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 is hosted by a handful of badgers.

half a dozen striped baby badgers held in people's hands
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27 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread.

  1. I had a mixed week. Health-wise, it was not good. I have an ear problem and need to see the GP on MOnday, cause the medical assistant was supposed to deal with it today but couldn’t becasue she says the ears are a little inflamed. My (chronic) GI stuff is also pretty bad this week.

    ON the up side, I finally discused a symptom which I’ve had forever with my psychologist. I will not tell you about it here, but I was really afraid she would not believe me and say I’m making stuff up for attention. (I’d already discussed the thing with my primary nurse, who reacts great, but still.) Thank goodness she is taking me seriously. That is really a good thing given the history I have with not being taken seriously about s ymptoms (not from this psychologist, but still).

  2. Merciful Heavens! Those badgers are the cutest things I’ve seen in a long time! (except my cat, of course, if he is reading this!)

    I’ve had a victory, which takes a slightly rambly explanation. I have cfs and so am only employed half-time by my employer (although I work roughly 35 hours a week, more at present) Last year I organised to take up a voluntary position in an organisation I’ve been a part of since I was child, but had to discontinue due to the illness. Everyone understands I’m sick, and so the position would be only as much as I could manage. I was excited to be a part of it again. Then my employer found out (my immediate boss had been part of discussions from the beginning, but we hadn’t asked the Big Boss, since I had been TOLD that we didn’t need to.) He got very angry, sending a letter that had me in floods of tears, saying he didn’t give his permission for me to do this. Of course, it was phrased in terms of his care for my health. Apparently I am allowed to work nearly twice the hours I am supposed to, but not to decide what to do in the hours I should have spare. I responded to his letter in a very non-confrontational, apologetic tone, setting out very clearly how this was an advantage to my employers and to me as well as the organisation. No response.

    And I’ve been too chicken-shit to ask him in the months since then, in case he gets so angry, I lose my job, or get a worse job. I feel so vulnerable because all our jobs are high-stress, and who wants only half a worker, one who needs flexibility? But then I think, they get so much work out of me, while paying barely enough to live on, maybe I’m not as vulnerable as I feel. I am torn between constantly feeling I have to work beyond my ability so I can keep my job and thinking: hang on, I was hired and am paid on the basis that I am sick. Anyhoo.

    Victory. Someone else asked the Big Boss (this someone else is of equal position to him, not powerless, like me) – and he said yes! Yay for adding more to what I do! (?)

  3. Only one doctor appointment today, very painless. It was at 3:30 and I got out at 3:50. My mom wasn’t back yet from picking up King Wickett at the vet yet. He tested positive for heartworm 3 times. πŸ™ But he has no physical symptoms and if he barfs up his heartguard, he must bury it as well, because he will take off some fingers if he can as well! They gave us some antibiotics (which he wolfed down) for only 12.50 US$, much cheaper than aggressive treatment. He’ll be tested again in a month. He is as normal as he can be.

    Very funny – he got back from the vet, took off but only to pee and then walked to the gate, but turned around twice because Mikey was well, losing his shit and acting like Mikey. But he went in the yard, no fuss. He then had to do what all dogs do after the vet, even if you stood there for 5 minutes (how does he hold so much? Is half his weigh pee?) outside the vet, he still must inspect the yard and mark it. So he did so, walking the perimeter. Mikey followed right behind him, CRYING loudly the whole time. Double You Tee Eff. Wickett got pissed and snapped at him, and Mikey growled and kicked his back legs because Mikey is tough. Dixie didn’t pay attention.

    My pain is still bad, there was one night (tuesday or wednesday) where I was gasping. And right now, I feel so wound up and it’s only been an hour since I took my pain meds… need to calm down.

    School related – I did a paper much sooner than I expected. It was due Tuesday, and I did it Thursday after class and e-mailed it in. Probably won’t get penalized for lateness, because I’m smart, even if I can’t always think for school. E-mailing professors will save my academic life and already has a million times over.

    I saw Shutter Island today. PWD review – it’s the time period, but there aren’t many negative slurs. Plus, well, I can’t say more without spoiling it. However, if you have migraines (beautifully described by the doc in the movie as “his head was opened and tons of razors were put in and then his head was shaken.” Beautiful, and will communicate the pain to a non-sufferer) don’t watch the movies. Or have seizures. The movie did great with showing hallucinations, dreams, and migraine symptoms. I thought, why is the lightening so damn bright? Oh, it’s his migraine. So avoid, yaar, if you don’t want a migraine or seizure. For those who love the book – it is very true to it, and seeing some scenes on the big screen was amazing, but sometimes it was EEK “let go of me mom” – the rats, for instance. The twist got me again, I remember the gist but not the details, but just like in the book, you can look back and see signs – that I can’t tell you about!

    I need a new copy, mine is falling apart – the first 100 pages or so are binded together, but not with the rest of the book. Goodwill buy.

    Someone nameless and evil hooked me on Dexter. It was mentioned on a message board, and the first season is streaming (no subs, sorry) and hey, I can just check out the pilot. But it’s a cliffhanger, guess I’ll keep watching. Only 4 episodes in, I can handle knowing movie spoilers, but TV ones? Not so much. Though with America’s Next Top Model, when I watch it on Friday, sometimes I already know who’s going home and it’s fun to watch the editing job.

    Dexter has so many good points, but none dealing with disabilities. My favorite is that his adopted family treats him as one of their own, as a “real” kid. (I was reading some comments recently decrying people who refer to biological kids as “real,” even if they’ve already adopted. I think it was about something Tom Cruise (who has adopted and bio kids) may have said about wanting a “real” kid (a son, Suri who?). One line – not spoiling anything – sums it up. Harry, Dexter’s dad, says, “This is where my father, your grandfather…” He could have just said “my father,” but no, he was also Dex’s grandfather. It’s sweet.

    I know, I know, he’s a serial killer. But once you accept the in universe rules, well. I can imagine this convo later on. “OMG Dexter just pissed me off!” “What did he do?” “He ran a red light!” “Honey, he’s a serial killer.”

  4. Badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger… πŸ˜‰

    Ahem. Anyway. I really hate how PMS (and what I suspect is PMDD) aggravates both my anxiety disorder and my depression while knocking me into weird highs that I, as a unipolar depressive, am not used to.

    Also found out I have an unexpected bill of $1,000. *sigh*

  5. @Kaitlyn – It’s a very good show. For me, the most compelling parts of it are those dealing with his strategies for being perceived as normal and channeling his urges. I can’t recall a single character with a physical disability in the show in the four seasons so far … the focus is definitely on addictions, obsessive behaviors, compulsions, etc.

  6. I’m anxious about grad school still…waiting to hear back from one school and traveling to another to visit. I hate traveling- makes me anxious as can be, but I need to interview and do well. It will be sort of cool since I am going to Boston, a city where I have never spent much time. But it is an 8+ hour flight.

    And I realized I have 30 days to finish two largish-sculptures. And put on two art shows. And work. But, hey, I am graduating. And in good news, I got a nice summer job offer at a camp where the pay is good, the kids are cute and the co-workers fun.

    Gwyn Bywyd, congrats on your victory. I hope you enjoy your opportunity. Your boss has no right to dictate how you spend your free time.

  7. I see JoSelle beat me to the badger badger badger reference. πŸ™‚

    Also, I sympathize on the PMS/PMDD front. Before the current meds started working PMS would send me into an absolute tailspin _every_ month for something like six months at a time….then I’d have three months of being okay….then the whole thing would start over. (((((hugs))))) if you’d like some.

  8. For a dose of totally! unexpected! irony, check out Sarah Palin, supposed disability advocate, describing the MSM as “lame.”

  9. Congrats, KJ! I’d love to go to Seattle, my mom was stationed near there and when Memphis weather is bad, she’ll wax on and on about it until I remind her of the time she ate some mushrooms and was climbing a tree to Alaska. Parents, tell your kids about your wild party days at your own risk.

    Something that’s been bugging me. It’s most likely not the school doing it, probably Aramark, who provides our food on campus, but it’s really bugging me. They have little inserts inside the napkin boxes basically telling us to get healthy and stop being such fatties.

    One just doesn’t make sense and gasp! doesn’t cite sources. It says “Long meals make short lives” – proverb. Who said it? Some diet guru? Because for most of human history, it’s only been the rich who can eat themselves fat. It’s only recently (in historical terms) that the poor have access to food, and that’s not even a guarantee here, in the best country ever, USA USA USA USA (Homer took over for a second). And there are many things praising a dinner eaten with family when the kids are young. Those meals have always been much longer than those we ate separately, because we got talking and ignored the plates.

    Meals have always been a communal time and this so-called wisdom doesn’t think that’s good?

    And a truly long meal – Thanksgiving stuck at the kid’s table when you are clearly mature enough (11, hello) – can make your life seem sooooooooo long and man grown-ups are boring, I’m going to watch the X-files marathon.

  10. Norah – about your toe, my sister did that by stubbing her toe on a concrete step. If you want, I can ask how she handled it, because I don’t remember much but a picture that was only grody with context.

    In a happy move, my therapist gave me a thought journal for the week. Record intense thoughts. There are 3. It’s been a good week mentally, if not physically.

    Dr Cool Guy just did a basic check-up before approving the referrals (like there was any doubt) and he pressed on my stomach. ….ow? “Oh that still hurts.” He’s still a decent guy.

  11. Had a rough week. Don’t ya just hate it when an non-disabled friend tried to tell you how to live your life? I have uncontrolled R.A. (rheumatoid arthritis) and has been for almost 4 years. This has lead to the leaving of a much loved job, disability, the whole nine yards. I kinda quit talking about it, even to friends, as couldn’t stand the “Oh I know just how you feel as I have an ingrown toenail that is just killing me!” crap. But finally in a deep pit moment wrote an email of desperation to a friend. Now she is ragging on me every email to quit my meds. Hells, bells, meds are my life blood. When I tried to explain it, she countered with all kinds of knowledge that she doesn’t have. I keep ignoring her pointed comments. But feel like I’ve been kicked in the teeth. So much for being honest. Hopes for better week coming up.

  12. Very long article from the New York Times magazine back in 2008 by Emily Gould. She chronicles her overexposure on the internet, and meditates on why telling strangers about her thoughts and experiences felt good, felt better, had sometimes drastic unintended consequences, got her a job as a Snark Wrangler for, and finally pulling back to a small personal blog again.
    Made me think several times about how much of my self I’m putting out there. My net psued is transparent. I assume that strangers are people of good will, which will undoubtedly bite me in the butt someday. I believe sharing what I’ve learned as I’ve come to undersand recognizing and pushing back against disablism is a worthwhile endeavor that I’m capable of.

    And yet I haven’t been at the center of a net shit-storm yet. I’ve been on the edges, and it’s stinky and depressing. Am I setting myself up for a horrific experience?

  13. Jesse – I only started using my last name on Facebook (in August) and Twitter (not my username, but so people can search for me) earlier this month.

    But I’ve still gotten caught in internet shit storms – nothing too bad, just pissing people off and having them harass me on that site, never following me or researching me. Those hurt especially when no one would help and I felt alone and attacked, but it’s all been contained.

    I can’t believe my sister puts her PHONE NUMBER on FB. Girl has 677 friends, she can’t know them all well enough.

    I used to change usernames like clothing, so it was kind of weird trying to reconnect with old friends (yeah, 4 years ago, long time in internet years) and trying to remember what name I went by. I got deleted a lot at one place and I’d never come back as Name1, I’d do something totally different. Had a lot of fun. Closest to my real name was “Ear_Nyltiak” which is my first and middle name backwards. I never made my first name a secret, but kept my last one close to the vest. Besides, most searches for my full name just pull up adult film stars. Thank you, Kaitlyn Ashley for hiding me!

    Something frustrating me – I have a great plan to study for my art history test. I haven’t been going to class because the chairs are not only uncomfortable, they hurt. But to do this plan, I need less pain. And it hurts.

    Also, I can’t believe other people still insist the NCAA playoffs are happening. I mean, Memphis isn’t in. (I’ve picked up this denial from Jon Stewart, when Dev Patel was on. “Wow, Slumdog Millionaire looks like an Oscar-winning film. Too bad there aren’t any Oscars this year, because surely I’d be hosting them.”) And to make it worse, Kentucky (money chasing traitor Calipari) is in and so are the Vols. All I can do is go tell my sister boo vols. Though I told her that I couldn’t see her pro-vols facebook things because my internet connection is through my school and clearly, they know how to censor. /silly

  14. Iiiii am running out of my medication and am currently uninsured. I just lost the job that was going to get me insured, and I’m sort of freaking out here. The drugs themselves are pretty cheap, but I need to find someone who will write me a prescription, and I don’t know where to start. It doesn’t help that I’m not sure whether my sleeping in *way* more than usual recently is just situational depression from losing the job, or a sign that I need to up either the prozac or the thyroid meds. I read that the new health insurance bill means I can go back on my parents’ insurance until I’m 26, but that that’s not in effect for six months (by which time I hopefully will have another job and insurance of my own.) Does anyone have any tips? My googlefu is failing me. πŸ™ (I’m in Southern California, if it helps.)

  15. Eugh, Sandy, that sucks. I’ve been there- my ex-gf (whom I’m still friends with) keeps asking whether I’ve cut down on the medication, as though that’s the ultimate goal. I just want to be able to get up in the morning. *hugs if you want them*

  16. I am wrestling with living at the moment. I’m in uni accommodation, and it sucks and is causing some serious issues in my life. In fact, I’ve realised that living with people who are not excellent friends (which is my usual situation, because I don’t have all that many excellent friends and they’re usually far away, and shared housing is typical for students) is very bad for me in some respects because I usually end up running out of spoons for social interaction and feeling as if I can’t use the shared areas of the flat because I can’t face my flatmates. Like the kitchen. Is especially bad this year, because my flatmates are constantly in the kitchen, so unlike last year (where I tried to time my dinner for sufficiently late that no one would be around) I have no choice but to try to avoid the kitchen as much as possible. Which means I can’t properly cook and sometimes have to skip meals and there are these many complications that ensue because I basically feel trapped in my room all the time and augh augh it all sucks. πŸ™

    I’m in this place until September, and my mind is going ACK TOO LONG CANNOT COPE. However, in order to get out early I shall probably have to kick up A Fuss and even then it’s not guaranteed, since the contract says you can only quit early if you find someone to move in after you. (Highly unlikely; this place sucks in more than just the people people make them go away sense). Kicking up A Fuss is not something that comes easily to me, both because of socialisation that my needs are unimportant and how dare I ask for special treatment, but also because initiating communication is something I have problems with (as anyone who’s ever tried to have an e-mail conversation with me can attest to) and so a simple e-mail can be weeks of drain. The sheer effort that would be required in trying to kick up a sufficient fuss to have my lease finish early is something I don’t even want to contemplate. Also, I’ve let this run quite late – if I wanted to get out in June (date when people who aren’t staying over the summer leave) I should probably be looking for new flats *now*, meaning I’d probably have to start looking for flats at a time when I didn’t even know whether I’d be able to get out early, and looking for flats is also a very spoon-consuming activity, and…

    Long story short: both staying in my flat until September and trying to get out early and find a new place are looking completely impossible from my perspective. Y halo thar, rock and hard place, it’s nice to meet you.

  17. Thanks Kaitlyn!

    Insufficient Data, are there any free clinics in your area? Or universities with mental health counseling programs? Often, places that are training therapists have clinics and may have info on how to get low-cost meds. It isn’t for sure, but it would be a place to start. I hope you find a job soon so you can have insurance.

    Kaz, can you find a medical professional to declare that your current living situation is untenable for you? I would think that they would have to let you break your lease if the situation is declared unhealthy for you. Or maybe you could get the medical professional to say you need a single room (if they are offered by your school). That would mean you wouldn’t have to look for a place to live. I’ve found that doctors and therpists will do that for you if you ask and that schools take that sort of thing seriously. Good luck.

  18. Sandy – I keep running into that mentality with my mom, which hurts.

    “You’re letting the pain run your life! You can’t be on narcotics forever!” But she offers no solutions, because I’m an adult now.

    You know why the MFing pain runs my life? Because it hurts. I get scared of moving, just getting off the bed. Do I really need to watch a movie? Do I really need my headphones? No. I don’t want to jeopardize it. Oh last night, it hurt to walk, just the act. But it cleared up, did my laundry and homework, so yay. But the good moments don’t erase the bad. And I worry about the bad taking over, it can still be so scary.

  19. A bizarre little comment somebody made, but it didn’t hurt me.

    Last Wednesday (if you recall the dramatic story I told last week about arranging comfy seats for a crappy movie), I was going to see the movie across campus. Less than a 10 minute walk, but I was already stressed and at the end of it, I wasn’t pushing it.

    So I called Tiger Patrol (sometimes they’ll send somebody to walk with you – safety, I guess) to see if I could guarantee a cart. I could, but before the guy on the phone said, “If you’re in that much pain, you should call an ambulance.”

    Standard response #754-b followed, and a cart soon showed up. If it hadn’t, I would have protested to anyone on campus who would listen. But instead, just another example of how people don’t get chronic pain.

  20. I’ve been looking into electronic cigarettes over the last few days, and I’m getting somewhat excited about them :D: I’ve never been interested in quitting, but if there’s an alternative way of doing it that cuts out passive smoking, that’s A++. Plus if I’m smoking my brand of tailors, I’ve got a $150/week habit. πŸ™ fffffuuu anxiety, you are not my friend.

  21. Hello, I’ve been lurking here for a while but haven’t ever commented – but have been learning a lot from reading the posts here. I have a reading blog at and I just made a post about how I’m tired of disability stereotypes and tropes that you might be interested in. In addition, I’ve been considering doing a reading challenge or some kind of post with examples of positive portrayals of disabilities in books. I was wondering if anyone knew of any sites that list positive portrayals in entertainment?

  22. Thanks for the hug, insufficient data, and the understanding, Kaitlyn. How do you deal with people, who when they find out I’m on disability ONLY want to talk about their aches and pains? Don’t get me wrong, I know we all need to vent, but… It always ends with unwanted advice for me. Short of holding up the stop sign hand and saying NO! Just don’t know how to channel conversations in more positive paths. Living with chronic pain is tough and people want me to be “well.” Well, ain’t gonna happen any soon. Oh, Kaitlyn, took my cane to church yesterday and was told once again by well meaning folks that if they’d have felt that bad they would have stayed home in bed! Looked at them and said, well, staying in bed hurts more, so I need to get out and if you can’t go to church in pain, where can you go?!!!

  23. What’s happening for me now…

    About a month ago, I saw a new doctor who gave me a prescription for Effexor to supplement the Wellbutrin I’ve been taking for the last three and a half years. I had only a partial response to that med; it gave me more energy to walk, exercise to basic chores and errands which fatigued me before. But my mood was still not great; periods of depression would still descend on me without reason, and I was having more anxiety and a few panic attacks. But I put up with it because…well…I didn’t think it was possible for me to improve even more. I thought this was as good as it could get for me mood wise. Finally the depression and anxiety got so intolerable that I decided I had to at least try and see if anything more could be done. I thought I might need to switch meds. My doctor wasn’t surprised when I told her what I was experiencing and seemed to think this combination might work well for me. And after four weeks, it looks like it might. I think my mood has improved a bit and I noticed I’m not as tired at night as I used to be, but I think it might take about two or three more weeks before I can say for sure. I want to make sure it’s not just a placebo effect and if it’s not…I hope the effects are permanent and lasting!
    .-= NiallΒ΄s last blog ..A PSA on the use of ‘retarded’ =-.

  24. Best of luck, Niall!

    Some things that made Monday almost a Funday –

    there is finally a table in my art history class, which means I can go to class. (the desks in there were not just uncomfortable but made my pain worse, so I stopped going between the first test and the one today)

    I took the art history test and all the studying was for naught (okay, I’m a bad studier) because I didn’t know what she wanted. So when I got up, it had been like 10 minutes and the test takes longer than that. The professor asked me if I could only sit that long. Beyond nice, like tearing up at kindness nice. (I told her no, I just couldn’t remember anything, but that I would be in class, it didn’t hurt!)

    I successfully started tutoring a classmate. I last tried that in middle school before health problems got in the way. We did it in in my room, on my bed, so I had my heating pad. It’s politics and history, and I like those things and remember tons, and he said I sounded like a teacher and he understood what the notes meant! (Bonus – gave my mom some scandalous gossip – a boy, in my room, unsupervised, on my bed!)

    Finally, I went to get dinner around 4:40 or so and stayed til 6 because I ran into a friend and we caught up and talked about everything and nothing, like friends do, and came upon the topics of puns. (I love them, they are so bad.) She said she came up with this really “lame” pun. Without saying sorry or pausing, she then said, a really horrible pun. I thanked her after she said it, but she did it on her own. So cool. Though she said she would take my mashed potatoes, so I better keep an eye on her.

    Just some happy stuff.

    Augh, homework time. Anyone want to do a presentation on something related to 18th century France? Anyone? Bueller? *crickets* Fine, I’ll do my own homework, like some kind of – ugh – student!/silly

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