146. 146
    ulee says:

    @SatanicPanic: At least there’s someone.

  147. 147
    James E. Powell says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    What don’t they got?

    It’s like Catch-22 (I think everything is like Catch-22, but bear with me). Near the end, Colonel Cathcart and Colonel Korn offer Yossarian a deal, he can go home. He will be promoted to major and be declared a hero, but he has to like them. He has to behave as if they are friends.

  148. 148
    NotMax says:

    @James E. Powell

    If there won’t be dancing at the revolution, I’m not coming.
       - Emma Goldman

    (Not a verbatim quote, but attributed to her as encapsulating the gist of comments she did make.)

  149. 149
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ulee: I’m going to bed

  150. 150
    ulee says:

    Is there a doppleganger Cole in the west or does it start and end here in the east?

  151. 151
    Steeplejack says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Great song. I went down the early ’70s hole and went from that to “From the Beginning” and Fleetwood Mac’s “Hypnotized” and now Sugarloaf’s “Green-Eyed Lady.”

  152. 152
    ulee says:

    Even Omnes has gone silent. Not a good sign.

  153. 153
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ulee: where’s Little Boots?

  154. 154
    ulee says:

    don’t know. might help.

  155. 155
    NotMax says:

    @Satanic Panic

    Easy enough to imitate that infestation. Just type a noun, a verb and Omnes, then throw up random YouTube links one after another.

  156. 156
    poptartacus says:

    HODOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Muthafucker, he whom will grab your nuts and squeeze until you cry.

  157. 157
    SatanicPanic says:

    @NotMax: Aw, I kinda like Lil’ B. In her/his honor, I offer this

  158. 158
    ulee says:

    I live with and love a possum. I know I can trust this audience with my admission. I love my possum. There, I said it.

  159. 159
    SatanicPanic says:

    But for real I am going to bed

  160. 160
    SatanicPanic says:

    @ulee: I don’t believe it, that’s impossumable

    +4 or 5 or something

    But for real, good night

  161. 161
    NotMax says:


    Don’t mind a reasonable number of links (and do prefer them being descriptive rather than just a plain URL), but dozens of them make the thread virtually pointless and nigh unbearable. IMHO.

  162. 162
    Redshift says:

    @gene108: Martin’s writer’s block started way before the HBO series, and it mainly had to do with working out all the overseas characters and plots so they could move forward. (Which is any it was referred to as “the Mereneese Knot,” which i was rather amused to see come up in the show as the name of a trick one of the brothel denizens could perform.) He’s written for television before; I rather doubt the changes and compromises required for the medium concern him much. (For example, several of the characters start out older in the show than in the books because young child actors are a pan to work with, which he discussed quite openly at convention events at the time.)

    However, even his un-blocked writing pace isn’t fast, which could cause considerable divergence.

  163. 163
    Redshift says:

    @ulee: A friend of mine was a wildlife rehabber, and had a possum for a while. She said they’re complete couch potatoes, and are very happy hanging out watching TV.

  164. 164
    Steeplejack says:


    Don’t know if I’ve ever thanked you for putting me onto Brick’s Pizza. It’s my go-to delivery place now. So, eh, thanks!

  165. 165
    Chris T. says:

    @Roger Moore: Yes, but I like to abbreviate the middle name, and then it gains the period.

  166. 166
    ulee says:

    @Redshift: In the 90’s I lived on a farm and a possum was stealing chicken eggs. I caught the possum and kept him in a horse stall, feeding him yummy things. I set him free in the spring. I was pretty mentally ill at the time and thought about that possum alot. I named him Raskolvikov.

  167. 167
    Jackie says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: Don’t forget John started Balloon-juice as a republican. So I’m guessing his parents are more conservative than liberal.

  168. 168
    ulee says:

    Raskolnilov. I owe it to him to get it right.

  169. 169
    Morzer says:

    “…but it’s something else entirely when you can’t use “who” and “whom” correctly”

    To which the correct response is:

    “Yeah, well, that’s just like your opinion, man mom.”

    [The word “hodor” is of such immense obscenity in Tocharian B that George R R Martin needs to be g*wrgh*tys with a klw*tos every hgt**wrfs.]

  170. 170
    ulee says:

    Raskolnilikov, goddamnit.

  171. 171
    ulee says:

    Oh well, he knows what I mean.

  172. 172
    ulee says:

    bueller? anyone? I do like those Russian writers.

  173. 173
    Anne Laurie says:


    Someone once criticized my writing by informing me that “semicolons are only to prove you went to college.”

    I’ve run into a couple of those people. Even the Spousal Unit (linguistics major), at an early stage of our friendship, went so far as to tell me that some people felt semicolons were obsolete.

    I told him that those people would not pry my semicolons out of my cold dead hands, because I would resoundingly beat any of them in any fight, fair or unfair.

  174. 174
    ulee says:

    Stand in the place that you live. Stand.

  175. 175
    Suzanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: Semicolons are like a little sprinkling of FUCK YEAH I ROCK THIS LANGUAGE strewn across the page.

    Being smarter than other people gives me a semi. And I’m not even a dude.

  176. 176
    nancydarling says:

    @ulee: An acquaintance in SoCal had a possum. Her kids found it lost from it’s mother. They carried it around in their shirt pocket until it got too big. Mom was the fastidious type who didn’t think pets should be in the house, but the possum won her over. It was nocturnal and so was she. It stayed up late with her, watching tv, etc. Being fastidious, she gave it a bath once a week.

  177. 177
    JoyfulA says:

    One night I disposed of a stromboli box with a “red sauce” plastic container on my deck, lazily figuring I’d carry it to the dumpster in the morning. An hour or two later, I noticed through the sliding glass doors some animal trying to open the box.

    I thought it was a raccoon, given their reputation, but it didn’t look much like a raccoon. I thought of other possibilities, none of which fit. I called over the cats; if they knew, they weren’t saying, but they acted like it was boring, ergo not a rabbit or a rat.

    Finally, it turned so I could see its tail, I aha’ed it as probably an opossum, and checked it against pictures on the computer. Yes!

    I had an urge to help it with the box, but I worried about rabies, so the cats and I went to bed. In the morning, the box was open and there was no more red sauce.

    Who knew possums would work so hard for a little Italian food!

  178. 178
    JoyfulA says:

    @Suzanne: Word Grammar loves to strew semicolons next to dependent clauses, wrongly, of course. This perversion has led far too many authors to trust in MicroSoft and gives me far too much work deleting all those odd semicolons.

    I used to use a lot of semicolons, correctly, but now I’m sick of them. They’re my enemy!

  179. 179
    Phoenician in a time of Romans says:

    Speaking of familial pain, I will be missing the first Game of Thrones because of the Pens.

    Oh, man, you missed Hodor fighting the White Walkers?…

  180. 180
    different-church-lady says:


    (This is how nerds flirt.)

    How can you tell a nerd is flirting with you?

    He stares at your shoes.

  181. 181
    max says:

    @Morzer: [The word “hodor” is of such immense obscenity in Tocharian B that George R R Martin needs to be g*wrgh*tys with a klw*tos every hgt**wrfs.]

    How is it an obscenity a Tocharian word? Tocharian script doesn’t use ‘h’.


  182. 182
  183. 183
    WaterGirl says:

    @John Cole: I love the name Griffin – I fell for it after reading the Griffin and Sabine books decades ago.

  184. 184
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m sad that there was this thread on who versus whom and I missed all the fun of joining in the argument. I could have pointed out that English only requires you know whether your who/whom is a subject or an object; unlike German, it doesn’t require you know whether your wer/wen/wem is a subject, direct object or indirect object. Pout.

  185. 185
    Steeplejack says:

    I know. I missed the grammar dust-up and the McCartney thing. Damn, you don’t show up here for one lousy day . . .

  186. 186
    Paul in KY says:

    @different-church-lady: I think it was ‘Garfield’ and has by now morphed into ‘Gondwanna’.

  187. 187
    Morzer says:


    Dear Max, did you really take my little linguistic joke so seriously? Actually, hodor very clearly means “a portal giving entry to a house of ill-fame”.

Comments are closed.