a glorious day

Hello, my darlings! Just a normal, delightful newsletter today. Let’s bounce right back in with our Featured Pet of the Day. It is my great joy to introduce you to Hector.

Hector’s human companion, Stephanie, informs us that he goes by many other names, chief among them “Hector the Protector, Hectoroo, and Mr. Fuzzy Butt.”

“Hector is my parents (and my) dog. He'll be 10 in August. Hector loves BANANAS. They are his favorite treat and he thinks the word Banana means "Come". He also deeply loves any UPS, mail, or Fedex truck and has lately taken to hopping into them and doing the rounds of the neighborhood. He is beloved by everyone and when he visited me in NYC this past summer, he made best friends with every construction worker and film crew in the neighborhood.”

This picture of Hector at Rock Center really made my day. Love me an Olden Golden. Thank you so much, Stephanie & Hector!

Parents wrote in to my parenting column with an adorable issue involving their goth teen:

Dear Care and Feeding,

Our daughter (a 13-year-old) is going through a goth phase. We mostly think this is adorable and kind of retro, but she wants to have dozens of candles around her room, continuously lit, and we think she’s going to burn the house down. How do we broach this?

—Parents of a Goth

Dear Parents of a Goth,

Congratulations, it’s a goth! Goth teens rule. How else does Hot Topic stay in business? I celebrate your daughter’s choices.

Now, the candles. You broach it by parenting! Tell her she can burn one candle at a time, on a safe surface away from curtains, and it has to be extinguished when she leaves the room. Also, buy her a new fire extinguisher along with some lovely candles for the next gift-giving occasion.

If you get pushback, just say no. You’re the parent, she’s a teen. I say this as someone with what could be described as a candle problem. Encourage her in her other goth desires—Baudelaire poems, malachite crystals, thumb rings, old Theda Bara movies, lip biting—but put your foot down on letting her room look like Enya is about to film a music video in it.

Prudie had his own crosses to bear this week (a truly unanswerable conundrum):

Dear Prudence,
I have a friend who makes jewelry to give others on holidays and birthdays. I love homemade gifts, and I understand the time and love that goes into making something. The problem is the quality is absolutely terrible. I don’t know where she gets her supplies, but nearly everything has broken the first time I’ve worn it. Once she made a beaded bracelet with elastic thread instead of a clasp. The first time I tried to slip it on, the elastic snapped, and beads flew everywhere. Is there a polite way to tell her that everything she makes breaks almost instantly, or should I keep quiet, since it’s the thought that counts?
—Gifts Falling Apart

If this makes no sense to you, here’s a handy primer.

First, this question from Ask a Manager, and then the Schitt’s Creek moment it instantly made me think of:

I’m a manager at a large organization and am almost always is the midst of a recruitment process for one role or another. Our organization is big on diversity and inclusion and so our hiring and interview guides are built to stop as much bias from creeping in as possible. In practice, this means that I usually have a set of questions that I plan to ask all candidates, and then I leave time for candidates’ questions. Unless they ask our recruiter, they don’t generally get given any information on the format ahead of time, nor are they asked to prepare anything.

Today however, I was surprised. A candidate walked into the interview room with his laptop, and after pleasantries, proceeded to tell me he had a presentation he wanted to make that would take 15-20 minutes! This threw me off, and I quickly reacted by saying that I felt that would take up too much time and that we would stick to a regular question and answer format — which he actually did quite well at.

In a water cooler conversation with some other hiring managers, others said they’ve seen this happen lately as well. This makes me wonder: should I have allowed him to present? Is this something that job-seekers are now routinely doing?

I was in Seattle on Sunday and obviously re-read my favourite and also scariest New Yorker piece to prepare emotionally:

If you travel five thousand miles due west from the ghost forest, you reach the northeast coast of Japan. As the events of 2011 made clear, that coast is vulnerable to tsunamis, and the Japanese have kept track of them since at least 599 A.D. In that fourteen-hundred-year history, one incident has long stood out for its strangeness. On the eighth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of the Genroku era, a six-hundred-mile-long wave struck the coast, levelling homes, breaching a castle moat, and causing an accident at sea. The Japanese understood that tsunamis were the result of earthquakes, yet no one felt the ground shake before the Genroku event. The wave had no discernible origin. When scientists began studying it, they called it an orphan tsunami.

Finally, in a 1996 article in Nature, a seismologist named Kenji Satake and three colleagues, drawing on the work of Atwater and Yamaguchi, matched that orphan to its parent—and thereby filled in the blanks in the Cascadia story with uncanny specificity. At approximately nine o’ clock at night on January 26, 1700, a magnitude-9.0 earthquake struck the Pacific Northwest, causing sudden land subsidence, drowning coastal forests, and, out in the ocean, lifting up a wave half the length of a continent. It took roughly fifteen minutes for the Eastern half of that wave to strike the Northwest coast. It took ten hours for the other half to cross the ocean. It reached Japan on January 27, 1700: by the local calendar, the eighth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year of Genroku.

Once scientists had reconstructed the 1700 earthquake, certain previously overlooked accounts also came to seem like clues. In 1964, Chief Louis Nookmis, of the Huu-ay-aht First Nation, in British Columbia, told a story, passed down through seven generations, about the eradication of Vancouver Island’s Pachena Bay people. “I think it was at nighttime that the land shook,” Nookmis recalled. According to another tribal history, “They sank at once, were all drowned; not one survived.” A hundred years earlier, Billy Balch, a leader of the Makah tribe, recounted a similar story. Before his own time, he said, all the water had receded from Washington State’s Neah Bay, then suddenly poured back in, inundating the entire region. Those who survived later found canoes hanging from the trees. In a 2005 study, Ruth Ludwin, then a seismologist at the University of Washington, together with nine colleagues, collected and analyzed Native American reports of earthquakes and saltwater floods. Some of those reports contained enough information to estimate a date range for the events they described. On average, the midpoint of that range was 1701.

It does not speak well of European-Americans that such stories counted as evidence for a proposition only after that proposition had been proved. Still, the reconstruction of the Cascadia earthquake of 1700 is one of those rare natural puzzles whose pieces fit together as tectonic plates do not: perfectly. It is wonderful science. It was wonderful for science. And it was terrible news for the millions of inhabitants of the Pacific Northwest. As Goldfinger put it, “In the late eighties and early nineties, the paradigm shifted to ‘uh-oh.’ ”

An absolute unit:


AITA for telling my wife I only make $60k ?

We recently moved to a cheap area where $60k is a lot (I don't earn $'s, but using it for comparable purposes).

Wife's a spender, especially on frivilous items.

I earn a lot, but through the years have always told my girlfriends that my salary is small, as I didn't want gold diggers.

Present girlfriend became my wife, but I still kept up the pretence.

I'm afraid of her finding out my true salary because a) she'll spend it all on stupid shit & b) she'll be pissed at me for lying.

I invest this 'additional' money wisely, ensuring we can retire early etc.

AITA for continuing this 'deception' or should I tell her the truth ?

You can always stop being friends with someone you think is a dick:

My friend who I'll call "Lara" got married 2 years ago to "John" and practically right after the wedding, she complained that she felt unhappy in their relationship. I empathized and tried to help her feel better when I met with her. She kind of framed it like her husband was "too nice" to her and it bothered her. I didn't understand but thought there were deeper issues I just didn't know about. So eventually, she told her husband she needed unlimited freedom and he said he didn't care what she did, as long as she came back home to him. So she spent like a year partying and clubbing trying to "get it out." Apparently that didn't work. She told him they needed to live in separate houses, which he agreed to. She then started cheating on him with a coworker who I'll call "Daniel" and the rumors spread and reached her husband. John divorced her 2 months ago. She kept dating "Daniel."

Throughout all this, all of her closest friends dropped one by one, especially after the cheating. I was never a super super close friend and I never even met her husband either. I just supported her because I only heard things from her side. Then I started hearing rumors about how she is now cheating on Daniel with another coworker "Derek." I met with her over the weekend and she more or less confirmed that she felt unfulfilled and bored by Daniel lately, but Derek was so much more fun.

It just felt like, dude. I was your last leg when everyone was calling you names, dragging you through the mud for the divorce, taking sides, and you lost. She complained that her friends were never her "real" friends, but now I am starting to see why they stopped talking to her. WIBTA if I also dump her? I don't care if she dates multiple guys - she's divorced now. But why does she have to keep cheating? I feel like that is so reckless and cowardly of her. BTW I should mention that we are both 31, Daniel is 23 and Derek is 25. Or am I being a conservative, judgmental old coot? I want to be a good friend, but every time I talk to her, I feel like she is lying to me in some way too. So WIBTA if I just slowly stop associating with her?

That’s all! I love you so much, even when you cannot see me, it is there I carried you, etc, you are my darlings and my dears.