Chatterday! Open Thread.

yellow labrador puppy running toward the cameraThis 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 -=RoBeE=- on flickr. I realised something was missing from this blog, and that something is puppies. There are never enough puppies.

29 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread.

  1. I’m on holiday and it’s sunny and my hosts have wireless and chocolate!

    I’m also being reminded that whilst not driving sucks in many, many ways, having to deal with last minute transport dramas can sometimes lead to fun coincidences and get me to new places.

    2010 is planned to be an important year for me in how I deal with my disabilities. I (finally!) started counselling for my ptsd a few months back, and just having it officially recognised as such (if not actually diagnosed) is a huge help in itself. I also should be getting a full dyspraxia assessment through the university disability service, and one of my vague resolutions is to not be afraid to use technology/devices to make things easier, rather than struggle to do them the way everyone else is.

    Did I mention that it’s sunny and I’m two minutes from the beach? *bounces off*

  2. What’s on my mind right now is nice & lighthearted – I got a Kindle for Christmas (funny story behind that actually; perhaps for another Chatterday though) and I’m thinking about what books to load it up with. I see I can get some feminist titles I’ve been looking into, but I’m also looking to replace some hard copies of other titles… I feel good about dumping the hard copies of the “Classics,” for example. I don’t think I need Communist Manifesto, The Prince, or Freud… Don’t need them taking up shelf space anyway.

    And I’d like to replace some books like, some Earthsea books (the print is a little small… I figure anything with small print I’ll be more comfortable with on the Kindle,) and some more embarassing titles I keep hidden anyway.

    My understanding is it’s not great for reference books though. Better for straight-through books like novels, is that right? Any recommendations for new e-books is welcome.

    I am fully aware of DRM technology & all its limits. I’m willing to accept those risks for some books.
    .-= K´s last blog ..2009 A Year in Retrospect =-.

  3. PUPPY!

    Unfortunately, 2010 is off to a crappy start for me–I’ve been in hand-shaky mind-foggy land of intense headache pain for about two days with no painkillers. My sister, who’s visiting our parents for New Year’s, is supposed to bring me a bottle of Aleve since the one I left in my flat mysteriously vanished over Christmas, but keeps NOT LEAVING.

    It took roughly three minutes to type that, when I normally type 70-90 wpm with near perfect accuracy, ’cause hands are so shaky. This bites.

  4. Aaaaah … cute puppy 🙂

    A couple of my Twitter buddies decided to post pictures of really ugly canines, including a pug with a bizarrely squashed-up face. I responded with “cute husky therapy”, involving pictures of [redacted identifying information]‘s new guide/service dog.

    Here – – is my favourite picture of the dog, Duke (right), and his brother Demon (centre), plus her fiance’s other dog Ellie. I love the way they’re all looking up attentively at the person behind the camera (not sure if it’s [redacted] or someone else).

  5. On my mind right now: My beloved Yorkie, Winston, has to go in to get multiple teeth taken out on Tuesday. He will probably be much happier without the teeth rotting out of his skull, though, which is a plus.

  6. Happy 2010 everyone! Carrying on the discussion about positive depictions of disabled people in films and on TV, I’m not sure if this counts, but there’s this really difficult quiz show in the UK called University Challenge where teams of students answer questions mostly on arts and science, I’m not sure if there’s an equivalent in the US, probably. Anyway, it’s quite a tv institution and is on every week. There’s a team on at the moment who have a blind member, I’ve seen them a couple of times already, the last one was last week, and I think they’ve got to the next round which means they’ll be on again. Anyway, they’ve dealt with her disability really well, they’ve given her braille cards so she can participate in the picture round but other than that there’s no mention of her disability and she’s treated like any other contestant. I know this should be the norm but I also know that it often isn’t and that a person’s disability has to be brought up regardless of whether or not it’s relevant in a way that other aspects of someone’s identity wouldn’t be. I think part of it is that there’s no chat with the contestants on University Challenge, just a brief introduction and non-stop questions for half an hour, so, no chance for the ‘inspirational’ chat. Not suggesting that people should have to hide their disabilities, just that nobody wants to be answering the same questions about it all the time!It’s just nice for there not to be a big song and dance about how great the programme is to include someone with a disability, probably because, aside from the braille cards for a couple of questions, there’s really nothing preventing someone with a visual impairment from participating in this particular quiz.

  7. calixti – ow, you have my sympathies. I spent most of last week rationing my pain meds and ow ow ow ow. And then Wednesday was a laprascopy. More ow, and ow that pissed me off.

    I wake up in the recovery room, in pain. They yank me up to 90 degrees and demand that I take deep breaths. I tell them I’m in pain. They tell me they’ve given me 2m(g?l?)s of dilaudid. I tell them that doesn’t work. I drift in and out. My heartbeat is weird, I’m not breathing right, and my doctor shuts me down when he comes to see me. “You’d be in worse pain without this medication, so you get no more.” “WORSE PAIN?! I’m at an 8!*” “This conversation is over.”

    Luckily I was too doped up and sleepy to be crabby at home.

    *Anyone else hate the 1-10 scale? Bah.

    I read a sentence in a book and it really bugged me, so I e-mailed the author. (It was quite dismissive of peanut allergies, saying that one character’s “addiction” to candy matters as much as a deadly allergy. Yeah. Right.)

    I also saw a big screen Bollywood movie and it was so funny and sad and awesome and yay! And it did distract me from my pain. (My sister saw Avatar for the 2nd time. And I paid for her to see it. She drove.) And I just ordered 19 more movies as a new year/surgery present. Or something. (They only ship to buildings, no PO boxes, so I can only order from them at home.)

  8. I rang in the new year with a work-induced migraine: 15.5 hours of work in a 24 hour time period, 5.5 hours of sleep between shifts. That’s food service for you, I guess.

    At any rate, I switched calendars this morning, and even through the migraine haze, I noticed that I marked on the calendar last January that I had six migraines in two weeks. I’m normally more of a once-a-week migraineur, so I tried to remember what was going on at the time. As it turns out, those were the two weeks immediately following my Memere’s death. It’s been almost a year since she died; I never thought I’d make it this far. It’s an odd occasion. Do I celebrate? Cry? Maybe a mixture of both.

  9. My calendar from the last year is much happier – I wrote down every Indian movie I saw on the day that I saw it. However, at my mom’s insistence, there are a few scrawled words on what were bad days, like “BAD PAIN” or “COULDN’T WALK.” Unsurprisingly, there aren’t many movies around those days. (I usually stuck with something I’d already seen in and in whatever mindset made me start recording the movies, I did not write down the 2nd (or 3rd…) time I’d seen a movie.)

    Am I the only one who saves calendars? Some years, I’ve had two wall calendars, one for writin’, the other for lookin’ at. I saved my mom’s kitchen calendar that I got her last year – reproductions of Japanese wood block prints for the months. I also have my X-files calendars saved. I think calendars can be pretty (take out the picture for a cheap decoration) and a recording of the year and what you felt worthy of writing down.

    I also made car calendars for my mom for a few years on post-its after she stopped getting free ones from her trucker brother. I was so miffed this year to learn she had another source for this decade!

  10. Kaitlyn, I haaaate the 1-10 scale with a passion. Not just because I usually function around a 5-7 either–but also because my pain tolerance fluctuates, and the pain itself can feel less or more intense due to other symptoms, regardless of spot on the scale! It’s a ridiculously simplistic way to measure pain.

  11. I like the faces since they represent more than one – It’s usually a range. Right now, laying down with the laptop on my kind of fresh stitches after a shower, it’s like a 6. Or something.

    But if the doctor were to call and I were to get all twisted around looking for the phone (or heaven forbid, walking around while talking on the phone, something I like to do) it would be higher.

    Why can’t we just say it got worse? The day started okay, it doesn’t matter what number “okay” is, it’s not “okay” now.

    And before the surgery, they asked me what my pain was like. I was not in pain at the moment. I’d been sitting in a chair for about ten minutes after reading in the waiting room for … some time. So I fibbed and averaged the paid I’d had the whole day – like the pain I had during the night and pain during the car ride over, and the pain before getting used to the seat.

    “How do you feel now?” is pretty useless. I’ve been laying down flat in an exam room (usually a good thing) for maybe 30 minutes. Of course my pain isn’t too bad! But I don’t spend my days in doctor’s offices!

    And now for something else – thinking about the latest AWP and the fact that that was a diagnosis reminded me of the book The Memory Keeper’s Daughter, where the dad (a doctor) delivers the kids because it’s snowing (of course!), and tells the nurse to abandon the Down’s twin at a home, telling the wife the kid died. (I always wondered why he bothered telling her that she had twins in the first place, since they didn’t know. She never had to know she lost a child.) The movie was terrible – why did they let Lifetime near it? All I remember from the movie was the bad make-up on the dad – what looked like gray paint on his hair to make him look older.

    Anyway… I don’t want to go into to much detail about the book because of spoilers and because it’s been a while since I read it. Just wondered about opinions.

  12. I think the face pain scale is ok for standard-issue people in acute pain, for example after an accident or operation.

    For chronic pain, I think they’re worse than useless. People with chronic pain and well and truly trained to keep their face neutral or fake a happy face; or, to simple make a happy face on account of how they’re happy about something, despite being in bad pain.

    The idea that everyone in bad pain must be frowning and crying damages people with chronic pain.

  13. lauredhel – totally! I can’t stand the last two faces, or any of them. I don’t think I’ve ever cried from pain, even when I had my first taste of “10” abdominal pain (kidney stone) and was scared sh!tless. I cry more from the frustration, which can come from endless “5” pain that just. won’t. go. away.

    But the faces are a bit better than the numbers, since one face represents more than one number. Of course, when you’re dealing with chronic pain, chuck it all together.

    If I did look like the faces at the “top” of the scale when I was in that kind of pain, I’d get no respect. My doctor assumes the pain is good (maybe at that minute) because I’m laughing with my mom (about him!), but when I yell or cry, I get nowhere.

  14. I got approved for disabled child benefits and I just got word that my SSI case went through. I didn’t even have to go to court! I’m so happy right now.

    2010 seems like it’s going to be much better than 2009 was was for me.

  15. Lauredhel,

    “I think the face pain scale is ok for standard-issue people in acute pain, for example after an accident or operation.”

    I dislike the pain for accidents, too. When you say standard-issue people it makes me think of, well, standard issue – that is, a line of normalcy that everyone understands. I’m not neurotypical and people usually can’t tell in the five minutes it takes to talk to a nurse, and it’s a bit of hell trying to get someone to understand what I’m feeling at any given time and further, if I saw the face chart (we don’t have a face chart, just the numbers) I doubt I’d understand which pain goes where. I’ve a bad feeling that I’ve been misreading the pain scale because I factor in all the pain I’ve ever had versus what the current one feels like versus what I think a ten is. It probably doesn’t help that I also contrast it to, say, what it would feel like if a bone got severed and decide it’s probably wouldn’t be as painful as that. When I asked for a description of the numbers way back when they couldn’t give me one, so I’ve been stuck formulating my own. My accident list is wide and varied – I actually do need a pain numbers list and the fact that they won’t give me one ticks me off, as pain is also varied in types, if not always in intensity. There’s too damn many factors for me to just give ’em an number off the top of my head. I have to think on it for a while, and then I get to guess. I loath the numbers chart because I don’t quite know what my pain would be listed as, whether for accidents or chronic shit. I do know I’ve a much better pain tolerance than most of the other people I know (barring one) so that doesn’t help matters. Tolerating doesn’t mean it hurts less, it means I’m better able to work around or through it, I thought. Then again, I always thought ten would be ‘passing out from the pain’, so whenever I go I generally say it’s at four to seven because frankly, I’m usually never anywhere near to passing out (pain centers you like little else, I think, which is a bit odd as it doesn’t center a person so much as, well, pain) and the few times I have gotten dizzy /lightheaded for back pain or repro problems it always passed in a bit (the dizzyness/lightheaded-ness, that is). I also wonder if they subtract a few numbers whenever I manage to actually get to the hospital as well, like they think I’m exaggerating or something. And yeah, a five or seven consistently is worse, for me, than the hopefully brief trip into a 99.999. The pain grinds at you after a bit until you can’t focus on anything else for any length of time without some very serious effort (and even then, the attention is short-lived) and I don’t think most of the nurses or doctors get that. As for accidents, some of the ones I’ve had took weeks and weeks to heal with pain aplenty – I’m thinking in particular of a burn, it reminds me a hell of a lot of my back problem, in that the pain fluctuated depending on whether it was accidentally bumped or the temperature the burn was next to. Not very good for the pain scale, either, although I never went to the hospital for that one. Considering they’ve all been right Crap at giving correct pain meds, figured it’d be easier by saving myself the bill. It was, but only barely.

    …um, but yeah, my whole point was I dislike the numbers scale for accidents as well, for several reasons.

  16. Kaitlyn: “How do you feel now?” is pretty useless. I’ve been laying down flat in an exam room (usually a good thing) for maybe 30 minutes. Of course my pain isn’t too bad! But I don’t spend my days in doctor’s offices!

    Gaahh, yes. My pain level when I’m in the doctor’s office is never the same as what it was when I was out and about and standing up. Why not ask what level of pain brought me in to the office instead? That might actually be useful.

  17. I’m always happy to hear about a successful SSI resolution. As for me, it has been a huge red tape nightmare. Still no resolution yet. Most of it has centered around the fact that every psychiatrist and hospital has its own system to transfer medical records, and each of them has its own system.

    I should get a judgment soon, at which point I can get onto Medicaid, resuming seeing a psychiatrist, and have a long-delayed Lithium level drawn.

  18. happy 2010! the new year has gotten to a very lazy start, all I did yesterday was watch the Law and Order SVU marathon yesterday. I go back to classes on Monday, which would be the first day in more than two weeks. ehhh homework :/

  19. I love that post, amandaw. I just linked it on my fave forum.

    Happy new year everyone! I started it off pretty well, I think. Here’s hoping for less pain, more good sex, more cute shoes, and less gossip during the rest of the year. 😀

  20. @ Anthea: I wish you good luck on all that you plan to do in 2010.

    @ Calixti: sorry to hear you’re in so much pain. I hope you will be feeling better soon.

    I started off hte new year with a bad cold. I was at my parents’ over the new year, so that meant over three hours on the train and bus yesterday, which was quite overwhelming and the cold didn’t make it easier. Fortunately I don’t have anything to do today so I was able to take some rest.

  21. Partner and me had food poisoning after christmas dinner on the 26th :S.

    Then we recovered and he got a bad food allergy reaction (we still haven’t been able to figure out the source of the allergy).

    Then it was New Year’s which I hate no matter where I am, but at least we got to stay home this time.

    Today we went grocery shopping and no one threw fireworks at me (yay! \o/).

    I’m so happy the holiday season is over and I can get back to a routine.

  22. Congrats, thetroubleis!

    I go back to school on the 14th. I don’t know why we go back on Thursday instead of the following Monday, but school=/=logic, as we all know.

    I’m only taking one language this semester (2 classes), because Arabic is at a bad time – 8 am or “evening”. Plus, if I took Arabic, I’d have 4 classes on Tues and Thursday – 6 hours. I replaced Arabic with Art History. I took the first “Art” class last semester and we didn’t draw and I enjoyed analyzing the art. Hopefully this is more of the same.

  23. Today is my stress-out day.

    My body still feels like I’m going back to school on Monday, and I’m not, so I’m stressing about the job search. Why do people treat not having a job — two weeks past graduation, people! — as a personal failing? Stop looking contemptuously at me. Stop correcting my job search pattern. Or just stop asking people what they do when you meet them, because there are a lot of people who are unemployed right now. If you can’t handle the truth, stop asking for it.

    This is bothering me more than I thought it was. If anybody has any ideas on how to put a stop to these people or at least minimize the encounter, please let me know!

    And, @ K — Yay, an ereader! If somebody hasn’t already pointed you here, the online books at UPenn ( is a huge collection of free literature, theory, and reference. Many can be put on a Kindle or similar reader. Also, Project Gutenberg has easily snagged free books, mostly older but a good way to build the classics collection.

  24. Thanks all. I was so surprised, becuase I’m “only” mentally ill (well, that’s what I thought when I applied), so I expected things to be much harder.

    @Comrade Kevin I’m sorry you are having so much trouble. The process is ridiculous.

  25. @ Sadie Kay – thanks! That is going to be a helpful collection for me to browse through. It even has some of the authors I’m looking for.

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