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? 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 Epicute. The yellow icing, little black icing sunglasses and red smile, and red, yellow and orange gummy rays combined to make my day feel brighter. For a detailed recipe and instructions, check out Betty Crocker Recipes on flickr.

yellow sun cupcake

32 thoughts on “Chatterday Open Thread.

  1. Oh gods, that cupcake is cute. I don’t know if I’d want to eat it (cupcakes aren’t really my thing–shocking, I know). But it’s cute.

    Today is my birthday! This makes me a happy Dorian. I also had to write two exams, mind you, but the Birthday Glow helps counteract them. (Plus, one of them was for social/political philosophy, which means for a couple of questions I got to wax grandiloquent on things like systemic oppression and same-sex marriage. Fun times!)

  2. I love the cupcake. Or mostly I’m just glad to see something summery – all the winter stuff everywhere just seems incongruous and weird from the southern hemisphere.

    I’m applying for my current job on a permanent basis. I’m trying to work out if this is easier or harder than applying for a brand new one – I have a much greater chance of success, but the stakes are higher.

  3. This week:
    1. I got dumped.
    2. One of my best friends was diagnosed with clinical depression (good that he’s getting help after years of misery, bad that he’s suffering so much.)
    3. Once again, I failed to meet an assignment deadline.
    4. I broke down completely in Church and really scared some people.
    Life sucks.

  4. @sanabituranima, that sounds like a pretty sucky week. My sympathies, and I’ve got some virtual tea here if you need some.

    My semester’s finally over. I’m just waiting for a reasonable hour to go to bed, then popping one of the lovely sleeping pills the doctor gave me and hoping I can get enough sleep that I have the energy to go job-hunting tomorrow.

  5. This week I decided I need to start using a walking stick again – at least some of the time. I’ve spent about a year coming to this decision, and I’m pretty comfortable with it. I’ve even found a website where I can buy a funky psychedelic blue folding stick – rather than use the NHS-issue medical ones that make me feel really old:

    So I told a few friends they’d probably see me using a stick from time to time. Their reactions?
    1. Does your doctor say you need one? (No, I say I need one – my doctor doesn’t live in my body.)
    2. Can’t they give you stronger painkillers/inject steriods into your joints? (No, and I don’t want them to – I’m happier with a drug-free solution at this point in time.)
    3. Have you tried this food supplement/elimination diet? (No, just because your health problems are food-related doesn’t mean mine are.)
    4. My Gran used to have aching knees and she used to sleep with them wrapped in white cabbage leaves – and she was totally cured! *headdesk*

  6. @ Dorian: happy birthday.

    @ sanabituranima: sounds like a sucky week indeed. I’m sorry you’ve having a hard time. I’m sending virtual whatever provides you with comfort your way.

    I had a wisdom tooth extracted today. It didn’t hurt, but oh boy was the experience overwhelming and scary. Really I think the docs involved need refresher communication skills training plus some disability awareness.

  7. Happy Birthday Dorian! Just… gah…sanbituranima… “I hope you feel better” *ducks* “Sorry, that sucks.”

    I’m back at home, but my semester isn’t over until the 17th. I had to get out of school when I realized my roommate typing was annoying me. I came home to puppies and silliness and that helped! (Dixie keeps *licking* Wickett for some reason. He’s so grody!)

    I’m just tired and if I think about how I feel, here come the waterworks. I started crying Wednesday in therapy and didn’t stop until I got home Thursday evening.

    And I’m so anxious about my papers… I can’t concentrate, even on the easy ones. The hard ones? I’m meeting the professor on Monday.

    Also, I posted this on the reading for today, but ableism and sizeism is alive and well at the U of M. “Get yo fatass on the stairs” written in the elevator. Next to the 2nd floor. Again. Le sigh.

    Also, I’m reading a book for a paper (I don’t have to write a report about it, it’s complicated) and I have never hated a book so much and been so compelled to finish it – it’s a very easy read.

    The book is called A Tribe Apart: A Journey into American Adolescence by Patricia Hersch.

    It’s about youth identity. It’s over ten years old. It’s set in one town. She talked extensively with only EIGHT teenagers (which is better than just talking about them which is what bugs me about books and articles about teenagers – we’re people too!). And, like all things about youth, it has nothing to do with my life or my sister’s, except for the bit about them needing friends. (My sister to a tee!)

    The intro set me off – she wanted “mainstream” looking kids so her audience wouldn’t think she was just talking to the “weirdos”. (“Good” kids do bad stuff!!!) Nevermind that “weird” looking people can shatter stereotypes too. One of the non-mainstream looks? A ring in your nose. Oh, and “mainstream” teenagers? Are “respectful”. Apparently a piercing beyond the one hole in each ear (for girls) and any piercing (for boys) takes away your ability to be respectful. I have my eyebrow and my nose pierced. I felt insulted and left out instantly.

    But I still have issues with high school, considering I was only in school for a year and a half, the rest homebound.

    And I feel like I’ve broken some rule, because my comments disappear after I hit submit comment, and I don’t want to lose this place – I can read but I want back and forth as well.

  8. Chanukah just started! I’m not doing much terribly interesting — lit candles, opened a present, contemplating making sufganiyot.

    Happy birthday, Dorian!

  9. I’m not sure if I can bring myself to watch Glee after last week’s– it’s a shame, because I hear they’re bringing Idina Menzel in for nine episodes in the spring, and I really love her, but last week they crossed this INCREDIBLE LINE in terms of domestic violence, and I know they’re not going to address it and I’m going to want to puke.

    I also watch Fringe, and this week’s episode was kind of a mixed bag in terms of depictions of mental illness– lots of use of the word “crazy” or “madness” without actually differentiating what they meant, because apparently once you get past a certain point, it doesn’t matter what your problem is; the problem is all there is. There may be blogging about this in the future, either at my realworld blog or my unassociated fandom blog.

    Anxiety continues to suck, and I think I’ve finally hit the point where I’m so baffled by it and tired of it that I start crying for no reason–et voila, depression. Nice to see you, old friend, you utter wanker, you.

  10. @ Dorian – happy birthday!

    In other news, I freaking hate concussions. And being in car accidents. And asshats who don’t LOOK before they change lanes and leave me with no way to avoid them because both lanes on either side have traffic in them and I’m trying to go from about 40 KMH to 0 KMH in FIFTEEN FEET to avoid you, which, well, doesn’t happen. Especially when the road is wet. And the insurance is probably going to decide it’s my fault even though I WAS in control of my vehicle and it’s him that didn’t LOOK where he was GOING.


  11. “So I told a few friends they’d probably see me using a stick from time to time. Their reactions?
    1. Does your doctor say you need one? (No, I say I need one – my doctor doesn’t live in my body.)”

    Yes! OMG, yes! Doesn’t that just drive you crazy??

  12. “3. Have you tried this food supplement/elimination diet? (No, just because your health problems are food-related doesn’t mean mine are.)”

    GAH! YES! THIS! I am so sick of hearing that crap. You know what? Yeah, food does have something to do with the way I feel. It doesn’t for everyone, but for me it actually does affect my joint pain quite a bit, and I tried a lot of dietary changes in the past. If I cut out gluten, dairy, meat, soy, and processed non-organic foods, I feel a lot better. I did a raw vegan diet for a while and I felt awesome. But that was when I was living with my parents and not paying rent, so… Y’know. Not really feasible out here in the real world by myself. I’d rather take the pain and have a warm bed to sleep in, but that’s just me.

    But usually I just say something like, “yes, I’ve tried several elimination diets before but my doctor has me on a strict diet right now that includes (such and such thing they’re suggesting I eliminate).” It isn’t totally accurate – my doctor says I should eat “whatever makes [me] feel good” – but people tend to back off if a medical professional has already given the final word. (Which is pretty irritating, actually, now that I think about it. They don’t trust me to decide that various elimination diets will or won’t work for me, but another person can decide arbitrarily that I should do such and such, and automatically it’s the Word Of God.)

  13. @Dorian – I hope you had a good birthday!

    @sanabituranima – I’m sorry you had such a bad week *offers hugs if appropriate*

    @Dogged – I’m having to start using one too. I woke up one morning a month or two ago, and my back hurt, and it hasn’t stopped. In trying to walk in a way that doesn’t make my back hurt as much, I was falling over a lot. My doctor doesn’t know what’s wrong with me, but she’s told me to “use support if it makes things easier”. It does, so I will. Except, I don’t have the money to buy a stick of my own, so I’m using one that was made for my great-grandmother:

    It’s practically an antique, and it’s nowhere near as cool as the one you linked, but I love it. I don’t love the constant questions about it though (unless they’re about the stick itself, rather than why I’m using it).

    @Monica – I hope your depression and anxiety become more bearable/dealable soon (I don’t want to say “get better” because I know from experience that sometimes they don’t, but they do get easier to deal with).

    @Caitlin – OUCH. Also, that’s kinda half the reason that I don’t drive, because I don’t trust people not to pull stunts like that.

    And here’s a question for anyone who feels like answering it – why is it that, if I go on a bus with my walking stick, older people are really nice to me, even though most people under 40-50 (I’m not good at guessing ages) are really hostile? I sorta expected them to be nastier. Extra information: I’m overweight, I’ve been told that I look about 30, and even with the stick I still sit as far back on the bus as spare seats allow (I still believe that other people may need the front seats more, especially if I’m traveling a long way).

  14. Hey Kaitlyn, I’ve got some really interested articles and books and stuff on youth culture after I took a class last year on Youth Rebellion in Canada, should you want to talk about it.

    But not until this essay is done. OH ESSAY I HATE YOU.

  15. @ Sammie – yeah, it sucks. But I’d have had to spend at least as much or more than I spent on the car on cabs and intercity buses to get to class, work, to visit family, etc., and I really like to drive, so fo rme it was a fair trade. I just wish the asshat had done a shoulder check before changing lanes, because that would have prevented this from happening.

  16. And, like all things about youth, it has nothing to do with my life or my sister’s, except for the bit about them needing friends. (My sister to a tee!)

    Does she think needing friends is a totally perverse and unnatural experience which is totally unique to teenagers? That on midnight of one’s 13th birthday, one suddenly starts needing friends for the first time? That on midnight of one’s 20th birthday, the desire for friends disappears in an instant?

    If so, she really needs to get some friends…

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting, but it does irritate me when people talk about peer pressure like it’s something uniquee to youth.

    Thanks for all the hugs. The upside of this lousy week is that I’ve realised what awesome friends I have.

    I read a Belloc poem last night with the lines:

    or no one, in our long decline,
    So dusty, spiteful and divided,
    Had quite such pleasant friends as mine,
    Or loved them half as much as I did.

    That makes everything ok.

    @Dogged – tell them “My cousin’s ex-boyfriends rabbi’s nephew’s neighbour’s piano teacher’s stepfather’s therapist’s accountant’s wife’s chiropidist’s daughter’s flatmate’s half-brother’s best friend’s karate instructor used to suffer from Talking Complete BS About Stuff Which Isn’t Even His Business Anyway Syndrome but then he found that if he affected a French accent on the second Tuesday of every February and cut out all foods beginning with the letter r, he was completely cured!”

    @Monica – Depression is a wanker. Just remember that you don’t deserve any of the crap it does to you.

  17. Anna – I’ve got my own essay to write by the 17th – I’m not terribly interested in the topic, but thanks.

    I really wish I was in class, because this book begs for discussion. Just reading it by myself… well, here come the waterworks. (And the anger when I think of its premise.)

    Caitlin – owie zowie. (Great way to encourage me to drive!) That sucks.

    Army Navy football game! My closest relative (distance-wise) is Army National Guard and my mom was in the Navy. *cue sitcom “ooh”s*

  18. I had a doctor’s appointment this week. First one since January.

    The radiologist was rude and rolled his eyes at me multiple times when I asked him to clarify his questions and couldn’t figure out why the state was insisting that I get chest xrays. And the GP kept interrupting me when I tried to answer her (I was talking really slow due to being in a bad flare and lots of fog) and assuming my answers, and when I passed her the papers of symptoms that took me forever to write, she just passed them right back after taking a quick glance at it and stating that she didn’t understand the wording (instead of asking me to clarify…). And now I’ve gotten pressured into a psychiatric evaluation because of how I answered one of her questions, without her paying attention to the fact that I have much more control than a lot of people seem to give me credit for.

    All this to prove that I can’t work two jobs to pay my bills. At least I’m pretty much guaranteed state benefits, but still. I’m not sure I like the hoops I have to jump through and the ignorance I have to deal with just to get them.

  19. Carrying a month’s worth of laundry down a set of icy stairs isn’t fun or safe. I don’t recommend it.

    SN, that stinks. Doctors shouldn’t be jerks like that. 🙁

  20. Static Nonsense – I’m sorry. The sicker you are, the more work you have to do to prove it. (Maybe that’s why people assume it’s all fakers – if you’re not sick, you’ve got the energy!)

    I just woke up to the Lifetime TV movie “Country Justice.” I caught the last 15 minutes. It was so regressive and *headdesk*. I’m going to spoil it, because I can’t rail against the stupidity without it. 15 year old girl is pregnant due to a rape. She has the baby. The baby is sick, so she puts the baby up for adoption so her grandpa can adopt the baby and the baby can have insurance. In the final courtroom scene, she says she was “Seduced… or raped… I don’t know” by the father (who wants custody). She says she didn’t plan to have a baby. They never reported the rape – and the rapist is in his 30s. My eyes rolled out of my head! Fine, don’t talk about abortion, but leaving the rapist of a 15 year old free? The name made me think he’d be killed by the country somehow, twisty roads and snow, but no one died. Except my braincells.

    I was screaming, “It’s not a CUSTODY DISPUTE!” The dad kept saying “she’s just a child” so I, her rapist, am the perfect parent. And my mom told me to go back to sleep.

  21. I was goofing around on Facebook and decided to google it instead – “Don’t say that’s so gay.”

    This came up.

    Incremental stuff – but I’m sure this is a “joke” site or something. The comments make me think it’s not my kind of site and I’m not going back.

    The comments call the post “Lame” and “Gay” and one screed goes on about “free speech” and how the “homos” changed “gay” so maybe I’m changing it when I call something “gay” and THIS IS AMERICA.

  22. I’ve read some good non-fiction literature about disability lately and I can recommend a couple titles, for anyone who’s interested (maybe you’ve heard of these): “Understanding Disability: Inclusion, Access, Diversity and Civil Rights” by Paul T. Jaeger and Cynthia Ann Bowman, and “Disability Studies: Enabling the Humanities” by Sharon L. Snyder, Brenda Jo Brueggeman, and Rosemarie Garland-Thomson.

  23. Super late for the thread here, but I had to get this out. Today while I was at work, my heat and power were cut off. I pay my roommate, and she pays the bills because she wants them in her name to build credit. I’ve given her everything I owed, and yet, somehow… Gah. It’s -40 outside, around 8C in my room due to body heat alone. I’m hungry and tired and I can’t stop crying. I hate this shit. I can’t live here anymore, but I can’t afford anywhere else. I just want to die.

  24. @ Static Nonsense: oh my, those docs are indeed really rude and inconsiderate. Doesn’t your GP know tha tyou have disabilities that caus eyou to communicate more slowly than others? It seems at least xe doesn’t have a clue.

  25. @ Static Nonsense: I just realized my comment may’ve sounded a bit awkward itself. Even if your doc is unaware of the nature of your disabilities, xe cannot just make assumptions that you have nothing to say or can’t make your won decisions just because you don’t communicate in the exact same way xe’s used to.

  26. A letter that I sent to the BBC:

    Dear BBC,

    I was reading your European news and came across your story regarding the attack against the Italian prime minister. This caught my attention:

    “The alleged attacker, who has a history of mental illness, has been charged with throwing the souvenir.”

    I feel that the BBC should exercise more discretion when reporting on a criminal’s mental health history. The fact of the matter is, mental illness is rarely linked to violent behaviour and, contrary to popular conception, are disproportionately the victims, not the assailants, in violent crime.

    Nonetheless, the public holds very deeply seated fears regarding people with psychiatric disabilities, due in no small part to the media’s continued portrayal of the mentally ill as dangerous.

    I feel that, as an individual with neurological disability (Tourette’s Syndrome) I have to speak up. I feel that coverage such as this has a direct impact on my life in terms of reinforcing stigma and encouraging fear and violence against people such as myself.

    Samantha [last name redacted]

    In response to this story:

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