Thursday Mid-Day Open Thread

Here’s a blurry-ass photo of an egret in flight. It’s not a great picture of the bird, but I think the overall composition is accidentally pleasing, what with the puffy clouds and moss-laden trees:

Birds, water, clouds and trees can help during tough times, but they aren’t always enough. Balloon Juice reader Libraryguy needs help to keep a roof over his head. Here’s a link where you can help.

I’m staying away from the news for a while. It’s all too much these days, so my plan is to keep chugging along and stop worrying about bullshit I can’t control. That’s the plan for now, anyway. One foot in front of the other.

Open thread!

181 replies
  1. 1
    LAO says:

    So — I’m sick and tired of being a lawyer. Pretty sure I’m ready to move on. That’s all.

  2. 2
    LibraryGuy says:

    Thank you, BC. I hope things get better for you soon.

    The link to our GoFundMe is here

    Our online store is here

    Thanks to everyone, for anything they can do!

  3. 3
    Elizabelle says:

    Hello there Betty. Please lurk and keep in touch with us. I am with you, on taking a temporary news break.

    Reposting this from what might be a dead thread:

    Some graceful news: Matthew Shepard’s ashes will be interred in the Washington National Cathedral on October 26. About 200 are interred there; including Helen Keller, her teacher Annie Sullivan, President Woodrow Wilson, and Admiral George Dewey.

    The Shepards did not immediately bury their son after his 1998 murder, fearing that others might desecrate the grave. Matthew was only 21 when he died.

    Retired bishop V. Gene Robinson, the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop, will help lead the service.

    NY Times: Matthew Shepard Will Be Interred at the Washington National Cathedral, 20 Years After His Death

  4. 4
    satby says:

    Because it always comes up after disasters, here’s the Charity Navigator page of organizations for Hurricane Michael relief.
    Edited to add: Four stars are best.

  5. 5
    LibraryGuy says:

    @LibraryGuy: Sigh.

    Bad link. Our online store is here

    Thanks, everyone.

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    I got nipped by a dog last night while I was out canvassing. One neat little toothmark, on the back of my calf. Broke the skin. Was a sort of cattle dog type; compact.

    Dog’s peeps had not firmly latched the storm door, and when I knocked, pup barreled through. I hit the nip mark with some hand sanitizer. A friend has advised I go find out if the dog’s rabies vaccine is up to date. Guess I should … wealthy neighborhood, so the odds are good there. What do you guys think?

    Kind of funny, because at the house next door, immediately before, the lady was telling me of a 2 on 1 dog attack Monday night — a neighbor’s big dogs got out and mauled a smaller one, which survived but has some serious wounds on its back. This was as darkness fell; she warned me the dogs might still be roaming (they were not) and to be careful and then, the very next door ! …

    And a little while later I knocked the door of the attacking dogs, who were under strict control by their owner and seemed kind of subdued. German Shepherd and a black Lab. Be better, dogs!

  7. 7
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    Floriduh, home to the Blurry-Arse Egret! Can’t wait for vids from mating season.

    Or maybe not – as they say in France, je ne egret rien…

  8. 8
    Humdog says:

    Tweets from Puppies and from Adorable Dogs are just about what I can handle these days. I am so glad you have a clown at home to raise your spirits, Betty. Hope Daisy is well, too.

  9. 9
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @LAO: I don’t think I know any lawyers who like being a lawyer.

  10. 10
    Doug R says:

    I heard Fox & Fiends had a prank phone call.

  11. 11
    Keith P. says:

    @Doug R: Was it a guy calling in pretending to be a president?

  12. 12

    @LAO: Sorry to hear that. Move on to what?

  13. 13
    Gelfling 545 says:

    @Elizabelle: Get it looked at. I was nipped by my own generally peaceable dog several years back while trying to keep her from another dog. Tiny pencil point nip. Huge infection and hand surgery.

  14. 14
    Immanentize says:

    @LAO: Move on to being a defendant?

  15. 15
    The Moar You Know says:

    So — I’m sick and tired of being a lawyer. Pretty sure I’m ready to move on. That’s all.

    @LAO: Former girlfriend of mine, who is doing the shittiest lawyer work imaginable – public defender – says it’s not the lawyer part she’s sick to death of, it’s the clients. Which I have heard from more than one lawyer in various and unrelated fields.

  16. 16
    Immanentize says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I generally love being a lawyer. But I landed (how, I cannot really say) a sweet sweet gig.

  17. 17
    Aleta says:

    @Elizabelle: Thanks for this news.

  18. 18
    Immanentize says:

    @The Moar You Know: Being a public defender was the best part of my whole career. And I generally really liked my clients. Not all of them, but I certainly like them better than the smarmy fuckwit corporate client know-it-alls my friends have to put up with. The clients of public defenders are as real as you can find and they also really need the help of lawyers.

  19. 19
    Brachiator says:

    The Social Security cost of living adjustment will be 2.8 percent, a larger increase than previous years. After the midterms I expect the Republicans to start talking about the need to enact deep cuts in the program. Trump will blame undocumented workers.

  20. 20
    LAO says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I don’t mind the lawyering stuff, it’s the business end that’s driven me to drink.

    @Immanentize: You never know!

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: No idea! I’m having a mid life crisis.

    @The Moar You Know: I generally like being a criminal defense attorney — but I’m not a PD and I understand it’s a different experience.

  21. 21
    LAO says:

    @Immanentize: You have the best gig, except for the law school student part. (wink, wink)

  22. 22
    cmorenc says:

    The constant river of Trump Admin/GOP shit wears you down, unless you take periodic breaks from it for a couple of days now and then. I did that the final couple of days around the actual Kavenaugh vote, once it became plain McConnell had nailed down Collins and Manchin beyond our ability to change their minds. But we can’t let ourselves be ground down into being overwhelmed into submission or drowned in it – after such a recovery break, we have to suck it up and jump back in, or else the bastards will win by our default.

  23. 23

    @LAO: I liked my work as a prof. Teaching and research were fun. I disliked pretty much every administrator I ever worked with.

  24. 24
    Doug R says:

    @Keith P.:

    Was it a guy calling in pretending to be a president?

    I think that was part of the stream of unconciousness included among the kkkonspiracy theorizing.

  25. 25
    low-tech cyclist says:

    One foot in front of the other? There’s a song for that.

    It’s by Walk The Moon, so it’s kinda corny, but if you need an upbeat song, it ain’t bad for that.

  26. 26
    Aleta says:

    @Elizabelle: Sorry to hear that. The same thing happened to me once; someone else contacted them for me. Perhaps your organizer could.

  27. 27
    Elizabelle says:

    @Gelfling 545: Yeah. That is concerning.

    I got nipped by a dog in 2009; just did the hand sanitizer and nothing bad happened. Maybe just lucky.

    Still love dogs.

  28. 28
    LibraryGuy says:

    “Balloon Juice reader Libraryguy needs help to keep a roof over his head. Here’s a link where you can help.”

    Hi folks. I’ve tried to avoid asking for help here since you’ve done so much for us before, but our backs are against the wall.

    If you feel like helping and can, we’d deeply appreciate it.

    Rhea, Tom, and Benny

  29. 29
  30. 30

    Indian Twitter is exploding with # me too stories. And the invective against women who are speaking out is ten times worse than anything I have seen during the worst of the Brett K saga.
    My weekly reminder of being a dhobi ka kutta (washerman’s dog who doesn’t belong either at home or the riverbank)

  31. 31
    Doug R says:

    Anyone else have the feeling that the USA Today op ed was written by Stephen Miller?

  32. 32

    @Doug R: Adam S speculation from yesterday.

  33. 33
    Doug R says:

    @Elizabelle: Report it to local animal control. They should have access to all relevant info and better that they deal with the owners.

  34. 34

    Last day at my job! So long, garbage commute!

  35. 35
    LAO says:

    @Elizabelle: I was pretty savagely bit in the dog run about a year ago. You need to have the wound cleaned, either irrigated yourself or have a professional do it. Lots of icky germs. And no, my dog wasn’t the bitee.

  36. 36
  37. 37

    @The Moar You Know:

    it’s not the lawyer part she’s sick to death of, it’s the clients. Which I have heard from more than one lawyer in various and unrelated fields.

    That’s true of many other non-legal fields too. One reason I got out of freelancing and went in-house. Which has its own issues, but as a friend who’s a business consultant astutely observed: every business/organization is dysfunctional, so choose one with the dysfunctions you deal with the besy. Cynical, but all-too-true in my experience.

  38. 38
    satby says:

    @Elizabelle: yes, they should give you the shot record. But there’s a low likelihood of infection if you hit it with alcohol.

    Edited to add: I personally wouldn’t bother, but I get nailed all the time by animals.

  39. 39
    geg6 says:


    Oh, that’s lovely. I’m happy to see this.

  40. 40
    satby says:

    @LibraryGuy: not in a position right now to help, but can give unqualified praise for the stuff I previously purchased! Good luck!

  41. 41
    jeffreyw says:

    We get the occasional egret at our place, blue herons regularly.

  42. 42
    eclare says:

    @Doug R: Absolutely, with the slams against immigrants.

  43. 43
    eclare says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Congratulations! When is the big move?

  44. 44
    Kelly says:


    I don’t mind the lawyering stuff, it’s the business end that’s driven me to drink.

    I was the same way about software. I loved getting lost in a nice piece of code but hated unrealistic expectations that a bit of software would fix a hare brained scheme or that something I slapped together to get through today’s crisis was the same as a well thought out system.

  45. 45
    MazeDancer says:

    Deleting MorningJoe from my morning has made a world of difference.

    Now, I just play back the MSNBC evening line-up from the DVR in the morning.
    Vast improvement.

    Also, getting emails of pics of PostCards people wrote the night before brings many smiles.
    People are beyond fired up. They’re not just ready to go, they’re roaring.

    So, everyone who needs a rest, take one. You can fire up later. Or just send Light to those still able to fight.

  46. 46
    geg6 says:


    Yes, exactly this. Took a break, saw a therapist and unplugged from news for a few days. Even decreased my BJ consumption at the same time. It was a good thing to do and something I plan to do every now and then until that orange mother fucker is gone. I’m also super busy at work right now, so it’s good to have other things to think about.

  47. 47
    LibraryGuy says:

    @satby: Thank you, Satby!

    I know this is a hard time for everyone (when I started the fundraiser, the hurricane was hitting NC :( )

    Still have to try. It’s too scary not to.

  48. 48
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @LAO: In house is much better than law firm. Of course, you wouldn’t want to join a company that needed a criminal defense attorney on staff….

  49. 49
    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Right before the 96 Olympics I was riding my bike when a dog came off a front porch and but me on the calf. I called animal control and they were no help so I went to the front door, banged like hell and this frat looking kid came out. I jumped ugly on his ass, “your fucking dog bit me and I know it’s bit other people on this block and I’m not letting it slide”! The dude looked at me and broke into tears, “That’s not my dog, it’s my roommates, and my best friend just got killed in the Value Jet crash in the Everglades”!!!

  50. 50
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    I’m glad you saw a therapist and are feeling better : )

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Hope you have a better commute in the Big Apple.

  52. 52
  53. 53
    Kelly says:

    We spent yesterday having a relaxing walk in Silver Falls State Park. Leaves are just beginning to turn.

  54. 54

    @Gin & Tonic: can’t even imagine why I would live somewhere 90+ minutes from union square.

  55. 55
    JustRuss says:

    Betty, to paraphrase the late Freddy Mercury: “Get on your bike and ride!” I’ve been finding my moto to be pretty therapeutic. Your posts here helped get me back on the bike after 20 years, so thanks for that.

  56. 56
    Brachiator says:


    Indian Twitter is exploding with # me too stories. And the invective against women who are speaking out is ten times worse than anything I have seen during the worst of the Brett K saga.

    I recall seeing a recent story about a woman who had tried to bring this issue up some years before when she had been an actress, who is now finally getting some attention for herself and others.

    Aashiq Banaya Aapne actress and former Miss India Tanushree Dutta has accused veteran Bollywood actor Nana Patekar of harassment.

    She opened up about an incident on the set of Horn ‘Ok’ Pleassss in 2008. “Nana Patekar wanted to do an intimate step with me during the dance sequence which was supposed to be solo,” Dutta said. She complained that no one supported her, including the producer. She said Patekar not only harassed her but sent goons to attack her car while she was leaving the studio.

    In an interview to Zoom TV, she said that he has a history of assaulting women. “He has always been disrespectful towards women, misbehaved with them and molested actresses.”

    The actress called out top actors in the industry who have been working with Patekar. “People are still working with these culprits. Akshay Kumar has been consistently working with Nana Patekar for eight years. Rajnikanth recently did a film with him,” she said.

    “If such big stars continue to work with these people, what hope is there for any movement to happen,” she asked.

    Dutta urged people in positions of power to speak up about sensitive issues. “There is a façade around the Bollywood industry. PR machinery works to build images of these actors. They should show it through their actions when they say we support women empowerment.”

    Speaking about the #MeToo movement, she said, “The Me Too movement will never arrive in India because of the industry’s hypocrisy.”

  57. 57
    eclare says:

    @Kelly: Very pretty! Where is that?

  58. 58
    Kelly says:

    @eclare: Silver Falls State Park in the Cascade foothills east of Salem, Oregon. My family lived across the road from the park for most of my childhood.

  59. 59
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Although NYC has a Union Square, I’m not aware of anyone using it as a waypoint in conversation. Times Square is to NY as Union Square is to SF for that purpose.

  60. 60

    @Brachiator: Nana Patekar horrible though he is, is small potatoes. M J Akbar, who is the deputy foreign minister (minister of state for external affairs) has been credibly accused by a slew of female journalists. My cousin by marriage has told me a lot of horror stories about him. She used to be a journalist for TOI* (like India’s NYT but worse)
    *Times of India

  61. 61
    Brachiator says:

    Some good political news, from an LA Times article.

    A record number of women are running for office. This election cycle, they didn’t wait for an invite

    A record number of women are running for the U.S. House, Senate and state legislatures this year — more than any other election in U.S. history.

    Traditionally, the major political parties scout out their potential candidates. And typically, says Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, men are sought after more than women.

    But in the two years before the 2018 midterm election, amid marches for women’s rights and the growing #MeToo movement, something shifted in a field that has historically paved an easier path for men:

    “Women are running whether or not Democrats and Republicans invite them to,” said Ange-Marie Hancock Alfaro, a political science professor at USC.

    Alfaro attributes the record-breaking turnout in large part to a groundswell in localized programs encouraging women to run and educating them on the process.

    Emily’s List — the leading nonprofit to help and recruit progressive Democratic women to run for office since 1985 — has played witness to that rise in interest. (Emily stands for “Early Money Is Like Yeast — it makes the dough rise.”)

    “Recruiting means just that — going out to find women to run,” said Emily Cain, the group’s executive director. “But in our history — the first 30-some years — we were not inundated with women coming to us to run for office.”

    That changed in 2016.

    In the first few weeks after President Trump was elected over Hillary Clinton, about 1,000 women reached out to Emily’s List about running for office. The group’s record until then had been 920, and that covered from 2014 to 2016. By the end of 2017, as the #MeToo movement exploded and Women’s March anniversary rallies were planned throughout the country, the record was shattered again with more than 25,000 women signing up online to learn about running for office.

    Since Trump’s election, Emily’s List says, more than 40,000 women have expressed interest in running for office.

    Resistance is not futile.

  62. 62

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Although NYC has a Union Square, I’m not aware of anyone using it as a waypoint in conversation.

    My office is at 5th and 17th.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    LAO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: lol. I live like 5 blocks from your office.

  65. 65
    low-tech cyclist says:

    A question about GoFundMe: is there a way to ONLY get emails about GoFundMe campaigns you’ve donated to? I’m happy to help LibraryGuy out here, but I’m really tired of getting emails from GoFundMe about people and causes I’ve never heard of and have no interest in giving to.

  66. 66
    Manyakitty says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Woohoo! Onto bigger and better commutes!

  67. 67
    Beth says:

    Betty Cracker thanks for your posts. It seems most smart/wise people take breaks from the news periodically because it can get so overwhelming. – Fangirl Beth formerly from Florida

  68. 68
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Ah, OK, or as Adam would say, tracking.

  69. 69
    HeleninEire says:

    @Gin & Tonic: BWA HA HA. Good one.

  70. 70
    Brachiator says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Although NYC has a Union Square, I’m not aware of anyone using it as a waypoint in conversation. Times Square is to NY as Union Square is to SF for that purpose.

    I associate Times Square more with tourists. From what I here from some friends, Union Square is becoming more what Washington Square Park used to be, a common destination point for navigating the Village and lower Manhattan.

  71. 71
    HeleninEire says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Shoot. I’ll just miss you. Flying to NY the 3rd back to Dublin on the 8th.

  72. 72

    @HeleninEire: Current commute is 3-4 hours a day.

    @LAO: We’ll have to get coffee some time then.

  73. 73
    LibraryGuy says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Hi, I honestly don’t know – but I will say that I had a friend donate recently and he hasn’t received any other emails from GoFundMe besides the thank you I sent him and the later update.

  74. 74
    HeleninEire says:

    @Major Major Major Major: That’s NUTS. You could live 50 miles out on LI (don’t do that; I grew up there) and still make it into Union Square in less than 90 minutes.

  75. 75
    LAO says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Absolutely. I may, indeed, have quite a bit of time on my hands.

  76. 76

    @HeleninEire: Exactly.

    It’s not so horrible, since half of that is on commuter rail and I have a seat and a cup holder and there’s a bathroom–time to write and read. But yeah.

    @LAO: Indeed!

  77. 77
    Domestic short hair tabby (fka vheidi) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: yes, we do

  78. 78
    Brachiator says:


    M J Akbar, who is the deputy foreign minister (minister of state for external affairs) has been credibly accused by a slew of female journalists.

    I didn’t realize that Akbar had also been a prominent writer and editor. Ghazala Wahab wrote a harrowing and sad account of her interactions with him.

  79. 79
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    I am thinking of taking a drive up to the Trough of Bowland this weekend. The bracken (a type of fern) will have turned gold and the heather should be in bloom so the whole place will be purple and gold. It depends on the weather so if I do go I will take some pics and send them to Alain.

  80. 80

    @Litlebritdifrnt: ah, you translated it to English this time! 🌝

  81. 81
    HeleninEire says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Move to Forest Hills. 45 minutes on the R (and that’s the local) to Union Square. I worked on 17th and US for 5 years

  82. 82
    Elizabelle says:

    @raven: Oh boy. What a story.

    Did all work out well with the bite?

  83. 83
    Kent says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Teaching would be an awesome job too…if you could pick your students. (and pick your administrators)

  84. 84
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Although NYC has a Union Square, I’m not aware of anyone using it as a waypoint in conversation.

    I get your point, as it’s less well known to the outside world, but most of my favorite things in NYC are right around Union Square, including my favorite NYC bookstore (The Strand) and my 2nd favorite NYC cafe (Think Coffee). I don’t spend a lot of time near the tourist hell that is Times Square.

    @Major Major Major Major: Cool, I’m now officially jealous.

  85. 85
    Spanky says:

    @HeleninEire: This morning’s commute was exactly 100 minutes, only slightly longer than average due to the rain. This is the Baltimore-Washington corridor.

    It will be a thing of the past in 1 to 6 months once I retire, soonest if it keeps getting longer.

  86. 86
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Yes, it’s a nice area now. Used to be a little depressing.

  87. 87
    SFAW says:


    So — I’m sick and tired of being a lawyer. Pretty sure I’m ready to move on. That’s all.

    Not that I’d wish the Wilpons on anyone other than RWAs, but have you considered applying for the Mets GM position? I’s support you.

  88. 88
    LAO says:

    @SFAW: lol. Anyone would be a step up at this point.

  89. 89
    SFAW says:


    I live like 5 blocks from your office.

    Why did I think you were in Bayside? (Or someplace near there.) Shitty memory? Or were you there and moved?

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    I got my next batch of postcard addresses for Stacey Abrams and her running mate and will be working on those the next couple of days. Then I have a writing event behind the Orange Curtain.

  91. 91
    germy says:

    “Egrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention…”

  92. 92
    Mnemosyne says:


    Half the romance novelists I know were originally lawyers. Just sayin’. 🤔

  93. 93
    Steve in the ATL says:

    You guys are so whiny. My commute this week was 800 miles!

  94. 94
    Mnemosyne says:


    Is Beto a cat owner? The head-bump to the bunny made me think so.

  95. 95
    LAO says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Don’t forget Fishs Eddy! LINK

  96. 96
    SFAW says:


    Anyone would be a step up at this point.

    YOU would be, but there are a few out there who could do more damage than Alderson and The Unholy Three did.

    Plus, I’d try to get you to fire Callaway ASAP. And maybe Mike Barwis. And hire a damn hitting coach.

  97. 97
    LAO says:

    @SFAW: I have always been a Manhattan snob, I’m sorry to say.

    @Mnemosyne: I know, but I’m heartless and mean-spirited. I think I could write an “anti-romance” novel! I would love to write a mystery novel, though.

    ETA: I am legitimately inspired by all the writers here.

  98. 98
    Mnemosyne says:


    I would get it looked at to make sure it’s not a puncture wound — those can turn nasty on you really fast. When my brother’s cat bit me, they gave me a QUADRUPLE antibiotic that included Cipro, which is what they use for anthrax (!)

  99. 99
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mnemosyne: “She suggestively opened her litigation case, removed a 90-page release, and said in a smoky voice, ‘I want you commit torts against my person, some with express consent and some…with only assumed risk.’ He slowly removed his Brooks Brothers rep tie, then restrained her with contracts of adhesion. Watching her reaction, he said, ‘I think you are going to enjoy the hung jury.”

    When do I get a book deal?

  100. 100
    SFAW says:


    I have always been a Manhattan snob, I’m sorry to say.

    Senility sucks

  101. 101
    SFAW says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    When do I get a book deal?

    I think you should start small, such as entering the Bulwer-Lytton Competition. I have a feeling you could win the Grand Prize.

  102. 102
    LAO says:

    @Steve in the ATL: OMG. I’m laughing too hard to type. I feel like, between the two of us, there’s a satire lurking. Only problem is, who’d read it?

  103. 103
    ruemara says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Costs. Just sayin’. But you’re in tech, so the salaries are going to be a lot better than the creative fields. Besides, the NYC public transit is excellent and there’s time to read. I grew up reading standing up next to a pole.

    @Mnemosyne: Share! I donated and I just don’t seem to get post card addys.

    In the interest of posting flying boids, I think these are ibix, because of those beaks, but I’m probably wrong.

  104. 104
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @SFAW: you are trying to insult me, but that’s on my bucket list

    @LAO: disgruntled lawyers–a nearly unlimited demographic!

  105. 105
    ruemara says:

    I’m in moderation for…? IDK. Hep?!

  106. 106
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Yay! Hopefully you’ll have a better commute in NYC.

  107. 107
    Mnemosyne says:


    Every lawyer writes a mystery novel because everyone wants to be John Grisham or Scott Turow.

    Plus a lot of lawyers are frustrated writers whose parents steered them into a “safe” career. True story: my dad who was a lawyer actually told me NOT to go to law school, because being a lawyer sucked. I went to film school instead. 😂

  108. 108
    EveryDayIHaveTheBlues says:

    @LibraryGuy: Hi LibraryGuy, I bought a candle from you last Dec, and it was great. Just wanted to let you know. Hang in there, and I hope Benny does well. I just gave some to the gofundme, and I’m truly sorry for not being able to help more.

  109. 109
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Mnemosyne: Unfortunately, it’s surprisingly easy to have a 1-hour commute even just within the five boroughs. But hey, it’s in New York so it’s worth it!

    My wife had a job in New York for a while and we were a two-city marriage. We kept a small apartment in the Bronx and made frequent use of the Manhattan-Bronx express bus. It’s a long ride, but door-to-door and really comfy. Nothing like dozing off in a comfy chair and waking up one block from the apartment.

  110. 110
    LAO says:

    @Mnemosyne: Your dad is good people. I spend an inordinate amount of time attempting to talk young people out of going to law school. And, yeah you’re definitely right about the desire to be the next Turow or Grisham (I hate Grisham novels). I really don’t know what I’m going to do. Which shall see. I’m lucky, I have a decent safety net in place.

  111. 111
    ruemara says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: I didn’t even know we had a Manhattan Bronx express bus.

  112. 112
    catclub says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    home to the Blurry-Arse Egret!

    and as XKCD has it, move the hyphen … blurry arse-egret

  113. 113
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @ruemara: They’re the buses with numbers BxMn. Like this one. A few stops in the center of Manhattan and then on up to the Bronx.

  114. 114
    SFAW says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    you are trying to insult me, but that’s on my bucket list

    Which? Writing a novel? Or winning Bulwer-Lytton?

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    @Mnemosyne: my parents always said I’d be a great lawyer and hate it!

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    ruemara says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Cool! Maybe when I visit again, I’ll use that.

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    catclub says:

    I think the murder of Kamal Khashoggi is going to turn out to be a big deal. Why is it getting so little attention?
    Is there a thread on it ( probably from Adam or Cheryl) that I have missed?

  118. 118

    @Brachiator: He is an opportunist and a sleazy SOB.

  119. 119
    Mnemosyne says:


    Let me know how many you want and I’ll email them to you along with the instructions.

  120. 120
    LibraryGuy says:

    @ruemara: The Bronx-Manhattan express buses are life-savers! When we lived in Morris Park Rhea would take the Bus to 23rd Street, browse stores and get Starbucks, then walk (in good weather) to her classes at Borough of Manhattan Comm. College. She loved teaching there.

  121. 121
    Sandia Blanca says:

    @waratah: We don’t want to see what Ted Cruz would’ve done with that poor bunny.

  122. 122
    LibraryGuy says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: And the ride (either way) was always enough time to do the crossword and catch up on some reading. A genuinely nice way to commute.

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    In LA, that usually means a car commute, which means you are very limited in what you can do during the commute. At least a bus or train commute lets you read while you travel.


    When my spouse was deciding whether or not he should go back to school for a master’s degree after he was laid off in 2015, I told him the only two things I would NOT let him do were get an MBA or a law degree, because they’re both overrated. He’s almost done with his master’s in library science and really loves it, so it all worked out.

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  125. 125
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: My favorite things, too. I’ve spent more than I care to think about at the Strand and at Paragon, I was just commenting that you hear “x minutes from Times Square” *much* more than “x minutes from Union Square.” But yeah, Times Square is hell on Earth. My daughter worked there for 5-6 years and was constantly annoyed at the tourists getting in the way as she was trying to get to the office. Now she’s in the Flatiron area, so she’ll be getting annoyed at LAO and M^4 strolling for coffee.

  126. 126
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Holy cow! Where are you commuting from now? Patterson?

    Is your husband moving too?

  127. 127
    Shana says:

    Three of our five English and Irish young men have arrived. They’re staying with us for the duration to work on the Jennifer Wexton campaign, which isn’t my district but next door to it. The other two arrive on the 22nd. They’re lovely, smart, polite and around a little more than the presidential campaign staffers we’ve hosted before. Now that our daughters have moved out we have plenty of extra space for them.

    They brought lovely gifts, Irish chocolates, tea and shortbread cookies from Fortnum and Mason, homemade blackberry jam and smoked sea salt from Sussex. All yummy.

    They came via a group called Politrip which also has some volunteers in Miami and one other city that I’ve forgotten. They’re all college grads, some have Masters degrees. Fun conversations so far and I look forward to more.

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    @Shana: That does sound like fun.

  129. 129

    @opiejeanne: SF to Stanford. 30 to Caltrain, 40-60 on Caltrain, variable depending on method of Caltrain -> Office. Repeat in reverse. Add Muni and Caltrain failures.

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    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Kanye West is a total moran.

  131. 131
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: So, you’re catching BART in Fremont or Antioch?

  132. 132
    LAO says:

    @Gin & Tonic: IDK — since I live so close to the Flatiron neighborhood — I may have to seek her out to just to annoy her. But, talk about an area that really changed in the last decade!

    And, I because lived at 53 and 7th avenue for years — Times Square was my personal hell. What a nightmare.

  133. 133
    ruemara says:

    @Shana: They send you Irish & English men? Is this a giftbox subscription? Can we keep the ones we like. This program intrigues me.

    @Mnemosyne: 25? I’m working on, of course, a script entry. But I want to do some campaign work.

    @Major Major Major Major: Oh man. I kinda miss Caltrain from when I commuted down to Franklin Templeton, but not during the rush hour commute.

  134. 134
    Brachiator says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    then restrained her with contracts of adhesion.

    Nicely done!

  135. 135
    trollhattan says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    Yeah, but not if you ask him.

  136. 136
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @LibraryGuy: I believe it was Martin Gardner (the Scientific American math puzzle guy) who mentioned a friend or acquaintance who commuted on the Metro-North into Grand Central, who would begin the NYT crossword at 125th St and almost invariably complete it by Grand Central.

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    LibraryGuy says:

    @Mnemosyne: That’s my first Master’s! I’m glad he like his program. Some of the best people I’ve met were in library school.

  138. 138
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Brachiator: thank you. I was proud of that one.

  139. 139
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @LAO: I would.

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    LibraryGuy says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yeesh, that does sound like someone he would know! Rhea and I are just happy we feel good about doing it in pen. Messy, messy pen, but still!

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    @ruemara: you’ll never guess where I saw a Caltrain the other day!

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    raven says:

    @Elizabelle: Yea, it healed.

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne: Weirdly, I really liked law school. Practicing law? Not so much. My ALJ job was awesome, but Scotty W killed that. I hate that man.

  145. 145
    glory b says:

    @LAO: As a government attorney (working for the Commonwealth of PA), try it. There isn’t as much age discrimination as you would find in the private sector, no business end to manage (supervising clerks, paralegals, etc. might be about it), and, for the most part, you can call it a day at 5:00. only occasionally work on weekends, of at all.

    The pay isn’t great, but the benefit package is usually pretty good. Also, lots of admin hearing officer jobs, along with regular lawyering, if you’d like to be a pretend judge.

  146. 146
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s an online program at San Jose State, but he’s met a lot of people IRL and there are a ton of opportunities here in So Cal for library science, and not just at public libraries. There are a lot of corporate and entertainment archives that are digitizing their collections and need librarians to do the metadata and keep it all organized.

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    ruemara says:

    @Major Major Major Major: lol, we’re everywhere!

  148. 148
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:


    which means you are very limited in what you can do during the commute.

    When we lived in the DC area and took the WaPo, there was a weekly column about commuting called “Dr. Gridlock”. For all I know, it’s still running.

    One of the regular features was readers writing in with things they had seen people do while driving on the Washington Beltway. Suffice it to say that DC drivers don’t feel as limited as all that about what they can do during their commute.

    IIRC, reading the newspaper and putting on makeup were not uncommon, and once I remember a report of somebody practicing the flute.

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    @ruemara: they are actually Japanese trains so it’s not completely bizarre.

  150. 150
    Josie says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Wow. I had to change the channel from MSNBC about halfway through his monologue in the oval office, due to extreme vicarious embarrassment. No wonder Trump loves him. They both talk on and on without making any sense at all.

  151. 151
    HeleninEire says:

    @LAO: Have a friend who lives on 43rd and 8th. I told him years ago that I will no longer go to his apt. He could come to Queens or we can meet in a neutral place. But no more Times Square for me.

  152. 152
    West of the Rockies says:


    May I ask though, were there times when you knew your client was guilty? If he is just hurting himself (drug use), probably no big deal. But what about a client who beat up his spouse, kids, set fire to a cat… That could not have been a thrill to represent them, I’m guessing.

  153. 153
    Gin & Tonic says:

    In the “some things move slowly” department, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople has just issued a document reversing a decision taken in 1686 (not a typo) about the ecclesiastical relationship between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Kyiv Patriarchate of the Orthodox Church.

    His decision will not be popular in Moscow.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    Well, sure, but my spouse had journal articles he needed to read and term papers he needed to write, so the 2+ hours he was commuting between jobs were wasted time for him. 😢

    Most of my coworkers with a long commute listen to audiobooks. I have a 15-minute commute, so I don’t usually need to do much to make the time pass.

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    Shana says:

    @ruemara: I know! Man, if I was a lot younger, and single….

  156. 156
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’ve heard that the process of studying the law can be really interesting. Having to put it into practice by being a lawyer, not so much.

  157. 157
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Yeah, this is going to get interesting.

  158. 158
    LAO says:

    @West of the Rockies: Not to step on Immanetize — but by in my experience, clients are usually truthful with defense counsel.

    @HeleninEire: A miserable experience no doubt.

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    HeleninEire says:

    @Shana: Irish men? Can I have one when they come back? ;)

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    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @West of the Rockies: From when I did some criminal work years ago, I would say that the best clients were professional criminals like drug dealers. They already had factored jail time into their career plans, they had a pretty good handle on 4th Amendment issues, and they paid promptly.

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    Shana says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: Sadly, Dr. Gridlock is no more. You’re right, it was a fun column.

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    Elizabelle says:

    @Shana: How cool! We should try to do a meetup with them. Will they stay long after November 6??

    Good on you for hosting!

  163. 163
    Mnemosyne says:


    Did you ever see Bridesmaids? One of the ways you could tell it was written by a woman was that the only man who could compete as a substitute boyfriend against someone as good-looking as Jon Hamm was a guy with an Irish accent. 😂

  164. 164
    Leto says:

    @Shana: I would do some bad, bad things for more Earl Grey from Fortnum and Mason. I’m pretty sure my wife would do worse. I need to contact our friends and get them to send a care package.

  165. 165
    Shana says:

    @HeleninEire: I’ll ask.

  166. 166
    Steeplejack (phone) says:


    Great picture!

  167. 167

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym:

    IIRC, reading the newspaper and putting on makeup were not uncommon, and once I remember a report of somebody practicing the flute.

    I’ve heard about people here in LA shaving (with shaving cream and a safety razor, not that weak electric razor stuff) and putting on panty hose. The craziest thing I’ve heard of anyone doing is talking to their pony, which was riding in the back of their minivan; that one is less crazy because of requiring contortions or distractions and more about the craziness of having a pony in your minivan.

  168. 168

    @Gin & Tonic:

    His decision will not be popular in Moscow.

    Fuck Moscow. That’s the price they pay for letting themselves be used for political ends.

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    LibraryGuy says:

    @Mnemosyne: Wow, that’s great to hear. Good for him, and for you!

    And I am very jealous! I wish I was able to take advantage of a situation like that.

  170. 170
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: Easy to say from halfway around the world. In the churches and monasteries there is likely to be trouble.

  171. 171
    blackcatsrule says:

    @Steeplejack (phone): Steeplejack, I replied to you twice yesterday but neither comment posted. Thank you for the advice on cat-sitting. I know there are a lot of pet-sitting sites out there but would be leery of using one unless recommended by a cat-loving jackal. I will ask friends/co-workers/vet for suggestions.

  172. 172
    satby says:

    @Mnemosyne: cat bites are always worse than dog bites. I always get cat bites seen by a doctor if it’s more than a surface gouge.

  173. 173
    satby says:

    @Shana: Wow, how cool is that! That may be the next program I host for.

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    Brachiator says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    From when I did some criminal work years ago, I would say that the best clients were professional criminals like drug dealers. They already had factored jail time into their career plans, they had a pretty good handle on 4th Amendment issues, and they paid promptly.

    Interesting novelistic detail.

    I recently watched the Pre Code (1933) movie, Penthouse. The male lead is an attorney who is shunned by his society class friends because he defends criminals, and has just won an acquittal for one as the movie opens. He is asked by one of his superiors to give up defending these “low life characters,” and his refusal is quite a nice bit of dialog.

    “There’s a kick in fighting for a man’s life. There’s mystery! There’s intrigue! I like the troubles of bootleggers, chorus girls and headwaiters. They’re human! They’re alive!”

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    Waynski says:

    @Gin & Tonic: There are at least three major subway lines that go through Union Square: the 4/5/6, the N/R and the L. It’s a significant subway hub.

  176. 176
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Waynski: I know that.

  177. 177
    Origuy says:

    I saw someone playing what looked like a recorder while behind the wheel once.
    The biggest problem with Caltrain is when something gets hit on the tracks. Usually it’s a car stalled at a grade crossing and the occupants can get out, but sometimes it’s a person walking on the tracks and not paying attention. When that happens, the trains are stopped for hours. The worst is when someone decides to suicide by getting hit by a train. A few years ago, a teenager would do that every few months. It go so bad they have people at the pedestrian crossings in Palo Alto during the day to make sure the kids get across.

  178. 178
    LibraryGuy says:

    As a fundraising update – we’ve come up with almost $750 of our $2500 goal.

  179. 179
    Waynski says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Sorry. I guess I misunderstood your comment.

  180. 180
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @geg6: So glad you did this, geg6! We’re all still pulling for you here; take care of yourself, the whole wide world of troubles and evil (seemingly dialed up to 11 right now) is not your fault or responsibility. We all want to do what we can to make a positive difference in the face of these strong fascist headwinds, and we all take to heart just how tough that fight is. But any of us individually can only do so much, and most of that is in our own local circle of friends and family (whatever campaign canvassing, etc., we engage in to help beyond that). Keep that in mind, try to focus on the good and the beautiful as much as you can, and continue reaching out to others (very much including professional help such as your therapist — you are quite brave to do that, far as I’m concerned).

  181. 181
    Shana says:

    @satby: The website is You can probably volunteer to host, although I haven’t read through it all. I got contacted through my daughter by the Weston campaign.

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