1. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    I have some experience in 3rd and barely more than none in Pathfinder, but I can play in them. (Pathfinder really isn’t much different from 3rd as I understand it).

    On the other hand, I have characters that I love and miss – I think I might want to resurrect them for this new campaign, but what would that mean for the DM? Willing to take on a character created for another game? Will a backstory created for another world work, or is the world detailed enough that it won’t?

    Wanted to do the frivolous stuff first.

    A: I’ve never experienced you as a whiny pest. If it makes you feel good, apology accepted, but it was in no way necessary.

    B: I don’t have much advice for finding a therapist, or, well, I might, i just don’t feel up to giving it right now.

    As for your point C: Whatever your experience, you know I’m here for you. I am here for Og, even when being here for Og risks me being painted pro-abuser. I am here for you, whether it costs me anything or not.

    Any time you want to talk more privately, you can send me an e-mail. I’m not a therapist, but I’ve done peer counseling with literally hundreds of survivors, maybe 1/3rd trans or intersex, more than 1/2 ciswomen, and 15-20 or so cis guys (it’s hard to remember, it’s not like I bothered keeping a count at the time). Most of my counseling experience has been inside shelters where people are about 1/2 white, 1/2 other varied racial backgrounds, maybe 10% Spanish-first speakers. More poor people than wealthy, but then there simply are more poor people than wealthy. I’ve counseled people who fought back, people who didn’t, people who were screaming rape and people who didn’t name it until much later, people who reported and people who didn’t.

    Though every story is unique, you can’t say anything too shocking or graphic to cause me not to listen.

    If you need me, I’ll be around.

  2. Nutmeg says

    My mom appears to be quietly quitting smoking without mentioning it to my dad or I? I don’t know what to think.

    I haven’t seen or smelled her having a cigarette since her pneumonia (almost a month ago). She doesn’t seem to be sneaking away anywhere at the times when she normally smokes. She doesn’t normally smoke around me, but I can usually tell when she’s headed to the basement for a smoke, and I haven’t seen her do that since the pneumonia. I’m not 100% certain that she isn’t having any cigarettes, but she’s certainly cut way back, at the very least.

    I mentioned this to my dad today at supper. He hadn’t made the connection before now. I warned him a couple of times not to get his hopes up too far, but I’m not sure he can help it.

    I hope she sticks with it (whatever it is) once she has her post-pneumonia follow-up appointment in a week and is (presumably) pronounced fully recovered.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    Nutmeg #503
    If your mom is stealth-quitting, leave her to it.
    Don’t say anything yet.
    If she ‘fails’, she ‘fails’ by herself. She’s not disappointing the rest of you.
    When she tells you she’s been smoke-free for X amount of time, then you congratulate her.
    I speak from experience.
    Quitting smoking is easy! I’ve done it dozens of times!

  4. Deoridhe says

    Ingdigo Jump, re: looking for a therapist – obligatory disclaimer, I am one and this is all my own opinion from my perspective.

    One way to select for a therapist more likely to not be a raging pile of rectal haberdashery is to use the first meeting (which should be free – most reputable therapists I know do a free first session to cover rules, ethics, costs, etc…) as an outright and specific interview. If I were you, I would make a list of the things I want to cover in the form of questions and then watch how the therapist responds to being directly challenged.

    If you’re in a situation where you have had to protect yourself from common societal prejudices, a competent therapist would recognize that as sensible self-protection and be willing to respect your need to lay out boundaries up front. If they react hostilely or start to gaslight or analyze you around it, you know you have a bad fit. The gravest negative of this whole thing is that if you do have a bad session, it might take valuable energy you need for something other than dealing with asshats. In terms of preparatory framing, it might help to think of a therapist as specifically your employee, so simply leaving if things grow ugly is not only allowed but recommended.

    Another option might be to sound therapists out over email. This way you can come up with a form letter which covers the basics. The downside is that it’s easier to conceal prejudices over a written medium. The upside is that you could then repeat my first suggestion in the (still should be free) first meeting to double check their honesty/integrity.

    If some of the considerations are ones which lend themselves to communities (BDSM springs to mind) another option might be to sound out said community for recommendations of X-friendly therapists.

    You mentioned sexual assault; if some of the issues revolve around trauma, I’ve heard that EMDR is much better for it than traditional talk therapy (I do talk therapy, but a client of mine recently also began EMDR and says it’s awesome). Talk therapy requires remembering and discussing traumatic events, and there’s growing evidence this just causes re-traumatization unless one is very careful.

    I’ll give a brief overview of other therapeutic approaches I’m aware of and how they seem to work with different kinds of people; I apologize if I’m bringing Coals to Newcastle.

    Rogerian Therapy tends to be the basis of all therapeutic practice these days unless someone is very dedicated to their sub-discipline. It focuses on building the relationship between therapist and client. The therapist is trained to give unconditional positive regard, to have empathy for the client, and to be genuine (I think of it as having integrity).

    Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is very popular these days, and involves an intellectual analysis of thoughts, feelings, and actions along with organized homework and a lot of lists and forms. It’s very good for short-term goals, recent issues and challenges, and for people who are most comfortable with intellectualization as a coping mechanism.

    Gestalt Therapy involves a lot of acting out things and focused analysis of the client in a way which may feel reassuring to some people as it is very complete. It can be very intense, and in my opinion best for someone with a strong sense of self going into therapy. It’s also very good for people with dramatic personalities or who learn through doing, as a lot of the techniques depend on literally acting out how one is feeling.

    My eternal love is Jungian Therapy, which focuses on imagination and how we understand ourselves through the stories we tell ourselves, both societally and individually. It works best for people who tend to deal with their problems symbolically rather than rationally. People who walk in seeking rationality with be sent into fits, though.

    Finally, if a lot of your issues have to do with longstanding family dynamics, seeking out a Family Systems therapist might make a lot of sense.

    A lot of the studies out now on the efficacy of therapy finds that so long as a person remains in the therapy (see confounding element) than it has positive effects. So far as I know, there aren’t yet any studies testing efficacy as it relates to currently measured personality characteristics, but I’ll admit to being out of touch with a lot of the research.

  5. Nutmeg says

    Thanks, chigau. That was my thought, but it’s good to have it confirmed by someone who’s been there.

    I’m perfectly capable of keeping my mouth shut; I just hope my dad has the sense to do the same. I will try to reinforce that with him this weekend.

  6. Desert Son, OM says

    Ingdigo Jump at #498:

    I hope I do not comment presumptuously, as I am only newly returned after long self-imposed lurking. If my comment alarms or imposes as the voice of a complete stranger then I apologize.

    I have engaged in therapy of various kinds for roughly 20 or so years – off and on- and I also feel this by no means makes me an expert, still only one voice.

    Much of what I would say was covered excellently by Deoridhe at #505. I would add my own emphasis particularly to Deoridhe’s important early point of using the first meeting (what is sometimes referred to as an “intake meeting”) similar to a job interview. It is an opportunity for the therapist to begin to get a sense of what they can provide you, and simultaneously – and very critically – an opportunity for you to begin to get a sense of whether you feel safe, comfortable, welcome, recognized.

    Therapists, psychiatrists, and physicians of good ethical practice should earnestly make every effort to try and recognize, as early as possible, whether or not they can provide you with help. If they deem they cannot, or if you feel they do not or cannot, ethical practitioners should make every effort as early as possible to recommend a colleague or resource who can better meet your needs and work with you on the particulars of your questions, concerns, and health.

    In addition, another option may be group therapy sessions. I would encourage you to take care of you first, and it can be intimidating to meet with a group of people (which I would emphasize should include a qualified, certified therapist as a facilitator and kind of moderator), but it can also mean benefits such as a space that includes other people as a reinforcement that you are not alone in your experiences.

    While you are investigating therapy options you should be able to find things like a particular therapist’s or physician’s board certifications, professional affiliations, and similar qualifications. Obviously, professional qualifications are not a guarantee of ethical practice or supportive environment, but such affiliations may offer additional resources, or help reinforce the potential assistance of a larger governing body of responsibility.

    I have found that ethical and responsible therapists also offer negotiations for flexibility in payment plans, if that is an issue, taking into consideration financial situations, insurance, and other mitigating factors that may affect your particular situation.

    The major forms I have done are talk therapy and Jungian (early on, while still a religious believer I had religious-affiliated counseling and that is now a problematic memory for me in light of my atheism, q.v. immediately following notation). With regard to Jungian, at the time (approx. 1999-2006), I felt I had a good experience, but looking back, I realize now that – in my personal experience – it was suffused with New-Age-liberal-Christianity-meets-Neo-Celtic sentiment and a great deal of talk about souls, divinity, and dream “interpretation.” As I have come to realize my atheism, skepticism, and metacognition about these things, I recognize that, while I got some psychological soothing at the time, I also now feel as though that particular route was not founded in good evidence, and very much steeped in religious sentiment. I hasten to add that such was just my singular experience and I am neither qualified nor sufficiently informed to wholesale render negative assessment about Jungian methodology and its practitioners. It may also be that I simply got a good placebo effect for a number of years. I should also mention that I have disthymia and take a regular medication for that.

    I am currently in a one-on-one (the therapist and myself) talk therapy program. I also attend a group therapy meeting (with approximately seven people) that is very specifically focused on dissertation paralysis and graduate school process difficulties. These two are the best I have ever had. I was fortunate to find them through my university’s health services.

    I am currently working on four prominent personal issues myself, and have found progress, growth, and change with the one-on-one and the group meeting. Again, no guarantee that a working, healthy development about the 5 things you mention can be captured in one therapist or methodology.

    I fear what I have composed here falls short. I wish I could say “Coolness! Here’s three totally viable and proven options that will get you well along your way,” but the complexity of human psychology remains daunting in that regard.

    I offer encouragement for your effort, questions, search, safety, growth, and a clenched-tentacle salute of support.

    There is more that I wanted to comment on in the thread as I am a long-time table-top role-playing gamer with a history of D&D, but I have had a long day and I’m starting to feel like I have drifted dangerously close to the event horizon of my proximal sleep surface. That said, to Crip Dyke, Ingdigo Jump, and others, I have experience with D&D since the AD&D days all the way through 3.5 and most recently Pathfinder, and my gaming group has really fallen hard for Pathfinder. One of my friends said he felt kind of sad that our days of playing “D&D” were over, but our group really does feel like Pathfinder is as excellent a successor for taking up the D&D mantle as any I have encountered, with solid rules sets, good customizability, decent support, and online resources. Also, MapTool has been good for us (some technical issues, inevitably, but not awful) and has a built in dice-roller as part of its programming if you are thinking about the online route.

    I wish you all good gaming.

    Still learning,


  7. says

    <grognard> 3rd edition…I suppose I can learn it, although I haven’t any of the books. For my money, D&D stopped with AD&D2 </grognard> I have the Pathfinder book someone gave me, and much of the rulebase is available at the SRD. I have fond memories (and a huge stack of supplements) of the Spelljammer setting.

  8. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Great. (not really)

    We’re going to have a referendum on whether the definition of marriage as a union between a man and a woman should be added to the constitution.

    Everyone is moving forwards, and yet we’re determined to go backwards. *spits*

  9. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Beatrice: Is this a US state constitution? I thought that you weren’t in the States, but I can’t remember where you actually are (plus maybe I was just wrong)?

  10. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The name of the organization that started that hate campaign? “In the name of family”.
    Because, children.
    Catholic church-sponsored, of course.

  11. says

    Know what I don’t get about Catholicism? How does anyone reconcile the whole “family is totally important and sex is a sacrament and creating life is the only real purpose of existence outside of worshiping the sadistic fuc-” (well, I’ll leave that off there, before I get really nasty) with the idea that the people who lead the church, everyone who serves its religious purpose directly, are completely forbidden to breed, or to even do the fun (to some) things that can lead to breeding?

    “We think the creation of human life is the most important ideal. That’s why we completely disallow any possibility of anyone important to the church from doing it.”

  12. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    The worst thing?
    Marriage equality wasn’t even in the works, there was just some wishy washy talk about maybe allowing civil unions. But the catholifascists decided to strike early and make a point about Croatia being a traditional Catholic country with values to blah blah.

    People have been talking about how this huge victory (because they will win,. Leftists here are notoriously lazy in voting. Those who signed that they wanted the referendum will vote on it and push this bullshit through) is opening the door for more pro-Catholic-traditional-human-rights-violations kind of laws.

    I’m not entirely sure this is just paranoia.
    This particular organization has some serious financial backing. They had huge numbers of people collection signatures asking for referendum. Scary.

  13. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Head lice. Fuck. Ah well, another tick on the parenting bingo card. At least my hair is damn near nonexistent so checking myself will be quick.

  14. opposablethumbs says

    Ah, FossilFishy, been there, done that … inevitable during primary school years, it seems. When there was long hair involved (I should say we went the regular-nit-combing-with-the-hair-drenched-in-conditioner route except for one time when we went chemical) the answer was Rare Treat – You Get To Watch [cartoon of choice] while combing is in progress. It helped. (ha, I am the only one in the household with really short hair. Take that, easily-combed-out headlice)

    Best hugs to Dalillama and to Ingdigo Jump. I wish times weren’t so bloody hard. And that you can get the therapy you need. I would get some for myself yesterday if I could (and I wish to dog that I could persuade the Spawn’s dad to try some. He is a survivor (that was in another country …) and I think it’s making some things very hard all these years later. I found an organisation who I think might help, and there’s even one person helping to run it who’s from the same country and period of history, but nope.).

  15. carlie says

    FossilFishy – oh, I feel for you. We went through that a few years ago. One child opted for the #3 clippers to make life easier (funny enough, that’s the one with big hair now who won’t let anyone cut it short), the other opted for the multiple combthroughs with his handheld game player to distract him during. Protip: it will take at least one more cycle than you think to get rid of them all. Unexpected benefit: all of the things, esp. the plush things, were all dutifully bagged and put in the basement for the duration of a couple of louse life cycles to remove that threat, and the children never asked for some of them back! Declutter: accomplished.

  16. carlie says

    Ing – I’m sorry. I wish I had some advice, but I do have an open invitation for you to complain about it whenever you want to.

    Nutmeg – I’ve done stealth changes of things before. The reason she’s doing it is to avoid the pressure of you guys paying attention to her doing it. It’s like practicing singing in the shower v. in the middle of the living room in front of company. Your instinct is right – pretend you don’t notice anything. If she cottons on to you, that might tank the whole thing just from the perceived pressure she has, no matter that you’re trying to be supportive.

  17. chigau (違う) says

    marriage as a union between one man and one woman
    When They™ try to entrench this, do They™ ever define “man” and “woman”?

  18. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    it’s probably “haver of penis -man; haver of vagina-woman”. Sadly.


    Ingdigo Jump:
    Aw crap. My deepest sympathies. I hope you are able to find the help you seek.

    you are such a good person. I hate that you are facing so much difficulty.


    Desert Son:
    I don’t believe we interacted prior to your break from FtB, but having read only 3 or 4 of your recent comments, you are clearly a thoughtful, conscientious, compassionate individual. I really like and respect that in people.

  19. UnknownEric the Apostate says

    Protip: it will take at least one more cycle than you think to get rid of them all.

    Truth. We finally got rid of the last of them about 6 months ago (after a 4 month battle) and I still get a chill down my spine every time I have an itch on my head.

  20. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    No. That would prevent their strategy of just denying licenses to anyone at all that makes them feel ooky.

    The article linked doesn’t begin to describe how fucked up the situation is in Tx: In past precedent, whenever a trans* or intersex person has argued for a particular point of view on the legality of a marriage, the trans* or intersex person has lost. ItF or MtF and arguably married to a woman? You aren’t married if you want to be, if you are seeking to avoid the divorce process and subsequent alimony requirements, you are married. MtF and arguably married to a man? You aren’t married if you want to be. I don’t know of any cases where such a person argued for having the marriage be unrecognized, but I have no doubt that the trans person would lose in those cases as well.

    FtM and arguably married to a man? If you want to be, you aren’t (I only know of one case). FtM and arguably married to a woman (or, as in the article, applying for a license to marry a woman)? If you’re seeking to avoid alimony, you actually are married, if you want to be married, you’re actually not unless you are (Scott v Robertson, (2011) the only case decided favorably to a trans* person in Texas, but we’re not sure whether it will stand the test of appeal yet).

    Apparently there is that one judge in Dallas that doesn’t feel trans men are icky. But is that settled law? Nope. In fact, the reason appeal is likely to be denied and Scott v Robertson is likely to survive and the reason that the AG/Texas declined to get involved on Robertson’s behalf is that such actions would require a more definitive statement of when trans* people can get married. If trans* people can get married under any conditions, some trans* people will meet those conditions and local jurisdictions will be forced to permit/recognize the marriage. As it stands now, allowing one marriage recognition in its dying days (which was only recognized to allow it to go through divorce rather than be declared to have been invalid from the get-go) preserves the ability to change the rules in favor of non-trans parties using any methodology at all.

    Let me be clear: Texas has decided that fixed rulings on trans* marriage (i.e. law) is contrary to state interest, and that the state would rather rule by whim and fiat.

    When we say that the US is a nation where law rules, not man? Carve out a big hunk for Texas (and Louisiana) ‘cuz that just ain’t true where trans* and intersex folk (and juveniles in detention, and defendants or prisoners seeking access to exculpatory DNA evidence, and, and, and…) are concerned.

    Texas, they name is Injustice.

  21. says

    It’s not too early for Sarah Palin to start fighting the War to Save Christmas from you atheists and ne’er do wells. Here’s an except from a review of her book, “Good Tidings, Great Joy, Protecting the Heart of Christmas”:

    The book is part tribute to the joys of Christmas, part how-to guide for oppressed Christians looking for ways to fight back against whiny and litigious secularists, and part manifesto on the general superiority of Christianity over atheism.

    Palin, throughout, appears incapable of fathoming why a business catering to people from all walks of life may prefer to use inclusive holiday-season language in promotional items, or why a non-Christian may not appreciate a government institution expressing a preference for Christianity over other religions. To hear her tell it, such attitudes imperil America’s dedication to religious freedom itself.

  22. says

    “An angry atheist with a lawyer is one of the most powerful persons in America.” — Sarah Palin

    At the link in #523 you can actually listen to snippets of Palin reading from her “Good Tidings” book. The sound bites are torture, but I recommend them for waking you up.

  23. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    crip dyke:

    Yuck. That doesn’t make any sense except as punishment for the crime of not being cis.

    At least Illinois got better now.

  24. says

    Rachel Maddow covered the exhumation of Yasir Arafat’s body, and how this exhumation is tied to policy made in the Whitehouse during the Bush administration. Top people in the Bush administration met with apocalyptic cult leaders to determine if it was okay for Bushies to let Palestinians live in the Gaza Strip, for example.

    The political power of groups trying to expedite The Apocalypse is still strong. I recently commented about George W. Bush being slated to speak at a Messianic Jewish conference.

    The United States should not be an instrument of anyone’s religious views.

    Rachel’s presentation is thorough and entertaining. No transcript, sorry. The Video is about 16 minutes long.

  25. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    Also ugh. Trans-anxiety is really nasty for me. Too much internalised cissexism. I just need to figure out how to get people to not misgender me (not maliciously, they’ve simply known me for a long time and are also judging by personal appearance, but always seem to forget 5 seconds after reminding them), and also muster up enough courage to notify people about the name I picked out for myself (it’s kinda secret now due to anxiety, but I’m worried I’ll never internalise it that way.)

    What to do?

  26. says

    The actress Lisa Kudrow plays an aspiring politician on the TV show “Scandal.” The writers have given Kudrow several opportunities to fight sexism. Here’s an example:

    “Are you saying that Governor Reston is sexist?” the interviewer asks her.

    Yes. I am. And it’s not just Governor Reston speaking in code about gender. It’s everyone, yourself included. The only reason we’re doing this interview in my house is because you requested it. This was your idea. And yet here you are, thanking me for inviting me into my “lovely home.” That’s what you say to the neighbor lady who baked you chocolate chip cookies. This pitcher of iced tea isn’t even mine. It’s what your producers set here. Why? Same reason you called me a “real live Cinderella story.” It reminds people that I’m a woman without using the word.

    For you it’s an angle, and I get that, and I’m sure you think it’s innocuous, but guess what? It’s not. Don’t interrupt me when I’m speaking. You’re promoting stereotypes, James. You’re advancing this idea that women are weaker than men. You’re playing right into the hands of Reston and into the hands of every other imbecile who thinks a woman isn’t fit to be commander-in-chief.

    Scroll down for video.

  27. says

    This news of gays fighting for their rights comes from what is probably the second-most mormon state in the USA, Idaho (second to Utah). Southern Idaho in particular is an extension of the morridor (mormon corridor) that runs from northern Arizona through Utah and into Idaho. Parts of Mexico, Nevada, Montana, and southern Canada (British Columbia, Alberta — Bountiful) are also heavily mormon.

    It’s so nice to see this news from Boise, Idaho:

    Four same-sex couples from Boise filed a federal lawsuit today challenging Idaho’s ban on gay marriage and its laws that refuse to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. …

    The lawsuit, in which the four couples are suing Idaho Gov. Butch Otter and Ada County Recorder Chris Rich, both in their official capacities, charges that Idaho’s ban on same-sex marriage violates both the due process and the equal protection guarantees in the U.S. Constitution.

    Idaho’s ban also forbids recognition of civil unions; the sweeping ban was approved by Idaho voters in 2006 with 63 percent voting in favor. It states that “a marriage between a man and a woman is the only domestic legal union that shall be valid or recognized in this state.” …

  28. chigau (違う) says

    Crip Dyke #522
    Are they doing chromosome tests?
    How can they be sure they are denying rights to the appropriate people?
    (your link links back here)

  29. says

    thunk, the single most important piece of advice I can give about passing, if that’s what you’re after, is that the focus should be on removing things that misgender you, rather than adding things that gender you properly. You want to try and guide people to the right choice, rather than trying to impose it on them. For instance, rather than trying to learn to cross your legs when sitting, try remembering just to sit with your knees together. This is something men are not taught to do, so even that little bit makes a difference.

    The other thing that makes it easier is confidence. Which is, of course, the hardest thing to feel genuinely at first, because duh, people get killed for being trans, so being nervous early on is not a bad idea, safety-wise. But people notice when other people are being nervous, and being social creatures, we mirror that nervousness back, and nervousness brings heightened attention to sensory information about the source of the nervousness. Bad feedback loop.

    Last, don’t meet people’s eyes all the time on the street. Men generally do; women generally don’t (among strangers).

    Good luck. :)

  30. Desert Son, OM says

    Ingdigo Jump,

    As a follow up, in the ensuing hours since my last comment I thought of some more elements to mention. I hope these prove rich content, not overwhelming wave, nor “well, duh, obviously, everybody knows that!”

    If geography and transportation are at all an issue, more and more therapists and physicians are including a repertoire of telecommunications media as a means of staying in touch with clients. Skype and telephone counseling are growing, though I would also point out that, even among the therapists that I know do some of that, there remains a guarded sensibility. This is, in part, due to the importance of periodically actually being in a client’s presence to get a sense of how a client is doing, and also, in part, due to the murky and dynamic concerns about telecommunication security with regard to preserving patient confidentiality and so forth. Given all that has come to light about the U.S. National Security Agency* and its monitoring, that is something to keep in mind.

    Another thing I have found helpful in my own experience is therapists who work with me to build actionable, attainable goals and practices. I have had a number of therapy approaches over the years where it was just talking in a safe space for approximately 45 minutes to an hour, lather, rinse, repeat. While that was often comforting, and that still remains an important part of many therapies, I have found within the last year a very good feature is a therapist who periodically takes some time out of the session to discuss with me actions, cognitive processes, resources, and perspectives I can take with me and work on in the time (2-3 weeks, in my case, typically) before I return for the next session.

    It’s not that every session has to end with . . . homework is not a word I’m liking to describe it, but I’m having a hard time thinking of a better term just now . . . It’s not that every session has to end with homework, but I think good, conscientious therapists think about what a client can do while in session, and just as importantly what a client can do while not in session.

    Upon reflection about my previous post, I hope I did not intimidate or scare with the revelation that I have been in therapy for approximately 20 years. For one thing, it has not been 20 full, complete, all the time, every-week years. I have had several periods of two-four years where I was not in any therapy at all and was doing ok (though I also had not yet been diagnosed disthymic; only found that out in 2003). For another thing, in my experience, many of the therapies were not very good for me, though I did not always realize that at the time. The best work I have ever done has been in the last year, and I am so grateful because I am recognizing that aspects of my psychology are, genuinely, changing and I am making progress and improvement in areas that are important to me.

    That’s not to say there are fixed time-tables. Some people may find fewer (say, 5) sessions helpful and what they need, some, like me, spend significant time searching for what we need and then some more time working to get what we need when we have found something that seems to resonate. I’m starting to feel like I’m oversimplifying, or getting into “Well, duh, everyone knows that!” territory, so I’ll stop here.

    Cheers of clenched tentacles! Salutes of support! It’s possible I’ve mixed those up somehow.

    Still learning,


    * Hello, NSA agents assigned to monitor Pharyngula! Remember to periodically look away from the screen and refocus your eyes elsewhere, get up, stretch. Good health starts with you!

  31. says

    More good news from the morridor, this time from far-flung morridor satellite, Hawaii (this text is from ex-mormon “MJ”):

    Both the house and the senate of Hawaii have approved a law that will make Hawaii the 16th state to allow gay marriage in the United States.There is still some political procedure to to be completed, but with the margins of victory in both the house and the senate, I think this is a done deal.

    In 1993 Hawaiian courts ruled that Hawaiian law violated the Hawaiian constitution, basically making gay marriage legal in the Hawaii.

    This is when the LDS church entered into the fight against gay marriage. After Prop 8, a good deal of evidence was posted here and other places that showed the history of the LDS involvement in the gay marriage battle.

    The evidence showed that the LDS church got involved in the campaign to pass the Hawaiian campaign that changed the Hawaiian constitution to prohibit gay marriage, essentially overturning the court ruling.

    Documents leaked showed the LDS strategy for fighting Gay marriage was formed in Hawaii. One aspect of the strategy was to slowly give ground on other gay rights issues, such as anti discrimination laws and civil unions in order to appease gay rights activists. Something we did see right after the protests at temples following prop 8.

    Now 20 years later, we see that the LDS strategy has failed in the very state it was conceived. …

  32. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    In many circumstances, they don’t know.

    However if there is no evidence that trans* people exist, then they’re fine. It comes up in marriage cases because the spouse generally knows and when things go bad in a divorce, it is often to the advantage of the spouse to have had the marriage never exist. Alternatively, some trans* (or intersex, though I don’t know of a case) may want to escape responsibilities of dissolution – alimony, property splits, etc. – and may volunteer the information to a court.

    Because of the courts’ consistently siding against trans* people in such situations (pace Scott v Robertson) and the appellate courts refusing to provide a definitive answer that would permit trans* folk to rest rights and obligations on secure footing, in recent years trans* persons (and one intersex person) have made public tests in application for marriage licenses. By announcing that they are trans and/or intersex when seeking the license, the state gets a chance to deny the license when normally ignorance would cause the license to be issued.

    It may or may not be in Texas, my memory fails, but I believe that there was also a case where an employee transitioned on the job, later got married and tried to claim spousal benefits. In that case the employer knew about the status and challenged the presumption that the company must provide equal benefits. This required an incidental ruling on the validity of the marriage. But I can’t remember the name nor the details of that case. It may even have been a previous job where the employee transitioned, but the current employer knew about it b/c of checking work history or something. On second thought, maybe I shouldn’t have even typed any of this b/c I can’t verify it just now, but I’ll leave it here: we have other lawyers around, maybe they can remember the case. Now that I’m thinking about it it might be a midwest case rather than a Texas case anyway. I only mention it because it’s a set of facts upon which there would be a knowledgeable challenge of a marriage. Since you’re asking how the state would know, that’s one way the state would know regardless of the details (or jurisdiction) of this case I’m half-remembering.

  33. says

    Uh …. only in Texas?

    An electrician best known for mailing homophobic fliers to thousands of Houston voters attacking the city’s lesbian mayor narrowly won an election to the Houston Community College Board of Trustees after he misled voters into believing that he is African American. Dave Wilson defeated longtime incumbent Bruce Austin, who actually is black, in an overwhelmingly African American district.

    Wilson’s campaign fliers were filled with black faces that he admits to simply pulling off of websites, along with captions such as “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” Another flier announces that he was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which is the name of an African American former state representative. Only by reading the fine print will voters discover that the “Ron Wilson” who actually endorsed Dave is his cousin. The cousin lives in Iowa.

    In an interview with a local TV station, the anti-gay activist turned higher education policymaker did not deny that he intended to mislead the electorate, instead justifying his actions by claiming that “[e]very time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters.” …

    Well, in a way this is good news. Old white dude can’t win as an old white dude so he has to pretend to be black. At least he didn’t campaign in black face.

  34. says

    CaitieCat @534

    Lynna, now you’ve got me thinking that “One does not simply walk into Morridor…”

    LOL. Actually, you can walk into the Morridor, but be assured that the all-seeing eye will be upon you.

  35. Desert Son, OM says

    Laughably-hopeless-attempt-to-catch-up-mode . . . Engage!

    rq at #482:



    Hekuni Cat, MQG at #483:

    Thank you! Nice to see you!


    Dalillama, Schmott Guy at #499:

    Encouraging wishes for you and yours. I addressed my comments specifically to Ingdigo Jump, but having re-encountered your comment as I scrolled back I hope that—if in fact I have posted anything useful—such feels just as accessible for you, and for any who may be asking similar questions.


    Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! at #520:

    Thank you for the kind and welcoming words!


    Gamers in general:

    I’m totally not a marketer for Paizo! Wondering now if I sounded like a carnival barker hawking Pathfinder. PF has been great for our group, distances my vary for other gamers, as always.


    Crip Dyke at #512:

    Texas, they name is Injustice.


    (Born and raised in Texas and now returned for school after years elsewhere. Didn’t want to acknowledge it for years. Willful blindness is often heavily reinforced as a necessary element of “Texas is just the best!” mythologizing and self-aggrandizement.)

    Does Pharyngula still get the occasional “But . . . but . . . but Texas!” comments from the Defenders of Lone Star Upright Sensibility Brigade™ (notavailableinallareasseestorefordetails)?

    Still learning,


  36. A. Noyd says

    Speaking of how do people tell who’s trans or cis…

    I’m a cis woman but I sometimes fail to “pass” as such, particularly when covered in a winter coat. If I’m in a public restroom, women coming in will occasionally do that panicked back step out to check the sign on the door. Today, for the first time, I had the reverse happen. I was leaving the women’s room and a boy coming to use the restrooms spotted me and started heading for that door. At least till he double checked the sign and veered away.

  37. Rob Grigjanis says

    Eddison*, Peake, Tolkien, Le Guin. Who else compares?

    *Odious worldview, but sublime writing.

  38. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @A Noyd: One of the LOLsobbiest moments of my whole life was one of the last times I used a men’s room. Woman a few years younger than me, maybe 18, walks in, sees urinals, freaks, sees me, sighs with relief, sees urinals, freaks again, looks at me, I shrug, she shakes head and leaves.
    Also, I’m going to post about passing soon, but not just now.

  39. rq says

    Never could get into Tolkien, except for The Hobbit, but I can partially agree. LeGuin – definitely. Peake was a huge discovery for me, though, and considering he’s not mainstream like Tolkien, finding more than one other person who knows (of) him is like knowing there’s a secret club of people with similar oddball tastes as me. Isn’t that the essence of the Lounge? :) I should have known.

  40. says

    I haven’t read the Gormenghast books in years. I wonder if they’d still hold up. A test is called for.

    Thanks for reminding me of them. :)

  41. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Today is shred day, taking the labels and shredding them from all the catalogs and magazines that need to be bundled for recycling. What irritates me the most, is that one magazine that rails and warns against magazines having your name/address anywhere other than the label is the biggest offender. The AARP magazine….

  42. Bicarbonate says

    CatieCat @ #513

    Know what I don’t get about Catholicism? How does anyone reconcile the whole “family is totally important and sex is a sacrament and creating life is the only real purpose of existence outside of worshiping … with the idea that the people who lead the church, everyone who serves its religious purpose directly, are completely forbidden to breed, or to even do the fun (to some) things that can lead to breeding?

    Well, the rationalization is twofold. Basically, sex is bad but if you can’t abstain then marry. Saint Paul said “It is better to marry than to burn” (in hell).

    Secondly, there is the idea that if a person has a family, that that will create worries and obligations for that person that are incompatible with the priesthood, as priests are supposed to care for their parishioners as a father (and indeed that is how one addresses them, Father Burns, Father Smith…). They might put their own flesh and blood children above their spiritual children. Ditto for nuns who are in contact with the public. People inside the Church are supposed to be outside of regular society, its passions, cares and scheming, in order to be solely devoted to God and care for others.

    But celibacy for the clergy has not always been Catholic policy and it is likely to change again sometime in the next hundred years. Today, 16 percent of the world’s Catholics now live in Africa (NYT, Feb. 23, 2013) where celibacy is hotly contested.

  43. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    the wonder that is Mervyn Peake

    I tried, I really did. Managed to finish the first book and said ‘never again’. It was a long time ago now, all I remember about my antipathy was how bogged down the story was amidst all the descriptive elements.

    Nit combing round #1:

    The Small Fry: 13
    Ms. Fishy: 3
    Me: 0

    TSF: 30 minutes
    MF: 10 minutes
    Me: 5 minutes (including beard)

    Balding male FTW!

  44. cicely says

    Semi-‘rupt, and short on energy; I apologize for not even trying to catch up.
    *hugs* where needed/wanted. With or without *boozes*, and/or *chocolate*.
    And a side of *fries*.

    The Nazi Anatomists.
    How the corpses of Hitler’s victims are still haunting modern science—and American abortion politics.
    WARNING for stomach-churning awfulness.
    (Hat-tip to Not Exactly Rocket Science.)

    Crip Dyke:

    I have some experience in 3rd and barely more than none in Pathfinder, but I can play in them. (Pathfinder really isn’t much different from 3rd as I understand it).
    On the other hand, I have characters that I love and miss – I think I might want to resurrect them for this new campaign, but what would that mean for the DM? Willing to take on a character created for another game? Will a backstory created for another world work, or is the world detailed enough that it won’t?

    One of my friends calls Pathfinder, “I Can’t Believe It’s Not D&D 3.5!” It supposedly contains some tweaking of 3.5 elements that are less-than-successful, but since I never played it, I can’t say.
    Transferring characters from one campaign to another can work. You just have to get with the DM and find a mutually-agreeable explanation for the transfer—not hard, if the milieu includes magic/sufficiently-advanced-science, and/or multiple universes. Then it’s a matter of seeing what goodies and equipment the new DM is willing to allow in hir campaign.

    Deoridhe: “Raging pile of rectal haberdashery”. Brilliant!


    <grognard> 3rd edition…I suppose I can learn it, although I haven’t any of the books. For my money, D&D stopped with AD&D2 </grognard;gt;

    Sing it!

    I have the Pathfinder book someone gave me, and much of the rulebase is available at the SRD. I have fond memories (and a huge stack of supplements) of the Spelljammer setting.

    I have a Pathfinder book, and all of the Spelljammer stuff (that was officially published, anyways).
    I always was a sucker for Spelljammer. I still have on my wall a fading color-pencil drawing of a faerie-dragon-ship that I did from one of those old campaigns.

    CaitieCat, I have a sneaking suspicion that the celibacy rule was added to prevent Church Property being inherited by priestly lines.

    Head lice.
    Yet more evidence for a Loving God.

  45. says

    After some impromptu experimentation, I can now tell Mal and Zoe that their plan to smuggle creatures with smaller droppings, such as beagles, would be a smashing success, as, indeed, beagles have small droppings.

    I discovered this because I have a small warm fuzzy fellow cuddled up to my side here on the couch, my friend’s beagle who gets carsick (and thus was unable to go on the road trip she and her other pooch went on). He’s here for a week, and after an hour or so of exploration and sniffygrunting, he’s now fast asleep.

    He’s a rescue from Kentucky, and I suspect whoever had him was training him for hunting. The “sniffygrunting” (who says only Germans can have the fun of neologism through agglutination!) I mentioned is a very noticeable behaviour he goes into when following a scent trail. His tail goes up while he’s sniffing about, and then if he finds something, his tail goes down and he gets his nose very close to the ground, and he grunts a little each time he sniffs, and pulls much harder than he does usually while he follows it. Usually, he’s happy to walk with slack in the lead. It’s very cute.

    Wow, do I ever need a dog. Sigh.

  46. says

    Won’t be around much for a while, they cut off our internet. When I called in Thursday, the automated system offered me an extension, which I took, and the system said I had it. The company called today insisting that they have no record of any such thing, and cut us off. Assholes.


    CaitieCat, I have a sneaking suspicion that the celibacy rule was added to prevent Church Property being inherited by priestly lines.

    You got it. Particularly since many noble families sent sons to the Church, and if it chanced that he wound up the last surviving son, then all that juicy land and cash went to the Church, not to mention the considerable private fortunes some high-ranking clergy amassed. It was at one time customary for many clergy, especially those of high rank, secular or ecclesiastical, to have long-term mistresses who were wives in all but name, and families with them. Often some minor provisions would be made for them, but usually not very much.

  47. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    damn buddy.
    If you are still online, how much do you need to keep it on?


    I just read that the death toll from the Typhoon in the Phillipines is @10,000. Fuuuuck. That just…I …words escape me. Thats horrifying

  48. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    Transferring characters from one campaign to another can work. You just have to get with the DM and find a mutually-agreeable explanation for the transfer—not hard, if the milieu includes magic/sufficiently-advanced-science, and/or multiple universes. Then it’s a matter of seeing what goodies and equipment the new DM is willing to allow in hir campaign.

    Sure. I was just wondering out loud if the campaign suggested by Ingdigo Jump would be open to characters created for other campaigns – it would be up to that individual DM, as you say, and I don’t know if that DM would be interested in that sort of work.

  49. A. Noyd says

    Fuck alllll the dudes on the bus who think think if a woman sits next to them they are entitled to part of her seat as well as their own.


    Crip Dyke (#547)

    Also, I’m going to post about passing soon, but not just now.

    I look forward to it.

  50. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    I need to vent. I know I don’t hang around here much, but maybe some of you have experience with this. Please help me.

    My grandmother is a nice person. Sweet, loving, giving, etc. My grandmother is concerned for my soul. She is also a lifelong Christian. I love and respect her, I admire her commitment. Perhaps only because I imagine that it took fortitude to maintain belief for so long (because I can’t see it from the perspective where God and Jesus are a reality, maybe it’s just natural for her.) My fear is that she won’t be around much longer. She’s visibly upset talking about this. And I am confused and angry about it all.

    She wants me to go to Church. To be a Church-going Christian again. I’m not sure she understands that I’m a full blown atheist. She keeps mentioning how I’ve been baptized. My mom has used that crap on me before to deny that I’m actually an atheist, because in their reality that’s part of their rules. So I don’t know if it’s genuine ignorance or a refusal to accept reality.

    I understand the genuine care. I really do. But the guilt I feel… Oh man! Maybe she doesn’t get that she is guilt-tripping consciously, but subconsciously that’s all it is, really, right? A manipulation manifested by the stranglehold Christianity has over her mind, where the benefit will remain intangible and the peace of mind afforded her is based in bullshit. But it’s still peace of mind, and that is what we’re both really struggling for is what it feels like.

    If I just come out and tell her I’m never going to believe again, that I’m an atheist, I’m sure it will break her heart, and I’d have to live with that. If I go, that might get her hopes up, and her heart may be broken even more when I cease. There is the fact that I’d have to be dishonest to spare her, and live like a Christian again until she dies, and then face the criticism of “living a lie” or even “what would your grandmother think” and she would still haunt my choices.

    This sucks because it’s someone I care about. It makes me angry because I’m not a mental slave any more, yet she wants to drag me into the same shackles I threw off. I really do not see any way to get something of value from this situation without disappointing her or living a lie. Both feel like a sacrifice. Really fucking torn right now.

  51. cicely says

    throwaway, you have my sympathy; may I offer you a *hug or other, non-intrusive-and-refusable gesture of comfort and support*? A *beverage*, perhaps?
    They may very well be honestly in terror for the fate of your “immortal soul”. It’s one of those things (like the existence of a god or gods of some sort (the only real quibble being about its/their attributes and intentions)) that’s just “self-evident”. And baptism seems to be considered a “no take-backs” thing, whether you entered into it knowingly and willingly or not; it’s what the Catholic Church to help plump up their official numbers.
    Unfortunately, I have no answer to your dilemma; the best I’ve been able to come up with for myself is to simply not discuss religion with most people (and definitely, never ever with my mother! (made easier by the fact that I avoid proximity as well)), saying that these kinds of discussions never go well.
    It doesn’t sound as if this is likely to be very useful to you. I’m sorry.

  52. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Thanks Cicely, your sympathy is accepted and your words are welcome and useful as they stir my thoughts toward resolution.

    I do tend to stay away from these conversations with my mother and grandmother as well. There was the one breaking point where I just said fuck it, and that came when my own mother said that she wouldn’t care if she was in Heaven and I was in Hell, because she wouldn’t know about it, and that she at least finds comfort in knowing that. And I’m all like what the fuck how can you be so heartless… I totally feel you on staying away, and you have my complete sympathy there.

    This is just such a massive mindfuck for me right now. Like, I feel I’m returning to seeing the hidden symbology in the world that I saw as a Christian, but I know better now. I was an atheist most of my life, oddly enough, it’s just that Christianity entered at a really traumatic time part way through it. Though it wasn’t very long of a period (2 years as a practicing Christian, at most) it was an intense experience and it’s had an affect on my mode of thinking ever since. Also, mental health issues, so ugh, extra baggage to deal with.

  53. rq says

    You have my sympathies. I have similar looming issues, though not quite as bad (I think? hope?), but I may not be able to avoid the subject since my dad insists on discussing religion (he hasn’t yet, but he’s mentioned several times that We Need To Talk), and I’m a crappy liar.
    Good luck to you!


    how bogged down the story was amidst all the descriptive elements

    Well, it would be now, wouldn’t it, if you’re reading for the story. ;) Suggestion: Read for the delicious language. The story sort of develops on top of the descriptions, but I made the same mistake the first time I tried to read Gormenghast – too slow, no movement, nothing… But the second time, I was completely hooked, and just a matter of reading for the descriptions and getting the mood, rather than the action. (Alternatively, you may never like the books. *shrug* Not everyone’s as perfect as I am. ;) )
    I haven’t been able to do the same with Tolkien. I prefer the darkness of Peake.

    Improbable Joe
    Hel-lo!! :D


    Lice are evil.

  54. opposablethumbs says

    Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor – highly recommended for Mervyn Peake fans and everybody, especially with or without children. The old editions are wonderfully polychrome, whereas new editions sadly save money by being monochrome-plus-one-colour (don’t know the term for that) :-(

    throwaway, my sympathies for your dilemma. I’ve never had to deal with anything like that, so have no relevant experience to draw on – it must be very difficult, and I just hope you find a workable-for-you way round this. I am about to acquire a religious in-law, apparently, and will probably meet her at New Year – the first time in my entire life I’ve had any living religious family member of any kind of any generation ever anywhere (that I know of, at least). I hope I manage to deal with the shock … sadly, in practice it probably just means reduced communication with the one marrying them.

    If I’m in a public restroom, women coming in will occasionally do that panicked back step out to check the sign on the door.

    I’ve had that kind of reaction once or twice (I’m also cis) … once I got accosted while washing my hands afterwards and asked, very indignantly, “are you in the right place?” I thought it was rude but borderline funny at the time. In retrospect, I now notice how it highlights my privilege in that I had the luxury of dismissing the person without being afraid.

  55. carlie says


    Disclaimer – this is purely practical, and ethically might not be where you want to be.

    Background: I’d be in basically the same place if I didn’t live several states away from my grandmother, so I know where you’re coming from.

    Are you from a “once a Christian, always a Christian” denomination? If so, that makes it easier – just keep reminding her that your soul is safe thanks to your actions/beliefs in the past.

    As for church itself, you could tell her that you have specific problems with church (either your own specific church, denomination in general, etc.), listing doctrinal things that are clearly in the opinion category that she can’t really argue against. For example, “I think Pastor X focuses far too much on creationism and not nearly enough on helping the poor”. “I don’t like the way our denomination handles its overall budget and spends so much on quasi-political campaigns.” Attend a few other services at other churches and say none are to your liking, and that you just can’t find a church home you’re comfortable with. Is that sidestepping the whole “but I’m an atheist” thing? Yep. That’s why I said it might not fit your ethical stance, and it gets into deep philosophical issues. Is the best thing to be honest all the time in all things, and also completely divulge all the truth about yourself to all people? Is telling your grandma who doesn’t have long left “I’m just not into organized religion” worse of a lie than telling her that you love the cookies she made you when really you threw them out when you got home? Is telling her you’re an atheist when she brings church up as unnecessary as telling her which type of sex toy is your favorite when she asks who you’ve been dating lately? That depends on you and what you think about it. Can you advocate for all of your political/social positions with your grandma without bringing your own atheism into it? Do you even have those kinds of conversations with her? Can you sidestep the church thing by spending time with her otherwise, maybe having dinner with her once a week (during the week, not right before or after church when she’s thinking about it) and meet her need to see you and feel like she’s mentoring you that way? There are dozens of ways to get your point across and to keep a relationship with her that aren’t either capitulating to her or making a line in the sand that she can’t cross unless it’s totally on your terms.

  56. says

    throwaway, I can’t offer anything but Internet hugs; being raised atheist, I was fortunate never to be baptised, never to be made to go to church, and to never be susceptible to believing any religion myself.

    But Internet-hugs I have in plenty, and they are offered, in their usual bent and wobbly condition. :)

    I did go through most of a course for conversion to Jewish, back when I was seriously dating someone whose family simply would not allow her to be with someone who wasn’t; we all knew I didn’t believe particularly, except maybe the rabbi, but I was willing to follow the forms and make sure I went to shul for the high holidays, which was apparently enough for them. Well, that and weekly shabbos dinner with the family, again, not too onerous. We didn’t even have to keep kosher at home. I kinda like Judaism still, because it has an internal logic that’s relatively consistent, and doesn’t require very much in the way of believing inherently incompatible things.

    Then I had my car accident and became crippled, and she broke up with me. I don’t actually resent her for that; she hadn’t signed on to being what looked at the time like being a lifetime nursing job, and we were only kids at the time (I was 21, she was 22). Such is love.

    On a completely different topic, a warm cuddly beagle is a nice addition to a cool late-autumn night’s sleep. Beamer’s been a wonderfully good little guy, and as I’d hoped, having someone else to care for is making me a lot more active. I’ve taken him out for 3 walks a day so far, which is about 2.9 times a day more on average than I usually get out. I can’t really take him for long walks, but I can take him for short ones fairly easily.

    Tomorrow morning, he’ll get a longer one, though, because I’m going to walk up to the cenotaph in Uptown* for Remembrance Day, pay my respects to those who wore the uniform as I did, but who paid a great deal more for the privilege.

    * I live in a twin city – two small cities which have grown into each other, making an urban agglomeration of about 400 kilopeople. One of them has a “Downtown”, and the other one’s centre is called “Uptown”. But then, it’s a weird place anyway; there are two roads which run through both cities, and which are called East and West in the Downtown city, and North and South in the Uptown city, despite not actually going in any of the four cardinal directions. West runs directly into South, so if you start at one end, you go King St East, West, South, then North. Also, these two streets are nominally parallel, but they cross three times, which is why I say I live in a non-Euclidean city. :D

  57. says

    It struck me while we were out walking: Beamer was checking (and posting to) his Sniffbook. What I need to teach him is “You don’t have to answer every single comment!”

  58. firstapproximation says

    It’s not too early for Sarah Palin to start fighting the War to Save Christmas from you atheists and ne’er do wells.

    Not only that, but Palin was able to use Christmas to disprove evolution:

    I bet Charles Darwin never understood this: If the world could be described as truly survival-of-the-fittest, why would people collectively be stricken with the spirit of generosity in December?

    Time to find a new profession, PZ. Some other nuggets:

    The logical result of atheism, a result we have seen right in front of our eyes in one of the world’s oldest and proudest nations, is severe moral decay.

    Sadly, there are no Chick-fil-A restaurants in Alaska.

    America really fuckin’ dodged a bullet there.

  59. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    I have hit a wall. I honestly don’t know what to do.

    There is a gap (to the tune of $35,000) between what I’ll owe next year (in tuition, in rent, in various and sundry bills) and my assets (savings plus ability to borrow).

    Which means that, unless something significant happens, I’ll have to withdraw from the program.

    I’m going to talk to the office of financial aid. But I honestly am not feeling optimistic.


  60. Nutmeg says

    That really sucks, Esteleth. I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it. I hope the financial aid people are more helpful than you’re expecting.


  61. says

    Good evening
    Urgh, I’m recovering from one of the worst case of digestive-system fuck-ups I ever had.
    Spent most of yesterday in bed with my hot pack monster and I swear I’d rather give birth again.

    Shit that sucks.
    I hope it can be sorted out.

    Also, I’m watching the Hunger Games on TV. Haven’t seen them before.
    Rather interesting bit of propaganda going for a Soviet Union aesthetics in the flag and emblem. Snow even looks like Karl Marx, including the dress…

  62. Nutmeg says

    Ever had one of those catch-up conversations with a friend you don’t talk to very often, and then walked away realizing that there is nothing new and exciting in your life?

    I’ll be over here with some tea and comfort TV.

  63. Desert Son, OM says

    Esteleth at #573:

    As a fellow student, I empathize and send encouragement and well-wishes that your financial aid office has options to help you.

    Still learning,


  64. chigau (違う) says

    Nutmeg #577

    …there is nothing new and exciting in [my] life…

    Thank gods.
    Is that herbal tea? and nothing too loud on the telly …

  65. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    throwaway – I wish I had some advice to offer. I have a related dilemna with my mother (who is probably of a similar age to your grandmother) and eldest sister. In my case, I just don’t talk about religion with either of them if at all possible. *hugs*

    Esteleth – *hugs and chocolate*

  66. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Do Tell is the brainchild of Melissa Tapper Goldman and a virtual continuation of her documentary “Subjectified: Nine Women Talk About Sex.” Both projects are concerned with what Tapper Goldman calls “the cost of shame” —in other words, the harm that is done by stigmatizing women’s sexual experiences and encouraging silence. The stories that have been published thus far on Do Tell show the vast range of women’s experiences. ”An explosive orgasm?” asks a 23-year-old woman from Massachusetts. ”Maybe I’ve gotten it once from a guy, but mostly I can only give them to myself.” “K.S.” from Minnesota writes, ”He took the time to really feel and understand my body, giving me the most numbing and mind-blowing orgasms I had ever had at the point (my body literally went numb from the pleasure).” There are a disproportionate number of tales about sexual pain and abuse: ”I was molested at 12 by a friend’s older brother,” writes “C,” a 42-year-old from Chicago. “I didn’t understand it to be sex, just weird that he would hold me on his lap and tickle me.

    Women speaking frankly about sexual experiences.

    Marvel Comics reboots Ms Marvel, with a young Muslim lead.
    I know some right wing pundits will pitch a fit.

    With Kamala Khan, Marvel is smashing the tired stereotype by showing the universality of issues that plague teenagers. Kamala’s character will struggle to exist inher observant Muslim family. Breaking the rules is something every teenager does—and it becomes harder when your culture is not about embracing your individuality, but often more about your community.

    Kamala’s conflict seems to represent this moment in historyin the ArabMuslim world where the masses are taking to the streets to demand freedom anddemocracy. Those images themselves should debunk the myths that Islam and Muslims are extreme. The Arab Spring and subsequent protests show us that people across the world, young and old, share universal values.

    Kamala reminds me of myself whenI was 14, witnessing violence in the Middle East. I asked my father in Palestine why violence is justified in Islam and his answer was that the danger isn’t in the holybook, the Quran, but in the brains that interpret them. Today, the danger is not with Muslims, but the brains (or lack thereof) of interpreting Islam and Muslim scripture for the modern world. These are the people preventing Muslim teens from breathing freely without the fear of being judged by their fellow Americans. Marvel’s work is a watershed moment in breaking down fear and ignorance, and creating greater awareness and familiarity

    Ms Marvel was created during the 70s as an empowered female. She was intended as a feminist hero, though I am not sure how successful the attempt was.

  67. rq says

    I have some excellent cookies if you wish to partake, and I will even let you hold the remote control for a while. :)

    Oooh, that sucks… I hope the financial aid can sort things out, because it would suck to have to turn down some learning. :( Holding thumbs!

    Get well soon!!!


    Of course, the week before my ‘vacation’, all the children have to come down with fevers. Guess who’s next…!!! (I have until Friday. Make it quick, virus!)

  68. says

    Fingers are crossed.
    Maybe you won’t be that much affected and they just kindly got over it BEFORE your holiday?
    I have to get totally well before Wednesday, because then there’ll be Mr.’s 25th aniversary in his company and the company always throws a BIG party for their long-term employees.
    Just to give you a scale: Last year they hired Chris deBurgh as a live act.

  69. rq says

    !!! Wow, get well soon, then!!! Thumbs held for you too!
    (Husband’s company does posh things for christmas, but not Chris deBurgh!! Just local artists of great renown. Not quite the same scale.)

  70. says

    Another way to look at the negative impact of big-box, sprawl stores:

    By investing in downtowns rather than dispersal, cities can boost jobs and local tax revenues while spending less on far-flung infrastructure and services. In Asheville, North Carolina, Public Interest Projects found that a six- story mixed-use building produced more than thirteen times the tax revenue and twelve times the jobs per acre of land than the Walmart on the edge of town. (Walmart retail tax based in national average for Walmart stores.) (Scott Keck, with data from Joe Minicozzi / Public Interest Projects)

    The excerpt above is from a longer article that is well worth reading.


    The productive richness of the new Asheville approach becomes even clearer when you consider the geographic path taken by dollars spent at local businesses. Money spent at small and local businesses tends to stay in a community, producing more local jobs, while money spent at big national chains tends to get sucked out of the local economy. Local businesses tend to use local accountants, printers, lawyers, and advertisers, and their owners spend more of their profits in town. National retailers, on the other hand, tend to send such work back to regional or national hubs, and their profits to distant shareholders. Every $100 spent at a local business produces at least a third more local economic benefit and more than a third more local jobs. The arrival of a Walmart in any community has been shown to produce a blast radius of lower wages and higher poverty.

  71. says

    GODDAMMITSOMUCH!!!! I came to the library to get internet access, so I could file my unemployment claim, only I can’t, contrary to what I was told on the phone last week. And I won’t be able to talk to them until Tuesday at the earliest, because tomorrow’s Veterans Day. Fucking assholes.

    *Pouncehugs* Nice to see you again (as it were).

    Our dachshund does the snuffygrunt thing too. It’s adorable.

    *hugs* and sympathies for financial difficulties.

    I’m $75 overdue it looks like, which if I understand correctly would get me turned back on. I was going to use my last unemployment payment to cover it, but that was only $5, because the claim was ending, so I planned to use this week’s, but god knows when I’ll get this week’s payment at this point.

  72. rq says

    You’ll have mail hopefully within two week, hopefully sooner if the Christmas card rush hasn’t started. :/ Not sure how much that will help your immediate situation, but it’ll be there.

  73. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Very interesting. My main set of keys had been missing for a while. I knew they were somewhere in the house, but a thorough search of the normal spots came up empty. Found them tonight putting the fitted sheet back on the waterbed, between the mattress and the frame. A dangerous spot for potentially sharp objects. Must have fallen out last time I “burped” the waterbed.

  74. cicely says

    I wish to rant.
    *intaking a large breath*
    We are having the damnedest luck with the car. It’s like it’s become allergic to weekends, or is carefully spacing out its “hits” for maximum impact.
    Week One: Go to get car inspected (planned expense), find that we have to buy tires for it (unplanned expense; but do-able thanks to a small unexpected cash influx).
    Week Two: Death of a Fuel Pump. Not extravagantly expensive, thanks to extensive shopping around, and The Husband putting in 6 miserable hours (in the dark), but it ate up the rest of that s.u.c.i.
    Week Three: Installation of fan in motor (thoroughly planned expense, but involving un-looked-for secondary expenses). (But, to be fair, off-set somewhat by the failure of other expected expense to fall.)
    Week Four: Death of the alternator. Nasty little surprise, there; and now we’re into the hospital-payment money and shuffling bills around like mad.
    Week Five (aka, today): ????? Went out for groceries, stopped by the office for just a minute, and now the car inexplicably Does Not Start.
    Proper sounds when turning key in ignition: check.
    Gas reaching engine: check.
    Spark available where spark should be: check.
    Alternator…alternating: check.
    Just no voom.
    So, the car is at the office, where The Husband will have to deal with it on Tuesday (the office being closed Monday).
    *addressing Universe At Large*
    We can plz be done naow? Kthxbai.
    *exhaling massively*
    Thanks, y’all. I needed that.

    CaitieCat: Look around you. Does your non-Euclidean city appear to be underwater? How many of those 400 kilopeople are squid, or other cephalopods?

    *hugs* for Esteleth. I hope you find a way to fill your gap.
    Unfortunately, I am dead out of ideas to offer (and generally short on optimism).
    *chocolate*? I’m having some.

    Nutmeg, just remember that “new” and “exciting” aren’t always good things, ala “Interesting Times”.

    rq, best of luck with the fevers. Hopefully all over in time for the vacation.

  75. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I concur.

    This bit made me LOL:

    But if the shift happened just right—and Michael Bay were telling the story—then as the waters of the Gulf of Mexico began to cool and the Mississippi slowed and became an estuary, the region’s wildlife would spread inland.

    Bolding mine.

  76. carlie says

    chigau – if you like that, you might also like Christopher Scotese’s paleomap site, in which one can find a most excellent climate animation in which one can move through time and watch the climate belts change (or not) as the continents drift. It’s a great example of how much the location causes climate, but also how continent size influences it as well.

    Esteleth and cicely and dalillama, I’m so sorry about your money troubles. :(

  77. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    I have not sent any money through Pay Pal. I would like to do so for Dalillama. Can anyone advise?

  78. Crudely Wrott says

    Hello, Dear Hordelings and Sweet People,

    I’ve been lurking for the last three weeks even while eagerly wanting to post and celebrate or commiserate with all of you but my tongue has been glued to the roof of my mouth and my typing digits have been dead stumps. The loss of my daughter has stunned my mind and silenced me.

    I just want you all to know that I am starting to find my voice again; just starting, mind you. If previous events of loss and misery are any indicator and if my ability to assimilate sorrow has not waned or withered then I feel confident that I’ll be more communicative before long.

    Now, though, is the long sad. It is as if some needful part of me has been severed and utterly lost. I take great courage in knowing that all of you along with my family members have given of their hearts to help me and my little family through this dark, dark night.

    To all of you who have expressed your sympathies and your loving support, just thanks. Thank you all so much. I cannot yet and don’t know if I’ll ever be able to put into words what that means. Not just to me, either, but to my daughter’s family members who have been affected by her untimely passing.

    We are still waiting for a report from the state medical board regarding the circumstances and cause of her death. I think I know what the contributing factors are but will wait for autopsy report et cetera for the details.

    Diane was thirty six years old.
    I’ll try to get back to regular participation but I’m not going to force it. I’ve got to find my voice again — it seems to have gone missing.

    Please, love one another. After all the other important things and all the other trivial things are accounted for, loving one another is really all we have left to give and to receive.

    For now, Love to you all,

  79. chigau (違う) says

    Crudely Wrott
    Your Voice still Sings.
    Major *hugs* for you and yours.
    We are always here for you.

  80. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    You and your family have been in my thoughts.
    Though it has been said already, please know that you have our support and love. We will be here for you always.
    Until next time, take care.

  81. rq says


    I think Lynna may recently have contributed to Dalillama via PayPal, or check the previous page of this Lounge, there should be an email address somewhere left by Dalillama.

    You must realise that cars, while they may have escaped the Power of Horse, they have not managed to avoid it completely and thus some intrinsic, unknowable, undefinable and uncontrollable Evilness remains within.
    Sorry about the car troubles. That really, really bites. :(

  82. says

    Good morning

    Big hugs

    *hugs*, too.
    My car is making “strange noises”. We’ll have it checked on Thursday.

    So, yesterday the afternoon was “exiting”.
    One of the people in my in-law’s apartment block (we always spend Sunday afternoons there) rang at my in law’s door, because they could smell smoke on the 13th floor and nobody opened the door. And since my DIL had been a caretaker there for many years, people still contact him, which was good in this case. So he went up, called the fire department, police etc and then broke the door open. (after checking for heat, of course, he used to be a firefighter, too).
    Mr was on his heels first and then went down to tell the firefighters where to go.
    He’s very helpful in such situations. Professionals must hate him. I watched the scene unfold from the window.
    He jumped up and down on the road, trying to do I don’t know what with traffic. The first firefighters arrived in a normal car, he signalled them where the fire was, then went back onto the road and was told to stop. I just saw the hand signals, but Mr. later complained that the firefighter had been very unfriendly after all he’d just done. He (Mr.) then came to us again to inform us what was happening and said “I’ll go upstairs again.” I asked him “what for?” TO HELP! I told him to get inside and STAY THERE because everybody who had a job to do was already there so all he could do was standing in their way.
    The fire had been a stove left on unattended which was quickly extinguished, nobody hurt, no very big damage.
    Later he complained that he’d told them that they could still use the elevator but they simply ignored him and took the stairs! Can you imagine? I said yes, but you know that “don’t use the elevator” is the first rule in case of a fire. “Yes, but I knew it was safe!” No, honey, you knew it was safe when you’d gone down. You had no way to know it was still safe and would still be safe by the time they got up there. “Well, you’re right in saying they had no way to know how reliable my information was.” Yes, that’s why for them you’re just another loudmouth idiot who wants to tell them how to do their job. “I’m not a loudmouth idiot!” Yeah, but the only responsible action for them is to treat you like one. “hmmm, hokay”
    Although I think that in such situations he is a misguided, well-meaning and therefore wrong-doing loudmouth idiot. It’s in principle a nice charater trait, he always wants to help, he always wants to set things right. The problem is he has no clue about when helping means to get out of the way and shut up.

  83. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    So, I’m coming to terms with the fact that except for my daughter I really don’t actually like being around anyone I’m related to. They treat me like a child, they behave in ways that increase my stress level up to, including, and even beyond mocking me intensively when I display any sign of being upset and throwing me under the bus in any stressful social interaction, they drag me into their obscenely petty and repetitive problems with each other, they really bring out the worst in me, and they studiously gaslight me about all of the above. Interacting with them almost invariably leaves me feeling, at best drained and waiting for the other shoe to drop and at worst humiliated, helpless, and on or past the verge of a complete meltdown.

    They are basically made of crystallized masses of “Not, Like, Abusive, Really, But…”

    But between child-raising assistance, MSA terms, employment entanglement and related issues, and the fact that said daughter either loves them and enjoys their company or is deep into Not, Like, Stockholm Syndrome, Really, But… the cost of actually disengaging from them and moving across the country and seeing them a few times a year like I fantasize about is so precipitous that it’s basically not an option.

    (Also, a recurrent theme in the gaslighting is that nothing they do is objectionable, the problem is all me, and I’m going to have the same sort of friction with anyone I become close to or interact with. Even though I have numerous examples of completely maturely and successfully, though mostly recently, resolving conflicts with people who don’t fall into the categories of “them,” and “condescending bureaucrat/clerk types”. But it still makes me worry).

    Any (non-factious…if anyone NEEDS to be told that) suggestions?

  84. says

    *big, big hugs*
    That sounds rather familiar. No pun intended.
    Let me guess, quite often they’re just joking and if you’re upset it’s just that you lack a sense of humor?
    And believe me, I know the “it’s really not us, it’s you” routine too well, up until and including telling me I was responsible for my mother’s drinking.
    Hard to give because I don’t know your exact circumstances, but I’ll try.
    -Set your boundaries. I know, this is especially difficult if you have to rely on their help, but it really gives back some agency.
    -At one point I recognised that conflicts with my mother would work like a dance. A well-rehearsed and old dance. She would say A, I would react B, then she would do C and by the end of it I would be exhausted and unhappy and probably crying. And apologizing. The point is, I cannot stop her from being an asshole. I cannot stop A. But I have control over B. I found the image of the dance helpful (I can work well in images and metaphors.) Somebody else can start the music, but they can’t force you to dance. I know, this looks superficially like “just ignore the bullies and they’ll go away”, but it isn’t.
    The “ignore the bullies” advice is given by people who have the power to change things but are too lazy to do anything. But you and I don’t have a principal to turn to who can actually stop them. So this is one thing to get back your own agency. It’s no magic cure-all. They will still do A and they might move on to C anyway, but recognising B for yourself and understanding that this is exactly what “they” want can help in coping with them.
    -Don’t worry too much about your daughter. Yes, she loves them, but she will deal with less contact. If your “theys” are like my “theys” they can actually also be very loving and warm people. Only that this is always hinched on a condition and I think it’s actually better that the kids don’t depend on “them” emotionally because it can only turn ugly. Because somehow I don’t believe that it’s me who made them abusive assholes and therefore this wouldn’t repeat itself with the kids.
    I drastically reduced contact from 4 times a week including overnight stays to once a week and only supervised. It was hard for #1 who is my mum’s favourite grandchild and that meant it was hard for us for a while, too, but they came to term with it. The children, that is, not my mother who still thinks she’s entitled to so much more.

  85. rq says

    I can only contribute *hugs* and hope for a better future, independent of toxic family.
    I have no useful suggestions. :(

  86. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Let me guess, quite often they’re just joking and if you’re upset it’s just that you lack a sense of humor?

    That and “you can’t expect everyone in the world to just walk on eggshells” and the like. Oh, and “frustration is something you just have to deal with.”

    I don’t know what my options are. I probably have some, maybe…

  87. says


    I don’t know what my options are. I probably have some, maybe…

    I’m pretty sure you do.
    But “they” don’t want you to think so. “They” make and keep you dependent. Not consciously, mind you, it’s not a conspiracy. But my mother was genuinly convinced that I needed her, uhm, input. In her eyes she was doing me a favour.

  88. rq says

    This video did not make me re-think anything. Because it’s the connectedness of being online that has helped me be less lonely. But then, I’m just an anecdote. :) And y’all are just a virtual romance of mine or something, right, so this doesn’t count as social interaction… Or something. (I’m kidding, of course – y’all are very important to me. ♥)

    Also, a new kind of bicycle helmet, designed by women (watch the short film – there’s a small dose of feminism in there!). It sure doesn’t look affordable, but it is innovative – airbags for biking!

    Whoever posted the xkcd Cassini what-if, you are awesome. Oh, that’s you, chigau. :) (Here, have some rum in your tea.)
    Anyway, I love the shifted world, and it has so much story-potential (esp. the Andes serving as a barrier to the Far South – imagine the story possibilities! What lies beyond the mountains? Fantastical landscapes and ancient civilizations? … Or just more ice?

  89. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to cicely for the car troubles. Ours is hanging on by a thread; it’s just scraped through its latest MOT with only a minor bit of work needed (phew! and even that was more than enough of an expense), but when it eventually gives up the ghost I think we’ll just have to be carless forevermore. I’m OK with that (though it takes much longer to get anywhere, of course, and it’s a pain in the arse with anything heavy to shift or on a cold late night when there’s nothing but a few night buses that you have to search for and wait ages), but my OH – whose health is not as good – is going to raise merry hell …
    Crudely, it’s good to see you. Hope you and family are coping, though I can’t begin to imagine how hard this must be. I’m so glad if the existence of the Lounge and its denizens gives you even the least scrap of comfort going through such an unbearable loss. So very young :-(((((( Many many hugs to you and yours.

  90. opposablethumbs says

    And a very large extra package of hugs for Azkyroth. Dog but I hate the damage that certain relatives can do/have done …

    All my sympathies. What Giliell said resonates with me – I haven’t managed to do this myself, but trying not to do B can maybe help to de-rail the usual dance, or at least make them dance it on their own …

  91. rq says

    So pissed off right now. Today is Remembrance Day in Canada, but it’s also Lāčplēša diena (Bear-ripper (national hero!) Day), in commemoration of the final battle for independence in 1919, that finally confirmed Latvia as an independent nation for the first time (although it declared itself independent a year earlier, the Germans and the Russians just wouldn’t leave…). Anyway, every year there’s a whole huge thing about everyone fought, alongside each other, blah blah blah sacrifice, remember, etc. And then the Latvian equivalent of Facebook goes and tries to rename this day ‘Men’s Day’ (in the style of international men’s day or women’s day). I just wrote them an angry letter complete with references indicating that women DID fight, that women received medals of honour for bravery and their contributions to the fight. And then the next thing I see is this picture (caption: “Hedy Lemar wasn’t just an acting icon in the golden age of Hollywood, but also a mathematician and scientist who invented a feature still in use in today’s bluetooth and wifi technologies” and the caption under that: “Can you even imagine such a thing??”), and it just pisses me off right now. (a) That women are so easily dismissed and erased from history (it’s really pissing me off to the point of tears, especially on a commemorative day like today); and (b) that women’s intelligence can so easily be brushed off with a ‘haha, hooodathunkit??’. So angry. And yes, I’ve been spam-commenting all the official letters the site has been publishing about today and how brave men are with comments about fighting women. There’s nothing much else I can do.

  92. rq says

    My issue is when B is a visceral emotional fear response difficult to train out of yourself… Avoidance seems like the best option, but when avoidance can’t be avoided…?

  93. opposablethumbs says

    Yes, rq, exactly. It’s very difficult to change things like that, and I for one haven’t done too well with it!

    Good for you for shouting out and not shutting up about the bullshit that is spouted today. It makes me angry that there’s such a lot of sly, insidious pushing to make this about glorifying war instead of emphasising its horrors; this should be about “never-again” (yeah, and about the war dead and dying around the world, including woman combatants and civilian casualties) and not about “our-glorious-dead”.

    I asked a friend earlier today, why is it patriotic to praise combatants but not patriotic to criticise political hawks?

  94. rq says

    Probably because there’s no visible blood in politics. Or something.
    Anyway, I got a reply about how it’s still a day for everyone, they just also want to rename it men’s day because why not and the old ‘men’s day’ (Soviet army day) is also full of bad memories, so why not this day??? So I told them why not this day… Why emphasizing men on a day meant for everyone, especially considering how women get erased out of history, is just rude and unthoughtful and completely disrespectful. I’ve gone public. *tee hee* Well, I made my ‘diary’ entry public-access and published in the forum-thingy-place, with their reply and my response to it. So I hope at least some people manage to read it and think about it a little bit.

  95. rq says

    And yes, I totally agree the glorification of war needs to go… Our brave heroes were most of them terrified and scared witless, doing something that needed to be done at the time, and it was horrible. And it seems like a trivialisation to make this day, which shouldn’t be merely a celebration (in a way it is, but it should definitely be also about never-again), into a day for gifts for the men we know. I mean, I have no problem with having a men’s day sometime (see?? I’m not a man-hating harpy!!), but to commercialise this day with gifts and Make Your Man Happy!! slogans is just… revoltingly stupid silly and digusting.

  96. opposablethumbs says

    Yes. I think it is highly likely that active service during WW2 contributed significantly to fucking up certain aspects of my father’s life even though he also deserved respect and appreciation for it, just like so many others. Same goes for my OH in respect of a different war. It would absolutely be a trivialisation to make it a superficial celebration; it should be a celebration, but one dressed in mourning for the harm done and one that recognises all those involved (not exclusively men even though they were the great majority of combatants).

  97. rq says

    even though they were the great majority of combatants

    I consider this to be a product of the times, especially in the WWI era during which Latvians fought for their independence (heck, during each and every era of the 20th century, really) – women had just got the vote, for heaven’s sakes, of course they won’t all go rushing to enlist, or even be welcome to enlist, or be ‘allowed’ to enlist by society and cultural constraints. So yes, sadly, the majority of combatants were men, but at the same time, a huge part of support functions (if not the majority), such as food provision, nursing, etc. was done by women, who oftentimes worked in no less dangerous conditions.
    Respect needs to go to everyone who has survived. And rememberance for the harm done, that most of all… Because sadly, without that remembrance, I doubt humankind would ever learn a lesson at all (maybe it would, I’m feeling a bit hopeless today).

  98. opposablethumbs says

    To clarify – my OH is not and has never been in the armed forces of this or any other country. In his case I was referring to being a survivor (unlike many of his friends) of a Dirty War.

    It also pisses me off the way governments use memorial day celebrations to push for approval of modern military policies in current wars. As if WW1 and WW2 somehow made it right for “us” to invade/use drones/attack others any way we like now.

  99. rq says

    I keep reading your ‘OH’ as ‘opposable half’. :D
    Yeah, the purpose of memorial day seems to have changed a lot since its inception. I guess that’s the fault of time, and the dying off of those who were there – and how memorial day seems to be more about WWI and WWII and less about all the other wars that have happened since (probably not the intention, but that’s how it’s usually portrayed). As if those were the only two conflicts worth remembering, whose veterans are worth honouring (at least, they seem the most singled out this time of year). Because that leaves the whole issue of war way in the past, and that makes modern military policy more justifiable – after all, that was all so long ago. Things like that don’t happen now. Right? Right? Right. And all those veterans returning from the Middle East don’t count for shit. Right.

  100. opposablethumbs says

    He is indeed very opposable ;-)

    Things like that don’t happen now. Right? Right? Right.

    Exactly. Long ago and far away. :-\

    off to run errands now (blech) – read you later ::waves:

  101. bassmike says

    crudely: Please accept my sympathies along with all the others.

    As regards the purpose of remembrance day. I prefer to think of it as an opportunity to reflect on war and how we can avoid it as much as possible in the future. Maybe if politicians took the same attitude the world would be a safer place for everyone.

    On a tangentially related subject: My orchestra had a concert on Saturday. It was a memorial concert for someone closely affilitaed with the orchestra, the timing also meant it could be a remembrance concert in general too. It was quite moving but slighly compromised by an ill-timed firework display taking place nearby. I had great sympathy with the singer trying to sing ‘Bring Him Home’ from ‘Les Mis’ while assorted bangs and crashes were going on outside.

    Also a while ago some of you may remember that I mentioned ‘blaming the tubas’. Well in this concert it became a legitimate excuse! During a piece called October I play the timps.Unfortunately the tubes were right in front of me on the same level. I’m not very tall and most of the time I was playing I couldn’t see the conductor for tuba player/bell. It’s not easy when the tempo is rubato. So any time I missed cues is entirely the tuba’s fault. :D

  102. rq says

    I’m sure the conductor will accept your written excuses in triplicate and punish the tubas (the tubes?) accordingly.
    And I don’t know, somehow, having bangs and crashes in the background of “Bring Him Home” might be fitting… In a weird, war kind of way.

    Good luck with the errands, opposablethumbs!

  103. rq says

    Official verdict: strep throat (or European angīna, as I like to say) for Middle Child, and a damn non-antibiotic-able throat virus for Youngest. At least their lungs are clear.

  104. rq says

    And small comfort: at least MSN bothered to post this photo tribute to women in war.

    Here’s a small happy news from the typhoon-devastated area. So much destruction, otherwise… (Funny, this typhoon has barely been in the news here, but things that happen in North America of similar magnitude or event type (Katrina, Sandy…) get lots n lots of coverage.)

  105. birgerjohansson says

    Interesting book….
    The Lights of Mankind: The Earth at Night as Seen from Space

    BTW what about a holiday honoring the millions deliberately starved to death, or starved to death because of ideology? 39 million Chinese, 4-6 million Ukrainans.

    And we have about a million excess deaths in Brazil in the 1980s when they did “austerity” to pay back loans* from the IMF/World Bank and closed down much of the health care for children, et cetera
    One million Indians starved to death during WWII because the colonial authorities forgot about the effects of inflation on farm workers with fixed pay.

    *Due to corruption much of those loans never reached the people they were supposed to benefit.

  106. birgerjohansson says

    “And yes, I totally agree the glorification of war needs to go…” See the Danish documentary “Armadillo” about ordinary Danish boys soldiering in Afghanistan. They were in this case serving a good cause, but it was evident the war changed them for worse.

    Speaking of women in war… Does the Japanese government still refuse to acknowledge responibility for the Korean sex slaves?
    Before he was president, “W” worked to help Japanese interest groups block moves to put pressure on the Japanese government on the issue. A douchebag of many talents.

  107. says

    Republicans seem to be so worried that might actually get fixed that they are resorting to subpoenas to get the techies to stop working. Darrell Issa is wearing his ass for a hat and demanding that others do likewise.

    House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is eager to hold a hearing on the Affordable Care Act’s website, getting answers directly from Todd Park, the White House’s chief technology officer. No problem, Park said last week, agreeing to testify the first week in December – after he’s done with the next round of tech fixes.

    For reasons no one has been able to explain, Issa has said that’s not good enough. Late Friday, the far-right committee chairman subpoenaed Park, insisting that he stop working on fixing the website and start talking to lawmakers about why the website isn’t working. If that seems nonsensical on its face, welcome to the world of House Republican policymaking.

    Indeed, this is the first time in quite a while that I can think of a committee reaching out to a potential witness, the witness agreeing to testify, and then having the committee subpoena him anyway, just for the sake of doing so.

    An interesting group has rallied to Park’s defense.
    A group of technology experts has a message for Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican Oversight Committee chairman who last week disregarded the White House’s insistence that U.S. technology chief Todd Park is too busy to testify about his efforts to repair

    “Let Todd Work,” the group proclaims on a website launched after Issa issued a subpoena for Park to appear before his panel on Wednesday….

  108. says

    Republicans continue to reach out to the Hispanic population, hoping to pull more voters into the conservative camp. … NOT. No, no way. Look at their actions, or in this case their inaction, instead of listening to their meaningless palaver about serving the needs of the Hispanics in the USA.

    As of a couple of weeks ago, comprehensive immigration reform faced long odds, but the bipartisan effort still had a pulse. The legislation, pending in the House after clearing the Senate in the early summer, was picking up GOP supporters, and a “business-conservative alliance” was moving forward with a “lobbying blitz” in the lower chamber.

    President Obama openly mocked the very idea of failure: “Obviously, just because something is smart and fair and good for the economy and fiscally responsible and supported by business and labor and the evangelical community and many Democrats and many Republicans – that does not mean that it will actually get done. This is Washington after all.”

    Indeed, it is. As Rachel noted on Friday night’s show, late on Friday afternoon the House GOP leadership confirmed that the chamber wouldn’t even try to work on the bill for the rest of the year.

    The third-ranking House Republican told immigration advocates that lawmakers won’t vote this year on the issue, confirming what many had long assumed.

    California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the majority whip, said in a meeting with immigration proponents that there weren’t enough days left for the House to act and he was committed to addressing overhaul of the nation’s immigration system next year. The congressman’s office confirmed what he said.
    McCarthy comments confirmed what Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) said a few days prior – the House could tackle immigration reform before the end of the year, but is choosing not to….

    Yeah, they are not going to vote on it next year either. The only way the House will vote on immigration is if enough Republicans are voted out to shift the balance of power, and to take away the leadership gavel away from John Boehner.

  109. says

    Which parts of the good ole USA are the worst for women? A swath of the south, Oklahoma and Texas of course, and a few outliers like South Dakota and Indiana, and … Utah.

    … Women in these states also were less likely to have leadership roles than women in the rest of the country. Some have no female representation in Congress, and many rank among the nation’s worst for female representation in state legislatures as well. And in most of these states, women were less likely than their male peers to hold a private sector management position.

    The nation’s worst states for women also received poor grades in women’s and family health. None of these states had paid family leave, temporary disability insurance or paid sick leave laws, and women in many of these states were among the most likely in the nation to be uninsured. …

    The article in “Money” presents a financial/economic status details that I’ve left out here.

    In order, from #1 to #10:
    Utah (Utah details on this page: Note the prominence of male-dominated politics in Utah, along with the dismal pay gap.)
    South Dakota

    A raise in the minimum wage, along with weakening the impact of religion, would go a long way toward raising the status of women in these states.

  110. says

    Yep, Doctor Martin MacNeill represents Moments of Mormon Madness:

    The case shocked the Mormon community of Pleasant Grove, 35 miles south of Salt Lake City, and captured national attention because the defendant was a wealthy doctor and a lawyer, a father of eight in a picture-perfect family and former bishop in his local congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Why are people still so shocked when their narcissistic, privileged, “called by God” leaders commit crimes?

  111. Desert Son, OM says

    Crudely Wrott at #596:

    Deepest condolences and gently tendered support to you at this time.

    Still learning,


  112. says

    Well, that’s one way to look at it. One way that’s completely wrong, but indicative of the mindset on the far-right.

    Tuesday, cowardly and/or ignorant Illinois lawmakers in defiance of truth, history, logic, compassion, and in some cases, their own religious traditions voted to legally recognize non-marital unions as marriages. In so doing, they have expanded the role of government in the lives of Americans, diminished religious liberty, rendered inevitable the legalization of plural unions, and harmed children in incalculable ways. They have given their stamp of approval on the practice of denying children’s inherent right to have both a mother and father. And they have assured that public schools will teach about sexual perversion in positive ways to children from kindergarten on up.

    Right Wing Watch link.

  113. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says


    I think I said so at the time, but let me say again that you get **all the support**.

    I will try over the next little bit to be extra loving towards the rest of the horde in my commenting and general demeanor, in memory of your daughter and respect for generous thoughts.

  114. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    DOCTOR WHO!!! (sorry for yelling, but this is important!)

    50th Anniversary episode will have number 10 and Rose. Yay!

    Unfortunately, 11 didn’t lose Clara on some far away planet. But we can’t have everything.

  115. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    So, I posted on my FB wall a half-joking half-despairing whine about how – unless I can line up a credit-worthy co-signer – I’ll have to withdraw from my nursing program.

    Within not too long, I had two separate people comment and say that they will examine their own finances and see if they can do that.

    Sometimes? People are neat.

  116. Esteleth, statistically significant to p ≤ 0.001 says

    Of course, much depends on a follow-up message from one or the other of them saying, “Yes, I can do that.”

    But here’s hoping.

  117. cicely says

    *hugs* for Azkyroth.
    Toxic family is no joking matter.
    How old is your daughter? Old enough to talk with about the problem? To notice that there is a problem?

    opposablethumbs, thanks for the *hugs*, and may it be a long time before your own car Dies the Final Death.
    Unfortunately, we don’t have the city bus option; it’s recently extended its coverage to a street a mere 2 1/2 miles (approximately) from our house…but there is no way in the Netherworldly Realm Of Your Choice that I can walk that far; and wheelchairing it that far is a problem because:
    1) this is the edge of the Ozarks; though gravity would help me down the hills, the ups present a bit of a problem. Controlled down-hilling would be another question entirely; and
    2) lack of sidewalks. Somehow, an uncontrolled downhill on the street (and did I mention that the bottom of the hill is a very busy road? I didn’t? Well, it is) and the pot-holes thereof, lacks appeal. Let alone with added snow or ice.
    In short, we would be thoroughly hosed.
    We had a Plan—and it was a good Plan; pay off my MRSA surgery, then save up that monthly amount for a new-to-us car.
    Unfortunately, the Plan did not survive contact with The Husband’s gall bladder.

    rq, I agree with what opposablethumbs said.

    Esteleth, I will continue to keep all tentacles crossed on your behalf.

  118. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    rq, opposablethumbs, carlie, CaitieCat, and Hekuni Cat: Thank you all for the advice. I have decided I’ll go with her once, next Sunday, and discuss with her what she thinks would be a “good-faith effort” to be converted, and then try to fulfill that standard if it is reasonable. You have all helped me quite a bit, thanks for being such wonderful bullies. ;)

  119. says

    Some Christian fundamentalist families in the USA have a bad track record when it comes to adopting children. Abuse, and sometimes even death is mixed with homeschooling and religious discipline. A sweeping statement that this is true in all evangelical homes that adopt children would not be true, but the evidence that it is true is far too many instances is cause for concern. Something needs to be done.

    On the night of May 11, 2011, sometime around midnight, 13-year-old Hana Williams fell face-forward in her parents’ backyard. Adopted from Ethiopia three years before, Hana was naked and severely underweight. Her head had recently been shaved, and her body bore the scars of repeated beatings with a plastic plumbing hose. Inside the house, her adoptive mother, 42-year-old Carri Williams, and a number of Hana’s eight siblings had been peering out the window for the past few hours, watching as Hana staggered and thrashed around, removed her clothing in what is known as hypothermic paradoxical undressing and fell repeatedly, hitting her head. According to Hana’s brother Immanuel, a deaf 10-year-old also adopted from Ethiopia, the family appeared to be laughing at her….

    …As many Christians in recent years have been urged by their pastors to care for orphans, an evangelical adoption culture has grown rapidly, with thousands of Christians attending annual adoption conferences and denominations like the Southern Baptist Convention encouraging members to adopt. It should go without saying that most devoutly religious adoptive parents, or conservative Christian parents generally, are not abusive. However, children adopted by some religious subcommunities—isolated homeschoolers with large families, deeply conservative beliefs about discipline and obedience, and a practice of adopting multiple unrelated children at once—may find themselves in families unprepared to give them the care they need.

    Rachel Coleman, a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University Bloomington and a homeschooling graduate, co-created the website Homeschooling’s Invisible Children, which tracks cases of extreme child abuse or death in the homeschooling community. Of the 125 cases the site has collected so far, 54—or 43 percent—are adoptees. Much of that she attributes to parenting styles among some fundamentalist homeschoolers that focus on breaking a child’s will to raise perfectly obedient children.

    “Adoptive parents coming from this point of view are looking at the child almost as an enemy to conquer. The idea is that there is a payoff: If you can win the battle, you save the child’s soul,” says Coleman. In such a setup, families may be reluctant to admit failure or ask for help, and everything from everyday disobedience to serious problems that need psychological treatment may be instead viewed as “sin issues” to be addressed with religion….

  120. rq says

    I make sure to polish up the glass on my Bully Certificate – Beginner every evening (with my rag woven from threads of doucheweasel skins). ;)
    I hope things work out for you!

  121. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Got a delicate situation going on. The Redhead, after a (reportedly) sleepless night, is finally dozing (with a lady like very small snore) in her wheelchair. Dinner is ready. I think I’ll let her sleep….

  122. says

    Sure. I was just wondering out loud if the campaign suggested by Ingdigo Jump would be open to characters created for other campaigns – it would be up to that individual DM, as you say, and I don’t know if that DM would be interested in that sort of work.

    One idea I had for a campaign would have universe hopping as it’s central conceit, so if people wanted to use old characters there’s a built in way for that to work

  123. Portia, in absentia says

    Thank you so much for all the sweet birthday wishes last week. I’ve been remiss getting to making this comment because of a lot of factors, not least my grandfather’s death a week before my birthday, but rq tipped me off to how nice you all were to send wishes my way, so thank you. It made me smile at a time when I really needed it. ImaginesABeach, carlie, Ogvorbis, cicely. Morgan, Crip Dyke, Beatrice, Dalillama (how can you always sense when I need a hug?), Giliell, rq, opposablethumbs, Tony, Hekuni Cat, thank you all for the wishes : ) I miss you all and all the rest of you.

    Crip Dyke – Your kind words gave me a boost, too. It makes me feel really glad that I could be helpful and that you made it through the hell that is the first year of law school.

    Morgan – the job is going really well, aside from minor adjustment issues. There are four other attorneys, all men, and they are all pretty good to work with. The support staff is 50 something year old women who are understandably a bit resistant in some areas to taking orders requests from me. I tread lightly and try to figure out how to be in a managerial position for the first time in my life. The work is challenging, the schedule isn’t too demanding, and the people are interesting. I have a lot of freedom with cases and fee-setting. I do feel like I am never home, but of course the last few weeks have been just a mile-a-minute with the funeral being two blocks from house and no other family living here for 300 miles…I didn’t know 30 people could fit in my house until I had them all for dinner the night before the funeral. It was pretty wonderful to see them all. Yesterday was the second memorial family gathering, this time in Michigan. So…I’m catching my breath and putting away laundry and doing dishes, and (trying at) catching up with you all a little. I miss you!

  124. Hekuni Cat, MQG says

    cicely – I’m so sorry about your car trouble. *hugs and chocolate*

    Crudely – Please know you that you have my deepest condolences. Take whatever time you need to find your voice and know that our thoughts are with you during this time. You are most definitely not alone. *many hugs and much chocolate*

    Azkyroth – I hope you are able to avoid most of your toxic family interactions. I really don’t have any other thoughts on how to resolve your problems. Dealing with family can be some of the most trying times any of us can live through. *hugs and chocolate* Good luck.

  125. says

    cicely, my sympathies on the car trouble. I ended up donating mine to the Canadian kidney foundation last year, after I simply couldn’t afford to fix it anymore. I’m lucky that I live in a place with good (and getting better) public transportation. There’s a bus with a stop about 30 metres from my bedroom window, which gets to the central terminal in about ten minutes’ drive. From there I can get anywhere in the region, usually with only one bus, sometimes with two for the further suburbs.

    Crudely, just my sympathies. I find myself hoping that none of the kids who’ve called me Mama or Mum or Nana end up going before me, because it feels like there’s little crueler than having to see one’s children go first.

    Sorry for not having more in mind of what’s happened in the thread, my meds really mess with my short-term memory, and I don’t have the spoons to go back and re-read the ones that have slipped through the sadly-coarse sieve I now have for a memory. :/

    *hugs* of the usual bent and wobbly kind from the old lady in the corner with the bright blue hair.

  126. Hekuni Cat, MQG says


    One idea I had for a campaign would have universe hopping as it’s central conceit, so if people wanted to use old characters there’s a built in way for that to work

    This sounds very interesting. I would love to learn more.

  127. says

    Back online thanks to Tony’s generosity here. Thank you all for the kind words and good wishes. Somewhat ‘rupt, but
    *hugs* for Crudely
    Sympathies to Esteleth and others going through financial difficulties, I feel your pain.

    Hi again, Portia! *pouncehugs*

    Azkyroth, hope you can manage to deal with your asshole family as much as possible.

  128. thunk: Cars only, people not allowed says

    Bawww hi!

    I felt awesome today, letting go of the preconceptions that I was a “freak”. and it was absolute euphoria. I don’t think I’ve ever been this spontaneous since before male puberty started.

    With this, I might just have the courage to actually use the name I picked for myself…

  129. rq says

    That is wonderful! I hope you can hold on to that feeling today (now) and in the future!
    And good luck.


    [warning] Discussion of child illness and parental fear reaction to it [/warning]
    A couple of years ago I spent a night listening the Middle Child try to breathe through his swollen throat. Did the same thing last night with Youngest, wondering if I should or should not call the paramedics, just like that first time. Goddammmittt I hate you, virus or strep or whatever you are living in his mucal membranes right now. Living on the edge of fear is not how moments in the rest of my life were supposed to go! (Did not even try to pray, though – held Husband’s hand for a while and held the baby and just waited. Can’t say it would have made a difference. Having the previous experience made this one only marginally more bearble.)
    Alternatively, I know Middle Child is feeling better, since I’m walking around in an unrested stupour with emergent headache and potential pre-fever, and he’s running around happily yelling ‘Look at what I can do!’ So thank science for antibiotics. I think?

  130. opposablethumbs says

    Yay, thunk! Hope you have lots more helpings of awesome like that, with a sprinkling of euphoria on top.

    Portia! ::attempts pouncehug:: Pouncehug! … did I get that right?
    Work sounds pretty great – and it sounds like it was a good family gathering, in a way, despite the occasion. Good as in, there seems to be a lot of good, loving supportive people in your family. Hope everyone is OK and getting through it together.

  131. blf says

    Women who have abortions deserve to die, doctor claims:

    A Melbourne doctor thinks women who have terminations should die — and regularly breaks the state’s abortion laws

    Dr ‘K’ [about a scenario where a woman died from peritonitis after a back-alley abortion] responded by writing: “Yep. And that’s exactly what she deserved for trying to kill her own child.

    “I have a 3 month old baby. If someone snuck into his room with a knife and tried to kill him, but accidentally slipped over and stabbed themselves through the heart, that would be exactly what they deserve.

    “If a man attacked my wife with a gun, but in the process the gun misfired and blew his head off, that would be his just deserts.”

    Dr ‘K’ then quotes the Bible: “He who lives by the sword shall perish by the sword.”

    Right. Hypothetical attempted criminal acts which are potential Darwin Award candidates are somehow equivalent-to, and justify, a desperate person dying from a botched procedure performed unsafely because you, “Dr” ‘K’, refused to attempt (or refer to someone who would attempt) a safer version due to the oral legends of drunken Stone Age shepherds.

  132. birgerjohansson says

    US govt. in favor of polluting the Amazon basin: “U S warns Ecuador: scrapping bilateral treaty could cost you American investors”
    But I am sure the Obama apologists will come up with some explanation for that, too.

    Damn, I misses out on comment 666.

    I think I will photoshop a picture of that Melbourne doctor on top of a guy burning Qurans… and mail it to the Iranian Guardian Council. Let the whackos eat each other.

  133. blf says

    ‘Growing up’ behaviour too often labelled antisocial, says police chief:

    Jacqui Cheer, the chief constable of Cleveland [UK], and the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead on children and youth, said society was becoming “quite intolerant” of young people in public spaces, and the public and police were too ready to label “what looks like growing up to me as antisocial behaviour”.

    She said police and public had to understand that antisocial behaviour “is not just being annoying or being in the wrong place at the wrong time or there’s more than three of you”. And she said she feared that new legislation would mean treating more childhood behaviour as antisocial.

    Under Theresa May’s new antisocial behaviour bill, which received its second reading in the House of Lords last week and is expected to be law by Christmas, children as young as 10 can receive injunctions for “causing nuisance”, and older children can be jailed for breaching such injunctions.

    Cheer told the all-party parliamentary group on children that it was not surprising that children gathered in the streets when a lot of the places they could go had been closed down or fenced off.

    “What’s antisocial to one person is just what I did and what many young people do,” said Cheer. “We’ve closed down a lot of places that people are allowed to go to. We’ve fenced off school grounds, I get it, but where do people collect? When you’re in a crowd of three or four it can get a bit noisy, is that antisocial? When you’re walking down a street and might be having a bit of a laugh and joke, is that antisocial?”

  134. Portia, in absentia says

    Big hugs and lots of love for Crudely.

    Hiya Dalillama and opposablethumbs and Hekuni Cat …brace yourselves for my patented *returnpouncehug*

    Azky – *hugs* People suck :( I have about one family member that does that shit…I can’t imagine feeling that way when you’re around everyone in your family. :(

    rq – *hugs*

    Hugs all around, in fact.

  135. bassmike says

    rq I completely sympathise with the heartbreak of having to listen to your child struggling to breathe. I hope everything sorts itself out soon. My daughter managed to get a cold straight after coming out of hospital, which resulted in us doing the same as you. She seems much better now.

    Also Joss Whedon FTW!

    blf so much for a sympathetic bedside manner. How can a doctor be so callous?