Weekly Open Thread with a Thread and Nail Portrait

This closeup of an intricate thread and nail portrait is the host for this weeks open thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

Thread wrapped around nails to create a portrait

Close-up of a portrait by New York artist Kumi Yamashita constructed from a single unbroken black thread wound through a dense array of galvanized nails mounted on a painted white board.

e.g. What have you been up to? What would you rather be up to? What’s been awesome/awful?
Reading? Watching? Making? Meeting?
What has [insert awesome inspiration/fave fansquee/guilty pleasure/dastardly ne’er-do-well/threat to all civilised life on the planet du jour] been up to?

* Netiquette footnotes:
* There is no off-topic on the Weekly Open Thread, but consider whether your comment would be on-topic on any recent thread and thus better belongs there.
* If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.

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71 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with a Thread and Nail Portrait

  1. Jeff
    May 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Today I got my long time friend to renounce feminism and join me in humanism! :D

    • May 3, 2013 at 6:43 pm

      Since there has never been any need to renounce feminism to advocate humanism, and your past commenting history tells me that you almost certainly already know this, further discussion of your misreprentation of both philosophies can be taken to #spillover.

      • Jeff
        May 3, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        You love to control don’t you. Misrepresentation or perspective. From where I’m standing I think I have a wonderful and equal take on both philosophies. I’ll definitely check out #spillover though, thanks for sharing!

      • May 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm

        As a blog moderator, it’s my job to prevent thread-jacking, Jeff. From the netiquette notes in this very post:

        If your comment touches on topics known to generally result in thread-jacking, you will be expected to take the discussion to #spillover instead of overshadowing the social/circuit-breaking aspects of this thread.

        Anyway, do continue your fascinating insights on #spillover. The giraffe needs some exercise.

      • Jeff
        May 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        Oh well excuse me, I thought this was an “open thread” where I could even rant if I wanted to, which I wasn’t. Take care.

      • May 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        Do you routinely not bother to fully read a post before you comment? Please make sure you fully read the guidelines on #spillover before commenting over there, and you’re not welcome on this thread any more.

    • May 3, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      I almost wish tomek came back here instead of you.

      • Jeff
        May 3, 2013 at 7:37 pm

        I think you two are getting me confused with another Jeff.

      • May 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm

        You do realise that moderators can look up your email and IP address in the database, don’t you Jeff? I’m not confusing you with anybody but you.

      • May 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm

        Given what you’ve said so far, I’m certain that you’re the Jeff I have in mind.

      • Jeff
        May 3, 2013 at 7:53 pm

        the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways

        ::: Golly, I’m such a special snowflake that I think I can ignore clear instructions from a moderator! Aren’t I just the cutest! :::


      • trees
        May 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm

        [response to Jeff snipped in toto since his original comment has now been fluffinated ~ tt]

      • Jeff
        May 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

        the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways

        ::: Awww, now I’m pouting and insinuating instead of actually taking my thread-jack to #spillover as previously directed. :::


      • Jeff
        May 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm

        the head of a giraffe against a bright blue sky: its mouth is pursed sideways

        ::: Hey Hey Hey Hey! Look at me look at me! You can’t really mean that I’m no longer welcome on this thread! It’s not like you’re going to plonk me for continually ignoring clear moderator directives now is it? Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy :::


  2. May 3, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Wow! That fucken thread-nail portraitry is motherfucken mind-blowing! Kind of reminds me of Chuck Close style of putting together a portrait from gajillions of teeny tiny elements that are themselves each featureless.

  3. klaym0re
    May 3, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Just curious, anybody else get frustrated during the warmer months cus everybody’s wearing less and it makes going out side a bit more *ahem* distracting?

    • Kerandria
      May 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Thanks for the note from your boner! It was getting to be way too boner-free in here. <3

      • pheenobarbidoll
        May 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm

        Amen, Kerandria. Annoying as fuck too, isn’t it?

      • May 3, 2013 at 10:03 pm

        Thirding that!

      • Donna L
        May 3, 2013 at 10:10 pm

        I realize that there’s an excellent chance that klaymore is a guy, dreaming of “the girls in their summer dresses,” but do we know that?

      • EG
        May 3, 2013 at 10:30 pm

        Klaymore is that dude who was going on about how women are always spontaneously having him thrown out of places or attacking him just when he’s standing there not doing anything.

      • pheenobarbidoll
        May 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        It’s faithless/kersplat. Only now instead of avoiding women like the plaque because they pepper spray him for no reason, he’s evidently checking them out in the summertime.

      • May 3, 2013 at 11:19 pm

        I think he may have had sufficent space rent-free in others’ comments on this thread now. Time to discuss more interesting things.

      • Kerandria
        May 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

        But but, he loves the ladies so much that he’s elevated us to unattainable figures on a pedestal! HE’S JUST TRYING TO LOVE US THE WAY HIS PE..err, HEART DEMANDS!

    • klaym0re
      May 4, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      I said, everybody because I assumed women had the same reaction and was trying to be light heart-ted and funny, sorry.

  4. DouglasG
    May 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    To all those partial to hats, a happy Kentucky Derby tomorrow (and a safe day for all the horses and their attendant humans).

  5. May 3, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    That nail and thread portrait is amazing!

  6. May 3, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Donna, if you’re reading this thread, I just want to say that I apologize. I responded to one of your comments on the previous open thread in a way that sounded like I was accusing you of trying to make me anxious. What you said about your experiences only indirectly lead me to think about something that triggered my anxiety. I certainly didn’t believe that you had bad intentions and whatnot.

    Anyway, I have some good news. I’ve received a huge amount of financial aid for my school. So if I make some money over the summer, like I said earlier, I’ll easily be able to cover living expenses for UCSC. And that way I’ll be sure to move out.

    Oh, and my hair is now very close to its previous length. I can’t wait to see how it’ll look by the end of this year. Next time my father tries to force me to cut off my hair, I’ll try my best to stop him. Fortunately the risk of that happening will be significantly lower once I (hopefully) move out this year.

    • May 3, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      I also want to add, Donna, that I didn’t think you said anything “wrong.”

      Here’s the link to the thread.

    • Alexandra
      May 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      OMG, Aaliyah, we’re practically neighbors! I go to CSUMB!

      • May 5, 2013 at 6:34 pm

        That’s cool! ^_^

  7. Kerandria
    May 3, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    I made it through my first semester back in school! Doing the work/school FT at the same time thing was so much worse than I thought it would be. Now, I’m waiting on the last of my grades to come back..

  8. konkonsn
    May 4, 2013 at 2:20 am

    I moved up to Chicago for my new job on Wednesday. I am very glad I decided to get a smartphone before coming here as Google Maps and the Chicago Ride apps have been life savers. I am super awesome at getting lost, and now I can tell when I’m going the wrong direction in just half a block rather than walking two blocks and realizing I don’t recognize the street names (I’ve started going the wrong way even with a smart phone right in my hand four times already if that tells you anything).

    The bus and trains are awesome as well, and there are several Asian bakeries AND a comic book store just ten minutes away. I’m going to die of red bean poisoning while reading Young Justice. ^_^

    • May 4, 2013 at 10:06 am

      I used to live in Chicago, and for me knowing where Lake Michigan was made a huge difference when I got lost. I felt a little silly sometimes when I would ask “which way is the lake?” but in the days before smart phones and GPS it helped me find which way was west and from there I could usually figure things out. I also loved that most Chicago streets are laid out in a grid system that makes it easy to calculate how many blocks are between each address.

      • May 4, 2013 at 11:25 am

        It’s kind of a similar thing in Toronto.. Everything slopes towards Lake Ontario.

  9. miga
    May 4, 2013 at 2:40 am

    I’m home for my little sister’s graduation and I’m fretting over every little thing my parents and siblings do. I come from a long line of worriers and i’m almost glad to be leaving so soon because I won’t feel quite as guilty and responsible for everyone’s lives if I’m not around.

    Finances, health, the state of the mouse problem in the kitchen– I’ve been trying hard not to cry since I came home. To top it all off my dog is turning 13 this week and she looks like she might not make it out of the summer. I made my dad promise to take her to the vet, and I got her to eat a bit today, but she really looks bad- just sad and lethargic and thin and weak. I’m hoping it’s just Cushing’s and a bit more protein will perk her back up, but I don’t know if my folks have money for all that because they don’t have enough money for their own bills sometimes.

    And now I’m starting this new thing with this guy, and i’m looking for an apartment, and I’m just stressed the fuck out. UGH.

  10. May 4, 2013 at 3:25 am

    This week has been I DO NOT EVEN. Worst mood swings since my breakup from hell, prompted by some mixture of shenanigans-buddy seemingly avoiding me just when I was getting happy with touch again and some planet being in retrograde. But also an offer to be sole editor on a book if I want roughly a year or so earlier than I expected at this career stage because people like my work, which is flattering and fucking terrifying in equal measure.

    Have been turning to blog posts to cope, but dry book reviews still feel like chucking words into the void. Maybe I should do more writing advice posts….the opening sentences ones have been good so far, but I’m not sure what other writing/book things people really go looking for.

  11. TomSims
    May 4, 2013 at 11:38 am

    I’m happy spring and warm weather has finally arrived.

    • Willard
      May 4, 2013 at 7:39 pm

      It snowed here yesterday…fuck you

      **Totally not serious about the fuck you, but seriously snow roughly every three days for the last week? I want to put my boots away and forget about them for 3 or 4 months**

  12. Angie unduplicated
    May 4, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Lovely week down here. Pollen season is nearly over, a local business is increasing hiring by 2500 jobs, the weather has been beautiful, and the lettuce finally is big enough to pull. A volunteer at the local thrift gave me two huge plants of sage and rosemary, and another at the recycling center had several cases of Mason jars someone brought.
    All of the big garden is planted except for the red and orange okra, green beans (Rattlesnake and Peanut heirlooms) and the purple sweet tater slips, which haven’t arrived yet.
    That week’s officially over, though: we have flood warnings here, though it won’t affect the garden. It means I will have time to actually find something on Netflix and watch it instead of just paying for it.

  13. GracieGrace
    May 4, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    A girl I went to high school with posted this: http://www.nationalrighttolifenews.org/news/2013/03/what-happened-when-my-pro-abortion-friend-saw-this-picture/#.UYQRP229Kc0 on her Facebook page yesterday, which gave ME the wonderful opportunity to set her straight :) she may not have completely agreed with everything I wrote, but I’m glad I could inform her about true statistics about abortions (I even linked her to a post here on Feministe! Yay!!).
    In other news, the sun is shining. I can finally wear sandals! Happy weekend everyone :)

  14. May 4, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    First day trip of the season with the boy. We like to go driving and look for water falls and other scenic areas and go hiking. We also like to find some of the sketchiest back-roads we can find and see how far down them we can get without turning around… Things like logging roads, hydro corridor access roads, old 100 series highways that have since been replaced or rerouted by newer highways, where the pavement has grass coming up through the cracks.

    The place we found today was outside a town called Minden. They’ve recently had some flooding, so part of the downtown was cut off. People were out sandbagging their front yards, should the river get even higher.

    The water was up high enough that some of the benches along the riverside trail were ankle deep in water and parts of the trail were completely submerged. We went to a place just outside the town, where there were some cascading falls. The increased volumes of water made the rapids particularly loud and impressive.

  15. PrettyAmiable
    May 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Is there any good reason I shouldn’t be pissed at Obama for Gitmo remaining open? Because I’m struggling, and am kind of hoping I missed something.

    • GallingGalla
      May 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm

      I think that congressional Rethuglicans share responsibility here through their obstructionism, racism, and xenophobia. And actually a lot of Democrats, too. Obama needs congressional approval to close Guantanamo. I think that putting the blame entirely on Obama ignores the racism that pervades Congress. And I wonder if Obama were white, would we still hold him solely responsible?

      I would like to see Obama put a stop to the mistreatment (including force-feeding) of hunger strikers – I think he can do that through executive orders.

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 5, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        And I get that – and I never thought about this before (and know absolutely nothing about this since I have had very little political education after my high school Civics class) – but the Economist this week says Obama could authorize transfers via “presidential waiver.”

        Being angry about something and knowing you don’t have the information to be angry about it “correctly” is frustrating.

      • matlun
        May 5, 2013 at 4:30 pm

        Unless I have misunderstood the situation:

        Obama could close Guantanamo if he wanted to by just freeing the prisoners (and for example freeing the Yemeni prisoners cleared for release is being blocked by the administration and not Congress). Transferring them to the US or getting them into court would need congressional approval, though.

        It should be noted that Obama has never even tried to close Guantanamo in any meaningful sense. He did try to transfer the prisoners to Illinois, but the problem with Guantanamo has never been the geographical location, but rather the whole policy of indefinite detention without any kind of trial. Something that Obama has never been against as a president as far as I can tell.

      • amblingalong
        May 5, 2013 at 7:45 pm

        but the Economist this week says Obama could authorize transfers via “presidential waiver.”

        Gitmo is run by DOD, which means Obama has a lot of authority to do things unilaterally; however, ultimately, Congress has to approve to pay to do things, and they’ve specifically blocked funds to transfer prisoners to the US.

        He did try to transfer the prisoners to Illinois, but the problem with Guantanamo has never been the geographical location, but rather the whole policy of indefinite detention without any kind of trial.

        Not quite. The location has been a method of avoiding US legal boundaries, and so transferring prisoners would be meaningful. In addition, holding people prisoner indefinitely w/out trial has never been the problem; it’s holding them without trial or the protections of the Geneva convention. I’d be fine with treating people picked up on the battlefield as POWs, or as criminals, but not both/neither depending on whatever is more convenient at the moment.

      • matlun
        May 6, 2013 at 2:31 am

        Even the POW designation would be very problematic when we are talking about some never ending “war on Terror”. With no time limitation it is just a legal black hole, and with this type of abstract “war” they can in principle pick up anyone anywhere as long as they claim they are involved with terrorism.

      • amblingalong
        May 6, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        That’s why I specified picked up on battlefields, as opposed to just captured in the general ‘war on terror.’ By contrast, the end of the war in Afghanistan or Iraq aren’t nearly as nebulous, though there’s of course some room for maneuvering.

      • matlun
        May 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

        Ok. I missed that part – sorry about that.

        However, I hope you are aware that the majority of Guantanamo prisoners were not in fact picked up on the battlefield?

      • EG
        May 5, 2013 at 10:38 pm

        And I wonder if Obama were white, would we still hold him solely responsible?

        If Obama were white, and had run a campaign in which he repeatedly promised to close Gitmo, such as the 2008 campaign, you can bet your life I’d be holding him solely responsible. If you want my track record on this, you can check and see how many things I hold Bush responsible for. To say nothing of Reagan.

      • PrettyAmiable
        May 5, 2013 at 10:53 pm

        And I wonder if Obama were white, would we still hold him solely responsible?

        I actually missed this in my first response – I’m sorry. I don’t hold him solely responsible. If I did have to pick one person who is solely responsible, it’d likely be Bush (who is white, and without whom this would never have been an issue). And I can’t speak to other people who are holding Obama at least meaningfully responsible, but I’m so over Congress. I’m at the point where I mostly think, “representative democracy was a fun experiment, but it fucking failed miserably some time around the rise of lobbies.” It’s an overstatement, but I can’t fucking believe what giant failures the last few Congresses have been. Gitmo is just one example, but also VAWA, and that stupid gun bill.

        I’m kind of all-around angry.

    • May 6, 2013 at 3:44 pm

      Blaming congress for the hold up just doesn’t do anything for me.

      I seem to recall Obama saying that he would reach across the aisle and somehow overcome all the partisanship. I always wondered how he’d achieve what no one else could in that regard, but it turns out he was just making more promises he couldn’t–or wouldn’t (*cough* recognition of Armenian genocide *cough*) — keep.

      • amblingalong
        May 6, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        I seem to recall Obama saying that he would reach across the aisle and somehow overcome all the partisanship.

        Yeah, the idealism was… unhelpful, but the fact is that Congressional Republicans set out from day one to make sure Obama never got any meaningful legislation passed. I blame him for not waking up to that fact sooner– not to mention his COS, who really should have known better– but not for the initial attempt. I also think that after he finally caught on he’s done a lot better.

      • TomSims
        May 7, 2013 at 10:55 am


        “Congressional Republicans set out from day one to make sure Obama never got any meaningful legislation passed.”

        The Democrats controlled both houses in his first 2 years.

      • Kierra
        May 7, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Thanks to the filibuster rules, you need 60 votes to actually “control” the Senate. The Dems had that for less than 6 months (between Franken getting confirmed after all the recount nonsense and Brown’s election).

      • EG
        May 7, 2013 at 12:02 pm

        Yeah, except somehow the Republicans didn’t need that to control both houses when Bush was in office.

        I’d buy this a lot more if Obama had pushed. Hard. If he had used the bully pulpit. If he and the Dems had forced the Republicans to actually filibuster, not just threaten to.

      • matlun
        May 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm

        Yeah, except somehow the Republicans didn’t need that to control both houses when Bush was in office.

        The Republicans in general have much stronger party discipline and vote as a block while the Democrats split their vote. Quite a few of Obama’s attempts failed due to at least a few Democrats joining the Republicans.

        This problem has been worsened by Obama being weak in the negotiations/conflicts. Ie as long as the Republicans know that Obama will buckle to pressure, there is no upside to cooperation.

        That being said, most progressive issues have not been pushed simply because Obama is not and has never been much of a progressive.

  16. May 5, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    We just took the RPG I’ve been working on into Open Beta, four months of kicking and screaming, but now at least it’s out there!

  17. bookshopcat
    May 6, 2013 at 9:18 am

    Yesterday my brother spent three straight minutes swearing at me (I timed him) because I had the gall to point out that he was breaking a longstanding house rule and ask him to stop. It’s hardly the sort of maturity I expect from someone in their twenties, but then again, he’s both the baby of the family and possessed of a whole whack of privileges I’ve never had and never will, so I suppose to him, his tantrum made perfect sense. I wonder how much of a predator he was at school; there’s enough of an age gap that we’ve never been at the same one together.

    I’m starting to realize that moving out is very likely to be the end of my relationship with my family. Even when I got on with them better, my brothers and I didn’t really stay in touch while we lived apart, and given the current climate, I don’t even feel like giving them a phone number or a forwarding address is safe.

    I’ve started to feel as though my family- the ones I used to know- are gone and all they’ve left behind are these dangerous things that look like what they might have if they’d stayed, like solid-looking ghosts that seem to age and can actually hurt living people.

    In other news, someone I know (who already makes me feel uneasy for other reasons) has just revealed a whole lot of shitty opinions about one of the mental health issues I live with and, for reasons of heavy stigma, never discuss except with my therapist. I’m just glad to have found out via social networking instead of face to face.

    …I was going to make a remark about how I didn’t know that this was Mental Health Intolerance Week, but then I realized that in my life, that’s every week and this was just a slightly more acute round than usual.


    • May 6, 2013 at 6:26 pm

      That’s a lot of junk to deal with at once, sorry :( I can’t imagine what it feels like to have that kind of relationship with your family, and I hope that you feel better and that your life improves when you are able to move out.

      • bookshopcat
        May 7, 2013 at 5:39 pm

        Thanks, OaS. The sickening thing about his big loud tirade was that it was 100% tone policing: apparently if he doesn’t like how someone says something to him, verbal abuse is the appropriate response. He knows I want to leave and whenever the subject comes up, he says it’s “stupid” and “won’t solve anything”, so I think the safest thing is not to say anything about my arrangements until quite shortly before I move out. In fact, none of my family thinks I should go… apparently I’m just too convenient a punching bag.

        My health is (obviously) rather poor at the moment, but I’ve started writing up lists, culling my belongings, and packing up the things I won’t use until I’m in the next place. I want to be ready to GTFO on short notice in case I get the chance, and getting ready makes me feel better… more like a human being and less like a ghost.

      • May 7, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        I know what you mean on that last part… taking positive steps towards my goals always makes me feel better, more focused on myself and what I want in my life. Best of luck to you, really.

  18. May 9, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Sorry to be a downer, but that disturbing story out of Cleveland about the three women who were abducted and held captive for a decade has had a new complicating element added to it today.

    Prosecutors are saying they may bring “aggravated murder charges punishable by death in connection with” the reported five pregnancies inflicted on one of the women by her abductor/jailor which ended when he intentionally induced miscarriages by “starving her and punching her in the stomach.” (AP story.)

    Should that happen, abortion rights advocates, if they are to remain intellectually consistent, will be positioned so that they must either tacitly assent to the premise that the five miscarried fetuses were “murdered persons,” or appear to be in effect advocating leniency for the defendant, or otherwise seeking to mitigate or downplay his crimes, or, as surely some will have it, “defend him.”

    And so this already difficult story appears due to become inflected, and infected, with the politics of abortion as viewed through the “pro-life” lens.

    Have your fancy dancing shoes ready.

    • Willard
      May 9, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      It’s a false equivalency. One is a medical procedure done by a licensed professional, the other falls under a legal definition of murder. I can intellectually support euthanasia but be opposed to murder due to issues of consent, standards of care, etc that must all be considered when comparing the two. Same here.

  19. May 9, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Heads-up: Due to all the potential PTSD triggers surrounding the Cleveland case, I’ve put up a thread just for that, so that it doesn’t bleed through onto any other threads. I want anybody who is concerned about triggering to be able to avoid the discussion entirely if they need to protect themselves from it.

  20. Henry
    May 10, 2013 at 2:26 am
    • GallingGalla
      May 10, 2013 at 8:43 am

      A&F are a bunch of assholes. I’ll bet that they don’t consider LGBTQ people to be cool either, based on that highly heterocentric photo.

      • matlun
        May 10, 2013 at 9:21 am

        A&F are a bunch of assholes.

        True. Or at least the company appears to be run by them.

        I’ll bet that they don’t consider LGBTQ people to be cool either, based on that highly heterocentric photo.

        Heterocentric? I do not see it.

        Anyway, they are known to often use homoerotic motifs in their ads, so that assumption seems a bit off.

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