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Podcast 107 Transcript

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A transcript for Episode 107: "Breakin' the Dowels with ColdChef" (2015-08-03).

Pronoiac set up a Fanscribed page, and this transcript came from there.


cortex: Well, why don't we get rolling, aaah - this is, well, let me try that again.

jessamyn: (titters)

cortex: For some reason I want to get a running start at this one. Let me take a sip of beer and calm myself.

jessamyn: You have beer?! Wait a second. Hang on. I'm gonna get a beer too.

coldchef: My brother just offered me a beer but I turned it down because I'm on call.

jingle: (techno theme song)

jessamyn: I have a Whale Tail Pale Ale!

cortex: Excellent.

coldchef: (laughter)

jessamyn: Shut up!

cortex: I'm drinking a Terrapin Beer Co liquid bliss chocolate peanut butter porter.

jessamyn: That is not a beer.

cortex: And it uses the Harry Potter font. It's uh..

jessamyn: I think GJ's laughing because he thinks Whale Tail has something to do with underwear and he doesn't know that I live up the road from where Moby Dick was written.

coldchef: I contain multitudes. I know it means both things so I'm fine.

jessamyn: (laughter)

cortex: I mean Moby Dick has the word dick in it so we really can't --

coldchef: It does!

cortex: We can't--

coldchef: both things so I'm fine.


cortex: I mean Moby Dick has the word dick in it so we really can't --

coldchef: It does!

cortex: We can't--class-

(crosstalk, laughter)
too much even--you know. Yeah. Alright let's get going. Welcome to episode 107 of the Metafilter Best of the Web podcast. This is covering June the first through ... what is today? June the...?

jessamyn: June the 30th.

cortex: Or no I should say July the first through July the --

jessamyn: Goddammit you tricked me!

cortex: Yeah I screwed it up, yeah...

coldchef: (crosstalk)

cortex: Causing trouble. And yes, we are covering all this last month.

cortex: I am Josh Millard, aka cortex

jessamyn: Hi, I'm Jessamyn. Our guest...

cortex: (interrupts and laughs) This is all ...

jessamyn: (laughs) No planning! You didn't plan this at all! You didn't even plan that sentence!

cortex: Well, we only got around to planning out how to do that like, you know, two episodes ago. (laughs) And with us today is special guest host ColdChef, GJ Charlet, down in Louisiana.

jessamyn: "Shar-lay".

coldchef: Hello there.

cortex: "Shar-lay"? Is it "Shar-lay"?

coldchef: "Shar-lay".

cortex: I've been saying "Shar-let" so long it's cuz we never, like, say names to each other. It's always written down.

coldchef: Yup

cortex: But it is pronounced "meh-fI". Yes, GJ!

jessamyn: AHHH!

cortex: GJ ColdChef is joining us today. Matt is busy slacking it up at Slack. So we're mixing it up and having everybody's favorite undertaker come on the show and just sorta hang out and talk to us about MetaFilter the way we always like to do! How are you doing, GJ?

coldchef: I'm doing well. I've been practicing to fill Matt's shoes. I'm just gonna say over and over again "WHAAAAAAAT".

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Perfect! Perfect!

jessamyn: You have to play that on Skype for about two minutes now.

coldchef: Yes, I'm using Skype for only the second time of my entire life, so ...

cortex: This is very exciting. And you did warn me going in you ARE an undertaker, you ARE on call, it's possible at any moment someone could turn up dead and you'll have to leap into action, put on your grey tights and cape, and cowl and sleep, you know, wander off into the night, there.

coldchef: That's correct. If at any moment you hear me say "uh oh", that means I've got a death call, so ...

cortex: yeah.

cortex: but, we'll hope we can hold onto you for the whole time.

jessamyn: Do you guys have, like, a whole way, right? Like a whole, mannerly way where you're, like, doing the thing, and you look at your phone, and then you're like, "Yeah, I gotta take this." And then, I mean ... 'Cause people must know, right? That, like, you're on a death call?

coldchef: Yes.

jessamyn: But you don't say, like, "I'm on a death call". But do you have, like, a lie that you say? Special? For strangers?

coldchef: It just depends. I don't have, like, a special number for a death call. I have an answering service.

coldchef: And so when they call, I mean, depending on the time of day, you kind of know what it is... But there ARE people who will call in the middle of the night, with just random questions...

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: That are not, like, immediate.

cortex: Like you're just like an advice nurse? They're just gonna ...

coldchef: Like "Hey, I was just wondering..." Uh, yeah. In the middle of the night, and so you answer them as politely as possible. And I think some people think that you're up all hours ... because you have an up-all-hours kind of job, so...

cortex: Yeah. Well, if you could be, then you MUST be, obviously.

jessamyn: Sure!

cortex: That's the way it works when you're on call. You literally never sleep.

cortex: You're just awake 24 hours a day.

coldchef: I have developed a GREAT skill. I developed it when I was in high school of being able to wake from a completely sound sleep and sound EXACTLY like I've been up for hours.

jessamyn: I can pretty much do that, actually. I even ... you've ... I mean, you must have the same thing, right? You can even just lie like, "Oh, GJ, did I wake you?" "Oh, no! I was ... "

coldchef: Yes, absolutely. Absolutely.

jessamyn: "I was doing a thing..."

jessamyn: I've also got the CONTRASTING skill of being able to act like I just woke up when the phone's ringing and it's NOT someone I want to talk to.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: (laughs)

jessamyn: "Did I wake you up?" (groans) "Oh, yeah. Uh..." Like, my father's house, right? And this is kind of a dead person story. Like, I'm at my father's house, we have a telephone here. It's my father's telephone number but we keep it because the alarm's connected to it and what the hell. Why not? Right? But the only people that call are like scam artists, right? Because that number doesn't link to a living human being. And HASN'T for four years.

cortex: Right.

jessamyn: And so ANYTIME it rings, it's never anybody.

jessamyn: But I pick it up anyhow, because sometimes I'm bored and maybe a little lonely. But I'll be like "Huh?" And they'll be like "Uh! Miss West! Your computer! uh!" I'm like, "Oh. ... I don't HAVE a computer."

coldchef: (laughs)

jessamyn: "Who is this?"

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And it's like those crazy scam people who are trying to tell you that you have a virus! Only when you tell them you don't have a computer, they ACTUALLY don't have part of the script that handles that.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: They just hang up.

cortex: Yeah. There's like a "Well, you know" and at that point it's like they might as well get out anyway. Heh!

cortex: 'Cause they're probably not going to get any farther with it, but... Yeah. Yeah.

coldchef: When I used to work at a hotel, we used to play this game where we would see who could get the telemarketer to hang up on THEM.

jessamyn: Ha!

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: And so we would always tell them that we would have to speak to a supervisor. "But I will be RIGHT BACK in JUST A MOMENT" and you'd put them on hold, and then you'd pick up, like, you know, at 4 minutes, then 8 minutes, then 12...

jessamyn: That was like a MAD Magazine joke that I remember from being a kid! Like, how long can you leave the telephone just in the oven.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Before people just hang up. And then, like, testing the different people and how long they stay.

cortex: Why the oven? Just ...

jessamyn: I ... think it was a funny cartoon? You know?

cortex: Ah.

jessamyn: I don't know.

coldchef: I was getting service on my home cable the other day, and I was trying to rush around because I had the call service person on the line and she's trying to walk me through how to fix my cable. And I said, "Ok Ok. Let me hurry up, I'm going to hurry up and go grab a screwdriver".

coldchef: And she goes, "Sir, sir. I'm here for the next eight hours and I'm perfectly fine talking to you for the next eight hours."

jessamyn: (laughs)

coldchef: Oh, great. So ...

jessamyn: "You're the nicest person I've talked to all day, so ..." (laughs)

coldchef: Yeah.

jessamyn: So, let's talk about the number 107 real brief, because uh ...

cortex: Yes. Let's!

jessamyn: At some point, we do need to PIVOT into talking about MetaFilter in this ???

cortex: Enough with these pleasantries, yes. Let's get down to business.

jessamyn: It might be a good way to ... I mean I could talk to you gentlemen all night. But, uh ... In the interest of keeping things TIGHT.

jessamyn: 107? Smallest positive integer requiring six syllables in English. If you don't count the "and".

cortex: What, if you don't? One hundred ssss...

jessamyn: Oh, without the "and", it only has five.

cortex: has five. Yeah.

jessamyn: (singy-moany) One Hundred And Seh-ven!

cortex: Yeah. But either way!

jessamyn: That's good trivia, though!

cortex: Yeah. Seven's a real son of a bitch of a number in English that way. It's like, the one, the ONE that's two syllables of the basic counting numbers.

jessamyn: Yes!

cortex: It's not like there's the longer ones and the shorter ones. Everybody got this shit figured out EXCEPT for seven. Seven's like, "Oh, yes, my name's SEVEN." Like, it even SOUNDS like the name of someone's annoying kid from the yuppie neighborhood. You know, it's, I think that's why some kids ended up named "Seven". There was like, "Oh, this is DEFINITELY the most pretentious of the numbers I could name my kid after."

jessamyn: (laughs) You know, my sister just found out that one of her friends doesn't like the number five? 'Cause he belongs to the shitty club and they dress up like cowboys?

sfx: (buzzing in background)

jessamyn: And you have to have a cowboy name? And so he wanted to have, like, "Buckeye" be part of his cowboy name, so we were like "Buckeye Nickel!" or something. He's like, "Yeah, but I don't like the number five." And we were like, "How can you not like the number five?" but you don't like the number seven, so clearly there's distaste for certain numbers.

cortex: Don't get me wrong. I think seven's a great number. I just think ... name-wise ... it's causing some problems we wouldn't need to deal with if it could just, you know, if it ...

jessamyn: Because of it's stupid syllables.

cortex: Yeah. Like, you know, probably it's name is actually "Sven". But, wanted to, you know, like, stand out a little bit. And so now, yeah, HOW many syllables are there in this counting ???

jessamyn: This beer you're drinking, is this your FIRST beer?

cortex: Yes! No, it is! (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: It's this heat! It's this Huntsville heat.

jessamyn: The only thing I have to say about 107 is its a designation for the Fair Use Exception in copyright law which is big shit, so I'm mentioning it.

cortex: Is that like subsection 107 or ...?

jessamyn: 17 USC 107, yes.

cortex: Nice.

jessamyn: Yes. And that's all I have to say about 107. There's a whole bunch of other bullshit I ... uh... it's an auspicious number, I don't even know what that means. And the number of lethal acupuncture points, I don't even think that's real. I think somebody added that to Wikipedia. Err. Really fuck it up now.

cortex: I think if I wanted to kill someone with a tiny needle, I'm guessing the number of different places I could do it at would depend a lot on the technique.

jessamyn: Right! Exactly! I mean, if they're ALL in your EYE!

cortex: No!

coldchef: (laughs)

jessamyn: All right. Let's move on.

cortex: All right. Well. Let's talk about

coldchef: I have a 107!

cortex: Oh yes. Yeah?

coldchef: Psalm 107 ... Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. We use that a lot in obituaries, so that's why I know it.

jessamyn: Is that the whole thing? Psalms are short, right?

coldchef: Yeah, no, it's a LONG Psalm. It goes on.

jessamyn: Oh. That's not all of it.

coldchef: Obituaries, you pay by the line, so you try to keep it as concise as possible.

jessamyn: So you just refer to it and people kind of know how the rest of it goes?

coldchef: Yeah. It's like, God's greatest hits.

cortex: (laughs) "Now that's what I call Psalm!"

coldchef: You give the punch line, everybody knows the joke, so...

cortex: Well, should we talk about Jobs real quick?

jessamyn: I'm reading Psalm 107 while you're doing that. Uh, he turned the rivers into a wilderness? What? It's confusing.

cortex: It's the Bible. You know. It's uh ... very textural.

jessamyn: "All iniquity shall stop her mouth." What? Alright. Jobs!

coldchef: (chuckles)

cortex: I will say I actually don't have anything that's jumping out at me at Jobs this month. But there's several jobs in the New York/New Jersey area... and there's also an HR administrator job available in Australia.

jessamyn: Wow! And someone has to teach Alligator Man how to drive a stick shift which I think would be aMAZing!

cortex: True. That is pretty good.

jessamyn: Have you ever taught somebody to drive ... You learned relatively recently, right?

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: What about you, GJ? Did you learn how to drive on a tractor? Like, lots of people in the South, or ...

coldchef: We would drive our P-rows in the swamp! So, uh ...

jessamyn: I didn't even understand that sentence. Say it again?

coldchef: No, a p-row is a flat-bottom canoe that you use in the swamp. No, I, uh ...

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Swamp! All right.

coldchef: I never learned how to drive a stick. It is my ultimate shame.

jessamyn: Are you serious?! I'm gonna teach you how to drive stick sometime, then! Next time you come up to New York City, you'll have to come all the way out to Massachusetts or Vermont and we'll teach you.

coldchef: A girlfriend tried to teach me once and I just about ruined her car, so ... yeah.

cortex: (laughs) Well, we'll start with a really bad car.

coldchef: There you go.

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: That seems like the key thing.

jessamyn: Yeah! Stick is worthwhile.

cortex: I probably will never because it's never even been an issue. Because by the time we bought a car a couple years ago, automatics are SO ubiquitous at this point, that I'm sure ...

jessamyn: Unless you want to go to Europe!

cortex: Well, sure. Sure. I guess that's a thing. And then I can ruin a car in Europe!

jessamyn: Europe is a thing. Yes.

cortex: Is Europe a thing? Is Europe really a thing?

jessamyn: Heh heh!

cortex: I feel like the jury's still out. Maybe it's all just a long practical joke.

But yes. So Projects!

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: Projects. Let's talk about Projects this month. I'll ...

jessamyn: We should maybe have GJ pick one that he likes because, as Josh and I were talking before the podcast, many of the top rated projects belong to us.

cortex: (laughs) It's been a ... it's been a productive month!

jessamyn: I don't know about you, but I'm feeling a little full of myself this month so somebody else maybe should talk about maybe some other stuff.

cortex: Well, I'll give a quick shout out to one that is NOT mine that is a friend of mine's. Churl, aka scumbly, aka my cohost on the Crap Shoot that you were on, Jessamyn ...

jessamyn: I was on the Crap Shoot.

cortex: He and his friend Aaron just put out Monkey Pop, a game they've been working on for a while that started as a game jam thing. It's a little two player game where you're each controlling a monkey and, if you find a remote control, you can take control of the OTHER monkey, briefly and try to throw them into, like, a deadly trap or something. It's a cute little game, it's fun and they've FINALLY put it out and I'm happy. So people should go play Monkey Pop.

jessamyn: That's great! Shared keyboard! That sounds like a recipe for divorce right there!

cortex: Oh yeah! You get some real punches on the shoulder and shit for that sort of move. It's like tilting a pinball machine except for the other person is a pinball machine. It's a recipe for success.

jessamyn: St. Sorryass. So St. Sorryass is Aaron? Alright.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: I didn't know that. That's cool.

cortex: How about you?

coldchef: I'm always excited to see a new project by The Whelk. He and I have actually met several times in real life down in New Orleans and up in New York. He took me to get a really expensive hair cut when I was in New York. And he's a fun guy to show you around the city.

cortex: He seems like a real mensch.

coldchef: He is. And he's doing a lot more writing and projects and performing. He did a piece recently called "I'm getting really tired of living in this quaint English village." It's really funny.

jessamyn: Yeah. It's a Sedaris level funny essay. It's very good.

coldchef: It really is. And his performance adds a lot to it.

cortex: Yeah, I've been wanting to watch that. It's weird, I see all the ... I've talked to Jessamyn about this, but I see all the Projects when they come through now, since I took over operations and such and so, like, I'm no longer surprised that anything EXISTS and instead I'm perennially thinking "Oh, shit, I was going to go back and actually look at that thing." For like ten things every month. It's a weird switcheroo, but yes! That's on that list of things, 'cause yeah, it sounded like a fun watch.

coldchef: Yes. It's very very funny.

jessamyn: And I also enjoyed TheGoodBlood's essay about the secret language of Brazilian trans women because it's on Medium, which I sometimes like, and Matter which is sort of linked to the people that I write for. But it's an illustrated essay and it just looks really cool. Like, one of my favorite things to read on Medium in general is The Nib which is all illustrated, you know, like, short-form comics kind of stuff. But this is sort of a longer illustrated thing by a user whose been a user for a while but mostly has been interacting in Ask MetaFilter, and I learned some stuff! And it talks a little bit about Portuguese folks as well, which is slightly relevant to, I'm in the the sort of semi-Portuguese part of Massachusetts right now. So, I just really ...

cortex: Oh really?

jessamyn: Yeah! Yeah. Down in, like, West Port isn't, but like Fall River and New Bedford, very Portuguese.

cortex: Huh. I did not know that.

jessamyn: Yeah! And so, terrific food! Totally different culture. Really interesting. And especially relative to the rest of Massachusetts. It's a completely different situation. So, I thought it was cool. Very interesting. Very well done essay. And it was neat to see in Projects.

cortex: Yeah, those illustrations were great. I like the whole this great sort of like three-quarters top-down sort of angle.

jessamyn: Yeah, it's got super funny angles but they look really cool.

cortex: There was a, oh gosh, I'm all out of sorts. The knock-knock jokes! I ended up making an actual MetaFilter post for one.

jessamyn: Is that ignignok-nok??

cortex: Yup! ignignokt.

jessamyn and ColdChef: (laugh)

jessamyn: I think we mention him every month? Maybe we should also talk to him at some point.

cortex: Maybe so. That might be a good thing to do.

jessamyn: He's a very nice guy.

cortex: Have you met him in person, or...?

jessamyn: Oh, yeah yeah yeah! He's one of the Boston Mefites, so ...

cortex: Ah!

jessamyn: He's been to my home.

cortex: You know, in fact, I think I have met him as well. I'm putting it together now. But yeah, uh, yes, he made a (laughs) I'm laughing at the thing (laughs) This is why I ended up posting it. He made a knock-knock joke twitter bot called "autocomplete joke" that does knock-knock jokes by saying "knock knock, who's there", picking a word, that word "who", and then "that word" whatever Google autocompletes. So like,

jessamyn: Oh god! Really?

cortex: Yeah!

jessamyn: Wait a second! I gotta try this right now!

cortex: It's like, "Knock knock! Who's there? D-Day. D-Day who?"

jessamyn: D-Day Invasion! "Who's there? Donkeys! Donkeys who? Donkey's place!" Wait a second, so how does this work? You send it a thing or it just does it?

cortex: I think it just, I think it picks a word, I'm not sure how it picks the first word, exactly. He may just sort of do a random word selection or something, but then it does whatever the first Google autocomplete it comes across, I guess, is. And that's how it comes up with the jokes! And so they're TERRIBLE. You know, they're like the DUMBEST jokes, it's a robot that understands the structure of a knock-knock joke but understands nothing about humor!

jessamyn: Attractions! Attractions who? Attractions near Hershey Park! (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I love it!

cortex: So I loved that. And that turned up ... there were a couple things in the MetaFilter thread other related joke-bot stuff came up as well, I think. But, yeah, it was just super charming. Once again, brilliant, minimalist work...

jessamyn: Oh, he used WordNik to get a random word.

cortex: oh, yeah yeah yeah.

jessamyn: An undocumented Google autocomplete API.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (whispers) I had no idea! I didn't know!

cortex: It's a secret! It's undocumented.

jessamyn: (whispers) What?! What?! (normal voice) See? That's a Matt thing. WHAT!

coldchef: WHAAAT?

jessamyn: Yeah, GJ, that's you.

cortex: (laughs) You gotta jump in with those, GJ. Come on. Yeah. Boom boom boom! Get your "What" on.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: Here's another one that I liked. In a, this is, you know, I can't not like it sort of way.

jessamyn: (yells) COLONOSCOPY SAVES LIVES oh god this is....

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Sorry! So sorry...

cortex: Is that ... Is that the answer to the joke?

jessamyn: I don't know! Yeah--maybe!

cortex: Colonoscopy who?

jessamyn: Or people make them up! It's impossible to know! Sorry. I'm sorry.

cortex: So, soo-tee-anvil made a little game called Exobike.

jessamyn: "SUET anvil."

cortex: Sue... suet? Oh, like suet? Yeah, ok. That makes more (laughs) ... I was having trouble parsing it. Uh, suetanvil...

jessamyn: We've talked about suetanvil before!

cortex: I I I have no memory, it turns out. I just have no ability to retain username discussions...

jessamyn: You're not even a pot smoker ...

coldchef: I'm not going to point out that you are actually NAMED in the post. I'm not going to point that out.

cortex: Well that's that's that's ... I was going to get around to that! It's charming, it's also, it just happens to be something that I started with a twitter conversation, 'cause they were like "Hey, I'm trying to work on some javascript. What should I program?" And I was like, "You should make an Excite Bike ascii game." Like the old Nintendo game Excite Bike. And they did! They made it! Which is great! And it's so much better looking than what I was imagining! So I'm super charmed by that. It's a nice little game! You know? I don't know. I'm very much on a little game kick. And a little game making kick I'll talk more about that I'm sure.

jessamyn: Of course you will!

cortex: But, yeah, so, it's great! And I'm just so glad they did it, 'cause that's the thing. Like, it was fun just as a tweet conversation that could have come to nothing but then BOOM. A while later, this thing actually shows up! And that's just fantastic. And it fills me with a sense of POWER that, like, I can say "DO A THING" on Twitter and then it happens! You know, it's very ...

jessamyn: That is kinda good, right?

cortex: Yeah. It's very, you know...

jessamyn: You've got a ... great responsibility, though.

cortex: Yup. I'd better not tell anybody to do anything bad.

jessamyn: Right.

coldchef: You're just like Spider-man.

cortex: Yup.

jessamyn: Exactly like Spider-man.

cortex: Yup. Inasmuch as I got my uncle killed one time because I was feeling petty. (laughs) You got any others you liked, GJ?

coldchef: No, that's it for me.

cortex: How about you, Jess? You good?

jessamyn: Just mine and yours!

cortex: Oh, ok. You wanna do mine and I'll do yours?

jessamyn: Uh, yeah!

cortex: Alright.

jessamyn: You did ... another one of these blahbitty blah random words--

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: ...that turn into some COMIC somehow which apparently is a lot of work to turn out something that kinda looks like you did it by hand in fifteen minutes. Um, but Calvin and Markov does make, you know, semi-coherent narratives out of Calvin and Hobbes threads to do ... a thing. And, they're ADORABLE and I've seen the ones that you're posting. Apparently it took lots of work and you're doing more work. But, yes. What's fun about them, especially, is they have permalinks so if you find one that you like, you can have a link and you can sort of send it around. Which is adorable.

coldchef: I've seen a bunch of 'em on MLKSHK. I was wondering where they were coming from.

cortex: Yeah. (laughs) Yeah. MLKSHK has become one of my sort of like "Hey, I'm working on a thing" little chatter grounds. Which is, I feel like I'm sort of using it off-label, 'cause, like, people are mostly posting, you know, images found out on the web. But, it's like, I don't tend to find stuff very quickly, but I make stuff so I might as well toss it up on there.

jessamyn: You're a content creator! That's important! Where, you know, I'm just a content FINDER.

cortex: Oh, you create content, too!

jessamyn: Sometimes!

cortex: For example: You created Library of Congress Today! Or Librarian of Progress, I guess.

jessamyn: Oh for God's sake, just READ the URL.

cortex: I was I was I was just ...

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I just scrolled down! It's like, I don't remember that! But I guess that's what it says! Librarian of Progress!

jessamyn: It's a play on words!

cortex: Yes!

jessamyn: Pro! Con!

cortex: It's a pun! If you will.

jessamyn: Sort of a pun.

cortex: And if you won't, then... then tough. It's a pun! It's totally a pun. It's unquestionably a pun.

jessamyn: Pun-like.

cortex: (laughs) It's not necessarily an aggressive pun. But it's definitely a pun.

jessamyn: Pun-ish.

cortex: Yes! You put together this page on the opening in the Library of Congress because ...

jessamyn: Yeah! It's quite possibly the most important library job that's gonna become open in my lifetime. And everyone's sitting on their thumbs being like "Oh, I hope they pick someone good!" And it's like, you know, we can actually have a conversation about WHO they should pick and why that, like, informs the people who are doing the hiring why certain parts of this job are very important. Like, the copyright part.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: LIKE, the DMCA exception part. LIKE, you know, getting rid of the backlog, and open access and all the other stuff. So yeah. It's been my little hobby horse and this is one part of that.

cortex: And it's awesome. You put together a really nice little site for it.

jessamyn: You know, it's just one of those turnkey templates! I just typed words into it. It was super simple.

cortex: That works.

jessamyn: I can't design anything! Yeah, I know, right?

cortex: Well, you got little icons, too! Little icons for things.

jessamyn: I copied them!

cortex: Well, yeah, but you CHOSE which ones to copy, so that's ...

jessamyn: You know what a DUMBASS I feel like I'm being when I'm, like, "What tiny icon represents change management?!" And then I look in the window and I'm like "I hate myself. I hate myself."

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: (laughs)

jessamyn: It's like when you're in an office, you're trying to figure out EXACTLY what color of, like, idiot copy paper is perfect for your little handout on whatever the thing is. You know? Does goldenrod really say "Microsoft Word Basics"? Echhhhh. You know, there's only so many options.

cortex: Yeah. Well, you do what you can.

jessamyn: Yeah.

cortex: I mean, I think that looks like that's either a drawer or like a file box? And I can't tell which but either works?

jessamyn: I think it's a file box?

cortex: That was kinda my main thought. 'Cause that definitely designs change management to me is, "Oh shit, everything is just in those boxes in the back room."

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: So, you know... It seems like a good choice. I think you nailed it.

jessamyn: Yeah, well! You know, special shout out to whoever the people are who that do the ... those little icons .... lemme see if I can figure .... It's the FF... they're called something. They have a name. And there's a whole page of, like, these icons. You can use them. They are free. They are great. So. Yeah. It was awesome. So. Yay, Projects. It's great to see people creating all the stuff they're creating.

cortex: Keep doin' stuff, people.

coldchef: Here's a question or maybe a comment. Both of you are content creators. Have you ever come up with something that's kind of awful?

cortex: (high-pitched squeaky laugh) You're going to have to narrow that down a little bit!

coldchef: Like, um--

jessamyn: Yes.

coldchef: Like, I don't know ...just like a really terrible, like, a pun or word joke or current event thing just occurs to you and so you make, like, a little picture or a thing about it? But then you don't want to take credit for it? So you just put it out on the internet and say "Oh look what I just found"?

cortex: (laughs) No. I've never... I have decided not to hit Post on things before. But,

jessamyn: I've done that maybe once or twice in my entire internet history. But generally, no. Although, it's tempting. But I have nothing to lose, right? So, like, having stuff attached to my name doesn't actually ... I've occasionally made bitchy tweets from a different twitter account that I used to have.

coldchef: (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: A WHILE ago. That I don't think I have anymore.

coldchef: I don't do terrible things like that either.

jessamyn: (laughs) ... like you ask for friends about playing doctor and they tell you all their playing doctor stories and you're like, "Oh, I've never done it."

coldchef: Yeah yeah. Yeah yeah. No no.

cortex: Are there any particularly good things you never would have done something like that with? That come to mind?

coldchef: I would have NEVER taken really horrible current events and turned them into Valentine's Day cards and sent them off to people.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: And said, "Look at this horrible thing I just found!"

cortex: See I...

jessamyn: I like that idea!

cortex: I like the idea but I just, I would start a tumblr blog and ... (laughs) And you know, I would be like "Yeah! Let's make this a Project! Let's make this a Thing!" This'll be a ...

coldchef: I should mention So Horrible, that I would CRINGE as I made them.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (laughs) Jeez, I can't even imagine what that might BE like!

coldchef: This is probably the best kind of conversation to have offline.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Sure! We can always edit this out in post, but sometimes you say you're going to do that and Josh doesn't. So, uh ...

cortex: Yeah, well, it's ... you know ... keep us on our toes, collectively. (laughs)

coldchef: (laughs)

cortex: But, uh, Yes! Uh. Yeah, no, I will spend some time workshopping a tweet. I'll spend like five minutes working on it, and then sort of say, "You know what? This is just No. This isn't good enough to justify the fact that I know this is (laughs) totally ... totally a shitty direction to go in. So I just dustbin it and leave it at that and try not to think about it. But uh...I'll keep the subterfuge in mind if I ever come across a perfect storm of like--

jessamyn: Well, I'll just send it to GJ now and then he can just--

cortex: Exactly! I should just do THAT more often.

coldchef: That's right, and I'll just say "This is from someone"

jessamyn: And I will do that for you, GJ, if you need someone to put a thing on the internets that gives you enough distance for plausible deniability and that if someone DID get blamed it would be me, I would take the heat for that.

coldchef: Absolutely. I would appreciate that. Now -

jessamyn: So -

cortex: (giggles)

coldchef: Having said that, don't start posting awful things and then saying that "Hmm a certain undertaker sent these to me, but I'm not saying who."

jessamyn: I CAN'T EVEN THINK THAT WAY! I CAN'T EVEN THINK THAT WAY! You know, I did drive by my local funeral home today and thought I should just go say "Hi" to the Potter funeral home people because ... they were so nice. Back in the day.

coldchef: Yeah, uh. jessamyn, I don't know, your sister and I actually text each other quite a bit now.

jessamyn: She said she doesn't send you topless selfies. That's what she said.

coldchef: Well ...

jessamyn: Tell me that's not -

coldchef: That's what she's SUPPOSED to say.

jessamyn: (cackles)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: No. She's awesome! You guys should be friends. You have a slightly even more similar sensibility than you and I do, if that is possible.

coldchef: She's lovely, and, uh... I'll always always, uh... up for a good joke, so.

jessamyn: Well, we went to the cemetery. Josh, you said that! We basically sent two pictures from the cemetery. One to GJ that was me and Kate giving him the finger by the gravestone that said "BUTTS".

coldchef: (laughs)

jessamyn: And then one to Josh that had the MILLARD gravestone -

cortex: Yes.

jessamyn: - that was across the street from the BUTTS gravestone. And I, you know, sent you that one. No fingers.

cortex: Feels like a sign.

jessamyn: Yeah!

coldchef: Yeah, I love cemeteries. I've grown up in 'em and so, uh, there's all kind of games I play in cemeteries, especially when I'm standing out there, just kind of bored. My favorite game to play is one I call Poison Birthday Cake.

jessamyn: (giggles)

coldchef: Which is where you try to find somebody who died on the same day that they were born, but in, like, a different year.

cortex: Oh, nice.

coldchef: Yeah, there's one cemetery in Mississippi that I go to that has 6 people that all died on their own birthday.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Good lord!

coldchef: Which is enough that I kind of...

jessamyn: What is going on there!

coldchef: Poison Birthday Cake!

jessamyn: OK!

coldchef: This town must have a crappy, you know, baker! And, uh ... I don't know. I have no idea. I also like to look for people who died, uh, either died or born on a holiday, like on Christmas? And then you try to imagine, like, how much their family resented them for that?

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I look for the people that die, like, three days BEFORE their birthday and then I feel sad.

coldchef: Yeah. Those are the quitters. Quitters never win.

jessamyn: (squeaky laugh)

cortex: Follow through, people. Just make an effort. You were so close.

jessamyn: The two of you are terrible.

cortex: Yeah, well. (laughs)

coldchef: Another one that's fun is you find a husband and wife who died on the exact same day and then you kind of create the narrative in your head that they were in a car wreck, or the house burned down, or the boat sank or something like that.

cortex: Fully ... (???) (laughs)

coldchef: My job is so much-

jessamyn: Murderers.

cortex: (laughs) So you work in and live and operate in Louisiana but I presume you have, you know, ever left the state. Do you have (laughs) that sounds like ... (laughs)

jessamyn: Where are you even going on this?

cortex: That just sounded terrible as I said it somehow. So, like, New England cemeteries are so weird! As someone who grew up, you know, in Portland where cemeteries are just like really, I don't know. I don't think there's anything remarkable about a Portland cemetery in most cases. 'Cause it's just a-

jessamyn: What's remarkable about New England cemeteries?

cortex: Some of 'em are really really old! They've got some OLD fucking cemeteries! There in New England.

jessamyn: But -

cortex: Depending on which cemetery you go to, you can see what the current style of headstone that everybody had was. And there's like Death's Heads and then they turned into like Angels and there's this whole weird evolution of headstone cutting back in the 17th and 18th century.

jessamyn: That is true, that is true. I assume they have some of that down in Louisiana, too.

coldchef: Yeah. The salt water air will also kind of, uh, degrade 'em pretty quickly.

cortex: Oh yeah?

coldchef: What you also see a lot in the South is homemade gravestones. People who make their own tributes and things that aren't meant to last hundreds of years. They're supposed to, you know, they're designed and built and meant to last for, you know, 50 or 60 years as long as the people who made them are still alive.

cortex: Yeah.

coldchef: And they don't worry that far into the future.

cortex: Yeah. Which is fair.

coldchef: Yeah.

cortex: You know, if someone 200 years later comes across your gravestone and says, "Man, this is really poorly maintained," you're not going to really worry about it. No one who cared about it has been alive for a hundred years by the time that person's beefing.

coldchef: Well, I'll tell you one really creepy aspect of Louisiana cemeteries, especially down in New Orleans, is so many people died during Hurricane Katrina that when you walk through the cemeteries, you'll see the same date coming up...

jessamyn: God.

cortex: Oh, geez, yeah.

coldchef: August 29th, 2005, over and over and over and over again.

cortex: Do cemeteries sorta try and dither around burials across their areas, or do they...? If they've got 20 burials in a week, are they just going to, like, okay, these 20 slots right here, bam bam bam bam bam?

jessamyn: People have plots!

cortex: Oh, that's right, I guess there is. I guess if you buy a plot ahead of time...

coldchef: People have plots, so here's what's interesting. In New Orleans they have crypts,

that, it's basically, imagine a big, deep hole, and then they build this marble building over it. And when the burial, when it comes time for the burial, they put wooden dowels over the hole, they roll the casket in, and so the casket, a wooden casket, always, is supported by the weight of the dowels. And then when the dowels rot, the casket falls down into the hole.

jessamyn: No way! And it makes like a crazy scary noise in the middle of the night?

coldchef: The middle of the night, or... a lot of times when you're walking around the cemetery you'll hear a big 'whomp'!

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Dammit! I did not know that!

cortex: Why do they do this this way?

coldchef: Because you can bury multiple generations within the same hole.

cortex: Ohhh.

jessamyn: I mean, I get that, but just letting them drop? That seems weird.

cortex: That's just like, at any moment you'll join the pile of previous rotted bodies and caskets from previous generations in the hole that your family has.

coldchef: Yeah. I think most likely the idea is that it'll happen when no one's around, and granted, I've spent a lot more time in cemeteries than most people do, so I've heard it more than most people will.

cortex: Yeah.

coldchef: But there's a rule that if two people in the same family die during the same calendar year, the body that's in the crypt stays in there for a year and a day, and after a year and a day, if

the body hasn't fallen down into the hole--this sounds odd--they dump them out.

cortex: (chuckles)

coldchef: They dump them into the hole and then the next body goes in. So if you die, like, let's say, if someone dies in January, and the next person dies in July, that person goes into a mausoleum to wait for a year and a day to go into the hole.

jessamyn: They don't just put them in the hole and then put the other person on top of them? You have to fall into the hole?

coldchef: Correct. Correct.

jessamyn: Wow!

coldchef: Yep.

jessamyn: GJ, I learn so much every time I talk to you.

cortex: (chuckles)

sfx: (Music: Actuary of the Year, by Wolfdog)

jessamyn: We should probably talk about Metafilter, though.

cortex: I guess, I guess.

jessamyn: Because I could talk about cemeteries pretty much forever, but.

yeah. (giggles)

coldchef: Well, I will tell you most of my favorites from the past month are death and cemetery related, so.

cortex: Excellent.

jessamyn: Perfect!

cortex: Super thematic.

jessamyn: Perfect!

cortex: Well, let's talk about stuff you liked! Let's get into it.

jessamyn: Metafilter, or Ask Metafilter? I can never remember which we do first?

cortex: Let's start with Metafilter. Let's do Metafilter first.

jessamyn: Great!

cortex: We'll do the Blue.

coldchef: One of the ones that I liked was - let's see if I can copy this for you - Amber Carvaly and Caitlin Doughty on disrupting the

funeral home business.

jessamyn: I had not seen that! It sounds interesting.

coldchef: It was a post about how, it's the woman who wrote the book about modern cemetery practices called Smoke Gets In Your Eyes?

jessamyn: Oh, I read her book! And, you know, I actually swapped a couple e-mails with her. She sounds like a top-notch human being.

coldchef: Yep. She's pretty cool. She's pretty cool. She and I differ on a few things.

jessamyn: Sure.

coldchef: But yeah, she does great

work, and so they're making a big push for home funerals without all the traditional funeral business, and so luckily the thread did not turn into a bunch of talk about Viking funerals, I think Jessamyn and I have talked about that before. Any time you have a thread that's about funerals, it usually turns into a bunch of people talking about, "Well, when I die, I want this ridiculous thing."

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Blar, blar, blar, Vikings.

coldchef: Yep.

cortex: "I want to be stuffed, I want all my ashes stuffed into the urethra of Gwar's giant stage penis and scattered [??]"

coldchef: Exactly.

jessamyn: What? Seriously?!

cortex: I have no idea. I don't know. Suddenly that came back to me, that old thread about the story about being at a Gwar show but it was actually a '90s night, or the other way around, rather.

coldchef: I think that was a fever dream you had.

cortex: Yeah. Well, either I'll track it down or prove it or [??] weird.

jessamyn: I don't even... no! no! We're done. We're done.

cortex: (laughs)

Yes. But yes. Viking funerals and such.

jessamyn: You said 'giant stage penis' and we're done.

coldchef: (chuckles)

cortex: You know, Gwar! You know what I'm talking about, right?

jessamyn: I guess?!

cortex: Okay, okay. I just wanted to make sure it wasn't, like, a literally invented penis.

jessamyn: Right, nah.

cortex: No, I'm referencing cultural history.

jessamyn: Euh, stop saying penis! This is the worst!

cortex: Gwar.

jessamyn: (laughs)

coldchef: It's one of those threads that could have turned really negative and ugly really quickly, but it actually didn't, and it kinda got to a couple of the things about

why we have funerals and why, in a lot of cases, we turn them over to a professional instead of trying to do it ourselves. And what I liked about it is, there was a good difference of opinion about it, and everyone kind of respected each other's opinion about it. So yeah, so that was one that I liked.

cortex: Do you find you have any opportunities to have detailed funeral director/undertaker discussions?

Do you get a chance to mix professionally much, as far as that goes? Are there funeral director chatrooms?

jessamyn: You mean, with other funeral directors.

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Tell him about the conference, GJ.

coldchef: There are funeral director conventions. They're as bad as any other conventions.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: He sends me schwag from them sometimes.

coldchef: Yeah.

jessamyn: I got tote bags from GJ when he went to one of those.

cortex: Oh, that's right.

coldchef: Yep. Yeah, the showroom floors are really great, because it's got the

jessamyn: Lint bomb.

coldchef: The regular booth babes that you see at anything else, except they're hawking, like, embalming fluid--

cortex: (chuckles)

coldchef: --and cavity plugs, and that sort of thing.

cortex: Are they in bikinis and similar such things, or do they... do they dress, like, are they mourning dressed?

coldchef: They're usually very well-dressed, but cannot go too deeply into questions about the products.

jessamyn: As with all booth people, unfortunately.

coldchef: And what's really great is you get to see all this stuff that, it's really fantastic, but I would never personally order. So there was a cremation urn with a Star Trek insignia on it. And (chuckles) it says "Boldly Go" across the front of it. And as fantastic as that is, I would never sell one. No one would ever, ever buy that.

cortex: (chuckles)

jessamyn: Right. It would stay on your shelf forever, and people would, yeah.

coldchef: Yeah, exactly.

jessamyn: You said on Twitter this week that you had to buy some sample merchandise. Is that true, or are you just pulling everybody's leg?

coldchef: No, it is. So what [??], we keep--

jessamyn: Ohh! I hate you!

cortex: Oh, sorry, please continue.

coldchef: We keep cremation urns for folks to buy, and my dad used to have this terrible habit of just buying whatever random urns some salesman would come by, and it was kind of like the

fall-off-the-truck urns, here are five urns that don't match, and so we've never kind of standardized it. So I standardized it, and I made a list of eight good popular urns, and then just to show people what can be done with personalization, I actually put real names on them, mostly friends from Metafilter and Twitter.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: And used their real birthdates and made up death dates for them. Jessamyn's one of them, and I'll send you a picture as soon as it comes in.

jessamyn: Future death dates, or past death dates?

coldchef: I usually choose a past date.

jessamyn: Thank you.

coldchef: And it's usually just an arbitrary date that's funny to me, so.

jessamyn: You can tell me what the arbitrary date is, and then I can tell you what it matches in my real life, and then we can all have a moment.

coldchef: I can't remember what I used for yours, but it was something like when you and I went to MaxFunCon together or something like that.

jessamyn: Aww. Aww.

Josh was there too!

cortex: Yes.

coldchef: And I almost killed us by driving off the road, so.

jessamyn: Oh, I forgot about that!

coldchef: Yeah, we went off-road in our rental vehicle. I went down the side of the hill.

jessamyn: That's right! I forgot about that!

cortex: You gotta watch out for those hills.

coldchef: You screamed at me for like half an hour.

jessamyn: What?

coldchef: You screamed at me like for half an hour.

jessamyn: I've got like PTSD. I don't remember that at all. Are you sure that was me?

coldchef: And we terrified the young lady who was riding in the back seat?

jessamyn: Abby?

jessamyn: Abby?

coldchef: Uh, maybe? The gal in the black --

jessamyn: The girl you gave a ride to. Yeah! She's got a child who's a grownup, er, growing up now. Very exciting. I see her asking questions on Ask Metafilter about her child. She hadn't even met her fellow yet at that point.

coldchef: Time passes.

cortex: I'm sorry I missed that car ride. That sounds like fun. You know, I mean terrifying fun but still.

jessamyn: Yeah how did you get there?

cortex: I got a ride with uh Greg Nass actually gave me, and Matt and pb a ride from the airport and uh---

jessamyn: Oh that must have been a fun, quiet ride.


cortex: It was nice, Greg's a super-nice guy. I don't --

jessamyn: ... fun, quiet ride.


cortex: It- it was nice, and Greg's a super-nice guy. I don't -- have you met him?

jessamyn: He's the best person in the world. Yeah.

cortex: He, he's fantastic, uh, so we had a nice ride but I remember on that car ride we we winding through the mountains on the way up to, you know, the thing and so it was basically no internet connection right when someone's crazy out of control like a scraper bot was like taking down the site so we're trying to frantically --

jessamyn: (laughter)

cortex: -- resolve a bot problem with administrative tools from laptops in the back of a car on a windy mountain road with no internet access. And it was uh, yeah. Apparently- apparently it was memorable because

cortex: with no internet access. And it was uh, yeah. Apparently- apparently it was memorable because I was yeah, what, like, you know, 6-7 years ago now and that's, that's one the things I most remember about MaxFunCon is trying to deal with a site problem when there was no internet on a mountain road.

coldchef: It was a great idea for all the mods to be there on one weekend at a mountain resort with no connection to the internet. That was a great idea.

cortex: Yeah. That was real solid 2008-era planning. Like, we've, we've got enough mods to be able to cover the site for a little bit, let's all be distracted at the same time.

jessamyn: Let's all go away.


coldchef: People- people think I'm joking.

cortex: let's all be distracted at the same time.

jessamyn: Let's all go away.


coldchef: People- people think I'm joking when I tell them about how in 2001 when Matt took a trip to Australia he just turned off the website for two weeks.

cortex: Yup.

coldchef: And people don't believe that actually happened or that

cortex: It sounds so crazy and you know that really is a difference of era you know

jessamyn: Well that was also when Matt had a job...

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: So the site making money and having up-time didn't actually matter as much.

cortex: Yeah, Like, like if we actually turned the site off, well I mean he went read-only with it is what he did if I remember right so like you just couldn't--

gj: No, it was gone.
Oh, he actually took us down?

cortex: only with it is what he did if I remember right so like you just couldn't--

gj: No, it was gone!
Oh, he actually took us down? I forgot about that. That's crazy.

coldchef: It was, it was missing for two weeks.

cortex: Yeah. No there's no way we could do that today it would be so, it, people would have panic attacks, uh, it'd be bad for revenue obviously if we couldn't serve like, you know, ads.

jessamyn: You'd get letters!

cortex: Yes, angry letters.

jessamyn: You know I feel like I should probably mention, since it is the podcast of the month, that the site did turn however old it turned.

cortex: Yes!

jessamyn: Fourteen? God, I'm the worst.

cortex: Sixteen, sixteen. Sweet sixteen.

jessamyn: Fourteen? God, I'm the worst.

cortex: Sixteen, sixteen. Sweet sixteen.

jessamyn: Wooo!

cortex: Uh, there were no big parties but there was the traditional Cat-Scan thread, which was as always a good time. And uh, there were a few meetups in the vicinity. I, I was at meetups near its birthday and I think I cheered to its birthday.

jessamyn: You know for the first time I met Metafilter's own LobsterMitten and had --

cortex: Yes!

coldchef: Oh!

cortex: Yes! That's so exciting!

jessamyn: We have - we have never - Not only have we never met, I have only seen one photograph of her in a raincoat and I, so like

jessamyn: met, I have only seen one photograph of her in a raincoat and I, so like, you know I was all set to meet her and her husband at, um, at a local establishment near my sister's place cause they were driving from where they live to where their family was and blah, and I was like "I've actually only seen like a picture of her in a raincoat!" You know I wasn't totally sure I could recognize her and but we had dinner and it turns out she's as great as you think she would be.

cortex: I would imagine so, yeah, no she's, she's super-great and she's, yeah, I think she's like the least sort of 'out there' of all of the internet person on staff.

cortex: the least sort of 'out there' of all of the internet person on staff. Uh, which is like, totally reasonable, it's just kind of funny that, like, I think you and me and Matt together have always been so like "I'm going to make a fart joke on Twitter" well, that's me specifically but still ...

jessamyn: I was going to say, "hello?"

coldchef: (laughs)

cortex: I mean you're very open and you, you've, you've got--

jessamyn: I'm out on the internet,yeah.

cortex: -- your name on stuff, Matt's yeah. But yeah, no, that's that's I'm so happy you guys got to get together.

jessamyn: And you haven't met her, right?

cortex: I haven't. You know, and --

jessamyn: Make an effort, it's worth it. It's worth the trip.

cortex: I'll figure it out at some point, yeal well you know I've got family out in the Boston area

cortex: I'll figure it out at some point, yeah well you know I've got family out in like the Boston area um

jessamyn: Yeah your brother's out there.

cortex: So Maryland's not right there but it's enough to make it a quick hop or something.

jessamyn: Well and she's got family in Maine so all have got to do is catch her when she's going back and forth.

cortex: (laughs) Just interrupt her mid-road trip.

jessamyn: Well that's what I did! She stopped and had dinner, like got off the highway and had dinner right near where my sister was, it was great, totally worth it. Everyone should meet LobsterMitten.

cortex: Well I'm going to mention like the big one, uh.

jessamyn: What big one?

cortex: The big MetaFilter post.

jessamyn: There was a big one?

cortex: There was! There was a big Metafilter post a couple weeks ago --

jessamyn: Oh!!

cortex: The big MetaFilter post.

jessamyn: There was a big one?

cortex: There was! There was a big Metafilter post a couple weeks ago --

jessamyn: Oh!!

cortex: That uh--

jessamyn: This has changed my relationship overnight!

cortex: (laughs) This is the "Where's my Cut" on unpaid emotional labor article by Jess Zimmerman where she wrote basically about you know the nature of emotional labor and --

jessamyn: For our audience at home can you explain briefly what emotional labor is?

cortex: Uh, things that involve making sort of like a emotional or mental support effort, things that

cortex: sort of like a emotional or mental support effort, things that are sort of part of the often unspoken, often somewhat unnegotiated aspect of just making things work on a day to day basis and things that uh, this is sort of the point of the article to some extent, there's often a very poor distribution of this in relationships and often a very gendered distribution where structurally, uh, societally we've set things up in such a way that a lot of the stuff is just a woman's job you know in a relationship it's gonna be you know traditionally the wife's job.

cortex: you know in a relationship it's gonna be you know traditionally the wife's job to just do this stuff and it's not stuff--

jessamyn: To like, keep up with the birthdays for example, like--

cortex: Yeah, keep up with the birthdays...

jessamyn: That's a good example so you know I would be more likely to know it was Jim's parents' anniversary than Jim actually would.

coldchef: Right.

jessamyn: Even though that's bizarre because he's related to them. But yeah.

cortex: Yeah. Or uh yeah, all, I'm, I feel I am suddenly having such a terrible time sort of summing it up but the thing is...

jessamyn: No, I think you did a good job!

cortex: I don't need to sum it up too much because there's a gigantic--

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: gigantic thread

jessamyn: you did a good job!

cortex: I don't need to sum it up too much because there's a gigantic--

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: gigantic thread on Metafilter and the whole thing is worth reading which is tricky cause it's like, it's like 1600 comments long now it's just it's kept going for two weeks and it's just full of a bunch of really good, interesting sometimes, uh, kind of sad or depressing or at least a little bit uh, you know, groundshaking revelations and thoughts people are having reflecting on this and talking to each other about it and what someone pointed out in some point in the thread this is, you know, to some extent,

cortex: and talking to each other about it and what someone pointed out in some point in the thread this is, you know, to some extent, uh, what would have been, you know, called a consciousness-raising exercise, you know, decades ago when it was maybe, you know, coming around previously as an idea of something where you recognize some of these things and sort of develop a better understanding of some of this stuff that uh, you know this is not strictly feminism but there's definitely a strong overlap with--

jessamyn: It is feminism.

cortex: -- you know a whole lot of feminist

jessamyn: Yes, it is. Yes, it's feminism.

(tiny awkward pause)

coldchef: Jessamyn, (laughter in background) you said that it changed your relationship? How?

jessamyn: feminism.

(tiny awkward pause)

coldchef: Jessamyn, (laughter in background) you said that it changed your relationship? How?

jessamyn: Yeah! Well it's funny because, I mean Jim and I in a lot of ways don't really have a boy/girl relationship you know, like I'm the one with the tools and he's the one that primps in the bathroom all day long, but, um, but in a lot of ways I'm definitely the one who has to check in with all the, the kind of structural stuff about our relationship, like, you know, "When are we going to meet and what are you going to bring?" and "I got a message from so-and-so and we gotta do this thing," and it's not a big deal, like I'm kind of up for it most of the time but when both of us are exhausted

jessamyn: and it's not a big deal, like I'm kind of up for it most of the time but when both of us are exhausted, kind of? Me doing that extra work? It, makes me irritable and, but I was having a hard time putting those, putting that into words. I was just kind of you know, doing that I throw up my hands and be like, "I HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AROUND HERE!" which of course isn't true, and pointing to these threads especially the one in Ask Metafilter, the emotional labor checklist, I was like, you know, I, cause Jim always felt like he was doing his part, you know like I would cook and he would do the dishes and you know that's like, that's

jessamyn: always felt like he was doing his part, right? You know like I would cook and he would do the dishes like, that's...that's half and I was like, "Yeah, but I'll cook, you do the dishes and then I have to make sure you clean the kitchen right because you mostly do some of the dishes but not all the dishes and so ultimately the dish-doing process is my responsibility even if you do part of it." But we had a really nice conversation about it and continue to, but like for some reason that hook, the like 'emotional labor' aspect where you can kind of point to it and say "I'm not saying you're not doing your job...

jessamyn: aspect where you can kind of point to it and be like "I'm not saying you're not doing your job...I'm just saying there's an extra invisible job that I'm doing that maybe isn't being taken into account when we, when we when we figure out if we're both kind of doing the work and for whatever reason it stuck with him in a way that this hasn't before I mean and we're generally like pretty happy together anyhow but like when stuff is hard it's hard in this one direction that was really hard for me to identify and it's also real easy to kind of point to you know the emotional labor and be like yeah but you're

jessamyn: ?

jessamyn: about it but it's really made noticeable changes in the way we sort of treat one another about some of these topics. And he didn't read that thousand-page thread, y'know, but it was just that concept was a helpful concept for him...

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: in understanding a thing that made him not his fault, but kinda his responsibility to understand what I was bringing to the table. And that was awesome, really just awesome and helpful for me, so.

cortex: Well, yeah, and that's the interesting thing about the thread. I feel like, y'know, to a some extent, people have been tweeting about it, it's, like you said, there was an AskMe thread about it...

coldchef: That's cool!

cortex: to some extent, y'know, people have been tweeting about it, it's, like you said, there's been an AskMe thread. There's been, actually, at least two, maybe three, AskMe threads that have spun off from it.

jessamyn: Right. There was one big one that I saw.

cortex: Yeah, but there's been a couple others, like, someone saying, "Oh my gosh, this really made me realize some issues about my relationship...

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: You know, "Help! What's next for dealing with this?" Uh, but yeah, it's interesting 'cause the thread has a bunch of really, really thoughtful and interesting comments, a bunch of personal stories, and, y'know, some of them are kinda like, "I've just realized what's wrong with my relationship, or what's wrong with my job, or why this thing ???

cortex: realize what's wrong with my relationship or what's wrong with my job or why this thing 10, 15 years ago had such a devastating effect on me that I've been unable to state, and, you look at some of those and they are really amazing and powerful, but they are also, like, it feels a little bit like

jessamyn: a little voyeuristic, kinda... well, ya.

cortex: And to some extent, the thing is, I feel like if you look at only certain sections of that thread, it can almost feel like "this is a thread you need to read to find out how much you fucked up your relationship" and it's not that, there are plenty of stories that are sort of like "oh, this is why this was such a problem or is such a problem in our relationship" but there is also a lot of people

cortex: plenty of stories that are sure like 'Oh, this is why this was such a problem or is a problem [in a relationship?]' but there's also a lot of people just sort of saying, "Oh," like you said, "I have a better way of - I can actually elucidate the issue now, I can actually put a name to it and describe it --

jessamyn: Absolutely, absolutely!

cortex: -- and it's good for my relationship and"

jessamyn: I can describe it in a way that doesn't point fingers, that's not like "I'm doing all the work!" which is like, true but not true because it explains why Jim would look at it and be like, "No, you're fucking not!"

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: And we could both be right except we were meaning it in a different way and so it was super-helpful, I found, I mean we'll

jessamyn: we were meaning it in a different way and so it was super helpful I found. I mean, we'll see, but at least it means we have kind of a little tagline being like "Hey, don't forget about this. Oh, right! La lalalalalaaaa."

cortex: GJ, your job I would say there is a huge amount of emotional labor just based on the things I've seen you talk about. I mean, you Tweet about funny stuff you also tweet about serious stuff and you have to deal with grieving people, you have to deal with terrible stuff like you get a call and someone's child has died, you know. This is, is this something

cortex: that you have had to take a real active approach to, sort of managing and thinking about how you balance your emotional well-being with the job you need to do?

coldchef: Yeah, one of the first things I ever learned about this job is that a lot of what you do is not on the clock and not stuff you're necessarily paid for. I remember after I started working here one of the first cases was a baby, a deceased baby. And

coldchef: I had a really difficult time dealing with it and I went to my uncle who was the owner of the business at the time and I asked him, I said, "Why is this so hard? I don't know this family I don't know this child, why is it so hard?" And he said, "GJ what you have to learn how to do is that you have to learn how to separate yourself from the work you're doing."

jessamyn: Sure

gj: "You have to learn to be a counselor, you have to learn to be a guide,

coldchef: you're not trying to get them whole again, you're only trying to get them through the next three days."

jessamyn: Help them find a path, yeah.

coldchef: Exactly. He said, "So you can't take it personally, you can't get personally involved. You can't go home and cry about it. And, if you figure out how to do that, let me know 'cause I've been doing it for 40 years and I haven't figured it out."

jessamyn: Awww!

coldchef: Yeah. So I think it's worth saying that one of the best things about this thread

coldchef: were not only all the really great comments, mostly from the female members of Metafilter but the moderating was really, really good. There were a few places where it looked like guys were going to come in and go "Yeah, but that's not me, and I don't do that!" And --

cortex: Yeah.

jessamyn: Not all men!

coldchef: Not all men. But the moderation kept in check and really I think made it a much

coldchef: -- it was one of those things where I felt like saying, "Yes, but this!" and "Yes, but that!" and of a sudden that little thing clicked in my head that said, "Shut up and listen and read and see what they're saying,"

cortex: Yeah

coldchef: and I'm glad I did because it really meant a lot and I did - I do tend to be one of those people who remembers birthdays and sends out cards and reaches out to friends when they're having a hard time and

coldchef: after that thread a lot of friends from Metafilter, from Twitter, reached out and kind of said thank you to me for being that kind of person and that really, that made me feel good.

cortex: That's nice, that's good.

coldchef: Yup yup.

jessamyn: Yeah..

cortex: You know it's funny we get stuff on the contact form every once in a while from someone just out of the blue saying, "Hey," you know, not really apropos of anything other than, "Boy it looks like it's been a crazy week and I just want to say thanks for the stuff you do," and it's one of those things where like, every once in a while it has this tone almost of like, "I hope I'm not imposing by saying

cortex: and it's one of those things where it's like, every once in a while it has this tone of almost like, "I hope I'm not imposing by saying I appreciate--"

And you know we're always like, "No, thanks so much!" And it's nice and it's one of those little things where it's really easy to be totally well-meaning and be not in any way in the wrong and just not always do that little bit of sort of like, 'Oh, well I know we both know this is true but hey thanks, hey, you do a nice thing, hey you're a good friend." I'm kind of terrible about that, keeping up with my friends they - I tell myself they know that I'm

cortex: just terrible about it but I care about them but at the same time? You know it's one of those things that reading that I'm like, Oh yeah, there are things that I tend to -- the things I can get away with I'll sort of abdicate some of that stuff, I don't keep up super-closely with my family and to some extent because there is a bunch of emotional labor involved sometimes in doing so but at the same time maybe I do sort of go to the other end of the pendulum there and just sort of "Nope out" of some of that stuff that I could probably, I could probably just make the phone

cortex: call a little bit more often, send an email more often, that sort of thing.

jessamyn: Well I'm sort of part

coldchef: Jessamyn--

jessamyn: Oh, I'm sorry?

coldchef: Go ahead.

jessamyn: Well I was just going to say that's sort of part of where I got to on that, like I probably try to spend a half-hour every day like literally just going through my world of social media being like, "Way to go! You're doing great! That was interesting! Thank you!" like, just for other people who I know could use a thumbs-up from somebody whose opinion they value. And part of it for me was realizing I should

jessamyn: turn some of that sort of my family's direction as well? I mean, not that I don't like my family and interact with my family but that I should include them in my daily romp around, "Hey! That thing! Cool! Blah! Et cetera!" Because Jim and I are very good at that and I'm actually very good about that with strangers, but I'm not that good at it with people I care about because I spend so much time perseverating about the best way to blah blah blah or I'm worried that it's going to turn into blah blah blah so

jessamyn: I've developed a lot more of kind of a "Fuck it!" attitude to, "Just say the thing and deal with it afterwards. Don't not do it because whatever. Liike you're good at it with everyone else why can't you ..." get better at like, having people visit and being like "I'm glad you came!" I would want someone to say that to me and that feels weird to say because it sounds presumptuous and stupid but it doesn't feel weird to other people to hear for the most part so fucking say it! Stop--

cortex: yeah

cortex: Get outside of your own head and just do that little thing. Yeah I have trouble with that so

jessamyn: Were you saying a thing, GJ, before I started?

coldchef: Yeah, I was saying that Jessamyn actually knows that I've started a new project where ... I like getting and I like sending letters in the actual mail and I probably actually like sending letters and postcards more than I actually like getting them and --

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: I get this weird endorphin rush when I mail a bunch of letters at once and then I spend the whole next day just

coldchef: just thinking about my letters just traveling across the country --


jessamyn: I feel ya right there. I feel you!

coldchef: -- in somebody's bag and so I've started a project where some Metafilter friends and I are now writing each other letters back and forth. I probably have the largest collection of members' real names and mailing addresses.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: I would put mine up against anybody's--

jessamyn: I bet! I bet! Except for maybe the music swap people.

coldchef: Maybe so,

jessamyn: Maybe.

coldchef: --but a new thing that I've started

coldchef: --doing is in the past where you know you would send somebody a text message, "Hey, good job on that thing you did!" now I just drop a postcard or a letter and so there's something fun about writing a three-sentence letter and dropping it in the mail 5 minutes later and you know it's a surprise --

jessamyn: Well I've talked about this before, my dad used to travel a lot and he would send postcards that were basically like, "Hey, I had this funny sandwich it looked like this!"

jessamyn: and it didn't say anything, it wasn't like, "Here's a story about my day." It was just like 1 or 2 sentences, "I was just thinking about you." BAM! In the mail! But I have a ton of them and I love having them because they really were just slice-of-life not like, 'Oh I've got to write the perfect postcard' you know? And especially after sending more than one. Yeah! Just send them and get them out. People like getting them.

gj: I think that's the thing that helps us know each other better is not something that you spend all this
gj: time perfectly crafting but just a little slice of life as you said and just a little something out of your day just to know that someone is thinking about you and it's good!

jessamyn: Was this the week that I--? Was this the month that I sent you the Herpes test results envelope? I think it was.

coldchef: It was!

cortex: (laughs) I recall seeing that!

coldchef: It absolutely was! I had to explain to my children what Herpes was. It was fantastic.

jessamyn: I am sorry about that.

coldchef: No! They need to find out.

jessamyn: It's useful to know.

coldchef: It's good information.

jessamyn: I think so.

cortex: "And you have this, Dad?" "No. Well...

jessamyn: I have been -- I have been

jessamyn: I had been saving that envelope since high school, GJ. I am not lying.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: It made me laugh probably for 10 minutes. And then I put it on Twitter and people absolutely loved it for the rest of the day so thank you for that. It was really good.

jessamyn: It actually - I don't know if you saw it - but it says GROIN PULL down the side of it and

coldchef: That's amazing.

jessamyn: That's because the guy I was super-into in high school had given me his email password which was GROIN PULL and I should have known then I shouldn't have been super into him.


jessamyn: And so it was on that envelope and I had been saving it for the exact perfect time and there you go!

coldchef: I absolutely loved it.

cortex: I saw that fly by the other day and I didn't know what the context was originally but I was like, "I don't care, this is great." Oh, and Jessamyn you sent me baseball card patches. Well, baseball player stitched patches. Thurman Munson --

jessamyn: Oh!

cortex: -- and Fred Lynn.

jessamyn: Yeah! I went to Frugal Frank's Discount Outlet and they had a bag you could buy for $3 that had a stack of Fred Lynn and Thurman Munson


jessamyn: baseball patches? And I don't know who those guys are but Jim was like, "OHMYGOD you should just totally buy them!" And I totally didn't, but I took pictures of them and then everyone on the internet was like, "OHMYGOD why didn't you buy them?"

cortex: So you had to go back.

jessamyn: And I was like, "I don't know." So I went back and bought them and then people on Facebook were like, "Send them to me!" and I mailed them out including to you.

cortex: They're pretty great. Thurman Munson I think died, or maybe Fred Lynn did. One of them. I Googled them both and looked at their Wikipedia pages and one of them is dead. So.

jessamyn: I figured you could sketch them for that blog you have about baseball players.

cortex: Oh geez I haven't updated that in like

cortex: that thing in years.


jessamyn: I don't know why you think you're going to start ANOTHER podcast and that's going to totally work out.

cortex: Hey, what's the?! You know it's much shorter, you know, and I have good feelings about it.

jessamyn: Shorter than a post on Tumblr?

cortex: Well, shorter than this, anyway. You know.

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: It's on the manageable side. (??)

jessamyn: I mean, what isn't honestly?

cortex: Should we segue to that? Should we talk about the snail posts I guess?

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah, could you? Would you?

coldchef: Yeah!

cortex: Yeah, cause that's pretty great and then I'll explain the podcast connection there too, but there was this fantastic AskMe that turned into a fantastic if slightly unconventional Metafilter post

cortex: 'cause it was sort of wrapping the whole thing up so it was a little more of a personal narrative than would be normal for a post to The Blue but I was like, you know, executify it, this thing is great. This is a post about a snail from the mid-19th century and I won't go into detail because I can refer you to something else but nicebookrack is the user who made this AskMe post that turned into this Metafilter post about this snail from the mid-19th century that got sent to the British museum from Egypt and got glued.

jessamyn: Back when you used to just

jessamyn: collect shit in other countries and be like, "Whoaaaa this totally

cortex: Yeah it's like "Oh, this is mine now! I'll just send this back to--

coldchef: 'Collect' is a nice way of saying 'steal'.

cortex: What, what...

jessamyn: Yeah, you're right.

cortex: In this case it was a snail, so probably low on the theft things, but anyway they mailed the snail back.

jessamyn: Stolen snail.

cortex: It was assumed to be dead, the stolen snail and so glued to a specimen card and then four years later they realized it's not dead and they gave it a bath and it woke up and it lived for a couple more years and there's a bunch of details about the story but also

cortex: an interesting sort of process of tracking down what happened since then which is a big part of what the post was about. So it was a great AskMe turned into a great post and a fun discussion but it's also the subject of a new podcast that we just launched--

jessamyn: "We" meaning "you."

cortex: We...yeah... me doing all the work at the moment but Metafilter branded podcast called "Out of the Blue" that's like a much shorter, like little 12-minute

cortex: one well-edited narrative about one little story from something related to Metafilter and I was like, "This is the perfect thing!" because I was thinking of doing a first episode and I was like, "But what am I going to do it about exactly?" and boom this was it.

jessamyn: Well and it totally sort of captured people's imagination like I saw it sort of zipping around the Internet a little bit and I was like, "HEY! That's from Ask Metafilter! Like buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh-buh! I have certain intel about this!"

cortex: Yeah, no, it's

cortex: it did sort of get a little bit of legs under it which was really neat--

jessamyn: Legs. Legs?

coldchef: (laughs)

cortex: Leeggs!

jessamyn: Leeeegggs!

cortex: Hey, I'm Alabama everybody else talks funny.

jessamyn: No that must be great, right?

cortex: You know it's actually funny Huntsville is a real sort of varied city because there's a lot of people who are in from out of town because of tech stuff in town and so..

jessamyn: Space.

cortex: Lots of people have Southern accents, not everybody does but everybody has like specifically a Northern Alabama

cortex: accent there's a real variety of Southern accents too, so I can't quite get used to any one particular thing and I also won't come away with any specific informed opinion about Northern Alabama accents.

jessamyn: Yeah, yeah.

cortex: I'll just be like, "People in the South! They talk like they're from the South!" Is about as much as I'm gonna narrow it down but yeah. Anyway, the snail thing is awesome, the new podcast I'm super happy with how the first episode came out and gonna try to do a monthly, probably come out, like, the middle of the month versus these on the tail ends.

cortex: And yeah. I think it'll be a fun thing.

jessamyn: Cool! Here's my favorite thing from Ask Metafilter this whole month. User BleuLlama which is kind of a funny joke in and of itself, is trying to match the colors of an old DEC PDP-11 computer and DEC which is "Digital Electric Corporation" was kind of known for having computers this was UI don't know, 80s? 70s? That had these kind of pretty interesting color

jessamyn: patterns like they had these purple and pink colors and these blue and green colors they had color-colors, they weren't just green and gray and blah blah blah blah blah and they were like this guy, for whatever reason. Lady? Oh again.

cortex: Person. This person.

jessamyn: N, it's a dude, his name is Scott. Was like, "I'm trying to match those colors because I'm trying to paint these stripes!" and so you know I'm all like, "Oh, I work at the Internet Archive, here's some documents."

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And I'm

jessamyn: always happy when I kind of try to answer a question but don't and then somebody else shows up like in this case zamboni who's just all around genius and is like, "Oh, by the way, here's a scan of a DEC standard digital approved paint suppliers and material identification system paint document...

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: Oh wow...

jessamyn: ...where they have all the aerosol colors for the document" et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. And then we find a guy in NYC who has one of the machines WHO IT TURNS OUT

jessamyn: IS A MEFITE!!

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: Wow.

jessamyn: Who shows up IN THE THREAD to say, "You know, I've got one if you want to compare some swatches. Call me." Autopilot. User autopilot. So it's like, everything that's great about Ask Metafilter including: I get to help other people actually answer the question, the question is hilarious, like in an eponysterical way, its' very techy and nerdy and everybody helped. Lovely.

cortex: That's awesome. That's perfect Ask Metafilter

jessamyn: Made me very

jessamyn: happy. And I grew up next door to Digital Equipment Corporation so I'm like, "MY HOMETOWN" even though that had nothing to do with it.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And Randolph Products is the name of the company and I live in Randolph, Vermont. BAM!

cortex: It all ties together, man. It's..

coldchef: Wow.

cortex: It's a web.

jessamyn: Yeah, that's my one beer hitting right now. "'s all connected..."

cortex: I enjoyed this question from curious nu who is a Portland MeFite about "Songs in a Miner Key" that is

cortex: a coal

jessamyn: I feel this comes--

cortex: a coal miner.

jessamyn: WHAT? How did I miss this?

cortex: Ha ha! Well it's funny 'cause I don't feel like he got the answers to the...

coldchef: 'Cause there's a pun right there in the title.

cortex: You naturally were like, you shuddered and routed around it.

jessamyn: You know what it is? I have titles turned off so I missed it entirely.

cortex: Ahhh. Oh, so his question was, "Lots of laboring jobs have a history of singing while working. Does mining? Are there miner songs?" And the interesting thing is there's a bunch of great answers to the question but they're not answers to the question I think he was trying to ask?

jessamyn: Songs about mines that people were giving but what's he's asking is songs about while you're mining.

cortex: Yeah, songs people would sing in the mine I think is what he's going for but the thing is a couple people noted: it's hard to breathe in a mine. You know people are probably not going to waste the extra --

jessamyn: Zamboni with the truth again! Who is this person? He's all over it! He's smokin'!

cortex: He's an actual sentient Zamboni. He was struck by lightning at midnight, January 1st, 2000. He was the one thing that actually had the Y2K

cortex: Y2K bug and that bug is known as self-awareness and so now he answers questions on the Internet. I mean, you think I'm kidding but look, he didn't sign up 'til 2007. He'd been sentient for a while and sort of getting bored with AOL and was like "Hey, Metafilter! I heard good about that!"

jessamyn: Keep talking.

cortex: Anyway. (laughs) I like mining songs. I don't know why I like mining songs exactly but I do. There's a bunch of good ones and it's --

jessamyn: Springhill Mining Disaster? I grew up on that song? Like, my Dad

jessamyn: would sing it. I thought my Dad wrote that song.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I was wondering where the Springhill Mine was in my town.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: And then U2 covered it and I was like, "My childhood, it is over."

cortex: No, no. They took it from your Dad.

jessamyn: Apparently.

c: Bono know. Real tight, those two.

coldchef: I was always fond of "Oh My Darling Clementine" because it's one of the only children's songs that's about an accidental drowning.

coldchef: And then if you --

jessamyn: (singing) Ruby lips, above the water, blowing bubbles! (speaking) Yeah, exactly.

coldchef: And then of course there's the last lyric that doesn't end up in most songs. (singing) "There's a churchyard on the hillside where the flowers grow and vine. There grow rosies, 'mongst the posies fertilized by Clementine."

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: Just kind of fantastic. My kids love that version.

jessamyn: You made that up!

coldchef: Did not! Pete Seeger.

coldchef: Did not! Pete Seeger.//

jessamyn: What?!

coldchef: That's the Pete Seeger version. Pretty good.

cortex: He's a scamp. You got any particular favorites from Ask this last month, GJ?

coldchef: The things that I like about Ask Metafilter are usually the -- I usually dip in to people who have funeral or death related questions and a lot of time people on Twitter will alert me to a conversation that I need to give a little professional

coldchef: a little professionalism to.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: The things that I really like though, the one that I really liked this month was about office supplies? Someone was looking for new office supplies that were kind of fancy? Because the only-

jessamyn: I don't think I saw this one!

coldchef: The only thing I like better than office supplies are fancy office supplies. And so I went through there and made a lot of bookmarks.

jessamyn: Oh, by joyceanmachine.

coldchef: Yep.

jessamyn: This is for lady-style desk accessories.

coldchef: It is lady-style desk accessories which are

coldchef: usually the best. Yeah.

jessamyn: Wow. Wow! So wait, did you answer this or you just read it?

coldchef: I just read it. What I found interesting is the Ask threads like this where there's only 19 answers but 64 favorites.

jessamyn: 64 favorites.

coldchef: Yeah.

jessamyn: We need to have like a name for those because we talk about them on the podcast, they come up all the time.

cortex: I've had a clumsy name I've used for them for years. I think of them of things with High Referenceability. Like, people bookmark them not because they want to participate

cortex: because they want to participate// but just because they think that's going to be a useful reference somehow

jessamyn: Favorites. They're bookmarks, right Josh?

cortex: Yeah, exactly.

jessamyn: Exactly.

cortex: In this case they totally are.

jessamyn: They totally are.

cortex: I absolutely, this pile of favorites is people are like, "oh yeah I wanna be able to come back to that." Not "I approve of you asking about office supplies. Thumbs up." There's some genuine freaking bookmark utility right there.

(small pause)

jessamyn: Now I'm stuck looking at all these pages of all these sites.

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: That's good stuff.

jessamyn: Sexy notebooks! This is a nightmare! Oh! //

jessamyn: I do have to tell you gentlemen - this is only vaguely related - but Jim went back to visit his family and one of the things he got when he was there, 'cause his family's in the process - his parents live in Arizona and they're going to downsize and move into a smaller place. And as most parents do in that they're like, "Get your shit!" He's like, "What? What? You have my shit?" But apparently he had like a stamp collection when he was younger that wasn't even really his stamp collection but it was kind of like someone in the family had gotten him -- I don't know if you guys are

jessamyn: the right age for this but in the 70s especially you could buy like a, kind of a notebook that would come with special stamps from that year.

coldchef: Oh, wow.

jessamyn: And a little collection thing that you could learn about the individual stamps from the year. It would have like 10 stamps and you could stick them in this notebook in a special way and it would tell you about those stamps. And somebody in Jim's family got him those notebooks for like every year from like 1970 I guess

jessamyn: from like 1970 I guess // to like 1979.

cortex: Huh.

jessamyn: And they've got all the stamps! Which are unused which, as you know, are legitimate US Postage.

coldchef: That is correct.

jessamyn: Yeah! From all those years and ao now I have all these, I mean some of them are like too cool to use, but a lot of them are like, whatever you know. But some of them are like, "Keep our air clean! Keep our water clean!"

coldchef: Aw, that's fantastic.

jessamyn: And shit we cared about in the 70s that we've completely forgotten that we cared about and so part of my mail thing which I share with GJ is

jessamyn: I share with GJ is// getting to find the appropriate stamp to put on the appropriate envelope in order to send them out. Because Jim's like, "I don't really send a lot of mail." (laughs) "And when I do I don't want to put a cool stamp on the fucking electric bill so why don't you take these?" So it's all these weird old stamps from like different dates, different years in the 70s that are now mine to get to put on stuff. Oh! AND! Sorry, I do ramble on..

cortex: No, no

cortex: just run with it, you're on a roll.

jessamyn: Up in the attic!! Cause I'm at my father's house for the summer, one of the things I found was all the wedding stationery they hadn't used from when he got married 15 years ago to the woman who later divorced him and then married someone else and then it was a big story. But a lot of them are like these big, beautiful, thick, white envelopes that have stamps on them.

coldchef: Already on them.

jessamyn: And they're not addressed or anything! So you can just have them! It's like, finding money in the attic.

jessamyn: Beautiful white envelopes. I'll send you one, GJ, they're lovely.

coldchef: I would love that.

cortex: Although if they're not forever stamps, do you have to just like slap another stamp on there to actually cover postage?

jessamyn: I gotta put another stamp on.

cortex: That's kind of rad, though, if it's like an older stamp and then there's this weird span of time between two pieces of adhesive-backed paper?

jessamyn: I like to think that the Post Office appreciates it.

cortex: Yeah.

coldchef: Back when I was in college they used to have automatic stamp machines at the Student Union and so if you needed

coldchef: you know, let's say a 29-cent stamp it would give you a 29-cent stamp and then a 1-cent stamp and since most people had no use for a 1 cent stamp--

jessamyn: They'd just leave them?

coldchef: They would leave them in the machine and so

jessamyn: (screams)

coldchef: And so every now and then there'd be a long line of 1-cent stamps, five or six, and I would always just tear them off and then my favorite thing to do would be to send somebody a letter but instead of a 29-cent stamp you would just put 29 1-cent stamps and the post office

jessamyn: I do occasionally pull shit like that! Like, put 10 5-cent stamps

jessamyn: I do occasionally pull shit like that, like put 10 5-cent stamps on or whatever.

coldchef: Yeah.

jessamyn: You can totally do it. You can totally do it!

cortex: Sometimes when I need to mail a postcard I just use a first-class stamp anyway.

jessamyn: (gasps) See? The Post Office appreciates that. They make money on you!

cortex: Yeah, exactly. I'm the arbitrage or breakage, I guess that's what it's called..

jessamyn: Yeah!

cortex: That keeps the post office alive.

jessamyn: I figure it makes it worth the hassle of all the bizarre post cards I get addressed to whatever the shit

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Nonsense.

cortex: I'm putting some back into the system to balance out your weird mail.

jessamyn: The hassle factor.

cortex: Well I figure that you probably only have so much mail related labor to do in the Randolph area on any given day so at a certain point once you're already employing the postal service person they may have that extra, you know, five minutes to do a little bit of routing or something.

jessamyn: Yeah.

coldchef: I saw a post card addressed to Jessamyn addressed to simply "One of the Greatest People in the World" and then her zip code and it got to her.

jessamyn: (whispers) Amazing!

cortex: As it should. As it should.

jessamyn: It's a good life, this life. (laughs) And thank you for that, GJ, it was very sweet. (laughs)

cortex: There's an Ask from just the last couple days that's sort of a fun, sort of borderline chatty..

jessamyn: This has been my favorite. Why aren't you moderating this harder? Everybody's fucking around!

cortex: I mostly haven't been on shift when there's been any issue.

jessamyn: People are grabassing in this thread!

cortex: There's stuff in there. There's been a few things deleted, but I think

jessamyn: You deleted and then undeleted this comment!

jessamyn:'re my enemy!

cortex: I think it was a 'someone had a thoughtful response' sort of situation.

jessamyn: (growls)

cortex: Mostly when (Jessamyn still growls) I wasn't on the clock so I'm just going to, you know, punt but anyway the thread is fine. The thread is fine.

jessamyn: No I'm sending you a link right now. Right now!

cortex: Okay we'll just stop and have this discussion about this. Oh geez, I don't even remember - okay - the penis beakers and ...

jessamyn: (growls)

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: (growls) I have no further comment on penis beakers.

Like DZ Wang.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: I can't make this up!

cortex: But anyway it's a fun thread. A fun thread. And it's one of those things where to some extent it's going to be a little bit subjective in a sort of like.

jessamyn: It's devolved into grab ass.

cortex: Where "People are totally wrong about this thing." That other people are like, "No actually, you're wrong about this thing." And it's like [[22?]. But it's fun.

jessamyn: It's one of those stand or sit buttwipe kind of thing except give me a whole bunch of them.

cortex: Exactly.

jessamyn: And one of the criteria.

jessamyn: is it has to be a thing that people don't, people really believe that everybody does it that way, right? Like if you're a person that wipes your butt when you sit, the fact that other people stand up, you're like surprised. So some of these things kinda devolve into not that thing, but it is really interesting. Especially for me reading through the thread and being like, "What? That person is THAT kind of asshole?" You know? 'Cause some of these things are clearly just wrong. But I am aware that that's a problem that I have and that I'm working on it.

cortex: (laughs) You can learn all of these new, specific reasons to wanna kill someone. It's, yeah...

jessamyn: Although I did find out recently... I went out to get ice cream at one of those places that just have portapotties and I went after my friend. My friend isn't a MeFite so it's okay to say this thing. Um, she went before me? And I think she's one of those ladies that pees on the seat?

cortex: Oh.

jessamyn: Because she hovers?

cortex: Ohhh...

jessamyn: And like what do you do? They're the worst kinds of people!

cortex: Yeah I mean..

jessamyn: And like what do you do? They're the worst kinds of people!

cortex: Yeah if you wanna hover that's fine, but just maybe check--

jessamyn: It's your own pee! You wipe it up!

cortex: I should talk. I pee standing up so I'm probably a perennial source of --

jessamyn: That's normal for dudes though.

cortex: I mean, I'm gonna --

jessamyn: I assume you and your wife both clean the bathroom.

cortex: Yeah and I'll lift the - what do you call the - it's not the poop ring...


jessamyn: The seat?

cortex: The seat! The seat!

jessamyn: (laughs)

cortex: I guess it's the seat and then the cover and I was thinking the cover is the seat but no.

jessamyn: The cover's the lid.

jessamyn: The seat is the seat.

cortex: How did I have trouble coming up with seat? I have no idea.

jessamyn: That must be some strong beer.

cortex: It's very Harry Pottery. It's very magical.

jessamyn: See, and when you say that it's like 'Hairy Potter' and it's weird.

cortex: HARRry Potter?

jessamyn: See? You can do it. If you want to.

cortex: HARRry? I bet Hagrid would say it, like (gruffly) "You're a wizard, 'Hairy'" He wouldn't say HARRry.

jessamyn: Yeah he would!

cortex: Nah, I'm with Hagrid. Hay-grid.

jessamyn: GJ?

coldchef: Hay-GRID.

jessamyn: (groans)

coldchef: That's the way I say it in my head.

cortex: Solidarity.

jessamyn: He's HAGrid to me but I'm from New England so I don't even. But that thread is delightful. It's super-fun and I can deal with the wrong people to learn things about the other people.

cortex: Exactly! Just learning about the world, learning about people, in a context that doesn't involve someone's relationship failing, which you know is important stuff too.

jessamyn: Or them being bad to their kids or pets.

cortex: Yeah. It's nice to just go light.

jessamyn: Speaking of light, I entered this very brief max

jessamyn: maxsparber sort of one and done 23 minute thread with the name of some random old cookbook, vague description, blahbidy-blah something and he's like, "Oh that's it. Oh, yeah it is." It's got to be the shortest ever, it's fifteen words? Two sets of answers, no one else answers it, best answered BAM! July first. The best.

cortex: Yep. No it's beautiful. That's classic AskMe.

jessamyn: It made me very happy.

cortex: And it's so specific too. This is one of those things, one the one hand this is going to be useful to no one. On the other hand, it's going to be useful to one random person on the Internet when they're Googling and they hit the right keywords and are like, "Oh my God, I found it!"

jessamyn: Right! Right!

cortex: The long tail, man.

jessamyn: So anything else from Ask Metafilter? Gentlemen, we have ability to bring this in under 2 hours.

cortex: Yeah I know! I'm kind of excited about that. I got no more Ask. I got a couple of Metafilter posts that I could mention, but you know I'm going to do a quick

cortex: micromention of this one because no one commented on it and I liked it.

jessamyn: What do you mean no one commented on it? Is that possible?

cortex: Five people commented on it.

jessamyn: You just called five people 'no one.'

cortex: Relatively, comparatively no one.

jessamyn: hellojed, cortex, item, Naberius and item again; I am sorry, Josh called you no one.

cortex: I called myself no one. I'm in that mix. It's a post by moonmilk of Ruler Comics by alabaster and I was super-charmed by them and I think it sort of passed by.

cortex: but it's a bunch of comics--

jessamyn: Hey, Ruler Comics did that one about that lady staring at the other guy's butt using the mirrors?

cortex: I-- that might be the same person. I never made that connection.

jessamyn: You know what I'm talking about, right?

cortex: Yeah, I know the comic you're talking about. The layout certainly looks similar so it could be.

jessamyn: Huh-huh-huh-huh! But I'm sorry, I interrupted.

cortex: But anyway, Ruler Comics is just a bunch of 9-panel little cartoons illustrating various Amazon reviews of a inexpensive 12-inch ruler.

cortex: And they're fantastic and I love them and I think everybody should go read them.

coldchef: Although I don't know if there are any posts with no comments, I actually did my first front page post in a long time and it literally got one comment.

cortex: (laughs) Excellent!

jessamyn: Wait, this month?

coldchef: This month, yeah.

jessamyn: How did we not prepare and know that, Josh?

cortex: (laughs)

coldchef: I don't know you just could have been making fun of me the whole time.

jessamyn: We were not!

coldchef: I read this great memoir and was reading more about the author and he had written this thing about writing memoirs. I thought it was interesting and I shared it and one comment. And the only comment that it got is, "I'm trying to read this site but it seems to be having server problems."

jessamyn: Oh geez.

coldchef: I don't know. I checked the site probably 2 dozen times that day obsessively and there was no problem with the server so

jessamyn: Well everybody else who tried to read

cortex: it and comment on it, they died of a novelty urn inscription related accident.

jessamyn: (laughs) This is a great introduction though, I'm loving it already.

coldchef: I just sat there at home and

jessamyn: Hit reload...

coldchef: Hit reload and cried and--

cortex: (laughs) See, don't hit reload, just leave it open and wait for new comments to show up and when they don't THEN you hit reload. And then you feel that much more ashamed --

jessamyn: And then you email pb and say,

cortex: Hey

cortex: Hey, I think something's wrong with the -- it's not loading the new comments?

coldchef: It was actually very interesting to me to see a thread with no comments or just one comment you hardly ever see that anymore.

cortex: Every time I see it I get excited! Maybe it really won't get any comments. I see it every once in a while and then something will happen, the dam will break and it's like, okay now it just has not very many comments but it's--

coldchef: I've also been on Metafilter long enough to have a series of bookmarks and one of my favorite bookmarks is

coldchef: that I have is a front page post with zero links in it.

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: Wait!

coldchef: Yeah, it was a post--

jessamyn: Wait!

coldchef: Let me see if I have it here, it was a post way, way back and it was a front page post that said, "Hey, who likes smoking weed?"

cortex: (laughs)

jessamyn: You are lying! That didn't happen.

coldchef: And it stayed up.

cortex: This was like the first year?

coldchef: Here we go, hold on a second.


jessamyn: That didn't happen.

coldchef: No, and it stayed up

cortex: This is like the first year...

coldchef: There we go, hold on a second...

cortex: If you read back through the first...

coldchef: July 9th, 2001

cortex: Oh, wow, 2001 even. That was pre-9/11. 9/11 changed everything.

jessamyn: That's almost pre-me!

cortex: Yeah, I would've been a member, but...

jessamyn: ibitecode, who I don't even recognize, user #2626. Hey, there's andrewcooke, who is back! I have to say welcome back, andrewcooke! That's very exciting!

cortex: Yes, back without a space, signed up a new handle with no space in it.

jessamyn: jfuller, still around.

coldchef: optimistic, still around

jessamyn: Scott, not around as much, but I see him on Facebook all the time. jbushnell, still around. [?username] still around. This is awesome!

cortex: claudius, or [???]

jessamyn: Me, still around. potmakesmeitch, what?


cortex: Well, don't, don't rub it in your eyeballs, cause then your eyes... I don't know where I'm going with that exactly, but...

coldchef: [?oliverwillis]

jessamyn: owillis. davidsmc is really doing the, wow!

jessamyn: Wow!

cortex: What I like... every couple of years there will be some big Metafilter news thing and then some of these people will like just show up in Metatalk and I really enjoy that, like even though, they've basically, you know, some of them have, you know, stopped using the site, don't really check in anymore, but then they're like, "Oh, Metafilter! I should go say 'hi'!" I always enjoy that.

jessamyn: "Oh, hi everybody!"

cortex: Yeah! "It's been seven years. How are you doing?" It's cool, that continuity, the fact that the site's got a long enough life that someone could hang around for many years and then stop hanging around for many years.

cortex: And then there's still a site to come back to and be like, "Oh, yeah, it's been a while!"

jessamyn: And the format's exactly the same.


cortex: Hey! We got that new theme! Not that you use it.

jessamyn: I don't know anything about that... Nothing.

cortex: You know, some things that don't break in the new theme, like if someone manages to fail to close a tag, in the Classic theme, that breaks because of the way the CSS on that theme works. Doesn't happen on the new theme, so every once in a while I see a display error now, and I'm like, "There's nothing wrong with this post! I can't see

cortex: There's nothing wrong with this post! I can't see... everything looks fine!" And eventually I look and [???] Oh, they did this one thing that breaks only if you're using the other theme..."

jessamyn: HO!

cortex: But, you know, there's no contact form about it cause people are like, "Well, it's obvious what's wrong with it, I'll just flag it as a display error." Oh, the TRAVAILS! The difficulties of managing --

jessamyn: Oy! OY!

cortex: -- a website, let me tell ya. Uh, well, you guys have anything else you want to mention?

jessamyn: I just want to mention that taz has been killing it in the "Best of" sidebar that mentions we just got FanFare, so maybe someone should update

jessamyn: except you can't, cause it's Matt's.

cortex: Yeah, uh, we'll we'll we'll poke him about that.

jessamyn: (poking noises)

cortex: But, yeah, no, she's been doing great. We've been throw links around a little bit more behind the scenes and she's been doing a fantastic job of doing, looking the stuff up herself, collating stuff other people have brought up and just getting stuff posted, like, every day and it's really, really great.

jessamyn: She's a treasure.

cortex: I feel like we've been sorta on the chattier side in this part of the podcast

cortex: It's probably going to be a little bit more "link-light" than a typical one

jessamyn: So head on over to "Best of" where there's a thing every day.

cortex: Exactly. Look at the side bar.

jessamyn: And we got to talk to GJ, which is important, has value.

cortex: Yes, yes.

coldchef: Oh, thank you very much!

cortex: I'd trade it for that any day!

jessamyn: Any day.

cortex: I'd trade my eye teeth. What are eye teeth? I've always...

jessamyn: Uh, they're your pointy teeth.

cortex: Why are they called "eye teeth"?

jessamyn: Mine have eyes on them. Don't yours?

cortex: I'm so uncomfortable right now.

coldchef: (laughs) If I could, I would like to thank y'all for this opportunity

cortex: Absolutely!

coldchef: This was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed it. I have two quick commercials if that's okay?

cortex: Do it!

jessamyn: Depends what they're commercials for.

cortex: If they're terrible, I'll edit them out.

coldchef: Uh, I wanted to say, this is something that comes up a lot on Metafilter and it's worth mentioning. Uh, making end-of-life plans --

jessamyn: YES! I can also back this.

coldchef: Yeah, it's never too early to start thinking about end-of-life plans for yourself

coldchef: and especially for your parents, if you still have them, it's an uncomfortable conversation but try to have it. It's hard making all those decisions after someone has died, but it's a lot harder if you've never talked about it ever.

jessamyn: Advanced healthcare directive, durable power of attorney, end-of-life planning, funeral arrangements, all the stuff.

coldchef: Absolutely. Durable power of attorney so you can even make decisions after someone

coldchef: so you can make decisions after someone dies. Most people don't know that power of attorney ceases at death.

cortex: I did not know that.

coldchef: Yep, there ya go. Uh, my other quick commercial is, if anyone's listening to this and you've never actually met someone from Metafilter in real life, if you're just reading it every day and you see the links for meet-ups and you think, "That's not something I would enjoy," go to the meet-ups, meet other

coldchef: other Metafilter people in real life, become their friends. Without exception, every single person I've met from Metafilter is AWESOME --

jessamyn: Likewise.

coldchef: -- in their own unique way.

jessamyn: You can even just go and just have a drink and sit and listen and hang out if you don't feel like interacting, chatting, or whatever.

coldchef: Absolutely. Some of my best friends in the entire world are the people that I have met through this website, and I couldn't overstate how much it means to me

coldchef: how much it means to me and how much y'all mean to me. There you go.

cortex: Absolutely seconded. Meetups are fantastic. I've gotten down to [?Birmingham], [???], was here in Huntsville, gone down to Chattanooga

jessamyn: That's right! I saw the picture! You had a little meetup.

cortex: Yeah, yeah. And a few people came out in Chattanooga, so I got pictures I gotta post from that. I talked people into flipping off the camera, so I can send that to you, GJ.

coldchef: Wonderful!

cortex: The being flipped off connection.

coldchef: I absolutely love that! That's right up there with

coldchef: I mentioned one time that I enjoyed to eat beets, and so now I get beet recipes all the time.

cortex: Hahaha! Excellent.

coldchef: I mentioned one time that I like people when they send pictures of themselves flipping off, and I've gotten about 400.

jessamyn: Yeah, Kate and I send one pretty much on every holiday we're together cause we know GJ loves them.

cortex: I still want to see a coffee table book of that.

coldchef: They never cease to make me laugh. Some of them are a little X-rated, but uh...

jessamyn: X-rated? R-rated?

jessamyn: X-rated?

coldchef: X. Oh, yeah.

jessamyn: My sister tells me that this world exists and I have a very difficult time getting my, like, ole Yankee head around it.

coldchef: Without being, without being too terribly specific, because it would implicate people here on Metafilter, there are people who enjoy taking pictures while doing activities that maybe are not fit for polite society.


cortex: Like off-track betting.

coldchef: Yeah, exactly.

cortex: Filling out little scorecards

jessamyn: Just like off-track betting.

coldchef: Scurrilous! [???] hot indoors.


jessamyn: I'm so happy y'all found each other!

cortex: Well, yes, absolutely. People, go to meetups, go to IRL, go hang out with people, get to know "Meh-fites", it's, it's, even "Mee-fites" if you have to.

coldchef: We're good people.

cortex: Yeah, it's one of my favorite things about this website.

jessamyn: Good people!

cortex: Get out there and do it! See each other. Make friends. Make connections.

cortex: And, yeah, GJ, thanks so much for coming on! It was really fun talking to you and to get some funerary stories and so on.

jessamyn: Yeah! I'm so glad you came. It's always great to hear your voice!

coldchef: I appreciate that. Thank you, guys!

cortex: Well, let's call this good and we'll talk to y'all in about a month.

jessamyn: Sounds great! Have a great August!

(outro music)


  • kimberussell, 90 segments
  • jillithd, 65
  • danabanana, 35
  • beryllium, 21
  • Pronoiac, 1