Chatterday! Open Thread.

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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? Got any questions for your fellow FWD commenters?

19 thoughts on “Chatterday! Open Thread.

  1. I finished reading “Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant” by Daniel Tammet – an interesting book that I need to review for my blog this weekend.

    Anyone else watch Fringe? I can’t decide if I like the direction the show has gone in or not. But then I haven’t felt the same about the show since the beginning of the season when [big spoiler] happened.

  2. Big happenings – Dixie got groomed and it cost 200 US$ (about double). She has to be sedated, but she also needs to be shaved every summer. It’s hot.

    And in case we weren’t SURE it was hot, the AC conked out yesterday. It was so bad, but one teensy good thing for me – the sweat and itchiness weren’t side effects of some medication. It wasn’t me! And the sweat literally dripped off of me.

    It was HUMID in the house. WTF man, Memphis summers.

    And the pain was horrible, but I couldn’t use a heating pad because it was 80 F!

    [SPOILERS for Glee, ep 1×18, “Laryngitis”]

    Did anyone see this week’s Glee? I didn’t, but I overheard this on my sister’s computer (Hulu) – a singer was at the hospital and (according to my sister) it was so sad about that paralyzed guy. He inspired the singer by telling her how bad his life was, so she should shut up. Or something.

    I tried to watch Lost, it was boring. Becky watched Dexter, she liked it.

    Mikey has gnawed on my arm at least once a day. I didn’t say come play with me, I just sat on the floor. He is… Mikey is the best term for him.

  3. I sometimes use a cane when I walk, sometimes crutches, and sometimes I have good days when I can walk without either, but lately, going without any mobility aid for more than about two or three days in a row will leave me in a lot of pain the next day.

    I’m getting my Ph. D. in about a month, and I’m applying for jobs as a professor. I’ve got one job prospect that looks pretty certain, and they want me to come to campus to be interviewed there (by several people) and give a lecture to their students. I’m trying to decide whether I should bring a cane or not if I’m having a mostly pain-free day that day. On the one hand, I don’t want to have to deal with questions about it, and I’m a bit nervous that someone will see the cane and think that it means that I can’t do the job. On the other hand, I’m not sure how much walking will be involved — I know that I’ll be doing stuff in several different rooms, and I’m not sure how far apart they are, and if there are long distances to walk, I might need the cane. Also, if I do get to a point where I need to sit down and rest for a few minutes, I’ve generally found that people’s reaction when I do that when I’ve got the cane with me is, “Oh, she’s disabled, that explains it,” while the reaction to a seemingly able-bodied person saying “I have to rest for a minute” is sometimes “She’s lazy.”

  4. Ruchama – my pain has been constant and aggravating and ugh… pain. 🙁

    I think you should take the cane in – you may not need it, but it would be an easy way to let the interviewers know that you use one.

    And it’s a college campus, you will be trekking. While a golf cart zips by.

  5. [SPOILERS for Glee, ep 1×18, “Laryngitis”]

    Kaitlyn, I didn’t watch, but the actor who played the Inspirational Disability Trope went to my alma mater, so I heard about that. He was apparently in one of our campus a capella groups (the really good co-ed one), which is nifty. 😀

    Also, I got some awesome lip balm that is really and truly unscented and unflavored. Highly recommended.

  6. [SPOILERS for Glee, ep 1×18, “Laryngitis”]

    Kaitlyn — What happened on Glee was that Rachel, one of the main characters, got tonsillitis and couldn’t sing for a while. She pretty much defines herself by her singing, and got totally over-dramatic about how her life would be ruined if she couldn’t sing anymore. Finally, after hearing her whining about this for a while, Finn, one of the other characters, brought her to see his friend, a former football player who had been paralyzed in an accident. It wasn’t at a hospital, it was at the friend’s house. The guy (I can’t remember the character’s name) told Rachel that, right after the accident, he’d felt like his life was over, and even tried to kill himself. But now, he’s been learning that there are all kinds of things that he’s good at, like math, that he never would have known about if he were still only concentrating on football. And he mentions that maybe now he’ll try singing, which he never got to do before because he had no time for it with football. Then Rachel realizes that she’s been overreacting to the tonsillitis, and she thanks him for being such an Important Lesson for her, and she goes home and actually rests and takes the antibiotics like the doctor told her to, and she gets better. Then she goes to visit him again, thanks him again, and says that she’ll return the favor — since he mentioned being interested in singing, she’ll give him singing lessons.

  7. I’m playing Echo Bazaar. I remember having a really interesting life, but now it’s like “thesis drama” “Ooooh, Echo Bazaar”.

  8. i’ve been reading Simi Linton’s memoir, ‘My Body Politic’, which i’m finding really easy to read and quite moving. i really enjoy how she weaves together her personal history and her ‘intellectual history’ as a disability studies author.

    i also finally worked up the courage to ask my GP for painkillers this week, spurred on by the recent tightening up of the rules governing sale of codeine-based products here in australia. (i can’t take NSAIDs, and paracetemol does nothing for me). it’s a very strange feeling not to be in pain. i’m not usually in large amounts of pain, but it’s always there, if i stop and pay attention to it. to be not-in-pain is…very strange.

  9. @ Jen: I am currently reading Born on a blue day, too. Since my Internet connection is intermittently working, I may be able to finish the book and then read your review.

  10. Thanks Ruchama and Nomie!

    So since he’s getting singing lessons, is there a chance he may re-appear and not just be inspiring?

    shehasathree – Yay! I can feel everything – the nerves while asking, “the worst they can say is no” ohmigod why won’t the pain stop (my pain is constant and horrible) and then the “Oh. He said yes.” And that release.. I don’t get that often enough, but when it comes it’s beautiful.

    Okay, that sounds odd. But I’ve been there, so nervous and Dr. Ego is just like sure. The pharmacy and insurance, though, lordy, they don’t like me. Okay, the insurance mostly. I saw Dr Ego last Thursday and he wrote totally different directions for the pain killer, acknowledging what I’ve been saying for a long time about how I take it.

    Insurance said no. I had no pain pills on me. My neck was hurting from stress, it was 5:30, insurance and doctor’s office are closed. Dr Ego was on call, though, and said come in the next day and we’ll think of something to get you through the weekend. (They said it wouldn’t be filled until the 14th at first, but I was like “new instructions!!!” That just moved it to the 10th. In between Thursday and the 10th, I’d be MOVING and ow ow ow.)

    But there was a glimmer of hope. A month ago, I’d decided to try a different painkiller, a weaker one I’d taken before. Maybe it would have an effect? It didn’t. AT ALL. So, because I’m a good girl, I put my stronger pills in my safe and stuck that in a hard to reach place.

    By Thursday, I’d already sent the safe home.

    We were in downtown Memphis. My home is 30 minutes away. Did I mention mom’s friend was helping me? So she was like, well I need to get home for my kid’s thing, you can check the safe. I thought there’d be like 10, but it was a third full. Oh em gee, what a relief.

  11. A question – what did you think of Charlize Theron’s character in Arrested Development?

    I can’t say much without spoiling hundreds of jokes, but she was a PWD and she was treated no differently, though… argh… too many spoilers!

    And to repeat my question from last week – do you think it’s better to just treat Hrithik Roshan’s 3rd thumb as something that’s there and not comment on it in films or make a big deal of it? (Of course, if he’d started in Hollywood, he may not have made it, even with the nepotism. But then again, his parents may not have kept the thumb.)

  12. I just started blogging again, so excuse the self promotion. Lately, my mood’s been rather depressed (I have bipolar disorder), so I wrote a peace on Spoon Theory and how it relates to my mental illness. ( )

    I just started watching Glee, and while it’s a fun show, it definitely seems problematic for a number of reasons. That being said, I’m a music nerd, so I do really enjoy that part of it. I understand why some people hate it, though.

    Nomie – that lip balm sounds awesome! I might buy some. 🙂

    Kaitlyn – sorry to hear you’re in more pain lately, that sucks. The issues with the pharmacy and insurance must have been terrible!

  13. Chiming in on the Glee talk. (SPOILERS AHEAD!)

    I thought that Glee did better with disability this week. The new guy (I’m terrible with names) was not just their to inspire, he was shown as a person with many sides to his personality and he was very real about his disability and how it made him feel. I’ve heard he will play a role in other episodes, so I’m excited.

    I’ve also come to accept that Glee is a show where every episode has some sort of (twisted) moral. Some of the morals are quite problematic, especially since the PWD, POC, gay kids etc all seem to only get to carry morals related to their being ‘different’ (from the straight, white, able bodied kids.) But I do think the show is overall very interesting and I enjoy it from a music-related standpoint. And, at least among many of my friends, it is opening up conversations about the way the media portrays PWD and POC. Because my friends watch the show, I have an opening to bring up those subjects. Not a bad thing, as it is an opportunity to educate. I can’t think of another show that has opened up that sort of conversation.

  14. My prescription painkiller usage has gone down dramatically since I bought a full-length heated massage mat (there is a picture of it here along with some more of my assistive thingummies: and my GP put me on a preventative for cluster headaches & migraines which might be helping as well. I have also been using my cane BEFORE I get to the point where I collapse, and that has helped too. Although being more ‘obviously’ disabled has its drawbacks — last week I got manhandled on the train by a rude lady who wanted me out of the way because I couldn’t walk quickly enough, and I’m still seething about that.

    @shehasathree: asking the dr for painkillers is such a nervewracking experience! I am glad you have obtained adequate pain relief.

    @sparks: I use the spoon theory to articulate where I’m at with my mental illness (I have possible bipolar but the psychiatrist isn’t sure) as well as physical. I think it’s the same principle–there’s only so much I can deal with mentally, and sometimes that’s a lot less than a non-mentally-interesting person. If that makes any sense!

  15. @Astrid – I managed to post a review yesterday but it’s a short one. I’ve never been able to write a lot about something I’ve read or watched unless there was something about it I really loved or hated. Most of the time saying, “I liked this, it was interesting and I think others should read it,” is about all i can come up with.

    [[minor Fringe Spoilers]]

    @jeneli – Yeah there are things that are still awesome but other things have gotten… tiresome I guess. There’s also a feeling of not really being sure which side is the “right” side to support, if there even is a “right” side in the overal story.

  16. Ruchama: Congratulations on getting your PhD. That’s fantastic. Re the cane – do you have a folding cane? If so you could keep it in your bag so it’s there if you need it on the day, but if you don’t then no-one’s any the wiser? That’s what I tend to do, anyway.

    Good luck with the job interview.

  17. I know I’m late commenting on this thread, but I need some advice and I’m sure some of the people here will have some experience with this.

    I’m in the process of getting some adaptations/adjustments put in place where I work, and it’s been suggested that I get a support worker to help with some of the physical aspects of the job, like helping with my equipment and driving.

    I’ve never had this kind of assistance before, and while I can see the advantages, I’m quite a solitary person, and one of the reasons I like my job is I can be on my own for a good part of the day. I’m not sure how I’d handle always having someone there, especially if I need to take a nap or just need quiet for an hour or so.

    I’m also not at all sure about the selection process for this person. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to choose the person, or if it’ll just be whoever is available. And I’m not sure how much I’ll need to tell them about my disability, or how to handle it if they ask what I feel are inappropriate questions.

    What do you think? Does anyone have experience of working with this type of support worker? What are the pitfalls?

  18. I took a class this semester, called “History of Religion.” I assumed in November when I signed up for it, that it would be a history of religion, starting with the first goddess and spending some time in Greece/Rome – maybe China or India, before Christianity blah blah (ooh that would have to be in 2 parts).

    It wasn’t. It belongs in philosophy or something. And the professor said as much on the first day. It will probably be part of the new course thingie they’re setting up “study of religion” so he can be OUT of the history section.

    I was like, cool, looks like I’ll do some screaming when feminism comes up, oh a 6 page paper… ooh temple visit… I’ve been doing a lot of Islam and Hinduism study, a synagogue! Fun fun fun!

    Well, the semester sucked the life out of me and I never did the midterm. (3 pages) Or the temple visit (3 pages). Or the final paper.

    So I took an incomplete. And told the professor I could NOT THINK. And the assignments he gave me were the course requirements OR a 12 page research paper.

    I still can’t think. I asked for more instructions, something different… anything.

    And then I decided to take an F for the course. I don’t understand it, I don’t understand the point, I never did the work. I called the university and found out my GPA wouldn’t take a scholarship-killing hit. (That is what my school life revolves around – how can I keep my scholarships?)

    He finally accommodated me. I sent an e-mail very polite and overly long, I’m sure, and his response was “Okay.” His signature was 10 times as long.

    Last semester, in a class where I was also struggling with the overall POINT (which I needed to understand to DO the final research paper 12 pages), I met with the professor to beg for help and she gave me a reduced load and helped me understand what I needed to understand. (Reduced load – no research paper, yippee!)

    Yes, it is the easy way out, but I’m tired and in pain and no, I’m not taking the class again. He studied in Calcutta, he reminded us, but he had no respect for Hinduism and did nothing to stop my classmates from insulting me (unknowingly – but you don’t say stuff like that about atheists!). Didn’t like him. Done!

    I feel good.

    About an F.

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