It takes a gay

and they just don't get it

Our people, the gays, throw dinner parties. That's one of those things we happen to do with unrivaled panache. With multiple themed courses, before- and after-dinner drinks, paired wines, and elaborate desserts. We move naturally from one course to the next; cold foods are cold and hot foods hot when they reach the table.

Not so in heterohio. Their people struggle to host a family-style dinner with three dishes (all at once, of course), and get it all on the table at the same time. In fact, they not only struggle, they fail. The food's not at all bad, it's all just planned and executed in a particularly un-gay idiom.

And the funniest part of it is they don't know they're all wrong, and it makes "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" that much more amusing.

How I learned to stop worrying and love suburbia

There's an xmas tree on the second level, "so people driving by can look in the window and see the nice tree."

That's what suburban life is about. Showing off what you've got from behind closed doors and preferably a gate.

That and santitized everything, like the remote-controlled Heat-N-Glo® SL-950TV-D™ gas fireplace behind glass (as the model number suggests, it's as easy as watching tv!).


The New York Times > Science

Flour, Eggs, Sugar, Chocolate . . . Just Add Chemistry

About the author of this book I'll soon be buying for the Scott :)

canoe! canoe!

You know people who are into BDSM sex have safewords that mean, no, seriously, stop now?

Scott and I need such a word for Ed and Kathleen. We ask for one thing – a gift bag, say, or a bit of gift wrap for stuff we'd brought to give them – and it starts like five minutes of digging out every roll of wrapping paper they can find and going down in the fucking basement and getting out four boxes of nice bags and store bags and ribbons and bows and three scissors and four things of tape and tissue paper and colored tissue paper and—CANOE!

Or we say, when throwing together some food, "Could I have a prep bowl or two?" that prompted like five minutes of opening cabinets and getting out all the glass, plastic, and metal bowls,— wait! I think there are more in the basement!— to have a place to put one diced onion so I could clear off the cutting board.

Kathleen thinks we're saying "noo" like Canadians. It's not entirely untrue; we think that "canoe" is Sue's suggestion for a safeword.

So to them, our saying, OK! That's enough! Stop! We're fine! is like S&M sex where ow! stop spanking means "oh yes do it harder." Seriously, we tried. It only intensified the pain, and believe me, it was without pleasure.

Update: I was trying to show her how to make challah. Aside from her complete lack of interest in the science of bread (Scott and I believe it's essential to understand why things work the way they do, if you're going to change them, or even follow a recipe), I asked for a measuring spoon. I'd already looked through all the logical drawers, such as the one containing silverware, serving spoons, and the measuring cups – only to discover that there is no order whatever to the kitchen. It was as if every box that they opened just got its own fucking drawer / cabinet with no thought to where you'd be using its contents. Outrageous, and almost unusable. Of course I asked her about them (don't normal people who pretend to cook know where such tools are?) and this prompted another search through all the same damn drawers, and then Ed had to get involved, and look through boxes and shit in the garage—CANOE!


My dad & music

Listmania! Music featured on The Weather Channel

Seriously. We're driving in the car and this shit is on. I finally asked, "What is this? Greatest hits from The Weather Channel?!"

It's not bad really, it just happens to go very well with your "Local on the 8s™"

The particular song that provoked my reaction, by the way, was even called "The Promise of Rain" by John Boswell. I totally hear it every time I breeze past the weather channel. (Be sure to check out the audio sample)


I love shoes





Salon.com | Goin' south

by Russ Feingold:
"I can only wonder how many more generations of central Alabamians will say yes when the increasingly powerful Republican Party asks them to be concerned about homosexuality but not about the security of their own health, about abortion but not about the economic futures of their own children. As my wife and I drove through Greenville that night, I thought how fundamentally unfair this all is in order to support an increasingly radical conservative movement."


new drink friend! : Oatmeal cookie

from the wine bar we went to tonight:
  • stoli vanil
  • bailey's
  • goldschlager
  • milk
and you could probably make it an oatmeal raisin cookie with some crème de cassis.


three fantastic finds

At an Italian market on Taylor street near scott's campus.Villa Puccini and Villa Vetrice (discussed here, the highest "score" of the bunch). Also, tipo 00 flour for pizza and pasta, and savoiardi at an appropriate price. Of course, the vini santi are the most exciting, because wine stores rarely have even one, much less four good ones, to choose from; and they're rarely 500ml for $10.


oooooo aaaahhhh

Eva Solo Breadbin

And I'm actually completely done with the semester!

Just sent off the last paper for Ethan's class. Yay!

Now to make some dinner: whole wheat pasta with lentil ragù and maybe a trader joe's meatball.

My new favorite book!

Amazon.com: Books: The Slow Food Guide To Chicago: Restaurants, Markets, Bars (Slow Food Guides)

christian "victims"

Frank Rich writes
What is this about? How can those in this country's overwhelming religious majority maintain that they are victims in a fiery battle with forces of darkness? It is certainly not about actual victimization. Christmas is as pervasive as it has ever been in America, where it wasn't even declared a federal holiday until after the Civil War. What's really going on here is yet another example of a post-Election-Day winner-takes-all power grab by the "moral values" brigade. As Mr. Gibson shrewdly contrived his own crucifixion all the way to the bank, trumping up nonexistent threats to his movie to hype it, so the creation of imagined enemies and exaggerated threats to Christianity by "moral values" mongers of the right has its own secular purpose. The idea is to intimidate and marginalize anyone who objects to their efforts to impose the most conservative of Christian dogma on public policy. If you're against their views, you don't have a differing opinion — you're anti-Christian (even if you are a Christian).

Yeah, Bill O'Reilly and a few other notoriously disingenuous types are purely strategic here. But I think victimhood is actually central to a lot of people's belief.


The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Think Globally, Eat Locally

Exactly. As if anyone needed more reason to eat local!
The solution to these insecurities is to establish community-based food systems that include many small farmers and a diversity of products. Such systems make large-scale contamination impossible, even for determined bioterrorists. Far more people have contact with the Mexican lettuce at the supermarket, for example, than with the locally grown lettuce at the farmers' market.


Wired 11.09: PowerPoint Is Evil

Wired 11.09: PowerPoint Is Evil Yes old but good nonetheless.


gibson paper



All day Saturday

Yesterday I took the final in the American Political Institutions seminar. The format is intended to mimic one day of the comprehensive exams we'll sit for at the end of our second year: eight hours to answer two out of three questions, with copious references to seminal literature in the field.

I'll go out on a limb and share my answers. On one hand, I think I advanced and adequately supported arguments that addressed the questions. However, my answers are quite short. I have a year and a half to learn what is expected on comps. If Bill's feedback is that I should've included more details, it's best that I know that now.

I'd also welcome comments from any of my colleagues who read this. :)


NPR : Joan Nathan's Recipes for Classic Hanukkah Dishes

NPR : Joan Nathan's Recipes for Classic Hanukkah Dishes

I haven't made latkes yet this year but I will soon! :)


How would Jesus solve those equations?

"What does it mean to have a Christian perspective of mathematics?"
What, indeed?

From patriotboy

Henry Waxman needs reëducation.

A whole bundle of niftiness!

Netscape N throbber, flaccid.I found urbanmainframe in a search to justify that the thing at the right of the browser toolbar that moves while a page is loading is in fact called a "throbber." (It seems to have come from the original very throbbing Netscape N. I couldn't find an animated one.)

But urbanmainframe also satisifed another little thing I'd wanted to find online, the cool original SGI logo! I do like the new simple 2000ish one or whenever they did it (very cool type family), but the old one just says hardcore power. Looking around at their products, though, they're still using the old one on the branding on the front of the machines! Yay!

Finally, on branding the new Mozilla flagship products, Firefox and Thunderbird. A good read.

Why yes, I'm working on my paper for Gibson

But in the event that I did something else (subjunctively, of course)...

Periodic table of wine: kinda neato

De Long's Wine Grape Varietal Table: Learn About Wine The Visual Way

it's funny and it's fascinating!

In Vino Gravitas - The Supreme Court has a sobering look at interstate wines. By Dahlia Lithwick
Previous posting at Volokh, making predictions before oral argument.


evangelicals and equality

(a few days old, but worth posting)
Andrew Sullivan:
"The Bush line, essentially is: 'We are not homophobes; we are happy to live alongside gay people, as long as they recognize that they can never have the same civil rights as we do. Accept your own inferiority, and we will accept you.' That's why this is so hard to compromise on. Because it cuts to the core of a human being's self-worth. On this, we cannot compromise. The simple truth is that there isn't a single civil right I would deny to an evangelical Christian. I've defended their freedom of religion, of association, of disassociation, and believe they should be treated with respect. I wouldn't dream of drumming them out of the military, firing them for their faith, tearing up their relationships, or taking their children away from them. The favor, alas, is not returned."

Semester-end snack

This semester's crunch-time snack, an impusle buy today at whole foods, are honey roasted chipotle peanuts. Yum.

ProCreation car emblem

take that, creationist wackos!



Scott points out that I should have done more work and less going out this week, and I could've driven up there for sex and Vermilion. He's right, of course, but oh well.

Adium X(tras) :: Sound Sets :: Tokyo Train Station


Humm Page: Llama Sounds

Remember during the election coverage, on CNN, there were bizarre ads for IloveAlpacas.com? There are also ads of varying sizes in the New Yorker having to do with alpacas. Scott is knitting a scarf with alpaca wool. And last week there was an article in the NYT. With all this recent hype around such an unusual animal, I was curious what they sounded like. Apparently, they make the same noises as llamas, and I found an excellent collection of llama noises online.



god that's fucking disgusting

Why yes, that is a bowl half full of the Spaghettios "ravioli" in a can that my roommate's girlfriend made for herself about twelve hours ago. And yes, I will try very hard to leave it there for her to clean up her damn self.

Update (40 minutes later): Ryan just cleaned it up. She's in the bathroom applying makeup.


menu for the week: it's cold out.

  • Hungarian potato soup and ciabatta
  • Ciabatta, frittata, and salad
  • Arroz con pollo (Spanish-style, with saffron)
  • Cuban black beans and rice (frijoles negros)
  • Maybe a pork roast and sauerkraut

Now that's what I call a headline!

The New York Times > National > United Methodists Move to Defrock Lesbian


yet more geeky troublemaking

Hi Michael, Some of the things you recommended are actually in development right now...they were not added to the current release because of time constraints. In fact, this exact feature is already included on all the admin pages in the system...I just haven't added it to the coursepage yet. Other things, such as the resizable columns, are simply not worthwhile because of the amount of time it takes to get them tested across all browsers and operating systems. When I add the feature that controls the display of information on the coursepage I will look to see if I can resize the columns in a more pleasing manner. The pitfall there is that if I don't force a width on the right-most columns, its possible for the title to use up the whole page width, which doesn't look very good. Thanks for your suggestions...I will do my best to address them in upcoming versions of the software. -Marc Marc A. Bertone Programmer / Analyst

being a pest, cont'd.

Hi, I'm an end-user of the eRes system at Washington University in St Louis. I have requested that the library make a change to the summary view of documents, but the administrators (cc) claim that they "have no control" over the display. Surely any modern web application is configurable in the way I'm asking about.

Specifically, the summary view of documents shows only the arbitrary document "title." This default (if it is a default) is profoundly unhelpful for academics. Citations are most frequently given as "author-date" pairs, or maybe a book title; chapters of of books are almost never cited by title. Further, it's clear that richer data are entered about the documents. It should be possible to change the summary view so users don't have to open detail view for six or seven documents in order to find the right one.

How do administrators change display settings? Is it part of the application, or a control file somewhere? Three equal-size columns for "title", file type, and file size is profoundly unhelpful. They should also be resizable, no? A third of my display width for a file size is also a bit ridiculous.

Michael Malecki
PhD Student in Political Science
Washington University in St Louis


What, is it made by peoplesoft?

I'm sorry if I'm being a pest, but I want to pursue this a bit further. The detail view provides much richer data – source type, author, and year. So someone enters this in the database at some point.
I find it incredibly hard to believe that the software is not configurable for the summary. I couldn't find documentation at the vendor's site, but I'd be happy to look through the manuals if you have them. It's a very poor default, and one that should be changed, but it really has to be configurable.

On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 08:51:34 -0600, Scott Britton wrote:
> Michael,
> We do not have control over the display information, except that titles can
> be listed either alphabetically or in the order they were placed on ERes.
> We try not to be creative with the title of the article (avoiding "Reading
> 1" or "Author- Article Title") because readings are often used by other
> classes and are retrieved by the published title.
> An instructor can request that we group articles together into folders.
> This helps to organize long lists of articles.
> Scott Britton
> Head of Access
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Reserve Unit
> Sent: Wednesday, December 01, 2004 8:14 AM
> To: Scott Britton
> Subject: FW: sort key in document listing
> -----Original Message-----
> From: malecki@wustl.edu [mailto:malecki@wustl.edu]
> Sent: Tue 11/30/2004 5:23 PM
> To: eres
> Subject: sort key in document listing
> It would be immensely helpful if you could add or change the result display
> to show the author and year of documents, rather than the arbitrary title
> you assigned it. As you must surely be aware, citations are nearly always
> given as author-date pairs.