Chatterday! Open Thread.

a young brown and white foal galloping up a grassy hillThis 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? 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, smooching giraffes, and cupcakes are also acceptable.)

Just whack in a bare link to a webpage, please – admin needs to deal with the HTML code side of things.

Today’s chatterday backcloth comes via The Daily Squee.

By 4 December, 2009.    chatterday   



36 Comments

  1. I’m feeling oddly anxious today, for very little reason that I can discern–about the only thing I can think of is that today’s my first day after the end of classes, and I don’t deal well with unstructured time (I need a fairly rigid time schedule imposed from outside in order to function at my best).

    In cheerier news, I have started talking with a charming lad from Geneseo, NY. It’s not exactly close (~3.5 hours), but I am looking forward to seeing if/how this progresses.

  2. I am having a very bad day with the brain I keep clicking back through the same five websites and not getting anything done I can’t even muster the concentration to eat and my wife brought me food it’s very frustrating I’m supposed to be working I go back to it and make myself do what I am paid for and I want to cry and it’s back to the same five websites again click click click click click.

  3. Crime Against People with Disabilities, 2007

    Presents the first findings about nonfatal violent and property crime experienced by persons with disabilities, based on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS). The report includes data on nonfatal violent victimization (rape/sexual assault, robbery, aggravated and simple assault) and property crime (burglary, motor vehicle theft, theft) against persons with disabilities in 2007. It compares the victimization experience of persons with and without disabilities, using population estimates based on the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS). Data are presented on victim and crime characteristics of persons with and without disabilities, including age, race and gender distribution; offender weapon use; victim injuries; and reporting to the police.

    Highlights include the following:

    * Persons with disabilities were victims of about 47,000 rapes, 79,000 robberies, 114,000 aggravated assaults, and 476,000 simple assaults.
    * Age-adjusted rate of nonfatal violent crime against persons with disabilities was 1.5 times higher than the rate for persons without disabilities.
    * Females with a disability had a higher victimization rate than males with a disability; males had a higher rate than females among those without a disability.
    http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/bjs/abstract/capd07.htm

  4. I’ve actually been dealing with a teacher education program that has insufficient teaching about how to differentiate and otherwise accommodate students with disabilities. The course we got was the intro course for the special education department, which is a good intro, but not sufficient in that the course is all we’re taking.

    Anyone have any good sources for mainstream teachers and instructing students with disabilities?

    I want to learn, but I have no idea where to start with this pretty specific idea.

  5. @melissa – thanks for posting that. we have an upcoming post discussing these stats in more detail.

  6. I’ve got four of my five classes sorted out, including the two where there are a lot of papers.

    I’ve done one assignment, 5 to go. Plus the one for art, that technically requires walking around campus. Not on your life, I’m going by memory and website pics.

    I just got back from eating lunch and I really really really hate loud people. Part of it is control – I don’t mind my music up loud. I just can’t stand people making noise. Last night, a guy was walking around the cafeteria whistling. Like hand in his mouth whistling. Plus it is so hot and so loud… ugh. But I don’t have to leave until tomorrow when I get hungry again.

    Anyone watching Monk tonight?

  7. I’m enjoying this blog, and I find the discussions of language and usage thought-provoking. That said, I think it’s time to challenge the “spoon” metaphor, for the benefit of greater clarity among a number of invested groups. My thoughts are here: http://academicronin.wordpress.com/2009/11/04/against-the-spoon-metaphor/.

  8. kaninchenzero: Don’t worry, I’ve been trying to write this comment for the past 50 minutes – and for me today, that’s fast. Inbetween me being in a low (depression-wise) and me suddenly being able to remember even less than usual, I’ve got nothing done.

  9. I’m hopefully on the road to recovery from a few weeks of extreme overload and bad anxiety. My distress tolerance is still low, but I don’t end up in meltdown/shutdown from every little sound anymore. I don’t really know why this is/was happening, but hope it’s gone.

    @ Dorian: hope you will be feeling better soon, too.

  10. Hovering at the edge of a meltdown, and home for the weekend for a family reunion. The two are unconnected, but very badly timed. I suspect I’m going to be borrowing against the next couple of weeks just to get through until Sunday.

  11. @Astrid Thank you! (Random side note: You have the same name as my baby sister). I’ll be alright–I’m listening to music now, which is generally a pretty good centering activity for me.

  12. I dyed my hair a nice’n subtle (not!) shade of magenta.
    (See commentluv link below for pics)
    Sorry to be so trivial, but it really lifted me out of the doldrums.

    (Please note: this isn’t meant as some kind of smug “you gals just need to do this and you’ll feel better” advice. I know how inappropriate that is.)
    .-= Kowalski´s last blog ..WTF? Kowalski!? =-.

  13. Kowalski – I’m lifting myself out of the doldrums – I hope – by finishing this totally cheesy Bollywood movie. KK Menon as the bad guy is hilarious, and I like looking at Abhishek.

    And then Monk!

  14. Oh, and Kowalski – so jealous of your hair.

    All I’ve ever had done is highlights. When I was depressed and homesick 3 years ago, I wanted to walk into some salon, slap some my card down and say, “Dye it the weirdest color you can find.”

    But my mom nixed it because of “chemicals”. Now I’m being hounded to get my hair cut every five minutes.

  15. i am consumed with hair color envy!!! i used to have pink hair back in the day and i loved it – it helped me get out of my introverted shell because it forced me to be visible and noticeable when out in public instead of my usual blend-into-the-background efforts. i am unbearably disappointed that being a Proper Professional Lady does not permit me to have haircolor not found in nature anymore. 🙁

  16. I love the pictures that accompany the Chatterday threads.

    I’m going to whine for a second. Been looking for over six months now and still don’t have a job. After paying this month’s rent, I have about two dollars to my name, and while my parents are willing to cover my rent if need be, my dad’s on the verge of losing his job as his bad days come to outnumber his good ones and they won’t be able to anymore.

    Sigh.

  17. @abby jean

    Yeah I miss my oddly colored hair too. Had bright red at one point and bright blue at another. Since I worked in a warehouse away from customers, my boss(es) didn’t care what color my hair was. Hell, they thought it made the work environment more interesting. Frequently my coworkers would ask me what my next color was going to be. And when I was walking down the street one day, a little boy asked his father/guardian if it was my natural hair color. It was awesome.

  18. My sister used to be a big supporter of the University of Memphis Tigers – but only for basketball. Our football team, the only other one that matters when it comes to ESPN, is pitiful.

    I think – despite her being a traitor and supporting the Vols – I mean, she claims Dixie is a vols fan and even put an orange bandanna on her and sent me a pic! Just because she has orange-ish fur.

    Anyways, she has plans to go the Tigers game on 12/31. So once this football nonsense is over, she’ll come back to her senses. And dye her hair blue. I think it was just temporary, but still. Blue hair.

    And they let her go to UT? Sad, sad. (Says the girl who went to one school basketball game. In middle school.)

  19. He, I guess I’m lucky to be an old slacker, (i.e. “artist”).

    Interesting reason for colouring hair, Abby Jean.
    Btw, Kaitlyn, just read some posts on your blog, love it!
    .-= Kowalski´s last blog ..WTF? Kowalski!? =-.

  20. Kowalski – it was more of an unexpected side effect than the motivation, but it turned out to be one of the things i liked best about it. it was amazing how many more people would initiate conversation with me when i had the hair, even those who i would have guessed would be repelled by someone with such an unconventional appearance. it was a unique opportunity to experience the world as a different person, kind of.

  21. Kendra: SInce you’ve been reading and enjoying the Ableist Word Profile series, you’ll know that one of our absolutely fundamental tenets here is that we don’t police self-identification and the words people use to refer to their own conditions – which is exactly what you’re doing in your post about “spoons”.

    I also have a big problem with your use of “juvenile” as an derogatory term.

  22. Yesterday was a horrible day, depression-wise. But I’ve managed to get a decent night’s sleep and today feels like it will work.

    Also,I want to ask readers in the UK (or anywhere!) to send Christmas gifts to women who are being sheltered by a London-based charity called Eaves. These women are abuse survivors, mainly those who have been kidnapped and forced into sex-work.

    Eaves website:
    http://www.eaves4women.co.uk/
    http://victoriabiggs.com/?p=933 – website with address for the gifts.

  23. I am copying this from the comments on the awesome post “in wich homework is assigned” because Chally sugested it as a way of opening discussion up to the community.

    I was reminded of this post recently when my mom told me about wanting to put a bench on the empty spot next to my gran’s grave. My mom likes to talk to her when she goes, and says she can do so better when sitting down. But my aunt didn’t want there to be a bench (what would people think?) and to preserve peace, my mom put it away.

    (For clarity, because I know cemeteries are different in other places: In Germany, there are usually flower beds on the graves. Each grave is seperated from the others as well as from the paths between the graves, usually by some kind of low stone
    border.)

    While we were talking, I got to thinking about what having a possibility to sit down at the cemetery, in front of the grave one is visiting, might meant to other people. For my mom, it is just about not wanting to “look down on” my gran while talking, but what about others?

    People with invisible disabilities like chronic pain conditions might not get to spend as much time as they want visiting their loved one’s graves because they can not stand for so long. The same is true for people who tire easily, get out of breath or have other reasons for needing to sit down. A majority of the people who spend a lot of time at the cemetery are elderly people, some of whom are more likely to have such problems. And even if we assumed an average spread of ages in the people who come to the cemetery, there would still be a high percentage of PWD, who might need a place to sit down.

    Also, I know there are gardeners who can be hired to take care of graves when a person is no longer able to do so on their own, but for those who are still caring for the plants themselves, the watering cans are heavy when full, and can be quite a way from the plants that are to be watered.

    How could one solve a problem like this? My first thought regarding the watering cans was to place some kind of pully or trolly at the water pump for those who might not be able to carry a full watering can. What kind of device would be best, accomodating the needs of different disabilities (What kind of handle would be good for people with rheumatic fever? Is pushing or pulling easier? What other capaicities need to be thought of?)

    Regarding the possibility to sit down, my first thought was of putting up an open shed with fold out chairs for people to take with them and then bring back when they are leaving.

    Aside from practical issues (they would have to be stable, good quality chairs; there might need to be cushions for people to actually be able to relax in them; they would have to be easy to transport, maybe have wheels attached to at least two of the legs) there is the question of whether these would actually be used.

    I remember hating the way other students stared at me for the six weeks that I had to use a special chair after my (useless) operation on the ruptured disk. Would pwd want to “out” themselves by bringing such a chair to the grave? Would the elderly feel like they might “cause a scene”?

    I would love to get some input from the much more knowlegable people here before I try to find the right people to address about putting some kind of plan into action. My eperiences have been mostly those of a TAB, so I am bound to make mistakes and miss things that should be obvious. Any and all advice, as well as any criticism, would be very welcome.

  24. @ Calixti: I am very sorry to hear about your financial/employment situation. Unfortunately, I don’t have any advice I can offer you, but I want to send out my sympathy to you.

  25. oh crap, I’m a day late for chatterday. I’ve been pleased with this whole week, and to top it off, snow! Right now it is coming down in more of a rain-snow mix, but snow nonetheless. Also, I ordered two books off of amazon on monday and I have become so impatient. Anyone know how long amazon usually takes to ship?

  26. I’m a day late but I bring a link!

    http://web.creaworld.org/home.asp

    …is the home page of CREA, an NGO formed by a group of development professionals who have been working in the diverse fields of reproductive rights, sexuality, violence against women,
    media anzd women’s human rights. It’s based on India with a US wing.

    They’re sponsoring an online class titled “Disability, Sexuality and Rights Training” for Practitioners and Activists in Human Rights, Public Health and Development Organizations and Movements

    Applications due December 18, 2009; the course runs
    February 1 – April 1, 2010
    (9 weeks, 5 hours per week)
    US$50 but waivers available

    The Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training provides a study of theory and practice for people working in fields such as development, health and rights, including disability and sexuality. The aim is to develop awareness of issues of disability and sexuality and a political perspective on disabled people’s sexual rights. Participants develop their ability to work in inclusive and holistic ways that further health and rights.

    Much more details is provided in this
    http://files.creaworld.org/files/DSRT_brochure.doc
    Word DOC file (which could have been plain-text or HTML, but *shrug*). They do state:

     begin quote  People with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the Institute. The course has been designed and tested to be accessible to people with various disabilities and those with slower computers and internet connection speeds. We will work with participants to adapt the course as necessary to meet needs and enable full participation.
     quote ends 

  27. I recently discovered that our local LCBO is inaccessible. I learned this as I was tying to leave after buying a bottle of wine. It seems that they thought of automatic doors but did not consider whether or not the doorway was wide enough to negotiate in a scooter. I was completely embarrassed after two patrons had to stand behind me and push my scooter to realign it so that I could exist. I was angrier than hell. These are government owned liquor stores and what kind of example does it set for other businesses if they are inaccessible? I contacted the manger of the store, who was less than sympathetic to my concerns. I decided not to let it go and wrote a scathing letter to the LCBO myself. I returned to the store yesterday to find out if they were planning on making any changes. This time, the manager was much more accommodating. It seems that they plan to fix it early in the New Year. Score one for making yourself heard. I will be watching closely and if the appropriate repairs are not started by the end of January, I plan to then take my complaint to our MPP and the local newspapers. I am tired of being denied access because of my scooter and I intend to see this one through to the bitter end. This is my first bit of disability activism and I am feeling strong and proud.
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..It’s not a valuable discussion on race until the POC show up =-.

  28. Interesting article on Cracked:

    http://www.cracked.com/article/223_6-mental-illness-myths-hollywood-wants-you-to-believe/

    I have issues with parts of it, but I was totally surprised to see this and I think it’s cool that it was posted. I am sure we could add to the list considerably.

  29. @Naamah: Given Cracked’s frequent (and annoying) use of ableist language in their article titles alone, that article surprised me in how decent it was.

  30. A BBC article about health disorders in Bollywood movies (hope this hasn’t been posted already):

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8394897.stm

  31. Ooh, sweet Brilla!

    *prepares to pounce on Brilla and inundate zer (hope I used that right!) with questions and chokes*

    Are you a Bollywood fan?

    I can’t believe Taare Zameen Par hasn’t been released in the US yet. Everyone raves about it.

    I saw U, Me, Aur Hum – huge Kajol fan – and some of the scenes when she was diagnosed were terrifying and triggering. (To put it gently, she did not want to be there. And then when she remembered her husband and he just left… very upsetting.)

    I posted that article at my favorite Bollywood forum just now. Thanks, Brilla!

    Bollywood still has a way to go when it comes to disabilities in general. I know of 2 movies – Fanaa from 2006 and another one that I haven’t seen yet – where a character’s blindness is cured.
    (Though Zooni from Fanaa is not painted as a helpless little blind girl – she’s part of a dance troupe in the capital for a celebration. And it’s good she’s blind in the first half, ‘cuz Aamir looked terrible until the 2nd half. ;))

    Then there’s 2003’s Koi Mil Gaya – a movie I love and can’t wait to get – Hrithik’s character is mentally retarded, he’s stuck as a child mentally. The locals accept him, especially the children. He falls in love with a woman his own age who is NT, but she doesn’t love him the same way until he’s cured by ::sigh:: the alien. And the alien takes away the cure, but then gives it back so he can marry Preity and live a “normal” life. And his son is a superhero (Krrish).

  32. Koi Mil Gaya made me wonder about how disabilities are seen in India – disabilities that put a damper on your independence. It’s not uncommon for Indian TABs to live with their parents (famous example – Abhishek Bachchan still lives with Mom & Dad, along with his wife) even after marriage (well, for the guys) or until marriage (women, and then they go live with their in-laws).

    Not saying every family does it, but that’s it not considered weird or a sign of immaturity.

    So in KMG, Hrithik lives with his mother – but he would have been doing that *anyway*.

    Ok, that was a half-formed thought.

  33. I just wanted to stop by this thread to say I’ve been unable to read this website for a few weeks and just spent some time catching up and saving links to refer back to, etc. I’ve missed being a part of this community and am grateful that so many of the posts published in my absence have given me some fuel to use in a discussion with a family member over Thanksgiving about my disabilities that was very upsetting to me. Thanks everyone! 🙂

  34. @ abby jean,
    oh, I see, that’s what happened when I had a dog. (Ages ago) He was so cute, complete strangers in the street started to chat with me, it was bizarre.

    @ Lauredhel,
    I’m so with you on the word juvenile, (same with “immature”).
    .-= Kowalski´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently =-.

  35. Kaitlyn: Glad you found the link interesting! Yes, I’m a huge Bollywood fan! Or, rather, I’m not sure if I can be a “fan” of a whole big bunch of mainstream movies that sometimes get things right and sometimes horribly wrong – you know what I mean. 🙂 But Bollywood is certainly my preferred cinema. Nice to hear there are others of the same persuasion!

    I’ve seen Fanaa and Koi Mil Gaya, and I’m sorry to say I did not like either of them (although both had their wonderful musical moments). It wasn’t even the disability issues that struck me the most about those movies – I just did not like them in general. Some of the movies mentioned in the BBC article sounded interesting, and I’m going to try to get them. U, Me, Aur Hum I haven’t seen, but I’m a Kajol fan too, so I probably should!

    Speaking of Bollywood & people with disabilities living at home, Shahrukh Khan’s sister lives with Shahrukh’s family. She has a mental disability. That about all I know of how / where disabled people live in India… I’m very ignorant on this issue.