Weekly Open Thread with Sand Shadow

A distinctive shadow on the sand of one of the world’s famous tourist traps is the host of this week’s Open Thread. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.


A dark shadow cast over the sunlit sands of a tidal inlet

Mont St. Michel by seangraham, on Flickr | shared under CCL

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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106 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Sand Shadow

  1. AMM
    June 14, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    This business with PRISM and domestic spying and the Obama administration’s position on it are the straw that has broken the back of my giving Obama and his crew the benefit of any doubt.

    I read today that the head of the FBI is insisting that revelation of the PRISM program cause “significant harm” to US security. I couldn’t help thinking: what is he running: the FBI — or the KGB? As always, the only “harm” being done is the embarrassment of those in power (it’s not like anyone can stop them, after all.) And as always, there’s the obvious next question: what atrocities are they engaging in that we don’t (yet) know about?

    I always knew that Obama’s slogans, “the audacity of hope,” etc., were mostly advertising BS, but until now, I’d managed to convince myself that his intent was good and his repeated failures to actually put anything through was because he was a lousy strategist and unwilling to expend political capital.

    And I tried to convince myself that “at least he’s not as bad as his predecessor.”

    But this, on top of his refusal to decisively repudiate torture or kidnapping or the prisons at Guantanamo Bay, his support of terror strikes against civilians, his opposition to OTC birth control, his willingness to cave in to every demand from the Repulican right wing, and so on, have finally convinced me that he’s on the dark side. Like every other Democrat who has been elected in my lifetime, from Kennedy on, he’s talked big but proved to be on the side of power for the sake of power. (The Republican presidents never pretended to be anything else.)

    I’m reminded of Tolkien’s comment about how LOTR differed from WW II: “both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt; they would not long have survived even as slaves.” Or George Orwell’s famous closing words: “the creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    • Willard
      June 15, 2013 at 12:55 am

      I often wonder in my spare time what dossier or folder they show the incoming POTUS that makes all the high-minded campaigning fly out the window. I’m banking on mole people with mind control technology.

      • matlun
        June 15, 2013 at 7:09 am

        In Obama’s case it became clear already during the 2008 presidential campaign. He shifted his positions pretty strongly as soon as he had won the primaries. That as well as the telecom immunity bill showed pretty clearly that it was all empty rhetoric with no substance.

    • Angie unduplicated
      June 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

      The NSA is lying their asses off about the duration of surveillance. In 1996, I e-mailed Sen. Bill Frist concerning legalization of agricultural marijuana and pharmaceutical grade cannabinoid processing in Tennessee, for the dual purposes of generating well-paid crops and jobs and in order to keep growers out of jail and breaking up families. This was done on my boss’s computer because, on what he paid, I could not afford one of my own.

      Next morning, I arrived at work, booted up and logged on, and dear old Netscape Navigator displayed a ribbon at the bottom, similar to a weather alert or Faux News ribbon, which let me know that the NSA would be monitoring the computer for (48? 72?) hours, I honestly can’t recall which. The message ran once. I emailed my sister to let her know that the NSA would be getting recipe swaps and Joke of the Day courtesy of my exercising my First Amendment rights. No, I did not tell the boss, and apparently he was in Memphis for that period of time so I never “got caught”.
      I’ve never been a terrorist, never been out of the country.

      • Fishing for Insults
        June 15, 2013 at 11:30 pm

        What blows my mind here is that they *notified you* they were spying on you!

  2. Alexandra
    June 14, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Well, I’m spending my Friday afternoon wading through reams of paperwork and documentation due to my funding agency so they’ll continue to pay me for my summer research job. I’m sort of wondering how in depth they’re going to read this. Because I am lazy and my eyes hurt from staring at the computer.

    I was quoted (not by name – I was writing under a pseudonym) out of context by Wendy Kaminer over at The Atlantic, where she’s decrying anti-porn censorship by feminists. Evidently, my criticism of a previous article by her – is analogous to anti-porn censorship?? IDEK.

    I argued with my brother yesterday, briefly, about campus responses to sexual assault. I am nearly universally critical of the broad powers universities and colleges have in the US to handle crime committed by students on other students, especially rape and sexual assault. My brother is a mandatory reporter as a student worker at his university and is part of a student council that handles disputes between students (though I don’t think SA is part of his purview). Our argument got heated fairly quickly, he began mansplaining sexual assault on campus to me adopting the universal male “calm, rational, reasonable” tone that sets my teeth on edge, I told him to check his privilege, and he shouted at me that I was being emotional.

    So not going to bring that up with him again, I guess. Yet another lesson on how even well-intentioned men who say they want to be feminist allies are still loaded with male privilege and will inevitably be awful and clueless about something at some point in time, however good their behavior is usually. Particularly if you are a female family member.

    On the other hand, my Dad talked with me (he brought it up!) about mansplaining in his workplace and how his boss is a sexist ass. This is sort of impressive as my Dad is a silverback professor who teaches in the military.

    • June 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      he shouted at me that I was being emotional.

      Ain’t that always the case. They get to scream and rant and rave at us, but the second we say it’s personal for us, we’re being “emotional”.

      Hugs if you’d like ’em.

      • Alexandra
        June 14, 2013 at 8:24 pm

        The thing that is so frustrating about this is that we have had conversations – recently! – about why this is all so personal to me. And I know he is taking it personally because he feels he is a representative of his college, and doesn’t like anyone badmouthing it about anything. This has been a pattern.

        I’m not pressing the point with him right now because he’s under a lot of stress – a friend of his is back in the hospital again for the third time in three months, and is very ill, and he’s trying to coordinate care for her long distance – but this just seems to be how family works. I’m pressured by other family members not to give him any grief because he’s struggling, so once again, just like in January, he gets to be a total jerk about something and I’m expected to suck it up.


      • EG
        June 14, 2013 at 9:19 pm

        Seconded. That was exactly the part that jumped out at me, too. “Emotions” = “things that girls feel.” Manly anger = forcefulness or something.

    • June 15, 2013 at 6:18 am

      The real question is always is, why the hell aren’t they being emotional? The implication is always to me, frankly, that they don’t actually give a crap about it.

      We’re not robots, why should we be emotionless?

    • DouglasG
      June 15, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I’m sorry your brother was so awful. Hope it’s not impertinent to comment; it’s just that your penultimate paragraph read almost exactly like a lament I sent a friend earlier in the week, only substituting straight people for men.

    • Angie unduplicated
      June 15, 2013 at 12:18 pm

      And, if we are not emotional, then we are accused of being passive-aggressive. When they switch from logical talking points to personal accusations, you know that they know they have lost the argument.

  3. Librarygoose
    June 14, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    I’m going to a Neil Gaiman book signing on Wednesday in New York. I am so excited I just want to roll around on the floor and laugh. I want to literally ROFL.

    • June 14, 2013 at 9:14 pm

      I’m going to a Neil Gaiman book signing on Wednesday in New York. I am so excited I just want to roll around on the floor and laugh. I want to literally ROFL.

      Is that at BAM? I think I saw that being promoted when I biked by there on Monday.

  4. June 14, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    I hab a codd. Ache/sneeze/sniffle/groan. My sinuses are so swollen it hurts to wear my specs.


    • GallingGalla
      June 15, 2013 at 4:16 am

      Aww. Get better soon!

    • June 15, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Aww! Poor thing!

      Be sure to drink to plenty of liquids!

    • miga
      June 16, 2013 at 1:41 pm

      huff some vinegar? That always clears my sinuses quickly. It’ll probably come back, but it provides some good temporary relief.

    • Clytemnestra's Sister
      June 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm

      If the deities of travel should be so kind to you, the Wai Ora hot pools in NZ are the BEST. THINGS. EVER. for dealing with angry snotty noses.

      Feel better.

  5. June 14, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Well, there was a Surprise Discussion of gender identities and sexuality in my Canadian (First Nations) history class a couple of days ago. I wish I’d known to bring along my Genderqueer Bingo and Trans Bingo and Marriage Equality Bingo – I wouldn’t have gotten a blackout, but a bingo or two on each for sure. And then the presenter decided to go ahead and show a video of a fatal attack on a First Nations two-spirited person by a white bigot (because no one in class could get triggered by that amirite? we’re all white cishets over here lol, no need to worry about showing flashes of and detailed description of a genderqueer POC being beaten to death). I’m sure my professor also enjoyed that greatly, what with his having a First Nations husband and all.

    • EG
      June 14, 2013 at 10:23 pm

      What the fuck even? I thought it was unacceptable when one of my students told me that a student presenter in one of her classes showed the rape scene from The Clockwork Orange during his presentation. That was bad enough. This is just…horrible.

      • June 16, 2013 at 12:09 am

        I honestly don’t know wtf even. Though it wasn’t as bad as showing a rape scene. That… I can’t even. Holy shit.

        @Aaliyah thanks. It didn’t bother me as much as it would have bothered someone who was trans or First Nations, I guess, but still, holy shit.

        @Angel: Well, fuck, I think you just topped my story. At least the presenter in my class was just clueless, not an asshole…. sorry you went through that.

      • Hrovitnir
        June 16, 2013 at 2:09 am

        All these stories are so awful. Why are people so incapable of empathy?

        I don’t know what I’d do if some arsehole did a presentation with the Clockwork Orange rape scene in it. I basically couldn’t focus on the rest of the movie because that scene was too fucking horrifying for me to cope with.

        Plus side of doing sciences I guess.

    • Aaliyah
      June 15, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      That’s horrible, Mac. =[ I’m sorry you had to deal with that.

      Oh, and A Clockwork Orange rape scene in a presentation? Are you kidding me?

    • June 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Ugh. I’m so sorry you were put through that.

      Reminds me of the time I was in Art Appreciation class and the white male professor showed a slide of a statue of Black protesters getting beaten by white cops. He asked, “What do you think is the title of this sculpture?” Some white guy in the back said, “A Lovely in the Park”. Then came the laughter from the other white kids in the class. I managed to hold it together, but afterwards, an older Black woman and I approached the professor about what happened I broke down in tears because I was so angry.

      • June 15, 2013 at 1:56 pm

        Ugh. I’m so sorry you were put through that.

        Reminds me of the time I was in Art Appreciation class and the white male professor showed a slide of a statue of Black protesters getting beaten by white cops. He asked, “What do you think is the title of this sculpture?” Some white guy in the back said, “A Lovely in the Park”. Then came the laughter from the other white kids in the class. I managed to hold it together, but afterwards, an older Black woman and I approached the professor about what happened I broke down in tears because I was so angry.

        I’m not implying anything about your school, but clearly education has failed in this respect. Again, not the fault of your school- at this age you’re never going to change these fucking idiots (unless you use the term ‘professor’ to mean kindergarten teacher and you are recalling an event from your childhood.)

      • lilith danne
        June 15, 2013 at 6:49 pm

        I’m so sorry that happened to you all. I know I wasn’t happy when we were shown holocaust photo in school an I was pissed when someone said something about why and some idoit say becuse they rich and always have been always will be

  6. shfree
    June 14, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    I have the first Saturday off in foreeeeeeever tomorrow, and I have no idea what to do with myself. What do people even do on the weekends other than go grocery shopping? And I know this because I saw everyone LAST weekend wanting me to specially slice this one meat for them, no not the meat in the case, this OTHER meat there.

    • June 15, 2013 at 1:25 am

      Read, knit, tool around on the internet (or multitask: tool around on the internet while knitting)!

      And drink lots of tea/coffee.

      And get interrupted by the cat every ten minutes until her nap time. :)

    • GallingGalla
      June 15, 2013 at 4:18 am

      Sleep in!

    • Angie unduplicated
      June 15, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Garage sales! Or canning homemade pickles.

    • June 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm

      +1 for GallingGalla’s recommendation.

      But if you don’t feel like staying at home and you live somewhere with a decent bus system, try bus-hopping. Sometimes I get on the bus, buy an all-day pass, head to the bus depot and eenie-meenie-mynie-mo, pick one and get off when I see something interesting.

  7. GraceGrace
    June 14, 2013 at 10:27 pm

    I saw an advertisement for Perrier water with a big sign saying ‘Nice Cans!’ and a woman with an odd expression on her face. I was highly unimpressed that now sex is being used to sell WATER. The funny (or not so funny) part is that when I pointed it out to my boyfriend, he told me I was overreacting and I should ‘get off that crazy feminist website’. Once I explained what the sign said, however, he apologized for thinking I overreacted (but he hasn’t apologized for calling you guys my ‘crazy feminist website’ :( I think he and Ineed to have a chat…).

    Work is a pain and I just feel like punching everyone, but thankfully I get Sunday off, so maybe the sunshine will come my way. Happy weekend!

  8. June 15, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I got a new collar for my cat Brooke. I think you’ll agree it looks awesome!

    • Donna L
      June 15, 2013 at 12:30 am

      What a sweetie!

      • June 15, 2013 at 12:45 am

        Aww thanks…she’s great but she isn’t always as sweet as she looks….she loves to bite hands!

    • June 15, 2013 at 1:27 am

      She is so pretty! She looks like my Maddie.

      And of course she is evil and bites hands. It’s the Cat Way.

    • Aaliyah
      June 15, 2013 at 11:59 am

      That’s a lovely cat you have there. :3

    • Angie unduplicated
      June 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Sending a scratch behind the ears, if she likes it.

    • June 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      OMG! What a pretty girl! I love how she crosses her paws!

    • Hrovitnir
      June 16, 2013 at 2:10 am

      Haha, that face looks like she might like to do some hand biting after the photo! Gorgeous kitty. <3

    • bookshopcat
      June 17, 2013 at 10:34 am

      She’s beautiful, Steve! How long have you had her?

  9. gerbiltron
    June 15, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I’ve never posted here before, but I read this website an awful lot, and there’s a question I’ve always wanted to ask, and I figured somebody here would be able to answer it best:

    [Question deleted by moderator: that question has so much potential to reawaken the Ghosts Of Past Threads Of Doom that I’m preemptively redirecting you to #spillover for that discussion. Please accept this as traffic redirection only and not as any injunction to withdraw your question. ~ tigtog]

    • June 15, 2013 at 12:43 am

      Revolver, Rubber Soul and The White Album.

      (I thought it might be fun to answer a random question since the original was deleted.)

      • gerbiltron
        June 15, 2013 at 12:54 am

        Yes, exactly! My original question WAS ‘Which Beatles albums do my parents own on vinyl?’. How did you know?

    • Tyris
      June 15, 2013 at 4:30 am


    • matlun
      June 15, 2013 at 7:14 am

      The answer is: 42

  10. June 15, 2013 at 1:33 am

    A first! Maddie has sat on my lap for the first time ever. (That’s her on the table in the pic; it’s Fribs sitting on Mum’s knee.) She’s been with us four years and it’s only recently she’s deigned to be cuddled, and this is the first time she hasn’t leapt away instantly if I’ve put her on my knee. She only stayed a minute, but she stayed of her own accord and purred, though she got her own back for being so WEAK by sticking her claws in my knees.

    In lesser news, I’ve knitted a slouch capK/a>. Saw some lovely bulky Paton’s wool, and, like every. other. yarn. I want for a jacket, it was a withdrawn colour and there were only two balls left. However, it’s a good warm cap and the Mister has even decided not to pinch it, for a wonder!

    • June 15, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Awwww….she does look like my Brooky. I see we both like feed our cats well!

      • June 15, 2013 at 9:33 pm

        LOL we do, don’t we? Mads is on indoor cat food now, so she doesn’t get seriously overweight.

    • Hrovitnir
      June 16, 2013 at 2:13 am

      Aww, kittens! It’s so heartwarming when it takes time to get the cuddles. Awesome hat too. :D

      • June 17, 2013 at 9:30 pm

        Thank ‘ee! :)

        Of course since then, madame hasn’t sat on my lap at ALL. I suspect she’s not going to do it when there are witnesses around.

  11. June 15, 2013 at 1:35 am

    Oh poop, borked the html.

  12. Tyris
    June 15, 2013 at 3:53 am

    Having gone a whole two weeks without a third episode of lost time, we’re gradually sliding back into voluntary social interaction. So, hi all! We’ll try not to comment-bomb too many old threads.

  13. GallingGalla
    June 15, 2013 at 4:26 am

    I’ve been going to the Trans Health Conference (Philadelphia, PA, USA). It’s been really good, though I’m not quite as stoked as I was last year.

    I’ve been to several workshops geared towards those with non-binary identities. It feels really good and validating to be around other non-binary folk and makes me feel that my identity as non-binary is legitimate and respected. (I’m currently identifying as a transgenderqueer not-quite-a-woman – Mt? really. Pronoun preference: they/them. I respond to she/her, but being gendered male pisses me off).

    There’s still one more day left in the conference and I’m looking forward to it.

    • LemonDemon
      June 15, 2013 at 5:17 am

      I was going to go but I currently hurt, and their disability accomedations have sucked for the past 3 yrs I’ve gone, so – yeah, I’m home. Wish it was more accessible. Questionaires I can read would be nice, as would benches. It wouldn’t kill them to print a few sheets of everything things in braille, either.

      • GallingGalla
        June 15, 2013 at 6:19 am

        Yeah, their accessibility accommodations aren’t very good.

    • EG
      June 15, 2013 at 5:45 am

      Thanks for specifying–I know I’ve been using feminine pronouns for you. I apologize if I’ve caused any hurt in doing so.

      • GallingGalla
        June 15, 2013 at 6:17 am

        Oh no, don’t sweat it. I probably have not been clear about it in the past.

      • Donna L
        June 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

        I didn’t know either, GallingGalla. May I ask if you previously identified as a binary trans woman, or if this is how you’ve always identified? If it’s the former, you’re not the only person I know of who once identified as a binary trans person, but no longer does.

      • GallingGalla
        June 15, 2013 at 5:18 pm

        My identity has been unstable. I initially identified as genderqueer, only to have a CAFAB genderqueer person tell me that CAMAB people couldn’t identify as genderqueer. As I started to transition further and started hormones, I adopted the linear binary-identified transition path because I thought I *had* to in order to access medical transition (especially surgery); as part of that, I became really femme. But I gradually became really uncomfortable with that and took on a more androgynous-to-butch presentation, and that feels more comfortable to me. Meeting butch trans* women and CAMAB genderqueer people (including in workshops at last year’s Trans Health Conference) made me realize that yes, I can own that identity. So I identify now as transgenderqueer [woman], with the woman in brackets because that’s unstable – I feel like I orbit Planet Woman at some varying distance, sometimes almost close enough to land and (like now) sometimes far away so that it is more like m2* or m2?

        One thing that I’m sure of, I was never a man or boy.

        (Terminology: CA[M/F]AB means “coercively assigned male / female at birth”, because it’s the gender that society imposes on you, not [necessarily] the one you choose.)

      • June 15, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        I initially identified as genderqueer, only to have a CAFAB genderqueer person tell me that CAMAB people couldn’t identify as genderqueer

        Ah, CAFAB genderqueer people, never stop shaming me with contact embarrassment.

        That was not okay to say to you, Galla. I’m very sorry you heard it from someone, and I am currently wishing them great intensities of ill.

      • Donna L
        June 15, 2013 at 5:53 pm

        GallingGalla, I have heard the same theory expressed by genderqueer people who were assigned female at birth: that they own genderqueer, and nobody assigned male at birth should be allowed to use that term. Because . . . I don’t really know. It’s true that 10 years ago or so, one rarely met genderqueer people who were assigned male at birth. But to say that it’s not “allowed” is ridiculous.

      • June 15, 2013 at 11:28 pm

        GallingGalla, I have heard the same theory expressed by genderqueer people who were assigned female at birth: that they own genderqueer, and nobody assigned male at birth should be allowed to use that term.

        That sounds like they’ve been drinking the TERF Kool-Aid. ::smh::

      • Donna L
        June 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm

        That sounds like they’ve been drinking the TERF Kool-Aid. ::smh::

        I don’t think so, because they seemed to be trans-friendly, both in general and specifically to me. They just felt proprietary about gender-queerness. For reasons I’m not sure of.

      • June 17, 2013 at 9:28 pm

        @DonnaL – I’m glad to hear that, even if they were being weird otherwise.

  14. chava
    June 15, 2013 at 8:49 am

    cranking out this goddamn article. it’s so, so close to being done, and of course I found a section that should really be re-written last night, which….ugh.

    am away from the fam on a writing fellowship for the month, which is awesome! except I miss the baby, of course, and my colleagues keep complementing me for how “good” I am in my maternal emotional continence (e.g., not being vocal about missing the baby, not having “lost myself,” etc). Oy.

  15. June 15, 2013 at 9:59 am

    My parents called yesterday to let me know that they sold their house (the one we moved to when I was 12).

    Mixed emotions on it all. I’m happy that they’ll be getting out from under crushing financial burden it has become, because I’ve been worried about how long they’d be able to hack it, since they’re mostly self-employed with a couple part time jobs on the side.

    On the other hand I’m sad to see the place to. Moving to the area we are now was one of the best things my parents ever did for me, and I have a lot of happy memories there, growing up there, and also the times I’ve lived there as an adult with my sister and our kids collectively.

    It feels unreal, not having the house in the family anymore. It was also a good size for gatherings, and I wonder how family events are going to pan out now, since the place they are moving into is much smaller.

    • shfree
      June 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm

      I totally understand how you feel. My parents had the same house since before I was born, and it was hard for everyone to see it go, even though the last few years they lived there were difficult because of the traffic noise, loud neighbors, vandalism that resulted in the death of the fish in my mother’s pond, and a horrible accident that unfolded on their front lawn/porch. (the house was demolished to make way for a driveway for Walgreens, and my mom felt a certain obligation to sell, long story)

      But ultimately this was the better decision for them, the smaller house will be easier for them to maintain, the neighborhood is MUCH quieter. Doubtless they still own this house outright because Walgreens probably paid them a ton of money for their old house, and they owned it forever. So, they have to wherewithal to do whatever they want now, and they are off to Portugal, again.

      This doesn’t mean that I don’t have dreams of the old house, and wake up a little sad, missing it, knowing that I will never see it again.

      • June 16, 2013 at 10:09 am

        Oh wow. I’m sorry to hear that.
        I don’t know how I’d feel if my childhood home was demolished. Just the thought that I’ll probably never be inside mine again after the sale closes is sad enough. But at least it will still be there. It’s a fairly housing tract (20-30 years old, tops – my parents bought their place new) in a very small town so chances are it will stay residential for quite some time.

  16. Aaliyah
    June 15, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Oh dear. I just got the “All non-religious people are inherently immoral” talk from my dad for the umpteenth time. He even told me that people who care about their parents for non-religious reasons are really just selfish and hypocritical.

    (He doesn’t know that I’m an atheist yet, but he keeps lecturing me because he thinks that I’m not religious enough.)

    • Donna L
      June 15, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      I’m so sorry, Aaliyah. As always, I hope you are able to escape his control soon.

    • Aaliyah
      June 15, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Also, I recently had to help him fix a door in our house. He yelled at me quite frequently, especially when I told him that he was making me do something risky (that could have caused a serious injury). He yelled at me and told me to shut up when I said that.

      [Content note: description of verbal abuse incident]

      Speaking of “shut up,” that has an interesting history between the two of us. One time he was teaching me how to iron a shirt. He told me to turn it off, but I didn’t know how to do so. He got angry and started yelling “LOOK FOR THE ON/OFF SWITCH – LOOK!” Because I was already overwhelmed by stress for other reasons, his yelling was the straw that broke the camel’s back; almost immediately I started crying and had an emotional breakdown in front of him. He yelled “STOP CRYING” repeatedly, so I finally lost him and told him to shut up because his words were harsh and unbearable. That made him so upset that he now brings that up in order to guilt-trip me into obeying him.

      So yeah, when he says “shut up,” he’s just trying to guide me and stuff. When I say it, though, I’m just a horrible person. I agree that it’s not nice to tell someone to shut up, but he really needs to drop his double standards.

      • Aaliyah
        June 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm

        Sorry, can a mod add a content note or something to that? I know that other people have similar experiences with verbal abuse and so might be triggered by reading that.

      • June 15, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        Done, Aaliyah. Apologies for the delay.

      • GallingGalla
        June 15, 2013 at 5:26 pm

        The way your dad treats you is so awful, Aaliyah. How cavalier he is with your health and safety! Like Donna, I hope you can get away from him soon.

      • Marksman2000
        June 17, 2013 at 6:00 am

        I can’t stand working with short-tempered people who yell at me when I’m trying to learn something. People who are patient, low-keyed, and even-tempered make superior teachers.

        I grew up in a family with a father who spent his entire life in the U.S. Army, so I know how you feel.

  17. June 15, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    I hate anxiety attacks. I really, really, really hate anxiety attacks.

    My sister is visiting with her husband and cute-as-a-button little girls (they’ve gone shopping right now) but all I want to do is curl up into a ball and cry.

    I hate, hate, haaaaaaaaaaaaaate anxiety attacks.

    • June 15, 2013 at 5:41 pm

      Anxiety attacks are awful. I hope you feel better soon, Angel. ^__^ Hugs if you’d like ’em.

    • June 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      Angel, all my sympathy. They suck big time.

  18. DouglasG
    June 15, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    Have been having an unpleasantness-tinged weekend remembering how one of the most frequently voiced complaints against me when I was young was that I was not All Boy, a designation bestowed on a long list of friends and acquaintances who met with much more approval in that regard. Since then, I’ve tended to react to the phrase as if it were the same sort of club used against me, even if the speaker presumably doesn’t hold the same prejudices. I’ve been told of late that All Boy is a neutral phrase without any positive value unless the speaker definitely assigns it, and it just makes me want to go crawl into a hole with my library and never come out.

    • June 15, 2013 at 11:21 pm

      I’d never heard that phrase (though I’ve heard “all man” in years past) but it creeps me out just reading it here. How anyone could say it’s neutral is beyond me.

      Internet hugs if they’re welcome …

  19. June 16, 2013 at 2:08 am

    [Content note: graphic depiction of rape]

    So I just visited a social justice group on Facebook and saw that someone posted an article from 2009. It has incredibly disturbing, graphic photos of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl being gang-raped by US soldiers. They’re blurred out in some areas but that doesn’t make them less horrifying.

    I didn’t have a problem with the fact that this guy posted the article in that group. I mean, I stumbled the photos when I was 12, and I still really hate seeing it because it’s literally the most disturbing article I’ve ever seen (which is saying a lot), but I didn’t mind the fact that it was posted. The problem is, not only was it posted without ANY trigger warnings, but the thumbnail for the article is actually one of the photos of this girl being raped.

    I wish I was just making this shit up. I’ve asked him to put up the trigger warning/content note and get rid of the thumbnail, but I don’t know how he’s going to respond.

    • June 16, 2013 at 2:11 am

      Oh, it looks like he deleted the post. That’s nice.

    • Hrovitnir
      June 16, 2013 at 2:26 am

      TW: more discussion of rape.

      Someone on FB just shared that. No rapey photos in the description thankfully. I just wish I hadn’t had to see it: it’s not the kind of thing I’d share because I’d like to think people know this shit goes on and not need to see photos of it.

      But yeah, there’s something about the whole war rape thing that has an extra layer of horror to me.

      I think it’s the fact that not only is it usually gang rape, and often very young women or children, but the extra layers of dehumanisation of the people they’re invaded (or *cough* come to help) and the legions of people quick to excuse it/start defending the military in general just makes me want to start screaming and not stop.

      • June 16, 2013 at 2:54 am

        [Continued TW]

        It makes me want to scream, too. Especially since those soldiers look like they’re laughing and smiling while the girl’s facial expression clearly shows that she is terrified and helpless.

        I know it’s an old photo, but I hope she’s safe somewhere if she’s still alive. =[ Just thinking about it right now makes me want to cry.

  20. Caity
    June 16, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I’m having a rough weekend. In the past ~24 hours I’ve found out that my dog has cancer, learned that my grandparents have sold their beautiful house, and had a birth control failure. My dog might be okay for another few months (my parents are paying for expensive chemo), possibly another year or two if we’re very lucky, but I still feel sick with sadness when I see her. She is a beautiful, loving, loyal dog. My grandparents home is the treasured site of many, many childhood/family memories, and will be missed painfully. And the Plan-B is making my stomach hurt, but more than that I’m incredibly upset the more I think about the Plan-B purchasing age debate/legislation going on right now.

    I have an internship working at a residential program for pregnant teens/teen moms, and we have a twelve- and a fourteen-year-old in the program right now. Most of the girls in the program have very troubled home lives and no parent/guardian available or involved in their life enough to purchase emergency contraception, or even be remotely approachable for such a request. Should these girls be denied this resource just because they lack involved guardians or (often) access to healthcare to get a prescription for the drug? One argument I often hear – one that makes me very angry – is that making Plan-B available OTC without an age restriction would encourage teens to have sex. Have these people ever MET a teen? They’re going to do it anyway! We need to have the same resources available for them that are available to any sex-having people.

    I hope this comment wasn’t thread-jacking or excessively rant-ish. After seeing the difficulties – and outright nastiness and judgement – that have been piled upon some genuinely wonderful young women just because they’re teen mothers, it’s become a very loaded issue for me. Especially considering that I’ve now had two birth-control scares and I’m barely out of my teen years. But for some accidents of circumstance and privilege, it could be me in a tough spot or with a baby on my hip.

  21. June 16, 2013 at 3:38 am

    I just had a bit of fun experimenting with photoshopping (lower-case p – I don’t use that program) a pic that was alredy very motion-blurry, to make a snapshot-type portrait of Mr K. I’m quite pleased with the result! :)

  22. Donna L
    June 16, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    I don’t know if there are any fathers here (I can’t think of any who comment regularly), but if there are, Happy Father’s Day to you.

    It’s a day on which I always have ambivalent feelings, for reasons that should probably be rather clear.

    • June 16, 2013 at 10:09 pm

      I don’t know if there are any fathers here (I can’t think of any who comment regularly),

      Did you already forget the picture of my little Brooky Wooky? ;)

    • Donna L
      June 17, 2013 at 1:37 am

      Well, then, Happy Father’s Day to you, Steve!

      I have a beloved cat myself, the amazing Ziggy, but it wasn’t exactly what I was thinking about. Especially since I’m Ziggy’s mommy, not his daddy. No ambivalence about the nomenclature where he’s concerned!

  23. miga
    June 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I’m missing my dad today- called him to say happy Father’s Day, but it’s not really the same thing as being there. He ain’t perfect, but he’s certainly an amazing person and an amazing father and husband and brother and son and all that, and I’m so lucky he’s my dad. Both my parents had complicated relationships with their fathers, and they have actively tried to be better as a result. I’m amazed at what they’ve done for us.

    On the homefront I’m sexually frustrated (as usual). Lost my old vibrator during this recent move, so I bought a super fancy one that has kept me entertained for the past three days. In the grand scheme of things it’s not that pricey and it’s high quality (with a warantee!) and I’m Worth It, but I still feel guilty over spending the money.

    Also I keep running across cute dog videos online that make me laugh, but make me miss my dearly departed doggie even more. Just a lot of loneliness going on this month…

  24. Anna P
    June 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Ok, so I wanted to post some random things here:

    [Moderator Note: massive wall o'text (10+ pagedowns-size massive!) deleted - comments of this length are unacceptable. Write it up elsewhere and link to it with a sentence or two of summary.]

    • Anna P
      June 16, 2013 at 8:02 pm

      [Moderator Note: Comment redacted per note above]

    • Anna P
      June 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm

      Sorry! The link is to the U.S. constitution, the U.S. Bill of Rights, and the U.S. Declaration of Independence with the sexist language surrounded by asterisks, and then replaced by non-sexist language which is also surrounded by asterisks.

  25. White Rabbit
    June 17, 2013 at 12:28 pm

    I’m currently fuming about this disgusting piece in the Guardian about the recent domestic violence attack by Charles Saatchi against his wife, Nigella Lawson. Among other things, the author quotes the abuser explaining why his physical attack on his wife was not, in fact, DV. ?!?


    “Do pictures, even a series of pictures, tell the full story, or even part of the story? I wonder.”

    Um, Saatchi aggressively wrapped his hands around her neck several times, she looked terrified, and she left the restaurant in tears. That’s DV. Stating that we’re missing “the full story” implies that she might have done something to deserve being strangled in public. WTF.

    “What is crystal clear is that there was no complaint to the police. The incident took place seven days before it was published and the couple went on living happily together afterwards.”

    Right, because we all know that DV victims always call the police when they are attacked and immediately leave their abusers. And if they don’t do these things, clearly there is no DV occurring. -_-

    “It is, of course, deeply embarrassing for them both.”

    No. It is deeply embarrassing for Saatchi because he has outed himself to the world as a domestic abuser. Nigella may indeed feel embarrassed, given that many people are ignorant about DV and will rush to victim blame, but she has nothing to be ashamed of.

    I know there are plenty of people in the world who think like this author, but why the ever-loving eff did the Guardian publish this garbage?!

  26. Alexandra
    June 17, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Woke up this morning so depressed. Chest felt like I’d been punched repeatedly it hurt so bad. Last night mother got drunk, picked fight with my father about rape. Had to listen to them screaming through the house debating whether or not this or that is or isn’t rape. Had had convo. with father a week ago about being sexually assaulted, he’d been sympathetic then. Last night got to hear him basically saying women like me are vengeful, making it up, emotional, ridiculous. Mother was abusive and horrible as per usual while drunk.

    Happy father’s day. I think the world would be better off if none of us in my family even existed anymore, or if we all lived on separate continents.

    • June 17, 2013 at 4:23 pm

      Alexandra, I know I’m just a wiggly green icon on the internet to you, but please know that I think you’re an amazing, smart, empathetic and strong person, and I always look forward to your comments (even the ones I disagree with). I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

    • June 17, 2013 at 4:32 pm

      I hope you feel better soon. :(

    • Hrovitnir
      June 17, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      :( I’m sorry to hear that. That sucks.

    • trees
      June 17, 2013 at 8:29 pm


      I feel for you, and I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. I hope you can get away soon. Getting some physical distance may help you remember that you are a separate person with options outside of those modeled in the microcosm of your familial home.

  27. amblingalong
    June 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    A while back we were talking about if FIRE (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Higher Education) was pro- or anti-feminist; this story is worth check out.

    It also makes me really hate UNC.


  28. June 19, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    These past few weeks, I’ve been trying to cope as best I can with a general decline in my mental state. I’ve been battling major depression along with ADHD for most of my life, so this is nothing new for me. What worries me is that the with the way things are going and the obstacles I am facing, it may very well mean that things will get worse for me before they get better.

    I have been taking Effexor for some time now and the effects have been a mixed bag. I’m taking the maximum recommended dose and I am now realize that this is probably not the best medication for me. I told a doctor about this and he agreed that if this were the case, then it would make sense for me to come off it and try a new one like Paxil or Zoloft. Unfortunately, he said he won’t do this on his own and needs to refer me to a psychiatrist, which could take up to a month before I can be seen. And even then, I would have to gradually come off Effexor which, given the high dose I am currently taking, will take several more weeks and only when I am off it completely will they be able to start an alternative SSRI. And that will take another month to six weeks before I can expect to notice if there’s any improvement or not.

    I know what I am like when I’ve missed a dose of Effexor or when I take less than I need. So the thought of coming off of it feels like a prolonged nightmare. I know I’m going to be very irritable and angry a lot of the time and that I’ll be unable to focus on anything for very long. But the only thing I dislike even more than how it affects my mood and general mental state, is how a behave towards others. I scream and yell over the smallest of things, get irritated over trivial matters and say things I later regret. Of course it’s important to acknowledge that I’m ultimately responsible for the things I say and do. And I’m glad that I have never physically lashed out at anyone or broken anything of value during one of my more volatile moods. I made a firm resolve long ago that no matter what, I would NEVER repeat or perpetuate the abusive behaviour I was subjected to on someone else. And I’ve always adhered to that even in the most difficult of circumstances. (And that’s why I have little to no patience with apologists for any form of abuse or the idea that something or someone “makes” an abuser do what ze does; anything, that is, other than hir own choice. But that’s beside the point.) But I wouldn’t be honest if I said it was easy and didn’t require conscious effort and vigilance. And that sometimes doctors and the medical system play a role in making this more difficult than it need be.

  29. June 19, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    My gravatar didn’t show up with my last post. It should now

  30. June 21, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    Wow, uh, so the weather’s fucking fucked right now in Central AB. Our neighbourhood is all right, since it’s on high ground, though nearby rivers are flooding and people are being evacuated. I’m keeping a close eye on city updates. Anyone else here from the area? How are you all doing?

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