Weekly Open Thread with Sydney’s Coathanger

This week’s Open Thead is hosted by The Coathanger, as we Sydneysiders fondly call that huge steel landmark in the middle of our city that has the terribly prosaic name of Sydney Harbour Bridge. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

A wooden ferry boat under way heading towards the Harbour Bridge in Sydney's Port Jackson

Sydney Harbour Ferry by tigitogs, on Flickr | CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

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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77 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Sydney’s Coathanger

  1. Alexandra
    June 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    I have been doing primer design ~6 hours a day for three days this week and my eyes are about to melt out of my face from staring at this computer. argh. procrastinating doesn’t actually help, but it relieves some of the boredom?

    I am also making plans to move out of my parents’ house, which are made more difficult because of the small, adorable, totally inconvenient dog I adopted four years ago.

  2. a lawyer
    June 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    This week in consumer law has not been a good week.

    I am defending a kind, poor, old woman’s inheritance that was left to her by her ex-boyfriend of multiple decades, against a greedy cadre of his annoying rich family members, who want it all for themselves.

    The other side is clearly willing to lie (I happen to know the evidence well on this one) and I fear that they may convince the judge. Lots of rich family members, lots of money for lawyers (and they hired a relatively unscrupulous one), lots of time to sit around the fire and practice their story.

    I am also continuing to try to get a security deposit from an uber-rich landlord who keeps convincing the court that he is “unable” (yeah, right) to attend trial.

    And my “help me sell my home because it is my only asset to live on after I retire” client has recently found out that another lawyer (not me!) screwed up an estate a decade ago. And because of some various fallout that I can’t post, the potential buyer–who is both completely loaded and super aggressive–is, I think, going to squeeze my client down to pennies just because he can, morals aside, and there’s nothing my client can do.

    Sigh. Rough week.

    But on good news, the harassing employer who I am suing (who of course “never did a harassing thing ever in his life”) just so happened to have another female employee quit yesterday, because she was harassed. Which I am SURE is entirely coincidental since he is angelically blameless. Not. Heh. Deposition time!

  3. June 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

    I loathe the National Student Loan Service center. Also, certain things would be so much easier had I never changed my name upon getting married.

  4. eilish
    June 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    I made a deliberate choice when I began my working life to choose a career dominated by women: and I have never had to deal with a misogynist man face-to-face in over 25 years.
    I have worked for low pay in a low status field where my professionalism and ability are regularly unvalued. I’ve had bad experiences with power players and bullies. I’ve taught children who have internalised sexist and gendered behaviours I’ve found offensive, but I’ve never had to deal with a sexist deadsh*t serving me up a plate of misogynist sh*t to eat.
    Until yesterday. My choice was a eat his misogynist sh*t or go through the complaint process: hmm, which tasty treat will I choose?
    On one hand, once in over 25 years is really very good. How many woman working in male dominated professions can say that?
    On the other hand, I am really quite annoyed. Misogynist sh*t has an especially unpleasant flavour, as I don’t need to tell anyone here.
    And on the other, other hand I am very sad that I didn’t have the courage to tell him to shove his misogynist sh*t up his jumper. (I’m a nice teacher lady, we don’t tell people to shove things up their arse.)

    • A4
      June 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

      I was in a similar situation working in libraries and with librarians, but this past year I have been working in an office with the sales and marketing people, and there’s one misogynist anusface who is a big sexist bully. I’m currently in the process of being punished for reporting his behavior to HR.

      I reported him to HR because this is my first corporate job and I wanted to see if they would handle this as I suspected they would. One of the reason I LOVE feminism is that it actually prepares me for the way things like this work, so I have not been surprised as several retaliatory actions have come my way since then. Of course i “misinterpreted” all of them because they are about “separate” issues.

      Now that I know the Human Resource route of reporting sexual harassment is bullshit, I won’t feel a compunction to play by those rules ever again. Future harassers will be dealt with exactly how I see fit.

      • eilish
        June 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

        A4 is having problems with a sexist bully, too. I would love to hear stories of how someone went to HR about a bully and the bully got booted. In all the places I worked where I was targeted by a bully, the bully was more valuable to the institution/boss than me (that is of course the bully’s plan) and it was never a happy ending for me. Good luck with yours. I hope the retaliation doesn’t become too stressful.

        I only have to see my misogynist when he comes to pick up his child. “Jamie* my darling, your misogynist arsehole father is here! See you tomorrow!” Lucky I have my nice-teacher-lady face down pat. Professionalism, be my shield.

        *names have been changed to protect the innocent.

      • PrettyAmiable
        June 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

        It’s surprising how easily you get used to the sexism.

        I will say that one asshat pushed one of the admins into a wall and held her there at a work event. She hasn’t reported it, but the people who know about it have been so disappointing. “But he’s so smart.” “He’s socially awkward.”

      • June 23, 2013 at 12:30 am

        I’ve been harassed at work twice, that I can remember, in different places; one was twenty years ago, the other thirty. In the earlier case – my first job – it was wolf-whistling and that sort of crap from someone in another department. I tried to tell him to knock it off: no good. I went to my section manager (not my direct supervisor but one above him) and told him, in tears. He went straight out to the other guy’s section manager, and when he came back said “It won’t happen again.” It never did, either.

        Second one was similar: I spoke to my team leaders about it. They knew the bloke in question (he was in our group, and like the first time, had been in the place a lot longer than me) and knew he could be a sleaze. Again, after reporting it, it never happened again.

        What creeps me out is that this isn’t the norm: I’ve been lucky.

      • Angie unduplicated
        June 23, 2013 at 11:04 am

        Several podcast series on bullying in the workplace are available, including one by a lawyer. I’ve had the experience, and these have confirmed that faith in HR is misplaced. Almost universally, advice is to bail. Best I’ve seen is to cozy up to a different manager and 1-hint for a transfer, or 2-try for a reference from Different.
        Third option, and be careful with it, is to purchase a hard copy of Robert Sutton’s The No Asshole Rule and become a lender of that book. It details the actual costs, in client dissatisfaction and turnover, of tolerating bullying.
        If you get out, you have the entertaing option of helping the good people leave, and giving competitors info to put the bully’s enablers out of business and thereby eliminating a potential source of reference problems.

      • Angie unduplicated
        June 23, 2013 at 11:05 am


      • a lawyer
        June 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        Actually, reporting sexual harassers to HR can be VERY effective…. if you do it right. But the standard layperson’s manner of reporting doesn’t work well, that’s true.

        In essence, the “effective” way is to treat HR reports as merely an evidentiary foundation for a subsequent sexual harassment suit. Lawyer up BEFORE you call HR.

        The common way–which is to treat them as someone who values “stopping harassment” more than someone who wants to keep their job–doesn’t really pan out well.

      • A4
        June 24, 2013 at 11:17 am

        Can i lawyer up without it costing a crapfuckton of money?

  5. June 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Venting ahead:

    A few days ago, my father sent me and my older siblings a sentimental email after I gave him an update on the web application I was working on as part of my job. He told me that he loves me, that he’s proud of me becoming a “professional,” and that I’m a good example of a humble, religious Muslim.

    My older siblings were happy to see that email, but for me, it was horrible to read. I can’t bear to hear the words “I love you” from someone around whom I have always felt unsafe and uncomfortable around (as a result of his abusive tendencies). And his expression of fatherly pride and love for me is directed not at me, but at a male Muslim me. His words are empty to me, and I don’t feel loved or cared for by him at all. After reading that email I just feel like wanting to stay away from him even more.

    And there is even more than that. I also find myself very stressed out about the future. As I meet my father’s contacts and get to know them (I’ve already been introduced to a lot of them just by becoming an employee at his friend’s office), the consequences of me coming out start piling up even more. Everyone at my office likes me, but some day I’ll either completely disappear from their world or be known to them as “that boy who turned into a girl” or something like that. And they’re conservative evangelist Christians, so I doubt that they would be tolerant and accepting.

    I wish I could express my feelings better, and they probably sound absurd and scrambled up, but that’s how I feel. I should be happy about my job because I’m gaining experience and a small amount of income, but thinking about these things is making me feel awful. On top of everything I’m starting to fear the possibility of being outed every single day. Every day my mind obsesses over what I’m going to do if I ever get outed before I’m under safer circumstances.

    I said last week that I was going to start getting therapy, but because of my work schedule, it’s going to be very difficult for me to find time to attend sessions, especially when my father likes to keep a watchful eye on me and make sure I’m not “wasting time with friends” or being outside too late.

    This weekend is probably just going to consist of me getting some work done and taking frequent naps.

    • June 22, 2013 at 12:43 am

      And now I’m suddenly experiencing a spike in anxiety. I’m going to try to sleep it off, I guess.

      • PrettyAmiable
        June 22, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        Have you ever tried breathing exercises when you have anxiety? I used to get tons of panic attacks when I was younger, and taking deep breaths, fully exhaling and holding would help me – apparently when you start feeling anxious, you take in too much oxygen, which helps create some of the other anxiety symptoms you experience. I thought I’d share since I know you’ve mentioned anxiety before.

        I’m sorry for all of this. Team Aaliyah, for what it’s worth!

      • June 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm

        Thank you for your suggestion, but I’m afraid it won’t help me. I’ve tried breathing exercises before, and while they used to help when I tried them the first few times, now they don’t help in any significant way. That’s because, in my mind, if I’m doing a breathing exercise, I must be “desperate” and “crazy” and so my anxiety either remains the way it is or gets even worse. (I don’t actually believe this, but I still have a bunch of internalized bullshit if you know what I mean.) And that pretty much cancels out any benefits breathing exercises would have had otherwise.

        The only thing that really helps me, as far as I know, is talking to someone who is willing to just listen and try to address the source of my anxiety in a sensitive way. As opposed to someone who is bent on minimizing my problem and giving me advice without a hint of sensitivity. Unfortunately, the people I’m currently around most often IRL are like the latter.

      • PrettyAmiable
        June 23, 2013 at 3:12 pm

        Then I hope it helps talking to us about some of these issues. We’re all on your side Aaliyah. What you’re going through is so difficult, and I hope it’s obvious that we care. Hugs if you care for them – internet high-fives if you don’t.

      • Donna L
        June 23, 2013 at 3:14 pm

        Aaliyah, are you still able to go to that support group you mentioned a while back? From what you said, it seemed that you found it helpful to be around other trans women.

      • June 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm

        I haven’t been to my trans* support group in a month or so for the same reason – lack of time. And while going to that group definitely is helpful, there are some things that only one-on-one therapy can help me with.

      • June 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm

        I haven’t been to my trans* support group in a month or so for the same reason – lack of time. And while going to that group definitely is helpful, there are some things that only one-on-one therapy can help me with.

        From how you describe the situation at home, it sounds like you also could use a good dose of you-on-you Aaliyah time. I guess that’s what you mean by safer circumstances.

      • June 23, 2013 at 6:19 pm


        Then I hope it helps talking to us about some of these issues. We’re all on your side Aaliyah. What you’re going through is so difficult, and I hope it’s obvious that we care. Hugs if you care for them – internet high-fives if you don’t.

        Thanks. :] I wouldn’t be coming here if I didn’t appreciate the commentariat.

        @Fat Steve

        From how you describe the situation at home, it sounds like you also could use a good dose of you-on-you Aaliyah time. I guess that’s what you mean by safer circumstances.

        Oh, by “safer circumstances” I was specifically referring to living on my own and being financially independent from my father and the family members who share his intolerance.

        But I suppose I do need more time for myself. That’s one way I could try to alleviate my stress.

    • GallingGalla
      June 22, 2013 at 9:47 am

      That e-mail is pretty horrible, especially coming from your dad who has mistreated you so much. I’m so sorry, and for your work situation, too. *Hugs* if you want ’em.

    • moviemaedchen
      June 22, 2013 at 12:17 pm

      Hugs or whatever gesture of comfort you like. I’m sorry you’re in such a crappy situation and feel so stressed; hopefully your safer circumstances will materialize without you being outed beforehand. And that email, urgh.

  6. bookshopcat
    June 22, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I have a new place! The rent form landed in my caseworker’s in-tray twelve hours ago, so I could be out of here by the end of next week. Once that’s happened, I’ll probably collapse in a heap for a few days- the last two months have been exhausting.

    I tend to watch a lot of equestrian stuff on YouTube when I’m not working with horses regularly and lately I’ve been keeping tabs on the weekly Branded for Success videos on WallaceEventing’s channel. [It’s a nice break from the moving process.] Mustang makeover competitions pair trainers with horses from the BLM corrals for a set number of weeks, then everyone competes against each other in a variety of events and some- sometimes all- of the horses are offered for adoption or sale afterwards. Elisa trained her first mustang for a contest last year and won, so I’m interested to see how Rune and Nimh progress between now and September.

    • June 22, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Bookshopcat, I’m so so glad you have a place. I was getting worried, for a bit. Happy New Home!

      • bookshopcat
        June 23, 2013 at 2:07 am

        Thanks, mac! I’m sorry to have worried you- I stopped posting about it for a while because my spoons were pretty depleted, but I didn’t think about how the fact that I’d also stopped posting *everywhere* would look.

        The new place will be interesting. I’ve got five dumpster-diving roommates; only two of them are in town right now, but one of them has a band that both practices and holds occasional gigs in the basement- ear protection has been recommended. The décor leans heavily towards bicycle-punk, and peanut butter with hot sauce is considered an acceptable combo on toast, both of which are encouraging signs.

        Wednesday’s the earliest possible day for the move- I’ll update here later down the week.

      • June 23, 2013 at 2:20 am

        Hey, no worries, you can’t base posting on what random people feel on the internet! I guess I just get neurotic about people disappearing because with some of the discussions here being pretty vitriolic… I dunno.

        I’m glad you’re doing well, though, and I hope the move goes smoothly. And oh, man, that actually sounds pretty tasty! Must try it when I can afford to get new hot sauce (I’m the only one who likes it in my family, lol).

      • Angie unduplicated
        June 23, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Hot sauce, garlic, ginger, and organic PB=satay sandwiches. Yum!

  7. A4
    June 22, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Recently at work I’ve been dealing with a sexist bully asshole. It’s really sucky and has soured my feelings towards many people in the office who are supporting him of course. I don’t work with him at all, we are just seated near each other, so part of the solution is moving my desk.

    But in considering moving my desk I realize just how far I want to move it. I moved from the midwest back to new england after college because that’s where my job was, and my family. Now that I have a steady job working remotely from my boss who is in Chicago, and since I’m not exactly getting along with most of my family, it makes sense to move back to the midwest.

    I think of my life right now as being in repayment. I am paying for my education and until I finish those loans, I will be dependent on this corporate position to feed them. As things are I won’t pay off my loans for another 10 or 15 years. If I move back to the midwest I could pay my loans off in 3 or 4 years tops because cost of living is much lower. I also wouldn’t have to deal with the creepiness of office environments and I could rent a whole house for half of what I am paying for a tiny apartment right now.

    I have all the logistics of moving and paying for it figured out, the only obstacle is convincing my boss to let me become a fully remote worker rather than just remote to him but working in the new england office. I think he will be amenable if I explain things the right way.

  8. June 22, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    Well, my studio is just about rebuilt. I set up all the mics and cameras and stuff, and recorded myself to make sure all the levels were correct. The levels were perfect, however, I wasn’t wearing headphones so O had no idea how hilariously bad and out of tune I was sounding until I listened back. It was so hideous I had to share it here

    • June 23, 2013 at 12:22 am

      Steve, you still sounded better than most of the buskers I hear around Melbourne! :D

      • June 23, 2013 at 1:25 pm

        Steve, you still sounded better than most of the buskers I hear around Melbourne! :D

        Buskers, deadly spiders, poisonous snakes…I’m starting to feel less sad about the 24 hr flight precluding me from seeing the natural beauty of Australia!

      • June 24, 2013 at 5:18 am

        LOL but there are lots of kitties, too!

        Oh wait, you’ve got those over there …

        Still, at least we don’t get et by coyotes, bears, pumas (lions and tigers and bears, oh my) or flattened by moose. ;)

  9. Katniss
    June 23, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I’m going through the breakup of a five year, wonderful but we just didn’t work out in the end relationship right now and it is the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I’d love some Internet hugs and support if anyone wants to offer any.

    • June 23, 2013 at 10:10 am

      Katniss, I’m sad to hear that. Many years ago I went through the breakup of a three-year just-didn’t-work-out relationship (a few years after a preceding high-school going-steady thing with the same bloke) where it was his decision to end it and not mine and I was devastated. It took me a really long time to get over it, and in retrospect counselling from the start would have helped a lot. I thoroughly recommend getting some professional help to process it all if you can possibly manage to access it.

      • Katniss
        June 23, 2013 at 11:49 am

        I am definitely seeking some counseling to deal with it! Thank you for the empathy :)

    • June 23, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      I’m going through the breakup of a five year, wonderful but we just didn’t work out in the end relationship right now and it is the most painful thing I’ve ever done. I’d love some Internet hugs and support if anyone wants to offer any.

      I’d like to offer you no advice as none will help, but sending you internet hugs from everyone here in Brooklyn Bridge Park (there’s about a thousand people out here today…I’m assuming they’d send hugs as well…)

      • Katniss
        June 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

        Aww, those are the best hugs ever!

    • PrettyAmiable
      June 23, 2013 at 3:10 pm

      I have a close friend who is going through something similar. It’s absolutely no consolation now, but you both deserve to be happy. If it’s not something that’s working, then breaking up was the right (albeit most difficult) decision you could make.

      Everyday will get a little easier, and one day, it’ll be a lot easier. Hang in there.

      • Katniss
        June 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

        This made me cry in a good way, thank you.

    • June 24, 2013 at 5:20 am

      Internet hugs from here in Melbourne, Katniss. I’m so sorry this is happening to you.

      • Katniss
        June 24, 2013 at 11:12 am

        Thank you! I recognize you as I am a lurker on manboobz and it’s especially good to get a hug from you!

  10. June 23, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    I’m cleansing and fasting in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow.

    Wheeee. I’m hungry and cranky.

    It’s supposed to go up to 31C here today and unfortunately I can’t take the kids to the beach because I have to stay near the bathroom.

    • June 23, 2013 at 1:34 pm

      I’m cleansing and fasting in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow.

      Wheeee. I’m hungry and cranky.

      It’s supposed to go up to 31C here today and unfortunately I can’t take the kids to the beach because I have to stay near the bathroom.

      The day before is the worst bit. The colonoscopy process itself is a breeze compared to the night before, wherein one is glued to the toilet with torrents of rusty water passing through the ballon knot in a seemingly never ending tsunami of grossness. Although I had it done under general anasthesia and I understand it’s sometimes done with a local, so as far as the actual exam, YMMV.

      You are DEFINITELY doing the right thing by staying near the bathroom. If you must go out, wear brown.

      • June 23, 2013 at 5:51 pm

        I have to take the kids o their dads in an hour. Fortunately it’s only a ten minute drive. It’s not so so bad so far. This is also not my first scope, I’ve had 3 or 4 in my time so I know what to expect.

        PSA kids, jello for dinner is not nearly as awesome as it sounds.

    • June 24, 2013 at 5:22 am

      Gadzooks, hot weather plus being hungry plus bleeeehhh. :(

  11. AMM
    June 23, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    [Do I need a spoiler warning about a film version of a Shakespeare play? If so, consider your self warned.]

    I just saw Joss Wheadon’s version of “Much Ado About Nothing.” (Mainly because it’s hot here — probably around 30C — and the theater is air conditioned.) I didn’t recall hearing anything about it, I just saw the title and thought, hey, I know that play.

    At first I thought I was in the wrong movie, since it starts off with men in expensive business suits (some with concealed pistols) getting out of limousines at a country estate. It wasn’t until the dialog started that I knew that, yes, it is that Shakespeare play. It was a bit weird at first, hearing 17th Century lines coming from people in very modern dress and settings.

    Some things that struck me that I don’t remember noticing before:

    1. Leonato, when asked if Hero is his daughter, doesn’t say yes, he says “her mother hath many times told me so.” Act I, scene 1, and he’s already prepared to assume that the women who (presumably) love him most will sleep around. In case anybody didn’t get it, his fellow dude-bros proceed to speculate about who might be her real father.

    His willingness to believe a calumny about his daughter from someone he’s known only a week (and to wish her dead based on it!) suddenly seems a lot more believable.

    2. Somehow the film makes Claudio’s gratuitous cruelty in the scene where he accuses Hero seem even more cruel and contemptible than I remembered. I can’t help feeling that the way he does it would have been considered a “dick move” even back in Shakespeare’s day (though of course, then as now, there would have been plenty of dudebros who would say she deserved it.)

    I suppose it should have been obvious from the moment Claudio “fell in love,” but this scene made it obvious to me that Claudio never gave a rat’s ass about Hero as a person, it’s all about his precious vanity. At the end, I was sorry that Benedick didn’t follow through on his promise to kill Claudio, Hero (and the world) would have been a lot better off without him. And Don Pedro doesn’t come off any better.

    3. The incompetence of the cops in the story is a bit over the top. In the movie, at least, #2 baddie Borachio has to keep reminding the asses (to use Shakespeare’s terminology) of what he has done, because they keep getting tangled up in their own incompetence. Realistically, they’d have gotten away with it — is that Shakespeare’s (or Wheadon’s) point?

    4. There’s a nice little bit at the end, where Claudio is about to see his (supposed) substitute Hero, where he says “were she an Ethiope.” Wheadon makes sure that an African-American woman is in the background of the shot, looking right at him. Something tells me Wheadon’s opinion of Claudio isn’t a lot different from mine. (The fact that in the movie, when he’s supposedly seeing Hero getting it on with another guy, all he ever sees is a sillouette, but that counts as “proof positive” to him, is another clue.)

    FWIW, I came away with a sense that the guys in the story are all dudebros whose principle is “bros before hos.” No wonder Beatrice doesn’t want to get mixed up with them!

    • dawnofthenerds
      June 23, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      I love that movie! I saw it back in September (at the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the few perks of living in a city that big), and I remember laughing my ass off the entire time. I love how they filmed it as a bunch of friends on a lark during the writers’ strike :D

  12. dawnofthenerds
    June 23, 2013 at 9:56 pm

    Most of my summer has been really relaxing. I’m back at my old job, been cross stitching and sewing like crazy and really indulging in my creative side. All of which is totally awesome! But my coworker this summer has skin as thin as tissue paper, takes everything incredibly personally, and sees very direct and blunt communication as completely rude. Which is fun because I’m very direct and blunt and not so great at picking up subtle signs of anger and frustration, especially from someone I don’t know well. All of which culminated in her thinking I’m terrible at talking to people, terrible at my job, and that I am a complete asshole to her. Irritated and occasionally a bit rude? Hell yes, she’s needy and annoying and I don’t like her all that much. But I’m not accustomed to someone taking what amounts to a personality clash and a failure to understand our work culture (sitting quietly at our desks and working as opposed to chit chatting all day) and going to our bosses in tears about how awful I am. I’m pretty young, so this is the first time I’ve had to deal with something like this. Anyone have any advice for how an introverted person who is blunt, direct, painfully honest, and bad at picking up subtle social cues can communicate with someone who’s chatty, takes any silence on my part as a personal insult, cannot fathom how sometimes I’m just plain tired and don’t feel like talking, and thinks being upfront and direct is incredibly rude? At this point, I don’t give a shit if she *likes* me or not, I just need for her not to feel so god damn affronted she needs to go crying to our bosses again.

    • eilish
      June 24, 2013 at 2:56 am

      Put on a friendly smile while you are doing your blunt and direct communicating. Preface statements with “I’m really sorry, but…”
      Tell her you’ll go for a coffee with her at the next break, but you want to work quietly for now. Tell her how you wish you were more extroverted like her: but that your emotional energy levels get really low unless you get quiet time in the day.
      And maybe get your desk moved?

      • dawnofthenerds
        June 25, 2013 at 7:23 pm

        Thanks eilish! That’s really helpful. I wish I could get my desk moved, but we’re so strapped for office type space that both of us are currently set up in a program room. We occasionally get kicked out while programs are running. It’s hardly ideal. Though, we do have giant pictures of SuperMario, Pac Man, Pokemon, and Tetris all over our walls, which is pretty damn cool :)

  13. Alexandra
    June 24, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Wow. Until just now, I had no idea that Marion Zimmer Bradley (The Mists of Avalon, Darkover, SCA cofounder) was married for decades to a child molester, and knew he was molesting kids during their marriage, even lied to parents to cover up the fact that her husband was molesting their kids. Holy balls. So much for the feminist cred.

    • June 24, 2013 at 2:29 am


      • Alexandra
        June 24, 2013 at 2:42 am

        You won’t find it on Bradley’s Wikipedia page – just discussion on the Talk page. But here ya go:

        Walter Breen bio on Wikipedia

        Some depositions and stuff

        There’s really nothing about this online; just tantalizing references in dodgy sources. And so I’m left wondering how much and what to believe – there’s more than a whiff of people covering up or glossing over this “embarrassing” revelation about a beloved fantasy icon.

      • June 24, 2013 at 1:05 pm

        The “defense” of her is really telling. Slut-shaming the parents of the victim (like their sexual lives have any bearing on it) and advice to read Heritage of Hastur and Stormqueen to show MZB’s views on pedophilia. Not exactly reassuring. Not going to go into those in case anyone still wants to read them, but they seem like the worst possible examples a person could list to try to show that MZB had an anti-sexual abuse stance or was somehow innocent of the matter.

        I’m left with little doubt that MZB knew about and covered up the sexual abuse. Keeping herself ignorant of a lot of the details doesn’t exonerate her. Assuming the depositions are accurate it’s pretty obvious she’s guilty as sin.

      • June 24, 2013 at 2:58 pm

        advice to read Heritage of Hastur and Stormqueen to show MZB’s views on pedophilia

        “I don’t condone pedophilia! I wrote a fantasy world once in which someone said it was bad!”

        …I have to admit that’s a pretty, uh, novel defense.

        All in all, I’m pretty glad I only ever owned/read the one book by MZB. Ugh, what a vile little cesspit her brain is.

      • Willard
        June 25, 2013 at 2:46 am

        “I don’t condone pedophilia! I wrote a fantasy world once in which someone said it was bad!”

        …I have to admit that’s a pretty, uh, novel defense.

        Funny, I saw the reversal of that argument with GRRM a bit ago. Strange world.

        Just out of curiousity, and creepy pedophilia enabling aside, how is Mists of Avalon? A friend recommended it to me after we had a long rambling discussion of Le Morte d’Arthur and The Once and Future King but I neglected to pick up the first book.

      • June 25, 2013 at 10:21 pm

        Willard, I’m one of the few people I know who hated Mists of Avalon. I didn’t get very far through it. Lancelot and Guenevere – Arrrrrggghhhh! I remember her as a ghastly wimpy little Christian having the vapours about the terrible pagans. Irritating beyond bearing.

  14. June 24, 2013 at 5:42 am

    We’re having the coldest winter in a decade – nuttin’ much by northern hemisphere standards, but it’s been down to freezing overnight.

    Mads and Fribs think the cold weather is a Good Thing.

    • June 24, 2013 at 10:43 am

      I thought your area would be hot in June! I suppose this means that I know next to nothing about Australia’s climate. =P

      • June 25, 2013 at 12:46 am


        Our seasons are the opposite of yours – southern hemisphere, northern hemisphere (and at the equator it’s just blaaaah hot all the time). Argenti wants me to swap our cold for zir heat, but it ain’t happenin’!

      • Donna L
        June 25, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        But I recently learned that it’s a myth that water goes down the drain counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere, and clockwise in the southern. I am so disappointed.

      • June 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        Oh, bummer, I didn’t know that either. :(

        The water in our place tends to go down in a sort of splatter-all-over pattern, ‘cos of having a cat’s head in the way. She knows one must drink running water, still water in a bowl just isn’t safe.

      • Willard
        June 26, 2013 at 1:21 am

        I have nerdraged all over some people (especially ones who should have known better) about that little chestnut.

        In handwavey terms: The Coriolis effect causes the north/south rotational differences in large low pressure systems (hurricanes, etc.) due to the tangential velocity gradient from the poles to the equator and the inward suck of the system. There’s a non-dimensional ratio I don’t recall the name of, something like Dead-White-Guy’s Number that tells you roughly if for a given velocity, rotation and length factor you need to worry about ole Coriolis. Bathtubs are small, weather systems are big. Go figure. It has been done with water systems, but unless you’re using a toilet with a couple hundred gallons of water in the bowl and laboratory conditions for pulling the plug, bowl geometry wins.

        Still water has crocodiles and sharktopuses in it, good thinking on her part.

      • June 26, 2013 at 4:45 am

        Still water has crocodiles and sharktopuses in it, good thinking on her part.

        :D :D :D

  15. June 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

    I’m elated that I can finally announce that I’ve found a new, awesomer job. I’m currently in my last week at the university, I’m taking a week off, and then I start work at an ad agency that will, I’m sure, be awesome and inspiring and challenging and friendly and make me happy until the end of my days. I’m sure of this.

    • TomSims
      June 24, 2013 at 11:16 am

      Congrats and best of luck!

    • A4
      June 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

      Certainly it will be so uplifting that you will question whether we really even need feminism anymore.

      • A4
        June 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

        Sarcasm aside, many congratulations!

    • June 24, 2013 at 11:21 am


      Is this the place whose interview you ranted about being sleep-deprived for earlier?

      • June 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

        No, different one, and I think this one will be a better fit. And at this interview, they actually did look at my portfolio, so all my hard work getting it back online paid off! ‘Twas meant to be.

  16. TomSims
    June 25, 2013 at 4:26 pm


    You have a beautiful country. I’ve never been there and will never have the chance to go, but I did meet 2 SAS guys in the Texas Bar in Saigon way back in late ’66 or early ’67. Me and my buddies had a few beers with them. They were good guys. I hope they made it back to the world ok.

  17. SophiaBlue
    June 25, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Just wanted to give a shout-out to Wendy Davis, who is filibustering on the floor of the Texas legislature to prevent SB5 from being passed. She’s reading abortion testimonies, so if you have one you’re willing to share you can send it in here (you don’t have to be from Texas).


  18. June 26, 2013 at 4:46 am

    Vale Mick Aston, thank you for your work and for Time Team. :(

  19. June 27, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    3 older men sitting at the table next to me in the library. Listening in to their conversation, the only response I have:


    • June 27, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Damn rage typing. Forgot to mention that they are talking about abortion.

  20. June 28, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Comments are closed.