So here’s something I, perhaps unjustifiably, find irritating. There are a few ways it can go.

Scenario #1: not irritating

I enter a restaurant to have dinner with a group of friends and we are all sitting down basically at the same time. Someone who is about to sit down realizes the arrangement will end up such that I can’t sit next to my husband, so they change course to sit elsewhere and I sit next to him.

Scenario #2: not irritating

I enter a restaurant to have dinner with a group of friends and my husband is already there. There isn’t a seat by him so I sit elsewhere. Person says “Oh, here, I’ll let you sit by your husband!” I say “Oh no, I’m fine.” Person says “OK!” or “Are you sure?” and upon hearing my “yes” lets it go.

Scenario #3: irritating

I enter a restaurant to have dinner with a group of friends and my husband is already there. There isn’t a seat by him so I sit elsewhere. Person says “Oh, here, I’ll let you sit by your husband!” I say “Oh no, I’m fine.” But no amount of demurring will dissuade this person and they make a big production of shifting themselves and everyone else around so I can sit by my husband.

Here’s the deal. Sometimes–and you may want to brace yourself for this shocking news–I would actually just as soon not sit by my husband. Yes, he is an awesome guy, and I like his company. After all, we do live together, right in the same house. Many days he is the only other person I see beyond a short interaction with a store clerk or something. In fact, come to think of it, you can perhaps start to see where it is sometimes nice for me to chat with someone else for a short while. After all, dinner will probably not take more than a couple of hours, and I promise I can live without him for that duration, especially since in all likelihood I will still be able to see and speak with him from where I am sitting. If I say that I don’t need to sit by him and you force me to, it makes me look like a bit of an asshole and a bad wife, and also deprives me of social interactions that I may have been interested in engaging in.

On a related note, I also sometimes like to talk to “the other wives” or even folks other than “the other wives” about things unrelated to being married, house and yard work, or their kids (since I don’t have any). Sure, these are great topics of conversation, but there are also others.

I guess what I’m saying is I like feeling as if there is more to me than the state of being married to someone, even if that is an integral part of my life. I’m fine with the offer to change seats since that just seems to be what we do in “polite society,” but if I say no, take my words at face value and don’t worry about it, ‘K? Thanks.

You are a cool expert, I opine.

–fake bot-person in my spam comments filter

I couldn’t agree more!

Does anyone else remember this brand of athletic wear from the ’80s called “Le Coq Sportif”? (And apparently it still exists). Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t this refer to something like an athletic chicken? And why didn’t I think this was strange at the time?

There is probably something wrong with me, but I almost think the cute little fox on my Gmail theme (“Tea House”–here’s an example of the iGoogle version) is helping me to get more done. It’s harder to justify wasting time online when he is always working on his bonsai tree, bathing chickens, feeding ducks, eating noodles, lighting lanterns, and so on. He is extremely industrious.

Because my first thoughts upon hearing this news story were:

  1. Nooooo!!!! Think what a great find that would be for a collector! And it was probably worth a lot of money! [So not only am I morally ambivalent regarding porn, its material worth in terms of filthy lucre is apparently of primary concern to me as well.] 🙂
  2. I bet there was some cool stuff in there. [I felt pretty guilty about that one when the pastor was like “What else could we do? Of COURSE we wouldn’t want anyone to ever watch material like that again.” Um… of course not!]
  3. You shouldn’t burn plastic like that. It’s bad for the environment. [At least the local radio host was joking about how he had thought the same thing–of course, he does a regular segment on the environment, so he had an excuse.]

Here’s a question for all you science-y types out there–do you think laboratory filter papers are food-safe? Since I seem to have an issue with acid reflux (short version: I don’t really have “heartburn” per se, but I was having trouble swallowing and an upper GI scope indicated irritation that the gastroenterologist said was from reflux), I’m trying to stay away from caffeine and acidic foods. I love coffee, and I’ve found that the cold brew method creates a much milder-tasting cup that I’m sure is easier on my stomach (I use decaf). The only problem is, filtering the stuff out by gravity takes forever and invariably makes a mess. So I requested for my birthday a filtration setup that I want to use to vacuum filter it instead, and my mom bought it for me. (Thanks, Mom!)

So far I’ve just been using regular basket-style coffee filters–actually I’ve been using a regular kitchen funnel too because the cheap Buchner funnel I asked for had a break between two of the holes and in any case wasn’t fully glazed, so I’m afraid it’s not food-safe either (I’m reminded of how they always tell you not to eat off a glazed china plate that has a hairline crack or chip). Consequently I’m going to return it and get a more expensive fully glazed one. Anyway, this setup is faster than gravity but not by much. I can’t seem to pull a measurable vacuum.

So tonight I tried using some leftover grounds in the basket filters with the actual Buchner funnel–I’m not going to drink the result, I just wanted to see how it would work. Again better than gravity and a little better than the same basket filter in the kitchen funnel. But what worked far and away the best was to use the laboratory filter circles that came with the kit. I pulled 300 mmHg vacuum and sucked all the liquid through in no time.

The problem is, I can’t imagine they’re food safe (they’re not made for that purpose), and obsessive googling reveals no obvious source of food grade filter circles. I considered percolator filters but they don’t seem to come in the 110-mm/4.5″ size that I need. I’m going to try just cutting circles out of the basket coffee filters (maybe the fluted sides are making it so they don’t completely seal), but I’m skeptical that this will work. I feel like the filter media is just too coarse and air leaks through it so it can’t really pull a vacuum. Is this possible or am I full of shit? I’ve found people claiming they use these cut-out coffee filter circles in this setup and they work great, but based on my observations of the full basket filter, I am not optimistic.

So, what do you think? I’ve found threads online where people obviously bought the same or a similar setup and are happily using the lab filter circles to make their coffee, so maybe it’s actually OK. I doubt it, but here’s hoping.

Thanks in advance for any input you might have! This would be really kick-ass if it would work.

Did you guys hear about this? I’ve been catching up on podcasts of The Story (yes, I will probably continue to flog this awesome show 🙂 ), and one of the episodes was about a group of artists who lived in the Providence Place Mall in Providence, RI on and off for several years. Below is some additional information, but if you have time, definitely give the radio broadcast a listen–you can do so from the above link. The story was incredibly interesting as related by the “ringleader,” Michael Townsend, and I didn’t find that reading text about it did it justice.


  • Home page created by the artists to describe the mall apartment (see “Pressed” page for links to media coverage)
  • Article containing additional links to AP and Rhode Island News coverage

Have fun!

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