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6 years ago @ The Toast - Movie Yelling With Mal... · 0 replies · +36 points

There was an elderly lady sitting just behind Steve who was very clearly Italian. No one will ever convince me that she was not Angie Martinelli.

6 years ago @ The Toast - Let's Talk About The B... · 0 replies · +1 points

My first year teaching, I used Absolutely True Diary as an option for lit circles in my 9th grade Englsih classroom. I booktalked all the options and let kids pick. On the first day of student discussion groups, the kids who had picked that book had their heads together with serious looks of concern on their faces. Finally, they broke their huddle and called me over. One of the girls in the group, a straight-A, really delightful rule-following, teacher-respecting darling, held out her book and hesitantly asked, "Um, Mrs. S, we were wondering...have you read this book? Because...there's some strong language, and..."

They were blown away by the fact that I had read it, loved it, and assigned it despite knowing exactly what was between the covers. They all (especially that particular darling girl) looked simultaneously relieved and like they were getting away with something awesome. Some of the boys may have high-fived. It was perhaps the most successful moment of my first year in the classroom.

6 years ago @ The Toast - Literally Just A Bunch... · 0 replies · +5 points

This was my response too! (Actually my husband sent me the picture for just that reason because of my obsession with David's Tea.) I'm into the Pistachio Ice Cream at the moment but I kind of love about 2/3 of their lineup. It is a Problem.

7 years ago @ The Toast - The Best Ingredients A... · 0 replies · +4 points

As a young-ish teenager, I used to love going into Subways because the slightly older teenaged Sandwich Artists liked that I was tall enough to see over the glass properly (I don't know if the stores have lowered their counters or if we just had a few tall-countered Subways in our town) and they would flirt with me as I ordered. No one else flirted with me, ever, (at least until a dude in my class sent me a Student Council Valentine senior year and signed it "The Gizzard" but that's a story for another day) so I came to associate bread dimples and shiny cheese moons with Romantic Possibilities.

7 years ago @ The Toast - Reasons Why I Am Furio... · 3 replies · +8 points

So a high school friend of mine, who was always in the same room as me for standardized tests (PSAT, SAT, ACT, SAT II) was like this, and she would actually stand up at the beginning of tests and, um, ask? demand? that if anyone in the room though they might get a sniffle in the next three hours, they should get a tissue now, because if they just sat there sniffling during the test, it would not end well. I owe her at least twenty points per SAT administration, because we had the quietest rooms ever (especially when we tested at other schools, where we were among awestruck strangers.)

I just saw her last night and brought that up, and she told me that there is a name for her sound-induced rage now: misophonia. From Wikipedia:

"Misophonia, literally "hatred of sound", is a rarely diagnosed neuropsychiatric disorder in which negative emotions (anger, flight, hatred, disgust) are triggered by specific sounds.[1] The sounds can be loud or soft.[2] The term was coined by American neuroscientists Pawel Jastreboff and Margaret Jastreboff[3] and is sometimes referred to as selective sound sensitivity syndrome.[4]"

7 years ago @ The Toast - Gears in the Skull: Th... · 7 replies · +34 points

"A lot of our conversations go like this; a lot of my conversations with adults go like this. They ooh and ahh at how much information I can pull out — geography, books, history — and I feel warm and light inside each time I do. Never do they tell me to stop. Instead, they point at me during class and say things like “Anna Cabe got the third-highest score in English in the state on this standardized test,” while the eyes of my classmates sear into my back, and I resolutely keep my eyes to the teachers’ shining approval."

THIS. This is the best articulation of my young self that I have ever read. This and the vending machine poem. (In first grade my teacher gave up spelling or defining words for my classmates, shrugging and telling them instead to ask me--the "walking dictionary." That's a nickname that sets a kid up for a happy elementary school experience, let me tell you.) Thank you for writing this--my adult self is friends with a bunch of similarly smart/nerdy knowledge collectors, and I am much less lonely, but my child self is grateful to find this lovely piece.

7 years ago @ The Toast - Tell Me Your Apartment... · 2 replies · +11 points

Buy a bucket. Like a good-sized, sturdy plastic bucket. Useful for moving around cleaning supplies, washing floors, bailing out leaky things, and occasionally for setting next to the bed during stomach flu.

Take photos of all the bulbs in the built-in light fixtures--up close so that you can see all the numbers and other identifying marks. (This is especially helpful for any weird-shaped bulbs.) Keep those on your phone, so that when you're at a Home Depot or wherever and you remember that that one light burned out, you'll know which one to get.

WD-40. Different kinds of glue. If you have wood floors, one of those little tools that lets you hammer nails back into place without damaging the floor (there's a cheap set on Amazon called Stanley 58-230 Steel Nail Set.) Maybe a little step-stool/step-ladder. Flashlights, smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, and batteries for all of the above. Every kind of battery.

Did you know that you can have the locks in your home re-keyed so that they all take the same key? This was recently news to me, although I'm sure more experienced homeowners have known that forever. It's cheaper than buying new locks and didn't take the locksmith long at all.

It's always good to ask around for recommendations of skilled tradespeople before you need them urgently. Our main criteria are 1) this person won't make us feel stupid for asking questions or for having broken/neglected things, and 2) I guess things like price, competence, etc, but really mostly #1. People we have hired to do things to our home:


--HVAC...person? (I think our guy goes by The Wizard or The King or some other advertising honorific. So do several of the other folks on this list.)

--Lawn care person (YMMV but we have a massive lawn with bushes and plants and mulch around some trees and zero green thumbs between us so this was pretty clutch. Our stated goal: to not be Those Kids Who Are Ruining The Neighborhood, since we live in an area full of people our parents' ages, including my husband's parents. We aren't doing anything fancy, but having the lawn mowed was shockingly cheap and worth it, we get so many leaves it would take us YEARS to rake them and bag them all, and then a few pricier maintenance sessions kept our plants and shrubs from becoming dangers to ourselves and others.)

--Plumber (Roto-Rooter was pretty good for a few late-night clogs; we finally found a full-service plumber to tackle some bigger problems and he was pricier but very, very knowledgeable and friendly.

--Contractor (We live in Buffalo. We had a patio awning that was attached to the house. We failed to get an Awning Person to take down our awning before winter. We got several feet of snow. The awning was not designed to be load-bearing. Everything is fine now, though.)

--General handyman (Recommended through in-laws. Good for lists of small dopey tasks that are annoying but not pressing--that one wonky drawer, hooking up the dryer, unsticking stuck things.)

We bought our house semi-recently after a rental situation in a beautiful two-family home turned out to have bedbugs in both units and we differed with our landlady as to the appropriate response (us: NUKE THEM, BURN THEM, POISON THEM, her: let's explore natural solutions). We have not regretted it, even in this eternal winter, even though the plumber-locksmith-contractor-electrician events happened within the space of two weeks recently. Because the beautiful thing about owning a home is that we get to make the decisions about what to fix and when to fix it. (Obviously we don't get to decide when it breaks, but I am always so happy not to be waiting on a landlady/landlord when that happens.)

I hope you love your new home! I wish you smooth sailing in your homeownership (and also I wish that no one will ever again present you with a pun that lousy!)

7 years ago @ The Toast - Your Meet-Cute Celebri... · 0 replies · +1 points

I was either this name or something TWW related (I went by GailtheGoldfish for a while.) I remember everyone being very friendly on the TWW boards but I was coming off of the dissolution of a very intensely bonded group of Ally McBeal fanfic writers (hence the username--I've kept it for sixteen years as my own very obscure scarlet letter, because of the ignominy of having started out with such a crummy show) and also entering the really insane portion of my high school career, so I didn't really put down roots there. But I definitely remember being excited that I kind of, sort of knew someone who had been on the show! (A few years later, the guy who played Lloyd--the senator that Mandy described by his first name to a third party--critiqued our final scenes in my college acting class and I just about died of joy.)

7 years ago @ The Toast - Your Meet-Cute Celebri... · 2 replies · +14 points

Oh my gosh! I remember you! I think I hung around some of the same boards (and/or...a chat room? Like a weekly one, maybe?) as you at the time--I remember finding you onscreen and being so excited. I guess back then (I was in high school) YOU were the closest I came to meeting a celebrity!

7 years ago @ The Toast - A Note From Aaron Sorkin · 0 replies · +18 points

This made me uglycry with some kind of cathartic joy. I love The West Wing so much and it was so important to me when I was in high school and shaped who I am as a person and now...all of this. The whole last few years. Every time he runs his mouth like this or deploys the "lady gets a short haircut=lady has endured a horrible trauma" trope or is generally hostile toward girls and women and the things we might enjoy or feels so personal. (Ainsley after she gets the dead flowers. That kind of disillusionment and disappointment.)

So, Mallory: THANK YOU for this. THANK YOU.

(And Aaron--because, let's be real, we know you spend a lot of time reading about yourself on the internet--please know that I am still holding out hope that you will get it together, learn that women can be competent at their jobs without occasional and inexplicable lapses into imbecility, accept the role of technology in modern society, and write something else that will have the power to move people and make us better. Please try.)