Evening No-Politics Open Thread


A neighbor across the arroyo has a big old cottonwood tree that is just gorgeous at this time of year.

I’m about ready for an open thread without politics, too. How’s the weather in your part of the world?

162 replies
  1. 1
    Baud says:

    I don’t like short days.

  2. 2
    dopey-o says:

    i recognize the town even without the moon rising over the Sangres!

  3. 3
    dlwchico says:

    Off and on rain here in Chico, CA.
    Picture of new cats. They are settling in nicely.

  4. 4
    rikyrah says:

    No politics?

    Ok, I hate coming home in the dark

  5. 5
    Manyakitty says:

    Tonight’s coping: homemade macaroni and cheese, paired with plans for a calendar photo shoot of the cats.

  6. 6

    I have gotten exactly one distinct alpha reader comment about the ending of this book. “The Audit is scary.” I have gotten one distinct beta reader comment. “I like Gerty Goat.” This is what it’s like to be an author.

  7. 7
    philpm says:

    Can I ship them my cottonwoods? I’d be happy to be rid of them.

  8. 8
    burnspbesq says:

    Dear Mattel,

    You’re not off the hook. A hijabi Barbie based on Ibtihaj Muhammad DOES NOT make up for Man-Bun Ken.

  9. 9
    lamh36 says:

    Ok…no poltiics…

    Saw this video on twitter and had to share it. Love it.

    Reminds me of my youth choir days.

    WATCH: @common, @AndraDayMusic perform their hit ‘Stand Up For Something’ — and ‘Rise Up’ — with the Cardinal Shehan middle school choir!

    Happy Birthday Whoopi!

  10. 10
    ruemara says:

    The cats are doing very well. I think the roomie is grooming them for internet stardom.

  11. 11
    TenguPhule says:

    Its November.

    Rainy. Humid.

  12. 12
    TenguPhule says:


    A hijabi Barbie based on Ibtihaj Muhammad DOES NOT make up for Man-Bun Ken.

    I could have lived a full life without having to see that.

  13. 13
    Jack Canuck says:

    Hot down here in Melbourne: high of 34C today, over 30 predicted for tomorrow. But then it drops back down to 20 or so and starts creeping back up. Summer is coming… Can’t wait for the end of the school year at the start of December, I am so ready for my summer holidays.

  14. 14
    Yarrow says:

    That is a beautiful tree. What a treat to get to look at it every day.

  15. 15
    Mnemosyne says:

    I just got off the phone with a nice young man from Amtrak who is going to try and alert the crew of the train I’m traveling on Friday to please assign me a window seat so my crutches don’t create a problem for everyone. If they don’t do it, well, then it’s their problem to deal with if my crutches keep falling in the aisle.

    Yes, I’m still going to San Francisco even though I’m still on crutches. Fuckit. I don’t want to miss my Coast Starlight trip.

  16. 16
    Manyakitty says:

    Also, knitting and/or an early bed.

  17. 17
    Roger Moore says:


    Can I ship them my cottonwoods?

    Only if you pay shipping and handling.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:


    If I weren’t on crutches, I would be showing up on your doorstep to snorgle them. I love my adult cats, but I miss the kitten stage.

  19. 19
    TenguPhule says:


    Yes, I’m still going to San Francisco even though I’m still on crutches. Fuckit.

    Do you have a plan for the hilly parts of the city?

  20. 20
    Yarrow says:

    I just had a nice cup of tea and slice of pumpkin bread. I generally hate the pumpkin spice everything this time of year, but a local place makes excellent pumpkin bread and I always treat myself once or twice during the season.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m trying to determine if we want to go somewhere cold and snowy over my son’s Xmas break. Or just stick it out in humidity hollow.

  22. 22
    Mnemosyne says:


    Lyft. I’ve already downloaded the app and hooked my card up to ApplePay.

  23. 23

    No politics? I’m down.

    I think I’m about 1200 words away from finishing this draft of my novel. Second draft, but a major revision. Then one medium revision and a spit-polish, but this one will be done ANY DAY NOW! Seriously excited. Super happy.

    Also I’ve been tinkering on Pathfork, my writing site. I added autosave and word counts in the last few days.

    @rikyrah: I love leaving home in the light, though. And standard time evening darkness doesn’t really bother me either, for some reason. It’s the savings time october mornings that fry me.

    @Mnemosyne: Ew, you’re just giving Peter Thiel money! :P

    ETA if you’re using a car, though, that means you can visit Samwise!

  24. 24
    Ruckus says:

    That is a calendar shot if there ever was one. Are they as innocent as they look?

  25. 25
    daverave says:

    Like dlwchico said, intermittent rain. C’mon winter!

    The leaves on the trees have barely started falling here in Sactown. I’ll be raking leaves for the next 8 weeks if my back holds up while my neighbors all have their gardeners mow the lawns that aren’t growing and blowing the leaves back and forth with their infernal leaf machines. Fortunately The Claw has started its yearly rounds to pick up the piles of biomatter in the street.

  26. 26
    chopper says:

    windy AF here in seattle.

  27. 27
    philpm says:

    @Roger Moore: I might actually consider that. Mine have caused me nothing but problems.

  28. 28
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    Drizzly here in San Francisco. My HS freshman son had to come home early from school with the sniffles. I told him if he’s too sick for school, he’s too sick to look at his phone – and if he’s well enough for Snapchat, he’s well enough to do homework. World’s Meanest Mom, I is.

  29. 29
    guachi says:

    I’m actually excited by some of the Holiday Sales I see dropping into my inbox from my favorite retailers.

    Gonna go broke, I tell you!

  30. 30
    raven says:

    From Joan Didion

    A childhood fan of films and John Wayne, she laments that no one ever repeated to her his movie offer to build a spouse a house “at the bend in the river where the cottonwoods grow.”

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    Heading up to Sonoma county next week on the train myself. Not the coast route though.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Unless SOMEONE wants to volunteer to chauffeur me around all day, I don’t have another choice. Uber is the devil.

    ETA: But I would not turn down an opportunity to greet Samwise.

  33. 33
    Mnemosyne says:


    Coast route is the best route. Seriously. You get closer to the ocean than you do while driving on the 101.

  34. 34
    Mary G says:

    @dlwchico: @ruemara: Kittehs! All gorgeous. Love the name Danger Mouse.

    You all will hate me, but yesterday housemates and I were bitching about how cold it’s gotten, getting out the thicker warmer blankets and closing windows open since March. High today 67, low 53. Sorry, I’m acclimated.

  35. 35

    @Mnemosyne: Easy there, Boldyface McAllcaps, I don’t have a car.

  36. 36
    Yarrow says:

    @Corner Stone: What are your picks for cold and snowy? Skiing or some place more exotic like Iceland?

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Roger Moore says:

    They are a hassle, what with the branches that fall off with every wind storm and the fluff and the leaves and whatnot.

  39. 39
    Baud says:

    Where are the meetup pics!

  40. 40
    delk says:

    17 more days until we close on our new condo. 18 more days until we move. Already bought a new couch and a kitchen table. Can’t believe I’m so happy to have a big enough kitchen to need a kitchen table!

  41. 41
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    We’ll see how it goes. Since some people don’t check their email, I’ve been kicking around some ideas about what to do with my day. The California Academy of Sciences has wheelchairs that can be borrowed, but they’re a bit pricy.

  42. 42

    @Mary G:

    High today 67

    That’s ghastly, how do you cope with the heat? Sincerely, San Francisco

  43. 43
    Roger Moore says:

    Ask BillinGlendaleCA. He was the one with the fancy-pants camera.

  44. 44
    Yarrow says:

    I need a vegetable side dish to take to a very early Thanksgiving dinner this week. It can’t be green beans or Brussels sprouts. It needs to be something I can make ahead and something that can sit if necessary, not something that has to be pulled out of the oven at the last minute. Relatively easy and not too time consuming to make would be good. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate it.

  45. 45
    philpm says:

    @Roger Moore: The branches are the worst. I’ve lost a car to one, and had a dead cottonwood that we were getting ready to remove come down and hit the house, knocking out our power and leaving us in a hotel for two months.

  46. 46
    Jeffro says:

    No politics = I’m down with that.

    Btw saw “Hamlet” last night and while I already knew it was the origin of several familiar English phrases, I had no idea that calling someone “a piece of work” came from it. (Perhaps this was not in the Cliff’s Notes version I read back in high school?) How about that? You really do learn something new every day…

  47. 47
    raven says:

    @raven: Here’s the whole story if you would like to read it:

    John Wayne a Love Song from Slouching Toward Bethlehem

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Yarrow: Something in NA is most likely. I had to stop skiing and he’s never had any interest. Really more about the break from a high in the 80’s here around Xmas. And to get out of doing anything like family congregating.

  49. 49

    @Mnemosyne: I only have time for brunch and a bookstore anyway.

  50. 50
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: How about roasted carrots or a mostly-carrot mix of roasted vegetables, something like that?

  51. 51
    raven says:

    @Mnemosyne: If they are pricey you can’t “borrow” them.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:


    Admission is pricey, but the wheelchair is free of charge, assuming they don’t run out.

  53. 53
    raven says:

    @Yarrow: I made roasted brussel sprouts, sweet taters, acorn squash and onions tonight,

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    No politics, eh. I posted a version of this before, but I’m still trying to help this little movie that a few people may have seen.

    SPOILER FREE review of “Thor Ragnarok.” The new Thor movie is a thoroughly enjoyable hoot. It is infused throughout with the comic sensibility of director Taika Waititi, a New Zealand director of Maori and Jewish descent. And yeah you should go look up all his other films. It says much that Marvel has banked so much success from their previous films that they felt that they could let this director stretch the standard comic book formula and not fear losing fans (except for a few grinches). And they were right. This Thor is not comical in the same way as are the two Guardian films. There is something in the tone that is distinctly non-American and nonwhite. And it is not just because the director is from New Zealand or that he uses some Kiwi actors he has worked with before. It’s how he approaches the characters and the universe he has built. Waititi has said that one character is based on New Zealand bouncers, big guys who always speak softly. And his own special Aussie and Kiwi Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the movie includes a spaceship whose colors are based on an Australian aboriginal flag.

    This all works because it helps make the two main worlds of the film, a gladiator planet and Thor’s home world, feel just a little more quirky, unusual and alien. And the way the humor is used makes you pay extra attention to the action and exposition, because you never know what’s coming next. By contrast, in the second Guardians movie you kinda knew when a gag was being set up and there was a predictable rhythm to how gags were played out.

    There are two main storylines, and the narratives are clearly told. You always know what is at stake. And the cast is fun. Thor is back, as is Loki, Heimdall, Odin and the Hulk. New characters are engaging, especially Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, who is big fun and has a tremendous physical presence. And the chief antagonists, played by Jeff Goldblum and Cate Blanchett are great, especially because they don’t have to act underneath tons of makeup. It also helps tremendously that the main baddie is not Anonymous CGI Monster Number 4. I overheard some guys saying that they were surprised that Chris Hemsworth had such good comic timing, but they clearly had not seen his hilarious turn in the “Ghostbusters” reboot.

    But Taika does not neglect the narrative demands of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). There are sly connections to earlier Thor and Avengers movies, although I think that attentive moviegoers could easily enjoy this as a standalone film. The production design and photography are vibrant and colorful and some of the costume design and creature makeup effects are clearly smart nods to Marvel Comic Artist Supreme Jack Kirby. And yeah, there is the inevitable bits that are a setup for a future Marvel movie, but this is still a coherent, unified film, and not just a part of a gigantic serialized blockbuster.

    So, good action, good story, good fun.

    It also was a welcome distraction from politics. I’ve heard from some that it really pops in 3D, but a standard screen was good enough. The musical score is one of Marvel’s better efforts.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    raven says:

    @Brachiator: Ever see Utu with Anzac Wallace?

  57. 57
    Roger Moore says:

    I recommend roasted winter vegetables. Cut up a bunch of winter squash, carrots, parsnips, and the like into roughly equal sized pieces. Toss with salt and olive oil. If you want to get fancy, you can add some herbs like sage and rosemary. Place in a single layer in an oven-safe dish/cookie sheet and roast at 400°F for 1 hour. They re-heat nicely in the microwave, so you can even prepare them the day before and nuke them before serving. They’re even OK cold.

  58. 58
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m not expecting more than that, just trying to plan my day. Especially since it looks like there will be torrential rain again.

  59. 59
    dexwood says:

    Old cottonwoods are really majestic in the Fall. To see them glowing in the bosque every October makes you stop and pay attention. Over the years, old neighborhoods here have been cutting down established trees in yards and that has really changed some familiar street profiles. As the town grew, early on, people wanted these beautiful trees around their new homes. Cottonwoods run deep and like water. They aren’t shy about damaging household water supply lines and sewer pipes to get it. Vast plumbing empires have been built upon the replacements of those pipes from the Valley to the Heights. Don’t get me started on the fucking elms.

  60. 60
    Central Planning says:

    Just got back from rowing. Missed the past 2 months due to work commitments. This is indoor, not on the Erie Canal (on the water is always better. ROWING. IS. AWESOME.

  61. 61

    @Mnemosyne: well, I’m sure you can discern when noonish is then. Jeez, we have a week.

  62. 62
    Mike J says:

    How’s the weather in your part of the world?

    53 MPH wind on the 520 bridge.

  63. 63
    Steeplejack says:

    Oops. Redacted because no politics.

  64. 64
    WaterGirl says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Can I vent for a minute? I send all my colorado christmas gifts to my sister and she distributes them to the 4 different households. I sent Please Don’t Tell My Parents I’m a Supervillain for my niece who is 13. I sent your book to another niece when she was 13 and she loved it. My sister texted me:

    That book for (I’ll call her Alice) won’t work. Alice’s mom is trying to teach her daughter not to keep secrets, so that won’t work. PLUS, the story is very dark.

    I was furious! (This is my religious sister who voted for Trump because Hillary kills unborn babies.)

  65. 65
    raven says:

    @Steeplejack: me too then

  66. 66
    Suzanne says:

    Spawn was released from the hospital today. She is currently upstairs in her room, reunited with her phone, catching up on all of the Snapchat and group text that she missed out on for the last week and a half. Crossing my fingers, toes, ears, eyes, ass cheeks, WHATEVER that things look up from here.

    I mostly cleaned up my room. That feels nice.

  67. 67
    WaterGirl says:

    @ruemara: You have cats again? Yours or the roomie’s?

  68. 68
  69. 69
    Eric S. says:

    40 degrees and getting warmer.

    Here’s a random one for you. I fully know and am aware of the differences between there / their / they’re. However, when typing out some thoughts on the fly I very often use the wrong word. (I never accidently type they’re.) What’s the explanation for this?

    See also your / you’re and its/it’s.

  70. 70
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Suzanne: Hooray! Small steps.

  71. 71
    Corner Stone says:

    @Steeplejack: I did, especially the very end when she was like, “What am I, chopped liver?” when Ari tried to make her a sidekick for Velshi.
    Not a fan of the Sgt Pepper outfit, however. I also didn’t like the argument that “both things can be true”.
    But, yeah. Her, “I ain’t takin’ no shit from you” has been maturing over the last year.

    ETA, I didn’t think it was specifically political.

  72. 72
    westyny says:

    Broccoli rabe. Also Rosted carrots and shallots. You’re welcome.

  73. 73
    westyny says:

    God I love New Mexico.

  74. 74
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus: hahahhahaha

  75. 75
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: Onion bread.

  76. 76
    Ruckus says:

    Oh I know it is. Far, far, far better than the inland route. I know because I’ve taken it before. About 60 yrs ago. But getting to Santa Rosa becomes an issue. And the amount of travel time is far longer.

  77. 77

    @Eric S.:

    What’s the explanation for this?

    I mean, how complicated do you want the answer?

  78. 78
    Corner Stone says:

    @Eric S.: Lead paint chips as a yoot?

  79. 79

    I found this on my street yesterday.

  80. 80
    Yarrow says:

    @Jeffro: I was thinking about carrots. Perusing recipes but nothing really grabbed me.

  81. 81
    David Anderson says:

    I need a recommendation of a simple place to take my wife out to dinner on Friday night somewhere in Chapel Hill/carrboro

  82. 82
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Yarrow: We went to Iceland in February. It was fascinating, and not as cold as you’d think. But it was also about 15 years ago, and from what I hear, Iceland is really swarming with tourists these days.

    For the travel-trivia buffs, there are reportedly geysers in four locations in the world. I have been to three. The fourth, from what i understand, is some almost inaccessible valley in the Kamchatka peninsula.

  83. 83

    …dark? I actually am stunned any time anyone of any conservative bent likes those books. They are deliberately morally relativistic. They are ABOUT how complicated and hard to define who the good guy is sometimes. But dark?

  84. 84
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Wow on your book! Was today your first “work” day, or is that tomorrow?

  85. 85
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Five days, but who’s counting? 😇

  86. 86
    Ruckus says:

    Wondered who would notice that first.

  87. 87
    Denali says:


    Hoping things will go well.

  88. 88

    @WaterGirl: I had like two whole hours of real work today! Lol

    @Mnemosyne: it doesn’t take that long to pick where to have brunch is all I’m saying.

  89. 89
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @David Anderson: Not quite Chapel Hill, but I used to have business in Raleigh years ago, and ended up at Margaux’s often, and really enjoyed it. 8111 Creedmoor – don’t know if you want to drive that far. Sorry, haven’t been to the triangle in many moons.

  90. 90
    BruceJ says:

    The first yellowed leaves appeared on one of my mesquite foundlings. Then again, it was nearly 95 just couple days ago here in Baja Arizona. Sigh. I remember November here being sweats and flannel shirts weather.

  91. 91
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: It’s a good start. :-) Does the new project/work look decently interesting?

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I’m afraid to read your comment to my spouse. He may injure himself laughing.

  93. 93
    chopper says:

    @Mike J:

    they closed it I assume?

  94. 94
    Eric S. says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Dazzle me.

    @Corner Stone: I was born in 1971. Can’t rule it out.

  95. 95
    Josie says:

    I’ve been fighting writer’s block for about a month or so. Today I decided to sit down and write something for an hour, even if it was stupid and/or terrible. Four hours later, I had actually conquered a section of my book that was giving me headaches. So I’m actually feeling pretty good, as long as i don’t think about politics. Walking every morning is starting to pay off. Tomorrow I have promised myself another hour of writing, at the very least.

  96. 96
    Gravenstone says:

    @ruemara: Such adorable little fuzzballs.

  97. 97
    NotMax says:


    Maybe something like classic creamed spinach? Reheats easily.

  98. 98

    @Suzanne: Our collective fingers are all crossed too. Take care of yourself.

  99. 99

    @Mnemosyne: then I guess you two will have to figure it out and I’ll avoid the drama.

  100. 100
    WaterGirl says:

    @Frankensteinbeck: Yeah, I wondered how many words she had to read before she came to that conclusion. Unbelievable!

    Part 2 of the story is the replacement gift I sent. I sent one of those murder mastery puzzles (one that looked really tame) and my sister told me that she (my sister) gave it away to someone else because THAT wasn’t suitable for my niece. (Her granddaughter.) My sister is now purchasing some gift for my niece that she (my sister) approves of, and that will be given in my name. (At this point I am livid!) So I guess you have to consider the source on “dark”.

    I am now considering a $5 gift card for my niece next year because I am so pissed, but of course that wouldn’t be fair to my niece, so I’m not really considering it. (great-niece, technically) Needless to say, no gift for anyone else EVER will be sent through my sister.

  101. 101
    chopper says:

    this is a good amount of wind. and I have like 50 trees on this property so it’s getting real here.

  102. 102

    @WaterGirl: sort of? I guess we’ll find out.

    @Eric S.: well, spelling is another layer of abstraction away from meaning, on top of the word itself which is usually gleanable by context. The part of your brain that’s producing the word isn’t thinking about much other than, well, producing the word. The spelling is extrinsic from that. Ish.

  103. 103
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    Steeplejack says:


    What about sweet potatoes? Wait, hear me out. No marshmallows!

    Last year I made a sort of “adult” sweet potato casserole. Yes, it’s a lesser side dish, and people will want smaller portions, so I just made it in an 8" x 8" casserole, but it turned out really well. It wasn’t too sweet, and the killer touch was a fairly thick crust of chopped, toasted pecans on top. Really got it dangerously close to the pumpkin pie zone, although I’ll deny that in court later.

    Not gonna hunt down the recipe unless this really grabs you. No offense taken if it doesn’t.

  105. 105
    Yarrow says:

    @raven: That sounds delicious.

  106. 106
    NotMax says:


    Carrots, you say? These are quite nice and kind’a, sort’a fancy.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:


    Is there any way you can send the gift directly to your (grand)niece, or at least her parents? It seems weird that the kid’s grandmother is getting veto power here, but I know families are weird.

  108. 108
    Josie says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Yes! By the way, I loved your piece on your blog about voice. It was helpful to me in looking back over what I had written.

  109. 109
    Cacti says:

    Same way it usually is this time of year in the Pacific Northwest.

    Grey and rainy, with a partially sunny day sneaking in here and there.

  110. 110

    @WaterGirl: that sucks, and a good decision at the end.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    Has there been any recent word on how Alain is doing since his mother passed away?

  112. 112
  113. 113
    chopper says:


    my oldest brother went all all religious way back when and among other things, I have to say it made giving presents for holiday times really fuckin difficult. one of those dumb little things you don’t think about that just infuriates you when it comes around.

  114. 114

    It will probably not surprise you that my soul burns with hate towards over-restrictive parents who want to force their children into an unrealistic shape with ignorance. Very little gets me angry, but that does. It is the biggest reason I hate fundamentalism, And heaven knows they’ve offered me plenty of other justifications.

  115. 115
    Yarrow says:

    @westyny: That sounds good. Thanks.

    @TenguPhule: Sounds good but it can’t be bread.

    @NotMax: That’s a good idea. I’ll think about that.

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mnemosyne: No kidding! She totally crossed the line. A big read line. You should have heard me: “You gave my gift for Alice to someone else? Without asking me???????”

    The last line of my comment to Frankensteinbeck:

    Needless to say, no gift for anyone else EVER will be sent through my sister.

    I really wanted to use more capital letters, but I held back. I will also make sure the gifts are carefully wrapped so no one can cheat and make gift-gifting decisions for me again.

  117. 117
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: Caramelized Onions with roasted mushrooms?

  118. 118
    daryljfontaine says:

    @Brachiator: I thought this article was a pretty interesting take on the movie (and its two predecessors).


  119. 119
    Suzanne says:

    The holidays are sneaking up on me again this year. I was hoping to get the house spotless before Thanksgiving, but the last two weekends haven’t been really productive. Le sigh.

  120. 120
    WaterGirl says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Thank you.

    @chopper: I feel you. I have learned to send my sister an amaryllis because she loves flowers. That makes it safe, and it’s not too annoying for me because I love flowers, too.

    @Frankensteinbeck: I feel the same way. One reason I chose your book for “Alice” is that she is timid and lives in closed world and I wanted her to see a strong, interesting girl as a role model. So much for that. I’m sure I would be pissed if I knew what is actually being given in my name – that will definitely never happen again. Family. (sigh)

  121. 121
    Steeplejack says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    “Constable, has the body been . . . interfered with?”

  122. 122
    WaterGirl says:

    @chopper: @Frankensteinbeck: @chopper: I wrote a comment with replies to each of you, eaten by FYWP. I don’t have the heart to try to reproduce it, so I’ll just say thanks for your replies.

  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suzanne: Hire someone to clean the house for you before the holiday. If you can afford it. You deserve a break.

  124. 124
    Steeplejack says:


    Yeah, I haven’t quite grasped that Thanksgiving is next week.

  125. 125
    Yarrow says:

    @Steeplejack: Sorry I was’t clear. It has to be some kind of vegetable not starch or sweet potatoes. I do love sweet potatoes that aren’t the standard marshmallow type. I’ve done one with pecans too Yum.

  126. 126
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne: Wishing you and Spawn and your whole family the best.

  127. 127
  128. 128
    Suzanne says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m not too worried about Thanksgiving, but I definitely will hire someone to clean before Christmas, since my in-laws are coming.

  129. 129
    WaterGirl says:

    @Suzanne: Good for you. I often feel calmer when my house is in order. Figure you could use some of that right about now. :-)

    Glad she’s home, though I bet it’s a bit nerve-wracking, too.

  130. 130

    @Yarrow: Marshmallow is inedible in any form. But pecans? Now you’re talking.

  131. 131

    @WaterGirl: It occurs to me that your sister’s actions may be an acting out of family hostilities in which DON’T TELL MY PARENTS is a pawn. I base this on living in a family.

  132. 132
    Zelma says:

    I remember the first time I saw Hamlet. All I could think of was how many of the lines I heard all the time. It felt like one cliche after another, which is really unfair to Shakespeare since he was the creator of so many of them (or at least, their publicist.)

  133. 133
    Brachiator says:


    I thought this article was a pretty interesting take on the movie (and its two predecessors).

    Wow. A long, interesting and very well written piece of commentary. But even though the writer acknowledges the tremendous humor in the film, the piece reminds me of all those nervous critics who simply cannot enjoy sci fi or comic book films unless they can view it as an allegory about politics or current events.

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    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): I’m trying to say that your sister’s perceptions of the book are probably shaped by perceptions of you. No offense! We like you and don’t think you’re a dark force or anything.

  135. 135
    Suburban Mom says:

    @Yarrow: Roasted butternut squash with cinnamon and walnuts. Easy and reheats well. You can add a little brown sugar at the end of roasting time if your crowd likes things sweeter.

  136. 136
    MomSense says:


    Sooo adorable. I might die from the cuteness.

    It’s just cold enough to snow and just warm enough that it isn’t sticking. I’m making baby things and watching mindless tv. It’s all I can handle tonight.

  137. 137
    MomSense says:

    @Suburban Mom:

    I make something similar but I add just a bit of maple syrup instead of brown sugar.

  138. 138
    MomSense says:


    Oh my goodness. That is such a good book and a little dark is good.

  139. 139
    aimai says:

    Just finished my ethics paper on the Tuskegee Experiment. That’s not politics. But its politics. But what can I do–its my life right now! Still, the best paper is a done and submitted paper. And since I am very old and can remember that my first college papers were (gasp) typed on a t-y-p-e-w-r-i-t-e-r and I had to use white out and submit them directly to the professors, and these papers are all researched and written online and submitted online, the whole process, however agonizing, does seem kind of streamlined and user friendly.

  140. 140
    Jeffro says:

    @Yarrow: make your own recipe! (Seriously!)

    What else do you like – red potatoes, sweet onion, ? What kind of seasoning are you in the mood for? Combine ‘em, toss ‘em with some good olive oil and salt, and you’re there!

  141. 141
    Jeffro says:

    @Zelma: it really is the king of quoted Shakespeare lines, with Romeo & Juliet a close second

    I want to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream done well somewhere this coming spring or summer. I figure that is long overdue

  142. 142
    MobiusKlein says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: Got two SF Sophomores in SF High Schools – Lowell and Wash. Which did you get?

  143. 143

    It was nice here today, mid 70’s; so I went to Griffith Park and took a picture of the sunset.

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  145. 145
    I'll be Frank says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): But any boy scout will tell you that, properly set on fire, marshmallows make the finest ammo for camp “firefights.”

  146. 146

    @Brachiator: I haven’t read the piece but just wanted to say that I wouldn’t expect to find such a person blogging at Tor!

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    Christopher H says:

    I’m in the foothills, near Australia’s capital (Canberra). We are in the midst of the four weeks or so between ‘too cold’ and ‘too hot’, with spring growth and cool nights followed by warm to hot days. (In Celsius, anywhere from 4 to 12 degrees overnight minimum and anywhere from 22 to 30 degrees daily maximum. So say 40 to 86 Fahrenheit.)
    Great weather for walking. It will soon be Emergency Services volunteer peak season: looking for lost walkers, fixing rain and windstorm damage, flood incidents…

  148. 148
    NotMax says:

    5 o’clock! Time to switch from white tea with honey for the raw throat (which helped a lot) to white tea with brandy (which will help further).

  149. 149
    opiejeanne says:

    Were in Redding CA, been driving up I-5 heading for Seattle and mostly out of touch. It’s trying to rain or maybe snow here and it’s 59 degrees.
    We are about to stop for the evening because it’s 7pm and we need supper and sleep.
    It was great seeing so many jackals yesterday. Yay!

  150. 150

    @opiejeanne: It was good seeing you and Mr. Opiejeanne.

  151. 151
    J R in WV says:


    oh, my! their noses are SO pink!!! How cute!

  152. 152
    laura says:

    @daverave: I LOVE the claw and their drivers! Our beautiful maple turned crimson and dumped it’s leaves within 2 weeks. But the neighborhood elms, ginkgo and pistachio are rely putting on a show.

  153. 153
    Brachiator says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    I haven’t read the piece but just wanted to say that I wouldn’t expect to find such a person blogging at Tor!

    I don’t know that site well enough to know what’s standard fare. The writer has an interesting, but equally frustrating, article about Sarek of Vulcan on the same site.

  154. 154
    J R in WV says:


    Artichoke casserole, with mayo and parm and olive oil and garlic and sweet onions and such, then baked it can be served warm, hot, cold, it doesn’t matter. And yummy, so rich tiny servings will do. You can do it with one can, or with two cans, that’s pretty big already, I’ve never used three.

  155. 155
    frosty says:

    @Central Planning:


    Agreed! I was a member of the Baltimore Rowing Club quite awhile back, and my take on it was that there’s no other place you can get some exercise, get on the water and socialize, all at the same time. It was a lot of fun.

    Loved swinging that big 11 foot oar in the 8s, too. Unfortunately, since I was the right size and weight, and had a loud voice, and knew port from starboard, I ended up as a cox a little too often.

  156. 156
    frosty says:

    @David Anderson: Late to the thread. Chapel Hill? Mediterranean Deli on Frannklin St. Might be too casual for a “night out” dinner though, but great food.

    Otherwise maybe Southern Season? I think they have a restaurant.

  157. 157
    Manyakitty says:

    @Yarrow: Sweet potatoes and apples in a maple syrup-ginger glaze

  158. 158
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @MobiusKlein: He’s at Jewish Community High School in the Western Addition. He got into Mission, which is perpetually “up-and-coming” and where he would have been overwhelmed, and he looooooved JCHS. I freakin’ hate abandoning public school, but here we are.

  159. 159
    catclub says:

    @Corner Stone: I always vote for grand Canyon in winter. You can always walk down to other seasons.

  160. 160
    ellie says:

    It was just beautiful in Denver today, it was in the 70s. Love that tree.

  161. 161
    dww44 says:

    @Yarrow: Here’s a carrot recipe that’s become a Thanksgiving tradition in our family. And the unmarried nephew is the one who brings it: carrots with turnips, turnip roots that is. At a ratio of 3:1, carrots to turnip roots, first cook the carrots, cut into smallish hunks in salted water, then add the uncooked turnip roots a few minutes later, as they cook and soften rather quickly.

    Cook together until mashable. Drain cooked vegetables, add butter, more salt/pepper if desired, and mash. The end result is a dish that tastes like neither vegetable but an intriguing blend of the two. Altogether good. Altogether simple.

  162. 162

    It’s days like these (pouring rain and thunder rumbling in Miami) that I miss Santa Fe. Forty years ago this month I arrived there for the first time and fell in love with it. I stayed a year and then moved from Michigan to Albuquerque in 1995, staying for six years before life intervened and brought me to Florida. But wow, do I miss the smell of pinon, juniper, sage, rising from the desert after a rain.

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