Weekly Open Thread with Bengal Kitty

Our host this week is this gorgeous spotty stripey Bengal cat enjoying this colourful rug. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

A caramel coloured cat with chocolate coloured spots and stripes, lying on a rug brightly coloured with pink, purple and yellow threads.  A white wire rack is in the background.

Bengalkatten Fia som vasker seg på tørkestativet, by Marius Engesrønning
i.e. Bengal cat Fia that washes up on the drying rack (From Wikimedia images)

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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85 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Bengal Kitty

  1. Hannah
    July 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    Still pissed about the awkward run in with the rapist last week. Just enraged. I knew people still spoke to him but I’d like to pretend my so called friends cared enough to not put the party over the people.

    Trying to work out my ancient issues with my abusive ex boyfriend, even though the relationship ended like 3 years ago, luckily the girlfriend is willing to listen. I hate feeling so manipulated, I feel dumb.

    ARGH. These aren’t things you just get over and I feel like almost everyone expects of me.

    • July 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Hannah, have you read Cliff Pervocracy’s classic post “The Missing Stair”? It’s about people habitually overlooking the unsafe person in their social group, and it might give you some ideas for how to frame future discussions with your friends re their ignoring your history with your rapist, or at least a way to feel less alone about it happening to you and how to a guide for processing your feelings about it with other people.

      • Hannah
        July 5, 2013 at 11:03 pm

        Thanks for the link.That kind of hits the nail on the head really.

        I’ve been able to at least start working out the issues by talking to my girlfriend. My last boyfriend refused to hear anything about it because it just upset him(he wasn’t the best choice either)

    • EG
      July 6, 2013 at 11:40 pm

      I hope you are able to forgive yourself rather than condemn yourself for being “dumb.” I don’t think you are, anyway. I think it’s really easy to end up doing things that are not in one’s own best interest when flustered by trauma, and that it’s a normal human thing. I’m really sorry for the utterly wretched experiences you’ve had this past week.

      • PrettyAmiable
        July 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

        This is a super lovely comment.

    • July 7, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      So sorry to hear this happened. :( I don’t really have any profound words, but I just wanted to let you know that I’ve been in situations like that too. Like “Oh, well, I can’t avoid around your rapist because AWKWARD, so guess you’ll just have to deal with seeing him, you understand, don’t you, of course you do, you’re so mature, k thanx?” *Barf*

  2. Drahill
    July 5, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    That kitty just makes me cry. I have a Bengal kitty who is 18 years old. He seems to age every day now. I keep hearing stories about cats who live past 20, but they seem to be in the minority. The idea of him not being around is a lot to deal with. Over half of my life has been with him. Maybe he has a few years left, or that’s what I’m hoping.

    • BabyRaptor
      July 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      *sympathy hugs*

    • July 5, 2013 at 10:12 pm

      Drahill, sorry to hear that your kitty is ageing so fast. I hate that our companion animals have such short lives.

    • Donna L
      July 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm

      I’m very sorry, Drahill. And I hate that too, tigtog. My Ziggy is 7, and I don’t even like to think about it.

    • Willard
      July 5, 2013 at 10:47 pm

      Sorry to hear Drahill. When pets hit that wall it’s so hard.

    • July 5, 2013 at 11:01 pm

      All the hugs, Drahill. Been there, too. :(

    • taz
      July 6, 2013 at 9:32 am

      I’m sorry to hear about your friend! I just had to put down our 14 year old dog in May. It was a very sad time for all four of us. My wife and two sons (age 20 & 23) along with me were very down. We had to wait until both our sons were home from college so they could be with Hans when he went. He was in very bad shape. Couldn’t get up anymore by himself. When we got him up and one of our other dogs would get to close he would get knocked down and we would have to get him back up . He had lost control of his bowels and baldder. It was so sad. Didn’t even bark at butterfly’s anymore. Wasn’t eating very much or drink a whole lot.
      When we took him to the vet (both sons and I) It was a sad thing. He had been the first dog for both boys. And the first one they had lost. The Vet told us when he checked Hans out that he may have lived just a few more weeks. When it came time for the drugs both boys had to leave the room. I wouldn’t let him go into the dark by himself. I stayed with him until the end, petting him all the way. I hope he is happy with lots of birds and butterfly’s to chase and plenty of couches to sleep on where he is at!
      Enjoy your friend as long as you can and remmeber all of the good times and forget the bad ones! My best to you!

    • Marksman2010
      July 7, 2013 at 1:18 am

      I lost my friend, Pablo, a few days before Christmas last year. It’s amazing how much the quality of my life has decreased since he’s gone. People who say, “Oh, it’s just a cat/dog” don’t understand. I believe they have a simple, one-dimensional way of viewing the world.

      My apartment seems very empty and quiet now. I get agitated easily and it’s hard to focus. And if I get out of here to see friends and enjoy myself, there’s no Pablo here to greet me when I return.

      • July 7, 2013 at 8:19 pm

        People who say, “Oh, it’s just a cat/dog” don’t understand. I believe they have a simple, one-dimensional way of viewing the world.


    • Kerandria
      July 7, 2013 at 4:38 am

      I’m so sorry, Drahill. I have two senior cats that are starting to turn white; thinking about what will eventually come is soul-crushing. /jedi hugs if you want them

    • July 8, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Our little guy Gus made it until 21, and he started to go downhill around 17, 18 so you may have a few good years left. The last year was pretty rough, especially having to pill him twice a day and give him intravenous fluids. One secret to having an older cat- just remember- the pee is your problem, not his/hers.

      We said goodbye to Gus this October and we still talk about how much we miss him. He’s the 4th cat we’ve had pass on us, but he was the oldest and he was my wife’s special kitty. For Christmas I did a mock up of a New York Times obituary for Gus, and had it made into a plaque to give to my wife. Based on her reaction, it clearly meant so much more than the $500 pair of shoes I bought her.

  3. Donna L
    July 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

    So let’s say you’re 23 years old and working in a museum, and a security guard who’s almost 60 gets back from vacation and says to you, “I’m glad I’m back! I missed your cute little ass!” Is it any less inherently offensive if you’re a man and she’s a woman and she knows you’re gay? Does that somehow excuse it?

    • July 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      Nope, but I bet she thinks it does.

    • Librarygoose
      July 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm

      I would go with it would really depend on the type of relationship the guy has with the guard, but it would have to be like a BFF level relationship. Otherwise it’s hell of inappropriate.

      • July 5, 2013 at 11:32 pm

        Seconded. Twenty years back I was in a reverse situation – I was thirty and a floor attendant at a museum – and when I got back from holidays one of the curators grabbed me round the and swung me around, feet off the floor. Which was totally cool because he was a mate of mine, and I was laughing my head off. If it’d been anyone NOT a mate, it would have been SO not on.

    • Donna L
      July 5, 2013 at 11:05 pm

      He just started work there about a month ago, and she’s said similar stuff before. He’s also my son, so it’s hard for me to look at it objectively!

      • Donna L
        July 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm

        I don’t know about people. Just today, a woman in her 70’s bought a ticket and said to him, “your glasses are cute, and so are you.” What?

      • July 8, 2013 at 10:54 pm


        Does it bother your son or does he just tell you these things matter of factly? I was assuming that it did bother him- but I realize you didn’t actually say he was upset by the comments, just that asked if they were inherently offensive. Because he is the only one who can decide whether he feels harrassed or not. If they offend him, he certainly has the right to be offended and he also has the right to not be offended. So, I don’t think the comments are ‘inherently’ offensive- but if they bother him, they don’t have to be- they should be stopped.

    • Ally S
      July 6, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Ugh. I’m sorry to hear that, Donna. And I’m sorry to hear that he’s faced so much harassment before as well (as you’ve implied before). At least he has a mom like you on his side. =]

    • taz
      July 6, 2013 at 9:22 am

      He needs to pull her to one side and one to one let her know in a polite way that he does not like it and she shouldn’t do it again. If she does then go up the chain of command and let them know. He doesn’t have to bring up that he is gay at any time. What she has done is sexual harassment and if he doesn’t say anything it can get worse to the point of sexual assualt. If he was a girl and it was a male guard I would say the same thing. What she is doing is not right and needs to be stopped. More power to you for supporting your son!
      After 18+ years of having my wife in the sexual assualt field I have learned a few things. She may not feel that she is out of line, but she is and it needs to stop.

    • DouglasG
      July 6, 2013 at 12:21 pm

      I’ve seen a fair amount of interaction between seniors and youths when they’re in at least a partly equal situation. The personal comments and questions when there are any tend to be pretty heavily from age to youth, but I can’t recall hearing anything close to this except maybe in your second instance from one woman in her 70’s to a Yale student who looked almost exactly like her grandson (she had pictures; they did look like brothers who might just have been twins). A few times someone old enough to be my parent or grandparent has treated me a little peremptorily and seemed to regard me as a spokesperson for Homosexuality United, but that’s about it.

      Beyond context mentioned by one or two other posters, while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it an excuse, I could perhaps make a best-case scenario (though a very weak one) that it’s a clumsy attempt to show pro-gay solidarity on the guard’s part. It’s not a huge stretch for people more ignorant than they realize to believe things that turn out to be negative stereotypes. Some straight people still equate non-heterosexuality with license, and think they can’t go too far, or the usual rules completely don’t apply.

      On behalf of Homosexuality United, thank you for being such a source of solid support for your son.

      • GallingGalla
        July 6, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        I don’t think that this excuses the guard’s behavior, though. What she did to Donna’s son was straight up sexual harassment.

      • DouglasG
        July 7, 2013 at 6:32 pm

        True, it doesn’t excuse her behaviour. Perhaps there’s a slightly higher chance of an amicable resolution. I’ve had some outlandish things said to me by people who were “into” lesbians and gays (which was as far their consciousness extended) as if we were a new hobby or an exotic exhibit, but some of them got it together and made decent allies.

    • EG
      July 6, 2013 at 11:29 pm

      I think it’s creepy sexual harassment, no doubt about it. I hope your son is OK and still able to enjoy his work.

    • July 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm

      The only tiny defense I will give towards the guard is that sometimes people use the term ‘your ass’ to mean ‘you.’ Doubt that’s the case, but if you did want one possible non-pervy interpretation that may be it;.

  4. July 6, 2013 at 1:22 am

    So, got a call today from an obvious phone scammer – of the “I’m from Microsoft support calling to let you know about a problem with your computer” types.

    1) Microsoft support doesn’t care about its users to call them at home.
    2) I have a Mac, boyfriend runs Linux, so nice try dude.

    I decided to have a little fun and kept answering questions with questions trying to catch the guy in a lie. He responded by resorting to highly sexualized threats to my physical person. Getting off the phone I burst into tears, as the guy had given me my own address. Cops were called, reports filed. I felt it prudent to have a record of the incident.

    So that pretty much sucked.

    On a brighter note, I got myself a part time gig as a karaoke DJ. So that’ll be some extra cash, doing something that I like to do anyway… Only now I’m IN CONTROL..MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    • Hannah
      July 6, 2013 at 1:47 am

      That sounds utterly terrifying. Just wow…so many levels of Not!Ok!

      I’m sorry that happened to you

      But! Good luck with the new gig as well!

      • July 6, 2013 at 11:18 am

        It was pretty upsetting. Obscene phone calls are bad enough, but when they get threatening it’s fucking scary.

    • EG
      July 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

      Ugh, dreadful and very frightening. I’m glad you have the new gig as a distraction.

  5. Willemina
    July 6, 2013 at 1:26 am

    So, name change going forward. I’ve been to a therapist in the last month, hit my first crossdressers/trans support group, and told my sister the basic outlines of where I’m at in terms of gender. HRT and transition is ultimately my goal, it’s just there’s a lot of self-trust and internalized crazy monologuing I need to cut through first. Ironic in retrospect that almost every really good piece of writing I did in high school dealt with unreliable narrators and the fluidity of reality. Hoo boy am I all over that.

    I had planned on doing this here last week, coinciding with Pride in town, but I found a lump on one of my rats last Saturday, shortly after finding another one of them with heavy porphyrin discharge from her nose, eyes, and some stained gunk around one of her ears henceforward ‘Molly’ and ‘Liz’ respectively. Of the four I have they’re the oldest, roughly 2y, which is getting in to the danger zone. I freaked, set up vet appointments for the week, but wasn’t going to be able to get Liz in until Tuesday. By Sunday I was sleeping on the couch next to her isolation cage and she had gone from uncomfortable shambling (mostly circular) to almost zero mobility. We’re talking slo-mo army crawl rat here. I took pictures of her in my lap mostly because I honestly wasn’t sure she’d be there in the morning.

    Monday was hell. I think I cried at least three times in the bathroom and was just generally not a great person to be around. They’re pocket pets, they have short lives, and I knew that going in. It didn’t make it hurt any less that I felt like I’ve gotten so much emotional support and strength from these tiny fucking creatures and now when she really needs me I’m doing some shitty job to make shit that I just don’t give a shit about. I cried again when I got home and she was still breathing. We had Pedialyte, banana baby food and some cherries to celebrate.

    I got her in, got a definite diagnosis of ear-infection, with a differential spectrum including stroke and pituitary tumor. She’s been on antibiotics since then and perked up considerably, but she’s still not standing or eating or drinking as much as she should on her own and she’s dragging her forepaw on the side with the infection. We’re doing it one day at a time now but if her mobility doesn’t improve I just don’t know.

    Molly’s tumor is almost definitely benign and hasn’t changed size or character in the last week, which is good. She and my other two aren’t getting as much personal time as they’re used to, but they’re doing fine.

    One of these days I’m going to master posting stuff that isn’t a wall of text.

    • July 6, 2013 at 3:23 am

      Willemina, ALL THE HUGS for your life changes and for your ratties!

    • taz
      July 6, 2013 at 9:41 am

      Good Luck with your quest! I know its hard and will be harder, but you can make it! It will take a lot to do! But, remember that if you really want it keep with it! In the end the person you need to make happy is yourself! I know that you may loose friends and family over it and I am sorry for you over that. But, If it makes you a better person then you need to do it!
      I am sorry to hear about your friends. I do hope they get better! Remember Friends are the family that if you have a choice you would chose them to be your family!

    • Donna L
      July 6, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Willemina, my very best wishes to your pets for a speedy and full recovery!

      And I’m very happy for you about your other news. And I send you all good wishes and karma for a smooth and uneventful transition, with no “losing friends and family” whatsoever. It does sometimes happen, you know.

      • A4
        July 6, 2013 at 5:09 pm

        It does sometimes happen, you know.

        I’d love to go there someday and see the place where that happens.

      • Donna L
        July 6, 2013 at 5:50 pm

        Well, if you don’t count my divorce, which happened before I transitioned, my transition was pretty smooth, except for losing my two best friends, and the fact that my father’s wife still regularly misgenders me after 8 years. I kept my job, and didn’t lose my relationship with my son, and my father never uses pronouns for me in my presence, so that’s pretty good in the grand scheme of things.

      • Willemina
        July 7, 2013 at 6:44 pm

        Thanks Donna, she’s bounced back like a champ, now the question is how close to “full” we can get.

        My sister is in the know and on-board, and apart from her there’s only my mom and dad. Haven’t really been a friends person for the last two years or so and while the loneliness has sucked at times there’s a certain freedom too. Positive thoughts are always welcome!

      • July 7, 2013 at 8:21 pm

        Yay for her bouncing back, Willemina!

    • EG
      July 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      Wishing you the best of luck in your transition, and also sending sympathy about Molly’s and Liz’s afflictions.

    • dawnofthenerds
      July 8, 2013 at 2:33 am

      I hope it’s okay to say this. I really really like the name you chose. It was my Grandma’s name too, and she passed away very recently. It just makes me very happy that people are still choosing that name.

      Also, jedi hugs if you want them.

      • Willemina
        July 9, 2013 at 1:01 am

        Totally fine, thank you! I’ve been using it in various gaming settings for a couple of years now and something about the length, sound and mouthfeel just makes me smile saying and hearing it. It’s not a meatspace name for me, I like to pretend internet privacy is a thing.

        I’m sorry about your grandma, mine have been gone a while and I still think of things I never asked them or talked about.

  6. taz
    July 6, 2013 at 9:49 am

    My wife is very upset with me at this time! I am a Navigation Officer in the US Merchant Marine and I had to go back to work again on a ship 9600 miles away from home in mid June! We ended up with a two month old mixed Pitt-Bull puppy ( a very long story, with our oldest son, his girlfriend and another friend in the middle of it! We are ready have several dogs and really didn’t need another one, but to keep one more dog out of the pound and she grapped our hearts we made her part of our family!) by the name of Ellie in March and she has made it clear that I am hers! Now that I’m working on the ship, my wife has to deal with Ellie! And there are problems! LOL! Lots of problems! Ellie has to have training due to defending our house and yard from everyone who isn’t known to her! So my wife has to take her to training since I can’t, so she is not happy with me! What Am I ever to do?

  7. July 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    I read this article on the use of martial arts in the British suffrage movement: http://observationdeck.io9.com/the-amazons-of-edwardian-london-kick-ass-suffragette-b-644342073

  8. WestEndGirl
    July 6, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Ikea rug!

  9. PrettyAmiable
    July 6, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    You know those books you were supposed to read in high school, but then you got bored so you never read them and now you feel incredibly short on cultural references?

    I just bought Lord of the Flies, Animal Farm, and 1984 for my kindle. I have a problem though – I’m in the middle of roughly a million other books (the new David Sedaris, MacBeth, Out of Oz, the JK Rowling book which I abandoned so long ago that I don’t remember its name, the new Oliver Sacks book), so I’m pessimistic on ever finishing it. I bet there’s something psychological to unpack here, haha.

    • July 6, 2013 at 8:16 pm

      those are pretty short ones, iirc (with the exception of 1984). You might be able to go through Animal Farm in one sitting if you have a few hours to devote to it.

      e-readers are the worst for enabling simultaneous book reading and forgotten drops…

    • Librarygoose
      July 6, 2013 at 11:11 pm

      You know those books you were supposed to read in high school, but then you got bored so you never read them and now you feel incredibly short on cultural references?

      I purposely avoided this by reading everything a year in advance, Which meant in my senior year I was in my “elitist asshole” phase and only reading the classics. Whatever the fuck I meant by that. I did like Animal Farm though. I never finished 1984, I preferred Brave New World.

      • EG
        July 6, 2013 at 11:16 pm

        At the time, I thought Brave New World was a more realistic vision of dystopia. Now I think it’s a combination. Brave New World shows the carrot and 1984 shows the stick.

    • Marksman2010
      July 7, 2013 at 1:25 am

      Sometimes I worry that I’ve acquired more books than I’ll ever read. I’ve been cataloging my stuff on Librarything.com, and I believe I’m in trouble.

      The problem resides in that my WPM reading speed can’t keep pace with my interests (with books).

      • PrettyAmiable
        July 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm

        The problem resides in that my WPM reading speed can’t keep pace with my interests (with books).

        Right? Apparently you can teach yourself to speed read (and it’s fairly easy to do so), but there’s something so enjoyable about reading a book at your own pace and in your own voice. Or awesome made up voices, as was the case when I read Harry Potter, haha.

      • Marksman2010
        July 8, 2013 at 5:08 pm

        I’m actually doing that now–learning speed-reading techniques–but I agree that reading at a leisurely pace is the best way to go.

  10. July 6, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    So I was just downstairs talking about political stuff with my step-mom when the topic of same-sex marriage came up. Suddenly she was like “Who allowed them to get married? Did they [the people] vote for it?” I told her about how the majority of Americans now support it, and she said “It’s disgusting. Especially with how they get close to each other from behind. Yech.” She was referring to sexual intercourse between gay men.

    In response, I actually had to act like I agreed with her since I obviously couldn’t afford to express my true views. Words fail to explain how awful it feels to act like I hate LGBT people. My heart was almost racing just thinking about the words I was saying, even though I didn’t use any slurs or openly said “I hate gay people.” Ugh.

    • EG
      July 6, 2013 at 11:41 pm

      I’m so sorry. It’s like you have to live your whole life undercover. I can’t imagine how stressful that must be. I’m glad you have some places where you can be yourself.

    • taz
      July 7, 2013 at 6:55 am

      I know what you mean! My family is so southern, Bapist about it. Most of them, if they even knew what it is, would freak out if a gay/les couple would move in next door. Me I am pro-choice (big problem with them), very pro-same sex marriage (really big problem with them!), and mostly my wife and I are just live and let live.
      If you are still living at home you’ll just have to either easy them into changing their views or once you leave let them know your views and then don’t put up with it anymore.
      Times have changed since I was in my twenty’s and with it my views and most of the people in the US views. So when you finally decide to let them know your views remmeber that people will change.
      What does your father think? What does your mother think about all of it?
      One day you’ll be able to tell them what you think and feel and if they really love you they’ll at least keep quiet about being anti-gay/same sex marriage.

  11. thinksnake
    July 7, 2013 at 3:34 am

    Heading to Queer Collaborations (main queer/lgbti student conference in Australia) this week. For the… sixth? time.

    Over the years I’ve made some true friends at this conference, and had a lot of fun. On the other hand, I had my first major panic attack at the first of these I went to (in 2007), and there is a definite chance of shitstorms.

    At least this year it’s being held in Sydney (my home town) so if things go south I can just go home and play video games.

    (NB – ‘queer’ as a term has develped along different lines in Australia compared to the US. Used much more as a positive umbrella term especially in the student movement)

  12. July 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    So many people are seeing this video as an example of someone excersing his 4th Ammendment rights. All I see is someone exercising his white, male, cis, masculine privilege

    • PrettyAmiable
      July 7, 2013 at 7:03 pm

      I wonder if it’s not a little of both, Angel.

      • July 7, 2013 at 7:49 pm

        I just can’t bring myself to drum up any sympathy for this guy.

        “Oh, your rights were violated by the police? Here, have a Hertz donut.”

      • amblingalong
        July 8, 2013 at 2:51 am

        So many people are seeing this video as an example of someone excersing his 4th Ammendment rights. All I see is someone exercising his white, male, cis, masculine privilege

        I think you have it backwards (and this is one of the reasons I occasionally question the usefulness of the privilege framework). The problem isn’t someone exercising a right, the problem is that other people aren’t able to do so.

      • amblingalong
        July 8, 2013 at 2:52 am

        Also, in the specific context of the video, there’s no 4th Amendment violation, and the police did nothing wrong. It makes perfect sense that the government requires people driving on government-built roads not to be drunk, and occasionally institutes enforcement mechanisms.

  13. July 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    So many people are seeing this video as an example of someone excersing his 4th Ammendment rights. All I see is someone exercising his white, male, cis, masculine privilege.

    • July 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

      Oops. Double post.

  14. July 7, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    A rare event: having the camera handy while Maddie’s playing, and her not stopping the minute I hit Record. :P


    • GallingGalla
      July 7, 2013 at 8:37 pm

      Aww, that’s adorable!

      • July 7, 2013 at 10:09 pm

        Thanks, GallingGalla!

        Mads likes doing Random Cute to get our attention. She’ll lie on her back with her feet in the air until someone says “Awwwwww lookit the cute kitty,” then start rolling around.

    • trees
      July 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm

      Kitty cat video, my favorite!!!!! Thanks for posting!

    • Donna L
      July 7, 2013 at 11:20 pm

      So adorable!

    • Willemina
      July 9, 2013 at 1:05 am

      That “I’m too cool for this” interlude is such classic Cat. What are those shapey things around her?

      • July 9, 2013 at 3:54 am

        LOL you’re so right! Notice the I’m too cool for this usually comes right when the human has the camera out, too.

        Those things are corrugated cardboard scratching boards. Mads has almost destroyed hers, when she’s not sleeping on them. They’re also great for having wrestling matches.

        One word of warning for any cat owners looking at buying them: avoid the ones with the plastic frames, like this. We bought one and I noticed red powdery stains on Mads’s white fur. It was colour coming off the plastic, and wouldn’t wash out with water. I’ve no idea if it was toxic or not, but I binned the thing immediately.

  15. July 7, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    Horrible news out of Quebec today

    My heart is going out to the people of Lac Megantic. What a tragedy.

  16. Li
    July 8, 2013 at 11:32 am

    I’m about to go to the same conference Thinksnake is and one of the people who’s volunteered to be on the body responsible for anti-harassment work is a perpetrator of intimate partner violence. I’m not really sure how to deal with that aside from taking them aside before they get trained and having a minor snit about it. Frankly it’s draining most of my energy and I’m pretty much just wishing all of the perps who are attending (which includes someone who’s an ex-partner of my own) would go and inhabit a nice cave together where I don’t feel responsible for dealing with them or warning other people about them.

  17. DouglasG
    July 8, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    It’s disappointing to see so many grumblers still grouching about equal prize money for women at the majors after this Wimbledon. What is this, 1974? Anyone who finds equality so unfair should have to explain to his daughter why she only deserves 94% of her brother’s reward for a comparable achievement. And seeing people try to frame it as being, “equal pay without equal work,” always sets me off. If players were there to be paid by the hour, they’d all be emulating Andrea Jaeger and her moonballs.

    On the positive side, I happened yesterday across a two-hour video of the WTA’s 40th anniversary celebration, which only four of all the #1 players since the invention of computerized rankings didn’t attend. I’m hopeful that it will prove well worth watching.

    • July 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm

      Yes, you never hear people saying you should pay more for a three hour movie than a two hour movie, so the match length argument is pretty shit.

  18. July 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Five-day trip to See Val’s Family, so it was simultaneously nice, exhausting and a multiaxial microaggression smorgasbord, though Val was a sweetheart and did the defending. Fuck, I’m exhausted.

    Also, because this is the only real space where I could complain about this and have someone hopefully identify… I’m wondering if there’s any other non-binary person here who feels like there’s a massive overfocus on gender presentation in identifying as genderqueer online/offline. (As in, you must be this overtly non-binary in order to be accepted as genderqueer.) My dress sense is still pretty Indian, but I’m suddenly being read as cis/straight a lot more because the significance of hairstyles/clothing/prints/colours is different in Canada, and it’s really fucking with my head, to the point where I don’t know, I just feel like I should maybe stop IDing as genderqueer because if someone goes “oh yeah, prove it, show me how” I’ve got nothing. I mean…fuck, half the time I choose my outfit based on whether it would hurt too much to wear it all day/I have enough dexterity to reliably unbutton it/it’s too cold or too hot to wear anything else and it’s either suck it up and “dress wrong” for my internal gender of the day, or be in constant pain for hours. And then my anxiety gets in on the act and goes “well, if you were REALLY genderqueer you’d deal with the pain cheerfully, you’re just faking it, you’re not really (gender of the day)” and I know it’s hogwash, intellectually, but I can’t shut it up. It’s low-grade constant anxiety that takes over pretty much every instant from getting out of the shower in the mornings, unless I’m having a Healthy Day, which is laughably unlikely for this half of the year.

    • Li
      July 11, 2013 at 6:36 pm

      it’s really fucking with my head, to the point where I don’t know, I just feel like I should maybe stop IDing as genderqueer because if someone goes “oh yeah, prove it, show me how” I’ve got nothing.

      Mac, that really sucks. I’ve been at a conference this week and people have been assuming I ID as cis pretty consistently for most of it. It’s especially irritating because I’d wanted to spend some time this week, since I’m around a whole bunch of other queer people, talking about gender stuff a bit more but I haven’t been able to go to the autonomous ISGD (intersex, sex and/or gender diverse) events because there’s been someone at I’m not comfortable being out to at them. So I totally get the feelings of not presenting non-binary enough to qualify.

      If it’s helpful, I think it’s totally problematic to think that non-cis people “look” or present a certain way (obvs you already know that). Your experience is totally valid no matter how much of it is internal/not being read by other people. That people don’t have the grammar to deal with it (and that includes other genderqueer people) is a problem with cissupremacy, and that you’re feeling anxious about it is completely terribad.

    • July 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm

      Mac, I’m sorry you have to deal with all that.

      I agree there is an overfocus; to the extent that I think, if there is any focus on “x should dress Y way” it’s an overfocus. For one thing, I don’t think there are very many overtly non-binary clothing; that is, with no binary gender associations attached. Wizard robes maybe, and scuba gear. Maybe the unisex jumpsuits that were supposed to catch on in communist societies.

      If it helps, remember that there is no way to prove that one’s gender is genderqueer. Or that one’s gender is female, or male, or any other gender. Presentation means something to some people, but clothing items like skirts, pants, bracelets, make-up, are all inherently meaningless and no one can reasonably argue otherwise. A woman is not any less a woman for wearing pants, and a man isn’t any less a man for wearing a dress.

      Likewise, a genderqueer or non-binary person is not any less their gender if they’re wearing spun fibers shaped and cut a certain way instead of a different way.

      I know it’s more complicated than that (and the associations and meanings human society imbue on certain meaningless inanimate objects are not easily dismissed by intellectual reasons) but it always helps me to reduce things to what they really are first.

      Damned if I’m going to put up with anyone’s sass over the plant fiber arrangement on my body. My suggestion for anyone asking you to prove your gender, is to apply a copious amount of convincing saliva applied to their face. (i.e via some convenient method such as spitting)

      There is nothing wrong with choosing clothing based on utility, comfort, or safety.

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