47 thoughts on “More Open Thread Goodness”

  1. Happy Thanksgiving ladies!

    Just thought I’d share with anyone that might not be on Avenue’s mailing list that they are having a $15 sweater sale right now. I just bought 5! :D

  2. Happy Thanksgiving!

    Thanks for the reminder, April, I know I put that ad somehwere!

    There are heated mattress pads on sale tomorrow for $30 at Sears or Kohl’s tomorrow, too – I know that came up in one of the other threads, but I can’t remember which store it was. Somewhere in the pile of ads!

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it! I’m at peace with just making pies this year, but have decided that next year I’m damn well going to cook for people who appreciate it.

    Now if I could just get Kate, Fillyjonk, and Sweet Machine as well as a couple dozen awesome Shapelings squoze into my home for food, fun, live music (by PiggyMoo, of course!), and general geekdom, I’d be a very happy woman.

    Hey, did anyone else catch the Thanksgiving ep of Top Chef last night?

  4. “Now if I could just get Kate, Fillyjonk, and Sweet Machine as well as a couple dozen awesome Shapelings squoze into my home for food, fun, live music (by PiggyMoo, of course!), and general geekdom, I’d be a very happy woman.”

    Now, see that would be awesome.

  5. twistie i watched it!

    think about how long ago it must have been when they filmed it, and how definitely NOT thanksgiving time it was…

  6. I did too! And I don’t normally watch Top Chef. (spouse is hooked) I had to laugh when they were going on about how the poor Foo Fighters wanted foods that reminded them of their families, who they’re separated from at the holidays, while we’re watching sun and rain in ROCHESTER. Maybe it was poetic license and the fourth of July holiday…
    Best line: It’s raining in my tiramisu!

  7. ‘It’s raining in my tiramisu’ is totally going to be my new line for fail.

    For all the suspension of disbelief over the time of year, etc., I was actually kind of impressed with the Foo Fighters as food critics. They were quite thoughtful about the process, it seemed.

    The one thing I really hate about Top Chef is that you can’t get it in smell-o-vision or taste-o-vision. Then again, there was that one restaurant wars ep a couple seasons back where the front of house guy on one team got a LOT of negative comments about his BO and the other team used scented candles in the dining room. That would definitely be an episode to turn off the smell-o-vision for!

  8. Can I hijack the open thread to complain about Animal Crossing? Maybe I just never noticed before, but the female animals have a seriously messed-up relationship with food. The other day one of them was going on about how she ate too much randomly-generated-food-name and now she had to exercise a lot to banish it from her body. Yesterday was Thanksgiving and half the female animals were saying “Now back to my dieting lifestyle for the rest of the year!”

  9. Anyone else crazy enough to brave the early morning Black Friday crowds with me? I already did it this morning – I was in line at KMart at 6am for their 7am opening. (Wanted – and got – a cheap Guitar Hero bundle for my daughter.) Tomorrow morning I’ll be at Kohl’s for their 4am opening if my sister – a Black Friday virgin – decides to go with me. She wants some of their $24.99 Reeboks. If she chickens out at the last minute (a distinct possibility), I’ll get to sleep an hour later and still make it to WalMart’s 5am opening for some of the awesome clothing deals they have going on. ($8 jeans, coats and track suits, to name a few.) After that I might hit Target, I might not – depends on how much I’ve already spent. But that’s pretty much the extent of my Black Friday shopping this year. Normally, I have a whole route planned out and I don’t get home until 10 or 11am (after hitting as many as 6 – 8 stores). This year there just aren’t as many deals that I’m interested in. Electronics are where the savings are really at, and I’m just not in the market (or the budget) for flat-screen TV’s and Blu-ray players. Plus my daughter is getting older, so I’m buying fewer and fewer toys, etc. Think of me if you happen to be up at that ungodly hour Friday morning!

  10. Not sure. I’ve always done Black Friday, because I actually have fun doing it. It seems like one of the only big society communal activities we have left. But I’m tired, and it’s cold, and I’m getting older. :)

    I noticed that the deals are all electronics, too. My son’s big gift this year is an MP3 player, and I really lucked out – I was debating which store to try for tomorrow, because they all have Sansa Fuzes between 65-70, and then I saw it online at Walmart for 68 today in a pre-Friday special. Bingo! Bought it and didn’t have to wait in line at all. :)

  11. Some years I do Black Friday, some I don’t. I’ve been reading the ads and there just isn’t anything I want enough to get up that early for, even though I live within walking distance of Kohl’s. The one thing I was hoping to find a good price on doesn’t seem to be on sale anywhere.

    My favorite place to do Black Friday early in the morning is Joann’s. It’s a bunch of sleepy crafters and Grandmas who are buying 50 yards of flannel to make all of their grandchildren matching pajamas. It’s rather sweet.

  12. Buffpuff, the day after Thanksgiving is a traditional shopping day for people who are buying Christmas presents — stores have huge sales and often open at, like, 6 am to mobs of people. I guess the idea is it’s the last day everyone has off work before Christmas proper, so get your shopping in now. I had never heard the term “Black Friday” until I worked for an internet retailer a few years back, but it seems to have become pretty well-known. An alternate tradition called Buy Nothing Day has sprung up as a protest if that’s more your thing.

    Personally, fighting pre-dawn crowds at Macy’s or wherever sounds like my vision of hell, but I understand the potential fun for people who go in armed with a plan. I find that I have become one of those grouches who dislikes the forced consumerism of the holiday season, so each year I’m trying to opt out of Christmas gift-exchanging.

  13. I might buy something from Etsy today, because a lot of sellers are having giant sales and my MIL likes kitschy, busy necklaces, but other than that, I’m not touching an actual store. Also not in the market for anything that would be cheaper today, such as a giant TV. (I have a friend with a 55″ TV, so that’s good enough for right now.)

    However, I will be leaving my house to go to yoga class today, because it’s cold and an hour and a half of heavy-duty yoga in an 80 degree room sounds like the perfect solution.

  14. Thanks, SM! Black Friday sounds more like it should be one of those Stock Exchange nightmares when the whole world’s shares are suddenly rendered valueless due to complex economic factors that go straight over my head. We have a similar thing here the day after Christmas, (Boxing Day – named thus because, back in Victoria’s reign, it was traditionally the day posh folks gave their staff their Christmas gifts or “Christmas boxes” – not after the urge one gets to punch most of the unruly mob squabbling over bargains).

  15. I’m going to the Springerle House today! Springerle are a very fussy German cookie that require molds, an archaic leavening ingredient called hartshorn (or boring “ammonia powder” for haters of words) and two days to make. There are springerle molds around that were carved in the 1400s, and even now there are some people who hand-carve springerle molds and sell them on the internet. People use to make them – the molds, and/or the cookies – to commemorate occasions like engagements and births; sometimes nobility would commission a super fancy one, almost like you’d commission a stained glass window, if you were a German noble.

    ANYway, we’re visiting my inlaws in Pennsylvania, and we are ONLY FORTY MINUTES AWAY from a store that specializes in all things springerle! Plus it’s in the same small town as a railroad museum that will appeal to… um, everyone else in the family who haven’t gone off the baking deep end.

    (One of the schools for whom I landed a conference interview is in a small town that is otherwise not the kind of place we’d probably want to live, but there IS a springerle authority there and he gives lessons. I am considering this as a weighty point in favor of that school. Is that weird?)

    ALSO, I got a Peter Reinhart book from my sister-in-law! Brother Juniper’s Bread Book, which has fantastic recipes that I can’t wait to try!!

    Low-carb diets are an abomination unto the Lord! Up, up with flour!!

  16. Another cool thing about springerle is that there are apparently very old recipes around that say things like, “Have the oldest son beat the eggs. When he is tired, have the next oldest son beat the eggs. When he is tired, have the third oldest son beat the eggs. When he is tired, add the dry ingredients.”

  17. I find that I have become one of those grouches who dislikes the forced consumerism of the holiday season, so each year I’m trying to opt out of Christmas gift-exchanging.

    Yeah, I’m trying to figure out how best to do that. The only people I actually want to buy presents for are my sister and my aunt — my parents a) will not be brought joy by ANYTHING, no matter how thoughtful or perfect the gift may be and b) are both those people it’s extremely difficult to buy for. So you get them a boxset of their ‘favourite’ show and they never watch it, or a recipe book from a chef they claim to like and they never open it, etc. What’s the point? But if I didn’t get them anything, WOE THE GUILT-TRIPPING THAT WOULD DESCEND. So the farce must continue.

    I opted out of Christmas cards when I was about 13 because the amount of stress and ettiquette involved was just ridiculous, and my mother followed me a few years later because it drove her MAD. My friends and I decided shortly thereafter that presents were a birthday thing, when it’s individual and matters, because none of us need to go bankrupt at Christmas, thankyouverymuch. It’s just so much stress and money and waste.

    It baffles me how so many holiday traditions create so much more stress and dread than happiness, and yet people keep doing them year after year after year. I am all for opting out and doing only that which will let you spend your holiday in joy, as much as possible. It’s that or go mad for me.

  18. @ Buffpuff: actually, the origin of the term Black Friday is from the stock market. Once upon a time, it was used exclusively to refer to the beginning of the 1929 stock market crash that heralded the start of the Great Depression.

    @ A Sarah: I love springerle! My father used to make it and had some incredible molds. I own a few of them now, but I haven’t made any yet. Now I’m inspired to go out and find a good recipe and see if I can do as well as good old dad did.

  19. I had the best Thanksgiving: surprise relatives from Spain! Obviously the family they were staying with knew, but we didn’t, and I got to see my cousin and his wife that I haven’t seen since I was sixteen and their daughters. Including the most adorable three-year-old, who gives besos on command. AWW.

    And tonight I am going out for beer with my friends who are home for the holiday, which will be great.

    On a totally different and self-pimping note, I talked about belly positivity on my blog this week. Link’s in my handle.

  20. About Animal Crossing: I think it’s actually morbidly funny that bipedal, talking animals have such petty things like their appearance to worry about (unless, they’re a peacock or something–are there peacocks in AC?). One of the female animals says something like, “Where are the fabulous results? Have I been chowing on candy in my sleep or something?” And I wanna say, “No shit, you anthropomorphic bitch. DIETS DON’T WORK.” And ever notice how the male animals are either muscle-obsessed, have rage issues, or eat too much? Yeah, patriarchy hurts men, too. I think Nintendo hates us. Lord help me if Mario ever loses weight…

    TropicalChrome- Hopefully, they’ll still have some left over for me. I need to make those costumes for Anime Central. And I guess a pair of jeans, too, since I heard that Lane Bryant is closing out…

    And I am so totally ditching Xmas and going to Mitsuwa, which will be one of the few places still open. I call places that are still open on Xmas ‘Scrooge-Friendly’.

    There should totally be a size-acceptance boot camp. ‘PRIVATES! YOU ARE FINE THE WAY YOU ARE! DIG IN THAT CAKE, SOLDIER!’

  21. I had never heard the term Black Friday until a few years ago, and this year I was inspired to look it up in wikipedia (which, I know, I know! is not authoritative, but it’s usually a good place to start). Says it was originally a negative name for the day after Thanksgiving, coined in the early 60s in Philly by the cops and taxi drivers, by way of describing the effed-up traffic of the shoppers. Now retailers are using it to indicate the start of the one month when they might make some profits, or be in the black.

    I am not going shopping today, not out of politics (I’ve got plenty), but out of economics (I’ve got none). I am going to be going to my local coffeehouse and finishing revisions on the two-woman show that Big Moves Boston is sending to Montreal this year. And start writing the script for the spring 2009 show here in Boston: FAT CAMP. And start outlining the script for the fall 2009 show. Actually, this is going to be a really good day…

  22. @ Caitlin: “It baffles me how so many holiday traditions create so much more stress and dread than happiness, and yet people keep doing them year after year after year.”

    Ditto. It’s a mystery, especially the frantic shopping the day after Thanksgiving when it seems like every year there are stories about people being seriously injured, either through accidents or through fights breaking out — and this year there was even a death on Long Island when a Walmart worker was trampled by the crowd rushing into the store. It’s just stuff. Why the frenzy? And most of the time the bargains aren’t even real bargains — it’s like the Murphy’s Law of shopping. You go through all sorts of crap to score the bargain tv and two weeks later it’s on sale for less money someplace else.

    I have shopped on Black Friday, but at normal hours, late enough in the day that the truly rabid bargain seekers have gone home so the crowds aren’t as bad.


    BWAH HA HA!! I was skimming and when I saw this I at first thought “privates” meant “private parts.” Like, people telling their private parts that they are just fine how they are. Which seems like a GREAT thing to do, except then I got confused about the cake.

    @Twistie: OMG I totally wish we could get together and make springerle! The Springerle House in Strasberg PA was AWESOME, if you ever make it up there. I mean, it’s a small little springerle shop that sells cookies (not just springerle) and springerle molds, and also serves tea and a couple of sandwiches. So it wouldn’t be a place to spend a day or anything. But definitely worth a visit if you’re in the area.

  24. @ Twistie: I think you’re thinking of Black Tuesday.

    @ Bigmovesbabe: The explanation I’ve always heard for the naming of Black Friday is thus: Back when accounting records were kept by hand in ledger books, financial losses were entered in red. It was quite common for stores to operate “in the red” until the day after Thanksgiving, when they finally began turning a profit for the year. Those entries were recorded in black ink, hence the term “Black Friday.” I don’t know about that story’s validity, but it’s the one I’ve always heard. I read the thing about cab drivers on Wikipedia, too, but I’ve never heard of that until you mentioned it.

    @ Nan: I hear of those stories, too, but my Black Friday experiences (going back several years) have been overwhelmingly positive. The BF shoppers I run across are a friendly, helpful bunch – joking, chatting, offering to help reach items, and forming on-the-spot alliances (“you go grab 2 of X and I’ll get 2 of Y and we’ll meet back here and swap”). We feel like we’re all members of the same great big club. The only hostility and angry attitudes I’ve ever seen involve line jumpers – and really, can you blame them/us? Standing in line in the cold – sometimes for hours – only to have some asshole who just arrived 10 minutes before store opening try to slide into the front of the line? That’s becoming less of a problem, though, as stores implement ticket systems and have more security on hand. I mean, the whole morning is still sheer madness, but at least we’re good-natured about being so crazy, KWIM?

  25. Well, I hate the consumerism around the holiday season in general, but my favorite pottery-painting place has 50% off EVERYTHING day after Thanksgiving, and I just can’t stop myself from going in there and making Big Projects at half price. This year I made a menorah that *rocks*. But I steered clear of chain stores; the only other things I bought were chocolate (at a local chocolatier) and candles (at another local small business).

  26. Also! Since this is a thread of random, I’d like to take this time to give thanks for generous padding. I slipped on some wet leaves on the way into the library and my feet went right out from under me, and all my bodyweight fell on my right hip. My first thought was “oh fuck”, since I have a full week of Christmas ceilidh joy planned and I need to be able to dance, dammit!

    But it’s been 15 minutes and it doesn’t hurt at all any more. I guess because there was a lot of padding and a bigger area to spread it over? I = grateful.

  27. Okay, since it’s an open thread, this is less happy but I want to share: we’ve had a rash of thefts in my workplace. We’re pretty positive now it’s an inside job – someone clearly has a master key and also likely some knowledge of how computing is handled on campus. So we’ve all gotten locked cabinets and locked up all our valuables, etc., but lately people’s computers have also been randomly turned on when they come in in the morning, after shutting them down the night before.

    Lucky me, it was my turn over Thanksgiving, apparently! The desktop was turned on when I came in to my office today. It was at the password-entry screen, though, so I don’t think they got past that. But it makes me feel soooo secure. :(

  28. volcanista, EW! That would totally creep me out!!! To think that someone you know is violating the baseline assumption of respect between coworkers…. bleh. (And lesser bleh also for having to come to work on a Saturday! boo.)

  29. It’s kind of nice that it’s quiet on campus today, actually. But yeah, it’s super creepy. Hopefully the person will be caught soon. They tell us that “steps are being taken,” whatever that means!

  30. They tell us that “steps are being taken,” whatever that means!

    Raptors at every doorway?

    (…this is why I don’t work in security.)

  31. Hello everyone. Hope you’re all recovering from all the holiday family time and food concoctions. I was wondering…am I alone, or does anybody else experience a kind of disconnect with her body? I don’t think it has to do with being overweight (though I happen to be), but I think it’s always been this way, or at least since puberty hit early and while I was still a skinny kid. I feel like the ghost in the machine. I don’t really get the concept of body image…it’s a package…I’m in it…I don’t have much control over what it looks like, so why do people insist on stereotyping me based on its appearance or size or curvaciousness or whatever. It’s just a body…hello…I’m inside. I don’t have particularly positive or negative feelings about this body I occupy–it just doesn’t represent me well. I would identify with a tomboyish body, I think…but I’ve been attracted to female bodies more curvacious than mine…which is saying a lot. I just don’t feel tuned in to the one I’ve got. Anyone else out there?

  32. I think I can kind of understand Robin. Sometimes I feel like what shows on the outside does not represent what lives on the inside.

  33. Does anyone have any experience with the Wii balance board? I was thinking of getting one because it looks fun, but I saw some postings on a gaming site that it will reboot and refuse to work if you are 301 pounds or more. Has anyone used it? Anyone know if that is true? I weigh about 315.

  34. Robin that’s interesting. I think a lot of people experience that.

    For me, and JUST for me, not saying this is you – for me, I feel better when I AM connected to my body. When I feel more like i AM my body as well as my soul, and for me that goes hand in hand with exercising and dressing in a way that I like and having sex… All good stuff.

    If you feel happy being disconnected from your body, feeling separate from it, then that’s cool. I’m sure a lot of other people feel that way. But if you don’t like the feeling, rest assured there are ways to feel more connected without buying into the obsession with being thin. It’s not about that.

  35. LeeMo: I recently purchased the Wii Balance Board, and I am in love with it! However, I don’t know the exact weight limit… A friend in the 300-lb range uses hers on a regular basis, and I think the stated weight limit is 330 lbs. Is there anyway you can try one out before purchasing?

    There is one think about the Wii Fit that annoys me: the “body test.” The Balance Board is also scale, and to enable your Mii you need to do a body test with is focused on (the BS that is the) BMI. Urg. I’m tired of a machine telling me “OMG! You Gained 0.1 lbs in 1 day! OMG! Fatty!” and then, as if that’s not bad enough, it asks *why* I gained weight. (But it doesn’t ask why I’ve lost, if that’s the case… hmm…) WTF? Seriously. Annoying. I do not need to rationalize daily fluctuations to an inanimate object, thankyouverymuch.

    I love the games, and I’m enjoying exercising in my living room, but the “body test” is to be avoided, IMO.

  36. I saw some postings on a gaming site that it will reboot and refuse to work if you are 301 pounds or more. Has anyone used it? Anyone know if that is true?
    From what I’ve heard, the scale only goes up to 300 lbs., so it won’t give you an accurate measurement, but I’ve never heard anything about it rebooting.

    I asked OTM to do a guest post about the Wii fit, which I’m hoping she’ll be able to do soon.

  37. This is a little late, but for Chicago shapelings, the Lane Bryant at 2921 W Addison is closing and has the whole store at 30% or more off.

  38. For the record, surgery and recovery both kinda suck. *sigh*

    Question for the Shapelings: is there a resource out there for either fat-friendly or body-positive erotica? I’m talking about textual stories, not images. I only dabble in erotica and I fear the horrendous quality of a lot of crap put up on the intarwebz.


  39. Someone help. I’m supposed to go on a cruise with my family over Christmas, and I”m really dreading it. My parents are really bad with the whole body hatred thing. They are South Asian, if that gives you any context. They constantly criticize my body and weight. My mom’s not as bad, mostly because she’s learned that I don’t respond well to that kind criticism. So instead, she constantly asks about my exercise habits, and I know she’ll spend the whole cruise trying to get me to go to the gym or walk around the deck with her.

    My dad, for lack of a better word, is a total asshole. He takes on the role of the food police, with comments like, “Do you really need seconds?” If other people are around and he doesn’t want them to think he’s a jerk, then he just gives me extremely dirty looks when I serve myself, along with the occasional under-his-breath comment. And let’s not forget the constant offers from both parents to pay for WeightWatchers, NutriSystem, etc. I’ve tried talking to them about it. We’ve even had a couple of blowouts over it. But nothing works. So how do I get through this cruise? And spending time with them in general? Is there anything I can possibly say to them that could work? Any other coping strategies? The thought of a week trapped on a boat is making me miserable. The only good news is my brothers will be there too, and they don’t pull this kind of shit.

    As funny as it sounds, aside from the weight/body thing, my parents are actually pretty great. But they’re SO awful about it, and it’s so constant, that one small comment from either one of them can ruin any time I spend with them, no matter how great the rest of it was.

  40. My understanding with the Wii Fit is that the max weight is 330 pounds. Which makes me sad because I want one DESPERATELY, and I weigh 340.

    My friend and her husband have one, and she’s sore for a day or two after using it because it’s that intense of a workout for her. She’s in love with it, though, even when it’s mean to her.

    It’s a very capricious device. Sometimes it likes you, sometimes it’s quite snarky….like when you step on it, it goes “Ow.” Or when it asks you if you’ve noticed one of the other people who use your Wii looking better lately….and then if you tell it no, then it bites your head off for not noticing.

    Maybe I should get a used PS2 and buy a DDR pad.

  41. Hi, Shaplings!

    Does anyone know why I’ve been getting all these lovely hits to “Alas a blog” from Shapely Prose today? I’m pleased, of course, but since I can’t find the link I’m also bewildered.

  42. It’s a mystery to me, Barry. Our link to your “colonized mind” comic isn’t among the top posts today, so it’s not like we’re getting mad hits from somewhere else on that post and passing them on to you. How many hits are we talking about?

    ETA: People are clicking on a link to your post from yesterday, but I still don’t know where that link is. My suspicion is that lots of people clicked to it from our Fatosphere feed sidebar because the title is intriguing.

  43. Ah-hah!

    That’s probably it. Although I didn’t realize that “Alas” fat posts were in the fatosphere feed. But I’m happy if they are, of course.

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