Web Hostess Live: The latest from the Web

Feb 15, 2018

See you at 2!

Hello, hello! Thanks for stopping by. I have to jet at 2:45, so let's chat very fast before then. (Happy Belated Valentines Day).

Now that we know that VP Pence bought his wife her Valentine's Day gift from CVS, the next question has got to be whether the card was addressed to "Mother".

Question: when you were growing up, did your parents refer to each other as "your mom; your dad" or was it ever just "mom; dad." i.e. would the sentence have been, "Go ask your mom whether you can have the last piece of cake," or "Go ask mom whether..."


I feel like the second version is not at all uncommon for people with kids, and might explain how Mother came about.

I need help on something silly that maybe you and chatters could help with. I and the Game Master for group of friends playing D&D. As such, I describe the world that the player's characters are adventuring in. Part of this involves describing/play acting as the characters that players interact with. For some of these characters, I've got a pretty firm grasp of the personality I'm trying to convey. Often, though, I have to make up characters on the spot. My preferred method is to come up with two known archetypes or personalities and mash them together. It's easy to remember and can make decently complex characters without a ton of work (Lords of the Realm all start to run together if you are essentially always doing a Tywen Lannister impression). Some of my favorites include: 1800's prospector x Randy "Macho Man" Savage Severus Snape x Cowboy Robin Hood x Vin Diesel I have to run a session tonight and I'm having trouble developing workable ideas (I'm really, really having a hard time with the Florida shooting). Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. If this is too silly or abstract for the chat, no problems - I get that this is kind of weird.

This is not weird. This is great. I open the floor for ideas.

I feel like a bad citizen of a country and a bad member-of-culture/human able to intelligently participate in current news because I just cannot bring myself to give a [fart] about the Olympics. It's been this way basically all my 30-something years. Multiple Olympics have gone by where I didn't watch a single bit. This year I tried to get into it more and did an 'opening ceremony' night with some friends who are SUPER into it, where we went for Korean food then watched the opening ceremony together and I asked them lots (of really basic and probably annoying) questions to learn more and find a darn that I could hang onto to get me watching. Aaaaaand, it was super boring. And the USA entrance/behavior of bros making faces for the camera turned me off. And I haven't watched a bit since. Do I need to keep trying, and if yes any ideas? There are some sports that appeal more than others, but even figuring out when they are on keeps falling down my to-do list behind things I'd rather be doing (like cleaning my oven- true story). FWIW I don't have cable/dvr so I'm limited to watching live or the limited clips available on NBC's site.

This hasn't been a highly Olympic-friendly year for me, either. Summer is easier than winter for me because the sports are more interesting to me, and when watching, say, two hours straight of luge, I honestly can't tell a difference between who is going down the track quickly and who is going down the track slow.

So, do you need to keep trying? I dunno. Do you watch other sports and find them interesting? Is it the Olympic sports themselves you don't like, or the fact that they're relentlessly on every night, or you don't like the commentary, or...can you pinpoint what you don't like so we can try to help you, if you need help?

Hulk Hogan, but British. "I say brother, whatever shall you do when these 24 inch pythons run wild upon thee"

That's the spirit.

I got your book last week and just finished it this morning. I often read when I have insomnia and was just telling my husband, I didn't sleep much last night, but at least I am reading an awesome book! I read Girl in the Blue Coat too. Do you find it hard to switch between writing fiction and non-fiction?

Hey, thanks. Fiction and nonfiction are equally hard, but in different ways, and both produce different kinds of self-loathing.

I think Pence is creepy for a whole lotta reasons (not eating meals with women not his wife, gay conversion therapy, etc.) but calling his wife Mother is the same thing my grandparents did. They called each other Mom and Dad. No big whoop. Now Mommy would be creepy, though.

My parents divorced when I was a teenager. It was at least 5-6 years before my father transitioned from, "What time is Mom getting here?" to "What time is your mother getting here?"

My grandfather often called my grandmother "Mother". He almost used it as an official title, though. Then again, they spent over 50 years running a farm together and had 9 kids, 40+ kids, and dozens of young farm hands. She was kind of the the mother of Mothers.

Yes, that sounds like the kind of "mother" title that should come with a crown.

Reepicheep. Always and forever. Honestly, every time a news story or an Internet blowhard or anyone else stresses me out, I imagine a prideful, brave, but easily wounded mouse. And then I assign everything to Reepicheep's voice. Instant mood boost. (Note: this all started when I realized Jeff Sessions' testimony transcripts were infinitely better if reimagined as Reepicheep. Like, say "I did not recuse myself defending my honor against scurrilous and false allegations" as a prideful mouse warrior, and feel all the clouds lift. Now everyone, everywhere is Reepicheep.)

Thank you for making me Google Reepicheep. (It had been a while since I read the Chronicles of Narnia, and I never saw the movies.)

The Opening and Closing Ceremonies are totally different from watching the sports. I prefer Winter to Summer (I find most summer sports boring), but you can't judge the whole thing from the Opening Ceremonies. If you WANT to really get into it, I'd watch some of the clips online and see if some sports appeal to you. But honestly, don't feel you need to. I find the Olympics totally fascinating for 2 weeks every couple of years, and then totally forget them until the next one rolls around. I also don't watch football at all--including the Super Bowl--and don't feel any need to try to watch it. You do you.

Thank you.

But yes. I personally really like the parade of athletes because I find it super emotional to see, say, the one athlete from Nauru walking with the dozens from the Netherlands, etc. But I wouldn't base my feelings on the Olympics as a whole on just the opening ceremony.

I'm not totally sure how this works, but I'll throw out a few characters (I'm having a hard time re Florida too, friend). Dolly Parton, a pirate, The Rock, Marlon Brando as the Godfather....Bugs Bunny (do they have to be human)?

Is Mother more bothersome to people who have seen "Psycho," and/or Bates Motel? Because I find "Mother" creepy as all get out, and I wonder if it is residual Norman Bates creepiness.

Hmm, that might be it. "Mother" is more creepy than "Mom"?

I tried watching the figure skating, but just wasn't impressed. I remember being dazzled by them as a kid, but the other night they looked pretty darned human. And then it hit me - CGI. It's like comparing an airbrushed photo to an untouched one. Sigh. I need baseball season. But Adam Rippon is completely fabulous. I wish he WOULD go to the White House just to make Pence uncomfortable.

I also think there's an aspect of things just seeming bigger and more impressive when you're a kid. Because you're so small.

You & I can meet for coffee or a bookstore visit while everyone else is glued to the Olympics. I hate sports in general, in fact.

No! You don't have to like them or watch. You tried. Life if too short. As another commenter said, you do you.

Joe Pesci from My Cousin Vinny (or other movies, I guess).

No, specifically from My Cousin Vinny is the way to go. (I have to be honest; I'm not even sure if we're doing this right).

What do you think of the students tweeting and snapchatting video from the Florida shootings?

You mean, like, do I think they should have spared us the difficult viewing experience? I don't. Shootings are unfathomably horrifying and almost impossible to picture. We deserve to be confronted with those images and sounds as we grapple with how to address the poisonous gun violence in America.

He does love his pets, and was distraught over the recent death of a beloved elderly cat; his family's menagerie also includes a rabbit named Marlon Bundo. Plus, Trump dissed people having pets as being low class, which is like a badge of honor for the Pences.

Really, pets are low-class? Wonder how the most blue-blooded of all bluebloods, noted dog lover Queen Elizabeth II feels about that.

Mona Lisa Vito, except she's an expert on weaponry instead of cars.

"My biological bombs are ticking like this."

My parents called each other by their actual names. They referred to each other *when speaking to us* as Mom and Dad. (Proper nouns, not "your mom" or "your dad.") My grandparents did the same thing. The one exception was my great grandma, who, once I was born and "Grandma" got too confusing, became "Granny"...and it became her actual name. Everyone called her Granny, regardless of their relationship to her. I wouldn't be half surprised if she'd started signing checks "Granny."

It wasn't until nieces and nephews started being born in my family that I realized what a thing it is, for grandparents to try to stake their claim on the various grandparental titles (Nana, Oma, Gammy, Pop-pop, etc. etc.)

Agreed that you don't need to keep trying, but if you choose to do so, I highly recommend DVR-ing stuff. I love the Olympics, but have enjoyed having the ability to skip through a lot of the blah blah blah that I don't necessarily want to watch. Plus, then you can watch 3 minutes of ski jump/speed skating/snowboard some-thing-or-other and figure out if it appeals.

DVRing seems like the worst of all worlds to me. You still have to watch the sports, but you don't get to do it in time with everyone else.

Yep, my grandparents called each other "Mother" and "Father."

I also wonder if it's geographic? 

To me, there is a difference between using the name a kid calls her parent when talking to the kid (e.g., "When is Mom coming?" and addressing the parent as "mom" directly (e.g., "Mom, pass the potatoes"). I think I've said something like, "Hey, that's dad's drink!" to keep a friends' kid from accidentally taking a snootful of an unattended cocktail. But I would never call my friend "Dad."

"'No Way To Prevent This,' Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens" is up on The Onion again. It makes an appearance after every shooting.

Don't know if you saw the tweet, but it turns out the humor writer who wrote that headline lives just a mile from the shooting. He tweeted last night that he never imagined it would hit him so close to home.

If Trump ever gets his greatly-desired state visit to Great Britain, my fondest hope is that some of the Queen's corgis will bite him on the ankles.

I imagine she keeps the corgis away from guests. We used to have one. Very sweet to family, but as herding dogs, they have the snapping instinct.

Mother & Sister so I cannot imagine finding it weird.

I read this as "potato" and spent a really entertaining (to me) 15 seconds mentally picturing these two potatoes side by side before realizing my error.

The one potato was all gauzy and beautiful-looking.

That's exactly how I feel about D&D and other such fantasy pursuits. (OTOH, I love the Olympics, ever since my dad and I watched the small amount of coverage of the 1960 winter games in Squaw Valley (the film was developed in a specially rigged-out van, so it would be ready to air nationwide from San Francisco, back in that pre-communications satellite era!).

Thanks for the factoid!

Yes - this is all gold!!! Thank you everyone. Keep them coming!!

We aim to please.

Oooh - thanks to the previous chatter to remind me that I need to clean our oven. And since it's a long weekend, it's a good time to do it! Sorry - comment not web related....

Wait, did we talk about cleaning ovens in this chat?

Clearly, the Game Master will need to do Mike Pence as Norman Bates.

As we are sitting here, I realize I am having a very difficult time picturing our Vice President's voice.

Ever see the kid (or be the kid) who accidentally calls the teacher "Mom"? And then everything is super awkward? Well, when Pence calls his wife "Mother," it feels like that. SHE IS NOT YOUR MOTHER, DUDE.

I agree that a lot of the sports are hard to figure out if you aren't already an expert at analyzing them. I honestly can't even tell apart a really good half pipe performance from just a pretty darn good one. But figure skating is always a good one. I recommend DVR the whole thing and then fast forward to just the performances. Also, if you are home sick, curling is a soothing sport with the sound turned off. Not so much if you can hear the teams yelling/instructing each other. But on to my real question. I think I am not contagious anymore. Is it OK if I go see Black Panther this weekend? I'll go to the really early morning one that is likely to be a little less crowded. Normally it is less than 10% full, but this time I'm guessing it will be a lot more attended. How do you feel about being at a movie when someone next to you is noticeably ill. I wouldn't do it for a play or a concert, but this is a movie and probably a loud one for a good chunk of it.

You cannot go if you are a) Still sneezing, and in need of regular nose-blowing. b) Still coughing more than once an hour. c) Potentially contagious.


I am sorry. Those are firm rules. We have all wanted to murder our coworkers who come to work obviously sick, and then spent the whole day hacking up lungs. Thing of how much more distressing it would be for this to happen in a crowded movie theater where you are both trying to focus on one of the most highly anticipated movies of the decade, and also where you are unable to get away from the sick person.



Called Nancy "mommy" and it was creepy and annoying

He did?!

Dirty Harry + Austin Powers, pirates of the Caribbean johnny Depp + a care bear, Keanu Reeves + a helium tank, Ruth bader Ginsburg + an astronaut

For Keanu Reeves + helium tank, I am picturing the world's highest-pitched, "whoa."

Calvin's uncle Max appeared for a time in the strip and Watterson had a lot of trouble with it. He never revealed the names of Calvin's parents, so he had to bend over backwards to set up situations where Max would never need to call them by their first names.

don't go to the movies if you are still sick enough to stay home from work.

Correct. On the other hand, it's only Thursday. By Saturday or Sunday, you could be feeling legitimately better. But only go if you are feeling legitimately better, not just if you're pretending to feel better.

...was when all three networks cut in during mid-afternoon yesterday to cover the Florida school shootings, and they wouldn't return to their regularly scheduled programming for nearly two hours. Not nearly that much live coverage was justified, as little new information wasn't known after the first 10-15 minutes of the cut-in, and if further news broke they could have cut in to their regular programming again for an update, instead of going on and on and on with the story. Enough already! If I wanted to watch cable news, I'd watch cable news.

I support the TV station interruptions. I think it's fair that we have the pleasant parts of our lives disrupted as a reminder that shootings in this country happen almost daily.

An old-school gumshoe + a talking baby, Roseanne + Jessica rabbit, an old timey prospector + Shirley temple

Okay, if these could be pulled off, I'd be truly impressed.

It's 2:45; I gotta scoot. See you next week!

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Monica Hesse
Monica Hesse is a staff writer for the Post Style section. She frequently writes about culture, the Web and the intersection of the two.

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