Dear Clusterflock: What was the most comforting condolence sentence you ever heard?

Stolen from Metafilter. I don’t have a MeFi account, so I can’t even favorite things over there, much less comment. So I figured I’d re-pose the question here.

The MeFi thread is great, but bring tissues. I loved this one most:

My uncle, Albert Crary, was an extraordinary man. Not only was he an explorer and scientist of both poles (The Crary Mountains in Antarctica were named by him and the A.P. Crary Science and Engineering Center at McMurdo Station was named fo him) but he gathered stories like no one I’ve ever met. At his public memorial in Washington DC at, I believe, the Cosmos Club, speaker after speaker got up and told about his staunchness, his incredible endurance, but most importantly, they all told a funny story about him: The time he fell off the ice shelf and what he said to the preacher after his rescue when the preacher came looking for a good sermon. The time he went shopping for supplies in South America when they were running a geophysical line across a South American swamp. The time my father put my brother up to calling him and acting like a dumb reporter asking the stupidest questions imaginable about the ice island T3.

Months later, we had a private memorial in his hometown of Canton, New York. One-by-one his nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends got up and told more stories. To all of us he’d been the source of fun, support and laughter when we were growing up – he never let any of us take ourselves too seriously, but he was always there when anyone needed help. When my turn came, I got up, told my story and then said this:

Everyone deserves an Uncle Albert, we were just fortunate enough to have had one.
posted by BillW at 5:23 PM on March 30

(Via the wonderful Ed Yong.)

dear clusterflock

Give me. Your dirty love.

That is all. I love y’all all up.

I’m Back

MGS reached out like a mensch and asked me back. I’m not sure my own flesh & blood would’ve invited me back after two years of silence, but that’s what always made Clusterflock special, wasn’t it?

Here’s to you survivors, who wouldn’t give up on this beautiful experiment. Cheers!

Dear Clusterflock

At what point in your life did you realize that you’re probably never going to be as healthy/attractive/happy/etc. as you once were? Did you have the presence of mind to realize it at the time? Or have you somehow avoided this altogether (i.e. you’re under 30)?

I had my doubts at 30, but now I’m pretty sure I’m officially on the decline. Nothing drastic, but it’s like when you realize your new car isn’t a new car anymore. Except you can’t save up for a new one, or even take out a foolish auto loan.

Article in Need of an Illustration

Can someone please draw me a picture of a social or colonial spider?

from the archives: August 2, 2010

Dear clusterflock: Today’s Dilemma:

Can I do this unobtrusively?

This being: return to the roadside motel where I lived for the past three months, dive into the dumpster to retrieve a garbage bag, open it and retrieve a small trashcan liner filled with vomit and other detritus, and swirl through it in search of a diamond ring that belonged to my mother.

I don’t think I can do this unobtrusively.

dear clusterflock

Loss of control over WHICH BODILY FUNCTION do you find most comical? KEY TO YOUR PERSONALITY!

I’m a sucker for vomit. Vomit anecdotes almost invariably crack me up.
Read more

Dear Clusterflock,

I’m still thankful for all you guys.

Scary Stories:

You know some people talk about being abducted by aliens. I won’t say I have been, but I’ll tell you this much. When I was little, I dreamed I was falling asleep and just as I was nodding off, I felt a weight settle on the bed at my feet. I looked down to see a cat-eyed, long-limbed creature crawling up my legs toward my face. I screamed out, Daddy came. We didn’t have a cat at the time.

In a motel in a northern suburb of Denver, working retail for a couple of weeks a few years ago, I was awakened by something yanking me completely out of the bed by the big toe. I awoke drenched in sweat and in the same position I fell asleep.

Lately when napping, I’ve felt the bed settle, as if a weight lands near my feet, as if a cat has jumped on the bed. I look to find nothing there.

Tonight’s Debate

How are you feeling?

What do we think about the new look and feel?

dear clusterflock

In need of cheap lodging for perhaps 4-6 weeks. Have access to same for period required. Physical conditions rough but livable.

Note: Premises likely haunted.

Question: Is this wise?

Slower Traffic Keep Right on Driving in the Left Lane

I recently got back from France (a trip I plan to share a little about soon) where I was struck by how well people stick to the left-lane-is-just-for-passing rule. Having just driven 12 hours for something else this weekend, on highways both crowded and uncrowded, I’m now just kind of angry. It seems that it’s a point of pride to stay in the left lane (hell, I must be going faster than someone!) and almost never was I able to convince anyone to move to the right (I tried gentle creeping, tailing, light-flashing, and signalling). I now think that I’m generally better off staying in the right lane, where I’m only occasionally forced to pass someone in the traditional manner.

First of all, why do you think there’s a difference (or do you think there’s a difference)?

Secondly, how could the culture be changed? It seems that until tickets for violating the slower-traffic-keep-right rule are as easily given out and as profitable as speeding tickets, it’s not going to be enforced by police (nor do I think it should be, really).

Who’s Watchin’ the Debate?

Jus’ askin’. And riskin’ my life with apostrophes. (Cindy?) Chime in, y’all.

dear clusterflock

Say, here’s an idea. What say we establish a bizarro clusterflock for hackers, extremists, and miscellaneous goofbuckets? SHOUTING! And the SWORD!

We could even make it user-friendly by modeling it on bilingual sites. You know, sites that offer you the GERMAN or the ENGLISH version.

Visitors to the bizarro clusterflock could opt, say, for the MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY-KRAZEE-CHRISTIAN version or the MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY-KRAZEE-MUSLIM version.

There are infinite variations.

If a Comment Falls on C’Flock…

Will it make a sound?

from the archives: January 15, 2010

Clustersource:

Without thinking, comment: What’s the first thing you think when you see . . .

VC?

dear clusterflock

What do you recommend?

My week so far has stunk big-time. So I formed a plan.

Many things lie outside my control, I know, but my skull is my own. I am going to drill a hole in my skull into which I will pour something refreshing. And I will be a new and improved me no matter what Fate, that saucy trickster, has up her sleeve.

Citrus-infused fizzy water is a possibility. Do you recommend anything else I might pour into the hole I drill in my skull?

dear clusterflock

After a conversation with a dear long-time friend who is descending into the murk of what they call dementia, I’m dazed and confused. One of many cruel details: My fading friend introduced me to the works of Iris Murdoch when I was seventeen or so.

I’m all tore up. Listening to Sandy Denny singing By the Time It Gets Dark and snuffling. But trying to smack some sense into my sorry self-pitying self.

Seeking resources above and beyond the obvious. Most especially, looking for help for LGBT couples and for alternatives to traditional nursing home settings. Where? In or near Dallas, Texas. When? Now.

Grateful for whatever thoughts you may share here on clusterflock or via our contact form.

We bought a house

Or — more accurately — Amy and her mother bought a house in which they, I, and Amy’s sister live. I’ve learned a few things by living in an owned home for the first time since I started college.

  • Mowing an acre with a push mower is no less ridiculous now than it was when I was in high school
  • I don’t have nearly enough tools
  • There are certain things you should pay someone else to do.
  • If it can be done with a hammer, pliers, a screwdriver, and a utility knife, you should probably do it yourself
  • Don’t trust anyone to whom you will be giving money
  • Sometimes you have to put the cart before the horse for your own sanity

Any tips on home ownership/maintenance would be welcome.

How do you feel about this car?

Apparently Lamborghini is working on the Urus.

dear clusterflock

What does it take to get your mojo working?

What exactly is mojo, and if you lose it, how do you get it back?

Is mojo as big as it used to be, or is it just running in the background where we can’t see it?

dear clusterflock

Last night I saw the new Muppet movie. It was terrible. Name other films that are critically acclaimed but are secretly crap.

Titanic doesn’t count because it’s no secret.

Scary Monsters

In “How to Get Things Done” (1930), the essayist Robert Benchley wrote of “the psychological principle [whereby] anyone can do any amount of work, provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing at that moment.” As an example, he cited his obligation to write an article (“How to Get Things Done”) for the Chicago Tribune-New York News Syndicate. His strategy was to embark on a project to go through a pile of scientific magazines and clip references to tropical fish, with the idea of some day buying himself one.

“There is a picture of a viper fish I wish you could see,” he addresses the reader. “You would die laughing.”

This puts me in mind of James Cameron. Why is he down at the very bottom of the ocean floor at this moment? Is he trying to complete some other project?

Here, by the way, is a picture of a viper fish.

Dharun Ravi

How do you feel about Dharun Ravi’s guilty verdict? Here’s background from the New Yorker, and the recent announcement in the Atlantic.

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