What’s your stance?

This week the Committee is outside a) sawing concrete; b) putting the concrete chunks into a truck; c) pouring new cement and, I don’t know, probably d) sacrificing 20 pigs to the gods. And this morning I have to a) rewrite that memo (for the third time); and b) interview a lawyer. What could make this morning worse? I dunno, maybe reading about Larry Craig’s bathroom habits. (Did the “wide stance” detail turn your stomach, too?)

I’ll be back later this afternoon. In the meantime, take a wide stance over a little bloggage:

Quote of the day: “The real question for Republicans in Washington is how low can you go, because we are approaching a level of ridiculousness.” — Scott Reed, GOP strategist. What it is, dude.

Climate change? What climate change? Lake Superior at record-breaking lows. If you don’t think this affects you because you live outside the Great Lakes basin, think again.

On the recommendation of MichaelG in the comments below: Everything you always wanted to know about restroom sex. Maybe more.

Off to tackle my workload.

Posted at 7:47 am in Current events |

27 responses to “What’s your stance?”

  1. brian stouder said on August 29, 2007 at 8:21 am

    The rhetorical question Climate change? What climate change? links to an article about Lake Superior’s “unprecedented” lows, and this sentence is toward the end of the article –

    The last time Lake Superior was so low was November and December 1925 and January through September 1926, during a long drought that preceded the great dust bowl.

    And my honest reaction is, first, I need to do more reading. I think I recall that the Dust Bowl was attributed to the way land was cleared and farmed.

    Second, it strikes me as sleight-of-hand to frame the discussion as if it centers on whether or not there is “climate change”. The climate is ALWAYS warming or cooling; it cannot reach stasis.

    If a person says that human activity has zero effect on the climate, I would say that person is an idiot. And if a person says the climate is some sort of diety which we have offended, I would say that person is also an idiot…frick and frack

    Humanity is part of nature; beavers dam creeks, lightning causes horrible fires, volcanos can blot the sun from the sky, quakes can slosh the oceans and wash away whole regions, and hurricanes can mow down great swaths of flora and fauna and cities…and none of it is required to make sense!! It may not fit a model nor be predictable, nor manageable

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  2. alex said on August 29, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Wide stance? When he’s on his back, maybe. This is on a par with every excuse every ER nurse has ever heard from the guys who show up with beer bottles up their asses.

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  3. Jolene said on August 29, 2007 at 8:32 am

    Brian is commenting on the serious part of Nancy’s post. I’m going to take the low road. Her link to TPM gives us the “context and history” of bathroom sex, this Palm Beach columnist gives us the etiquette.

    P.S. Does anyone else think this form of intimate behavior might have been going on for more than the 100 years that our context and history expert suggests?

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  4. nancy said on August 29, 2007 at 8:37 am

    Jolene, your link doesn’t work.

    Brian, agreed with much of what you say. My poke was aimed more at the “needs more study” = “needs ignoring for another 50 years or so” crowd, the ones on a par with the Tobacco Institute scientists who are still not entirely off the fence with regard to that cancer/smoking link.

    And Alex: Snicker.

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  5. JP said on August 29, 2007 at 8:43 am


    Consider yourself gently chided for making light of Owen Wilson’s situation. He may be a jerk (I don’t know since I don’t read the celeb gossip) and he may make bad movies (the only movie I recall seeing him in was “The Royal Tennenbaums,” which the critics liked and I didn’t), but the guy is clearly in pain.

    Make fun of all the DWIs and celeb foot-in-mouth episodes you like. But piling on after a suicide attempt seems mean-spirited.

    Nance talkin’ here: Actually, JP, go ahead and chide, and don’t be gentle. I felt bad about that later in the day and wish I hadn’t said it. Wilson seems like a decent enough sort, and yeah, a suicide attempt is no joke. Mea culpa.

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  6. Jolene said on August 29, 2007 at 8:44 am


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  7. brian stouder said on August 29, 2007 at 9:17 am

    But piling on after a suicide attempt seems mean-spirited.

    Honestly, the attempt makes me feel contempt; not sure why. He deserves credit for NOT killing the people in his life, and then trying to hit the eject button from this vale of tears.

    Maybe it’s irritating since, as they say, in the long run we’re all dead…and this successful 38 year old seems to want to quit right now while he’s ahead!

    edit: PS – Nance’s new ability to slip into an individual commenter’s ‘booth’ (we won’t say ’stall’!) and respond is way cool! (and I’m NOT tapping my toes, nor humming, while I say this)

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  8. MichaelG said on August 29, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I travel a lot. As a result, I frequently make stops in airport restrooms. I always thought I was just going in to take a quick leak. I had no idea I was entering a subculture. It’s always been in do your business and out. It has seemed to me that everybody else was in the same mode: Worried about catching that flight or just getting the hell out to the parking or car rental lot. And the whole time there’s been strange stuff going on all around me. Geez! I never noticed any peepers or other weirdoes or suspicious activity. Now I’ll have my shoulders hunched and my head down. I’m going to have to get a “grope the other guy” sign to wear, I’ll leave my location with a friend and if I don’t call within so many minutes, my friend can call the cops to come get me. Maybe I’m safe because I’m old and gray but maybe not since all the perps seem to be old and gray too. Maybe it’s like some say: just look straight ahead and ignore everything. Anyway, I’m safe for now. Next week I’m taking the train. Wait a minute! They frequent train stations too . . . At least I’m not staying at the YMCA.

    Oh, and when I read Larry’s wide stance excuse yesterday, it didn’t creep me out, it made me laugh out loud. I’m still laughing as I write this. He’s forever going to be known as Larry “Wide Stance” Craig.

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  9. LA mary said on August 29, 2007 at 9:50 am

    Jolene, I don’t know about 100 years, but according to my elderly gay neighbors, it’s been going on for at least 70 years.

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  10. ashley said on August 29, 2007 at 10:02 am

    “What could make this morning worse?”

    Uh…remembering what happened 2 years ago, howzabout that. And listening to some pompous incompetent blowhard bullshit us about how things are gonna be all right.

    Heckuva job, heckuva job.

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  11. brian stouder said on August 29, 2007 at 10:09 am

    it’s been going on for at least 70 years.

    And – the approach of Labor Day reminds me that 2 years ago on Labor Day, Pam and I loaded up the young folks and the cooler and did a picnic at Franke Park….and right in sight of the playground (maybe 250 yards away, near some trees), where probably 250 citizens of all sorts were grilling and playing catch and so on, a straight couple was stretched out on the ground…and before long, they were busy. (and the woman was doing all the work!)

    Well, they seemed to have a plan (“Hey baby, I got an idea! Lets go to the park and screw!”) because they (apparently) finished up and then left, before the (inevitable) police came cruising through.

    Obnoxious people come in all orientations (so to speak)

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  12. Carmella said on August 29, 2007 at 10:16 am

    “What could make this morning worse?”

    …uh…coming out of the doctors office this morning with a SHINGLES diagnosis…

    (of course what happened 2 years ago is worse…but still…)

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  13. nancy said on August 29, 2007 at 10:22 am

    Gee, thanks, Ash. I’m sitting here preparing a post on NOLA, complete with a Sugarboy Crawford embedded mp3, and I get called on my self-obsession.

    Carmella, sorry to hear about that. Shingles hurt like hell.

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  14. LA mary said on August 29, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Eww, shingles. I went through that one about a year and a half ago, and I was very lucky to have what the doctor called a mild case. It still kept me awake all night and in pain/burn/itch hell all day. My mild case cleared up in about three weeks, but I’ve heard of much worse stuff.

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  15. LA mary said on August 29, 2007 at 11:23 am

    Ashley, I think the worse anniversary is the brief moment you guys thought you had mostly ducked the bullet. It gives me a sick feeling just thinking about it, and I wasn’t there.

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  16. deb said on August 29, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    when i was in college, a friend of mine lived in an absolute dump out in the country that had no indoor plumbing. when he needed to answer nature’s call, he’d walk to a public restroom in a tiny, seldom-used park nearby. he subsequently bought a copy of “tearoom trade,” a dry but fascinating treatise on what happens in such places. the detail is excruciating, almost clinical; the book even includes floor diagrams. it’s probably more than you ever wanted to know on this topic, but interesting nonetheless. oh, and a trip in the wayback machine for us old farts: it includes musings from nicholas von hoffman.


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  17. Connie said on August 29, 2007 at 5:31 pm

    Eww, shingles is right. I’ve had several attacks and have great sympathy for you. Lidocaine patches were the only pain relief that worked.

    Which reminds me, Dorothy, knees, Synvisc, results?

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  18. Connie said on August 29, 2007 at 5:36 pm

    There are web pages with guides and ratings for public bathrooms for public sex. I learned about them on a discussion list for library managers, when a library director reported in great horror that this page listed and rated her library’s bathrooms.

    Ten years ago we had moved to Minnesota, and my husband had found a nearby county park for his regular walks. Then he mentioned that every time he went there it seemed like men followed him on the trails in the woods and it gave him the creeps. Doh. I had to explain it to him.

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  19. Danny said on August 29, 2007 at 6:12 pm

    Man, am I the only one here who has not clicked the links because I don’t want to know anything about bathroom sex? Sorry, I’ll just skip that category if it comes up on Jeorpardy. “Alex, what is gross beyond belief for $500.”

    A co-worker of mine had shingles a couple of years ago. And then there was a Padres pitcher who had gout last season. Up until then, I had thought these were Civil War era ailments.

    I guess we better watch out for a resurgence of scurvy too.

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  20. LA mary said on August 29, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Anyone who has had chicken pox can get shingles. It’s the same virus and it stays with you FOREVER. It can make it impossible to bear the touch of a shirt, or like David Letterman, can nearly blind you. Eat enough red meat and drink red wine and you can get gout. One of my brothers had it. Of course he pretty much lived on red meat and red wine at the time.

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  21. brian stouder said on August 30, 2007 at 6:58 am

    A media note –

    I clicked a few of the various links in these discussions about the wide-stanced senator, and I came across a youttube of Tucker Carlson laughing about bashing a gay fellow’s head in a bathroom, in high school. (to do this, brave ol’ Tuck had to enlist the help of a ‘friend’)

    Otherwise, I’d never have heard about it, because I missed the msnbc show that it was on, and Keith Olbermann’s show – which I saw – didn’t label Tucker “worst person in the world”, nor even first or second runner up! Nope – ol’ Keith saved up all his moral outrage for one of Glen Beck’s silly riffs (regarding hand guns), and ignored his colleague Carlson’s violent homophobia, and the laughing approval it got from Olbermann’s other colleagues Dan Abrams and Joe Scarbourough! (‘course, I think Abrams is KO’s boss now, so there’s THAT to consider, too, I suppose)

    So, I guess it’s not really surprising that the Brave Defender of the Truth and Special Commenting Bush Basher Deluxe Keith Olbermann chose to hose down one of his competitor’s lame radio riffs, instead of his homophobic laughing boss Dan Abrams, or his laughing colleagues Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson.

    But next time KO works himself into a snit over some perceived moral failing of some Fox News personage*, or President Bush, or really anything else – one might recall the stone-silence from him, regarding his own batch of gay-bashing colleagues, who garner (at most) a wink and a nod from him. “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”, indeed! (and to be fair, Abarams has a segment on HIS show called “Beat the Press”, wherein he also looks for miscues and offenses committed by other journalists – and he also passed over this incident)

    *can you even imagine the sneering, snarling glee with which Olbermann would rant, if, say, BillO had admitted to getting a friend and attacking a gay fellow in a bathroom – to the laughter of several of his Fox colleagues???!!!

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  22. alex said on August 30, 2007 at 8:05 am

    I thought Tucker Carlson was openly gay. Isn’t he Gloria Vanderbilt’s grandson? Or am I thinking of someone else?

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  23. nancy said on August 30, 2007 at 8:08 am

    You’re thinking of Anderson Cooper, and he’s Gloria’s son, not grandson, and he’s gay in the don’t-ask-don’t-tell sense of the word. He doesn’t deny it, but he doesn’t talk about it, either.

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  24. alex said on August 30, 2007 at 8:25 am

    Being a pop culture doofus is the price I pay for being all holier-than-thou about not watching television.

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  25. brian stouder said on August 30, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Well, I’m definitely more-heathen-than-thou; I watch way too much tv. It seems to be somewhat seasonal…election cycles and cataclysmic events captivate me, and then later I fall away from regular worship of the glowing god. (when I get hold of the poker, the kids pretty much groan the word “news” in unison)

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  26. Danny said on August 30, 2007 at 9:44 am

    (when I get hold of the poker, the kids pretty much groan the word “news” in unison)

    Why would they say that? I thought you said were watching MSNBC.

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  27. brian stouder said on August 30, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Excellent point! I cannot watch the endless ‘doc-blocks’ of murderous spouses and bodily fluid spouting prisoners and internet pedophile trolls…when those come on it’s time to go to bed

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