Weekly Open Thread with Tapestry

Hosting this weeks open thread is Carole King’s classic hit from the 70s. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.


Carole King’s “Tapestry” with lyrics

So, 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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About tigtog

tigtog blogs a lot elsewhere, but here on Feministe she mostly does the tech support and feeds the giraffe. tigtog tweets in irregular flurries @vivsmythe.
This entry was posted in Life, Politics, Popular Culture, The Cultural Canon and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

128 Responses to Weekly Open Thread with Tapestry

  1. Karak says:

    I’m at one of the biggest Midwestern conventions right now! So much cosplay and excitement, a big shout-out to feministe from ANIME CENTRAL!!!!

    • Lisa says:

      My room mates just got back from the Motor City Comic Con. Pictures were taken with Nicholas Brendan and Tony Moore. They are very excited. :)

    • Kerandria says:

      Have fun at A-cen! <3

  2. Andie says:

    My voice is off lately. I play guitar and sing at a local open mike night, which is enjoyable but lately I’ve been way off my game. I’m not an amazing singer by any means but lately I can’t sing for shit. It’s disappointing. Hoping with practice it comes back.

  3. khw says:

    I’ve been indulging in the sheer euro-kitsch-fest that is the Eurovision Song Contest this week. Tomorrow, 26 European and not-so-European nations will compete for the honour of hosting it next year. Big hair, interesting costume choice and heart-felt singing are the norm.

    This year favourites include Denmark, Norway, Russia, Georgia, and possibly Azerbaijan again. Sweden is the host country.

    As the Finnish entry “Marry me” ends with the first-ever Eurovision “lesbian” kiss, Turkey has decided not to transmit the contest. (Turkey has been competing since 1975)

    One of my favourites is Romania, which is represented by Cezar who is a classically-trained countertenor. It’s fascinating to see a man with a decidedly masculine appearance in a very elaborate evening gown hitting notes that one really wouldn’t expect. His voice is amazing.

    As you all can see, it’s literally been the highlight of May for me!

    (www.eurovision.tv – it starts at 21h Malmö-time)

    • DouglasG says:

      So Sweden’s win last year was only one year too early to host for the 40th anniversary of Waterloo next year.

      That both makes me feel ancient and reminds me that I have not been to a concert since I saw Bjorn Again in Amsterdam almost fifteen years ago.

      • Angie unduplicated says:

        15 too, but it was the late, great Betty Carter, in Knoxville. Concert tickets are hyperinflated. Tenant wanted to see Leonard Cohen and the tickets were over $100. YouTube is a blessing to the financially challenged.

      • Forty years since Waterloo?

        Did … not … need … to … know … that …

    • Li says:

      I missed the first semi-final last night because I had a friend’s 21st (SBS in Australia screens the two semis and the final over three nights here), but I am *very* excited for watching tonight and tomorrow. I’m personally backing Greece because kilts!! which seems as good a reason as any. I’m also interested to see if bringing Bonny Tyler out of retirement will do the UK any favours this year. Engelbert Humperdink managed a good-for-the-UK second last in 2012, so she’s got a fair chance of at least improving their placing.

      • khw says:

        @Li – You can still check out the semi-finals on the webpage!

        Greece is fun, even if they do manage to give a touch of a FIFA referees convention!

        @DouglasG – I feel old when I state the first big concert I ever went to was U2 “When Love comes to Town” tour. I even remember the Hothouse Flowers’ stint as a mid-Eurovsion interval act. *sigh*

        • Li says:

          I know, I just need to set aside the time. I’m also going to watch the version with Australian commentary (At SBS on Demand for anyone interested), because Julia Zemiro is excellent. And while her co-commentator Sam Pang spent a really irritating amount of last year hitting on the women he was interviewing, it was almost worth it just for the moment the Italian competitor said he was “just like a little brother” and he completely crumpled. Best subtle shut down ever.

      • DouglasG says:

        Kilts are as good as any other nonmusical reason and perhaps better than most.

        And, to combine two replies into one, commentary often makes (or kills) the event. In figure skating, for instance, I hope I live long enough, once he’s deemed sufficiently senior, to see whether Johnny Weir raises the commentary bar set by Dick Button.

      • WestEndGirl says:

        Engelbert Humperdink managed a good-for-the-UK second last in 2012,

        In the history of the contest, Ireland has won seven times, Luxembourg, France and the United Kingdom five times each, and the UK has also finished 2nd on a record 15 occasions. If you want to swipe at the UK for something, our foreign policy is ripe for the picking. Eurovision, we’re actually quite good at.

        • DouglasG says:

          It’s a shame Scotland at least doesn’t enter independently, especially if non-English UK representatives get the same treatment as Andy Murray and are “British” only when they match or exceed expectations.

        • Li says:

          Over the full history of Eurovision, sure. During this century? Not so much.

          I was actually quite impressed at how well Bonny Tyler did this year given the not-amazing quality of her performance.

    • Alexandra says:

      Cezar is awful. I think countertenors are wonderful, but oh my goodness watching him perform is like a trainwreck in action. I’d much rather watch this:

      Cincenzo Capezzuto: Stu criatu

      Actually all of this early baroque Italian stuff is sort of mind-blowing.

      • khw says:

        wow! that was amazing! thanks for the recommendation

      • Meropi says:

        I’m guessing his serious recordings are not in the same vein, but for the Eurovision I felt he was exactly the perfect kind of awful. It takes skill and dedication to have the most jarring performance in Europe campest competitiom!

      • Combray says:

        I’m late to this, but in case someone is still reading/caring, Radu Marian is wonderful.

  4. Lisa says:

    I have been absolutely hooked on GeoGuessr this past week. Turns out, I know intuitively what Lithuania looks like!

    • khw says:

      I think I might have found yet another procrastination tool, which I so didn’t need!

      • Lisa says:

        Oh, I know. The week I found it, I stayed up late every night to play “just one more round.”

    • Librarygoose says:

      This is brilliant! I am terrible at it.

      • Lisa says:

        There’s two ways to play it, although some people opine that the second way is cheating. Firstly, you can just guess based on what you can see around you. Secondly, you can try and find signs or addresses or things like that and use google to pinpoint your location. Personally, I don’t think it’s cheating since you have to be pretty resourceful…right? Right, guys? But yeah, if I just try and guess based on what it looks like, I usually get like…6-7k points, but if I actually look things up I can get to 28k.

    • Donna L says:

      My son and I spent at least an hour on this last night. He is excellent at it; me, not so much. The only one I guessed right away was in New Zealand, because it looked just like The Lord of the Rings movies. The most difficult ones are of roads in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nothing but vegetation, with no sign of human habitation. Beyond being able to tell a palm tree from an evergreen, I’m hopeless.

      • Lisa says:

        Yeah, when you get dropped in the middle of nowhere with just an interminable highway and scrub brush every where, it’s very hard to tell if you are in Colorado, South Africa or Australia. I am usually wrong with those ones.

      • amblingalong says:

        I’ve found that you go down the road for a little while, you can usually find a road sign with some text, which is often enough to at least get you in the right general area.

      • Donna L says:

        Usually, if there are a few cars on the road, I can at least tell if the place is in the USA or not, given what the cars look like. And according to my son, there’s something special about EU license plates that he can see even though the numbers are blurred out.

    • Andie says:

      Friggin Australia keeps tricking me.. It looks like everywhere else.

      • It’d be easy to mix up us and California, I know that. I got to Cali a couple of years ago and was “Gum trees? I travel however many thousand miles and I’m surrounded by friggin’ gum trees???”

        • Alexandra says:

          Heh. My mother, Queensland born and bred, says that central California where we live now looks an awful lot like Australia. We just have deer instead of kangaroos, and the tarantulas around here are pretty docile.

    • pheenobarbidoll says:

      I never need to visit Australia. It looks exactly like west texas. Get it wrong every time.

    • thinksnake says:

      Why do the Mediterranean and the coast of Brazil look exactly the same why?

  5. Alexandra says:

    Another semester done. Writing course evals for my instructors and getting ready to start my first paid undergraduate research gig this summer.

    I’m not sure how many Feministe readers/commenters are in academia, but it would be interesting to read a really thorough lefty commentary on the rising use of adjunct instructors in America and the devaluing of intellectual labor. It is distressing to see very fine teachers at the university level being treated as expendable. I love the university world and I think I might be very happy as an academic, but I don’t have the guts to spend six or eight years getting a PhD, only to find myself marginally employable in a field slowly phasing out the tenure-track professorship.

    • Kerandria says:

      The culture of corporate sponsorship (everything from campus construction to research funding), DHS getting its grubby fingers into uni ‘public safety’, the ending of the tenure track and the rise of the adjunct faculty, and the increasingly larger burden of cost of education that individual students are expected to shoulder are all things happening in US academia that ought to worry people. Obviously there’s quite a lot more than that, but those are a few things that sprang to mind at 0600.

      Thank you for reminding me of this — it’s something to look further into.

    • IrishUp says:

      Alexandara, are you familiar with the blogs
      Historiann , Tenured Radical, and Thus Spake Zuska? There is also a defunct blog that rocked called Shitty First Drafts. These are all feminist academic blogs, and this is a topic near and dear to many a grad student’s & professor’s heart. You can find discussions on adjuncts, corporate financing, tuition, tenure & etc. on these, particularly if you search through their archives.

      IANAPhD, but the partner is, and is currently in a post-doc looking for a position. My career is in academia, and I’m at the point where I must commit to the PhD / teaching / grant getter track OR remain on the working degree / collaborator track. There are plusses and minusses on both sides, but I’ve been on the fence about as long as I can. I’d definitely be interested in a discussion here (or elsewhere).

  6. Angel H. says:

    I’m so proud of my dad! He just graduated magna cum laude from the same HBCU as his father did back in 1947!

    • EG says:

      Congratulations to him! That’s wonderful news.

    • GallingGalla says:

      Congrats to your dad!

    • Angie unduplicated says:

      Wow! Congratulations and respect to him on his award for hard work well done.

    • khw says:

      congratulations!

    • Donna L says:

      Congratulations! That’s wonderful.

    • IrishUp says:

      That’s wonderful! You all must be so proud for him!

    • Angel H. says:

      Thanks all! But I realized when I was shopping for a graduation card that, aside from generic ones that simply said “congratulations”, there weren’t any specifically written for older graduates. Since it’s become more common for adults to continue their education, I was surprised that I couldn’t find any. Even a google search automatically changes “older grad” to “undergrad”.

      • Alison says:

        Congrats to him! And I know it may be a bit late for this occasion, but I’ve used Tiny Prints to make custom cards and really like it http://www.tinyprints.com/

        Prices are great, basically the same you’d pay in a store, and you can put your own messages, pictures, etc, and they ship fast. They look like professional, store-bought cards.

        (I don’t have any connection or anything, just like them :))

    • Jasmin says:

      Congratulations! Which one (if you don’t mind hinting)? I just got back from watching my sister graduate (also magna) from Clark-Atlanta.

  7. BabyRaptor says:

    I am feeling crappy today. My boyfriend is graduating from college after 5 long years, and I’m not there to celebrate with him.

    He doesn’t hold it against me, but I still feel bad for it. It’s one of the biggest days of his life, so it feels like a total failure on my part that I can’t be there to support him.

    Ugh.

  8. Sue fly says:

    After 20 years of ‘chipping away’, I walked today, after earning my BA in Psychology. Finishing college was a huge step for me, but my biggest regret will always be not doing it while my mother was alive. She passed away 2 years ago, while I was still in school. I don’t know if there is an ‘after’, but if there is, I hope she knows she was walking with me today.

    • EG says:

      Congratulations to you as well!

    • Jasmin says:

      Congratulations! I certainly empathize–my father passed away last year, and this year there are 4 graduations he’s missing (I’m one of 7). Your last sentence is a wonderful sentiment.

  9. Aaliyah says:

    I found out yesterday that my older sister and my mother both refer to me with female pronouns when they talk about me. Even when I’m not around. I don’t even live as a girl at this time and yet they’re actually going out of their way to gender me properly. I didn’t even ask them explicitly (out of shyness and being discouraged by internalized transphobia).

    I wish my older brother made such an effort to gender me properly. The main reason he doesn’t do so is that, according to him, calling me by my female name and using female pronouns for me makes him feel “weird.” And apparently he finds it difficult to explain why. As far as I can tell, it’s because he never expected me to be trans*. Nevertheless, I’m somewhat worried about his strong reluctance to gender me properly. I hope he changes soon.

    • Donna L says:

      I hope so too, very much. Being misgendered by a family member, either deliberately or because they won’t make the effort to get in the habit of properly gendering you, can be incredibly demoralizing, as I know from my personal experiences with my father’s wife over the last 8 years. No matter how many times one tells oneself that it’s about them, not about oneself.

    • EG says:

      Hurray for your older sister and mother–boo for your brother, and the way he’s decided to prioritize his comfort over yours.

    • Aaliyah says:

      I’ve just talked to my brother about it; I told him about my mom and my sister gendering me properly. He told me in response that he wants to (especially after hearing about my mom and my sister), but for some reason he still feels uncomfortable because he doesn’t want to make it sound forced and because, well, he seems to have a problem with the female name I’ve chosen. He thinks it doesn’t suit me at all.

      Now I have no idea what to tell him. I feel bad about asking him to gender properly, but at the same time I find his response very bothersome.

      • IrishUp says:

        Aaliyah, I’m sorry that you are going through this with your brother. I’m sure it must be exhausting and demoralizing to have to address this with him.

        Is he the kind who would read something you gave him? Do you think it might help to give him an article from the web? Or a book? Ev Maroon @ Transplantportation has written a memoir – “Bumbling Towards Body Hair” – where he discusses how this very problem went down with his friends and family. I was just thinking that maybe a book or some articles might help him chew his way through his issues, without YOU having to be in the position of being the educator.

        • Aaliyah says:

          I’ll think about asking him to read more stuff. But last time it didn’t go so well; I asked him to read Whipping Girl a while ago, but he didn’t even make it past the introduction because he was uninterested and almost completely apathetic.

  10. EG says:

    I’m helping to put together a conference for my college’s Women and Gender Studies program next year on Women and Genocide. We’re trying to put together a list of potential speakers, and it’s important to a good many of us to have a speaker to talk about the situation of Native American peoples and their resistance to US depredations. Does anybody have any suggestions of people or of places to start looking?

  11. A4 says:

    I started a year and a day dedicated to Dance last Thursday and I am feeling really great about this newfound focus. I was raised with a very religious background, and it feels nice to use some of that religious framework of dedication and ritual to build power into my own life focuses.

    I thought that I had a primary focus on dance before, but that was not the same thing as consciously choosing to put Dance in a place of high priority. The formalism gives it a religious context, which i am very happy about because though I do not believe in God, I do not identify very well with the viewpoints of many atheists.

    I spent the first 18 years of my life in intensive study on the construction and maintenance of a religious system, and now I am building my own.

    • EG says:

      What kind of dance do you do? I’m a great admirer of the art in various forms, even though I have all the talent and co-ordination of an dizzy tree sloth myself.

      • A4 says:

        I’m currently studying the tradition of Laban/Bartenieff Modern Dance. It aspires to be a descriptive framework of movement without being a prescriptive one. My big thing is to center the dancing body’s own perspective of itself, rather than the observer’s perspective of the dancing body.

        • EG says:

          That sounds fascinating. It may be a stupid thing to ask given the whole idea, but are there any videos on-line you’d recommend?

  12. pheenobarbidoll says:

    What the holy fuck

    http://news.yahoo.com/women-sad-angry-over-sale-nonprofit-ohio-home-152229520.html

    CINCINNATI (AP) — For more than 100 years, the Anna Louise Inn in downtown Cincinnati has been a safe, serene place that thousands of struggling women came to know as home.

    But after losing a two-year fight with a Fortune 500 company determined to buy their beautiful, 104-year-old property and turn it into a boutique hotel — even though it wasn’t for sale — the women of the Anna Louise Inn have to leave the neighborhood.

    • amblingalong says:

      Reading that made me violently angry. Christ.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        I know. I hope the whole building collapses on his ass the second he steps foot inside.

    • GallingGalla says:

      What the holy fuck is right. I can’t believe the greed of Western and Southern, and the asshole that their CEO is.

    • White Rabbit says:

      Holy crap, that is infuriating!!

      And it wasn’t enough for the rich asshole CEO to force a sale of the property, he also had to repeatedly demean the people who count on the Inn. If someone decides to organize a campaign to encourage a boycott of the new hotel, I will happily donate toward the cause from hundreds of miles away.

    • Tyris says:

      When you ask someone if they want to sell their house to you, and the answer is “no,” the correct response is “oh, shame, OK then. More tea?” not “right then, time to raise a quibble over zoning permits and use it to drain all your finances into the courts!”

      How is it that there are people in this world who don’t get that? How can they still exist? How can they have all their teeth?

  13. WestEndGirl says:

    DouglasG
    May 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm
    It’s a shame Scotland at least doesn’t enter independently, especially if non-English UK representatives get the same treatment as Andy Murray and are “British” only when they match or exceed expectations.

    Um, Douglas, Bonnie Tyler, who performed last night was Welsh. Has her Welshness been mentioned in any press vis-a-vis her lack off success? Not at all. We’ve had Americans perform (Katrina and the Waves), Scots (Lulu) etc for Eurovision, never has their nationality been mentioned. Seriously give the nationalism a rest will you?

    • DouglasG says:

      Then I am glad that non-English representatives of the UK get better treatment in the English press. Thank you for the information. Mr Murray’s history is well documented, but I had no idea whether that sort of thing occurred with Eurovision as well.

      I do still think that Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland ought to be able to send an independent entry each if they so desire, but more because I am especially aware of what befell Ukrainian, Georgian and other non-Russian chess players before the dissolution of the USSR. (Not intended as political commentary, comparison of systems or any push for Scotland to break off.)

      • thinksnake says:

        Eurovision is done by the European Broadcasting Union, which is made up of member broadcasters. For the UK, it’s the BBC – one entry.
        If you want to go down the path of constituent countries, Russia has a heck of a lot more than pretty much the rest of Europe combined.

  14. White Rabbit says:

    Hi! Long-time reader de-lurking here.

    I’ve been reading Feministe for over a year and a half, and I’ve commented only a handful of times. I really appreciate this community and have learned a lot from folks here, so thanks for that. Also, I have to overcome some pretty intense social anxiety to interact with folks, so hopefully I can manage to not trip over my words and/or panic and flee.

    I had an unpleasant experience today, and my first thought was – “Ugh! The folks at Feministe would totally understand why I’m so annoyed right now!” So here I am, finally commenting, after contemplating de-lurking for some time now.

    I attended a friend’s wedding shower earlier today. On the surface this is a generally progressive bunch of people, but you don’t have to scratch far below the surface to encounter classism, ableism, and an assortment of other attitudes that make me cringe. I knew this going in, and I braced accordingly. Normally I’d skip such a gathering, but given the occasion, I wanted to be there for my friend.

    Anyway, I actually thought we were going to get through an entire get-together without anything egregious being said, and then it happened. We were griping about our jobs, and one of the guests launched into a story about her scientist colleague, describing her as “one of those super nerdly-nerd, bearded ladies” – which by itself had me cringing. She went on to lament how this colleague is totally ridiculous for telling her that she prefers to communicate over email because she’s uncomfortable with face-to-face chats. (As best as I can gather, face-to-face chats are not a critical component of their respective jobs.)

    The room suddenly erupted into chatter about the merits of different modes of interaction. I blurted out that anxiety disorders are a legitimate thing, and that we shouldn’t treat people who have them as lepers*.

    I was also struck by how brave that person must have been to come forward and make that request in such a direct and professional manner, and how awful it is that she is now being mocked behind her back.

    In the grand scheme of things, I realize this isn’t the worst thing a person could have said, but it really bothers me that a roomful of people who consider themselves open-minded and thoughtful can sit there and chuckle/nod along to such awful and ignorant sentiments. Also, as a person who has struggled with lifelong PTSD that occasionally flares up pretty badly, it certainly didn’t leave me feeling safe or welcome.

    *And now I shall go and contemplate this usage of the term “leper.”

    • White Rabbit says:

      Egads… now that I’m thinking about this…

      [TW for references to domestic violence]

      I had dinner with the bride-to-be the other night that involved a total headdesk moment. I’m a domestic violence survivor, and I’ve been reading and taking classes toward becoming a DV advocate, and she’s well aware of all of this. It turns out the band she and her fiancee hired have a song that involves DV – basically, a man asks a woman to marry him, the woman says no, and the man turns around and murders her. Awful, right? Well, my friend recognized that this was problematic, and she was very excited to tell me that she had talked to the band and “fixed” the problem. Their solution? The band altered the lyrics so that now the woman murders the man. !!!!! My friend thought this was a hilarious solution. -___-

      In all fairness, I was too shocked at the time to process this and point out why this solution was anything but, so I just kind of made an awkward face as my friend laughed. I’m now on the fence about bringing it up, as I don’t think my friend will understand the problem, and the potential fallout may not be worth it. That said, the potential for someone else being triggered exists, so I may bring it up anyway.

      • EG says:

        Is there any way that you could suggest that the band just not play that song at all?

        Welcome to commenting, by the way!

        • White Rabbit says:

          Thanks!

          And yes, that would probably be the easiest solution. I’m going to bring it up with my friend, and hopefully she understands and doesn’t accuse me of being oversensitive or the like.

    • A4 says:

      These sound like some very frustrating situations! Something about weddings really brings out the inane in people.

    • *And now I shall go and contemplate this usage of the term “leper.”

      It seems apt, because it describes exactly the shunning and worse that people with leprosy received (and probably still do in some places). It’s describing a real historical phenomenon.

  15. So…tomek just attained automod status on my own blog for Being Himself at me. -_- For fuck’s sake.

    • Aaliyah says:

      You, too? Oh dear. I’m sorry to hear that. As you may have noticed, tomek comes to my blog often as well. Usually all I get are accusations of being obsessed with “ideology” and absurdly bad criticisms of my arguments (seriously, he brings up objections that are already addressed in the entries themselves >_______>).

      If he’s like that with me ever again, I’ll give him automod status as well.

      • (seriously, he brings up objections that are already addressed in the entries themselves >_______>).

        Yep, that’s what he did to me as well. And then had the gall to tell me not to complain about things I don’t like, as if he wasn’t doing exactly the same thing. It was beautiful.

        • DouglasG says:

          It’s admirably patient of you both to have shown him so much consideration and serious treatment. I hope he finds a new toy soon and moves on.

    • Fat Steve says:

      Hey mac,

      Just had a look at your blog. I thought the content was very good, but I was even more impressed/intrigued by the layout. I strongly encourage you to post more often.

      • ^__^ Thanks, Steve! I’ll be trying to post more, in the future. What intrigued you about the layout, if I might ask? (Val did much of it for me, lol.)

        • Fat Steve says:

          Well, there was quite a bit. Simple things, like the greens and blues and the fact that you don’t usually see rounded rectangles used effectively. I also love the Japanese (or Chinese?) logograms accompanying the ‘I am currently…’ bit. And the other thing that struck me but did not surprise me (due to your writing style on here,) was your way of making things that are usually mundane on other blogs appear mysterious and interesting (i.e. instead of “What I’m Listening To” you say “What The World’s Whispering.”) So, yeah. Good stuff.

        • TomSims says:

          I agree with Steve, your blog is very well done.

    • Hrovitnir says:

      Oh, my sympathies for both of you. He is deeply infuriating if I let myself think about the content of his posts… and even more annoying just because he won’t go away. I don’t have the patience for him at all.

      • Thank you! And yes, he’s bloody annoying. I tried answering sincerely a couple of times, but frankly screen-and-delete is all he’s worth. I am substantially less kind about shenanigans than the Feministe mods are.

    • Strewth, you’ve both been trailed by Tomek?

      Gakk gakk gakk

      • Aaliyah says:

        Here’s an amusing instance of tomek trolling my journal.

        • Fat Steve says:

          Here’s an amusing instance of tomek trolling my journal.

          Wow, Aaliyah, I was not expecting to get name checked in the comments of a blog I didn’t know existed, but yes that was very amusing and thank you for sharing.

        • A4 says:

          OMG I missed reading him

          any other of male is being used for their usefullnes and will be dump by feminist once served porpoise.

        • EG says:

          Serve your porpoise, Steve! All of you men, serve your porpoise! I am now picturing an army led by feminist porpoises. That is an awesome mental image.

        • Willard says:

          Never accept porpoise from feminists, once they have served it to you they will dump you. At least you’ll get a meal out of it.

        • Whale, at least you’re all having fun with tomek still, lol.

          If anyone wants to continue reading his gems, I have no problem posting anything good from the stuff that he blurglewurgles, if he comments on my blog after this.

      • IrishUp says:

        any other of male is being used for their usefullnes and will be dump by feminist once served porpoise.

        Groovy; now tomek has a Mel Blanc voice in my head.

        • khw says:

          you all are cracking me up!!!

          I’ve actually missed Tomek and his curiously variable English

    • Lolagirl says:

      I still hold to my initial theory that Tomek is really some teenager in Omaha/some other random flyover country locale posting from his parent’s basement.

  16. Andie says:

    My 81 year old grandmother fell and broke her hip and has to have surgery for it, tomorrow. This is her sixth hospital visit in two weeks and now it looks like she’s going to be in for a bit. My mom is at her wits end because she won’t even consider the possibility of going into a smaller place, closer to all of us ( she currently lives a half hour from my parents and sister and 45 minutes from me)

    If anyone has some happy healing wishes to send my Nanny’s way, I’d really appreciate it.

    • Hrovitnir says:

      :( My sympathies. Sending healing wishes her way!

    • :( That sounds really rough, Andie. I hope she gets better soon. My parents are dealing with Recalcitrant Mothers too right now, so I really feel your pain… best wishes and healing thoughts.

    • Donna L says:

      All my best wishes for a speedy recovery for your grandmother, Andie. I can imagine how you feel, because my son’s 85-year old Grandma (my former mother-in-law) had just finally recovered from a broken hip, after more than a year, to the point where she wasn’t in pain anymore, when she promptly fell and broke her ankle a few weeks ago. Not nearly as serious, but it’s still very discouraging when these things keep happening. And very upsetting to my son, who loves her very much. She’s in rehab now. She’s very stubborn, and very independent, and, like your grandmother, doesn’t want to give up her house and move to a smaller place.

    • Happy healing wishes for your nan, Andie!

    • EG says:

      That’s very upsetting, Andie. I hope your grandmother heals swiftly and well, and that your family can find some kind of arrangement that everybody is happy with.

    • khw says:

      best wishes for your mother

  17. Hrovitnir says:

    Hai open thread! Here’s my excessively long list of uni stuffs:

    1. In my (1st year) human evolution and sexuality course we were discussing gender mostly wrt chromosomal disorders. Our lecturer is obviously pretty open-minded and made a point of trying to normalise intersex people, and gender identity is one of the points of each variation, as well as gender as partially social being part of the course.

    BUT. He also called an intersex woman (genetically male, phenotypically female and most importantly female identified) a “bloke”, and despite being good with pronouns most of the way through he said “she – he, it” at one point.

    I wrote an email about how I had a problem with this and have had no reply. He’s actually retired and only does a couple of weeks of lectures so I don’t know if he just hasn’t got it but I wonder if I should send it on to a department head?

    2. Then we got to have an ethics “debate” in our workshop about abortion/stem cell research/global overpopulation. I know that our tutor is on side, but kind of disapprove of treating the abortion debate as two equal sides (especially considering NZ has illegal-with-exceptions as our abortion laws, though practically speaking it’s very accessible). Most of the 18-20 yos I’m surrounded with are deeply lacking in any kind of conviction, and my rather aggressive (not exactly aggressive, but firm certainly) stating of my position mostly intimidated the antis so it wasn’t as stressful as it could be. But I was stressing about this all week, goddamnit.

    What I thought was awfully funny though was the people who did say they were uncomfortable with abortion were mighty quick to support 1-child policies for overpopulation, WTF?!?! These people have noooo idea. I lectured about eugenics and individual rights at various points; I must be so annoying. :D I brought along my friend as support but he didn’t say much as he felt he wasn’t really entitled to as a dude, which I can appreciate. :)

    3. It is so weird being “old”. I am 28, my partner is 46, most of my friends are in their 40s. Now I’m 1st year in uni and am FB-friends with people born in the 90s. Strangely amusing and… strange.

    4. I was sharing a table with a group of young women where the white woman was telling the African (immigrant) woman who has expressed an interest in seeing a counselor that there’s no point with a whole bunch of blahing that was making it SO HARD not to stick my big nose in. WTF are you talking about, woman?? Don’t fucking tell her she should be fucked up by the culture shock, that’s her experience, not yours. And you saying there’s no point in seeing a mental health professional because “what are you going to do with this information [that you’re ‘messed up’]” just belies you not knowing what you are talking about; my poor brain. >_<

    5. There was totally something else but I forgot. God knows if anyone else will read this screed, but felt like railing at people who will get me. :P

    • EG says:

      It’s possible that your professor hasn’t gotten the email…or that he doesn’t do email (I actually have a colleague like that; it’s rare, but it does happen with a few older academics). If you have any TAs, it might be better to go to one of them after class before going on to the department head. Because for one thing, there’s probably not that much the department head can do–I mean, yes, ze can call the lecturer and tell him to knock it off, but if the lecturer is retired and still teaching, it probably means the department likes him or even needs him, and dominant feeling to be generated will most likely be annoyance with you on both their parts (especially because the department head is most likely dealing with end-of-semester things right now–hmm; I’ve been assuming you’re in the UK, but if you’re in Australia I don’t really know what your academic year is like). I think that since the lecturer seems well-intentioned generally, if you feel comfortable talking too him in office hours or over the phone, that might be the way to go. If you know he does generally do email, he might just be flaking out (end of semester), so perhaps a follow-up email saying something like “I just wanted to make sure you received my email about the gendering issue [you can even like and say you’ve had some email troubles to give him a graceful out if you like]; I know it’s the end of term and so you must be very busy, but it’s something that’s important to me and given how strongly you emphasized acceptance of intersex people as normal, I know you wouldn’t want to have accidentally hurt anybody, so I thought I’d mention it. Blah blah blah.”

      All this is predicated on what you said about him having gone out of his way before to emphasize gender/sex as a continuum and intersex people as occupying normal places on that continuum, so I’m assuming he’s well-meaning. If your sense is that he’s actually being a big jerk, never mind.

      Thanks for fighting the good fight in your ethics debate. Passion about human rights is a good thing!

      • Hrovitnir says:

        Thanks EG! I’m in NZ and I sent it a few weeks ago so it was kind of mid-trimester then, and it’s the first trimester for us. Our third trimester/summer holidays are Nov-Feb.

        Our university is extremely big on email: we’re always given emails and encouraged to do that first, which is awesome because when it comes to anything I have an issue with I really really like using email.

        “I just wanted to make sure you received my email about the gendering issue [you can even like and say you’ve had some email troubles to give him a graceful out if you like]; I know it’s the end of term and so you must be very busy, but it’s something that’s important to me and given how strongly you emphasized acceptance of intersex people as normal, I know you wouldn’t want to have accidentally hurt anybody, so I thought I’d mention it. Blah blah blah.”

        All this is predicated on what you said about him having gone out of his way before to emphasize gender/sex as a continuum and intersex people as occupying normal places on that continuum, so I’m assuming he’s well-meaning. If your sense is that he’s actually being a big jerk, never mind.

        No definitely, I think he is well-meaning. He’s just… in his 60s and living in the world so yeah. :P

        Thing is, it was an email consisting of “I like your lecturing style because x, but I had some issues in this lecture, here is what I think would help, I appreciate you try but for me personally it was upsetting at points”. I don’t feel there’s much more I can add to that.

        I’m disinclined to talk to our tutor because he’s a cool guy but he’s still not onto it enough that he’ll have any understanding. And I have found at our uni that the departments are really helpful and accessible which is why I feel OK with bringing it up.

        Really, I’d prefer to leave it but I don’t know if I should because I’m sure I wasn’t the only one to feel alienated in that lecture (my cis male mostly-very-feminist-but-occasionally-surprisingly-invested-in-gender-roles friend commented on it too, which I appreciated.)

      • Hrovitnir says:

        P.S. It just occurred to me, maybe I should print it out and give it to our tutor to give to him, with an addendum about not getting email. I don’t want to “get him in trouble”, I’d just like him to take on board my feedback.

        Some context: everyone LOVES this lecturer. He’s hard case, and from my perspective I appreciated in our first lecture with him he talked about critical thinking and how he sees tertiary education more about that than what you learn, since half of it will be wrong anyway. He also designed this course and taught it full time up until a couple of years ago.

        I am known or at least recognised by lecturers since I sit at the front and actually answer questions, plus I like to talk to them so I feel like I *know* them, so at least some of them know me by name. I promise, I’m not fucking annoying!

  18. Hrovitnir says:

    5. I remember. We’re doing genetics for the last part of cell bio 111, and we were discussing splicing and muscular dystrophy. Apparently we have a treatment that’s been successful in mice that we’re now onto human trials.

    This made me feel very weird, because I have an online friend who was disabled and I suspect was MDS, who died recently. He was only 26 and his partner is really struggling and it just feels really… empty… thinking there might be something like a cure in the next few years. A decade is more realistic but still. :(

  19. Hurrah for cold weather (late autumn here) – I’m knitting again! I made this shrug last week or so. (Actually “shrug” is dignifying it, it’s two rectangles stitched up the back and threaded in front.) Nice and warm and shows the sleeves on my dress, tho’! :)

    • BBBShrewHarpy says:

      Great outfit! I’ve got lots of wool in the same hues lying in my closet practically screaming at me to make something fabulous.

      • Thank you! :)

        Shrugs and scarves and berets are great ways to use up all those leftover bits of wool, I find – at least if they more or less match. One of these years I’ll think to look at the yardage before I buy a squillion balls for a project! :P

        • BBBShrewHarpy says:

          I inherited my gazillion kermillion balls from someone who can no longer knit and my lack of knitting activity is lying heavily on my conscience. I usually design and knit sweaters for little ones, but work seems to be sapping all of my creativity even as my friends, family members, and colleagues happily spawn and could make use said sweaters.

  20. shfree says:

    I am stinking sick and tired of my damn medical id bracelets breaking, particularly when I spend so much picking out nice ones and getting them engraved. I should know better than to use the ones with the lobster clasps, but they are the only ones I can seem to find that aren’t the basic utilitarian id bracelet. Part of me thinks I should just get the symbol tattooed on on the outside of my wrist and have “epilepsy” tattooed on the inside, I swear.

    • Yeah, lobster clasps are dodgy. Could you get replacement clasps put on them, or (my el cheapo method) use a strong safety pin to make them more secure? I know it wouldn’t look flash but it’d be safer.

  21. Hrovitnir says:

    I have a rather large comment of 4 points that’s in moderation. :P

    The Kittehs’ Unpaid Help
    Hurrah for cold weather (late autumn here) – I’m knitting again! I made this shrug last week or so. (Actually “shrug” is dignifying it, it’s two rectangles stitched up the back I and threaded in front.) Nice and warm and shows the sleeves on my dress, tho’! :)

    Your whole outfit is excellent, ma’am.

    shfree
    I am stinking sick and tired of my damn medical id bracelets breaking

    Oh man, I always thought if I needed one I would destroy is. If it’s acceptable I might actually get a tattoo! I don’t wear any jewellery but a watch because I get so annoyed with dangly things.

  22. Fat Steve says:

    They’re filming The Amazing Spiderman 2 in my neighborhood. I didn’t see the first one, and won’t be seeing this one, but I took this picture from my window for any fans:
    Spidey

  23. Fat Steve says:

    I know I can count on a full and frank appraisal from the folks on here, so please allow me to pose a somewhat random question.

    Can any one defend the expression ‘hating on’ something? I mean, to me it sounds like it’s watering hate down. If you hate Jews or Hispanics or disabled people, or whomever, you should be called out for “hating” them, not ‘hating on’ them, which sounds less harsh.

    Or am I just an old fuddy duddy who doens’t understand today’s rhetoric? (I have a feeling this may be the majority opinion.)

    • EG says:

      I think my sense is that “hating on” is more active. Like, I may hate Rudy Giuliani as a general statement, but I’m not specifically thinking about him every minute of every day. If I’m hating on Giuliani, though, I’m actively talking about him, or at a protest, or writing against him, or something like that. So in that way, I think of it as an intensifier. Right now, I hate Giuliani, but I’m not hating on him; I’m thinking about other things altogether.

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