The Recursive Quest for Perfection

I don’t do my nails. by which I mean I cut them as close as they will go and I keep them clean. I don’t grow them, shape them or paint them.

The one thing my mom and now my late mother in law agreed on is that it was unseemly of me to wear my nails as I did ‘like a man.’ In fact a friend who is a profiler agrees with them. He says that only lesbians wear their nails as I do. Maybe that relates to the odd occasions of being hit on….

But here’s the thing: I wear my nails like that because it’s the only way I can wear them. Beyond the fact that I routinely go through periods of dipping my hands in bleach or solvent, there is the …. problem of the endless perfection recursion.

So, you know, I once sat at the kitchen table nine hours trying to paint my nails. And there was always a little imperfection. And when I fixed that I created another. And…

I eventually wiped my nails clean and went on with life.

It came to mind today as I was fixing the only room of the house cleaned, painted and staged so far: the downstairs powder room, or as some of you who’ve been to the house know it, the trilobite room.

For those of you raising an eyebrow, yes, I do realize that house buyers might look at this and see evidence of mental illness, but look….

It started like this: I bought a vessel sink. Which happens to be in tones of brown with flecks of gold. From that we did the walls to match, only more gold, because it’s a small room and brown (which was what was there, actually) feels claustrophobic.) From there…. Well, suggestions were made, I was tired. So there’s a frieze of trilobite stencils across the top…. The family loves it, because of all the years when our favorite treat was going to the natural history museum.

But this means I have melalic-ish gold walls, white vanity top, white trim, and dark cherry vanity cabinet.

All I needed to do was fix a couple of damage spots to the wall. But–

This morning I was fixing splats on the wall (from the white of the trim) with the tiniest brush and it occurred to me this is a problem in life in general.

Most people won’t notice pinprick sized droplets.

Weirdly, that’s part of my political philosophy. Nothing as complex as human society can be perfect. So, like my nails, let it be as natural as possible.

And having left you with that bizarre idea, I’m going out to pick carpet. Afterwards, I have writing to do.

Off to do what I can while I can. Catch you on the flip side.

177 thoughts on “The Recursive Quest for Perfection

  1. Heh, I haven’t even finished painting the outside, let alone get to working more on the inside.
    Flecks? I got one room of Pepto Pink and Green with gold.

    1. Green with gold actually sound really pretty. Heck, even pink and green, I can sorta see, and gold and pink is classic.

      But all three?

      1. The last house in San Jose came with the boy’s room in “Pumpkin Eater” nursery rhyme wallpaper. That was over a greenish paint of indeterminate age (and no, I didn’t do a lead check, but quick tests weren’t a thing back then). The wall-to-wall shag carpet got terminated with extreme prejudice. The hardwood floor underneath was worth the work to expose it.

        I kept coming up with horrible colors for the bathroom. Tried a “light” grey that came out closer to Naval Yard ship exteriors, then a yellow that was a bit emphatic. I think we ended up with close to pure white. Close enough match to the white tile to make it good.

        That house cured me of major renovations. I did a new roof and pulled carpet for engineered wood floors, but the kitchen and bathroom floors were contracted out. When the dishwasher ruined the kitchen floor, we had new lower cabinets made. Not a pure match to the old work, but Good Enough.

        1. Oh: Spent 17 years in the San Jose house, so the unfortunate bathroom colors happened over time. We’re approaching 19 years here, and I haven’t taken a crowbar to a wall yet. OTOH, I’ve built (counts) 3 sheds (one a pumphouse), a “semi”permanent greenhouse, and a predator-proof kennel for the dogs.

          New work is less stressful than remodeling. Usually.

        2. I’m still trying to get the last of the dreadful thin (like, splinters dangerously thin) crappy board-that-looks-like-wallpaper out of my bathroom. I think I’m gonna have to go ahead and demolish the old tub/shower and get the sink out before I can achieve it, sigh. The bathroom is the only room in the house that needs completely gutted, everything else is cosmetic (well, except for re-building a closet into the big bedroom so it is actually a two bedroom house), but ARGH.

  2. I, too, keep my nails short and unpainted. Two reasons -a) typing all day and I don’t like the way my nails feel slipping around on a keyboard and b)nail polish and the inevitable removal of same makes my nails brittle, flaky and breaky – so I don’t do it. I wear gloves when gardening and keep my nails short and clean, and I’m happy with the phalanges 🙂 You do you, boo!

  3. That profiler obviously never met the folks I hung around with. Working horsewomen tend to have short plain nails. I’ve ripped so many nails off while grooming my horse.

  4. I’m not so sure about not noticing the pin-prick sized droplets. I think we notice them, but we rarely remark about them until we reach a saturation state. Like that one nail hole in the sheetrock that you’ve looked at in the bathroom for the past 5 years and haven’t been bothered enough to go down to the store, or even the basement workshop to get the putty knife and spackle can. And suddenly one night you get up at one AM and it pisses you off that you stomp down stairs in your slippers and bathrobe and finally do the filling.

    A lot of people’s personal relationships go that way. Seems like people need 2500 nights of snoring, or poor housekeeping, or lack of sex before they throw down the paper and say, “Enough is enough! You’re driving me crazy!” Never mind that they haven’t said squat all that time about what’s slowly bugging them. Maybe it’s the Thumper Syndrome, where people are afraid that if they can’t say nothing nice about someone, then they won’t say nothing at all…until it’s too late. “Hey Bambi! The forest is on fire!” “Oops.”

  5. Spousal unit keeps them short and clean, daughter unit does hers occasionally then gripes when they get torn up rock climbing.
    Also, perfection is the enemy of the good is not just a saying, it has to become a lifestyle or we while away our years chasing a fantasy. Some things we humans do nearly achieve perfection but largely due to overlapping oversight. Air traffic control comes to mind. Of course individuals come to mind as well. Beethoven, Vivaldi, Andres Segovia. But I am just as certain they never felt they had achieved it.

  6. I’m a fan of good enough, The Rolls Royce is built “good enough” for folks who buy a Rolls. It’s all about the trade offs, Make it “good enough” for your market. Anything can be better, but then who can afford it. Kamala was good enough for vp for 80 million voters .
    (Insert vomiting emoji)

        1. You could even make some money hunting the feral pigs and non-native giant snakes. 😛

  7. Did you see the dudebro’s guide to nails, before it got stripped from the Internet?

    It was a short hand guide to women’s temperament based on how they did their nails. Short version was more blood red and knife or other weapon-like they were, the less you wanted to be around that girl.

    As I recall the “nearly clipped close, unpainted” were listed as “marry this girl before someone else gets her first”

    So yeah…

    1. Likely because such weaponized nails are a tolerably good proxy for vain and self-centered.

      1. I feel very, very strongly about having my nails “pretty”, which in my case translated to painted, oval, and just long enough to be obvious I grew them out. But that’s mostly because of severe nail-biting over about 30 years before I could make myself stop. (Do NOT, however, get between me and the metallic teal nail polish. :D)

        1. Pretty painted nails are pretty. Art is nice to have.

          If you can have six kids, a working garden, a dog, a clean home, and home-cooked meals and hand art*… My hat is off to you ma’am. You’re a better man than I am, gunga din.

          It’s all trade offs, all the way down.

          (*Awesome Catholic family across the street from us one time. Nicest folk ypu could ask for.)

        2. Part of my issues are: I’m too cheap to pay someone to do them; I hate slightly longer nails on the keyboard; because of thyroid issues, my nails go through phases of tearing like paper (so varnish would help.); I have an unfortunate tendency to refinish furniture and sometimes I forget gloves….

      1. I look at the local billboards advertising long, ornate nails and alternate between “Mandarin – proves you don’t have to work for a living” and “I think that counts as open-carry.”

  8. I can’t imagine someone who does a lot of typing having long nails. It would drive me batty, if I weren’t there already.

    1. I have ONE aunt who started wearing long, false nails exactly so she could type faster, in the 80s.

      Apparently the feel of the keyboard on the tips of her fingers bugs her, but the nails don’t. I think she secretly likes the way people stare in awe as she stabs words into being….

  9. He says that only lesbians wear their nails as I do.

    …. I can count on one hand the number of women who painted their nails in my folks’ social circles. Most of them are lesbians.

    It’s an office worker/non manual labor thing.

  10. Reminds me of the first rule of painting miniature figures for wargaming –

    “Remember that this figure will only be seen from at least three feet away, sitting in the middle of the gaming table. If you can’t spot the blemish from that far away, don’t worry about it.”

    On another note, as a California conservative, I enjoyed this article about California conservatives over at American Greatness (h/t Ace’s blog). And note that the word “Republican” was nowhere to be found in the previous sentence.

    1. The article makes good points. I noticed during the 2020 election cycle it was impossible to determine who was actually working towards solutions and who simply had their hands out to grab and go.

      Finding these new structures and systems is going to be important. I distinctly recall how absolutely isolated I became when I lived in California. I never found these groups while I was out there. Maybe I would have been less isolated if I had.

    2. An interesting essay. It is easy to get isolated in an environment where you cannot be sure who will try to destroy you for revealing an unpopular thought. Perhaps it is that shared risk that has created the will to dissent. Freedom does often begins with an act of defiance.

        1. That reminds me of a reasonably clean limerick:

          A dentist, whose surname was “Ross,”
          Fell in love with his assistant, Miss Moss.
          But he held in abhorrence
          Her given name, Florence,
          So he called her “my dear dental Floss.”

      1. WPDE!
        And the corollary to the theater costume rule is that if it looks good on stage it’s probably truly garish close up.

  11. Dear Hostess is my memory correct that you have ADD/ADHD tendencies? For some reason perfectionism seems to come with that set of issues. Both my daughters are on that spectrum. Elder Daughter LOVES to do her nails but finds the issue of its not perfect AND has a real hard time not thrashing and damaging her efforts. Younger daughter has slightly different issue set and is less of a perfectionist and can hold still. They both love youtube/tiktok videos on various techniques. Having painted miniatures I agree with Junior, can’t imagine trying to do to my hands.

    1. I have ADD and my hands shake all the time. Back when I was gaming enough to be painting miniatures, I learned to do the sniper thing of holding my breath and making little flicks of my brush between heartbeats. Also gluing the minis to a block of wood and clamping them down made it so only one hand’s shaking was in the picture.

        1. Yup. I think painting the red stripes on the trousers of 1812 Russian Jäger infantry at 15mm scale was the hardest.

          1. Ouch 15mm scale is tough. My nightmare was working on WWII 1 to 256 tank minatures. Getting the decals on was a nightmare. Though I still have some beautiful examples of JagdTiger and Panther (PZKF-V) tanks I made for playing an east front tank miniatures game. 25MM I had a dwarf that was my “Hero” figure. Put him in a contest at a local hobby shop many moons ago and got an honorable mention. And res doing his belt buckle involved a 00000 sable brush (like 20 sable hairs) and exhaling before trying to paint 🙂 .

      1. Have you seen those fly tying kits?

        I got that, and a headband binocular visor (the kind that have a head-band and you can push the magnifiers up while wearing it) to help my husband with his.

        He put pupils on the half-demon….

        1. As a kid I was MASSIVELY near sighted so essentially I used to just take my glasses off and voila real good close work. With my left lens replaced due to a severe cataract I now have 20/20 distance vision in that eye, and the binocular magnifiers are likely my tool of choice should I ever go back to miniatures.

    2. I was on a project with an IC designer who had ADD/OCD tendencies (as well as being a world-class ass). The design was analog, and he kept coming up with tweaks to make the chip a bit smaller. I reminded him several times that unless he got a 10 micron shrink, his fiddling cost time, to no benefit. I might have threatened to rip his lungs out once or twice. (Another co-worker made a similar threat, with more anger, after both were in the plant on Saturday, and co-worker found the designer goofing off while co-worker was burning his weekend time.)

      That designer eventually quit and became a dentist. Shades of Steve Martin in Little Shop of Horrors!!!!!!!!1111

      1. Hostess says “doc says adults don’t have ADHD.”. Hmmm, sounds like he is only slightly more reputable than Dr. Fauci on that point. General internists often don’t have real good knowledge of specializations that don’t run into much as what they know often goes back to internship or even med school. Research definitely keeps moving around on that stuff (and we have serious reproducibility issues in lots of small to medium studies).

  12. I keep my nails incredibly short. Largely because I cannot STAND having any kind of gunk under them–and despite the fact that I’m also a fairly obsessive hand-washer, they still accumulate gunk. Blech. (Long sharp nails make me shudder in horror. BECAUSE HOW DO YOU NOT GET POOP OR WORSE IN THEM.)

    I like nail polish colors, I think they’re pretty, but inevitably I chip the paint within 15 minutes of doing them, and I can’t stand that. Also, I’ve found I really don’t like the feel of the paint. So I will admire the (short) nails of those friends of mine who like to paint their nails in fantastical ways. (One of them is, in fact, a lesbian…So whoever claims ‘only lesbians do the short unpainted nails thing’ clearly hadn’t ever actually met many. They come in all sorts, just like everyone else…)

    1. High quality nail tweezer with a flat blade after the shower or a good strong wash. Gets all the grime off and you don’t have to keep clipping them every other day. Clean is good.

    2. YEP! Receptionist where I used to work a loooong time ago had these bright-red 3″ talons. Had to wrap her thumb and finger around a pen to use a keyboard one…key…at…a…time. I always wondered how she could wipe her ass without critical self-inflicted lacerations.

      For cleaning under fingernails of reasonable length, try an old worn-out toothbrush.

      I keep worn-out toothbrushes for all sorts of cleaning and scrubbing uses.

  13. Our bathroom (Up stairs toilet.)? Well, garish bordello style wall paper, 3 feet of walnut stained wainscoting, Old, really old, style toilet with the tank over 6 feet up the wall and a chain pull flush, sink, an inset lathe turned birch bowl, standard sink drain installed, 15 inch diameter (Clear epoxied, 3 coats, and no sign of water damage or rot after decades of use.) with an 8 inch tall brass faucet directed into it. My shaving soap and straight razor on the shelf atop the wainscoting. Hey, we built the house to live in, not to sell.

    Short, unpainted nails are lesbians? Wow, well over half the women I know here in Alaska must be a bit queer. I don’t think I’ll tell any of them though unless I have a clear escape route and I’m sure they’re not carrying.

    1. I envy you your high-tank toilet. 😛

      Increased pressure provides more flush with less water. WHY aren’t elevated-tank toilets being brought back in the interest of conservation? Then again, WHY are we flushing toilets with drinking water?

      1. “WHY are we flushing toilets with drinking water?”

        It’s simple and inexpensive. No needing to have a sink (well) above the toilet level. No needing a pump. And no having old dishwater “mellowing” in the bowl for an extended time. Ideal? No. Simple & easy? Yes.

        1. There really isn’t any lack of water.
          We’re creating droughts by pouring our water from all the western states into CA which lets it flow into the sea to save the delt smelt.

      2. “Increased pressure provides more flush with less water.” Thus the air-assisted low-flow toilets, which seem wonderful in theory, but in reality leave large swathes of the bowl unwashed and frequently send chaotic spritzes of toilet water out onto the seat and adjacent items. And if you have to flush 6 times to get crap to go down, how much water are you saving?

  14. I keep my nails short because of playing clarinet and piano. Most people who play instruments keep them short. Both my daughters followed in my footsteps although one isn’t a musician. Both my daughters-in-law like the long fake nails. We’re all heterosexual. I think it has more to do with how you use your hands.

  15. I have short nails because they split (inherited problem, goes with some musculoskeletal flaws, apparently). I don’t paint them, because then you have to re-paint them. And it draws attention to the fact that they are slightly different lengths, because of trimming before/when the nails split. (No, none of the special anti-split things have worked. Nor does adding gelatin to my diet.)

    1. Mostly it’s my thumbnails that split. Which then becomes painful, and they snag any time they brush against cloth. Super glue helps… but more than once I’ve wondered about the glue-on nails my mother used to wear.

      I was seriously thinking about it circa 2005, when the cellular phone I had, had one of those “ring rocker” multifunction switches, too small for my fingers to operate. I used to carry a popsicle stick; it took two hands and a tool to operate a device someone had ergonomically enginnered to be unusable by some percentage of the population.

      1. Sounds like a Ford Thunderbird. It was designed for someone just a bit taller than I am. Result? For those folks, it was alright. For me? Everything was in the wrong place no matter how I adjusted things. The Mazda picked with manual everything (alright, power steering & brakes) was fun to drive. The T-bird? Utter total and complete garbage PITA!

        1. I’m only 5’9″, but my continual problem is cars that seem to be designed for someone *much* shorter than I am. The largest problem seems to be the assumption that I will rake the seat back 45 degrees, gangbanger style, and peer at the road through the gap between the top of the steering wheel and the dasboard. Since I prefer sitting upright, my head often hits the roof, often the sun visor, and on a few occasions, the ridiculouslty raked-back windshield. Seat-belt pulleys that dig into a shoulder are common. Big plastic boxes built into the doors (sometimes just styling, not storage) that dig into my leg. And side windows that lean in so sharply that they bang my head on bumps.

          We rented a Chevy Corsica(?) once, that we had to take back and “upgrade” to something else. The passenger side had this crazy shelf that stuck out, like part of a surfboard. Even with my short legs, and the seat slid all the way back, it pressed painfully into my knees.

          There are good reasons why Detroit’s sales continue to slump.

          1. I’m 5’4″, so no problem being too tall. But I like to be able to reasonably see front of the hood. Hubby is 6’2″, and he has the same problems with hitting his head either on roof or side window. Third can someone of reasonable height (son 5’10”) sit behind me? Forth is the back seat setup, behind driver, when driver is hubby, are my knees crammed around my neck? The last isn’t happening as much, but we learned our lesson with older cars.

            It is surprising how fast vehicles can be narrowed down when combining all 4 criteria. When it comes to pickups, the see beyond the hood, tends to get thrown out. But (for now) we aren’t buying pickups.

            1. A lot of people who buy pickups don’t *want* a pickup; they’re no longer able to do a one-legged deep knee bend to get into an economy car, their backs are too stiff to duck under the swoopy roofline to get the head in, and sitting with their legs extended hurts their knees. I’m getting there myself; that’s one of the reasons I no longer own a sports car.

              An ordinary half-ton pickup; they can open the door, get in, and sit like a normal person. Still a way up to the seat for shorter people though. My wife has a folding stool and a rope; the stool stores in the door pocket of our Ram.

              My grandmother always requested we come in a pickup when we visited (from out of state). Part of the visits involved taking her around to do things, and she was *thrilled* the first time we arrived in Dad’s crew cab Dakota. Getting in or out of most regular cars was very difficult for her; the truck was no problem, and more like her idea of how “car” ergonomics should be. Almost identical with my ’55 Chevy, anyway.

              1. That was our experience; when Em and I had her first visit to my house, it quickly became obvious that her arthritic knees and hips weren’t going to handle my Nissan Sentra, so I went out and bought a 2001 Nissan Frontier King Cab.

                It’s in better mechanical shape then we are now, but we’re still driving on in it.

                1. Exactly why we have the Santa Fe’s now. Pickups I have to have a step rail to be able to climb in (not a jacked up one, just regular). Then just slide out. I did the pickup climb for 40 years of marriage. Probably will again … I can not believe we don’t have a pickup. We did put a tow package on one of the Santa Fe’s that can tow the utility trailer …

                2. Minivans almost don’t exist in my area. They vanished in the mid-90s. A friend who worked at a car dealership said that dealers in Mexico had standing orders, and would send up a dozen drivers to convoy them over the border. I’d actually seen them on the freeway, but hadn’t made the connection.

                  And now, a quarter-century later, still very few to be seen. “Crossover” tall station wagons by the fleet, but Caravans, Windstars, Luminas, and the like, nope. Even vans are rare nowadays; if you see one, it’s almost always a company vehicle.

            2. Our last car purchase, a Hyundai Sonata, was selected partly for the ability to scoot my not-quiiite-5’2″ self up far enough to reach the pedals without constantly banging my knees on the underside of the steering column. (We had been ready to buy a newer version of what we had, but the knee thing had somewhere along the way gone from a minor problem to a severe one.) I was therefore somewhat startled to run across the same car we’d just bought for its short-person benefits on a list of good cars for tall people.

              The thing we don’t like is that the rear visibility is not great if you want to use the mirrors instead of the backup camera, but we decided being able to drive it comfortably outweighed that.

              1. We sold our 2015 Sonata (long story) fall 2020; we know the person who bought it so see it a lot, or hubby does. We thought we were going to get a Tuscon or equivalent, but wanted it in Turbo. Decided it wasn’t quite big enough, and not available with *Turbo. Ended up getting Lava Orange Santa Fe 2020. The color we wanted in 2019, but couldn’t get. Now we have two Santa Fe’s (mine is Rain Forest Green). Just the right size.

                * Turbo for when we drive high elevation. Turbo power is wasted on me, most of the time. But when I do punch down, I want “yes, ma’am!” not “well if you insist …”.

                1. Yeah, actually ours could stand to respond better to the gas pedal. Something to remember to check next time. (On the other hand, the turning radius is so small I nearly put it into a ditch in the median trying to do a U-turn during the test drive. Been great since I got used to it.)

    2. FWIW, after trying assorted fixes (including thyroid treament, which did improve a lot of things including some of the nail problems) for splitting nails I finally had noticeable success on the splitting with taking betain pepsin with any protein. I apparently wasn’t digesting protein properly enough for it to get to my nails. The betain pepsin helps with that.

    3. Mine split as well. I like the idea of painted nails but not the reality of painted nails.

  16. Nails aren’t an issue for me, thankfully, but this does touch on one worry I have about fixing this place up (and taking up mini painting/tabletop aside from timing and money issues), my own tendencies in that regard. It’s also why getting the writing rust off is taking so long, too. Still, best of luck from me and the kitties during it all!

  17. Which is why realtors tell you to paint everything white.

    Unfortunately, my parent’s-in-law’s house in Minot has the same dark wood paneling that they had in the late 70’s and painting paneling white is worse than the dark paneling but there’s no way we can tear it all out and paint the walls a nice satin eggshell. Bottom line, no one is trying to buy the house. In this market, too!

    1. That was a suggestion for trying to redo the panel colors at the church we went to. OTOH, the panels had a coating that would not take paint, so that was a non starter.

  18. When I bought my new house one wall of the master bedroom was a violent angry salmon color. The front door was painted an almost neon lime. Neither of those are soothing, comfortable colors for me. Both had to go, especially the bedroom if I was going to get any sleep. So first went on the grey primer to cover the horror underneath, then a couple layers of a medium sage green. I’ve got splops here and there where the brush wasn’t as precision as I would prefer. When I was younger it would have driven me insane until all the lines were clean, all the edges neat and tidy. With age (and a certain amount of tiredness) I have come to understand that I have way better ways to spent my time than fixing something that (for the foreseeable future, anyway) only I will ever see or know about. I would much rather spend that time reading or chillin’ on the patio with my fam or watching the new eps of Leverage while knitting. Something that someone else might see/own is another matter entirely, but just for me, I’ve learned to relax and let it go.

    1. Speaking of…how is the new Leverage? I’m still working my way through the original series, but I’m hoping the new will be worthwhile? (Loki, so far, is a terrible disappointment.)

      1. I’m enjoying it, though when I found out -why- Timothy Hutton isn’t on the show I was saddened and frustrated and angry and needed to go Eliot on the pell out in the yard.

        I got Chris’ eldest (Tall, Lanky Boy) and our Covid-refugee (Crazy Cat Lady) hooked on the original and we plowed our way through it, and now that the new has dropped we’re trying to savor it, since there aren’t many eps yet. TLB has definitely picked up ‘Damnit Hardison!’ and ‘It’s a very distinctive…’ as part of his vocabulary now. CCL was figuratively flipping tables (complete with hand gestures) when she found out they’d only dropped half of the new season.

        Both agreed when I told them a cameo from an SG-1 alum would be awesome.

        1. [Searches “why timothy hutton is not on new leverage”]


          Well that sucks.

        2. Yeah, I was pretty enraged–I heard about it back when they first announced they were doing it. It was so stupid–and notably, there really IS nothing to indicate it was anything more than someone trying to put him out of the role, and for some reason the showrunners went along with it. Also notably, it vanished from public memory as soon as it was made clear he wouldn’t be in the show…

          I did tell you they had been going to have Eliot have been part of the SGC, but since all the Stargate sets had been destroyed, they couldn’t use any of them for a flashback?

          1. The only way this will stop is to sue the accusers for slander, and ask that the accusers be charged with filing false reports.

            Evidence or it didn’t happen — and he said she said years later IS NOT EVIDENCE.

            1. From what I understand, that is what is happening. He has been officially cleared and they are in the process of going after the false accuser.

              This needs to happen a LOT more often, and I think someone found guilty of false accusation should have to serve the same sentence they tried to impose on someone else.

              1. Oooh, I hadn’t heard that bit!! GOOD for him!

                Of course, the fact that he IS fighting back–and that he’s been cleared–is probably why no one even in the low-end of media is reporting on it. Doesn’t fit the narrative, y’know…

                I think the Leverage showrunners ought to apologize by having him come back, dammit.

              2. “He has been officially cleared and they are in the process of going after the false accuser.”

                Next stop: suing the show for wrongful termination, and slander for propagating the false accusation.

          1. Doesn’t everyone? *looks around shiftily* You mean that’s not totally normal?

    1. I can’t get the trilobites off my mind. Live would be ideal, but decorative use is appealing. Turtle tiles in a shower is as close as I’ve gotten …

        1. The characters in Silverberg’s “Hawksbill Station” got tired of them after eating them every day for years…

  19. I cut my nails short. Plus my doctors have told me “not to use nail polish.” So not a problem. I type better with short nails. BTW just finished my doctor’s appointment– three hours. Anyway, the surgeon recommends that I be put on the list. I still have three more items to do. 1. x-ray 2 labs and 3 dental. So getting close. It may take three years to get the kidney because we have to work with CA– we had a one year wait and CA had a ten year wait. The surgeon was not too impressed with that development. This is what happens when the Federal government gets in between people and kidneys.

  20. I keep my nails short too. If I let them grow too long they break close to the quick. I can’t stand polish on them, feels weird (probably because I don’t wear it).

  21. I’m one step behind you on nails: not only do I not shape or polish them, I don’t even bother to keep them at the same length. They grow until they break, or until I have to trim off a hang nail.

    My husband has never commented on them, and as far as I know, I’ve never been hit on by any lesbians (though honestly I’m oblivious enough that I might not have noticed).

  22. The hardest thing for me about hanging drywall was when to stop. I’ve gotten to the point where I seldom use more than two coats of mud, but before that, I felt like it was a never ending battle of “Ooh, I found just one little spot that could be better…” and out came the mud and knives. But I’m feeling much better now…usually…on a good day…mostly…

    Some friends of mine once remodeled their dream house, but by the time they were finished, they literally couldn’t see how beautiful it was–they could only see the most minute flaws that were invisible to everyone else (some that were literally inside the walls), or see it as a reminder of how much of a pain it was to redo the walkway, or hang a new front door, or the argument over the color of the bathroom, or…you get the idea. The flaws and memories consumed them to the point of selling the house and starting over, vowing never to remodel again as it brought them close to divorce.

    I also wonder how much of this mentality is at the CDC…

    1. I find comfort in the fact that a good thick latex paint will cover a multitude of minor sins, particularly if you go with a good primer followed by top coat.
      Obligatory painting joke. We were helping friends fix up their home, an older one with several shall we say “interesting” issues. But new paint was of course no big deal with several of us adding hands to make the work quick and easy. Blank wall ready to start, one joker painted cat on it with the corner of her brush, another responded with dog. I naturally one upped everyone with an almost calligraffic AARDVARK. We then painted the wall in its entirety. Of course cat and dog faded into the coat of paint. My aardvark on the other hand had dried and remained as a ghostly image the entire time they lived there. You had to know to look for it, but the bloody thing lived on in perpetuity.

  23. I worked with a raging perfectionist while I worked for the Army. My bosses were really excited to hire him because of his resume: Martin Marieta, Northrop-Grumman, I think Boening….and they assumed the fact he’d worked 18 months at one, two years at another, and so on indicated he had lots of ambition! (Yeah, that’s why he’s going into civil service).
    It turned out, of course, that his resume was so varied because nobody could tolerate him much longer than that. Everything had to be perfect before he could let it go…so of course, he never finished things.
    We learned to sic him on agencies and contractors who didn’t want to give us information, because he would not stop bugging them until they gave him what we wanted.

      1. Eventually (after two demotions, which takes real talent in civil service) they put him in charge of the pubs archive. This was when tech manual masters were kept on heavy cardboard backing, each sheet glued on and covered with a layer of tracing paper and a layer of kraft paper. The job kept him relatively isolated and required someone who was very methodical, detail oriented, OCD….in other words, it played to his strengths.
        He’s gone to his reward now, and despite the fact he drove me absolutely crazy I hope he’s enjoying it.

  24. Ah, well, I once saw a house with pink, pale mint green, and sky blue trim on a mustard yellow house.

    Why, yes, it looked as horrible as you imagine. New paint too, AND this was against a dreary New England November.

    1. Sounds like places I saw in Costa Rica.
      New England? That takes next-level eccentricity.

  25. I remember circa 2001 reading about a family removing wallpaper in Colorado Springs and discovering large Peanuts cartoons on the bedroom walls. Turns out Charles Schultz used to own the house, and did it for his kids. Eventually they removed the wall panel and moved it to his museum in Santa Rosa.

    1. I’m glad they took the time to verify it was genuine! A lot of people would have just assumed it was something someone NOT Schultz did for their kids (my mom used to paint murals on our bedroom walls when we were small) and just painted over it!

  26. I wear my nails the same way (not L either, just impatient) and I would totally love a trilobite bathroom 😀

  27. I’d love to have long pretty nails. Problem is being medical and washing my hands roughly 376.8 times per day. They get dry and break, so might as well keep them short. And unvarnished, because germs.

  28. Shocker: Babylon Bee fails to amuse!

    You can talk about Poe’s Law, or Bee staff writers being gifted with prophecy, but this article is pretty clearly serious, and measured against that standard, fails to go far enough.

    Fundamentally, if it is more trouble to consult someone on an issue than would result from ignoring them, they are not an expert. An expert provides an actual service to laymen. They aren’t just extorting rents, they have to provide an appropriate worth for their fees, better than I could get from a random guy off the street.

  29. Two questions.

    Would it be homophobic to call the false one Gay Tony the Bughunter? I’m legitimately curious about whether this would be impolite to people in general, as opposed to being impolite specifically to him.

    Secondly, is the inference that his policy recommendations on AIDS were motivated by a personal desire to contract AIDS strong enough to treat as true?

  30. Trilobites, eh? Yeah. There was a lot of ’em ’round these parts a few years back. Like silverfish on steroids. We sold ’em to the local bait shops. Catfish love ’em. Raised enough money to buy some gorilla cubs. They was more trouble than the trilobites tho’, so we sent ’em down to the zoo. They was glad to go. Had running water down there in the city.

  31. I grew up with a perfectionist and it rubbed off. Along with some ASD – that meant I always bit off more than I could chew, and I never could finish because nothing was ever perfect. Until I learned about perfectionism and how poisonous it could be. Nowadays I like a concept that I can’t remember where I heard it – but it’s a societal thing (Japan?) in that nothing is supposed to be perfect, so they consciously leave an imperfection in everything they do on purpose.

    1. Harry Stine’s editor was called him about some problem with a manuscript. He told her he always left a few errors for her to find so she would feel like she was doing her job. To which she replied, “Yes, Harry… but so *many*?”

    2. I believe it’s the Mennonites who do such, something along the lines of ‘only one thing in creation is perfect.’

    3. So I had to look it up. The Japanese call it wabi sabi, and that’s what I was thinking of. Other cultures have it too. Came across an article listing Navajo, Islam, Punjabi, medieval Europe customs, among others. Often for the same reason as the Mennonites, that only God is perfect. The Navajo thought that the creator leaves something of themselves in the creation, and the imperfection allowed it to escape and return to the creator. Me, I just do it to short circuit my warped brain that otherwise won’t let me be with its constant stream of “well, if I only did this, wouldn’t it be so much cooler if…”

    4. There’s also kintsugi where they repair a broken bowl or something by filling the cracks with lacquer dusted with gold or silver. That makes the repair a part of the object’s history rather than a flaw.

    5. I think the Jews do it too and it was common in medieval Christianity too. Only God is perfect.

    6. This is also known as the ‘persian flaw’, as they would do it purposefully in their rugs and other artistic efforts.

  32. Interesting… I’ve mentioned before that I was tagged as homosexual in college, for not taking up offers not made in complete sobriety. Apparently $SPOUSE$ is, too! I’ve seen her paint her nails just once – when my then boss had us as his guests at a high society (for Tucson) charity affair.

    Obviously these three kids going back and forth are long-term leases…

  33. He says that only lesbians wear their nails as I do. Maybe that relates to the odd occasions of being hit on….

    ***Looks around rural small town

    Dang. That’s A LOT of married lesbians with kids. And I need to have a heart-to-heart with my mom.

  34. Seeing reports that the House just stripped the Hyde amendment out of the appropriations bill. If it passes the Senate, taxpayers dollars will be used to find abortions.

      1. IIRC, Biden already has the US paying for abortions in foreign countries. I hope I’m wrong. But having to pay for the destruction of innocent life is evil.

      2. Actually I’m not sure there could be worse things. By compelling everyone to participate, however remotely, it sears the soul to further compliance with sin by apathy.

        1. Well, and frankly since taxes are done with menaces–ie, you can be threatened with violence/put into prison if you don’t pay them–I wouldn’t call it ‘compliance.’

    1. Sounds like that would fall afoul of a whole bunch of Federal regulations concerning equity. Men can’t get abortions, so they’re being discriminated against due to their sex.

      Smells like lawsuit to me.

      “But… $SOMEGROUP *needs* $SOMETHING!”

      “Did you bring enough gum for everybody?”

      1. Discrimination and oppression are fine, as long as they are against the ‘White Patriarchy’.

      2. it didn’t stop them from using Obamacare to force men or the elderly or religious organizations/companies to pay for birth control…

  35. I’m a straight guy who consistently feels that makeup makes women less attractive; there are women I’d never be attracted to because they’re too visibly made up. (Just call me “Ensign Riley”!) That might even explain why I paid attention to C and not to A, back in 1984, which has made a huge difference to the course of my life. I suppose statistically it may make me more likely to be attracted to lesbians . . .

    1. Nah. A lot of straight women don’t wear makeup for a variety of reasons. I like it (and it’s fascinating what a skilled makeup person can do with it), but 99.9% of it makes my skin scream in agony. Even the stuff I’ve found that I can tolerate without the skin freaking out I can only wear for a few hours. So unless it is a very special occasion, I don’t bother with makeup. Got several friends who likewise have sensitive-skin issues, and rarely wear the stuff 🙂

      1. I quit wearing makeup when I flew air-ambulance, because oil-based cosmetics and pressure oxygen are a really bad combo. (Rapid decompression is enough of a distraction. Having your lipstick et al start to combust under the O2 mask? No thank you!) I never got back into the practice.

      2. Many grown up, professional women in my life don’t wear makeup. Maybe it’s a regional thing? Wearing makeup as a regular thing seems to correlate with being in sales.

        I don’t wear makeup because I’m allergic to so many things, I like to preserve the option of wearing makeup. My nails are short and unpainted, because I have soft nails and lack the patience to wait for it to dry. I think the profiler was joking, or didn’t deal with women much.

        1. There are definitely jobs–like you said, especially sales or similar customer-facing positions–where it’s more or less required, along with wearing the right kind of nice clothes. I don’t know about regional–where I am, it’s a pretty thorough mix of “never/almost never wears makeup” with “wears a little makeup” and “goes the full glamour routine daily makeup” types. (Well, not so much in my office, but the area in general. My office seems to trend towards “little-to-no-makeup” but that’s also partly on account of it being field season, and it’s been really hot, and also dry and windy, and who wants a faceful of gritty makeup? 😀 )

          1. who wants a faceful of gritty makeup?

            Well, that’s an interesting point… my favorite foundation is a mineral one so I’m honestly not sure how much difference it would make!

      3. That’s why I said “statistically.” I know a fair number of straight women who don’t wear makeup. But the statistical tendencies seem to be different: There is a distinctive phrase, “lipstick lesbian,” but “lipstick straight woman” isn’t a special category.

        And, of course, there’s the old joke about “women in sensible shoes.” I also don’t find high heels attractive. In fact, it’s pretty consistent that the things that are conventionally coded as making a woman hot are things that make women less appealing to me. I don’t have a reasoned explanation for this, any more than I can explain why I love the taste of ginger or detest that of coffee.

        1. Heh, I love high heels–some VERY cute shoes out there with high heels–but they do NOT love me, sigh…So I only wear them to, say, church.

  36. I think it’s fair to remark that there exists a cadre of self appointed elites attempting to lord it over we common folk in the US. Certain rich, a bunch of over educated academics, the vast majority of elected officials at least at the top federal levels, and of course those influencers scattered throughout our main stream media. All living fat, dumb, and happy in an elitist bubble, reinforcing each others prejudices and enabling ever worsening bad decisions. Hyper critical of every perceived imperfection and flaw in those ignorant, neanderthal like, recalcitrant, great unwashed out in flyover country. Yet at the same time ear, eye, and nose dead to their own blatant mistakes and screwups.
    One can only deny reality for so long. It’s a mark of the obscenely rich good fortune we have been blessed with that these elites have pulled their shennannigans off for this long, but even the most casual observer can see how it’s all unraveling even as we watch in horror one stumble after another.
    While it is true that you can boil a frog if you start with cold water and apply heat gradually, people are marginally smarter than frogs and actually share information amongst themselves and we are reaching the point where a good many are about to jump out of this hot tub and make their presence known.
    That little bobble back in January was just a poorly thought out, actually a spontaneous action egged on by certain state agents, precursor to what I fully anticipate will be massive protests across the nation.
    Lay in supplies of popcorn and bandaids now before the rush.

  37. There are certain around-the-house jobs, or quick wash of the car type things when I will purposely not wear my reading glasses. Diminishing returns, the extra time and effort resulting from seeing all the details would not be worth it.
    So it goes with other things in life also, like critiquing other people. Reasons may vary.

    But, having said that, I’ve noticed a little detail on the tube since more “woke” is there for our indoctrination. Guys with painted fingernails!

    1. Cosmetics for men are a thing now. “Vast untapped market” or something like that. Facepaint and nail polish, anyway. I haven’t seen lipstick yet, but I’m sure they’re planning it.

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