Chatterday! Open Thread. And planned outage on Monday.

A baby giraffe, half back-lit, looks at the camera with dark, liquid eyesThis 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.


NOTE: There will be a planned FWD/Forward maintenance outage on Monday. Details:

Date: Monday, November 30, 2009 (11/30/2009)

Downtime window:
Start Time: 00:00 CST (06:00 UTC)
End Time: 03:00 CST (09:00 UTC)

55 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread. And planned outage on Monday.

  1. One of our lovely readers alerted us to the fact that since we are currently paginating comments (displaying fifty on a page and rolling more comments over onto subsequent pages), the numbering scheme is wonky; it starts renumbering on the second page, which is kind of annoying.

    Now, we can fix this, but we can also put all comments on one page, and I thought I’d ask which y’all would prefer. I personally prefer all comments on a single page, but there are some pretty solid reasons to prefer pagination (those of you using phones w/data plans to view, for example, might find that paginated comments load more quickly).

    If anyone has a preference, please stick it in this thread! Just let us know if you’d like paginated comments, or comments all on one page. (And, you know, feel free to talk about other stuff too. Like ponies, or cake.)
    .-= meloukhia´s last blog ..What Is A Woman? =-.

  2. I’d like a cake with maple-date-sugar unicorns on top.

    In return: gluten-free, vegan “pie.”
    5 sweet potatoes
    —peel, cube & steam/nuke until soft, mash

    6 Tbs/90 ml coconut milk
    3 tsps/15 maple syrup
    To taste: powdered ginger, clove & nutmeg
    –stir in with the potatoes, use a mixer if you’ve got one.

    1 tart apple
    –at the last minute: peel skin, slice very thinly

    preheat oven to 325°F/160°C

    Plop orange mash into pie-sized heatproof dish. Decorate the top with apple slices carnation style. (I used one dried apricot for the center) Cook uncovered 25 minutes.

  3. this holiday break has reminded me how much i will sleep if just left to my own devices. it feels wonderful to be able to get as much rest as i want, and then to get up and watch tv for three hours – and here’s the key part, without feeling guilty, or like i’m squandering my time, or should be getting something done.

    i did, though, get it together enough to contribute to our economy by buying some new nikes so i can go walking without getting hideous shin splint problems. now i’m going to go walk around and gawk at everyone else getting their consumerism on.

  4. Tlönista, that is a very stretchy kitty!

    A black and white splotchy cat, lying on his back and exposing his white belly. One paw is stretched up towards the camera.

    This is not one of Loki’s stretchiest photos, but it’s funny, so I decided to stick it in this thread. Incidentally, he has a tail, it’s just black, so it kind of disappeared against the background because the photo is so dark.

  5. It’s not a true giraffe pic unless there’s tongue.

    I like all comments on one page too.

    I’m going back to school Monday. I think. I still hurt when I’m up, I have 2 weeks to do like 50 papers, and one paper due Tuesday and I’m tired thinking about it.

  6. Norah – That’s because it’s an evil giraffe.

    (I’ve been watching too much Eddie Izzard lately, especially after seeing him live last month. The captioning/subtitling on his DVDs is pretty good, which makes me happy.)

  7. I prefer comments all on one page.

    (OMG! We can subscribe to comments by email now! *loves madly*)

    Yesterday I attended a presentation for our staff on Read and Write Gold, a Windows text-speech suite for people with communication-related learning disabilities. The guy who gave the presentation identified as abled, but seemed pretty awesome–the college he works for provides this software for all their students, and at the beginning of the presentation he had a brain-hiccup because he’s used to presenting with an ASL interpreter alongside.

    I am so happy it’s Friday.

  8. I prefer all comments on one page, easier to follow that way.

    I have a paper due Wednesday that I haven’t even started yet, about icky sexual themes in the poem “The Goblin Market.” This is much harder to write than I thought it would be, because pretty much every article I can find at my university’s library talks about what an awesomely feminist poem it is. :/

    Also, Glee still fails and I really wish I could stop watching. *sigh*

  9. Kaitlyn, I once got to handfeed a giraffe at the San Francisco Zoo, which was one of the top 10 coolest things EVER. They have supercool tongues.

  10. VERY IMPORTANT NOTICE: My Mika cat (I sing her songs about how wonderful and fierce and pretty and fat she is because she is all of these things) is asleep with a paw over her face and snoring. [lovelovelove]

  11. I like all the comments on one page. My ideal would be threaded comments, but I don’t know if that’s possible in this blog format.

    I watched the first episode of Cast Offs on Thursday, and it was pretty good. Yes there was a lot of ableism on display, but the key was we were looking at it from the disabled person’s point of view. I’m not sure how it’ll play to a mainstream audience, or any audience outside the UK. Episode one had a diffcult job to do – introducing all the lead characters and their situation on the island, yet still focusing on Dan and his home life, but I’m going to keep watching and see how the characters develop.

  12. Dogged, threaded comments have been discussed, but some folks find them very hard to follow (just as some folks find unthreaded comments hard to follow…).

  13. I was going to try and find my camel photos (Me! on a camel! And the camel is happy – they were raised by “camel whisperers” and didn’t spit or smell or anything!) but I’m too tired to look.

    Here’s a picture of a man walking his shaved alpaca instead. You know, as one does, in Australia.

    A man walking his shaved red alpaca in the downtown

  14. Sorry to break the conversation away from cute furry animals, but I had to rant about this.

    (bear in mind I am partially sighted)

    I love yorkie chocolate (I know, I know) it just tastes so good! Some time ago, I had bought a bar of it, and was sitting on a bench with someone who I thought was my friend, when he turned around and said “are you blind? That’s NOT for girls!”

    I know he thinks he was joking, but it’s really not funny to me. Not funny at all, and I didn’t expect it from him.

    Oh, well. I don’t suppose it is that important…it was bugging me, you know?

  15. Australia is weird.

    And camels are pure evil. This one used to stare at me. It protected these goats from coyotes.

    So… you can stack cats. But for what purpose? Evil? Good?

    Dixie was inside last night and she laid down soon and started snoring. Mikey spent THIRTY MINUTES “grooming” on Mom’s lap. And he wasn’t supposed to be in, he shot in!

    And somebody ate all the deviled eggs and drank all the orange juice. Oh, I did. But now I have no deviled eggs and no orange juice. TRAG-UH-DEE!

    New Monk tonight, second to last episode!

  16. the white lady – things that bug you are important here! that does sound quite inappropriate and not funny at all. i’m sorry.

    my cat is more of a spiral-curler than a long stretchy lady. example:

    siamese cat sits in chair, curled up, tail and nose tucked in.

  17. Yeah, White Lady, people think those things are So Funny Ha Ha Ha! as though they’re both original and witty.

    They are neither.


  18. I’d really like all comments on one page too.

    Also, today is my service dog in training’s first birthday.

    Beyond that, I managed to survive thanksgiving.

  19. The White Lady–I don’t know about “unimportant”, but any friend who said that to me (sexist AND ableist!) would bloody well expect to get his head bitten off. But I’m pretty unrepentant about my advocacy. I can afford to be, because I can afford to stop associating with people who are invested in various systems of -isms.

    I’ve booked an appointment with my doctor to get medication for my mood/anxiety disorders! I’ve been telling myself I can “tough it out” without drugs for years, but a friend who had an amazing experience with Prozac, and Anna’s post lately about mental health conditions, have inspired me to see if I’m carrying a load I don’t have to.

    I wish Canadian Thanksgiving didn’t have to fall so early compared to American (it’s the first or second week of October, here.) Everyone’s posting amazing recipes when it’s a month and a half too late to use them!

  20. I’m all alone in here, replying to myself…*sings nervously*

    Tlönista, Loki is very squishable. He likes to be squeezed, rather hard, actually, and will make happy little purring and “brrrrt” noises while you do it.

  21. I would like to share my dinner with everyone. I had a tofu burger and fries from Field of Greens in Houston, Texas. You should go there if you’re ever in Houston, especially if you’re a veg*n.

    close up!

  22. Doggie pix! (Ponies. Pah!)



    Don’t say the second dog looks cute, it’ll go straight to his head. (That’s Mikey. He thinks he’s the man, but he’s a chicken. He was protecting the house, barking at something when… oh my… he bumped into a cord. Very scary lives these dogs lead.)

  23. Kat, you are pure evil.

    I used to have sandwiches all the time at school (probably not “healthy” but they tasted good, and I paid for the meal plan, why not use it?) but I’ve been at home for 3 weeks.

    And because it’s only temporary, we haven’t picked up any sandwich fixins. I’ve been toasting the white bread when my stomach is murky.

  24. @Kaitlyn: CONE OF SHAAAAAAAAAMMME!!!! Poor doggeh. 🙁

    This was an amazing tofu burger. It had some kind of thin bean patty, guacamole, lettuce, tofu, another bean patty, and mayo. It comes with tomato but I hate tomatoes.

  25. I got my PDA! I love it, it’s already set up to beep at me when I need to eat or take medicine. I’m still playing with other features to see what I can get it to do for me.

    And I also got my thesis chapter done a whole week before the deadline, so I took this week off to try to get enough sleep (ha!) and relax (ha!). It was supposed to be only two days at first, but I spent the entire first one worrying about my thesis and the entire second one (well, nearly) asleep.

  26. meloukhia: Sorry, I was sleeping! Hope you were okay in here on your own.

    Lis: Good luck with the appointment, and be prepared to spend a while working out which meds are best for you – it’s taken me 3 years (and at least 5 different medications at varying doses) to get to a point where I’m okay-ish most of the time. It’s not the same for everyone, but it’s something I wish that I knew was a possibility/probability at the beginning of my treatment. Also, there can be a period of a few weeks at the beginning where the meds seem to be making things worse, before they suddenly start working. Again, this was something my doctor didn’t tell me (he wasn’t very good – subsequent doctors have always warned me about this when I’ve switched meds), but is really important to know.

    I have to add that I’m not saying all this to scare you, just that getting meds won’t automatically make things easier straight away. It will, however, be totally worth it in the long term in most cases.

  27. Who is your favourite disabled TV character?

    I’ve been thinking about this again recently because I’ve been watching old repeats of Frasier, and I still think Martin Crane is about the best portrayal of a disabled character I’ve seen on TV (albeit John Mahoney doesn’t – didn’t? – walk with a cane in real life, but that’s another conversation). I think Martin was the first series regular on any show I identified with as a disabled person. He faced all the same things I struggled with – chafing against the loss of his independence, bitching about his physiotherapy, worrying about whether his disability made him unattractive and so on. But for all that he wasn’t written as the ‘disabled character’. He was just a smart, funny, cantankerous old guy, and he had more success romantically over the course of the series than either of his two sons. He was an excellent verbal foil for Frasier and Niles and yes he was he butt of a few jokes, but he gave (at least) as good as he got.

    Martin was such a fully rounded character in fact, and his disability so well integrated into the writing, that I don’t think the writers even noticed they’d written a disabled character. Because when they came to write their Very Special Episode About Disability (which I loathe with a passion despite the awards heaped upon it), Martin barely featured. It was Random Guy in a Wheelchair time, and Frasier worrying about what people would think of him if he ditched his new ‘friend’. All about character growth for the CAB main charcter (yawn). No-one seemed to realise that every single episode of the show contained an important message about disability, or that the disabled character they’d already created in Martin was far more rounded, realistic and helpful to me as disabled viewer.

    Does anyone else have a favourite disabled character?

  28. Thanks for the sympathy, everyone! I wish I *had* bitten his head off, he deserved it, but I was honestly too flabbergasted to say anything. It’s not like he doesn’t know I’m partially sighted.

    All these pictures of cats are soo cute!!! I’m not sure about the one with the dog’s pay front centre lol, but the picture of him in the cone are so sweet!

    @abby jean – the picture of your cat made me go ‘awww’ out loud lol.

  29. Awww Kaitlyn, what kind of dog is Mikey? My childhood dog was a cocker spaniel which Mikey strongly resembles, except that he’s about a quarter the size. lol.

  30. Bald Soprano: Great that you got your PDA and that you’re figuring out its functions. Have you discovered any new interesting features that you can use?

    Lis: good luck on your doc’s appointment. When will you be seeing the doctor? Since I have no experience with anti-anxiety drugs (except for PRN benzodiazepines, but these are not useful if you need them long-term), I can’t provide any personal insight on those. I know that antidepressants take several weeks to kick in, and your anxiety may actually be a little worse when you first start on it.

    I’m so nervous about my own doc appointment this Wednesday…I’ve had GI stuff for 2 1/2 years, so why in the world would I come see the doc now? Nurse at where I used to reside said it was “nothing” 1 1/2 years ago, and I’ve never been able to figure out at which point the worsening of symptoms would be bad enough to ask a nurse to call the doc again. I hope my primary nurse can go with me, since I fear both the “OMG why didn’t you come sooner” and the “since you coped with it for 2 1/2 years it mustn’t be serious”, and I fear getting difficult questions.

    Good news: I PASSED neuropsychology! Yes, this time they actually had the test in digital format, and I already got the result the next day.

  31. Folks here might be interested in the current issue of The Lancet (free registration required), which is a special issue about disability. The issue editorial is titled, “Disability: beyond the medical model”.
    From the editorial: “Today’s special issue, published ahead of World Disability Day on Dec 3, does not look at disability through a purely medical lens. In line with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, our issue views disability as the outcome of complex interactions between health conditions and the physical and social environment.”
    .-= Elizabeth Kissling´s last blog ..Please Advise: Matt’s girlfriend doesn’t know she has PMS =-.

  32. Astrid: well, it’s a Nokia internet tablet, so it’s an itty bitty linux computer. So I have internet (browser, IRC, and my first ever RSS feed reader!), which I’m loving for when I have to lie down, and a few games (especially a couple that I use for concentration/calming, like sudoku). I’m still looking at how best to have lists of steps for doing things on there (like getting from bed to out the door, for example) –what I am starting to think of as recipes for life. And I haven’t put music on it yet, which will happen as soon as I get a memory card for it (because that will simplify the process of keeping my music collection up-to-date immensely).

  33. @ Elizabeth: Yes, I already saw that. It looks interesting, but also a bit, uhm, “tokenist” for lack of a better word, like: they took all standard “success stories” that could’ve been the same that have circulated the Internet for many, many years, only I guess most doctors don’t read disability websites. Also, I didn’t see anything about non-physical disabilities.

    @ Bald Soprano: ah, cool. I’d have loved such a thing if it had a braille display. (I think Mobile Speak works on most of these phones, but I’m not sure I could work with just synthetic speech.)

  34. Mikey is a mop. We also had a cocker spaniel (she died in ’05), but I don’t think curls mcgee is a spaniel. He’s probably some mishmash of poodle and terrier – curls everywhere, he sheds curls.

    The funniest part about him (aside from his behavior – he was scared of the hermit crab, of the turtle…) is his curls! They actually change direction and texture half way down his back.

    He’s our only mutt where you can actually see the seams!

  35. Kat – that is the imperious paw of Dixie. She uses it to get what she wants, which is usually attention. She also uses her nose in that manner, particularly when you’re at the computer, typing.

  36. Sammie, Astrid: thanks for the advice. 🙂 My appointment is in a week and a half, and I was hoping that the Christmas holidays would be a good time to hide/sleep/cry if the meds took a bad turn to start with, since my family doesn’t expect me to be too sociable. I’m a psych major, which means I have the advantage of already knowing about different types of drugs and their effects and mechanisms. It’s just taken me a while to convince myself my symptoms were ‘bad enough’ but I’ve cried myself to sleep two nights this week for no reason–so drugs it is!

  37. Today’s really not been a good day for me – I discovered I don’t have some of the things I thought I did which I need for various Christmas traditions (to be precise, I don’t have a straw wreath to make my advent wreath with, which means I’m stuck with a bunch of boughs and the first advent is tomorrow); I take my traditions very seriously and have various issues around not being able to do them so this is pretty awful.

    Then there was this thing where I didn’t go to my chorus rehearsal although I meant to and the concert is tomorrow and now I don’t know if I’ll get a seat for it and I don’t even know whether I *want* to go to the concert and. Argh.

    And then I was reading around trying to cheer myself up and wound up reading this massive trainwreck of a post in which people were mocking self-dxed Aspies with a bonus “what is this ableism thing you speak of?”, and now it looks like I’m getting into it on the subject with an LJ friend who has just said something along the lines of “well, see, I respect you and not them because you went and GOT diagnosed and didn’t use any excuses about not having money or anything” and I kind of want the world to end right now because I can’t deal with it anymore.

    um, sorry for getting my miserable on everyone.

  38. Kaz:
    I’ve seen a few of those posts recently too, and I’ve been trying to stay away from them because they’re (actually it’s more the comments that are) so bad they make me want to literally throw up.

  39. Astrid: It’s actually not a phone –just made by Nokia. but yeah, no braille option, sadly. I’m still hoping they develop some of the things I was reading about when I was studying dynamic maps (there was a bunch of accessibility research in my readings).

  40. More dog pics and some whining/venting/man how can I be soaked in sweat I hate Memphis. If it’s such a lovely day Mom, why do I have to keep the fire going?

    My sister came home Tuesday night, and I didn’t reveal the secret! (She was going to come Thursday morning because of a presentation Wednesday afternoon and bad traffic in Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis and every other inhabited part of Tennessee. But the presentation was moved to next week.)

    I think this time the football education will take. My sister can’t believe I’m still asking what’s going on. I like my baseball, thank you very much. Sponsoring a member of the ’96 Olympic team will do that to you.

    My sister… my sister… Tuesday night, I’m in hideous pain thanks to the procedure. I’m only comfortable on the couch when I’m awake. So what does she want to do Tuesday night? Pull out the couch bed for her and her friend and watch the 3rd Harry Potter movie. That they’ve seen a million times. We only have one DVD player in the house right now. I wanted to watch an SRK film I’ve been looking forward to for a long time. On the TV, not my computer.

    They offered to sit in the recliners, but I give in too often, and I laid in my mom’s bed for maybe 30 minutes stewing and hurting. I ended up watching “Mixed Doubles” on Netflix Instant (Konkona looking AWESOME and Ranvir Shorey continuing to grow on me.) in the study in the HUGE recliner. I watched Monk in there last night. I wasn’t as comfortable as I am on the couch.

    Wednesday, I still hurt. And the fire was roaring. Yes, it hurts after a minute, but before that, it feels *so good* on my back (and thus my stomach). However, I have repeatedly said that I hate heat and heaters, and I do. The fan is on right now. I’m in shorts and a tank top. Of course, it’s 72 Fahrenheit. Go figure.

    So any time I want a blanket or want to stand in front of the fire, she throws that in my face. Because the gross, choking air from a heater (especially in an enclosed space like her car) is the same as a blanket.

    I told her that it felt good, that I was sore. Her response? “My everything hurts.”

    And of course, she and her friend used “gay” as an insult on Thanksgiving. I wasn’t in the room, or I would have asked them to stop.

    I’ve taken a lot of naps this week. One of them was a “forced” nap, I didn’t have anything better to do plus my mom was pissed (the toilet went kerblooey on my watch.) at me. While I was sleeping, Mom and Beck talked about whether or not family (mom’s brother and his new kid and cigarette smoke) and friends (to play Wii) should come over. “Where will we put Kaitlyn?”

    Of course, Mom didn’t want her brother over all that much, but it hurts. And since I was asleep, I didn’t have to know that she spoke about me like that!

    I’m increasingly scared and nervous about school Monday. My mom told me that since it’s nice, I should take a walk. Well, I just did (hence the overheated whining) – about a mile. It hurt, it didn’t hurt, it hurt, back and freakin’ forth. I’m on the couch now, comfortable. I didn’t even have the energy to leash up a dog. I don’t like that. (I’m the “weird” girl who walks around the neighborhood with her dog(s), jamming to music I don’t understand.) I love walking Dixie, and I even enjoyed my walk when I stopped thinking and just listened to the music. I don’t like being told I have to walk, though, then I loathe it. I’m so mature. 😛

    My sister may watch a Bollywood movie with me tonight. I’ve promised to give her money for her trip back to Knoxville. There will be conditions – she’s not allowed to insult the movie with the words “gay” or “lame.” If she thinks it stinks, it’s fine. But why? (And that means she can’t say “Oh a song started, they sound like they’re singing all the time.” (She said that about BluffMaster. She wouldn’t even look at scruffy!Abhishek) She is not a fan of things that aren’t in English. And I don’t have too many Hinglish filled films. She loves melodrama and musicals, so Bollywood is perfect for her. In theory.)

    Dogged – I think the best character that I’ve seen (my TV viewing goes from a show each day to one or two a week, my interest waxes and wanes) is Monk. I’m not OCD (my sister thinks I am, because I insist on making sure the doors are locked. But it’s nothing like what actual people with OCD go through – thanks FWD!), but I have been paralyzed by my own thoughts (depression). Those who actually know anything about OCD, is he realistic?

    I’ve got to throw in some Arrested Development love. Buster and his hook. Okay, I wish my AD DVDs weren’t at my dorm right now. Along with my Monk DVDs. I live a sad life. But! I woke up this morning and we have orange juice again! Make sure you tip your OJ fairy!

    Dog pics:

    Dixie, a large buff coloured dog, wearing a large plastic E-collar. Another smaller dog in the lower right of the image.

    Dixie in Mikey’s cone, because well, we couldn’t help playing with it. That’s Wickett without the cone. He looks like a Pomeranian when his hair is long, and well, something else when he’s nekkid.

    Wickett, a small buff coloured dog, sprawled out on a bed. A foot is emerging from under a pile of covers to the left of the image.

    In the interest of fairness, here is Mikey’s belly. (I think.) (Fairness in species – can’t have cat bellies clogging up this thread!)

    Two dogs fighting in the yard; both are buff coloured and the larger dog is lying in a submissive position while the smaller dog is on the attack.

    The opposite of the cone of shame – Mikey tearing off Dixie’s head.

    Dixie is my gorgeous chow mix. Complete with chow tongue. She turned 12 (which means I’m 21! *faints*) this May. I got her a month or so before my 9th birthday, so we had most of summer break to get to know each other. She still acts like a puppy, rolling around on her back, harassing Wickett until he plays with her, slapping us. She’s very healthy, happy, but since we got a new couch, not as rotten. (Not allowed on the couch.)

    Mikey turned 7 this summer. He was born an old grouchy man. We got him a couple months after Jasmine died. (Jasmine was my parents’ first baby, but unlike me, she couldn’t go overseas easily. She was some kind of shepherd mix with no tail.) He only came over to “visit” because he’d been bouncing from house to house. He eventually ended up at a friend’s house and they brought “PJ” over to visit. It was “too soon”, and yet, he’s still here. It really helped that he wasn’t Jasmine’s double. (She was bigger than Dixie.)

    Wickett is an Ewok/demon/fluff mix. With saucer ears. He’s a year younger than Mikey and was treated terribly at his first house. (No one was home during the day and they don’t have a fenced in yard. He was a puppy. Do the math.) They brought him over – probably to “visit” – in December 2003. I was sick from my skin infection, avoiding relatives by reading in my mom’s room, laying on my stomach. He pooped on the bed. Yup, he’s still here, and he’s my main man.

    Dixie’s the Alpha due to size and seniority, Wickett’s the “man” due to fierceness, and Mikey is delusional. He killed a baby bird once and tried to bring it in. He also growls at the cockroaches Dixie kills. And at me, but Mom eggs him on. And sometimes I do to. He’s fun to wind up.

    Sorry about the novel, but I feel better now.

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