Activity from Frowner

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“Don’t Worry About Money, Just Travel”
Actually, we have conversations about how everyone should just go ahead and travel here on metafilter - they're usually couched as "so many Americans don't even have a passport, what hicks they are, not like me". And since having a passport costs money, and the primary reason to have one is to travel abroad, telling someone that it's hick not to have a passport is basically telling them that it's hick not to expect to travel abroad within the next few years.

I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:53 AM on July 4, 2015
I had the recent response when my lack of a passport came up as a bit of pillow talk: (aghast) "Oh my God, I'm sleeping with the enemy." This person has a beautiful soul and has made significant sacrifices and compromises to build a career where she can travel with incredible freedom and she uses that freedom to fight the good fight for ending poverty across the globe. I'd say she feared that I would be bitter or jealous of her lifestyle but it is anything but that. She is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:04 AM on July 4, 2015
Is this the Baudrillard-ish point in the conversation where we point out that people in the U.S. spend washtubs full of cash going to the simulated world travel experiences at Epcot in Orlando instead of going to the real places?


What I always wonder is whether people understand that there are different social classes in the US. Let's lay this out: someone who can spend several thousand dollars traveling to Florida or taking a cruise is… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:26 AM on July 4, 2015
The funny thing is, both Miller and Kerouac led lives that I would view as unhappy in significant ways - and Kerouac met a grotesque, tragic end in his late forties as a direct result of his drinkin' smokin' fightin' life. Both were famous for being no good for women, and IIRC Ginsberg had some pretty uncomfortable things to say about Kerouac. (Not that Ginsberg turned out to be any prize either, sadly.) It's not that you can generally judge a writer's work by that writer's life, but since… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:40 AM on July 5, 2015
A lot of people get a lot of happiness from boats, is all I'm saying.

Of course, what people mean when they say "oh, they bought a boat instead of going to Barcelona" is "those people are vulgar and crass and probably motor loudly about on the lake with water skis; worse still, they may be well-off working class people who, a la Paul Fussell's observations, enjoy having fancy televisions and vulgar things like that". Like, if you… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:40 PM on July 6, 2015

In Israel: casual dress, handle business cards with respect.
I would like a country where people are indirect, smiley, smartly dressed, don't like interruptions and follow agendas but enjoy social chit-chat before mettings and do neither karaoke nor serious drinking in a business context. Also, no two-hour lunches for business purposes; that sounds like the lunch habit of the damned.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:12 AM on July 6, 2015

"This verbal tic makes them sound like pompous bullshitters"
But what it really boils down to is "You need to be a man, except you can't be a man, and even if you went full on butch lesbian/trans you still wouldn't manage to please us." Because we can never be over six feet with a deep voice and a suit and tie. And really, the world just wants us to be born with a penis and if we fail that, at least shut the hell up.

I'd say it's not so much that one "needs to be a man" as that the system… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:01 AM on July 6, 2015
(She's in her 50s, which makes this an even worse look because it seems like she's trying to be "down with the kids" or something.)

I generally use diffidence (not uptalk, generally - I'm slightly too old and too midwestern to have picked it up as a teen) because I am well aware that someone who looks like me and has my interests (fat, muscular, gender non-conforming, educated but working class) gets read as a freak and a discipline case a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:14 AM on July 6, 2015

"they quickly learn that their lives are the cost of doing business."
Alex Chee wrote that terrific memoir about being a waiter at the Buckleys' that was linked here a few weeks ago.

It's true that this is a bit slight, but I actually enjoyed the near-future dystopias bit and really, it's the internet - quite a lot is slight. I like how he writes - he only has one novel out, apparently, but I'm going to see if I can track it down.

That whole "why didn't you come out in high school" thing - I totally… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:47 PM on July 5, 2015

Singular, Remarkable AND Curious
Okay, can I tell an Ian McKellen-related anecdote here? It's actually pretty funny.

So, at my university we had a long-time, beloved and very witty faculty member who, late in life, looked extraordinarily like McKellen, especially in photographs. This faculty member died a few years ago. A conference room was named for him and decorated with his extensive collection of honorary degrees, weird little tchotchkes and several humorous letters of his.… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:55 AM on July 2, 2015

Define "wellness."
The chia pudding probably tastes pretty good, especially if you let the chia seeds hydrate a bit and bump up the sweetening a little. It looks like something we would eat down in the mines after our world had been invaded by eldritch horrors, I admit, but I've had some pudding-esque seed things from the co-op that are quite tasty. You have to like mush - polenta, jook, grits, ice cream served over a slice of cake and let warm a bit, etc - but fortunately I do.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:59 AM on June 29, 2015
I am worried about someone whose guilty pleasure is grapes, unless they have a specific grape-excluding medical condition. I can totally buy that someone feels guilty when they have grapes because Grapes-Fruit-Sugar-Bad and I think that's fucked up. I mean, I've read people's blogs where they report feeling bad about carrots, because Carrots-Sugar-Bad.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:11 PM on June 29, 2015
On another note - I made the chia pudding referenced upthread.

I used a half coconut milk, half almond milk recipe with maple syrup and vanilla.

The texture is nice - like tapioca but the seeds retain a very, very tiny crunch. The taste of the puddingy part is good too, but if you like dairy, I could see making this with half and half or even with full fat milk.

The chia seeds have a characteristic aftertaste - they… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 AM on July 2, 2015

“What more can they do to me?”
It's so interesting that the whole premise of the article is this kind of thing:

The juvenile justice system was founded on the idea that young people are capable of change, and so society has a responsibility to help them overcome early mistakes in life. More recent science has only confirmed this principle. Because adolescents’ brains are still developing, their patterns of behavior not yet fixed, they have a far better chance of being rehabilitated than… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:37 PM on July 1, 2015

Men! Gild your hair in the colors of MetaFilter...
Actually one of my more on-trend friends dyed his hair in this way recently.

It's always so depressing to read the responses to something like this, where half the comments are "that's ugly!" or "what fashion victims", with a strong undertone of "those people must think they are SO SPECIAL but obviously they are just fashion sheep". At the very worst, it's harmless self-amusement and can be quite cheap - when I dyed my hair funny colors, I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:06 AM on June 30, 2015
The main thing I notice is that the color range is both broader and more subtle than what was available in the nineties. It seems like most of the nineties colors are still available (and the thing with that faded green is that it was gorgeous before it faded - a beautiful art nouveau blue-green. I always used to do my hair that color.) and there's a lot of really nice pastels.

I have a meeting with my nominal supervisor tomorrow and I am going to… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:00 PM on July 1, 2015

Everything Is Yours, Everything is Not Yours
Her story, weirdly, reminded me of Doris Lessing's novel Mara and Dann and of Margaret Atwood's novel The Year of the Flood, where things go so bad so protractedly that the sentences don't even make sense together. "All my toenails fell off. We lived on fruit" - it's like an ominous spoken word piece unless you already know something about that narrative.

It seems so insane that some people can live the kind of life I… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:06 PM on July 1, 2015

A Rude Awakening
What I kept wondering was "what precisely was so off about this guy"? It seemed like this particular anaesthesiologist had some homophobia issues, per the rest of the article. I would be at least a little more sanguine about the surgery/dark humor excuse except that I strongly suspect that a lot of it is surgery/racism humor, or surgery/homophobic humor, or surgery/fatphobic humor. I actually worry a little bit that someday I'll need to have a procedure of some kind and I'll get a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:57 PM on June 30, 2015
The other piece here is that knowing that doctors talk shit about you makes the medical experience scarier and more frustrating. That alone is a reason to crack down, because it's making going to the doctor worse for people (and probably a partial cause for people avoiding care - I certainly know that fear of/experience of medical ridicule is one of the things that keeps trans friends away from the doctor.)

If people have the impression that doctors… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:02 AM on July 1, 2015

Being Disabled Means No Marriage Equality For Many People
It only makes sense that once one's financial situation improves, that should be considered in evaluating whether one continues to receive government benefits.

This would make sense if and only if marriage were very likely to make the person enough better off that they could easily access the care they needed on their own nickel. But realistically, most major care costs far, far more than your average spouse could bring in. If the new partner were… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:28 AM on June 29, 2015
Basically, the point is that some people's problems are so serious that they can't be solved at the individual/household level, no matter how hard people work. Those problems need to be solved at a society-wide level. It doesn't matter - in the grand scheme of things - whether that's government or "it takes a village", but the fact is that government is the best we have to do this right now. We're not set up for "it takes a village" -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:31 AM on June 29, 2015


We do this for taxes, for estimating college tuition/financial aid, etc. We constantly, in multiple areas of life, assume that people are the responsibility of the family in which they exist. If the lower earning spouse wants many kinds of assistance, as long as he or she is living with the higher earning spouse, they are ineligible for services. This is not confined to disabilities.


Yes, and sometimes this has ridiculously… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:07 PM on June 29, 2015

Gee, I wish we had one of them doomsday machines.
Does anyone have any recommendations for further reading? Preferably from an informed left standpoint?

The trouble with all of this stuff is that we have not one but two, two evil empires crouching toad-like on the world, so a piece like this, which is about Putin-as-megalomaniac-nutter and Russian escalation, seems like only half the story. Every time they were all "it's so crazy that the Russians are afraid of US aggression", I kept… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:39 AM on June 29, 2015
Another thing - this article spends so much time on nuclear war, but it seems like a land war would be bad enough, and I am not enough of an expert to understand whether this is mostly scare-mongering or not. It might be that even Putin wouldn't want to start with the nuclear exchanges, but it seems pretty obvious that he's willing to fight as much war as Russia can manage, whatever that turns out to be. I would prioritize worrying about an old fashioned war over nuclear.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:53 AM on June 29, 2015

"My name is only real enough to work at Facebook, not to use on the site
Yeah, I've actually slowly drifted away from some activist stuff because it's all on facebook and I'm not willing to be. This year I almost didn't even get to the queer/trans march because not only was it on facebook but the public page was indexed weirdly.

I maintain that anonymity is vital for working class people - if you're a creative class person building your brand, having transgressive and edgy opinions may (or may not, honestly, but the odds are better)… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:47 AM on June 29, 2015

“Dead people have taught me how to live better,”
Why would dying like this be worse for me than some other way to die? If I didn't want people around in my day to day life while I was alive, how does the fact of death change it? I like the idea of dying alone, because I like being alone.


I mean, there's a difference between dying alone and dying from being alone - getting too lonely and sad to take care of yourself, or having no one to notice that you're sick and need… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:45 PM on June 28, 2015

Docents Gone Wild
I'm certainly looking forward to when my generation is old and some of us are stubborn, grumpy or in the very early grip of dementia.

"Those Gen-X-ers are so entitled - they're spoiled by receiving their government ration of tube food! We won't get tube food when we retire! We should take their tube food away!!!"

"Those Gen-X-ers ruined everything for all of us, and now they have the nerve to be old, stubborn… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:52 AM on June 26, 2015
Yeah, I've been in plenty of organizations where the trouble comes from the flaky kids who just want to party and decide at the last minute not to show up, come in hungover, etc etc. In my current situation, one of the two most reliable people is in her early sixties and the other is really young.

Managing volunteers is really difficult. Being a volunteer also requires some self-discipline - I know from experience that it's easy to fall into the "well, I'm… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:32 AM on June 26, 2015
And there's the fact that we are an ageist society. Gee, I wonder why someone might be kind of demanding and needy when they receive nothing but social messages that they're a waste of space, no longer interesting or attractive and selfishly using up government resources on their Social Security.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 8:34 AM on June 26, 2015
I totally love all this "the Boomers, so selfish, golden ladder" etc stuff...first of all, it's the white Boomers, right? Not a lot of golden ladders if you're black. White Boomers from well-off families who didn't have to go to Vietnam. White Boomers from the richer parts of the US - not a lot of golden ladders if you worked in a mine in Appalachia, right?

And of course, once again, all the Boomers are totes selfish and had it easy -… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 5:04 PM on June 26, 2015

Italian Dessert Nachos
The fair! The fair!

Let me tell you, there would have been no poutine, no sweet potato tacos, no hand pies and no butter chicken samosas at the fair back in 1996 when I first attended. At this point, you can go to the fair and get relatively tasty vegetarian food (other than fried cheese curds). I particularly admire how many of these are in the best fair tradition of Fried Things but are just somewhat better Things.

I am intrigued yet… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:51 AM on June 26, 2015
I am especially happy about this "Indi Frites" idea, since for years I have been pining for Little Szechuan to get a booth and bring their Szechuan fries to the masses (never going to happen, logistically speaking, of course) and these look like a similar thing with the thin batter and spices. Even if, sadly, no numbing-burning Szechuan peppercorns.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 10:59 AM on June 26, 2015
No. Not amongst anyone who actually says "tikka" out loud regularly.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:05 AM on June 26, 2015

So there is so much great food in the world, and I`m completely ignorant to most of it, why do we need this stunt food? It's kinda profoundly dull in a world where Ethiopian and Cambodian and Polish food exists, no?


Because this is fair food. You can, of course, envision a genteel upper middle class foodie fair with maybe some vintage 1950s rides and hand-carved wooden games and massaged kale salads that one eats while… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:58 AM on June 26, 2015
Given enough advance notice, I would attend a mefi fair meetup.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:00 PM on June 26, 2015
I would like some oden now, please.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:40 PM on June 26, 2015

So will you be coming to the Iowa State Fair to sample some real food, then? BECAUSE WE HAVE THIS.


That does not look like an explosion to me at all. More like some kind of implosion where the bacon collapsed in on itself to form an ultradense core.

I personally will be waiting for the Indi Frites.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:46 PM on June 26, 2015

Beep-beep is Siri reminding you to take a Cialis.
Peak nineties? No, peak nineties was the following:

1. Way, way too many Superchunk shows given that I only really liked one song
2. Something in the mail from somebody's tiny label at least once a week
3. The Levellers and New Model Army
4. That "Just A Girl" song and some Rusted Root that my fellow student workers would play in the cafeteria when we were all working in the dishroom.
5. Not… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 11:03 AM on June 26, 2015

“I was the only one who saw her for what she was ... a freak!”
Which explains why the films made them fat, right? Bigoted, indeed.

Oh, most of them are fat in the books, too - Rowling is clearly working the Diana Wynne Jones tradition of "being fat is the outward sign of being a bad person unless you're too thin, in which case you are also a bad person".

And then there's the whole bit about how we can tell taht Dolores Umbridge and what's her name the reporter and Beatrix… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:06 PM on June 25, 2015
A book aimed at children that falls back on simplistic, unfair tropes that communicate character flaws through the characters' physical appearance? A children's book you say?

Have you read any other children's books? I mean, anything from the Diana Wynne Jones to Alan Garner to Mary Gentle to Joan Aiken is a lot more subtle in characterization than Rowling - even where Diana Wynne Jones is writing fatness as a… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:34 PM on June 25, 2015
Actually, I like poking holes in the Potterverse because that lets the fanfic in. Back when I was young and full of spleen, I wrote a big fic about how most people couldn't afford Hogwarts and how working class wizards got it in the neck and how clearly this was the legitimate source of all of Snape's class resentment and how after Voldemort was defeated all the Gryffindors turned into Franco-style fascists.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:38 PM on June 25, 2015
But in the books we do hear about rival schools and wizards of other nationalities.

Not rivals in the UK, though, right? Unless I totally missed something? If there were, surely it would be like that Oxford-Cambridge rivalry thing and they'd have magical punting competitions and quidditch leagues and so on.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 12:39 PM on June 25, 2015
Mary Gentle

She wrote a couple of kids' books, including A Hawk In Silver which I just loved as a child. I was mostly trying to think of writers who were relatively successful, not always entirely PC (like, god knows, Joan Aiken) and yet more subtle in their characterization and politics than Rowling.

Zylpha Keatley Snyder might be a good parallel - those And All Between books.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:05 PM on June 25, 2015
Wizard History tumblr

The lives and lies of wizards doesn't seem to be updating, but there's a lot of links on the front page to other sites, and if you go back in the archives there's some entertaining stuff.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 1:11 PM on June 25, 2015

Harry Potter and the Tax Return (Wizard) (Form A1(c))
Harry Potter and the Budget Reform Bill, Line Item MoM
Harry Potter and the Daycare Subsidies Act
Harry Potter and the National Healthcare System
Harry Potter and the Wizarding NGO
Harry Potter and the Gringott's User Fee


Would I read these? I would read these. Especially the NGO one, especially if it could work in some jokes… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 2:45 PM on June 25, 2015
No, Diana Wynne Jones's later books are really fat-people-hating, and even her early ones aren't that great. There's that bit in Power of Three, for instance, where one of the plot points is that Obnoxious Girl is miserable because she is fat, but the magical people can use magical people magic to see the future and reassure her that she'll soon grow up and be thin like her mother - and that's an early book. There's some really gross parts in Deep Secret… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:18 PM on June 25, 2015
Believe me, I wish this weren't true.

I was just thinking about it again because a friend and I were discussing kids' books, and while we're neither of us thin, I'm acceptably-stocky for a midwestern US adult and she's bigger, and I was talking up DWJ and she said that she really felt bad when she was little because of how DWJ writes about fat people. So it's not just me noticing.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 7:20 PM on June 25, 2015
Nick is a spoiled, unempathetic teenaged boy and if by narrator you mean Rupert

I wish I had the book in hand, but I'm at work. All the characters note how disgusting WW is - how her breasts in particular are fat and gross, and how her face is shapeless. It's really hateful language that isn't necessary at all, no matter what Nick is like. Consider this - if Nick were to spout (and have echoed by the other characters) a lot of homophobic nonsense… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 6:34 AM on June 26, 2015
Okay, Dolores Haze growing up into Dolores Umbridge (obviously after an ill-advised marriage) makes a certain amount of sense. The poor thing probably has a lot of unresolved anger and trauma that she's taking out on the students at Hogwarts, perhaps because she sees her younger self in them and still struggles a lot with self-blame.

Harry Potter and the Rust and Stardust, I guess.
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:19 AM on June 26, 2015

In the tradition of how Pride started, I interrupted his speech.
From that article linked by roomthreeseventeen:

And even before they wind up in custody, the ICE agency consistently discriminates against LGBT individuals during detention decisions. A Center for American Progress Freedom of Information Act report found that in 70 percent of cases, LGBT individuals were recommended release or provided release as an option. But because ICE officers have the final say, they choose to detain LGBT people more than two-thirds of the… [more]
posted to MetaFilter by Frowner at 9:47 AM on June 25, 2015

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