Chatterday! Open Thread.

This is our weekly Chatterday! open thread. Use this open thread to talk amongst yourselves: feel free to share a link, have a vent, or spread some joy.

What have you been reading or watching lately (remembering spoiler warnings)? What are you proud of this week? What’s made your teeth itch? What’s going on in your part of the world?

Today’s chatterday backcloth comes via Zooborns, and it’s the world’s smallest rabbit. This rare Columbia Basin Pygmy Rabbits lives at the Oregon Zoo, where they’re breeding them like… well, yes.

Feel free to add your own images. (Anna insists that these should only be of ponies, but I insist that very small primates, camelids, critters from the weasel family, and smooching giraffes are also acceptable.) Just whack in a bare link to a webpage, please – admin needs to deal with the HTML code side of things.

59 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread.

  1. Oh, hooray, I can whack this in here–I noticed a bunch of people are coming here with searches for “Glee” and some combination of “disability” “fail” “ableism” “makes my brainmeats hurt” etc, so…here’s why we’ve been quiet on Glee: Wheels:

    I wrote a guest post about it for Bitch; Glee-ful Appropriation, and Anna will be writing about it this weekend (she doesn’t watch until Fridays). It’s not that we aren’t covering it/aren’t planning to cover it!

    Incidentally–Bitch has a word limit, which is why there is a lot of stuff missing from my review. I started out with about five times as many words as I was allowed, and it was really, really, really hard to cut stuff. Really hard. Unbelievably hard. There was so much stuff I wanted to unpack and address in that post that could not physically fit, and I feel extremely guilty about all of the things I had to gloss over.

    But feel free to talk about the rage-inducement all you like in this thread. And to expand upon the numerous issues that issue-rife episode provided us with.
    .-= meloukhia´s last blog ..Glee: Wheels =-.

  2. I don’t have TV service, and I usually don’t get into shows enough to watch online, but I’ve been able to keep up with Glee because my friends rave about it. Something I find interesting about this is that the two most vocal lovers of Glee both have children with significant disabilities (not that other disabilities are insignificant, but in their situations, it is probably the most significant factor in the parents’ lives.) These folks are also great advocates for their kids, and I find it interesting that they have not mentioned the disability issues with the show. I’m not going to mention it to them, because how they respond to disability in pop culture isn’t for me to police. But when the posts arrive here, I may point them this way. Honestly, I’m interested in their thoughts on the matter.

    And yay! More cute baby animals! My daughter lurves the pics, but I have to carefully portion them out to her or her squeals become unbearable.

  3. I got the DVD of Pixar’s Up in from Netflix this week… and was quite peeved to find out that Disney shipped Netflix a special bare-bones version of the DVD that doesn’t even have subtitles or captions.

    I thought this might just be a Netflix-only thing, but nope. Searching around Twitter, I found that Redbox kiosks and even Blockbuster brick-and-mortar stores got this same version of the DVD. I actually confirmed this at a Blockbuster store myself yesterday. Even worse, the DVD case at Blockbuster has the icon for subtitles on it, just like the store-bought version… which is just plain false advertising, as far as I’m concerned.

    As someone who depends on subtitles for viewing DVDs, this did not please me– particularly given Disney’s excellent track record with subtitling bonus features as of late.

  4. Blerk, codeman38, that’s…uh, that’s not cool. At all. I’d be interested to know if you end up writing Disney and what kind of response you get.

  5. I wrote Disney through the contact URL printed on the top of the disc. This was the reply I got:

    Thank you for the e-mail regarding your Up DVD. We are concerned about your inquiry and would like an opportunity to address this issue with greater detail. We ask that you please send us your full mailing address and phone number so that we may contact you as soon as we have a resolution.

    Of course, I told them in my reply to that that, although I do have a voice telephone number, e-mail would be easier for both parties involved… (I suppose I could’ve given them my IP Relay number instead?)

    One nice thing, incidentally: “Captions/Subtitles” was actually a listed option on their contact form for the reason you were contacting them, which surprised me quite a bit.

  6. Oh, and another thing…

    Although it’s not something I would use myself, the retail DVD of Up also includes a descriptive audio track for blind people, which narrates what’s happening on-screen. The rental DVD is, of course, missing that.

    For that matter, the rental DVD is also missing the French and Spanish dubs and subs from the retail version, making it inaccessible to native speakers of those languages as well.

    So, basically, they’ve made the rental disc quadruply inaccessible. ::facepalm::

  7. Re: Netflix and subtitles – most of my movies aren’t in English, so they have subtitles. (The really cool ones – newer, YashRaj and other non-Eros brands – offer subtitles in more than just English. Though never in the native language. Might ask about that on the Bollywood board…)

    But I’ve found a problem with the instant watch and subtitles. For one, if it’s in English (and everyone who uses Netflix speaks English fluently and can hear and understand it perfectly, right?), no subtitles, or option for subs.

    Two – UTV made a bunch of Indian movies available instantly, including a few that still aren’t available in disc form. Problem? The bottom half of the subtitle gets cut off. <— That sentence would appear normally, this one would not. The clearest example is "you" – it appears as "vou".

    It's normally not a problem, but if I'm distracted from pain or really tired and haven't seen it a million times already, it's hard work.

    Of course Bollywood and subtitles equals headache! Rangeela at Netflix – the subtitles are a beat behind. Aamir is talking, no subs. Urmila starts talking, there's the subs for Aamir's lines! I just watched Vivah (mmm, Shahid) and while the subs weren't Rangeela bad, if something had to be expressed with 2-3 lines, sometimes the last line wouldn't show up until the next person spoke, usually above their dialogue. And let's not mention white writing on white backgrounds. Life is not a bad Austin Powers gag!
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  8. Hey folks on Chatterday!

    There’s been a few comments hitting the spam queue instead of our normal queue, so things might get a bit crossed with fishing things out.

    I blame the economy, and the lack of pony pictures in this thread. *firmnod*

  9. Let me find a dog picture.

    I could just give you Wickett, apparently people who don’t live with him think he’s “cute.” He’s a hell beast rushing towards world domination, oh he fell asleep. Nevermind.

    I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I am beyond grateful that this site exists and that I found it.

    How do you deal with your own detractors? I’m at home, not going to class. I’m either asleep in a bed or on the couch. Sometimes I’ll go outside with the dogs. Guess what? My pain isn’t as bad! So I better get my butt back to school. Even though just walking to class would use up every spoon. I said this to my mom, and I’m sticking by it.

    *I* know that the reason I feel better is because I’m at home and *you* know that, but *I* don’t.

    It’s a mess. I hate missing school!

    So. Dogs.

    Dixie on my bed:

    a large buff colored dog lying on a bed, facing the camera, with mouth open. One could objectively say that this dog is grinning.

    Dixie ready for her trip to the casinos!

    The same dog as above, seated in the passenger seat of a car, also smiling
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  10. I just wanted to share my recent accessibility win:

    I have Tourette’s which manifests itself in a way that can dramatically impair my speech, I’m also aspies so expressing certain things in words is difficult for me, especially in emotional situations.

    So last night I had a bad experience with some very, very creepy men who confronted me and tried to use me for sex on the way home last night. I went to the police. I didn’t feel that I could both deal with the emotional aspects of speaking and deal with the physical problems that my tics cause me when trying to speak. The police were amazing, even knowing that I could physically speak, the deputies I worked with had no trouble letting me use my computer to dictate my thoughts to them the entire time. They didn’t even ask any details about why. I just told them that I had disabilities which made it difficult for me to communicate vocally and that was enough for them.

    I’m still very upset over what happened and I’m still trying to piece things together, but the way the officers treated me really made my experience a lot less traumatic and made the whole experience much easier for me.

  11. Samantha, that is both very upsetting (I am so, so sorry about icky creepy men) and awesome that the police accommodated you. It’s terrific to hear a story of police doing things right; maybe we need to start an “accessibility win” feature.

    Speaking of accessibility, if any users are having any accessibility issues with the site, this is a good place to bring them up! (Someone recently mentioned that odd things are happening with the commentluv box, for example, which we are working on.)

  12. Samatha – what meloukhia said. Even when – especially when – a situation is bad, the littlest things make the difference. Er, basically I’m in pain, racked with guilt for missing school, but I totally get to listen to Dixie snore!

    I’ll shut up now.

    An accessibility win I saw a couple weeks ago, especially after reading about all the problems people had in/with schools of levels, well it is standard, required, but it just made me happy.

    I was waiting for my class to begin. It’s a 1000 level class – basic info. There are about 150 people in the class. The class in the lecture room before us featured a woman signing in ASL, standing up front.

    And the continued awesomeness of my professors (despite my own issues) and my therapist always makes me happy. At therapy on Wednesday, my left eye was being weird. And she switched up the dynamics by sitting next to me, rather than across from me, so I had to look at the lamp between us. It’s a little thing, but she turned the lamp off when I asked. (There was still a lamp behind me.)
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  13. Samantha – oh my god, that sounds horrible! The icky creepy men, that is. I’m glad you managed to get away from them and go to the police, and it’s awesome that the police were accommodating!

    In other news – sorry to bring up Glee yet again, especially when I don’t even watch it and never will, but I’m still sputtering in outrage over the faked stutter. I stutter and stutterers in any kind of entertainment/fiction/etc. are few and far between, so I really cannot express what hearing that Tina stuttered meant for me. I’m jaded enough that I was expecting various stereotypes to be thrown around (as indeed some were, from what I hear), but all the same when I heard that she’d been faking it I actually started crying. It’s just so offensive and horrible and wrong. 🙁 (And part of me still wants to laugh – she fakes a stutter because she feels shy and not up to dealing with people? What *planet* are the writers on?! Do they have the slightest idea how stigmatised speech disorders are and how many people take one as an open invitation for harassment and bullying?)

    To get away from that fail… this week, I went to a course on project management. The person running it kept assuring us that these skills could be applied anywhere, why, that even *making a cup of tea* could be seen as a project! As someone with enough difficulties when it comes to organisation + executive function that some way to simplify the task of making a cup of tea could be helpful, I must say that I did not think his techniques were very useful for that sort of thing. I wish I could have actually told him that, but I’m not yet out about the AS. >>

    Speaking of which, I have a meeting with the disability service next Monday that I am somewhat nervous about. Or rather, I may have one, or it may need to be cancelled; they asked me to bring medical evidence with me and that still hasn’t arrived yet. I feel so incredibly *tired* of being in limbo wrt diagnosis, and I’m so afraid that this will get lost in the post and I’ll have to chase up on it and I really don’t think I can face that right now.
    .-= Kaz´s last blog ..Because incurable speech disorders just up and vanish all the time, don’t you know =-.

  14. Kaz, that scene infuriated me. So much. So. So. So. Much. I was really unhappy that I had to cut my deeper discussion of it when I wrote up my post for Bitch, because…it was so very upsetting and problematic and I wanted to delve into it and turn it inside out and then make it go stand in the corner for a while and Think About What It Had Just Done. I really don’t think that the show’s creators are, well, thinking, let alone consulting people. You are wise not to watch.

  15. On a more fluffy note – the first result for “cute” on Google image search is really rather disturbing, has anyone noticed? (Link here. Mods, please do *not* do your image magic, I don’t want to scar anyone!)

    Um… weasels are cute!

    a very small and undeniably cute weasel, brown with white markings, straddling a gap between two boards and looking up at the camera

    And otters!

    a baby otter, curled up in a pair of cupped white hands

    And badgers!

    a badger cub, curled up on a white towel. The cub's front paws are extended, and the head has a distinctive black and white stripe.

    Also, German-speaking online culture doesn’t seem to have the “cute” drive, as both “niedlich” and “süß” don’t turn up much. Or am I missing something?
    .-= Kaz´s last blog ..Because incurable speech disorders just up and vanish all the time, don’t you know =-.

  16. Well.

    Apparently, without noticing it, I’ve been giving people the wrong phone number. For three months.

    Which, on its own wouldn’t be too bad, until you realise the number I’ve been giving them is the one I had in Edmonton in 2002.

    I have no idea why I’ve been doing that.

  17. Thank you! I’m really happy I’m not the only one who’s noticed that. I… hate saying this because I feel as if I’m kicking up a fuss, but it feels to me as if a lot of the disability-centric talk about that episode has focussed on how it treated Artie and how it treated Down Syndrome; quite a few of them don’t seem to think the faked-stutter is problematic at all, or if they do they just talk about it in the general situation of faked-disability. However, there are some specific stereotypes attached to stuttering (that it’s not a real disability, that people can stop if they try hard enough, that the fact that they haven’t means they’re getting something out of it, that they stutter because they’re shy, etc. etc. etc.) that make this really, really nasty as a portrayal of stuttering in particular, and I haven’t seen that addressed anywhere.

    Which means I’ll probably write that post myself, once I calm down enough that I won’t just end up swearing at the producers.
    .-= Kaz´s last blog ..Because incurable speech disorders just up and vanish all the time, don’t you know =-.

  18. Yes, Kaz, I agree–a lot of the coverage has focused on Artie and Down’s Syndrome. Both of which are important things to talk about, but the erasure of the stuttering issue has been discomfiting me (even though I myself contributed to it, but my excuse was a word limit…). There were a lot of very icky takeaway messages from “Wheels” and the ones about stuttering and faking disability were quite upsetting.

  19. Kaz, what do you think of the stuttering in Stephen King’s It?

    I watched a movie called Kaminey. One of the characters stutters, and according to someone else, it was done accurately. However, his girlfriend/fiancee/wife faked stuttering because she thought he wouldn’t look at her otherwise, because he was afraid he’d be judged. (I need to see it again. Shahid plays a double role. Of course, the love interest is Priyanka friggin’ Chopra! Even de-glammed for Kaminey, she’s still Priyanka!) He finds out when she forgets the pretense in a moment of panic and extreme stress, moments that make most people stutter and stammer.
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  20. Ok, tme for a personal whine.

    I’ve known Mr X for about two ad a half years.

    Not naming him. That wouldn’t be fair.

    He has a talent for making me feel worthless. I don’t believe he’s done it in on purpose.

    I’ve just gone back on facebook. As in,yesterday evening.

    He’s written stuff that’s made me cry. Twice.

    WHY do I seek out people who make me feel crap?

    WHY am I attracted to people who look down on me?

    WHY is the quickest way to earn my respect to insult me and tell me I’m wasting my life and am a failure?

    WHY do I assume that anyone who’s being nice to me is a liar, but that someone who is rude to me is honest and therefore trustworthy?

    I don’t want to die. But I want to stop living as me. To turn into someone else, or go back to the day I was born and live a very different life.

    A life that is neither the one I’m living now, nor the one Mr X thinks I ought to be living.

    A life where I don’t care what people think.
    .-= sanabituranima´s last blog ..The Lady Doth Protest Too Much =-.

  21. How do you handle chronic illnesses that aren’t consistent?

    I know there are good days and bad days, but I always feel that my good day negates the existence of the bad day. Or even, my good hour negates the existence of the bad night. If I can’t accept it, how can I expect others to?

    Yes, discussed with therapist, but I want other people’s opinions – do you struggle with, well, I’ve got all my limbs/I’m not dead, guess I better stop complaining! Of course, that’s an issue in and of itself. People with chronic pain (myself included) sometimes role our eyes at “You have no idea how bad this is!” (My sister is a trip – I’m on the couch, prone by pain, and she’s going on about her foot.) And when I try to help my sister, she rejects it. She doesn’t want to be like me. (Chronic, undiagnosed pain condition, and liking Bollywood.)

    Ah, the point got away from me. Don’t whine about your stubbed toe in front of someone with a broken foot. Don’t whine about your broken foot in front of some one in a wheelchair. Don’t whine about your limited mobility to someone with no legs. Don’t whine about your lack of legs to someone who’s a head in a jar. Don’t whine about your existence as a head in a jar in front of people who just lost somebody. After all, you’re alive.

    Maybe the first sentence is true. But the rest is hyperbole, even though it can be real. (My uncle did this all the time – he lived when he shouldn’t have, he had to do all this, and I can’t go to college because of a little pain?) There is always somebody out there worse off than you. That doesn’t make your pain and suffering invalid. Also, going “it could be worse” and not visiting the doctor (my sister nursing a cough for a month that turns out to be pneumonia!) quickly makes it worse.

    Yeah, I’m sick. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get that looked at. (I mean, ew.)
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  22. I wasn’t sure if my post could/should be longer, so I’ll just triple post! Whee!

    I wish interior pain manifested itself externally.

    There has been one time in my life when I was in pain constantly. I have many allergies (including dogs) and the reaction is usually skin-related. (My elbow is a mess, I need my prescription cream… that’s in the dorm, d’oh!) I also have eczema. No, it’s not contagious.

    When I was a sophomore in high school, I’d say around Thanksgiving ’03, because I distinctly remember a crisp November night where I couldn’t put my butt down, I had a major skin infection on my butt. It was horrible. I had to be drugged to leave my bed, so I could lay on my stomach and read downstairs. (No laptop at the time. Weep for a younger me.)

    Anyways, no one quibbled. Oh, some did, but then they saw it. (Think an oozing burn only worse.) “Drug her! *urp* I gotta go! *runs to trashcan*” “Can I cover up now?”

    Thankfully no pictures were taken (my mom took pictures of a lesser episode my senior year that was centered on my knees – bright red splotches of pain).

    I guess my point is that I think my pain would be taken more seriously if it was visible. Oh, I’m getting pain medication to control it, but we’re just standing there. When my skin was bad, we tried everything possible to make it go away.

    However, I wouldn’t want it to manifest in my usual descriptors – just because I say I’m being stabbed or ripped open doesn’t mean I want it to happen! I just wish they could see the pain or its source without surgery (which may not turn up anything). I wish I could see it, then I’d believe it.
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  23. OMSQUEE that baby badger pic almost killed me from the cuteness. I mean, I think I saw the light and everything. TOO CUTE.

    Samantha – echoing that I’m very sorry for what happened, and yet very glad the officers you met with were so full of win.

    Glee – I just … it was almost a text of how NOT to handle disability issues, wasn’t it??

    OTOH, I really loved Artie’s rendition of Dancing With Myself and liked how they showed him at first saying he was okay with not getting to be on the bus and then later standing up for himself. Because, yea. I don’t know about everyone else in the world with disabilities, but I do that a lot. “Oh no, I’m fine.” *wait a few days* “You know what? I am so not fine with that!” So, seeing that portrayed in that way was nice.

    And the fake-stutter made me incredibly mad, too. Plus, Finn faking a disability to get a job. According to this show, people go around faking disabilities all the time! Instead of, you know, the more common scenario of people with disabilities passing as non-disabled.
    And Kaz – good point about the stuttering in particular being problematic. For example, if they had a character on a show pretending she had fibromyalgia, I think I’d cry, too. Because it is already so difficult for people to get that this is a real condition and that we’re not faking it or malingering because we’re getting something out of being sick. So, yea, I wouldn’t have thought of that about stuttering, but I definitely see now why that’s especially troubling.

    So many different issues in this episode to take apart on disability issues ALONE not to even mention the other crap.

    And yet … I still liked it. I still want to watch more. I … hang my activist head in shame. But I still love this show so much. [Although – if we could please PLEASE PLEASE give more songs to non-Rachel/Finn people, I’d love it a whole lot more. I assume they cast all of the characters for singing abilities and that they all have at least decent, if not incredible voices (and we’ve gotten some sneak peaks showing that many of them DO have incredible voices – hello Mercedes!), and I’d like to see more of that. I hate Will a little bit more every time he insists on giving Rachel and Finn a song, and a little less the very few times he insists on giving the song to someone else. And I wish Rachel would “take one for the team” by learning how to effing share once in awhile instead of everyone else giving crap up for her.]

    Okay, wow. I have a lot complain about this show that I actually love so much that I watch the episodes over and over (okay, I often ff through the talking to get to the musical numbers, but still).

    Speaking of really horrible shows that I love anyway, I’m soon going to settle in with my friend to watch the latest Vampire Diaries episode – a Friday night tradition of mocking the show endlessly while secretly knowing we actually care what happens.
    .-= Rosemary´s last blog ..2009 Fall TV =-.

  24. Kaitlyn – I think a major first step is learning to accept it yourself. Because if YOU can be confident in explaining that you have good and bad days and that doesn’t mean you aren’t still sick, then it will be easier for other people to get it. NOT that this excuses other people from not getting it in the meantime while you’re learning to accept it. Just that, yea, it’s better for you in a whole lot of ways once you can do that for yourself.

    Also, I personally detest the idea that you can’t complain about something bothering you because someone somewhere else has it worse. Always there will be people who have it better AND worse than you – always. And it never, ime, helps to compare in either direction. What is hurting you at the time is hurting you, and you have a right to that, whether someone in the room is hurting worse or not.

    Not to even get into the issues of how pain is subjective and how are we to know whose pain is worse than whose? Are we supposed to all line up for some imaginary test that doesn’t exist to see who is in more pain/is more sick/is more disabled/is more depressed/is worse off/etc. so we can create a hierarchy of who is allowed to talk honestly and openly about their pain in front of who? Yea, okay, pet peeve of mine.
    .-= Rosemary´s last blog ..2009 Fall TV =-.

  25. Rosemary – I’m here and that is a huge step.

    Being home right now is also a big step. (Even if it’s just a temporary issue.)

    I wasn’t saying I agree with ranking pain, just that it happens and it stinks.

    I never discourage my sister from telling me about her stubbed toe (actually, she may have done something worse, but in her typical style, never followed up – “You have a fractured what?!” two days later – “So what about your foot?” “Oh, whatevs.”) or any problems. Your headache is just as bad as my abdominal pain – pain sucks.
    .-= Kaitlyn´s last blog ..Living at home does not make you a bum, Judge Judy. =-.

  26. Oh, gah, the Up DVD fail just gets more failtastic. Twitter user TheFarmerJoe actually got an explanation from Disney when he contacted them: the removal of captioning was intentional, because they viewed captioning as a bonus feature. ::headdesk::

  27. Kaitlyn- Rosemary said much of what I was going to say but more eloquently than I would. I would just add an experience I had when I was talking about my chronic pain with my therapist. She pointed out that I liked to think that I was fine (I had a good day today! I left the house! I must be making up all these bad days!) and it was all in my head because then I had control over it. Like, if I really did have these bad days then I wasn’t in control. I don’t know if this is helpful to you, but it helped me immensely. Also, WHO WOULD MAKE THIS SHIT UP? Yeah, I really want to live with my parents in the small rural town (where I am the ENTIRE radical queer community) You didn’t mention concern of it all being “in your head” so this all may be irrelevant for you, but for me the acknowledging the inconsistency of symptoms goes hand in hand with acknowledging the consistency of the illness itself.

    Ahh… Glee, I watched about one minute of it before turning it off. Just couldn’t do it. In other entertainment related news, does anyone else watch that new show on USA, White Collar? Its not really that great but for some reason I love it. That guy is dreamy.

    I can’t sleep and I am not sure whether it is the illness, the pain from the illness, or the meds that I take for the illness. Or maybe something else entirely but luckily my parents have cable and there is always a law and order episode on somewhere….

    Ohhh.. and is anyone else planning to check out Levi Johnson in Playgirl? I am kind of curious….

  28. KatieT – I do worry about it being in my head. And you said what my therapist said! I like control, and I have none. Plus, the “rules” of disability say it’s all or nothing. You’re either in a wheelchair, or you can walk. No exceptions! (This happens everywhere in life, of course – you’re a man or you’re a woman, you’re one race or another. To quote my sister’s husband, Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, “Pick a side, we’re at war!”)

    So it’s just a daily mental battle for me – and I never win. I dither about taking pain pills – “I’ll need them in case it gets worse.” 30 minutes later it is worse and the pain medication doesn’t start working until 2010.

    Even though kidney stones can happen to anyone, the decisions I’ve made with this one are a big step in the right direction when it comes to dealing with my general pain. Even though I mentally dither, I’m physically stuck at home with the puppies!

    On to another topic, I want to share my experience at a psych ward from when I was in high school. I’m not going to reread the damn things, so I apologize in advance for any offensive language used.

  29. Also, on a random accessibility note, viewing any page on this site via my phone (an older T-Mobile Sidekick, because it’s hard to find anything newer on a decently-priced data-only plan, grr) gives an alert box reading “Handler could not be removed”, which is incredibly annoying because it comes up on *every page*. This appears to result from which is called in the page header.

  30. Cups of tea and biscuits to all who are in need.

    I’m sorry I haven’t been around much to interact with you all – I really appreciate our lovely commentariat here – but I am currently having family fail of incredible proportions. Which has apparently been scheduled to coincide with my birthday! (Which I will be out celebrating with friends tomorrow, and family on Monday, Monday being my birthday.) I hope to be back properly on Tuesday. 🙂

    In the mean time, I wish you all positive things!

  31. I hope all who are having problems with various things in their life find awesome, fabulous ways to resolve those, or at least to make them better.

    I actually feel guilty talking about it now, a bit, but I’ve been having a really awesome time. Yesterday at my school we held a mock funeral for the women’s studies program (which was recently cut. I know, WTF? This year, my year, is the last one that students will be able to register for a WMST major or minor). It went extremely well–we had some extraordinary speakers who said some very moving things. Plus, I sang a little. And was complimented, which is always nice.

    And today I am going to a farmer’s market with this fella here [YouTube video–no words. He’s a violinist and that’s what the clip is of]. I think it may be a date. Which I’m excited for.

  32. Thanks for bringing that to my attention, codeman38; getting sites to display on older phones can be a challenge, but something like that hopefully is something we can take care of. I’m not sure how pressingly we need smooth scrolling, after all.

  33. OMM that rabbit is *sputters* NOM NOM NOM!

    We used to raise and breed rabbits (this a more difficult job than it sounds I swear it b/c rabbits…well, they are…interesting) and NOM NOM NOM! So cute. I am helpless in the face of that cuteness.

    We raised French lops, angoras, and Flemish giants. BUNNIES!

  34. We took care of a friend’s rabbit for a few months, a number of years back. At the point where it started regularly mounting our dog (which was a Jack Russell/beagle cross and thus quite small), we realized Something Had to Be Done. So we gave it back.

  35. I was wondering if anyone else with a chronic pain condition has difficulty in identifying when the pain issomething out of the ordinary for them and so might need medical attention? I’ve lived with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis all my life, I’m used to it, I know how it works, know all about the good days (when pain is at a low, manageable level) and about the bad days where my fingers, wrists and elbows swell up and contort into odd shapes. There’s no cure but it’s mostly under control with drugs. However, last year I noticed that one of my hips was much more painful than usual, that I could barely put weight on it, causing me to acquire a very pronounced limp. I convinced myself that it was only temporary and that it would ease off eventually before it started up somewhere else (that’s the fun bit of my RA, I never know where it’ll strike next!) but it didn’t get better, it got worse, standing, walking, sitting, all became extremely difficult and laborious. I needed help getting up out of chairs, picking things up, putting on socks, loads of stuff I’d been able to do. Friends and family (especiall my parents who are always on the look out for any sign that I’m in any pain, because they worry and because I do have a habit of playing my symptoms down) began commenting on my limp and asking me if I was ok. I assured them that I was, but nobody believed me. I eventually had to admit something was wrong as the pain was worsening and ended up having to have a hip replacement, this, I think was one of the reasons I couldn’t admit what was going on cause I knew this would be the only treatment and I couldn’t face the idea of taking time off university. Luckily the whole thing went incredibly well, off crutches in record time and with a wonderfully pain-free hip. The surgeon said that it was a miracle I’d been walking round at all given the fact the joint was so badly worn away. I wish I hadn’t been in denial for so long, I spent a year in extra agony for no reason. Has anyone else had this kind of experience of denying their worsening symptoms? I kind of feel a bit ridiculous for letting it drag on so long, especially as the operation was so much easier than I’d expected and even the scar, though very long, is the only visible after-effect, and I actually quite like it, it’s very tidy and looks like a really neat seam.

  36. Dear coworkers; please stop turning OFF the automatic doors. It’s a 24/7 call center. There’s no reason why they should ever be off. I may not need to use them, but you never know about anyone else.

    Also, woman I just transferred a call to: Please don’t sigh loudly when I tell you the customer is using a relay operator. That’s just plain rude.

  37. @nuri: Gah, that’s annoying. And that’s one of the reasons that, before CapTel came out, I was hesitant to call people via relay, and would look for ANY other means of contact first: because I know how tedious they find such calls.

    (CapTel, for those who don’t know, is basically a web-based voice carryover system: the caller speaks for themselves, and can still hear the call recipient, but what the recipient says is also transcribed over a web-based channel by a transcriptionist who’s conferenced in.)

    However, even CapTel can be a bit frustrating at times, particularly when the transcript takes a while to catch up with what’s being said; I know I’ve probably confused a few people with several-second-long awkward silences while I waited for the transcript to get to a word that was unintelligible for me. And it’s still stressful for this introvert to make voice calls anyway– so, I still prefer finding alternative means of contact wherever possible. Doubly so when there’s confidential information being discussed, because there is a human operator doing the captioning!

  38. @ codeman38 I’ve started hearing rumors that our bank is going to start offering “chat/IM-based” customer service, and I’ve already told our director that I want to volunteer for that.

    Course, I’m also an introvert that hates the phone. And yet, works at a call center. Good job, but I can’t wait to get a different role.

  39. Rainbow – uh, yeah. All the time. I have a Ehlers-Danlos and am extremely hypermobile. Sometimes I have to figure out if I have injured my knee or if it is just being difficult. Because a complete tear of the ACL has the exact same symptoms as when my knee is just being exceptionally difficult. Thankfully, my husband was a college athlete, so he was a kinesiology and prevention of sports injuries major, by default. And he’s had 9 surgeries on one knee, so he’s my go-to knee guy. I usually wait two weeks before seeing a doctor, because if it’s just an episode, it will pass usually in two weeks.

    Naturally, if it were something potentially more serious, I’d haul myself into the doctor sooner. Maybe. I’m stubborn.

  40. So, I’ve been thinking about dating sites and how the ones out there for PWDs seem to be geared only for people with visible or “socially acceptable” disabilities. This bothers me, a lot.

    I like the internet, I’ve met some of the folks I’d consider close friends on her, so it would be nice if dating websites that are supposed to cater to PWDs included all of us.
    .-= thetroubleis´s last blog ..What It Is To Be A Monster =-.

  41. Right now, I’m having serious issues accepting my limitations. I’ve been dealing with ever increasing health problems and disability since a diagnosis of hypothyroidism in early 2003. That was followed by severe psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and Crohn’s Disease. I’ve also had hardcore depression issues since I was a teenager. I’ve kept accepting each new condition, medicating it, overcoming the limitations, and dealing with what I couldn’t overcome. I’ve always very much been a deal with it and move on as well as you can person.

    However, this new one, hypopituitarism (specifically growth hormone and ACTH), is just killing me. I can’t figure it out and I can’t deal with it. Yeah, I know, duh. However, becoming a hermit who often can’t leave the bedroom because of health stuff is killing me. I dealt with my past problems by becoming a long distance hiker and walker. I learned the absolute joy that can come with being outside and moving. It became my primary method of dealing with the depression. Now, I can’t do it. Most of the time, I’m not up to walking around the house, let alone outside. The arthritis is flaring worse and worse because I can’t exercise the joints. The depression is overpowering. I can’t do photography, my other hobby, because my hands shake too much. I feel like I can’t do anything at all.

    I don’t even know what I’m actually trying to say here. I’m just sitting at home, sobbing at my computer, because my body doesn’t work anymore and I don’t know what to do.

  42. Dreamingcrow – I’m sorry. (I had hyperthyroidism. I think the only symptom in common is messed up sleeping. I could stay up for days at a time, sleep normally, or fall asleep at the drop of a hat (right before the Simpsons one time, weep for me.))

    This semester has been a mess for me, and I haven’t been as active as I usually am. Part of that is the stairs, I realized. I’m on the 9th floor now, and I’ve been on the 3rd for two years. When going up/down the stairs is part of your day, walking comes easier.

    So I made a decision to start walking (plus I wanted some hummus like real bad) and twice walked to the nearby store, maybe a mile. And I enjoyed it.

    Then came pain that makes walking a pain at best and impossible at worst.

    As for coping with depression, I am so grateful for the laptop and the internet. You’re not alone, rainbow, and neither am I.

    When my skin was bad, I was depressed, according to my mom. (Naturally, I don’t remember much of that time.) But one thing that helped me was reading every single page in Rolling Stone magazines, especially the back ones at a local library. After I was better, I’d look at it and go, “I read a review of who? Why?”

    Right now my rock is Bollywood – something new to discover, new movies to watch, new guys to drool over (mmm, Kunal).

    I don’t have any advice, really, just my little anecdotes that say it’s possible to stave off depression for a couple hours at a time.

  43. Oy – I forgot this, dreamingcrow.

    I went through a bad spell this spring (my roommate’s general rudeness did not help!) and the aforementioned Bollywood helped sometimes – I put on my Bunty Aur Babli DVD and watched the songs. (It’s a very funny movie.)

    But I also remember my sister picking me up one night. We drove like 5 minutes to Krystal’s. She got food, but I didn’t. We probably didn’t fight.

    Another night, my mom picked me up and we drove for 30 minutes, into Arkansas. It helped a lot.

    Even now, when I say I feel “weird” or “off”, she asks me if I want to go for a drive.

    Maybe that might be an option for you if the vehicle is comfortable? (Sometimes seatbelts are bad, sometimes the road is all pothole, and sometimes mom makes me listen to Billy Joel.)

  44. Kaitlyn – May I mine your Bollywood knowledge? My daughter, 7, loves musicals. But if I see Bye,Bye, Birdie one more time, I can’t be held responsible for my actions. Got any Bollywood musicals you can recommend? As far as content, I’m not terribly strict, maybe PG 13 and down. Something you wouldn’t be embarrassed to watch with your grandma- that’s a good rule of thumb, I think. 🙂

  45. Bollywood has made me a bit more prudish when it comes to sexual content, so when I recommend Bunty aur Babli, be warned – they kiss!

    Aaja Nachle is pretty good – it’s about putting on a musical and stars the amazing Madhuri Dixit, and for eye candy, you’ve got Kunal Kapoor.

    The Blue Umbrella is good, but not very musical-ish.

    There’s always Bride and Prejudice to start with. It’s not a good movie, but there are songs in Hindi and songs in English. (It’s based off of Pride and Prejudice, so there may be some squirmable moments. It’s been a while.)

    Kandukonden Kandukonden – Tamil, based on Sense and Sensibility. No kissing! Though the war scenes at the beginning may be frightening. The songs and picturizations are out of this world.

    Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana – Telugu, love story, amazing songs and visuals. There’s some stupid fighting, but it’s kind of OTT and cartoonish. (Most Telugu and Tamil films have a fight scene, whether it fits or not.) Siddarth is soooooooo cute.

    Now, SRK films. He never kisses on the lips, but well, Sushmita Sen dances under a waterfall in tight, white clothes (song picturization) in the movie Main Hoon Na (and then there’s the teacher’s day scene! all she does is blow on his wounds and wow). So sexuality in Bollywood can get creative.

    My mom has watched Bunty aur Babli and Main Hoon Na. MHN has some fight scenes that are cheesy to some people, but not to me. They may be scary for your daughter.

    Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic is a mix up of a bunch of movies (including Mary Poppins!) and there is no kissing. The main focus is on the children, and they’re not annoying.

    Be warned – the shortest “Bollywood” movie is 2+ hours. The average length is 3 hours, though there is an intermission. Most discs come with the feature “play all songs.” All the ones I’ve recommended are at Netflix. And have subtitles for the songs!

    Aaja Nachle would be a good start – about 2 hours and 15 minutes, and there’s an intermission. (It’s usually a moment when everything freezes and the word “intermission” or “interval” comes up.) Obviously, since they’re DVDs, intermission is whenever you want it to be!

    My e-mail is at my blog if you follow the “about me” link. I’m just guessing because I don’t know your tastes or your daughter’s.

    I think it’s cool that you’re willing to look outside your own language. (That was weirdly phrased.) My mom and sister have this instant roadblock to what is a big part of my life, all because they don’t understand it.

  46. Here’s a link from my favorite Bollywood site – Movie for kids (ages 8-9)

    Koi… Mil Gaya is a lot of fun and a lot of WTF and some of the clothes Hrithik wears.

    But, and this is a big but, Hrithik plays a mentally disabled person. I have no idea how realistic his life is, I’m not Indian. He falls in love with Preity, has some great friends that are the same mental age (though much younger) and don’t pick on him, and there are bullies his “real” age (Preity’s fiance for one) who are quite mean.

    Here’s the but:

    He gets healed.

    By an alien.

    That they named Jadoo. (Magic)

    It is very kid friendly, and the first song features Hrithik and his friends, so that’s good. I just don’t think it’s logic friendly.

    The sequel Krrish – about his son – is on the fence. It’s about a superhero, kind of, and there’s a gloriously OTT villain played by Naseeruddin Shah, but people die and stuff.

    I just watched Aaja Nachle today, so it’s on my mind. It’s family friendly and features lots of singing and dancing.

  47. Wow – thanks, Kaitlyn! About half the kids in my daughter’s class speak other languages, Middle Eastern dialects, various African languages, and South Asian languages. She *loves* to hear other languages, so Bollywood seems a good fit for her. And she digs bhangra. But I had no idea where to start. Fighting scenes are OK for her- she lived most of her life on military bases and is accustomed to gunfire and such and has a clear grasp that fight scenes are not real. We do avoid smaller-scale violence, like 2 people fighting, which seems more real to her. But we never watch the news, because that is too graphic. We’re weird parents.

  48. Leelee I have one more rec – Jab We Met – romantic comedy, and it introduces you to the wonder that is Shahid! There is kissing, but it’s not an overly sexual movie at all.

    Oh wait, there’s a scene where the hotel owner thinks Kareena is a prostitute… and the creepy scenes when Kareena is alone at the rail station and a group of men come up to her. Nothing happens.

    Even if, somehow, these rambling posts answer your question, I’d still love for you to e-mail me after you make it through a Bollywood film – how can I know if there’s a new convert out there if I don’t here back from them? 😉

  49. There’s a song in the not kid friendly Ram Jaane called Pump up the Bhangra.

    Here’s a link:

    That movie is a trip – after the song is over, Ram (SRK) pulls a gun out from a woman’s wig!

    NVND is quite awesome, and the song Adire Adire – – features the translated line “What happens later is private” (They’re about to be married.) Even if you don’t watch NVND, please check out this video! You get to see Siddarth being cute and there are dancing cows. *nods*

    Now I’m really going to watch Dil Bole Hadippa! and stop blathering about other movies!

  50. Ack, I just can’t stay away!

    In case you hadn’t guessed, your question made my day, so I am very grateful.

    (I’m ready to be in a good mood – DBH! came to Memphis but on night when I had class and I finally get to see it!)

  51. pump up the bhangra dance party at my house!! this is amazing. thanks so much for all the info, kaitlyn – i’m crossreferencing with netflix right now!

  52. You’re welcome, too Abby Jean! All the titles I’ve mentioned so far are at Netflix.

    I’ve got even more info – I drive everyone batty. Mention India. Pakistan. The Middle East. Golf. I will turn it to Bollywood if I’m in the right mood. Then they run.

    And I kept forgetting to mention – there are DVDs that are just the songs – best of SRK, best of Madhuri, best of Aish, best of 2006, best love songs, etc etc.

    Another great song in terms of visual is Dola Re Dola from 2002’s Devdas. (Not kid friendly, not at Netflix, though the original ’50s one is.)

    The best song visuals and best songs (the first ones I ever heard) are from Dil Se, which is definitely not kid friendly! The music is done by A. R. Rahman – if you were impressed with the Slumdog soundtrack, wait til you hear his real work. Chaiyya Chaiyya, Satrangi Re, Jiya Jale – all must sees, even if you don’t see the movie. (It’s at netflix and I own two copies – one where the songs are subbed, and another where they are. It stars Shahrukh Khan, Manisha Koirala, and Preity Zinta.)

    Ok, I’ve got to stop.

  53. Abby Jean, since you mentioned Netflix (and no 7 year old’s precious ears and eyes to protect), I feel I should tell you a number of Bollywood movies are available instantly, so you can stick a toe in the water without using up a disc.

    Welcome to Sajjanpur, Bluff Master, and Kaminey are all around 2 hours long. WTS is more traditional than Kaminey, but still not “typical” Bollywood (whatever that is!) Bluff Master is hilarious.

    Dehli-6, Rang De Basanti, and Swades are also available. D-6 is the shortest. Swades is quite long. There’s also Jodhaa-Akbar available, though it’s almost 4 hours long!

    There are more, but I haven’t watched all of them yet.

  54. @Kaitlyn –

    Sorry for the delay in responding! Unfortunately, I’ve never seen/read It, so I can’t tell you. :/ (I dislike horror and suspense very strongly.)

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