1. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Good morning, just came by to drop this pile of *ehugs* and chocolate for mouthyb.

  2. birgerjohansson says

    If the MRAs had these, maybe they would have enough self-esteem to not attack others

    “Sea animal has grow-again penis”
    — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
    Questions for John Brennan That Won’t Get Asked
    — — — — — — — — —
    .Antibacterial, antifouling polymer coatings could soon relegate catheter-associated infections in the blood to history
    — — — — — — — — —
    Vortex pinning could lead to superconducting breakthroughs

  3. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Me (with briefcase, in heels and a suit) to bailiff: “Good morning. I have a hearing and I need to find out what courtroom it’s in. Can you help me?”
    Bailiff: “Do you have a lawyer?”


  4. says

    I’m feeling fair to middling blah?

    Furry kids are driving me nuts. In “positive” news, the littlest one is now chasing the second smallest around the house. Not being always picked on is a step in the right direction I guess?

    Oh, and I’m watching movies again, and I’m trying to start reading again. I can sort of track my depression by how long I can sit in one place and watch something. I’m up to about an hour before I start crawling out of my skin. I’m hoping to get up to the length of a full movie before the summer.

    We watched Alex Cross on Sunday. *SPOILER ALERT*

    Almost every woman in that movie winds up in a refrigerator. UGH.

  5. UnknownEric is just a spudboy, looking for a quantum tomato. says

    I notice the lack of Good in front of that Morning. Everything all right?

    Well, he’s certainly not just about to step onto an elevator in the EU, am I right?

  6. thunk, new years, new dreams says

    hia all.

    Xanthe et al:
    Thanks, but there is no need to genuflect. *hugs everyone in turn*.

    I honestly might be doing the same thing, in using androgyny as a springboard to living as a woman proper. But I don’t want to assume anything without *way* more deep thought. Empirically, i’m genderqueer, mostly, and effectivly quite male (or at least looking like that, even if expression != identity.) I don’t want to rush the process, even assuming i’m doing that.

  7. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Hiya, peeps.

    Portia: Ugh. Did you get to have a “I am the lawyer” moment?


    Is it okay if I complain a little bit? Being low on the monies, I have not been able to afford new clothes for a while. I can’t help but feel like this is contributing to my depression a little bit- old and worn out stuff –> I feel like I can’t get going with my life. I know it’s silly and really not that bad of a problem to have. Anyway, my parents agreed to help me out there.

    I recently ordered some stuff and had it shipped to my parents’ house (they only deliver to the US), which means I can’t try it on until next month when I visit. I have to hope it fits because that will be past the thirty day return deadline. And of course, they delivered less than half of the order with no explanation about where the other half might be. I really hope they can get the other half delivered before I visit, otherwise I’m out of luck. I just really wish this could have gone smoothly. I was already stressed out about this because I feel like everything is too expensive and nothing will fit me.

    Sorry for complaining.

  8. Portia, who will be okay. says

    There are no women on Pharyngula lawyers

    Exactly. I was discussing this with A, the new lady lawyer friend, and she said she used to really think the treatment she got was because she looks younger, like I do. Gradually we’ve both realized that gender is a big factor in it. I tried to explain this to S in the context of this incident and I got “Well, they don’t know you yet. I get that a lot, too.” in response. Made me so frustrated I shut down and quit trying to make myself understood. I hate that sort of response, because it makes me feel like it’s all in my head! Blah. Thanks for so concisely understanding

    And also, very cute kid story you have there :)

    Sorry bout the blahs. Kittens?

    Ha, I sort of did. I told her “I’m the guardian ad litem.” I think I kept the annoyance out of my voice…

    1. Don’t be sorry for getting it off your chest.
    2. Sorry for the crappy situation with the clothes : / Hope they all fit comfortably and flatteringlylyly. :)

    I guess a little progress is still progess up the pecking order, huh? : )

    Hugs back (your Majesty).

  9. cicely (Dancing on Monday's grave.) says

    iJoe: My pouncing days are over, too…except on Teh Intarweebs.

    I own a hat. It’s white and floppy, and I’m not altogether sure, but I think it’s hanging in the entry hall. Must find out sometime before summer hits, I guess.
    On the other hand, I do know exactly where my towel is.

    Gilell: Cute kids story is cute.

    *hugs* for Ogvorbis.

    *hugs* for Portia, and a *sigh* in solidarity.

    And *hugs* for Parrowing.

  10. Nepenthe says

    Set: 52 s

    I am reading Mort by Terry Pratchett and am reminded that not only is Death endearingly clueless about humans, he also loves cats. I love an entity that loves cats.

  11. says

    cicely still pounces on horses :P.
    They are her preccccciousssss creatures.
    I feel some of your pain. Hopefully both your depression and finances will be a thing of the past sooner than later.
    Oh, and no apologies are necessary for complaining (which I consider much needed venting). You are welcome to get things off your chest anytime.

    Let me guess, practising law is a huge boys club and many people find it inconceivable that women can be successful attorneys?
    Sorry :(
    I am mildly curious to know how you responded to the bailiff.

  12. Nepenthe says


    Yeah. I solve these in a systematic way once I’ve entered the sets that glow for me. There’s so much cool mathematics in the game. The set card set is the only interesting affine plane that I know about.

  13. says

    *hugs* I hear you there; I do most of my clothes shopping from boxes on the side of the road, these days.

    “No, I have a client” :)


    Had to fix my flat 3 times yesterday and still couldn’t keep air in the tube. I’m very glad the bike shop had a spare they let me have for free (I love that shop; they have tools out front they let you use for free too; this is why I bring them all my business when I do have money). Turns out there was a piece of glass wedged deeply into it, but even after I took that out I couldn’t get a patch to hold.

  14. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thank you Beatrice, Portia, thunk, cicely, Tony, and Dalillama. It does feel good to get that out.


    Seen on my Facebook feed: “If you are depressed, you are living in the past. If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace, you are living in the present.” – Lao Tzu. The person who posted this added the caption, “so true”.

    I really wish people would stop and think about these catchy little statements before they post them. It isn’t true just because it sounds pithy and it may actually be doing some harm.


    I’m glad to hear that you think your depression may be waning, iJoe. My attention span when it comes to movies really took a nosedive within the last year or so. I never thought that it could have to do with depression. I thought that it was mostly because I realized that most movies are awful. Hm, something to think about. In any case, yay!

  15. Portia, who will be okay. says


    Let me guess, practising law is a huge boys club and many people find it inconceivable that women can be successful attorneys?

    Fify. : p It’s not quite that bad, but women are definitely nonattorneys until proven otherwise. It gets obnoxious, to say the least. On the plus side, the more experienced women attorneys and judges have all been eminently courteous and some affirmatively helpful. So the solidarity quotient is very high.

    As for response, I wish I’d had Dalillama on hand for that great quip! I told her I was the guardian ad litem in the case, which is a role only filled by a lawyer.

    I posted the exchange on facebook, and everyone who commented assumed the bailiff was male : p
    One law school friend asked if I told “him” that his answer to my question was unresponsive. Ha.

  16. The Mellow Monkey says


    I really wish people would stop and think about these catchy little statements before they post them. It isn’t true just because it sounds pithy and it may actually be doing some harm.

    Yeah, I had to remove someone from my feed (didn’t outright defriend her; I just didn’t want to see her crap everyday) because she loved stuff like that. If you’re depressed, it’s all your fault!

    Gee. Wow. I feel better.

  17. Portia, who will be okay. says

    I don’t get it. Why Galentines?

    It’s when Leslie Knope celebrates lady friends.

    Attention span linked to depression? That could explain a lot of things about me.


  18. says

    The facebook quips are often annoying, although I so like one I saw attributed to William Gibson:
    “Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounded by assholes.” I realize that it’s not entirely true, but on the other hand being surrounded by assholes all the time will certainly aggravate depression and can definitely induce all sorts of issues about self-esteem.
    I too notice that my attention span fluctuates wildly with my levels of depression; I’ve got a dozen odd books that I’ve got from the library and keep meaning to read but just can’t focus for long enough to get through them at a reasonable rate.

  19. b. says


    *loud squeeing accompanied by excited dancing* I’m desperately trying to catch up on some old threads and just saw your picture of Dier. What a fantastically gorgeous snake! You’re using him for a temperament line? He’s as personable as he is beautiful? *swoons*

    Also a large wave to those with members of the order Rodentia. They are charming, intelligent and possess a wicked sense of humor. No snakes or ratties here, but the Chief House-Rabbit in Charge of All Things Schedule-Related (rabbits are very obsessed with order) lives here and can be seen here.

  20. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Oh, the etymology is “gal” + “valentine” if that’s what you mean. There’s a word for mashing up two words, and it starts with “p” but I can’t remember it.

  21. cicely (Dancing on Monday's grave.) says

    cicely still pounces on horses :P.
    They are her preccccciousssss creatures.

    Do not. The risk of contagion is unacceptibly high, for me to risk taking them on in any kind of melee situation.
    Nope, with Horses, it’s strictly ranged weapons. And napalm!, of course, which while (ideally) ranged, is more of a substitute for Fireball spells than anything else.

  22. Portia, who will be okay. says

    S and I were going to have lunch together today but he got called to court unexpectedly just now. So my options are lunching alone or wating another hour. Predictably, I’m waiting.


    I was really glad he stayed over last night though (yeah, yeah, bad Portia : p) because my car’s battery is dead again and I’m doubly glad I thought to have him try it for me on the way out the door. Had he not been there, I would have missed the hearing I had this morning. So, win some lose some.

    My car probably needs a new battery.


  23. cicely (Dancing on Monday's grave.) says

    So, Nephew-in-Law’s psychiatric interview came back with a verdict of “probably not schizophrenia”, which is good…but what is an “acute psychotic episode”?

  24. Portia, who will be okay. says

    erm, I’m not sure what that is, but I’m glad there’s some good news.

  25. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    A “psychotic episode” is a period of psychosis. “Acute” indicates that it is temporary.

    And yes, I realize that was near-tautological.

  26. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    A bit more: acute psychotic episodes are usually in response to trauma and fade in response to the person addressing and recovering from said trauma. They have (generally) excellent rates of responding to therapy and tend not to recur.

  27. cicely (Dancing on Monday's grave.) says

    ‘Trauma’ being something physical or emotional, rather than a bad interaction in the meds?

  28. Nutmeg says

    Yay for probably not schizophrenia! Hopefully they figure out whatever caused the episode and it doesn’t happen again.

  29. says

    Thank you, Tigger, Gilliel and Portia.

    Ogvorbis: Don’t you hate that? The waiting on that portion of your brain to cough shit up, all the while with little bits of painful things dribbling out all over.

    I am unwilling to concede the point on Freud’s unconscious/subconscious, but that kind of trickling out and the volume of things which enter consciousness in that fashion sometimes make me wonder…..

  30. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says

    “Trauma,” nonspecified. And, TBH, bad meds (or meds-interaction) can be traumatic.

  31. cicely (Dancing on Monday's grave.) says

    Ah. Thanks, Esteleth.
    I guess I was hoping too much for an easy answer.
    Bad cicely….

  32. broboxley OT says

    acute psychotic episode

    I am not a doc
    acute psychotic episode is a period where a patient totally dissociates with the reality around them. Can hear voices, extreme paranoia delusional either or both homicidal suicidal. Temporary, caused by trauma whether physical or mental. Meds, professional mental health attention and time usually works it out.

  33. says

    OK, they’re trying to drive me crazy.
    My college, that is.
    So, trying to get the shit done that I postponed for weeks.
    Notice in letter that there seem to be two different places I need to post my shit to:
    A) The central exams comite
    B) The central exams secretary
    Now, the central exams secretary was hard to find. It would be too easy to just put up a link on the college homepage. So, after 20 min of searching and almost giving up again (do they know how hard that is for somebody like me) I finally FIND the missing link, click it and guess where I land: The central exams comite.

  34. says

    Sherriff Joe Arpaio is solving the problem of violence in Arizona schools by sending armed posses into elementary schools for training. He has a few old Hollywood actors working to train his posses. He also manned the posses with men who had been arrested for domestic violence, for child abuse, for drug use, etc.

    Stephen Colbert produced a great segment on this solution of gun violence in schools:

  35. says

    Yeah, depression and attention span. If I had to wager as to why, I’d say that there’s an element of anxiety involved in at least MY depression. That’s also why the alcohol seems to help, because it relaxes me… not an awesome long-term solution, I know. The anxiety causes me to have a hard time sitting down and doing just one thing, and I tend to seek over-stimulation to drown out the buzzing feeling in my head.

    Parrowing, sorry things are rough right now. Hopefully they can turn around soon?

  36. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Thanks, iJoe. I sure hope so, but a lot of the added stress is due to being in what feels like an impossible situation that doesn’t seem like it will change anytime soon.

    Curse you, Stockholm housing situation! *shakes fist in the general direction of Stockholm*

  37. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Congratulations to Beatrice’s friend on becoming a licensed drug dealer :D

  38. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    Hehe. Nope, not terrible, iJoe.

    And congratulations to your friend, Beatrice!

  39. strange gods before me ॐ says

    acute psychotic episode is a period where a patient totally dissociates with the reality around them.

    “Totally” would be a misunderstanding. For instance, it’s not uncommon for people to continue their routines. Someone whose thoughts include “I need to take the car in for an oil change tomorrow, and the television is talking about me” is not totally out of touch with reality.

    Can hear voices, extreme paranoia delusional […] suicidal

    These are some things.


    WTF no. There’s a reason this isn’t on diagnostic lists, because it’d be a waste of ink.

    That’s like saying “drinking alcohol causes loss of balance, slurred speech, murder and dehydration.”

  40. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Carlie, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who was pissed about that last night! I said it over and over so much that I missed a lot of what he actually said about gender equality.

  41. says

    Whoa. I don’t wanna be all “me me me” and shit, but I’d like this documented for posterity due to the rarity of the event.

    I has an honest-to-gods HAPPY today. Like, a bouncy cheerful HAPPY.

    And it feels really weird because I’m so used to being somewhere between “meh” and “suicidal”.

    Think I’m gonna relax and ride this wave while it lasts.

  42. says

    Yippee for being happy! Woo hoo. Ride that wave.


    Normally it’s very hard to ascribe changes in homicide rates to any one particular factor, but Webster and his co-workers found strong evidence to support the idea that the repeal of the permit-to-purchase law was the cause. They did a careful analysis of the kind of guns used by criminals in Missouri from 2007-2011, finding an extraordinary increase in the percentage of “young” (meaning recently purchased) guns used in crime entirely at odds with the broader national trend. This would suggest that, without background checks to worry about, it was easier for criminals to get new guns. The fact that this surge in criminals getting new guns coincided with a sharp increase in the gun homicide rate gives us strong reason to believe that the repeal of the background check law directly led to a 25 percent increase in the homicide rate.

    90 percent of states allow private sales to take place without background checks, suggesting that if Webster’s research is right, it’s possible that we might be able to reduce national homicides by nearly 25 percent if there were universal, federally mandated background checks. That would translate, given the 11,000 annual gun homicides in the United States, to 2,750 lives saved per year.

    [Emphasis mine]
    It appears that universal back ground checks may indeed save lives…

  43. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Yay WMDKitty!


    Posted the petition carlie posted to my facebook. I got this in response, and it’s making me twitchy so I have to share the *sigh*

    Just to play Devil’s advocate here… Should we stop using any title for any person that frames them in their relationship to another person? I don’t see how this is misogynist or reductive in any way. Literally every woman In the world is the daughter of another woman.

    I went out on a date with this guy once. In the cab afterward (read: he had me trapped) he tried and tried to kiss me in spite of my adamants “NO”s until I literally threatened him with violence. So yeah he’s a winner.

    …why haven’t I unfriended him?


  44. says

    I actually quite like the quip, as long as it’s not interpreted as blaming. The monkey brain ruminating over everything you’ve ever done being inadequate and stupid is depression; the monkey brain freaking out over how everything is going to go wrong next is anxiety. Learning to calm or turn off or ignore or distance those spammy voices is really helpful, and “being in the present”, as mindfulness meditation, is a useful technique.

  45. Portia, who will be okay. says

    This guy is like a dog with a bone, sent me a message. Now I recall, he also did this when I posted about that Daniel Tosh crap. *sigh*

    Tony: I think we are friends : ) I should just join PET with my “RL” facebook account, I would be on PET a lot more probably.

  46. Esteleth, Ficus Putsch Knits says


    So I’ve gotten to the end of the first page of the “I am asked a question about commenting” thread.

    And I note that there’s quite a bit more.

    Did we get a troll influx? Or were flounces unstuck? Both?

  47. carlie says

    Portia – even if he refuses to acknowledge the relationship-centric way we’re being defined, I can’t imagine how anyone could argue that referring to all women as “our x” means that the “us” doesn’t include women to begin with, and instead are something belonging to the non-women who are the ingroup.

  48. Portia, who will be okay. says


    That’s so well-put! I went the “context is here, and here, and here” route, which of course was handwaved with “I’m talking about *this* instance!” …ugh.

  49. Portia, who will be okay. says

    I also resent the very male-privilege-infused way this dude barged in and repeatedly demanded ANSWERS!!11 to his inane questions. “Should we never refer to women as daughters?!?!” Like, fuck off with that bullshit, you don’t deserve an answer and the only reason you think you do is because your upper-class white cis het doodbro ass has been indoctrinated since birth to believe everyone owes you fucking everything!


  50. Portia, who will be okay. says

    I could cry right now. Another law school classmate has jumped in with:

    I think the issue is that he said “We know our economy is stronger when OUR wives, mothers, and daughters can live their lives free from discrimination in the workplace and free from the fear of domestic violence.” Emphasis added.
    “The women” at issue are rhetorically placed firmly in the context of being “ours.”
    Although the possessive “we” could ARGUABLY be seen as gender-inclusive, the operative subject of the sentence is “our women.”
    I am inclined to agree with the author of the petition in that it comes across as more than a little back-handed when you (perhaps thoughtlessly) objectify the people you’re attempting to uplift or protect.
    It would be considerably less patronizing to simply use the phrase “American women.”

    He pinpointed it in a way that I couldn’t and I’m so happy for backup. Of course, it will be accepted now that another dude says it, but still. Hooray!

  51. carlie says

    I have weird and somewhat awful taste in music, but I’m going to share anyway, because I made a new mix and it is making me happy this week. :)

    Current walking mix, rate of 3.5 mph for short legs, bpm of about 124-126:

    Sloop John B (Beach Boys)
    So What (Pink)
    So Happy Together (Turtles)
    El Sol No Brillara Nunca Mas (La Casa Azul)
    Fuck Them (Marc Faletti WAM! Prom mashup)
    Make the Bus (Janelle Monae)
    My Eyes (Dr. Horrible soundtrack)
    Think (Aretha Franklin)
    Superguay (La Casa Azul)
    My Life (Billy Joel)
    I’m Gonna Be (The Proclaimers)

  52. strange gods before me ॐ says

    That’s awful, Cerberus. I assume you live in one of the states where it’s legal to fire someone for being trans. Is it worth trying to talk to the boss of the person who’d be firing you?

  53. cicely (Dancing on Monday's grave.) says

    Now my sister-in-law is convinced that because the pope is stepping down—and she counted carefully, and according to this book she read, Ratzi is the Last Pope—the End Is Nigh. As in, before another pope can be appointed to replace him.
    Experience suggests that when the old pope goes out, and the new pope comes in, she will have learned nothing…just as the last of December came and went, and here we all still are.

    WMDKitty, happy HAPPY day!

    …why haven’t I unfriended him?



    I think I’m going to be fired from my job for being trans.

    :( :( :(

  54. carlie says

    Oh, no, Cerberus. I hope not. If anybody can navigate what an employer can and can’t get away with, I would think it would be you.

  55. carlie says

    Ok, what the hell with FTB login? I can understand it kicking you out after a long time of inactivity, but half the time it logs me out right after I make one comment and have composed the next one.

  56. says

    strange gods before me @1088

    Nope. It is illegal in my state to fire someone for being trans*…

    Unfortunately, that has meant that they’ve been building a paper trail since I started being visibly out made up of minor “offenses” that none of my colleagues are in the same boat for failing to avoid so that they can show whoever asks that they made a good faith effort to keep and support me, but whoops, turns out they were a bad worker*.

    And I was stupid enough to fall into a setup by my boss where I tried to cover for her and protect her and the institution and thus gave her a giant gift she can use to get rid of me without even bringing up the trans* word.

    I feel most angry at myself for believing that the legal protections of my state would be enough to protect me from retribution. And the worst part is that the customers (visiting groups of school children) have been super supportive of me and haven’t even blinked about the gender-non-conforming teacher in front of them.

    *A bad worker who is regularly complimented for being the best worker in my department by visiting teachers, students, chaperones, and the staff of most of the other departments. I have never been so praised while also mysteriously always being in trouble.

  57. says

    carlie @1091

    Sadly, I’ve never been good at navigating the game within the game in corporate cultures. I’m good at recognizing something’s off, analyzing it after the fact, and doing my actual written job like a woman possessed, but actually keeping abreast of and defeating the passive-aggressive corporate politics that work under the system? Yeah, not so good.

  58. strange gods before me ॐ says

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Cerberus. I hope you can find a way to beat them.

  59. says


    I went out on a date with this guy once. In the cab afterward (read: he had me trapped) he tried and tried to kiss me in spite of my adamants “NO”s until I literally threatened him with violence. So yeah he’s a winner.

    …why haven’t I unfriended him?


    Ugh, that’s horrifying, but yay for kicking him off your roll so you won’t have to deal with him anymore!

  60. says

    Thanks everyone for letting me spill my story and for your sympathy and those who offered advice. (For those who didn’t catch it, I’ve been dealing with a sexual harassment and hostile work environment situation from the coworkers I sit near on the production line at work.) It was much appreciated and helpful.

    In the end I decided to go to my supervisor, who I had not approached before because she is an employee directly while I work for the staffing agency, so we have different HR departments and different employers and the whole situation is complex. She took a very proactive and personally resonsible tack in our conversation (“I’ll deal with them…I’ll get you moved*…I think this has gone beyond what a little training can resolve”) and made me feel much more confident the situation would get resolved. she also gave me the rest of that day off, and during that day HR finally came out and did the (apparently very brief) sexual harassment training they had been promising to do with everyone. The next day was Friday and the main three people I was having trouble with had all requested it off, so I sat quietly down at the end of the row by myself and recovered my composure, and then had the weekend off. By Monday I was a lot calmer and sleeping again and feeling better.

    *She didn’t actually move me, which is sometimes more complex than simply assigning me a new spot. Most spots are taken so that means moving two people, and a lot of places away from where I am now are on specialized teams, and being on a different team means moving someone else to my team, and that involves, no doubt, politics of the team leads who are judged on the performance of their techs. I am certain team leads vie for the best performing techs and the supervisor has to balance that, and I know the techs vie for their favorite team leads and specialized teams. Maybe she’s hoping she doesn’t have to move me, or maybe she’s still working on it.

    Since then, I have been surprised that no one has mentioned the training that HR put everyone through. I did it too, on Friday, and it was pretty short and undetailed, but usually anything like that is the subject of much conversation, especially since they made “offending someone” corroborated by only 2 witnesses an immediately firable offense. Still, half a week has passed with pretty decent behavior from the three guys, so either something made an impression or it’s a weird coincidence. One in particular I think it will not stick with, but I feel more confident that the resources will be there to deal with him.

    And yesterday I had an interview for a good job at a small and very posh office downtown. When I got there, the guy doing the interview (who is the only other person in the IT department and would be boss of the position I was interviewing for) was someone I recently met at a local atheist meetup, so that was fun.

    And in randomness not harassment or work related, we turned my old desktop computer into a Linux server last night. I’ve done some work with a Unix server we have in the other room, notably spending about 5 hours installing PHPmyadmin (that wasn’t compiling it or anything, just tracking down all the dependencies and downloading them to the server and installing them, the time consuming part figuring out which dependencies I needed and finding them). So naturally my mouth fell open when I saw how easy it was to install the same thing (y’know, more or less) on Ubuntu server: sudo apt-get install phpmyadmin, say yes when it tells you what dependencies it’s going to download and install, and wait about five minutes. Insanely cheater.

  61. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Oh, wow, that’s horrible. I’m really sorry you’re dealing with that. I hope that somehow something works out better than you think.


    Still, half a week has passed with pretty decent behavior from the three guys, so either something made an impression or it’s a weird coincidence. One in particular I think it will not stick with, but I feel more confident that the resources will be there to deal with him.

    Excellent news!

    And yesterday I had an interview for a good job at a small and very posh office downtown.

    Excellent-er news!

    Thanks for the update.

    I like your playlist :) and now I’m thinking that if I google, I’ll find lists that will make my walking much more fun.

  62. says

    I don’t think I realized you were an attorney, Portia. That’s really cool. :) I was a receptionist at a Worker’s compensation office (the admin court state agency) in my early 20s. It was a small office and constantly full of attorneys in for conferences and very occasional hearings (most cases were handled without formal hearings, but every work comp case went through the court in that state). They often congregated in empty courtrooms and sometimes in my office or the copyroom, and they were almost unfailingly nice to me, I think because I was the gatekeeper and I was no doubt easy to work with (I’m not difficult to please if you aren’t rude on purpose). Most everyone assumed I was going to go to school and become a lawyer myself – when I quit my boss told me to let her know when I needed a letter of recommendation for a judgeship – but what I saw of the job told me it would get boring after a while, and it sounded like too much work and expense to get to the job to get bored in a decade or so.

    Oh, and one of my fave new friends in the local atheist group I’ve been hanging out with is a woman who is an immigration lawyer.

    I was starting to exhibit some of my own signs of depression with the whole work situation. That was one of the reasons I knew something had to happen now. So, yeah, sometimes being surrounded by assholes is exactly the cause. And although I knew that was the case, because I was with them so much and no one else was acting like it was anything strange, I had a really hard time deciding to make a complaint and would never have done so if people who care about me hadn’t firmly and unwaveringly supported it when I told them what was going on. But depression I have suffered before in my life, much more serious and long lasting, was not really caused (at least directly and at the time) by such a thing and not relieved by changing company.

    Depression sucks. I’m so sorry you are struggling with it.

    RE: anxiety. Is there any way to get medication for it? I know money troubles have been a problem for you, but when I was working through depression and had side troubles with anxiety, I had a prescription for a prn anti anxiety medication that helped a lot with that kind of thing (especially it helped with sleeping when insomnia was caused by worrying). The one I had, Ativan, was cheap too.

    strange gods
    So if I think I have left fifteen minutes out in the car and I need to go out and get it and put it in the clock so I will have it available, would that be a bit of a dissassociation with reality? Cause that happened to me once…

    Of course I was working 80 hours a week and sleeping about 4-5 hours a night and this thought process happened when the alarm went off. I generally use the story as an example of when I knew something had to give.

    Oh dear, that’s awful, and should be illegal.

    Even with a paper trail, if you can show that others are not disciplined for the same things you are, doesn’t that count for something? Especially if you are in a suspect class?

  63. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Thanks, deborahbell. The novelty of being an attorney has certainly not worn off for me, but it’s been about 9 months, so give me time :)Right now I’m doing something of everything. I imagine eventually I’ll have to settle into a practice area and get bored. But, getting to help people here and there is rewarding enough for the moment. I would think that doing the worker’s side of worker’s comp would make for more of those moments, but some people really do like pushing the corporate pencils, ha.

    One of the biggest rules they teach us all through law school (possibly the only one that’s 100% applicable to practice) is to be damn nice to clerks, receptionist, bailiffs, etc. I like to think it’s because that way you’re not one of those assholes who acts like you’re better than people because you’ve got letters after your name, but mostly it’s probably that pragmatic “gatekeeper” element. Either way, sounds like you had a job that was interesting/enjoyable while it lasted.

    Still excited for you that another one is possibly on the horizon!

  64. carlie says

    Portia – here’s a piece in Salon about that petition that explains it again, if you want to just send it to that guy.

    On playlists – I use the free cadence bpm tapper program to group my songs. It’s made to work with itunes, but you can add the info to songs manually with other music players too.

  65. strange gods before me ॐ says

    deborahbell, that’s an amusing example. For the record though, bizarre or disorganized thoughts which occur while waking or falling asleep are exempted and cannot be used to diagnose a psychotic episode (not to say you weren’t overworked). It’s a normal time to have abnormal thoughts.

  66. Portia, who will be okay. says

    Thanks for the link, carlie. I’m pleased to see that the author uses the same example I did to support my argument (“Obama has done this to annoying effect in the past”), the emergency contraception rationale.

  67. says


    I’ve tried Ativan when my wife had a prescription. It works pretty well, but it leaves me pretty hung-over. I’m probably going to try to find a cheap clinic that might prescribe me something. I dunno… I have a hatred towards doctors and a serious fear of getting on drugs and then having to get off them again.

  68. says

    Yeah, depression and attention span.

    In my case, it seems to be simple lack of interest. Can’t focus on anything that doesn’t engage me, and since depression makes it hard to find anything engaging, I just can’t focus on anything for any extended period of time

  69. says

    Ooh! Well congratulations!

    What I saw was that not only would people settle into a specialization, say, worker’s comp, but they would end up specializing within work comp even. So you had your plaintiff’s attorneys who would do mostly carpal tunnel cases, and settle them generally for 7.5% permanent disability to the wrist. Bah! In our system, with relatively uncontested cases like carpal tunnel, the worker was going to get a settlement anyway, and usually that amount, so the attorney was there to handle paperwork and dealing with the company’s lawyer and the insurance adjustor and such. One of the judges I worked with had been a general practice attorney (taking anything that walked through his door) in a small town in upstate Missouri before taking the judge position, and he said that was a lot more interesting, and I know some of the financial and contract stuff can pay a lot more (these guys also only made about $70k a year mostly, which given the kind of debt you incur going to law school…) but eventually I decided law is interesting and I’ll probably always like that I understand some things about how precedent and courts and common law and the constitution work better than I did before that job and the paralegal courses I took, I don’t think I want to actually do it myself. The fact I hate arguing even though I’m not bad at it is probably part of it too.

    strange gods
    Yeah I usually think of it as amusing, and that’s actually why I wanted to tell it. :) That and your example made me think of it. I didn’t really think that was evidence of a psychotic episode.

    I hope something can help. Hungover, huh? I think I am somewhat lucky in medications – I don’t seem to have side effects very often and what I have are usually mild. One brand of strong anti-inflammatories (maybe in conjuction with something else I was taking, though what I don’t know) once made me have a strange few days where I thought I didn’t need to eat and felt like everything was far away and dreamy, and I have the somewhat typical redhead difficulty with needing larger than expected amounts of numbing agents (i.e., at the dentist) but otherwise I rarely have troubles with medication.

    I came from a home that had deep suspicion of doctors and a hippie mentality paired with a fundie religious sensibility; we took herbs and prayed. I had migraines from the time I was ten, and by the time I was seventeen I had a nearly constant headache caused by “rebound” or “chronic daily headache” – basically, taking multiple strong doses of over the counter pain relievers to try to deal with unrelenting migraines that my parents just never took me to the doctor for. I did learn lots of herbs that don’t cure migraines and lots of prayer that doesn’t work for them either! I’m lucky to be alive, I suppose, since I also have asthma, and if the migraines had been something serious with my brain or the asthma had been more severe, I might have permanent damage (I still might have liver or kidney damage from the years of daily cocktails of advil and tylenol in huge doses, I suppose). I also struggled with terrible depression for the years from age twelve to about twenty-seven.

    In any case, within about two years of seeking professional medical help for these issues, all were well controlled and four years later, I’m off most of the medications I needed at first. So I’m really a fan of medical help and doctors and that’s kind of my first thought. I’m sorry to hear that maybe that hasn’t been your experience. :(

    I do remember being afraid to try anti-depressants, and being afraid that they were a shortcut to dealing with the problem and that I shouldn’t do that because I just would eventually have to get off them and “deal with my real problems”. After I really started to get some relief from the depression, which wasn’t right away, but after I had settled in and started to feel like the person I really believed I was and recognized as me just without the weight of it all, I remember eventually deciding that even if I needed anti-depressants forever in order to be the real me that I wanted to be without the weight of depression, that was ok. If they were a crutch, and a crutch that I needed, that was ok. If they were a tool, then it was ok. If they were medicine for an illness that I had, that was ok. Basically, if the medicine made my life better for me, I was glad it was available. It was a realization that made the whole experience a lot more peaceful for me. Still, I have to say I feel somehow safer in my head and my skin having been off antidepressants for a year and a half with no adverse effects. While I would rather have them than be where I was for so long, I am glad that I don’t actually need them to live without being there. So…I hope something (some source of relief, whatever that may be) works for you.

  70. says


    But depression I have suffered before in my life, much more serious and long lasting, was not really caused (at least directly and at the time) by such a thing and not relieved by changing company.

    Yea, I’m aware. I have also got problems of that nature.

    That’s awful.

  71. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    Cerberus – That’s horrible, but I hope things go better than you fear. *hugs*

    deborahbell – Good news! Thank you for letting us know.

  72. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist, with a perchant for pachyderm punditry) says


    Fucking hell. I wish I could say I don’t understand how such a thing could be possible, but that would be a lie. The fact that I live in such a world makes me sad and angry to the point of a teary-eyed desire to punch things.

  73. says


    Ableist, misogynist, and all-around hateful troll “fin312” is back on Friendly Atheist.

    There are times I wish Hemant was a little less “Friendly” and a little more “forceful” in dealing with certain elements of the community.

  74. Tigger_the_Wing, Melanin Deficient says

    Oh Cerberus, that’s so awful. :(

    I can’t imagine the mindset of someone who would be so petty as to set up a long and complicated series of incidents like that, document them meticulously, and all so as to get rid of an awesome employee just because they are trans*.

    If it came to the shove, I would go to a tribunal and suggest that they look into the records kept of other employees for signs of similar obsessiveness; if they fail to find such, I think it would be safe to say that you have been subject to a campaign entirely because of your trans* status.

  75. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says

    I’m so sorry, Cerberus. And you were not stupid at all to not expect that other people would be such assholes. Is there anything I/we can do for you? Here are some hugs if you’d like them. (hugs)

  76. says

    John Morales

    Not so much that… just that this particular festering boil on the butt of humanity goes out of his way to be an offensive little git, and then gets all upset and offended when he’s called on his bullshit. This is one of the assholes I’ve had to deal with previously, and he had the nerve to call -me- a bully for telling this other waste of space to stop calling me “shakes”. You see, I have Cerebral Palsy, and it’s just hilarious to make fun of the fact that my body isn’t 100% under my control.

  77. says

    Good morning
    So, another exam today. But it’s only pass/fail and multiple choice. Should be doable.

    Shit, that’s bad
    *careful hugs*

    Yay for successful complaint.

    In respect to the “our” as being “inclusive”: It just doesn’t work.
    I’d ask people who claim it does to replace “wives, mothers and daughters” with “our children, daughters and sons” and ask themselves if they think that the group is included in those addressed.
    I also hate the framing of the question. It’s like Hitchen’s allegedly pro-women stance: Women’s rights are framed in question of the benefit “real people” get from their empowerment. It’s like people framing the question of ethical farming not with regards to animal welfare and suffering but in terms of meat quality.

  78. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Hmm. Would “our wives, daughters, mothers, and selves” work?

  79. Orange Utan says


    What about something like “our families and friends”?

    Remove the gender aspect completely.

  80. mildlymagnificent says

    I think the wording I suggested elsewhere might be more usable. Obama’s made the “our wives, daughters, mothers’ thing consistent. He really can’t just abandon it, he needs some consistency.

    I don’t know whether the phrasing I have in mind works. Being Australian I respond quite strongly to the “Men and women of Australia’ theme – recurring at 40-50 year intervals. I’d like to see him say something like “American women and American girls, our mothers and daughters, our wives and sisters, our friends and neighbours” Makes it a ‘distinctively’ American thing albeit unfocused, then specifies mothers first – because everyone has (had) one and it links nicely when he’s pushing healthcare and social security issues as well as those more highly focused on younger women. Generally patriotic-ish, then into specifics of women we know or see often without knowing them, doesn’t emphasise relationship with a man.

    He and his speechwriters have made it hard to do a better job and maintain a consistent, coherent theme, but it’s not impossible.

  81. says

    Sooo, do you know that elderly couple who have a lot of time on their hands and who go shopping when you do? So, you want to pick up item #1 and they’re standing in front of it. Not necessarily buying something there, just standing there. So you wait paitently until they’re finished, grab #1 and find them standing in front of #2. So you say “fuck the general direction traffic flows in this supermarket” and you go and get #3, so that once you have it you return to #2 only to find that now they#re having the big cream-cheese debate in front of item #4. So you completely abandon all your usual shopping route and pick up items here and there until you’re almost done and ready for the check-out only to notice that you’ve forgotten something because you didn’t take your usual route. Guss who stands there? Yes, THEY. And you wait until they move on, grab your item to wait in line at the check-out to find that they’re just in front of you….

    But yay, posted shit. Took me only 4 months or so….

  82. says


    How about that guy, the one standing right in front of the thing you need, apparently seeking the meaning of life through nutrition labels on processed meats, completely oblivious to others around him. He’s been standing there for ten minutes, trying to decide between the all-beef hot dogs and the turkey dogs, occasionally pausing to consider the merits of bratwurst or polish sausages, utterly unable to either come to a decision or move the fuck outta the way while making that decision.

    But nooo! Oh, no, Mr. Indecisive can’t take a moment to step aside or show any awareness of the people around him, why, that might disrupt his decision making!

    So I wait.

    And wait.

    And wait.

    Until finally, he chooses something entirely different to the packages he’d been perusing, and wanders off.

    What the hell, dude? There’s reading the nutrition label, which is normal, and then there’s… this.

  83. rq says

    A round of *hugs* and *drunks* and *kittens*. Looks like several people need them. For those experiencing harassment, depression, possible firing, etc. :( I hope things start looking up soon!

    After a day without internet (and without the Lounge – whew!), I am now re-connected.

    the cat is still outside, and I’m not too worried about him, because he’s done this before (escaped, that is, and that was back in the city – I much rather he do it here, where the yard is fenced in). It’s just annoying, because he doesn’t do it on purpose. He’s just not the smartest kitty around, and now he’s sitting terrified behind the shed and unwilling to come back in. But we put his food out, and it’s not too cold, so he’ll be juuuust fine.
    Other than that, other than that… The flu is making the rounds in this household (feel better soon, Tigger!), starting with the little ones. Husband is just recovering, and I woke up this morning with the aches and shakes. *sigh* And here I wanted a productive next few days to pack away all that crap lying around this house. Who owns this much random stuff anyway???

  84. Matt Penfold says

    What I hare a supermarkets is when two people decide to stop in the middle of the aisle to have a chat. Of course, they do not push their trolleys to one-side, so they end up stopping anyone getting pass them. A couple of Christmasses ago two couples had stopped, blocking the aisle totally oblivious to the blockage they were causing, and ignoring other shoppers who were asking to get passed. So I went up to them, got their attention and said that whilst they were doing a grand job causing an obstruction in the aisle, if they went in stood in entrance they could cause even more problems. They decided to move.

  85. says

    Matt and WMD Kitty
    I usually “Excuse me” my way. Life’s too short to give a fuck about whether they consider me impolite because I asked them to stop keeping everybody else on hold.
    Yep, many people when reminded of the fact that they’re being an inconsiderate ass react by being even more of an ass. Fuck them.
    The elderly couple was more or less just bad karma (which doesn’t exist). I mean, being 70 years old and needing a bit more time is neither inconsiderate nor malicious.
    Another type of customer that makes my blood boil?
    People waiting at the check-out for some time who only remember that they need to start an archeological expedition for their purse the moment the cashier looks at them expectantly…

  86. Matt Penfold says

    (blockquote>People waiting at the check-out for some time who only remember that they need to start an archeological expedition for their purse the moment the cashier looks at them expectantly…

    Yeah, those people annoy me as well. As do those who go through the express checkout (10 items for fewer) not caring they have about 20 items in their basket.

  87. says

    And there’s always one, always one person who, for whatever reason, decides that “in the middle of a crowded grocery store” is a good place to let hir kid cry it out or have a tantrum while xe ignores both the noise and the effect it has on other shoppers.

    When I was growing up, screaming was reserved for situations like “holy fuck there’s a bone sticking out of my leg” or “that’s a lot of blood…” or anything resulting in serious injury and/or a pain level over 6. And there was no way in hell we were allowed to pitch a fit in the store or run around harassing other patrons at restaurants or otherwise behave like hellspawn.

  88. Matt Penfold says

    My mum tells me I once took off my trousers in the middle of a supermarket because she would not buy me some sweets. She says she just ignored me and carried on shopping.

  89. Nick Gotts (formerly KG) says

    “American women and American girls, our mothers and daughters, our wives and sisters, our friends , colleagues and neighbours” – mildlymagnificent

    Worth adding?

  90. says

    I’m one of those shoppers, you know, “get in, get [items], pay for [items], get the fuck out as quickly as I can.” I’m confused by those people who take an hour to wander through the whole store and contemplate, I mean, really think about each and every item they want to purchase like the fate of the world hinges on this one grocery trip. (And seeing as that’s how Mom shops, it drives me raving mad going shopping with her.)

  91. carlie says

    Maybe he could have a woman in a high-ranking position so she can give speeches where she talks about women as “us” and not in the third person…

  92. Parrowing buıʍoɹɹɐd says


    People waiting at the check-out for some time who only remember that they need to start an archeological expedition for their purse the moment the cashier looks at them expectantly…

    My favorite :-/. Also the ones who let their items build up in the self-baggage area (where my items are going to be conveyor-belted off to in a moment), and then make a phone call…

    Yay for taking care of the posting, Giliell!


    Hi, rq. Sorry to hear that the kitty hasn’t come back in yet, but glad to hear you’re not too worried. I hope you and your family feel better soon! *pours the ginger and honey tea back into the USB port*


    Thanks for mentioning Galentine’s Day, Portia. I don’t watch Parks and Recs so I hadn’t heard of it, but I actually received a Galentine’s Day message from a friend later in the day and understood why, thanks to you. :)

  93. says


    And there’s always one, always one person who, for whatever reason, decides that “in the middle of a crowded grocery store” is a good place to let hir kid cry it out or have a tantrum while xe ignores both the noise and the effect it has on other shoppers.

    So, what’s your solution?
    That I give in to whatever whim my child has?
    If I do, they will not only do it again and again and again, no, I will also be judged for being a stupid woman who doesn’t know how to properly educate her kids. Sorry, but I refuse that you and my child gang up on me in a game I can only lose. Yeah, every once in a while a child will throw a tantrum in a store. If I ignore it and yes, make everyone else put up with my child crying their head off now, I have a good chance that this is the one and only time this happens. I also don’t have the time to stop whatever I’m doing, leave the grocery shopping there and get my two kids and get out of the store to return another time, because miraculously my day only lasts for 24hrs and the shop is closed for 12 of them anyway.
    Here’s a hint: You can#t make a child stop crying any more than you can make them fall asleep.
    So, by doing what you consider to be appropriate I hand my child all the weapons and power there is, so next time you can complain again about the very naughty child and totally incompetent parent.
    Your memory of what you did and didn’t do is most likely faulty and most likely there were one or two occasions you behaved like hellspawn. Only that you just remember the times you behaved well. Your parents have probably different stories to tell.

  94. says

    And there’s always one, always one person who, for whatever reason, decides that “in the middle of a crowded grocery store” is a good place to let hir kid cry it out or have a tantrum while xe ignores both the noise and the effect it has on other shoppers.

    You’re not a parent, I take it? “The effect it has on other shoppers”? LOL. How dare those little shits upset innocent shoppers!

    Anyway, I’ve been sick for the last 2 weeks, getting better now, in case anyone was wondering. Hope you’re all well.

  95. rq says

    While I understand your hatred of crying children in the grocery store, sometimes ignoring them is the only way to actually keep on shopping. Mine have been (thankfully) so far well-trained enough to not cause a ruckus when we go shopping (they’ve learned that screaming will not get them more sweets!!!). They try asking, but we usually have something already at home, so it’s a not-until-you-finish-[item] answer, which they’re ok with. Then, when we’re out of [item], I get a reminder, they get to pick the next package to go through, and everybody is happy again. (This is not to say that they don’t whine… They do.)
    But that’s neither here nor there.
    What I meant to say is, what I hate even more than the screaming children, is the old lady who always has some advice on how to shut them up. Like, ‘Oh, just buy hir the candy! What harm could it do?’ Or they give you the judgmental you-are-a-BAD-parent stare.
    It’s really, really difficult to be in the middle of a shopping trip, be stressed, and try to calm a child down, especially if patience is *this* short and they’re just pushing buttons they know can be pushed. Yes, the best way to do it would be to leave – and come back when…? I don’t know. Leave a half-full cart just standing there for a half hour until Child is calm? Come back without the kids? Give them whatever they want just because? It’s definitely not my favourite way to shop, but if they’re going to throw a tantrum, my instinct is to finish the trip as quickly as possible. Calming them down**? Not an option. Speed is. Getting home a.f.a.f.p.

    ** If Child is hurt, or has bumped hirself on something, attention is paid, but that’s the kind of upset that can be calmed down quickly, and needs no promises about next-time and candy etc.