5 Minutes 'til Judgements

I was just reading Nicholas Kristof's latest column in the NYTimes. He's talking about the results of implicit association tests that look at how people judge things as American vs. foreign. Turns out they're not really very good at it (Tony Blair beats Barack Obama and Kate Winslet beats Lucy Lui). Remember when another one of these tests was being used during the primaries to claim that people weren't going to vote for Obama because he's black? The point of that one was that most Americans (both black and white) subconsciously have negative associations with black faces, even if they don't think they do:
Want to know how I did on it? After hitting some keys for 5 minutes while being shown 'positive' words, 'negative' words, pictures of white faces, and pictures of black faces, I fell into that top category: Strong automatic preference for White people compared to Black people. It wasn't exactly what I wanted or expected to be told. So I took another test, this one supposed to judge my positive and negative associations with McCain and Obama:
This made me feel better about myself, and at the same time much worse about the usefulness of these tests. I went back to try the Black vs. White one again and miraculously had become slightly less (unconsciously) racist over the course of 15 minutes:


For those unaware, there's some serious sweatering and awesomeness going on over at Mike D's blog.

Sweaters 2.0: The Fall

It's all happening again.
Here I am being autumnal, in a sweater. 
That's a shawl neck and a tree swing, deal with it.


Thrifting in Out of the Way Locales

This afternoon I rode over to The Bethesda House of Thrift  out on the eastside to do some perusing of previously worn garments and to continue my support of the sharing of Christ's love. I was in search of some Halloween accoutrement: a suit, some skinny ties, a pocket square, some un-nyloned socks to go with my sock garters. And there was great success, including a $1 suit (an orange tag special!) and my very first cardigan of my own. I think this trip was not only the highlight of my day, but also that of the little old ladies who work there. They really appreciated how good I look in a suit, even if it's one that was made in the '60's. 

On the way home I got caught in Madison's first snow flurries of the season.

This is my bike handlebar.


Curried tuna melt with goat's milk brie and dill

I made this for dinner last night. And I feel really good about it.


This is not appropriate.

This is the 2nd floor men's room of Van Hise Hall. That is a empty bowl of what looks like apple sauce sitting on the urinal. This is not appropriate.

Even so, it was still worth it to stop in here and get to use the Xlerator instead of the shitty vintage 1966 dryer we have up in the Linguistics Department on the 11th floor. How do I justify the $440 cost of the Xlerator? Did you read about its features? 80% less energy‽ 95% cost savings‽ This thing pays for itself, and drys your hands.


I got this really nice email from Brad last night. It's just a link to here. Nothing else. Was I really the only one? 



In which W & J go to B & R.

Joanna and I went to Western New York last weekend. We had a wedding to see on Saturday in Lewiston, which is like Buffalo, except quaint. And clean. And full of odd high school art installations. Okay, Joanna actually had to do more than just see it. She also had to carry a bunch of flowers down the aisle, and once during the reception she had to help the bride take a bathroom break. But I only had to see it. And blow some bubbles. After the reception, I decided to celebrate by diving into the Niagara River three times. It was at this point that Joanna and I learned that she can still fit into my pants, and I can still tie a tie while shivering uncontrollably.

In the morning we rented a car and drove to Rochester. We turned down the Jeep Liberty and instead opted for the Toyota Camry Hybrid, [Karma +]. Then I chose to turn down the insurance, [Karma -], bringing our Karma balance back down to zero. (In a possibly related note: Mendota Rowing Club's boat trailer flipped over on Saturday. It's yet unclear exactly how that effected our Karma in Rochester.)

Once in Rochester, we were immediately drawn back to the banks of the Erie Canal. Yes, the top of that floodgate is still really high. No, the water temperature is not above 50°. This led to warm up beers back at Sealander's, regular beers at Will's house, dinner, Canadian Coffees at Boulder (What, you've never been?), and some thumbwars at The Old Toad. After some quick camera breaking action, and unexpected camera repair action, we headed off into the night. The next 20 minutes of my life were both nerve-racking and exhilarating. I wouldn't have made it through without Jojo's comforting tentacles and alot of borrowed Karma. Afterwards we stopped by The Elmwood for celebratory tequila and ketchup! And of course, a late night wild ride down the driveway of the old homestead, 161 Crittenden Blvd. And a late night canal jump. 



I just took one of the red cameras off the disabled list.


Common Law

Today, Martin and I received our first jointly addressed mailing. We also got a mailing from Jeremy's opponent, Brad Wolbert, but that was just addressed to 'Dear Neighbor'. How impersonal. I'm not sure which form of address I like less. It is really nice to live in a district where the only people running for office are both progressive enough that I may make my decision based on it though.

Also, did I really need to blackout our street address? I'm not sure about that either.

Sentential Diagrams

Some attempts at diagraming Sarah Palin by Kitty Burns Florey at Slate.com:


Enjoyment Jam

Last Saturday was a roller coaster of emotions. Below, an Enjoyment Jam, plotting levels of enjoyment throughout the day.
And the original analogue version:



I just simultaneously blew Katie's mind and established that my one true skill is parallel parking.

Snow Globe



Search Me

Recent traffic sources into The Cheese Rind:

Camel toes have been my #1 search term since this post in 2007. I'm more excited by "Triple Decker PBJ", "veronica mars sweater vest", and "cheesy holiday sweaters" though. I'm not sure how the first 2 got people to The Cheese Rind, but I'm proud to be google's 8th most relevant result for the 3rd. Also, I was confused by "gay in beirut" until I searched the blog for "beirut ".

A 4 Cup Minimum

I now own a coffee maker. This, along with Martin's recent blender purchase, brings our apartment's slowly expanding list of minor kitchen appliances up to 6: Tommy's microwave (c. 1986), The Snackster (of Rochester Tasty Cake fame), and 2 identical toasters. Only the coffee maker requires at least 4 servings to be made at once.