Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Vexing questions

These are some things on my mind lately.

1. Is there any polite way of asking someone -not- to hold a door open for you when they have already moved to do so? I have a system of getting a stroller through doors, you see, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment to manage it flawlessly. And maybe, just maybe, it's a bit of a threat to my already thoroughly negotiated masculinity to have people treat me like I need help just because I'm pushing a stroller around, sheesh. (That's the life of a part-time stay-at-home dada).

2. Perhaps we might find a better term than "stay-at-home" to describe folks like me who care for children in the daylight hours? For one thing, I spend part of the day away from home, e.g., going through doors. For another, three-word compound adjectives are rarely the best way of describing something. For another yet, this term is always gendered--mom or dad--and "stay-at-home parent" is a mouthful. I want something like "server," a nice gender-neutral word that's easy to say.

3. Did the Grateful Dead *need* two drummers? I've been listening to the Dead a lot lately (Mars Hotel and earlier) and I'm vexed.

4. Is it necessary to measure the water when cooking rice in a rice cooker? The way the machine works, it keeps cooking and water keeps evaporating until the temperature exceeds 100 Celsius. Then the thermostat switches to a lower temperature to keep the rice warm. If you use a lot of water, won't it just keep boiling until the extra evaporates? Is there a downside to this? The rice won't burn in liquid. I suppose it might get mushy during a very long cooking, but I'm not talking about bathing a cup of rice in a gallon of water. I'm just talking about eyeballing instead of measuring. I would turn this into a home science experiment but that would involve possibly wasting food, which I refuse to do.

5. Is there an ideal way of /emphasizing/ a word when italics are unavailable, e.g., in e-mail or blog comments, that I don't know about? ALL CAPS is obnoxious and the options above, -dashes-, *asterisks*, and /slashes/, all look clumsy, especially in combination with commas or other punctuation.


Anonymous mumu said...

This is something mum taught me, a rather unscientific way that seems to work every day: fill water in rice cooker until say, slightly less than half-inch above rice. Place an open palm into the water and rest on rice. If water rises to just above your knuckles, amount of water is enough.

10:09 PM  
Blogger Nico said...

Mickey Hart was out of the band for a few years and they were fine with just Kreutzman. It was cool with both of them though.

A bigger question is did they really need two keyboard players when they were going with Bruce Hornsby and Vince Welnik?

12:25 AM  
Blogger mzn said...

At least Hornsby and Welnik played different instruments, if I recall, H. on grand piano and W. on synth.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

I use underscores for itals, like _this_. This has the added benefit of auto-converting to itals in MSWord and some other programs, so you don't have to think about it.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Matthew Ward said...

I enjoyed this and actually have had some of these thoughts myself... how sad is that?? Anyway, as for the people opening doors. Just stand there. Let them open the door and wait for you and just stare at them. Don't move or say a word. That's fun. And, I'm not sure about OtHEr ways of EmPHASizInG a word.

9:23 PM  

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