1. Reginald Selkirk says

    I found a surprise in the October issue of Scientific American. A prominent skeptic recently accused of questionable behaviour actually admitted he had been wrong about some stuff.

  2. says

    Damn it, Ophelia! I already wasted like half an hour watching more suggested talking animal videos after the previous. (Like the whole series about Jupiter, Kona, and the fish…)

    Very cleverly done, these things are.

  3. says

    One of the things I miss most about being really poor is being able to have a dog. I would do almost anything to be able to have a dog again, I think it would help my depression so much.

    I hate being poor. Great video though, thanks. Needed the smile. 🙂

  4. says

    (oh, crap, Ophelia, i’ve barfed all over your comment thread. Sorry, I got the cork out, and it just kept coming. I can move it to a post over at FMF if you’d rather.Also, apologies to those subscribed to the post.)

    In part, yes; I moved a great deal when growing up (when I was 29, I moved into my 34th address in four countries; at 47, I now have 36 addresses), and so moving makes me somewhat anxious, that feeling of being uprooted all the time and such. Also, my apartment is perfectly located, away from major streets enough that I can sleep, but with a bus stop right outside the door. Less than a mile to 3 pharmacies and 4 grocery stores, and my bank. Just far enough to give me exercise, without destroying my day, if I take my meds right.

    So I’m very reluctant to give it up, even if I could find something more appropriately priced – the welfare I’m getting since last month covers about two-thirds of my rent – and though it’s illegal to do so, and a bunch of people in the building have cats, a dog can be potentially noisy, which I’ve seen them use twice in seven years to hound (excuse the pun) dog-owning people out of the building. Illegal’s a fine concept, but when it’s my home, and I’ve no way to reasonably be able to raise the money to move, let alone sue, it doesn’t mean much.

    Gug, even writing about this is making me anxious. Sheesh. One of the little takeaways I grew up with in the extreme poverty we lived in before we left the UK, and less so after we got here, was that no one is ever on your side, not really. Not landlords, not government people, not police, if it’s official, it’s against you. So the idea of fighting my landlord for the right to keep my home is like a huge anxiety sandwich with anxiety chips and a piquante little anxietistiquaise sauce.

    So…yes? It’s partly about being way, way too poor. And partly about terror, which is, y’know, informed by the way way too poor. And that if my hypothetical dog became ill, how would I be able to afford its care? and if things keep getting tighter, how do i justify spending money on feeding my dog, et c., et c..

    The funny thing is, people who aren’t poor, or haven’t been poor, think it’s about the lack of money. It’s really not. I think I’ve spent all of about $500 on myself in the last seven years I’ve lived here. Total, outside of food/shelter/transport. I don’t have most of the amenities that people around me think essential. I’ve never used a tablet or a smart phone, and don’t have even a basic cell phone. No cable, because it cost more than i could afford to justify for entertainment. I don’t own a credit card, haven’t had one since I was in university (back in the days when you really could go to university with your earnings from a few summer jobs and a couple of school-year ones, unlike now), because they just encouraged me to spend money I didn’t have. Point is, I can live reasonably well on nothing, and be happy while doing it.

    What’s hard about being poor is the stress. The always knowing that bills are looming. Never answering the phone without checking the display, and if it’s an 800 number leaving it, because there’s no point in talking to creditors when you can’t do anything to satisfy them, it just makes them frustrated and mean. It’s the lack of social capital. It’s the feeling of being alone with it all. The feeling that the world is passing you by, and you only get to watch.

    I’d love to have a dog. I really would. I think it would help me a great deal. But I think it would also cost me a great deal to be able to get to a place where I could do so without adding stress to my life. And that, I already have too much of. I wonder how much i’d need to be able to do it and feel safe? Cost of moving, first/last month’s rent, friction costs of moving my utilities/services and postal stuff and so on, vet care fund and adoption costs…I make it a rough figure of about CAD3300 or so, and we’re at par with the USD at the moment.

    Which leaves me, based on my current account balance, CAD3297.50 short. LOL.

    Y’know what I wish? I wish I knew someone wealthy enough to own a house (don’t laugh) that they didn’t live in, and who would rent it to me for the mortgage payment. That’d be like a utopia. I could have a yard and shit, so going outside wouldn’t mean finding out whether the elevator’s on service.

    Apparently this is touching something pretty big in me, because now I can’t stop crying. Fuck me, but I hate depression SO FUCKING MUCH. Sorry, OB. Won’t be hurt if you delete the comment.

  5. says

    It’s funny, fsv of funny, in that I feel like a little kid saying it, “just imagine if I knew someone rich enough to own two houses!” in that same way of saying “Well, imagine if you knew someone who was like, EIGHTY YEARS OLD” or something when we were five or six.

    Crap. Ima go work for a while. Maybe editing academics will make me feel less bummed. Not your fault. Sometimes it just hits. Thanks for listening, and for thinking of me enough to write e-mail. It means a lot on a day like this. :/

  6. says

    Thank you. That’s very kind. 🙂

    I’ve said to OB that I’m content to leave that there, because who knows, maybe someone will re-think their previous thoughts about being poor and/or depressed, but it is a bit embarrassing, to be honest. But it is, at least, real, and reaching for real is something I have to do too often.

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