May. 10th, 2017

via replied to your post “We have put so much stuff into this pod, guys. So much. It’s 93 out….”

I once worked a three-person move out of (known to be temporary) rented housing, so furniture wasn’t even an issue, but I was the only able-bodied person in that group, and I was literally crying with exhaustion by the time we left.

oh that sounds awful.

I moved alone into my first apartment with Z, and then the two of us moved alone from Jersey City to Westchester, without taking time off work to do it. We moved out of a second floor walk-up no elevators into a second-floor walkup no elevators, and in both cases had no off-street parking either, so sometimes we were hauling furniture down the street to wherever godforsaken place we’d left the car. And we would come home from work (I had to commute across the George Washington Bridge at rush hour), and eat dinner, and then load the car until we collapsed, and then sleep, then go to work and work a full day– and sometimes, on lunch, I’d go unload my car, but then after work Dude would come with his car and we’d get the heavy stuff– carrying it for a block or more sometimes, then up two flights of stairs to get to the building, then up two flights of stairs in the building, then eat something for dinner and drive back across the bridge and load the car up again that night or the next morning before work—

by day 3 I was covered in bruises, I took a photo somewhere of my blackened thighs (but it was like, 2002 or 3 or so, so I couldn’t tell you what hard drive it’s on). It took us the whole week. We forgot how to speak. This was my first week at a new job, I was trying to impress them, I had bloody hands and black circles under my eyes and I was covered in bruises. And I was broke, flat broke, because of course I hadn’t been paid yet at the new job but I needed first and last month rent as a deposit, and it was just– exhausting.


But I was 22, and it was my first grown-up apartment out of college, and this was my Dude, so. We had almost no furniture– two double beds, a kitchen table, some folding chairs, a couple sets of shelves, and a giant ugly couch was about the long and short of it (no TV, no good living room furniture, etc.).

I learned then that I was stronger than Dude, but he had a lot more reach. So for the couch, I sat down on the lowest step of the stairs and put the couch on my back and lifted it, and he guided the front legs out of the way so they wouldn’t get caught. Ditto for the small fridge, and the table.

When we moved out of Westchester, Farmsister came down and helped with our dad, and they worked their butts off, and we drove a giant Uhaul to Buffalo and never looked back.

(We had to move into our current house alone, but it was all of a quarter-mile from the place where we’d been keeping our stuff, and there weren’t stairs, so. It sucked but it wasn’t hell.)

Big Sis is sitting here now and admits she’s had the Army’s help for all her major moves. Including people to pack for her. Which sounds nice. 
We had to clean out the chest freezer so it could be moved. (It fits PERFECTLY under the edge of the table saw, like it was DESIGNED to, we’re SO PUMPED, this Pod is like, advanced-level Tetris I’m telling you, I would’ve taken a picture but it was like 8:30 last night when we figured that out and so it was already kind of dark.) One of the things in it was a pair of quart bags of frozen blackberries. So I made a pie last night, and realized as I was struggling with the crust that I’ve only ever made a couple of pies in my life, and never a fruit pie.

Fruit pies are like. They’re. I don’t know, they’re a major component of the cultural life of my very particular socioeconomic group. My mother’s grandmother (who I don’t remember except as speechlessly senile, but she was a huge formative influence on Mom) baked fruit pies in mass quantity on a consistent basis, and they were the center of much family lore (“apple pie without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze!” and various stories about spit and throwing things, which makes our family of the past sound extremely interesting). They were a staple of their people’s diet. Joy of Cooking’s On Pie Crusts section confirms this, remarking that fruit pies were a breakfast food initially, and were baked in the dozens, weekly, by rural American households up until the early 20th century. 

Anyway I’d never made one, so, now I have. As usual there was excess crust, so I trimmed it off and did as my mother always did, folded it into little envelope shapes and stuck it onto a cookie sheet to bake along with the pie. She called them “tarts”, and so do we, even though that’s not what a tart is, a tart properly has fruit in it. We eat them with jam.

So it is a tradition among my big sister’s kids that fruit pie leftovers are consumed for breakfast– my mother traditionally makes them for holiday and Sunday dinners– and so this morning there is blackberry pie for breakfast. And the tarts, which didn’t get eaten last night.

Niece is poorly, still; the consensus is that there’s a virus going around that gives intermittent low-grade fever, mild GI symptoms, headache, and such, and clings on for a few days but has no severe complications. It looks like the older boy has succumbed to it as well, so despite his lack of remaining sick days, he’s staying home today too.

Anyway, poorly Niece has been lying on the bench next to the breakfast table, and is singing to herself. She was given a tart, and picked at it, but then was wrapped up in a blanket and lying around. Her mother asked her if she was a tart, since the blanket-wrapping resembled the envelope shape I’d folded the crust into. “Are you a tiny tart?” Big Sis asked.

“No!” Niece wailed. 

“Don’t speak to your daughter like that,” I said, and it was clear that was the first moment the possible double meaning had crossed my sister’s mind.

“Well, she already said she wasn’t, it’s okay,” Sis said, and poured herself coffee. 

The Thrilling Conclusion to the Cleaning Out The Freezer Saga is that tonight I am going to try, for the first time in my life, to make pulled pork shoulder without a crock pot. A Dutch Oven should do it, and Joy of Cooking (the only cookbook not already loaded into the pod) has a handy non-crockpot set of instructions. The only other issue is that the kitchen scale is packed and it’s some home-cut-up meat so I have no idea how many pounds of pork shoulder I’m working with. Fortunately I’ve lately done a lot of wedging hunks of meat into Ziplocs which I’ve afterwards annotated with weights, so I’ve some notion of how large a cut of pork shoulder four pounds (the recipe quantity) would be. Not a concrete notion, mind, but at least more of a vague notion than your average person would have.

deputychairman replied to your post “We have put so much stuff into this pod, guys. So much. It’s 93 out….”

i love these little snippets of your life

I am glad someone does; I like telling them because I feel like I appreciate what’s going on a lot more when I organize it into story form. I never know how much entertainment other people derive from them, but I figure, the j button’s a neat trick. I should tag consistently, I suppose. 


@kansasmud you and your godforsaken red tractors

FYI Only for our urban followers: Contrary to what you might see on the web, not all farm equipment is green. Time was, some tractors were even blue.

The farm where I work doesn’t have a single green tractor on it!

They’re also atheists, though, so probably wouldn’t hang this sign either.

I should do like, a who’s who of the tractors, though. There’s an International, which is red and gray, a Farmall which is red, an orange Kubota, hmm… Yeah,  next time I’m there, I’ll do portraits of them.

There’s also a yellow bulldozer. 

tfw you have Way Too Many Tabs open but you also can’t close any tabs bc you Need Them and if you close them you’ll forget about them so you’ll get to them… eventually.
replied to your post “danceswchopstck
replied to your post “oh noooooooo the niece who has…”

Oh, for sure. Been a DoD civilian on a military base for almost 17 years; not once have I heard a female officer called “Sir” except by accident by a mortified baby lieutenant.

Oh, I think you weren’t here yet for the Sir Discourse. It must be, gosh, like a year ago– and don’t let Discourse make it sound worse than it was, it wasn’t like anyone was really super bitter about it or whatever, but– 

I guess there was some sci-fi or fantasy TV show or other, or more than one maybe, that had a woman who was a general or commander or whatever, and everyone called her Sir instead of Ma’am, and it was meant to be a gesture of respect I guess– misgendering this woman was, in-universe, taken to be some sign of how Great her authority was.(I am sure that twenty people will send me messages and asks telling me more about this TV show or movie or whatever it was. I really don’t care, it’s cool if you liked it, I didn’t watch it and don’t care to, I’m not super into most entertainment properties, I’m sure they had some elaborate in-universe justification for it. I honestly don’t give a fuck, if I was going to, I’d have been convinced a year ago.) 

And so a handful of people– good writers, people with whose worldview there is nothing appreciably wrong– in homage to this series or movie or book or show or whatever it was, due to how great and culturally formative it was– wrote some excellent fics, but in them, General Leia Organa was called “Sir” by various of her subordinates.

I, not familiar with whatever this other media property was, was sort of horrified. Why the fuck would you misgender a woman General? I didn’t understand it.

Clearly, it was intended as a respectful thing, I was informed. Which, fine, I guess I get the intention. Maybe? 

But I was really pretty offended, and remain a bit offended– especially because more than one person informed me that to them, “Ma’am” was a sex worker or dominatrix kind of thing. Which, honestly? That’s a problem with you, not with the word. If you can’t imagine using that honorific for anyone in a real-life scenario outside of sex work, you maybe need to work on that.

Because in real life, women have been in command, in real life, and called by their correctly-gendered honorific in English, in real life, for decades. And to erase the thousands of real women, who in real life, are actually in real life in real command of real soldiers in real wars, is hideously offensive to me.

But like. Your movie or TV show or whatever that posits that women have to be misgendered to be respected is cute, and all. Great. 

I still have this photo saved on my hard drive from last time. These are the first two women to be promoted to the rank of General of the United States Army. In 1970. Only seven years before A New Hope came out, sure. But. Seven years before the first Star Wars movie and we already in real life had women who were generals. It is absolutely a failure of our media and popular culture that we didn’t know that, that they wouldn’t even let any woman have a speaking role in the movie outside of Leia. In real life, women were already in command by then.

And they were called ma’am. 



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