Weekly Open Thread with Cyclone-Ready Pets

These pooches are crated up in Queensland’s Cooktown evacuation centre, waiting with everyone else for Cyclone Ita to pass. Please natter/chatter/vent/rant on anything* you like over this weekend and throughout the week.

Two golden labradors in pet crates seem intrigued by the photographer's attention

Pets inside Cooktown’s evacuation centre ahead of the arrival of Cyclone Ita, April 11, 2014| ABC News: Stephanie Smail

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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88 comments for “Weekly Open Thread with Cyclone-Ready Pets

  1. Donna L
    April 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    So yesterday was my amazing son’s 24th birthday. It’s almost impossible for me to believe that he’s that old. It’s a cliche, but it all goes by so fast. I fell madly in love with him the moment he was born (as traumatic and scary a day as it was) — really it was earlier, but there’s something about holding your new baby in your arms — and that’s never changed a bit and never will. I still get so excited and happy whenever I see him, even if it’s only a few minutes like yesterday afternoon, when he stopped by my office for a while on his way to meet a friend, so I could give him a hug and a kiss and wish him happy birthday.

    I feel a little weird feeling happy about this, but I have to admit that I’m grateful that after 13 years of paying $9,000 per year in child support (the first four voluntarily, and the last nine under the divorce agreement), I now don’t have to anymore. Of course, I’ll continue to give my son directly more than half of what I was paying, as long as he needs it, and so he can help out with household expenses as long as he’s still living part of the time with my ex. But I don’t feel bad about not giving it to my ex anymore, because for a lot of reasons, I know that it isn’t needed. Including the fact that I recently learned that although I make more money than my ex, and will be continuing to pay alimony for another six years as a result, in a multiple of what I was paying in child support, my ex’s net worth is probably five or six times my own.

    Also, after living in a one-bedroom apartment for the last 14 years, I think that when my lease runs out in a year, I might be able to afford the rent on a two-bedroom apartment, if I stay in my present neighborhood. I have felt tremendous guilt all these years for not being able to provide my son with his own bedroom when he stays with me, and I know that the chances he’ll be staying with me much anymore will be minimal by then, since he’ll be 25 and in grad school by next year (albeit not too far away; he’ll be at Rutgers but probably renting an apartment in Newark with a friend), but it would mean so much to me finally to be able to give him his own room.)

    • Matthew
      April 11, 2014 at 8:48 pm

      The sentiments you express about your bond with your son are so lovely Donna. It struck me because my partner and I have just been talking about whether to have a child in the near future. Also just wanted to say that as a long-time lurker I’ve always appreciated your comments and perspective.

      • trees
        April 11, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        I just want to echo Matthew’s impressions and regard.

        Your boy probably didn’t care so much about not having his own room, he likely just enjoyed spending time with you. Plus it added to the whole authentic city-kid experience. Could you maybe stay in your current apartment for a few more years, you’d save money? When your son finishes grad school, he might like to take advantage of that room of his own.

    • Donna L
      April 12, 2014 at 10:15 am

      Thank you both. I love him very much. I have never really understood parents who don’t seem to be madly in love with their children. (Like my own father, who will be 94 in a few days and still has never said “I love you” to me, not once in my life.)

      One of the warnings one always reads about transition is that one has to be prepared to lose everything — losing one’s spouse is assumed, but also one’s parents, siblings, friends, even one’s children.

      I did lose both of my closest friends from before, which I still feel sad about. I wasn’t prepared to lose my son, though; that was not a conceivable outcome to me. I couldn’t have transitioned if it meant losing him. But even though I know (and know of) far too many trans women whose children have neither seen nor spoken to them since the day they transitioned, no matter how many years ago it was, and find those situations desperately sad and frightening, I never allowed myself to believe for a moment that I would lose him when I transitioned 9 years ago, when he was 15.

      And I didn’t. Any more than he lost me when he came out to me as gay three years before that. I think he must have known in his hart that I would accept him without question, and I knew in my heart that he would do the same for me. Not that it was entirely easy for him by any means. But I will always be so grateful to him for giving me the great gift of his love and acceptance, even at such a young age, despite his fears about what it would be like.

      • Donna L
        April 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

        I still vividly remember when he called my ex from my apartment, when he was 14, and told her that I was going to transiton, and how he was able to stand up to her when she was clearly trying to get him to say that he was afraid of me and thought I was dangerous and/or deranged.

        Instead, he kept repeating that he was OK with it (even though he wasn’t entirely sure that he would be), and correcting her by saying that I was a she, not a he, and trying to explain that this was who I was and what I had to do, and that no, he wasn’t afraid of me and didn’t need her to come rescue him.

        [to moderator: please leave long comment in moderation]

        Trees, I really don’t think sleeping in the living room bothered him much at all for many years. When I first got an apartment, back when he was 10, in a neighboring town in New Jersey (I didn’t move back to New York City until after he was out of high school, because I didn’t want to be more than a 5-minute drive away from him), he used to end up in my room sleeping right next to me half the time anyway!

        But as he’s gotten older, privacy has become more important to him, for several reasons I can think of! And I just think it would be nice for him, and would make it easier for him to stay with me, if he had his own room.

        Plus, it occurs to me that if I move to a less-nice building in my neighborhood, a 2-bedroom apartment probably wouldn’t be that much more expensive than the one-bedroom I have now. Maybe I can use what I’m saving by not paying child support anymore, to the extent I don’t just give it to my son anyway.

        What I really wish is that I could help him with his graduate school tuition while he gets his master’s, so he doesn’t have to take out loans, but I’m afraid I can’t. His grandma (my former mother-in-law) is generous with him — he’s her only grandchild — so that helps some, as does the fact that because he’s a New Jersey resident, Rutgers costs a lot less than it otherwise would. And he’s been making a couple of hundred dollars a week at his job, and has been trying to save most of it. Plus, it’s only for two years, and if he goes on to get a Ph.D., he won’t go anyplace that doesn’t fund him. So I’m trying not to feel guilty.

      • Donna L
        April 12, 2014 at 10:18 am

        known in his “heart,” not his “hart”! These misspellings are starting to worry me!

      • TomSims
        April 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm


        (Like my own father, who will be 94 in a few days and still has never said “I love you” to me, not once in my life.)”

        My late parents born in 1902 and 1910 respectively were like that as I was growing up in the 40’s, 50’s and early 60’s, especially my father. It’s just the way it was. There were no open displays of affection. It did not mean they didn’t love their kids, it was a different times and they only reflected the way they had been brought up. My brother and I were both adopted, otherwise we would have been raised in a school for boys.

      • SemiGeniusOz
        April 18, 2014 at 5:59 pm

        Happened to me, growing up in 60s & 70s, same deal, never occurred to me that I was loved. Eldest kid of 4 boys incl. identical twins – all born to parents too young & clueless,unfairly but completely resp. For my Bros… I ran away from home at ten, disappeared completely into the scrub for 3days, didn’t know it was at the same time as Australia’s first truly ‘kidnap for ransom’ : the ‘Graham Thorn’ thing [he was killed] so created a massive law force etc. stir… I had just had enough of being Belted. & knew how to disappear, lived by sneak minor food etc. theft.. 3 days later, I snuck back thru the bush backing onto my Parent’s place, (dense National Park), dark night, looking to steal food, from the dark at 2 am, saw thru the lighted kitchen window, both parents, Father holding mother, both in.dreadful heart-wrenching tears… And that was it….

        Tell your kids you love them every day you can mean it.
        – best to all from Oz.

      • EG
        April 19, 2014 at 12:47 pm

        No, it wasn’t just the way it was. My grandparents and great-grandparents did not treat their children like that at all in the 1930s-1960s. They had all kinds of other issues, but that wasn’t one of them.

      • Donna L
        April 19, 2014 at 7:54 pm

        I’m certainly not the only person I know who was born in the USA in the 1950’s or 1960’s whose father was notable for a seeming inability or unwillingness to express affection to his children. Then again, I have friends of the same generation who remember receiving plenty of affection from their fathers. (Although some of those fathers were from other countries originally — perhaps that made a difference.) I do think it’s true, though, that if a father isn’t openly affectionate to his children now — or even when I became a parent in 1990 — people see it as unusual and unfortunate. I’m not sure that was so true in 1950 or 1960.

      • April 19, 2014 at 8:03 pm

        My dad (born 1940) never tells my brother that he loves him, but he says it to me and my sisters. It’s so weird.

      • TomSims
        April 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

        Actions speak louder than words.

      • EG
        April 21, 2014 at 1:44 pm

        No, not always.

      • Donna L
        April 21, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        Agreed. I happen to be one of those people who needs the words. “I show you I love you by my actions; why should I have to say it?” isn’t really enough for me. Call me greedy.

      • trees
        April 21, 2014 at 2:53 pm

        I’m definitely one of those fuck the words show me, kind of people. I actually hate the expression “I love you”.

      • Donna L
        April 21, 2014 at 3:42 pm

        I think having a father who never ever said that to me has a lot to do with my feelings about this.

      • trees
        April 21, 2014 at 4:50 pm

        I’m not sure I understand what the word actually means. It has always just felt manipulative and false to me. The words have never seemed to bear any relation to how I’m treated, as in, if this is love, hate would serve me just as well. I also don’t trust sentiment or romance, but that’s probably a whole other conversation.

      • TomSims
        April 22, 2014 at 4:28 am

        Bingo! We have a winner ladies and gentlemen. Talk is cheap. A picture is worth a thousand words. Cash talks and bullshit walks. The unspoken word never does harm.

        And before our ancestors invented the spoken word, there was only actions.

      • EG
        April 22, 2014 at 10:52 am

        Bullshit, Tom. You have someone right here in this thread explaining that the unspoken word does and has done harm. You have someone in this thread saying that words mean a lot to them. They may not mean much to you, but don’t confuse that with them not meaning much at all.

        When my best friend died, the words of support I received meant a lot. They told me that even though there were no actions that anybody could take to help, there were people I could talk to and find support from. With fucking words. And that was far more helpful in coping with death and loss than random cash.

        Before our ancestors invented fire, we ate all our food raw. Before our ancestors invented vaccines, we all caught smallpox. What the fuck does that have to do with anything?

      • TomSims
        April 23, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        @EG; Sorry EG, my apologies. I forgot where I was. Senior moment.

      • Donna L
        April 22, 2014 at 11:58 am

        Thanks for the respect for my viewpoint, Tom. Must you be so dismissive?

        Personally, I don’t understand, at all, why some people find it so difficult to say “I love you” (or otherwise express affection verbally) to their children or partners or anyone else they claim to love. When I love someone, I want to say so every time I speak to them. As I’ve done (at least once!) just about every single time I’ve spoken to my son in his entire life — and he’s done with me. It’s not so difficult. And I know for a fact that it’s meant a lot to both of us.

        Not that I am one, but I’m pretty sure that being a man and saying “I love you” are not inconsistent.

      • April 22, 2014 at 3:43 pm

        Not that I am one, but I’m pretty sure that being a man and saying “I love you” are not inconsistent.

        All the negatives in this sentence had me thinking I totally disagreed with this sentiment, but now that I’ve read it three times and actually understand that you’re saying a man can say ‘I love you,’ I couldn’t agree more.

      • Donna L
        April 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm


      • TomSims
        April 23, 2014 at 1:26 pm

        @Donna; Sorry Donna, I got carried away . I do hug my wife, my daughter and granddaughters every chance I get. And you are no doubt a great parent and should be proud of your son. Hugging was not the method to show love in my parents family. I was only pointing out the difference in another generation.

      • Donna L
        April 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm

        Thanks for the apology, Tom.

      • trees
        April 22, 2014 at 12:45 pm

        I hope this isn’t in response to my contribution to this discussion. There really don’t appear to be any “winners” here, except for maybe Donna L’s son. Notions of “love” (outside of love of things like a breezy Fall day, or ice cream) makes me queasy, but I certainly respect that others have profoundly different experiences.

      • TomSims
        April 23, 2014 at 1:27 pm

        @trees; Yes trees, you are correct. I got carried away and forgot where I was. My apologies.

      • April 22, 2014 at 1:24 am

        I think having a father who never ever said that to me has a lot to do with my feelings about this.

        That makes sense. My father has very rarely said it to me or my sister, but not NEVER, so yeah I always just figured he was like most Jewish men of his generation. In fact I always felt like my family and most of my Jewish friends families were much less affectionate than other families. My mom doesn’t say ‘I love you’ when she hangs up the phone with me unless we’ve just been having a really emotional conversation, but all correspondences are signed ‘Love, Mom.’

        However, I was able to accept it as normal because it was just ‘seldom.’ I can totally see how ‘never ever’ is a far far different thing.

      • April 21, 2014 at 9:30 pm

        Same here, Donna. I need both.

    • April 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Your kid sounds like a great guy. Congratulations, mama. You did good.

    • April 22, 2014 at 1:14 am

      …he’ll be at Rutgers but probably renting an apartment in Newark with a friend…)

      That must mean he’s going to the business school. My sister is a professor there (Fat Steve’s sis)

      If he’d like to have a chat with her to answer any questions or concerns he might have, I would be happy to arrange it…feel free to email me at stuwhoknew@me.com

  2. April 12, 2014 at 12:46 am

    There’s been a major (longstanding) internet security breach that has been uncovered this past week. Everybody should be updating all their passwords, stat.

    • Tyris
      April 12, 2014 at 3:30 am

      Until the exploit is fixed, a new password is just as easy to obtain as the old one.

      Changing all your passwords every half-hour would minimise the window where anybody can do anything useful with them, but who has the time for that?

      • April 12, 2014 at 3:48 am

        That’s why the article I linked to had a list of tools one can use to check whether the exploit has been fixed on a particular site e.g. twitter.com

        Once you’ve seen that the exploit has been fixed, then you can change your passwords.

    • April 12, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Working on all those passwords now. Le sigh.

  3. Tim
    April 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    In case anyone else is tempted to watch The Lone Ranger (pheenobarbidoll commented on it in the previous OT, but it’s closed to comments now), Adrienne K. at Native Appropriations saw it so no one else would have to. I think it’s a pretty good takedown of the movie (I haven’t seen it, because, well, Adrienne K. saw it so I wouldn’t have to). I really like her blog (she has not been posting as much lately because of dissertation writing); apologies if anyone finds her problematic for reasons I am not aware of.

  4. April 12, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    [CN: graphic description of sexual harassment]

    Someone just sexually harassed me over the phone (and his number was local, which I hope isn’t a sign that he’s a stalker). He sent me a sexually explicit message that went like “Ahh yeah baby, aahhhhh, get on top of it, ahhhh, just taste it, I want you to taste it, ahhh.” And then this series of texts happened:

    Him: “Fuck you”

    Me: “I have no idea who you are. You might have the wrong number.”

    Him: “I know you ;)”

    Me: “Can you tell me who you are please? I seriously don’t know who you are.”

    Him: “No”

    Me: “Okay whatever. Just don’t leave anymore voicemails like the one you just left me. Are you [someone I know]?”

    Him: “He look I’m not trying to freak you out. I just have needs.”

    Me: “No one has a ‘need’ to send random people voicemails that make them feel uncomfortable and creeped out. Please just leave me alone. I don’t even know you.”

    Him: “today I put on my mommies wedding dress and played with my dongle have you ever tried that?”

    I haven’t replied yet, and I don’t want to. I’m so scared.

    • PrettyAmiable
      April 12, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Do you have this dirtbag’s number? Do you feel safe to go to the police?

      • April 12, 2014 at 4:06 pm

        I have his number, but I don’t want to call the police. If he keeps trying to contact me, then I’ll change my number. I’m not comfortable with getting law enforcement involved.

        I want a break, for once. I don’t want to be harassed like this anymore. I wish they could just leave me alone.

      • PrettyAmiable
        April 12, 2014 at 4:35 pm

        I understand. I’m sorry that this is something else you have to deal with. Big hugs, if you want them.

      • emily
        April 13, 2014 at 4:30 am

        I read a really great self-helpish book on stalking and the like called The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. He recommended not changing your number, but getting a new number in addition to the old one. The author figured that if stalker got your number one time, he can get it a second time if he sees that the old number is disconnected. But if you keep that old number and get a friend to leave the outgoing voice mail message (hello, you’ve reached transcommie’s phone, etc) then he might not realize and just think you’re scanning your calls? (I don’t know your unique situation, of course, and how feasible this would be. If it’s a cell number, can it be converted to a pay as you go plan, then you wouldn’t even have to pay for it because you’d never use it? If nothing else, I recommend the book.)

    • April 12, 2014 at 5:23 pm

      Looks like it was a prank call. -_-

      • Donna L
        April 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm

        You think the trans reference was a coincidence? I was concerned that someone might know who you are, and have somehow connected you to your name and phone number

      • April 12, 2014 at 5:32 pm

        No, it probably wasn’t. He knows me, and I know him. And he knows that I’m trans. *sigh*

        Well, at least I don’t feel unsafe anymore. I know that he’s non-threatening – he just has a very mean-spirited, rude sense of humor. I think he got really high with my brother and then decided to play a joke on me. Ugh.

      • April 12, 2014 at 5:56 pm

        To clarify, I mean to say that he’s non-threatening to me. And his humor is also very bigoted.

    • April 12, 2014 at 7:47 pm

      Sounds like a horrific human being. I use the term ‘human being’ loosely. WTF?

    • April 12, 2014 at 9:20 pm

      Fortunately, the man has apologized for the prank, stating that he honestly thought I would easily tell he was joking. I believe him because I know his sense of humor, while incredibly bigoted and inappropriate, isn’t something he purposely uses to hurt people with. My brother (a friend of this man) has also apologized for being insensitive towards me regarding the whole prank, repeating what his friend said about not expecting that it would be distressing for me. I understand it sounds like a cheap excuse, but I know them well enough to believe what they’re saying.

      For my own sake, I forgive both of them. Not only have they expressed remorse, but they also promise to not go this far with pranks for me again. The thing is, I’ve been pranked before (in a much more light-hearted, benign manner), and upon finding out I’ve actually found some of them very amusing and well done.

    • SemiGeniusOz
      April 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Much power to you. You sound cool, brave, understanding, courteous, forgiving…a fair dinkum decent human :)

      Good on you.
      (FWIW, I’m a straight, Aussie, ‘Alpha Male’ with a bunch of grown up kids…no partner, no personal direct interest in Trans, Gay, feminism, pol correctness etc. – got HERE By accident -Touched by yr situation & handling [yeah, my first reaction was to trace & go belt the bloke -I’m 6’3, former fighter & tho normally non violent, I WILL act in self defence & have a deep & abiding hatred of bigotry & bullies of ALL kinds… I don’t know you or where you are but shd you need Intelligent help, feel free to drop me a note. Nick SemiGeniusOz – I use G mail] )

      -Best to all.

  5. April 12, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    I have been a horrible community member, haven’t I? I just disappeared. I’m so sorry. How is everyone?

    The last six weeks have been rough. I broke my leg playing soccer, and have been mostly housebound ever since. I’ve mostly been numbing my mind with video games and netflix. I have a check-up on Wednesday, and hopefully I’ll be cleared to put weight on my leg and start rehab.

    I had no idea just how difficult it is to get around in the world on crutches. I have this whole new perspective into what it’s like to live with a physical disability. Man, people can be rude. But mostly people have been very helpful and lovely. Oh, and bathrooms are terrifying. I have learned so much about asking for help, and while I would never say that this was a “gift” or a “blessing in disguise”, I have learned a lot. Also, I now have seriously buff arms and shoulders. Tickets to the gun show here – http://instagram.com/p/mtV8upKoBG/

    • EG
      April 14, 2014 at 1:20 pm

      You’re not horrible at all! It’s so good to see you again. I’m sorry to hear about the rough weeks and hope you’re healing up swiftly and smoothly. Welcome back!

      • April 17, 2014 at 12:01 am

        Thanks, EG! I saw the doctor this morning, and I have been cleared to put weight on my leg and start rehab. Right now I’m toddling and learning how to walk again. I still have a ways to go before life gets back to normal.

    • April 18, 2014 at 4:16 am
    • April 28, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      I had no idea just how difficult it is to get around in the world on crutches. I have this whole new perspective into what it’s like to live with a physical disability.

      I know what you mean. I had a knee brace and crutches for 2 months last year and it was difficult. I hope you are getting better.

  6. PrettyAmiable
    April 14, 2014 at 11:20 am

    CN: Anti-semitism

    From this:

    While police in Overland Park, Kansas, stopped short of labeling the Sunday attacks a hate crime until they were further along in their investigation, the suspect, Frazier Glenn Miller, is the founder and former leader of the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party

    Can someone explain to me why they wouldn’t label it a hate crime? Is there some kind of legal reason?

    • EG
      April 14, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      It has been now.

      I note that for all the killer’s insistence on the physical disgustingness of Jews, when push came to shove, he couldn’t tell us from gentiles. Two of his victims were Methodists. Not converts, either, as far as the article mentions.

      • PrettyAmiable
        April 14, 2014 at 1:29 pm

        Maybe it was the way the article was written – got the statement from police before anyone did research on Miller, then they looked into his past. I have to be optimistic that it’s not anything shiftier.

    • Tim
      April 14, 2014 at 2:12 pm

      It should also be called “terrorism,” but I bet neither any government body at any level, nor the MSM, will call it that.

    • SemiGeniusOz
      April 18, 2014 at 5:30 pm

      It’s all about their ‘crime stats’

      -2c please


  7. Angel H.
    April 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Has anyone else had this issue?: When you realize it’s payday and your first thought is, “Yay! I get to eat today!”

    Something that I didn’t realize until I became homeless was how not only having food but having a choice of foods was a privilege. Most of my diet consists of free cafeteria food at the facility where I work or whatever I can buy for cheap (1 pack hot dogs + 1 pack buns = $2) or whatever I can get from the food bank. But I got paid today, so I had Panera Bread for breakfast and microwave gyu-don for lunch! ^_^

    I can’t wait for dinner!

    • April 15, 2014 at 12:24 am

      Angel, I’m glad you’re getting some good food to eat today.

      It’s not an issue I’ve ever had to deal with, so I realise again just how fortunate I am. Enjoy that dinner!

    • pheenobarbidoll
      April 15, 2014 at 1:24 am

      Yup. I once “cooked” a potato on a radiator in a motel room. Also existed on a loaf of bread and bottle of mustard for about a week. There was no pay day though, so the bread and mustard had been shoplifted. But I remember when I was finally approved for 80 bucks in food stamps. Grocery shopping felt like I had won a huge spree. I can empathize. Wish I could help. Homelessness sucks.

    • EG
      April 15, 2014 at 7:21 am

      I’ve always been lucky that way, and it’s awful that you aren’t–that anybody isn’t.

      I’ve been thinking of you lately, and hoping that you’re well.

    • trees
      April 15, 2014 at 10:22 am

      The sense of deprivation was worse than the actual hunger for me. And then there was the feeling of isolation. I’m living large right now and it’s not something I care to to think about very often.

      Good eatin’ for a few days. Shit, I’m sorry you are having to deal with this.

  8. Donna L
    April 15, 2014 at 11:43 am

    A Happy Passover and Gut Yontif to any and all who celebrate.

    I used to love going to seders when my son was little, since he enjoyed them a great deal. Then I went for a number of years after my marriage ended to the family seder of the woman I was in a relationship with, but it always made me a little uncomfortable (except for the few times my son was there), because she didn’t want her parents or children to know about us, especially I think after they knew I was trans. (Plus she wasn’t divorced and was still living and sleeping in the same bed with her husband, even though they were no longer sexually active, so she didn’t think her family would approve of us.) So I always had to pretend that we were “just good friends,” which was hard for me.* Plus her husband was usually there too, which made it even harder. (He used to be my friend, but after I learned how he acted towards his wife and children, and especially after he tried to forbid me to be in the presence of his children once I transitioned, I grew to despise him.)

    I don’t think I’ve been to a Seder for 9 or 10 years now, and am not sure I would feel like going even if I were ever invited to one, because it just wouldn’t be the same. Plus I hate being the object of pity for being alone.

    * I wasn’t “allowed” to tell my son about the relationship either, but learned later that he had figured it out very early on. I’m not really very good at concealing my emotions, and he knows me too well.

    • trees
      April 15, 2014 at 12:51 pm

      The seder can be such a healing experience. If it’s that aspect that appeals to you, there’s no reason why you can’t read the Haggadah by yourself/for yourself.

      • Donna L
        April 15, 2014 at 2:56 pm

        Thank you. That’s a great idea, and I may just do that.

  9. April 15, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Apparently my dad is convinced that I’m ordering morning-after pills from China. I don’t even know how to react to something like that.

    • EG
      April 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm

      Well, at least you can tell him perfectly truthfully that you are doing nothing of the kind.

      • Donna L
        April 15, 2014 at 9:46 pm

        That’s a very odd notion, isn’t it? What exactly would morning-after pills do for you? (If I understand correctly, the main active ingredient is a progestin, not an estrogen.)

        It’s probably a good thing that he doesn’t really understand how easy it is to order estradiol and other estrogens over the Internet without a prescription, from places a lot closer than China.

        Would it help to tell him that you would never take any medicine without being under a doctor’s care and getting a prescription for it?

      • April 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm

        Would it help to tell him that you would never take any medicine without being under a doctor’s care and getting a prescription for it?

        That’s what I kept trying to tell him last time we spoke about trans-related matters. Unfortunately, I’m not willing to remind him because I can’t bear talking to him about those things.

  10. PrettyAmiable
    April 17, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Link from Shakesville. .. I just. This is terrifying.

    • Donna L
      April 17, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      I can’t even deal with this. I know too many people — including relatives of my son on my ex’s side — whose family members were murdered in Ukraine. Every time a city or town in Ukraine has been mentioned in recent months, I recognize the name because I know that once upon a time, many Jews lived there, and had lived there for centuries, and that the ground is still figuratively soaked with their blood.

      • ldouglas
        April 17, 2014 at 5:55 pm

        For what it’s worth, it’s almost certainly a hoax.

      • PrettyAmiable
        April 17, 2014 at 11:05 pm

        It’s a different kind of terrible, I guess. I wish I hadn’t been taken in, but there’s something to be said that it managed to fool so many people, and people who would do something like that in that part of the world as part of a shitty extortion scheme are completely reprehensible.

      • Donna L
        April 17, 2014 at 11:13 pm

        It was reasonably evident from the beginning that it wasn’t “real” in the sense of anyone having the power to enforce it. That isn’t why I was upset, and I hope you understand how frightening it was to Jewish people living there regardless of that, knowing that people’s minds work that way. On both “sides,” to be honest.

      • ldouglas
        April 18, 2014 at 1:32 am

        It was reasonably evident from the beginning that it wasn’t “real” in the sense of anyone having the power to enforce it. That isn’t why I was upset, and I hope you understand how frightening it was to Jewish people living there regardless of that, knowing that people’s minds work that way. On both “sides,” to be honest.

        Yes, absolutely. Please don’t take my post as trying to minimize how genuinely terrible a scheme it was- just trying to make sure it was clear that that’s what it was, and not the beginning of something still more horrifying.

        My sincere apologies if it seemed like I was implying otherwise.

      • Donna L
        April 18, 2014 at 1:50 am

        No apologies necessary; I understand that you weren’t trying to minimize it.

      • ldouglas
        April 17, 2014 at 6:06 pm
      • PrettyAmiable
        April 17, 2014 at 11:05 pm

        (Also, thanks for the link – I hadn’t seen it earlier).

    • pheenobarbidoll
      April 17, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      What the ever loving fuck, man. Thats chilling and disgusting.

  11. April 22, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    At this juncture, I feel it’s necessary to point out that speaking is an action. I don’t think anyone here is saying that they would prefer a father who said ‘I love you’ constantly but was horrifically abusive the rest of the time. Saying ‘I love you’ is an action if done with love, if it’s just being said for the sake of saying it then it’s just words.

    • Echo Zen
      April 22, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Fat Steve, I don’t comment much, but it’s good to see you commenting and proving you’re still around.

      • April 22, 2014 at 3:59 pm

        Awwww thanks….likewise!!! :)

  12. April 22, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    As someone who is self-loathing and has a history of being verbally abused, I prefer love expressed in actions rather than words. But I understand why some folks like to hear verbal expressions of love like “I love you”.

    It’s often difficult for me to make such verbal expressions due to being shy and self-loathing, and I really wish it wasn’t so hard for me to say “I love you”; I know that most of my family members like verbal expressions of love in addition to love expressed in actions. And I know they have strong reasons for preferring to hear “I love you”, although it’s not like they need to justify their preferences here in the first place.

  13. PrettyAmiable
    April 22, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Can’t tell if I’m the only one – is Donna’s chain (i.e. the one about actions v words) not nesting?

    • Echo Zen
      April 22, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      No, I’m noticing the exact same thing.

      • April 22, 2014 at 10:23 pm

        Testing now to see whether this one nests or not.

        [edited to add: well that did work. Hm]

  14. April 28, 2014 at 5:09 pm

    Cyclone Ready Pets sounds like a indie/alternative music group.

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