Late Night Open Thread


Zooey says it’s time for a new thread. He is fascinated by the many varieties of running water in the house.


76 replies
  1. 1
    Elizabelle says:

    Thank you. And Zooey is not making any apparent paw signals.

    Also, welcome.

  2. 2
    hitchhiker says:

    Let me add my welcome to your existing pile.

    Also, I just blew thru 3 hours of my life browsing the author interviews at the Paris Review. Almost everyone I’ve loved to read is there. NOM.

  3. 3
    EBT says:

    A day sealed away from other people and I ended up pounding out another 8 pages of layout for my interactive fiction. Got just a handful of sheets left in my first notebook, and a scant 27 pages of layout left to turn into prose.

  4. 4

    We made a pan-Asian feast tonight, being newly-of-Chinese-cookbook and newly-of-Thai-cooking-lessons. Three dishes, turned out very well, I’m frankly astonished. This was my first time cooking any of these dishes, except the soup once in a class. Yum!

  5. 5

    @hitchhiker: There’s so much of that good archival stuff on the Web. And I spend most of my time online on current events.

  6. 6
    Eljai says:

    Zooey is telling you that now is not a good time to brush your teeth.

  7. 7
    eclare says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Looks delicious!

  8. 8
    Gemina13 says:

    Welcome. :) The SO and I are reading the Vorkosigan Saga and writing, respectively. And Zooey’s quite the attractive gentleman. <3

  9. 9

    @Eljai: The photo is from a while back. He mostly sits by the side now and tries to figure out the water. On. Off. Swirly. Drops on side. Or maybe he is longing for opposing thumbs. At the moment, he is behind the monitor. Soon it will be time for late night snacks.

  10. 10
    efgoldman says:

    My daughter and SIL had all new bedding delivered today; bought all new sheets, pillows, blankets, comforter because the old bed was a double, new one is a queen. Delivery guys had barely left when the cat took it over, hasn’t left it all day and into the evening.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    My late great kitty Boris used to love to curl up in the sink. None of our current crew seems interested, though.


    I’m locking myself on the Amtrak to San Luis Obispo next Saturday. It should be a good 9 hours of writing time for the round trip, with a 2-hour break in the middle to get off the train and walk around.

  12. 12

    Both kittehs now feel it is definitely time for food, and I’m an early to bed type. So I’ll bid you all good night.

  13. 13

    @Major Major Major Major: And you’re not sharing with the rest of the jackals? Shame!

  14. 14
  15. 15
    ArchTeryx says:

    The cat demonstrating one of the Five Golden Rules of Felidae: “If it fits, I sits.”

    My ginger tabby derp cat is curled up on the softest part of my bed, snoring peacefully and waiting for me to come to bed and give him snuggles. Which I always do.

    I may be a rabid weasel here some (most?) of the time, but I love animals and adore kitties.

  16. 16
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    Speaking of Zooey, any other Glass Family fans here?

  17. 17
    Mike J says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Disappointed there’s not much Thai – Australian fusion cuisine around here. Was really in the mood for a Thai me kangaroo down, sport.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike J:

    Random question: did you see Moana while it was in theaters? There was a lot to enjoy for an old salt like yourself.

  19. 19

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Hey, I shared pictures, it’s hard to send food through the tubes, even if it is noodles.

  20. 20
    Mike J says:

    @Mnemosyne: I did not, but I wanted to.

  21. 21
    Gemina13 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Those look fantastic. I wish our favorite Chinese place would serve more Szechuan & Hunan food, but what they do, they do well. (Still, now I’m craving a big plate of dandan noodles.)

  22. 22
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Mnemosyne: I certainly enjoyed Moana. It actually handled Polynesnian/Micronesian/Hawai’ian culture in a non-exploitative way. It was a strong reminder that these people were crossing oceans before even the Vikings set sail in their longboats.

    Some real neat touches, too, if you’re a geek about things: Maui’s bird form had the size and build of a Haast’s Eagle (giant, extinct New Zealand eagle with powerful symbolism in the Maori culture), and many of the markings of a Christmas Island Goshawk, a very real and very non-extinct island bird of prey. Little wonder it was his favourite form!

    The Pacific Ocean plays a key role, too, and not simply as water to sail upon. Hayao Miyazaki would be proud.

  23. 23
    EBT says:

    @Mnemosyne: I have added some technical things too! Periodic status effects, and the ability to end combat after x number of turns. Gives me some more latitude with what I can do narratively.

  24. 24
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Oh, wow. I am sooo hungry now!

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike J:

    It’s on DVD now. I think you’ll love the sailing sequences, especially this one.

  26. 26

    @Gemina13: We used the recipes from this book which was helpfully written with an eye to somebody who wanted to try authentic recipes but might not have easy access to, say, fermented dried mustard greens.

  27. 27
    Mike J says:

    @Mnemosyne: Racing tuesday night, I’ll have to learn the song by then.

  28. 28
    Yarrow says:

    I was going to work in the garden today but ended up going to a local arboretum instead. Maybe linking that article on Japanese “forest bathing” earlier today got me thinking about walking in the woods. I haven’t been in awhile and they’ve made some improvements. Spent some time watching turtles in a pond. Weather could not have been more glorious so just walking around and enjoying the woods and meadow was a treat. And then on the way back I came around a bend on the trail and there was a wedding! They really lucked out with the weather. Yesterday was gross and today was fantastic. Really nice way to spend the late afternoon and early evening.

  29. 29
    KithKanan says:

    @Mnemosyne: It’s a nice train ride. I took it in the SLO to LA direction in October, and the stretch that hugs the coast from Grover to Ventura is pretty spectacular. I hope you enjoy it.

  30. 30
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Mike J:

    I was just talking about this song yesterday. Serendipitous weirdness for it to show up here a day later!

  31. 31
    Mnemosyne says:


    The filmmakers spent a lot of time in the Pacific islands talking to people and had a whole Story Trust there to help them, and I think it really shows. They were told by the Oceanic Story Trust advisors that people consider the ocean to be what connects the islands together, not something that divides them, and that ended up being a huge story breakthrough for the writers.

    Obviously, I am not objective about the film in any way, but I have no reservations in recommending it to people. We managed to release two classic animated films in a single year, which is pretty goddamned impressive.

  32. 32
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Mnemosyne: And mostly sung in (I believe) the Hawai’ian language. Really drove home the idea that “primitive does not mean stupid” and that these were very ingenious people.

  33. 33
    Anne Laurie says:

    Our Oriental-style red tabby, Rocket the Viking, is also fascinated by running water. He’s the first of our cats to really utilize the fountain-style drinking fixture. When the Spousal Unit takes a bath, Rocky sits on the bathroom floor supervising. He comes running whenever he hears the bathtub tap, but I take showers, which he feels is cheating — he’ll make a big production of Not Approving, meatloafing in the center of the bathroom floor with his back turned & his ears at an indignant angle, until he can’t stand the insult any longer & stomps off swearing under his breath.

    There’s a window over the tub, which is a favorite backyard-viewing spot for both cats. Once — once — when I was in a hurry, Rocky decided to dig in his gargoyle claws & refuse to be ejected from that window just because I wanted to shower. So I pulled across the wall-side plastic curtain and showered with him trapped in the window well. If I could speak Meezer, I suspect I could’ve learned some new swears that morning…

  34. 34
    Gemina13 says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Thank you, Major. I love to cook, and close-to-authentic-as-possible recipes are right up my alley.

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:


    I took the Coast Starlight up to SF in November, so I’m really looking forward to it. Hopefully some of this spring’s wildflower superbloom will still be visible from the train as well.

  36. 36
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Mnemosyne: The ocean is the glue that held their world together, the giver and taker of all life, and that too got a beautiful treatment here.

    I’m not exactly objective, either, but then I love studying other cultures and peoples. My horrible employment situation may be gnawing away at my xenophilia, but I’m trying to fight it. Where all too many people even nowadays may see “illiterate savages” I see “an ingenious people that made the absolute best of the hand they drew,” and it was about goddamn time they got their due.

  37. 37
  38. 38
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s way cool. It’d be the very first time I heard spoken (or sung) Samoan before. And if that’s indicative of Te Vaka’s work, I’d kill to see them live.

  39. 39


    not simply as water to sail upon.

    It’s for surfing, silly.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    In my old apartment with a shower curtain, Boris used to like to sit on the edge of the tub behind the shower curtain to make sure I was okay with all of that water falling on me. We took to calling him “Safety Officer Boris.”

  41. 41
    ArchTeryx says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: It has a sense of humor and every once in a while, gets completely fed up with your shit. (Witness just how it treated Heihei, not to mention Maui after about the fifth time he tried tossing Moana overboard).

  42. 42
    efgoldman says:


    did you see Moana while it was in theaters? There was a lot to enjoy for an old salt like yourself.

    Different flick, but I blame you for my granddaughter learning Let it Go before she turned two, and singing it nonstop since. She’ll be four in August.

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Ruckus says:

    Remember that stretch from when I took it. Northbound. I think I was 7 or 8. Folks put sister and I on the train and then drove up. A fantastic ride. I had the sea side seat. I remember trying to look down a couple of times and all I could see was water. We rode to somewhere in the bay area and the folks picked us up. We ended up at a great aunt’s house in Redwood City. Much better than riding in the back seat.

  45. 45
    Felonius Monk says:


    Delivery guys had barely left when the cat took it over, hasn’t left it all day and into the evening.

    That’s what cats do. That’s their job. Do you think they just hang around for the food?

  46. 46

    @ArchTeryx: No worries, I’ll never see it. I’ve not seen a movie in 12 years.

  47. 47
    eclare says:

    @efgoldman: Do not get the appeal of that movie, but I realize I’m the odd one there. Give me anything by Miyazaki any day.

  48. 48
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I miss cats. Yours sound like they’ve got big personalities.

  49. 49
    efgoldman says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    That’s what cats do. That’s their job.

    I was surprised only because it didn’t have their scent in it yet. He did spend most of the day on the old bed.

  50. 50
    Steeplejack says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while):

    I have been meaning to reread for quite a while. And I think that Nine Stories is a great collection. “The Laughing Man” is my favorite.

  51. 51
    KithKanan says:

    @ArchTeryx: I saw Moana twice with friends at the drive-in here in SLO and really enjoyed it. The ocean character and tatoo-Maui were both a lot of fun.

  52. 52
    efgoldman says:


    Do not get the appeal of that movie, but I realize I’m the odd one there.

    I’ve never seen it. SHE never saw it when she started singing the song. Where did she learn it, we ask her mommy. I dunno’, mommy says.
    They pick up stuff. After all they’re sponges mounted on arms and legs.

    ETA: She’ll be six when the second one comes out.
    I blame Mnem.

  53. 53


    Give me anything by Miyazaki any day.

    Have you seen Your Name?

  54. 54
    KithKanan says:

    @eclare: I dunno… even the post-Spirited Away stuff?

  55. 55
    Ruckus says:

    I’ve been on it when it’s glass smooth with nothing in sight other than the moon. That was a good night.
    I’ve also been on it when it’s pissed. Ten days crossing the Atlantic (normal was 6), in winter, standing on the bridge, while the ship was in a trough and the height of the waves was over my head. That meant the troughs were about 40 ft deep. Then you climb the next wave and the ship is half way out of the water before it slams back down into the next trough. We ended up almost in Maine, we were headed for South Carolina. Ya gotta go where it wants when it’s mad.

  56. 56
    eclare says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Have not, just looked it up, sounds very interesting. Will have to seek it out. Thanks!

  57. 57
    Mary G says:

    @Mnemosyne: Your story in the last thread about G not liking to sit on a train for too long reminds me of my worst train ride ever. Amtrack had opened passenger service to Las Vegas and I thought it was a great way to avoid the airport or driving and took my mom. I had brought reading material, playing cards, a Walkman, and all kinds of food.

    It was a nightmare. We had to pull off onto a siding every time a freight train came along, and through the Cajon Pass those suckers are loooooong with 5 or 6 locomotives on either end. Mom got bored and started with the “are we there yet” less than 2 hours in and I finally told her she was worse than a 3-year-old. It ended up taking nine hours and we were bitchy with each other the whole time we were in Vegas. We cashed in the return tickets and flew home.

  58. 58

    @eclare: I saw it yesterday, it was very sweet.

  59. 59
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s the music and the fact that it’s a story about sisters. If you don’t like musicals, you won’t like it.

    Though FWIW, most of the employees at the Giant Evil Animation Studio and at Pixar are obsessed with Miyazaki. The Big Cheese is a pal of his and took Miyazaki-san on a road trip after he got his honorary Oscar.


    She learned it from the other kids at daycare, I’ll bet. Peer pressure!

  60. 60
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    They keep saying that a high-speed train to Las Vegas is in the cards (no pun intended), though the airlines are doing everything in their power to try and kill it. Flights from LA to Vegas are a cash cow.

  61. 61
    Mary G says:

    @Mnemosyne: It would be nice. My joints won’t tolerate sitting in a car for five hours, and flying means two hours at the airport for a 45-minute flight. I agree that it’s unlikely to happen. Southwest seems to have a flight to Vegas every ten minutes all day.

  62. 62
    Arclite says:

    LOL @ pic of cat in sink.

    Gorgeous green eyes.

  63. 63
    Mel says:

    @Anne Laurie: Is your kitty an Oriental Shorthair? Our Jayne is a fiend for water, as was her uncle An Hai. Sink, fountain, running shower: she loves them all.

  64. 64
    sm*t cl*de says:

    people consider the ocean to be what connects the islands together

    More to the point, the ocean is what allows you to go and fight with the dudes in the next island group over.

  65. 65
    Anne Laurie says:


    Is your kitty an Oriental Shorthair?

    Since he’s a rescue, all we can say for sure is that Rocket has all the characteristics of a purebred Oriental Shorthair (head & body shape, slightly crossed almond eyes, meezer voice, kinked tail, lack of undercoat, ‘thrifty’ metabolism… ). He was found scrounging in a strip-mall dumpster; he’d already been fixed, but not microchipped. Since he was obsessive about escaping for the first 18 months or so he lived with us, but didn’t have a real good idea of what to do once he’d weaseled out the door, our personal suspicion is that he ran away from his original home… and then couldn’t find his way back. (Sometimes, when he’s eaten holes in another article of clothing — oh, yeah: ‘depraved appetite’, also a notorious problem with Oriental-gene cats! — I can understand why they didn’t hunt hard enough to get him back.)

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while)

    Seymour is my favorite among Salinger’s characters.

  67. 67
    NotMax says:

    Good on NYC.

    New York’s tourism industry is worried U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” policies are turning off Canadian visitors, and they’re heading north this week to woo Canucks and their tourism dollars.
    “We recognize there are challenges at the border at the moment,” Fred Dixon said by phone from New York before the trip. “We want to remind everyone that New York City is welcoming and that we are a diverse and safe city, a sanctuary city like Toronto, and we value the same things.”
    His organization predicts New York will see 300,000 fewer foreign tourists this year, representing a 2.1 per cent decline. That includes a projected 17,000 fewer Canadians, a roughly 1.8 per cent drop.

    While that may not seem like much, Dixon fears the numbers could fall further. His forecasters have detected a drop in online searches for NYC getaways. Source

  68. 68
    Mel says:

    @Anne Laurie: Wow, does that sound familiar! We have to “cat-proof” the house just to go to the grocery, because our girls Jayne and Pixie are notorious for trying to nom on anything and everything that they shouldn’t. Wool socks, habanero peppers, a package of lima bean seeds, dolll hair – the list goes on. Our general rule now is: if it’s under a square foot in size, and/or could possibly have chunks bitten off, it goes under lock and key before we leave.

    An Hai was our first OSH kitty. He just passed away 2 years ago at age 21. I miss that little guy every day. Sweet Jayne was a rescue, in such awful shape when we got her: malnourished, frightened, ear infections, etc. Poor baby girl; she was so sweet even when she had been through who knows what. We eventually found out her background. Turned out that she was little An Hai’s grand-niece. Small world.

  69. 69
    Anne Laurie says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    More to the point, the ocean is what allows you to go and fight with the dudes in the next island group over.

    As the linguist in Arrival might’ve phrased it: War — the desire for more pigs.

    (Since my people’s major epic was The Cattle Raid of Cooley, I had no argument with that translation… )

  70. 70
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Mine own country has substantial expatriate populations of Samoans and Tongans, who have issues with each other and with the Cook Islanders… but they are all united when things become fraught with Fijians, from the next island group, who belong to the Melanasian rather than the Polynesian branch of Pasifika culture / language. Historical grievances go as far back perhaps as the Hibernian traditions.

  71. 71
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: He would be called a Bernoulli Kitty in this house.

  72. 72
    EBT says:

    @sm*t cl*de: Nice to know that people all over the planet will hate each other for a pig stolen 300 years prior.

  73. 73
    J R in WV says:


    I was on a 1942-laid subtender, commissioned in 1944. We put to sea anytime there was any chance of a hurricane hitting South Florida, so we could steam (diesel, really) to avoid it. We always did avoid them but for being in drydock once, but even so there were BIG waves many times.

    I wasn’t prone to motion sickness at all, but when 75% of the crew is barfing, that can make a difference. But seeing the power of the ocean, even over a really big ship, is amazing. We had water over the bow, no one was allowed up there for any reason. I stood bridge watches, and so had a great view of the white water rushing down the decks. Got to see the radar and hear the sonar, too.

    Best part of being in the USN was being at sea. And bo’suns are the real sailors, everyone else is either a technician or a mechanic. Well, the gunners mates are sailors, kinda. If your ship has guns.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sm*t cl*de:

    The story is set at the end of the 1,000-year period when explorations stopped and is meant to explain why they started up again. The story stops short of the point when they arrive at a new island that’s already inhabited and say, Hey, who told these assholes they could live here?!?

    And since the visuals and story include a blend of Polynesian and Micronesian cultures (which is why the filmmakers are careful to say “Oceania” instead of “Polynesia”), that’s also why some people are super-pissy about it since they (for example) chose to use the Maui of the cultures that consider him more of a trickster demigod than one of their pantheon.

  75. 75
    No One You Know says:

    One of my cats is an expert on the superiority of shower water to the circulated water bowl. She is currently curating one of the sinks for comparison.

  76. 76
    No One You Know says:

    @Mike J: props for the Rolf Harris mention!

    And let the wallabies go loose.

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