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 whooz_queen on flickr. This wee baby elephant, who is yet to be named, was born at the Melbourne Zoo last month. More pictures and video at The Age.

baby elephant

35 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread.

  1. I hate how, no matter how much I try to educate myself, I can not seem to shake the internalized ableism that tells me that I am responsible for my depression and all the ways it has messed with my life plans.

    I really wish that I wouldn’t feel like a failure for just considering going back on medication, for getting back to the point where I feel like I might need it.

    I want to live in a world where “I had to go to Uni longer, because I had suffered from clinical depression and it made learning (living) more difficult” is something you can say, without losing any prospect of getting hired.

    (Seriousely, I feel like I will never be ready for this evil, evil mega-exam of doom).


    I don’t like my brain today.

  2. I offer
    Sakura kitten!

    And kung fu kittens.

    Qem–meloukhia here–I tried to click those links to grab the pics for the thread, but it’s telling me that you have a private account so I can’t access them! Woe!

  3. I had, what was for me, a really uncomfortable experience with ableism a couple nights ago. I mean, I think it can be considered ableism.

    What happened was that I ran into a guy I had never seen before on my university campus and it turned out we live in the same dormitory. When we got into the dormitory he said, “I noticed your gait.” I immediately became embarrassed and I said, a bit sarcastically, “That’s interesting, we walked for about 30 seconds together, *in the dark* and you still managed to see my limp?” He then responded, “I’m a physical therapy major, I notice things like that.” Yeah, I guess you do. He proceeded to interrogate me about my CP for about five minutes in a clinical, doctor-like way. I answered all his questions, and I was acted as casual I could, but the encounter left me kind of shaken and feeling weird, I guess. It’s like, I just met you literally, two minutes ago and you want to know such personal stuff about me? I don’t usually tell people about my impairment until I’ve known them for a while; often, I don’t tell people about my impairment at all — it doesn’t seem necessary. I don’t know if this guy felt entitled to know about my impairment just because he’s training to be a physical therapist, or what; who knows.

    So, it’s possible I’ll meet this guy again sometime since we live in the same building, but I really don’t look forward to it.

  4. I rewatched my DVDs of Scrubs and realized how transphobic it is, especially in the later seasons. Seriously saddening for a show I’d previously thought was really progressive. Turk actually says “Heshe” referring to a trans*woman.

    Also, my mom got a look at my grocery receipts and commented on how much junk food I eat. I felt pretty bad–chips are how I cope! L

  5. I have a history with undiagnosed depression. I feel I would have benefitted from an official diagnosis & intervention in high school or possibly even earlier, in middle school.

    I’ve had ups & downs since then but I’ve never fully been able to come out of some kind of shadow-shell feeling.

    Lately, within the last few weeks I’ve been feeling unusually down, long term & I’m concerned that I may be entering another acute depression phase. Nothing is terribly wrong with my life right now, everything is steady, I’m not struggling with self confidence, I have no cause-effect reason to feel sad.
    But that’s just it, isn’t it. Depression doesn’t always need a reason to come knocking.

    I’m not managing my daily stress (which is recently increased due to Home Shit) as well as I used to & I’m noticing some diet & sleep disturbances from the usual. & I’m not enjoying my play activities as much as I did not too long ago. I’m angrier & sadder than I’ve felt in quite awhile and have been for a few weeks.

    I’m not really sure what I’m supposed to do here, if it stays mild to moderate or gets stronger. I don’t have a good support network, so I’m mostly on my own. I don’t think what I’m feeling is powerful enough to motivate me to go on meds right now & even if it was, my biggest resistance would be the risk of sexual side effects – I can’t risk any more of those right now. But I understand some meds are better for that than others so the option is there…

    But like… Okay, I can see something approaching. What do I do? Do I need to do anything? Can I take a wait-and-see approach with this or am I risking too much by waiting it out? Do I diet & exercise / alternative meds it? (I’m already doing alt meds!) do I talk to a counselor/write a journal/what I don’t know.

    My biggest fear is reverting to how I felt in high school. That was a dangerous way to feel. And I feel like it’s always just behind the corner waiting for me, following me around…
    And lately I can hear it breathing.

  6. I finally started PT today. So many insurance snafus along the way.

    I’m seeing Dr. Ego Monday morning. He has it written on my file that only he can treat me, but he was out of town last week. What am I supposed to do? Because of that note, not even the ER will give me pain medication.

    My French professor was really nice. We took the first test Tuesday, and yesterday, he had them graded. I was the first one there, so he asked if he could talk to me. For the final question, I’d written two sentences and gotten 4 out of 20 points. He was worried about me, but it was really my fault – I hadn’t done the reading the question referred to. He’s been really understanding and willing to work with me. I think he was worried because I was unable to do a quiz last Tuesday and just left the class.

    Also, I am getting sick and tired of seeing cars parked in front of the curb cuts – what can I do?

  7. I realized something not fun this week.

    My friend didn’t come to class because she didn’t feel good, but I don’t have that option. I spent the hour before a class crying but I still went because I already missed one day that week.

    K – depression is no fun and I hope it doesn’t get worse. Este – creepy! At least he didn’t charge you. 😛

  8. Has anyone found a good support group online or in RL?

    I looked it up with my town attached and one kept popping up. Well, I wanted to e-mail them, find out what they’re about. You can’t e-mail without joining? What the?

  9. Kaitlyn: I totally hear you on being sick of cars parking over dropped kerbs. I have at least a weekly row with one particular office on my campus, whose staff insist on parking over the drops and the access ramps. I have been having said weekly row for two or three terms now. Doesn’t seem to make any difference.

    It’s been a long long week. So glad it’s the weekend.


  10. I’m quite dismayed by the outpouring of disability prejudice surrounding the campus shooting in Alabama last week. I have several posts on my blog about this and will have an article appearing in History News Network next week (

  11. I am seriously getting cabin fever from being the house. Due to the cold and the damp my fibro flares to the point that I can literally spend weeks in the house during the winter to avoid the pain. When I do manage to get out, it frustrates me to no end that people do not shovel their damn walk way which of course forced me onto the road. When I am walking having to slug through the snow with my cane it is exhausting. Of course the fact that the city only clears the tourist areas only encourages the residents to be lax.

    Also I once again returned to the liquor store to see that they have no made the door accessible. In Ontario, the province where I live booze is sold by the government. No wonder so few business bother to make changes to allow for accessibility when our own government cannot be bothered. I have written the head of the liquor board and complained to the management numerous times since October about this situation and nothing has been done. I have decided that on Monday I am going to call the health department and the fire department. The problem is that you can enter the premises on a scooter but the doorway is to narrow to exist. I am going to tell them that this presents a health risk because what if a fire were to break out and someone on a scooter was caught in the door way. I also think it is time that I notify city hall. I am so done playing nice with these people. I pay taxes and I should be able to access all government buildings at will.
    .-= Rene´s last blog ..It’s Friday and the Question Is….. =-.

  12. So, I’m watching TV today and I see this trailer for a new horror movie where it looks like maybe people are becoming zombified or something. And the tag line is “what if everyone in your life suddenly went crazy?” – or something along those lines. And I’m thinking “hmmm, that’s kinda crappy, but probably it was just the only phrasing they could think of to fit whatever it is that happens to these people…” and then the title of the movie comes up, and it’s actually called “the crazies.” The Crazies. For CEREAL. I’m … disgusted.


    it has been a Long Week and i am happy that it’s the weekend. i took monday off as a treat for myself and so have lots of relaxation ahead! thrills!

    also, it might rain. when it rains, i am allowed to stay inside and watch tv all day without feeling bad because it’s raining!

  14. @rosemary: I’m really, really, really tired of “they’re INSAAANE! Mad! Mad, I tell you!” being the go-to handwave excuse for villains in bad horror movies to be randomly evil and murderous. Same with the idea that “going crazy” makes a person more likely to commit violent crimes, mutate into a shambling monster, ect.

    I’ve been reading James Tiptree Jr. stories lately. (Generally amazing old-school feminist science fiction.) There are a few floating around free online, but it’s tough trying to hunt down the others. I might see if I can get an inter-library loan.

  15. I have been having electrical woes! (As everyone who follows me on Twitter has been hearing about ad nauseum.) Anyway, the power kinda went out in half my house on Wednesday and the electrician wasn’t able to make it out until tonight and it turns out that it is the utility’s problem anyway because there is some sort of problem with the line.

    So I fully expected that I was going to have to cool my heels until Monday, but I called their customer service line tonight on the off chance and…they are sending a line crew right now! Which is major-league awesome and not what I expected from PG&E, honestly. The other major league awesome thing that happened is PG&E’s hold system: You call them, you give them your name and number, and they call you back when a representative is available. So you don’t sit around on hold, you just sort of putter around the house until they call, which, so lovely I can’t even tell you because I hate phones and being on hold is always very stressful for me. Such a simple, small thing, but I don’t understand why more hold systems don’t do it.

    The hilarious part was that when I gave the rep my address, he was like, “Oh, [X] Street,” because the power goes out in our neighborhood all the time. (This is not PG&E’s fault, it’s the fault of the numerous grow houses in the neighborhood which sap ludicrous amounts of power and then blow the transformer.)

    Anyway, PG&E has earned some major points with me for rapid service!

  16. Just got done writing a nice cathartic rant about the “why don’t you just” phenomenon. (“Why don’t you just” try XYZ medicine? ABC diet change? OMG natural cure? SHIT other suggestion I am about to press upon you?)

  17. @rosemary @Fitz re: insane villains, zombies, monsters
    I hear ya. Tough, and I’m sorry if that’s derailing, but what has been specifically bothering me even more is when people call their personal real-life villains “crazy”, eg people whose (political) viewpoints they don’t agree with.

    It’s like…
    Some sexist asshole saying feminism is to blame for men being in a crisis and therefore reacting violent towards women? Crazy!
    People wanting to put immigrants into camps? Crazy!
    A political party using ads that openly promote the “pure breed” of their canditate? Crazy!
    Officials prompting the clearing of a squatted university, thus putting the homeless who found shelter there back on the streets during the winter? Crazy!
    Police brutality? Crazy!

    I heard all of those things and more from people who consider themselves progressive and anti-oppression during the last week. And they just don’t stop! There’s relatively few things that illicit an emotional reaction in me; this certainly does. Makes me SO angry.

  18. The constant “LOL THOSE CONSERVATIVES ARE SO CRAZY” thing gets so wearing. I keep making pointed comments about how you don’t NEED psychophobia to make your point at STFUconservatives on tumblr but I am pretty sure it’s not getting through. And it’s tiring to do, with the element of “aaaaa I am being the obnoxious person everyone will hate” that I can’t get my head to stop doing. Sigh.

    And I found a copy of a recorded performance of Into The Woods from like 1990, so I finally got to see it, and it was really awesome except the really jarring bad things that completely jerked me out of the story. Argh. Like blindness as metaphor and plump girl who eats constantly and rape as metaphor. 😐
    .-= Shiyiya´s last blog ..Facebook meme =-.

  19. @idontcare, @shiyiya: Oh, agreed. What’s even worse is when people go beyond colloquial pejoratives and actually start armchair-diagnosing their political opponents/whoever. “He seems schizophrenic to me,” ect.

    And yeah, it’s hard to speak up and know that you’re gonna be seen as the uptight, joyless PC police. I’m not usually brave enough to do it, at least not when it comes to my real-life acquaintances. 🙁

  20. (Possible trigger warning)

    One of the cleaners on overnights at the WM I work at has just been nailed after a FOUR MONTH investigation for child porn. I’m pretty sure I wanna puke.

    I wish I could say I’m surprised, but I already knew he was a misogynistic asshole, and despite the absolute DDDDDDDDD: it doesn’t surprise me. Sigh.

    Though at least conviction or no I won’t have to work with him again – WM (in Canada, at least) doesn’t hire anyone on the sex offender registry or with criminal history of sex crime charges.

    Except that we (the rest of the night crew) aren’t sure if he can be fired before he’s been arraigned or anything. So if he shows up for his regular shift on Sunday night, unless they fire him right there, we’re all walking out on the shift in protest – the entire rest of the crew.

    I feel so awful for his fiancée, who was totally unaware of what he’s been doing and according to everyone else (who have actually met her) is about the sweetest person on the face of the planet.

  21. Re: People We Disagree With Are Crazy!

    GAH. This has been much in my mind also of late. (That damn movie ain’t helping.) I keep telling people — when I know them — “When you say that, you mean they’re like me. I’m crazy. A whack job. A lunatic. Paranoid.* Insane. Loony. Batshit. Fucked in the head. Nuts.” Occasionally I’ll even get a response.

    I’m not sure how to start on People We Disagree With Are Stupid. Part of it is that my voice is very small and obscure and the bits I’ve written where I gently point out that they’re not stupid nor are they failing at logic: they are starting with different moral axioms than we are so naturally the theorems** derived from them are going to be different also. The ones where I challenge the concepts of stupidity and intelligence directly get more attention but the political/social components seem to be missed. (Also, understandably, some people feel threatened by challenges to the intelligence parts of the intelligence/stupidity structures and react as people do when threatened. Which statement could be said by anyone who has done any social justice work ever. I am not a snowflake.)

    Right now I’m really very depressed from that which makes me mentally ill also so some of this despair is from that.

    * Clinically paranoid in times of psychosis. As it happens.

    ** Oh yeah I’m still a nerd.
    .-= kaninchenzero´s last blog ..[Trigger Warning] I Don’t Need Anyone to Blame Me =-.

  22. I just got back to school this week, half days all since wednesday. It’s been a freaking miracle, school starts at nine now, instead of seven. Yes, getting up at 6:00 most mornings is hell, but I really can’t imagine it any other way.

    In other news, it’s been an adventure trying to find the MIA Speech Language Pathologist (SLP) at my high school. I had fantastic SLPs in elementary school and middle school, which is probably because most kids outgrow their stutter by high school. She apparently observed me last year, and felt that therapy wasn’t needed for me. How wrong you are, mysteriously absent SLP.

  23. Things I’ve done this week: mainly a lot of PhD-related activities and, in my free time, linkspam ad infinitum. And! I am managing a sleep schedule! I went to bed before midnight every day for the last week! This is so many shades of amazing; I have had such massive problems with sleep and it has messed up so many things and I have tried to get a regular schedule going for years and failed every time (bar one week before Christmas but I lost it again due to emotional meltdown). If this works out I, I, I can’t even describe how this will change my life. 😀 😀 :D.

    The necessary support came via a worker from an autistic society I am now meeting with weekly as part of my disability accommodation at uni. I admit to having been a bit skeptical, but it’s working out really well – she says things that makes me realise she gets it and offers useful suggestions and sleep schedule! :).

    In other disability-related news, I stumbled across the Wikipedia page for stuttering therapies yesterday and one of the things I read – that stuttering recurrence after therapy was commonly assumed to be because of fear of stuttering that wasn’t adequately dealt with in therapy – pissed me off so much that I wrote a little rant about speech therapy and backsliding and stuttering recurrence. And apparently invented the Greek mythology metaphor for stuttering therapy, idk.

  24. …teach me not to look at the comments carefully! Hi sarahj, I thought I was the only one with a stutter around here! *waves*

  25. *waves* hey kaz 🙂 fancy seeing another PWS around here. Very interesting post about therapies over at your website. Gosh, it’s been two years since I’ve looked at new therapy techniques and actively self monitored. I think it’s because I’m more of a covert stutterer lately, but I don’t see myself staying that way for long.

  26. Yeeeeeah, I have been boggling over that Crazies movie ever since I saw the first trailer. Really? Really? And I say this knowing that I am having a really hard time removing the use of “crazy” as a pejorative. But I am at least trying, not naming a major motion picture.

    I have been watching this clip on repeat since the men’s figure skating finals:
    (Clip is of Johnny Weir and Stephane Lambiel, two male figure skaters, doing a bit of pairs skating that involves Lambiel helping Weir go into a triple sal jump.) It is rather adorable, even if it is only twelve seconds long. The guys are reportedly really good friends. D’aww.

  27. i had a tonic-clonic seizure this week in a computer store. it was a great experience (other than it making me miss a job interview :/ ). i went into the bathroom, had a seizure, stayed in there for about 40 minutes, and then felt much better. pretty sedated and like all the tension from my body left me. guess my brain needed a reboot! the staff was also really great, they didn’t call the emts (as i asked them not to), let me have the bathroom all to myself, and didn’t get scared/say really albeist things to me or forcibly restrain me.
    i am usually scared of being in stores because people have reacted horribly to my seizures before – now i know that people actually can be respectful. woohoo!

  28. Gaaaaaaah. I’m at a friend’s house (with another friend) sleeping over, and holy hell they say r****d (and other ableist shit) so goddamn much. And I’m too afraid of being the obnoxious girl (the one who says it most is about the only person I ever do anything with) to say anything. Bleh.

  29. Re: The Crazies

    George Romero is no stranger to using ableism in a movie, but what’s really mind-boggling about The Crazies is that it has an alternate title (Code Name: Trixie) that is not only not ableist, but actually says something about what the movie is about. A title change doesn’t fix the ableism in the premise, but still.

    [Note: I have a thing against B-movies using nondescript titles when they have much more interesting alternate titles.(David Cronenberg’s Shivers comes to mind. Really? You picked that title over Orgy of the Blood Parasites or The Parasite Murders? And now I gotta keep it separate from titles like Sliver or Slither?]

    I’ve just seen The Strangers (finally), and have been thinking about our need to find a reason for criminal behavior; if we can’t find a reason, the person must be mentally ill. I like the way The Strangers handles this: it doesn’t give any reasons why the strangers are harassing the main characters, and leaves the audience to deal with the ambiguity on their own. (One of the strangers does give a reason, but it’s a variant of “Because you were there.”) You could think of the strangers as “just crazy” if you wanted to, but there’s no reason for it other than “I can’t find a reason for their behavior.”

  30. @Shiyiya: GAHHH. That’s a huge irritation for me as well: wincing at all the ableist comments, but not wanting to sound like a killjoy or alienate people who I’m otherwise OK with. It’s so frustrating.

  31. @Tera: Seriously? Someone could have named a movie “Orgy Of the Blood Parasites” and they passed up the opportunity? What a waste…

    I have to say, “Trixie” is about the last name that comes to mind when I think “horror flick.” Along with, say, Bluebell, Cookie, Staci, and Fluffernutter. Actually, it makes me a little more curious as to what the film’s about.

  32. Fitz Clementine,

    I have to say, “Trixie” is about the last name that comes to mind when I think “horror flick.”

    Exactly. Nobody suspects Trixie 😀

    The Crazies is pretty much about what it looks like it’s about. (The “crazies” are called “crazies” because they fit the stereotype of people with mental illnesses as violent, etc.) I just always thought Trixie was much scarier than the “crazies” were–not what it does so much as what it is, and how it came to be.

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