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June 28, 2004

Nevertheless, we still move
Posted by Teresa at 01:33 AM *

We’re still moving house, and are astonishingly tired. We hope to be done soon.

Thanks to Claire Eddy, Skiffy Will Frank, Xopher, and Sean Bosker for help. Thanks especially to Jim Macdonald, who’s been here through the week and has done a prodigious amount of work.

Meanwhile, is anyone looking for a lattice-style folding steel security gate, suitable for a door or window? I’ve put it up on Craig’s List, but so far no one’s bought it over there. I don’t want to have to move it.

Comments on Nevertheless, we still move:
#1 ::: Bob Webber ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 08:50 AM:

It's amazing how many possessions can fit into even a small space given time and organizational ability.

Glad to know that you're getting it done with help from friends and making lighter work through several, if not many, hands.

#2 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 10:18 AM:

All good hopes for the new home.

Knowing (some of) your desires I wonder if the garden could support citrus of some sort? Unsure of your climate.

A nursery here specializes in what they call "fruit salad trees" ( www.fruitsaladtrees.com ) - multigrafted in different combinations, with "up to eight [4 is recommended] different fruits of the same family on the one plant: Citrus (oranges, mandarins, lemons, limes, grapefruits, tangellos, pomellos); Stonefruit (peaches, plums, nectarines, apricots, peachcots); multi apples; multi nashi fruit".

There may be something similar over there, which could help you fit a variety into a small space.

#3 ::: Amy ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 12:01 PM:

i am, in fact, looking for a gate - we have an elderly dog whom we may have to confine to part of the apartment. But i'm in Chicago. Would you be willing to ship it (at the buyer's expense), or do you prefer to sell to an NYC buyer who could come & get it?

Too bad about the forced move, but hope you do like the new place.

#4 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 12:34 PM:

A fruit salad tree grows in Brooklyn?

I don't think Brooklyn would be suitable for a citrus tree, at least until global warming has had a few more years to work its magic. Fruit that grows on Long Island: Apples, pears, peaches, several sorts of berries.

#5 ::: Tracina ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 02:23 PM:

Stefan said: I don't think Brooklyn would be suitable for a citrus tree,

Depends heavily on the microclimate of the garden site. You'd be amazed what you can grow, say, next to a south-facing stone wall with wind protection.

#6 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 03:47 PM:

Or just above a subway grate...

#7 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 03:56 PM:

I submitted a "Viridian Design" item to Sterling's email list: A tent-like greenhouse designed to sit over a household fuel cell. The hydrocarbon splitting kind that produce CO2, water vapor, and heat.

The perfect environment for a backyard citrus tree!

#8 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 04:28 PM:

The perfect environment for a backyard citrus tree!

Perhaps, but watch the pH in both air and soil...so much CO2 will lower it, to the detriment of most crops.

#9 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 05:47 PM:

<sigh> I still miss the Brunching Shuttlecocks.

---L.

#10 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 05:49 PM:

Okay, somehow that posted here, instead of in Open Thread 24, where I was replying. Andy's Porn Star or My Little Pony quiz was the post right above the reply box.

Weird.

---L.

#11 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 05:52 PM:

No sweat, L. You've made our day surreal.

Perhaps if it ran a bit longer, Lore Sjoberg would have made a Moving Help Excuse Generator.

#12 ::: Cassie Krahe ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 08:49 PM:

If I had a garden, I'd definitely play around with microclimates to get strange fruit growing. Okay, I'm really only interesting in pineapples and they're not growing anywhere near me, but a mixed citrus tree? On my list of things going in my dream house.

#13 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 09:13 PM:

Cassie said: ... to get strange fruit growing.

There ought to be a blog called Strange Fruit.

#14 ::: Lenny Bailes ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 09:50 PM:

There was a blog called Strange Fruit, once upon a time, sorta. But it was distributed on goldenrod twilltone paper, instead of on the Internet.

#15 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 11:17 PM:

Folks, you don't want Strange Fruit growing in your yard. Trust me.

#16 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 28, 2004, 11:56 PM:

Er, Xopher, do the 'coons that regularly fail to make the leap between my tree and roof count?

#17 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 12:07 AM:

I'd assume you don't want them growing in your yard, so (I guess) yes.

#18 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 12:51 AM:

I have a piece called Strange Fruit, and people seem to think I'm (okay, I've tried "making light" and "denigrated" and both are too referential...) lessening the value of the Holliday piece. I don't think the title should be lost to everybody else.

http://www.mjlayman.com/strangefruit.htm

#19 ::: Jonathan Shaw ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 12:52 AM:

In such erudite company, I surely couldn't be the only one who caught the allusion in the heading of this entry? "Oppure si muove ..."

#20 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 01:11 AM:

If a lattice-style security grate is placed unattended in a public location on a New York City street, and it disappears, is this an indication of:

-- The underground economy in action
-- The breakdown of the concept of individual property
-- Quantum garbagemen
-- When you're a Brownie, you're a Brownie* all the way, from your first dish of milk to your last dying day
-- Tom Ridge shook down St. Peter

*N.B. Not necessarily in the NY Traffic sense.

#21 ::: pericat ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 01:22 AM:

In such erudite company, I surely couldn't be the only one who caught the allusion in the heading of this entry? "Oppure si muove ..."

Not a chance. :)

Moving house would be exhausting if someone else did everything and all one had to do was progress regally from old to new locales. In my experience, 'moving' doesn't end just because most of the boxes are unpacked and you've found a place to keep Aunt Mabel's teacups.

Eventually, though, it does end. Congratulations on finding a good place to go to!

#22 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 01:37 AM:

- When you're a Brownie, you're a Brownie* all the way, from your first dish of milk to your last dying day

I thought you were supposed to give them cloths, like Dobby? I never heard of them making off with lattice-style security grates. Maybe it's a New World thing.

#23 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 07:59 AM:

We're crawling toward a finish. My joints are rebelling, Patrick says his feet and lower back are on fire, and Jim Macdonald has been reduced to a weary, shambling shadow of his usual bouncy self. I've told Patrick: Never Again. We're too old for this. Next time, god forbid, but next time anyway, we hire movers.

Amy, it's not the gate you're thinking of. Here's the listing.

Mike, I want to know what Bruce Schneier would say about stealing security. He'd probably get it down to one pithy aphorism and three rules of thumb in no time flat.

A stolen steel gate is an indication of hard times coming back again. The guys that collected bottles last time around are now collecting metal to sell for scrap. It drives the guys at the Penske truck rental place crazy because the bums steal the rollout loading platforms off the backs of their trucks.

#24 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 08:13 AM:

Scrap metal thieves are doing booming business everywhere--- locally (greater Dayton area, Ohio), there have been several cases where people have literally ripped aluminum siding from houses and sold it for scrap.

The scrap dealers, of course, threw a fit when the city governments and police told them they shouldn't be accepting any siding that people bring in using a shopping cart.

#25 ::: Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 08:15 AM:

Jonathan, I used to have a car named "Eppur, Si Muove."

#26 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 08:39 AM:

TNH wrote:
"A stolen steel gate is an indication of hard times coming back again. The guys that collected bottles last time around are now collecting metal to sell for scrap. It drives the guys at the Penske truck rental place crazy because the bums steal the rollout loading platforms off the backs of their trucks."

and Bill Blum added:
"Scrap metal thieves are doing booming business everywhere--- locally (greater Dayton area, Ohio), there have been several cases where people have literally ripped aluminum siding from houses and sold it for scrap."

Copper pipe from construction sites is always popular, when the sites are in the wrong place--a constant problem with construction in and near downtown Nashville. Aluminum doors on empty houses in the wrong place also tend to vanish. The most impressive piece of scavenging I can think of locally, though, happened shortly after the tornado of 1998--one guy had a 10+ foot piece of aluminum light pole in his shooping cart. When I drove by, he was arguing with the police that since he'd found it on the street, in damaged condition, it was legitimate salvage.

#27 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 08:50 AM:

Teresa --

I've been doing that, finances willing, for awhile. I can lug my stuff up three flights of stairs, but that doesn't mean that I should, cost/benefit wise.

You might well have appreciated the facial expressions of the last batch, when they discovered that when I said I had a ten by ten storage space full of stuff, I meant, you know, full.

#28 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 09:21 AM:

Who steals my purse, steals merely praxis;
Who steals my login name gets access.

1. A gate that allows itself to be carried off was, at the very least, outside its specialization.

2. Nobody hauls away half a hundredweight of iron in the hope it will someday appreciate in value.

3. There may or may not be a Bigger Fool in the market, but there's probably a More Scared one.

Sorry, my Bruce Schneier voice isn't half as good as my Paul Lynde, and it's terrible.

#29 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 09:26 AM:

Oh, and fidelio: the practice of burning down buildings (usually, but not invariably, untenanted) to salvage copper piping from the wreckage has diminished somewhat with major improvements in arson investigation, but it hasn't disappeared.

And "shooping cart" is a compelling evocation of what a grocery trolley containing ten feet of tubular aluminium would sound like.

#30 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 09:30 AM:

Did I say "aluminium?" I meant bluidy tin, of course.

#31 ::: Christopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 10:20 AM:

It's too bad that the Vatican won't officially acknowledge your move for another 350 years.

#32 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 10:46 AM:

I have no idea what the police finally did with the scavenger and "his" piece of light pole. I do remember wondering how in the wonderful world of physics he was managing to push that cart along without capsizing, especially since level ground in this town is a construction artifact, and not a natural occurrence.

As for shooping cart--is it serendipity when typographical errors produce onomatopoeia?

#33 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 11:51 AM:

Is that a serintypomatopoeia?

#34 ::: tavella ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 01:12 PM:

Apples would definitely grow, stonefruit would probably be okay if in a sheltered spot, but if you manage to grow citrus without a greenhouse or the like, I'll be surprised! Though there are gonzo gardeners -- isn't there a British TV show with a gardener who has done things like grow pineapples in one of the colder areas of England?

#35 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 01:56 PM:

No citrus. It'd never get through the winter. When we first saw the garden, the landlord still hadn't removed the dead fig tree -- which had multiple trunks, indicating that some years before its demise, it had probably frozen down to the ground.

Apricots are a little touchy here, mostly because they tend to get zapped by late frosts. All the rest of malus and prunus and their friends and relations do pretty well. The dead fig tree has been replaced by a very pretty weeping cherry.

This morning I salvaged roses. The tale of what befell the back yard I'll leave for another time, but I found to my pleasure and surprise that along with my two roses Doyle and Macdonald gave me out of their ancestral rose hedge, and one irrepressible Seafoam, my Mademoiselle de Sombreuil and Rokoko were unexpectedly still alive, albeit much reduced and fragile. I dug them all out and put them in a big pot, then dug up some of my hostas and stacked them on top of the roses' roots, to keep them moist and in place.

Speaking of moist things, Macdonald just staggered up out of the basement, looking grubby and faintly horrified. He informs me that the leaking plumbing and permeable basement ceiling have combined to covertly saturate the back of a fiberboard wardrobe closet, and that it has melted. That'll be where some of that mildew is coming from, though it by no means exhausts the possibilities. Almost everyone who's come to help us with this move has started having allergic symptoms within a couple of hours.

Oh, this building. I do not love this building. And did I mention the deposits of sifted-down brick and mortar dust on the shoulders of every garment that's been hanging in a closet for any length of time? The more stuff we move, the worse this apartment looks. But I swear, that's not our doing.

#36 ::: HP ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 01:57 PM:

Maybe it's my fault for scanning the comments instead of reading carefully, but I did a very serious double-take when my eye fell on "Strange Fruit" and "'coons that regularly fail" in such close proximity.

I reread that post three times just to make sure it was still safe to visit here. What an unfortunate juxtaposition. Xereg, if you're going to shorten "raccoon" to "'coon," be sure to set up some kind of context and consider your audience.

/*heaves huge sigh of relief, feels a bit oversensitive*/

#37 ::: Kate Yule ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:10 PM:

Teresa, is the basement with the mildewed & melting wardrobe whither thou movest, or whence? Likewise the closets that shed brick and mortar dust. I'm not clear whether we should be commiserating, or congratulating you on your escape....

Kate
who is Never Never Never going to move
(says David)

#38 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:18 PM:

Teresa, I meditate on The Deacon's Masterpiece and wonder if you two are getting out of that apartment just in time.

#39 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:20 PM:

Oh my god. The wall behind the wardrobe is multicolored mildew and mold and fungus. The baseboards have literally melted. Given its location, that has to be water(?) seepage from the sewage stack. The room in question is my office. This is a horrible building. No wonder I've been sick so often.

Patrick and Jim are mixing a bleach-and-water solution, and are going after that wall. It's not our wall, and we have no damage deposit to keep or lose, but it's just too awful to leave as it is.

RON POGUE, THOU MISERLY PANTALOON, THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT. YOU'VE CHARGED ALL YOU COULD GET FOR THIS BUILDING, AND NEVER PUT A NICKEL INTO IT YOU DIDN'T ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO. I HOPE THE NEW BUYERS NAIL YOU TO THE WALL FOR UNDISCLOSED PROBLEMS, BECAUSE !!!I'VE BEEN TELLING YOU ABOUT THIS STUFF FOR YEARS!!!

#40 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:21 PM:

I understand about never again -- when we moved across town five years ago we hired movers when we figured out it would be cheaper than the chiropractor bills afterward. It was the first move that Marilee and I were speaking to each other civilly at the end of the exercise.

#41 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:24 PM:

My old family home in Canarsie had only one closet in the first-floor (our) apartment. The bathrooms were also in the hall - added after the house was built and when not having at least two doors between you and the bathroom was unthinkable.

We used closets that had been added to the basement, an exceptionally dusty place, mostly because of my mother's ceramic business.

The upshot of this long set-up - Garment Bags. A solution I've been using my entire life. They more or less resolve most closet environment problems, but I'm not too sure about mildew. Maybe a dehumidifier is in order?

There's always a moment of buyer's remorse when you move into a new apartment. If your landlord actually put in a new tree, that's a good sign. Talk to him about the dampness, he may be able to work with you on it.

Enjoy your new digs. Really.

#42 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:26 PM:

Oh - the mildew is in your *old* apartment. Just say good riddance then, and be glad you're leaving. And document, document, document just in case you have any grief getting your deposit back.

#43 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:28 PM:

Kate: whence. The icky building with the horrible landlord, not the beautiful building with the wonderful landlord (who could host This Old House if he wanted to) and the gorgeous backyard in the nice, cool neighborhood between the water and the cemetary.

#44 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:31 PM:

That's IT!!!! We have to call P&T's new digs The Oort Cloud. Why? Because it's out in the cemetary zone!!!

Heh.

Just a suggestion. Don't kill me, please.

#45 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:33 PM:

Suggestion, Teresa --

Before the bleach, take pictures. It never hurts to have a record of this stuff and a year from now they will make a wonderful decoration at the party celebrating your first anniversary in the new digs.

#46 ::: Graydon ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:43 PM:

Also, the stuff leaving the closet could do with a good solid air drying in sunlight before it goes inside out of plastic, or the mold spores will come along.

Well, or autoclaving, but I suspect the sunlight easier to arrange.

Not that I imagine that you are pleased to hear such things at this juncture, but still. Thought it worth a mention.

#47 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:52 PM:

Graydon, you are quite right, but I would add, where appropriate, a short cycle in a laundromat dryer to blow some more of the spores out after the solar UV.

#48 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 02:53 PM:

If anyone else has problems basement in their current abode, or some place they care to do something about it, muriatic acid is great for cleaning nasty walls and dry lock paint (however you spell it) is *excellent* at keeping out the water. You just have to make sure that you paint not just the walls, but also a bit onto the floor out from the walls.

Just make sure that you wear goggles and a mask for the muriatic acid, and have a LOT of air flow for the paint.

And for wintering plants in areas *just* out of their USDA zones, burlap and mulch help.

#49 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 03:23 PM:

HP confused me with:

I reread that post three times just to make sure it was still safe to visit here. What an unfortunate juxtaposition. Xereg, if you're going to shorten "raccoon" to "'coon," be sure to set up some kind of context and consider your audience.

HP - I was completely unaware that 'coon was slang for anything other than a rather pesky fur covered varmint, one Procyon lotor. After reading your note, I went off and searched, and discovered that it's been used as slang for -people- in the US. Gah! How utterly revolting.

As you obviously inferred, it was a comment about raccoons in my backyard, and their varied nefarious activities between roof and garden - not about bodies in my backyard[0]!

I'll have to chalk this one up to yet another cross-cultural slang problem - up there with having a fag, or wearing your pants in public. You learn something new [wince] every day.

[0] The previous owners of my house elected to create the sort of foundation for the deck that leaves me thinking of murder mysteries - 4' tall, thick concrete, and completely enclosed, barring the trapdoor from the deck.

#50 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 03:37 PM:

The new owners here can do whatever they want. Given that they've bought a three-apartment building to turn into a single-family dwelling, they can afford professionals ...

Oh, bloody hell. A carpet tack on the floor of the basement was maliciously sitting balanced on its head, point upward, and Jim stepped on it. It went through the sole of his shoe and into his foot. This was in the area where, as we've now established, there's sewage seeping through one of the walls. Patrick's gone for a container of salt. We're going to soak that foot. Thank god EMTs stay current on their tetanus boosters.

#51 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 03:47 PM:

Just to be clear: the mildew and rot are in the old place, and have only come to light with the removal of large objects that were concealing them.

They're pretty clearly the result of the landlord's refusal to fix small plumbing problems we'd been telling him about for a long time.

The new apartment is, at least right now, perfectly fine.

#52 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 04:01 PM:

Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood at the leaves
Blood at the root
Black body swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees.

Americans know this song....

================

Patrick brought a Dove bar. I've gotten alcohol internally, plus betadine externally, plus hydrogen peroxide, plus a salt-water soak and all's well.

This is an -- interesting -- place. No wonder T's been sick so much over the past couple of years.


#53 ::: Michelle ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 04:12 PM:

Americans know this song....

And wish we didn't have to.

#54 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 04:27 PM:

Well, that's why I linked to it way upthread, in the comment that Xeger was responding to with his "'coons" comment. The mentions of Strange Fruit were making it play in my brain, and...well, I had to say something.

Xeger apparently didn't click the link. I assumed otherwise, and reacted rather stiffly to hir comment, which I took as an attempt at humor in the worst imaginable taste...nice to have that cleared up. Sorry Xeger.

#55 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 04:59 PM:

Xopher - entirely my bad. I should have clicked on the link, and didn't - and the results were dire. It's been a while since I've managed to garner significant egg on my face and garments - so I guess I was due. Mea Culpa.

Time to go out in the garden, and plant something less strange, more appealing and non-fruiting - and mull on how humanity can be so amazing on one hand, and so appalling on the other.

#56 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 06:07 PM:

Claude, you know someone with my name? Is she between 44 and 54 years of age? Does she know how she got her name?

#57 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 07:09 PM:

Umm, yes, I do. My wife, in fact.

#58 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 08:00 PM:

Our move before last involved two moves actually. Out of the house and into storage and a rental apartment for the 2 1 1/2 months until the new house was availlable. And then from storage/apartment into the new house. I swore at the time -- a lot -- and threatened to never move again. I stipulated that if such became necessary, it would be professional movers only as we and our friends were too old for that shit. Well, that was before Jordin starting commuting between SF and Seattle. When we finally bit the bullet and moved to Seattle, we did use professional movers. It took a huge team of them 3 days to pack and load our house. It took them 2 days to unload the boxes at this end and I'm still unpacking more than a year later. (There aren't enough closests she wailed.) Moving sucks no matter how you do it

MKK

#59 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 11:04 PM:

Having someone else pack your stuff can be very amusing. When I moved from Rochester to SF, the moving copany sent a couple of college girls on break to pack up my stuff. They did a great job, but they also packed the drawer inserts (which belonged to the drawers, not to me) and the broiler tray from the oven. I think they would have packed leftover pizza if there was any.

I packed a few boxes myself, though. It turns out that it's mildly illegal to ship open bottles of booze across state lines and the movers wouldn't take them if they knew what they were. So I taped the bottles shut, double-bubble wrapped them, and then double boxed them. The resulting cartons were then labeled "Records".

Despite a few bobbles, the experience was much better than a DIY move.

#60 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 29, 2004, 11:26 PM:

Claude, would you mind asking her to email me the answers to the questions? All the Marilees I've found online (never met any in person) are within five years of my age and don't know how they got their names. It makes me curious.

#61 ::: JM Kagan ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 01:07 AM:

To Marilee, from someone who is fascinated by NAMES!
Check out the memes (the books and the movies and the songs and the plays) of the year you were born or the year before. If that doesn't do it, try the preceding five years or hark back to when your mom would have been a teenager. If that doesn't do it, your name may have come from a book your grandma loved and read to your mom, or one your granddad read to your dad, which is much harder to track down.
You may well find the source in the 'fifties or the late 'forties---because your name and the spelling of your name looked quite ordinary to me until you raised the question of it. I'm 58 and I've been taking the name "Marilee" as a given ('scuse the pun) for a long time now. No, sadly, I don't recall where I first heard it, which may mean it came out of a book one of my granddads or grandmas handed me. (If anything stirs in my memory, I'll let you know.)
And now that you've so intrigued us all, please let us know if you find the source of your name.

Janet
P.S. I never met another "Janet" until I was out of college and into sf fandom. As a kid, I spent untold hours of my life spelling my name for teachers because they thought I was a "Janice" or a "Jane"; now that there's a "Janet Jackson," most people get it right first time I say it.

#62 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 06:31 AM:

Our move before last involved two moves actually. Out of the house and into storage and a rental apartment for the 2 1 1/2 months until the new house was availlable.

We did that dealie - or at least I did - twice in fourteen months. We moved my essentials from Arlington, VA to Quincy, MA (temporary apartment), then about a month later the movers took the rest of my stuff up to Somerville, MA (after I had closed on my condo). A few months later, John moved up to Somerville from West Hartford, CT (just about the time I had gotten my stuff more or less under control). Then, just about a year from when I had originally moved to MA, I was told that my job was being moved to NJ. I was re-offered my old job in the DC area, and we moved our essentials down to Bethesda, MD (temporary apartment) almost exactly one year after I had moved to my temporary apartment in Quincy. Two months later, we had closed on our current house and the movers came with the rest of the stuff.

A year and a half after that, a management change and massive layoffs occurred and I'm currently unemployed, but I'm not moving again.

#63 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 07:36 AM:

In light of all the discussions about moving and whatnot, I ventured into my basement last night, and found a box of books that I've apparently carted thru three moves without unpacking.

Opened it up, found a bunch of printouts from a when I hung out in a chatroom on Wednesday nights back on delphi... and a few books I forgot I had, including a signed copy of one of Janet Kagan's books...

And she shows up in the thread today.

Surreal.

#64 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 10:32 AM:

I never met another "Janet" until I was out of college and into sf fandom. As a kid, I spent untold hours of my life spelling my name for teachers because they thought I was a "Janice" or a "Jane"; now that there's a "Janet Jackson," most people get it right first time I say it.

Janet, you don't think The Rocky Horror Picture Show might have had something to do with it?

#65 ::: MC Pye ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 12:59 PM:

Re Name recognition & spelling -- I was named after a crew member my parents saw in the credits of an American film while mother was pregnant. No-one in Australia had ever heard the name "Merrill" (bittersweet), and they certainly couldn't spell it. They'd try Muriel & Marilyn & Mary & Merle & Merleene & all kinds of variations.

For the first 20-odd years of my life I'd automatically say "Merrill: M, E, double-R, I, double-L". Sometimes I'd add "as in Gary Merrill" or "Diana Merrill" or "Merrill's Marauders" depending on my guess as to the auditor's knowledge. At least my surname is short & simple.

Then along came Meryl Streep. Recognition at last! Over the last few years there's been a choreographer Meryl Tankard & a singer Merril Bainbridge, and people do, more often, hear it OK. But they still can't spell it.

So, for the last 20-odd years I've been continuing to say "Merrill: M, E, double-R, I, double-L", except now I'm more likely to add "as in Merrill Lynch".

I'd always hoped to be able to send a card or letter to my namesake, so it was saddening to find out, via the wonder of the web, that he's been out of contact for quite a while now.

#66 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 01:13 PM:

A useful historical name resource is the (US) Social Security Administration's web site:

http://www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

For example, we can see that Marilee is not in the top 1000 names in the 1900s, '10s, '20s, or '60s and later. However, it peeks in at #954 in the 1930s, peaks at #642 for the '40s, then drops to #809 for the '50s before subsiding again. I'd assume from this that it started showing up in the late 1930s, perhaps 1938-39.

Those numbers are based on a 5% sample, so they're likely to be in the right neighborhood. For the 1950s, for example, that would come to 1600 Marilees born.

#67 ::: Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 01:40 PM:

Janet: I am amazed. My best friend in 9th grade was named Janet (1966/67) and I don't remember anyone ever thinking or implying it was odd. I certainly didn't. What approximate time frame and location are you dealing with? We were in northeastern Oklahoma.

MKK

#68 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 03:15 PM:

Did Interplanet Janet sing for nothing?

<wanders off, whistling "Conjunction Junction">

---L.

#69 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 03:29 PM:

LNHammer: Thanks. Thanks a lot. Now I have that stuck in my head, and no way to extricate it.

GAAH.

#70 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 03:55 PM:

Going back to fruit trees for a moment - has anyone tried peaches?

Seriously.

My oldest sister, shortly after we'd moved into the house on the Cape (24 years ago), planted a peach pit to make a peach tree. I'm fairly certain most small children go through that phase.

But how many children are successful?

We discovered the tree just after Hurricane Bob. We were checking the damage, and my father found something fuzzy and green that was pulpy and sweet on the inside. It took us a while to realize it was a peach, and that it was there because it had GROWN.

I can't imagine how healthy that tree would have been if we'd tended and nurtured it. But as it is, it currently feeds a significant bird, insect and squirrel population. Lately the peaches have grown so large, my father tells me, that the squirrels can't carry them off anymore; they have to wait for the birds to pick at the fruit first.

#71 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 03:59 PM:

'So, for the last 20-odd years I've been continuing to say "Merrill: M, E, double-R, I, double-L", except now I'm more likely to add "as in Merrill Lynch".'

I knew no other Madeleines until I was a teenager, although everyone I knew gave me copies of the Bemelmens "Madeline" books--and kept trying to drop out the central "e" because of them.

For most of my life I've spelt it out for people: "M-A-D--E-L-E--I-N-E." When I feel like the traffic will bear it I add, "Like the cakes in Proust." When I feel like it won't I say "Like Madeleine Carroll, in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA," which gets me branded as a movie geek rather than some sort of Proust-reading intellectual.

The people who get Madeleine right invariably add too many Bs in Robins. And I didn't take the spouse's name because I didn't want to spend my life spelling it...except, of course, when I had kids, I had to spell it all the time for the people who were dealing with them. Sigh.

#72 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 05:01 PM:

Janet, I've been looking, but haven't found things in the right time period. Alex sees it as happening earlier, so maybe I should look there (maybe most women older than I am are not online). My mother said she made it up, which is what most of the Marilees I've contacted say. I simply can't believe that the name appeared simultaneously to a batch of pregnant women.

(So, any more books?)

#73 ::: Kate ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 07:57 PM:

*winces* at the mold/mildew descriptions.

I hope you can salvage your things before they are permanantly toxic.

And it's no wonder you've been so ill so often.

*snugs*

I'd say the new owners might have a law suit as some of this should have been shown on an inspection of some kind.

Kate

#74 ::: Jill Smith ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 08:04 PM:

You'd think "Jill" would be easy, but people constantly hear "Joe," no matter how hard I land on the ending "L."

So, I learned to say, "Jill, as in Jack and..."

#75 ::: Alice Keezer ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 10:37 PM:

I used to be Alice Nelson. Easy to pronounce, but spoken aloud, had to be pronounced slowly, or people thought I was 'Allison.'

I understand my name is coming back into fashion now. And why not? Now that everyone's aunts and grandmothers have passed on (no offense if you've lost an elderly relative), people want to name their daughters after them.

But now, I've married into a bizarre and unusual name (though not THAT unusual - it's scattered pretty well over the US, now), and I'm understanding the exasperation about needing to spell one's name. The first few times, I told people, 'The obvious spelling.' So I ended up with Keizar, Keizer, Kezar (actually a lake in Maine, can't fault them for that), Keeser, Keiser . . . you get the picture. Now, I spell it carefully and slowly, sometimes inserting 'z as in zebra' in the appropriate spot. All those long e sounds confuse people. Apparently.

So far, the most amusing spelling is 'Keseer.' No idea how she ended up with that one.

#76 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 11:03 PM:

I had an Abbot and Costello-esqe momment in a car park a number of years ago, trying to recite my licence plate to the attendant.

"Eh, Zed, Queue, One Five Nine"

"Aaa what?"

"Aaaa, Zed, Queue..."

"Huh????"

[repeat as necessary, until I finally realize that she has no idea that "Zed" means "Zee"...]

#77 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 11:06 PM:

Alice - I don't think your given name ever really dropped out of style. It's a bit traditional, especially in the face of a roomful of Janelles and Skyes.

It also turns out that Alice was the 426th most popular female given name in the US in 2003, and has dropped relatively since 1990 (as per the Social Security Administration at www.ssa.gov/OACT/babynames/

If I ever have a daughter, her middle name will probably be Edith, after my grandmother. IMHO, Edith (#683) is way too old-fashioned for a first name.

#78 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 11:26 PM:

I've had mine (sans middle name) translated / heard as Paula Marie ("so what's your last name, then?") Before I married I didn't have a middle name, though. So I just moved my maiden name over one.

But exhibitors, even English-speaking ones (we're currently collecting information for MINExpo, so we have an international crows) have put my name as Pat, Paul, Phil, .... even Peg. And they have a written form with my NAME spelled out on it. Sigh.

#79 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 11:27 PM:

That would be "International crowd", it hung after I hit send so I corrected it, but it went ahead and posted.

#80 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 11:28 PM:

That would be "International crowd", it hung after I hit send so I corrected it, but it went ahead and posted.

#81 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2004, 11:55 PM:

"International crows" seems delightfully de Lint, though.

#82 ::: Jonathan Vos Post ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2004, 05:29 PM:

As to "pronounced the obvious way" or "spelled the obvious way" -- there can be gamesmanship in giving an assumed name to a maitre-d' to see the restaurant's reaction when that name is called.

I dated a gal once who had a tricky name (omitted here to protect the innocent). So once, at a restaurant near Caltech, she gave our reservation name as "Feynman," and spelled it carefully, knowing that the crowd reaction to the Nobel laureate superstar might be fun.

Soon, the amplified voice came through the speaker: "FEENman?"

The crowd reacted the same way as we'd expected, though.

As to "international crows," there's the organization known as "Old Crows" as in:

The Association of Old Crows (AOC), in cooperation with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, hosted an Industry Forum titled "Electronic Warfare -- Concepts and Technologies" on Friday, April 30, 2004...

As to given names' ups and downs, I vaguely recall a pair of lists once, of the names rated most sexy and least sexy. Least sexy was headed by "Urolinda" and most sexy was headed by "Christine" (arguably a Christine Keeler Chrissie Hynde effect).

I know that there wetre two peaks for "Andrew" in the USA, one when my brother Andrew was in grade school, and was in a class with 4 Andrews, and another a generation and a half later when my son Andrew had the identical experience.

Identical experience? Well, the following conversation (paraphrased) was recounted in "How To Play Gin to Win":

Alice: "Hey, I had exactly this same hand before."

Bob: "Exactly?"

Alice: "Well, nearly."

Bob: "You remind me very much of someone I knew who had two heads."

Alice: "Two heads?"

Bob: "Well, nearly."

Alice/Bob are standard name pairs for characters in Cryptography publications...

#83 ::: Andy Perrin ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2004, 05:59 PM:

Once upon a time on NPR, a caller introduced herself as "Lexy-rhymes-with-sexy." I was struck by this and have not recovered.

#84 ::: Bill Blum ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2004, 06:23 PM:

JVP: The Old Crows association is an interesting bunch of people, at least in my area.

#85 ::: LNHammer ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2004, 06:36 PM:

"Donner party of 3 your table is ready."

So I have a low sense of humor.

---L.

#86 ::: Alex Cohen ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2004, 10:41 PM:

I like to give our name as Donner, with six people. When they call "Donner party of six," you tell them that now there's only five of you.

#87 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2004, 11:10 AM:

Y'all're sick.

Me too.

#88 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2004, 12:49 PM:

If you're Colorado, try Packer instead of Donner, especially at a Democratic Party event.

#89 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2004, 12:53 PM:

Excuse me in Colorado. You might try singing this on the way to the table.

#90 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: July 03, 2004, 10:13 AM:

The Packer family is probably still the richest in Australia. (They made most of their money originally, still partly, in publishing newspapers & magazines, & now also television.) So you might get an interesting reaction to the name here as well. The Alferd/Alfred bit (see on Ballad page) reminds me of 'Silence of the Lambs' and Jame.

And, back there, speaking of "coon" also reminds me of some fuss around when we started exporting one of our old-established brands of cheese. I've noticed that packets now have printed prominently on them: "COON Cheese was named after Edward William Coon who, in 1926, patented a unique cheese making technique."

#91 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2004, 12:49 PM:

I had a friend in college who liked to give his name at restaurants and such as "Bond. Jimmy Bond" (yes, he was a Woody Allen fan).

I'm acquainted with a pathologist named Dr. Packer, a distant relative of Alfred Packer. He refers to the pathology lab as the "parts department".

#92 ::: JM Kagan ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2004, 06:04 PM:

Ah! At last I've found the proper thread.

Marilee: My subconscious flashed me last week with an illustration of "Marilee" as a Gibson girl! Okay, the flash of line drawing could easily have been by a Gibson wannabe. If the book's on my own shelves, I'll find it eventually; if the book was in my childhood library or on my grandparents' book shelves, I'll find it only if my subconscious takes pity on me. If there were a searchable Richard Harding Davis (he was the Gibson boy), I'd start with that. As it's time I reread some RHD, I'll leaf thru my whole collection (not complete, tho) to see if your namesake's listed on any of the "Illustrations" pages.

#93 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: August 23, 2004, 07:07 PM:

Wasn't the anthropophagist Packer's name Alford?

#94 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 02:24 AM:

A Gibson Girl? Wow, that would be interesting.

#95 ::: John M. Ford ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 03:04 AM:

"Alferd E. Packer." The things one collects over a life.

#96 ::: Bob O ::: (view all by) ::: August 24, 2004, 12:25 PM:

I've long thought that "Neuromancer"'s Molly Zero rather definitively
redefined our image of the Gibson Girl.

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