Friday Open Thread

What do people do the day after Christmas? Shop, eat, clean, work?

Here's an open thread to discuss whatever topic you find of interest today, from what's in the news to the holidays and anything else.

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    I just spent almost $200 (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:50:16 PM EST
    ... on white shirts. :=D Nice white shirts - okay, one of them is blue, but that's almost white, isn't it?

    For years, I always wore plain white shirts in all their infinite vaiety, from cotton, to silk with french cuffs, and I've despaired over the last few years because all the shirt manufacturers decided to doo-dad them all up. So it has been impossible to find Plain. White. Shirts. With, at most, an especially sharp collar or french cuffs.

    But they're back in style, glory hallelujah!, and i just got paid, and so I just bought a mess of them - okay, so one's blue - and I feel wardrobe safe for the first time since plain white shirts became impossible to find.

    I'm always looking for something (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:50:45 PM EST
    that they phased out.

    The knit gloves with the grip dot palms I bought just last year?  Gone.  Vanished into the mists.  Not fancy, not expensive, just useful.

    Here's to hoping the consumer market swings back to simple, utilitarian items.


    Oh really! (none / 0) (#15)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:43:05 PM EST
    I just saw some at the discount store (where I went to buy the budgies a larger cage for cheap and enjoyed huge success: a $155 cage for $32).

    What brand?


    No brand. (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:23:26 PM EST
    Just made in China is what the tag says.  I got them in a bundle of three last year.  We still have two pair left.  I got a pair of gloves for me, so the kids can have those.  Tried a pair of Spyder gloves for my hard-to-fit son and the gloves were great(warm, flexible, easy to put on) - but too big.  Very impressed with the Spyder brand and hoping to catch a coat on sale for my son.  

    I saw just piles of them there, but I didn't look at them too closely.

    If you can find a brand (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:48:45 PM EST
    then I can search for them online.  I was just in Big Kmart (50% off!) and there was every flavor of fashion glove.  Two days ago, Dick's Sporting Goods which is where I thought I found them last year.  No luck.

    For the knit gloves with non-stick (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:05:26 PM EST
    dots, try the local big orange hardware-store-killer.  Garden department, most likely.

    I use them for fishing - they do a nice job allowing me to grab the fish without too much problem.


    Home Despot? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Fabian on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 08:09:35 PM EST
    I haven't darkened that door for months, maybe more.

    (BTW - this has to be a non cotton glove.  I've tried wearing garden gloves in the winter.  Not a good idea.  Strangely enough, leather is both cold and slippery when the snow flies.)


    if you're looking for white, dress shirts, (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:15:37 PM EST
    at a good price, solidly made (60/40 cotton/poly blend, wash & wear), try j.c. penney's house brand. they have both pinpoint and button-down oxford collar.

    i prefer the button-downs myself (keeps the tie from sliding all over the place!), but that's an individual choice. check for them to go on sale, they're a great deal.


    These are even better (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:25:26 PM EST
    I don't remember the brand name, but they're very solid, much more solid than the Penney's shirts, and they're perfect for work. Very plain, but nice solid styling, perfect for my job (where I need to dress professionally, but not too, if that makes sense.

    O/w, though, I have some colored blouses - very plain - one a beautiful yellow that i'm very sad I can't replace - that aren't cotton but are some kind of synthetic? They're also very plain, but gorgeous colors, and have proven to be absolute workhorses for the job. They're from Penney's. Some of the best shirts I ever bought.


    Oh. You said "tie" (none / 0) (#31)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:28:12 PM EST
    I don't wear a tie - I'm female.


    So ... these are wonderful plain white dress women's shirts. Just gorgeous! Perfect!

    I wondered what you meant - i was just appalled by their women's white shirt selection, given they're so back in style.


    In my experience, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:34:47 PM EST
    the best men's shirts are from Brooks Brothers. They are priced accordingly. . . I wonder if they make them in women's sizes?

    They do, but ... (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by The Poster Formerly Known as cookiebear on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:00:11 PM EST
    I'd have to mail order them, and I don't like to do that unless i know the fit will be right.

    I've got one or two from Brooks (none / 0) (#38)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:08:37 PM EST
    and a bunch from Lands' End (the cheapest $19.99 Oxfords they make).  All of them 100% cotton.

    To my eye (and neck), the Lands' End are the equal of the Brooks Bros. in the more expensive fabric.  Light starch and hangers, and they are good for a couple days' wear.

    But if it makes you feel better, wear the Brooks.


    Hey, I only buy them on sale (none / 0) (#39)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:10:06 PM EST
    but I'm glad to hear that Lands End makes a good shirt.

    I've been wearing the Lands' End (none / 0) (#40)
    by scribe on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 07:59:24 PM EST
    over 15 years now.  Buttondown, 100 % cotton oxford, white or light blue.  $19.99 or thereabouts.

    They wear like iron, fit well, and hold up to whatever commercial laundries throw at them.  

    One of the best buys going anywhere.


    Agreed -- and get the Lands End shirts (none / 0) (#42)
    by Cream City on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 08:23:28 PM EST
    that aren't 100% cotton but with a bit of the wrinkle-free factor, and you'll be good to go anywhere . . . and watch for the excellent sales online, the free shipping days, etc.  Also, for others who might need them, the talls are terrific.  And the virtual model online really works for figuring out size.

    Also very good are the wrinkle-free classic shirts (and lots else) at normthompson.com.

    But I appreciate all the business you can give to Lands End, which is a good employer for lots of folks in a seriously hurting area of my state.


    I wore my arm out (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by sarany on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:06:20 PM EST
    finishing two illustrations for a major metro newspaper.  Phew & whew.  I'm happy with the result, am grateful for this, and another, illustration assignment to finish out a pretty good year for my career. I was grateful to have a reason to spend the day in my right brain, as the holidays just ain't that joyous for me these days.  I hope things are just a bit better next year.

    And, widening my perspective, I hope that this time next year we can say that Obama did well in his first 11 months, and that we are a few months into a respectable economic recovery and that our nation's priorities are firmly fixed on the common good.

    First of all our Rock Band went on tour (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:26:34 PM EST
    today, we barely made it through the day.  Now I have dog poop scoop to look forward to.

    Well, this is the first day-after-Christmas (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 01:54:24 PM EST
    since I retired.  Yeah, I don't have to go to work.

    Thinking of buying my first digital camera today.  Going to India soon--seems like a good reason to go digital.  But, in the news:  Pakistan is moving substantial number of troops from its border with Afghanistan to its border w/India.  Great timing. d

    Also, I am reading P.D. James's latest mystery:  The Private Patient.  Excellent read, as always.

    Be careful. This retirement (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by oldpro on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:02:11 PM EST
    stuff is murder unless you're one of those people who finds it easy to say "no" to friends and family.

    You'll be drafted to 'volunteer' 24/7 for every worthy project in the world.  Exhausting.  You might have to get a job or adopt a couple of kids to get some rest!  Those seem to be the only excuses people will accept.  Even mentioning your failing health doesn't slow them down...they just counter with their own ache-and-pain stories...sheesh.

    Say "yes" to the most fun proposals with the most fun people that really interest you and leave some time for yourself!  Make some rules.

    Yes, this is a warning from experience...no, I'm not kidding.


    I just mention I tutor on Monday (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:05:11 PM EST
    nights.  Have for years.  Seems to stifle the recruiters.  I always appreciate well-considered advice, however.  Thanks.

    I tutor first graders (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by marsalt on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:10:20 PM EST
    who are having difficulty at my local grade school. There is a special classroom. They are always looking for people. Also work one day a week at the senior center thrift shop. Now that is a fun place, the older people (older than me) are like family. Some in their 80's and 90's.

    Fun, isn't it. My friends deem me (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:15:22 PM EST
    such a good person for sticking w/the tutoring, but I say I do it because I really enjoy it.  And it's true.

    When those kids (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by marsalt on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:43:05 PM EST
    look up at you with the "I got it!" expression,it is like no other feeling. The other day one kid I have known all his life came in and put his head down on the desk. I said "Are you tired?", and he said "I am having a very difficult day." They are priceless.

    I would probably spend the rest (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:14:57 PM EST
    of my life auditing history classes. In between gym visits of course. . .

    Good idea. Probably lots cheaper (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:19:42 PM EST
    than travel (my passion).

    Received some great new books (none / 0) (#5)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:59:18 PM EST
    for xmas - books are always my favorite gifts. And it's such a pleasure to read novels and literature when I'm off work (instead of reading work articles and books related to work most of the rest of the time).

    I got the latest novels by three of my favorite writers for xmas - David Guterson, Peter Matthieson, and Jim Harrison. Can't decide which to start first today!


    Novels! Yes! (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oldpro on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:12:46 PM EST
    Loved David's first book, "Snow Falling on Cedar" but haven't had time since then to catch up.  Knew him as a kid playing on the beach...who'd have thought he'd become a sensitive writer?  People are so mysterious, which is something I've been thinking about since notice of Pinter's death this week.

    Way behind the curve, novelwise, just read Ann Patchett's 2001 "Bel Canto."  Charming.


    I read Bel Canto too. (none / 0) (#11)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:15:35 PM EST
    Funny that you knew Guterson! Snow Falling on Cedars was great. So was East of the Mountains (but really sad). And now I have The Other - his latest.

    East of the Mountains... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by oldpro on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:25:22 PM EST
    you're the first person I've run into who wasn't disappointed.  I'll read it!

    Be prepared to cry. (none / 0) (#16)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:47:39 PM EST
    It'll rip your heart out. But the writing is beautiful.

    That's how I felt (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by oldpro on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:18:29 PM EST
    about "Cold Mountain"...the novel, not the movie (although I did enjoy the film).  

    Reminds me, time to reread my favorite American novel, "East of Eden."  One of the few times I liked the films as much as the novel and that's really saying something!


    The Summer He Didn't Die (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by michitucky on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:05:49 PM EST
    If you enjoy Harrison, you must read Republican Wives from The Summer He Didn't Die.  Hilarious.

    Harrison lived near my aunt in Leelanau County until they sold their farm house and moved to Montana.  I treasure the autographed copies of his work......

    He's a character right out of his novels!!!


    Harrison's 'The Road Home' (none / 0) (#27)
    by Dr Molly on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:26:53 PM EST
    was one of the best books I've ever read - it bowled me over. IMO, the quality of his writing deteriorated somewhat in later efforts. I did enjoy The Woman Lit by Fireflies and some other novellas and short stories. Never heard of Republican Wives from The Summer He Didn't Die, but will look for it.

    I saw him give a reading once at the main public library in Chicago. What a character, you're right!


    I just finished that book! (none / 0) (#46)
    by zyx on Sat Dec 27, 2008 at 11:14:15 AM EST
    from the library, though.

    Very PacNW.


    Is that an Adam Dalgliesh mystery? (none / 0) (#28)
    by addy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:57:41 PM EST
    I just love P.D.James' mysteries. Read her diaries lately, not so interesting as you'd think. But I can't get enough of her mysteries.

    Well, the murder is imminent and then (none / 0) (#34)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 06:45:22 PM EST
    I anticipate Dagliesh will arrive and get to work.  

    Actually, I enjoyed her memoir.  Kind of a mystery-writing M. Thatcher, but, she earned it all the hard way.  

    I've heard this may be the last Dagliesh mystery.


    that would be a shame (none / 0) (#43)
    by addy on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 09:48:22 PM EST
    I think I've missed the one before this, I can never get to books in time any more with a 7 year old etc....

    Page 97. Dagliesh (none / 0) (#45)
    by oculus on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 11:43:35 PM EST
    gets the call.  

    We scheme up ways (none / 0) (#3)
    by lilburro on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 02:50:27 PM EST
    to push back against some of the terrible candidates floated for the CIA Director position!  

    I am also reading "The Magic Lantern," Ingmar  Bergman's autobiography.  Pretty interesting so far.  

    Amtrak! (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:12:09 PM EST
    I'm somewhere in the garden state right now.

    Reminiscing (none / 0) (#12)
    by RustedView on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 03:18:20 PM EST
    This year, the day after Christmas, I have been going through box after box of things at my parents house.  I've been storing books from undergrad and law school for years, as well photos, newspaper clippings, etc from high school.  I figured it was about time to take them to my own place.

    The afternoon has now been spent watching old high school football films.  It is amazing the things you can find, tucked away from the past, waiting to be rediscovered.

    Time flies, (none / 0) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 04:12:24 PM EST
    Christmas over, New Year's Eve.  Soon after, President's day, which means, of course, mattress sales.  Need to be a patriot, buy things I do not need, with money I do not have.

    Contemplating the Future (none / 0) (#26)
    by SOS on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 05:25:58 PM EST
    The sheer magnitude of the hideous event remembered as Sept 11, 2001 is a sign of how desperate those who seek to entrap us in their mock games of good and evil polarities are in the face of our progress. The false hierarchy (the life-sucking military industrial complex and the never ending greed of the corporation, with its cloak of immunity for officers) to this very day keeps upping the ante, for the simple reason that the spiritual foundations-freedoms which we have built form the most profound obstacle to their goals of enslavement of peoples consciousness.

    May better days be ahead of us.

    LOL//// (none / 0) (#44)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 26, 2008 at 10:05:39 PM EST
    This new information adds to a growing body of evidence that Cheney may have directed Libby to disclose Plame's identity to reporters and that Libby acted to protect Cheney by lying to federal investigators and a federal grand jury about the matter.

    Murray Wass...