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


    I don’t know what the best thing to say would be, but I love you and I’m sorry for what you’re going through and I’ll be back around to listen to anything you need to say.

  2. blf says

    … chain smoke.

    That would be impressive. It’s quite difficult to ignite iron or steel, and once ignited burns so hot it melts concrete. Ever hear of a burning bar? That’s basically an iron rod / girder which has been ignited. I imagine a burning chain would be even more difficult to control. And that there will be smoke.

    The mildly deranged penguin uses them to roast marshmallows. Well, vaporize marshmallows. And the stick. And the neighborhood.

  3. blf says

    … at the end it turned into a really fat guy with glasses, proving that I am the logical endpoint of evolution

    The most “highly evolved” lifeform is gloves?

  4. opposablethumbs says

    Oh shit, shit – Portia, I’m so sorry. I didn’t see your 494 before I posted my comment. I’m so sorry.

  5. blf says

    Smithsonian Scientists Recreate Earth as it Was 10,000 Years Ago

    Non-existent? It’s only 6Ky old…  ☺

  6. opposablethumbs says

    I mean, just that it’s even worse than I thought, from what you had said earlier. I admire you so much for what you do, for how you work so hard to make a difference. I – what Crip Dyke said. I hope you will be all right.

  7. Portia, walking stress ball says

    Azkyroth, Dalillama, opposablethumbs, CD, thank you. Hugs are needed and welcome.

    CD, I love you too. Thank you so much.

    That means a lot to me. Thank you for the reminder that there’s purpose to this. These times are hard.

    About three weeks ago she and I went to court and won her custody battle. She was so happy she cried, hugged me, hugged the bailiff and did a little dance.

    I wish there was something I could have done. Well, really, I’m punishing myself for all the little things I could have done but didn’t.

    Thanks for the love and support, everybody.

  8. cicely says

    Y’know, Brain, we’d be a lot better rested if you would just quit obsessing about trivial shit, like faulty gall bladders, while we’re trying to sleep.

    *hugs* for Crip Dyke.

    Tony!, I believe that the “marketed to women” items tend to be pricier. I think the reasoning is Men—>no frills; Women—>luxury model.
    I’m glad that you have E in your life, too.


    Alligators: we should give them opposabole thumbs, so they can really start climbing (in terms of genetic tweaking this should be relatively doable).

    Excellent idea! My arborigators shall have thumbs! And they shall hunt as a pack flock, in a strategically-coordinated fashion! And possibly have glide-membranes between their fore-and-aft limbs as well!
    :) :) :)


    um … no. I really, really don’t think so. ;-)

    But it depends on what you want them for!

    *welcomebackhugs* for Giliell.

    *soft&warm&fuzzyhugs* for Portia.
    Oh, no.
    I am so, so sorry!
    :( :( :( :( :(

  9. Portia, walking stress ball says

    Tony and cicely:

    Thank you.

    Luckily (sort of)I’m leaving work early anyway today, to go to the dentist. I’ve developed a stress headache from crying so much.

    I’ve been fairly useless today, let’s see, my time sheet shows I have billed .2 hours. Sigh.

    But soon I’ll be home in comfy clothes with S to make tea for me and rub my neck and give me all the hugs. He’s been really nice. She was his client too, before she came to me. Actually, he referred her. The nature of his representation was much less personal, so he’s not as affected I don’t think, which is allowing him the emotional energy to be extra supportive and kind.

  10. ajb47 says

    Portia, walking stress ball, sorry you have such a difficult thing to deal with. I hope you enjoy the comfy clothes, the tea and all the hugs.

  11. says

    *big soft gentle hugs*

    Our respective terms are really not synchronized (to the neverending annoyance of people who are doing a term abroad, because it often means two terms)
    I still have a report to write about the internship and then I have to do another internship. I’m curious about the instructor. His mails are very formal.

    hugs right back

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

    I’m glad things are getting better for you.


    I’m so sorry. *hugs*
    Take care.

  13. cicely says

    Oh, nononono, Tony!; the arborigators aren’t for opposablethumbs!
    They’re for Player Characters!
    Frequency: Only the once, and By Surprise
    No. Appearing: 2d4 per PC levels
    Move: very fast
    Alignment: Lawful Hungry

  14. Portia says

    Thanks ajb47 and carlie

    I’m going to the police station to make the detective aware that I am available for information if I can help at all.

    Is this real life?

    It feels so surreal.

    Just a couple days ago I was thinking “You watch too much TV. This guy isn’t going to hurt you, don’t be so dramatic.”

    It’s not TV. It’s real life. I can’t get my head around it.

  15. rq says

    But remember, it’s not your fault – there’s only so much you can do, and those assholes out there really take initiative sometimes. :( This is as close as I’ll come to saying outright that some people should be better off not alive anymore. Which (haha) is just so subtle, innit?
    And I’m so sorry it’s happening to you. But I know you’re still a rockstar lawyer, even if only by your emotional and personal reaction to this tragedy. You are a hero to me.
    And yes, real life sucks sometimes. :( I see the dark underbelly sometimes in work, too, and it’s full of a lot of WTF? moments, as in – This isn’t a movie? But it’s life. Sadly.


    And here I was going to complain that the exhaustion tonight is just overwhelming. Now I really am going to go cry in a corner somewhere for a while. With Husband. This is a together-exhaustion. Gads, I wish…

  16. carlie says

    From Pteryxx’s link on strategic retreats:

    It usually starts with a lack of sleep. Then I notice I’m only eating carbohydrates, and mostly things which require less than 10 minutes to prepare.

    *looks down at bowl of plain ramen I’m finally consuming for lunch after 3pm, while trying to frantically schedule a meeting between 15 people as soon as possible to get our voices heard on x issue at work*

    *tired sigh*

  17. cicely says

    Dalillama, I considered Neutral Hungry, but decided that I wanted them to be a more cooperative, tactical, meticulously-planning kinda beastie. With smarts.

  18. carlie says

    (clarification – absolutely NOT trying to make equivalencies between situations at all, just struck me as funny that I was literally slurping wheat noodles as I read about symptomatic eating fast carbs)

  19. says

    *De-lurks to say:*

    Portia, I’m so very, very sorry. *offers supportive hugs*

    Giliell, I’m glad things are better for you. *offers welcome-back hugs*

    *Refills basket of hugs on Lounge coffee table* Anyone else in need of hugs, please help yourselves.

    *re-lurks before I sneeze all over the Horde*

  20. opposablethumbs says

    Thank you, Tony! That is exactly what I was hoping for (i.e. not to be given to any alligators) :-)

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

    Chocolate will be on discount next week.
    That’s just about the only worthwhile thing about Valentine’s day, as far as I’m concerned.

    I will probably feel very single tomorrow, thanks to everyone yapping about stupid valentines all day.

  22. Nutmeg says

    Beatrice and Tony: Oooh! I’ll be single too! We can have a virtual party!

    I don’t mind the singleness much, since I chose to take a break from dating while I advance my career, get un-burned-out, and work on my anxiety. (All going tolerably well, so I feel good about this choice.) But I do mind the world’s “you must be in a relationship!” attitude, and the feeling of being surrounded by straight people is always very strong at this time of year.

  23. says

    A PublicMind study by Farleigh Dickinson University found that it was better to watch no news at all than it was to watch FOX News. Researchers asked respondents questions about domestic policy. People who watched FOX News got 1.04 out of 5 questions right, while people who watched no news at all got 1.22 questions right. The most informed people were NPR listeners, who got 1.51 questions right. They were followed by Sunday Morning talk viewers and Jon Stewart watchers.

    Viewers were also asked four questions about international affairs. There were similar numbers — FOX viewers were the least informed, doing worse than those who had watched no news at all. At the top, the difference was even more striking; NPR was at the top with a score of 1.97. The next highest competitor was 1.6.

    One news source popular at Daily Kos, MSNBC, did not do so well. They were third from worst in domestic questions and next to worst in international questions, placing lower than people who did not watch the news at all. This study suggests that watching partisan sources does not help one get well informed about the issues of the day.


  24. The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical says

    Valentine’s Day is the anniversary of my dad’s funeral. Since he killed himself when I was on the cusp of puberty, I have never given a crap about the day beyond that and never spent it with a romantic partner. (And will continue this trend, as my partner isn’t here now.) I’ll be making hot fudge pudding mug-cake in the microwave and writing in my mother’s basement with my cat since I’ve run out of propane and can’t afford more and all the electric heaters around here are sold out.

    I hope none of you get too down, single people. You don’t deserve to feel excluded somehow. It’s just a stupid day. People are born and die and poop during it like any other.

  25. Louis says

    Roses are red,
    Lillies are white,
    I’m off down the pub,
    V-day is shite!

    May you all have completely unmemorable Valentine’s days….unless you don’t want to.


  26. opposablethumbs says

    Hugs to all those for whom the 14th is an extra-social-pressure day (and hugs for those who enjoy it too, but you may have some already and I’d kind of like to share lots with those who don’t). Eh, I wish it didn’t fall on a school day. That makes it just that bit more harsh for school students, if they don’t have any particular reason to enjoy it, because it’s bad enough being a self-conscious teenager without adding even more things to be socially pressured about – like having a romantic partner, when you don’t.

    Extra hugs to The Mellow Monkey.

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

    I don’t really feel pressured any more, all the talk bothers me because it reminds me of my loneliness.

  28. says

    Tony at 539, I am chortling over the PublicMind study that demonstrated that watching Fox News actually has a negative effect on one’s awareness of state, national and international news. Better no news than Fox News. Then I saw the results for MSNBC. Arrgghh. I guess I better stick with my habit of reading/viewing diverse sources.

    One of my sources points out that we should all be glad if we are not in Kansas any more.

    When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. Businesses that provide public accommodations – movie theaters, restaurants – can turn away gay couples at the door.

    And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. As I’ve noted before, anti-gay businesses might as well put out signs alerting gay people that their business isn’t welcome.

    Slate link.

    Just to be clear, the Kansas bill is not yet law. HB 2453 passed the Kansas House by a vote of 72-49. Now the bill is on its way to the Senate. This bill is being described in “religious freedom” terms, but it is really an odious license to discriminate.

    If this bill becomes law, public-sector employees (government employees) in Kansas can also use religion to discriminate. Think about the effect on Department of Motor Vehicle offices, on police departments, in state-funded libraries, etc.

    The Kansas Senate is solidly Republican. The Governor who would sign the bill is Sam Brownback, a Republican who stated many times that homosexuality is immoral and is a violation of both religious doctrine and natural law.

  29. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Mellow Monkey

    since I’ve run out of propane

    Yeah, I heard about that on the radio news on my way home. Evidently the supply is back up, enough the wholesale price is dropping. Distributors may still be struggling until they can refill their tanks, and refill those of their customers.

  30. says

    *hugs* for MM, Tony!, Beatrice and others. I have an appointment with the gastroenterologist tomorrow.

    In a game some while back, I had Jagargators, the creations of a biologically inclined mage villain. They were, as the name implies, a hybrid of jaguars and alligators. I had a very nice illustration that I got my sister to do, I have no clue what happened to it though. I was also trying to introduce badgerscorpions, but that was apparently a bridge too far.

  31. Portia says

    I went and gave a statement to the detectives handling the case. They were professional and interested in what I had to say.

    Facebook added about 50 gender options for profiles. Pretty neat. I was pleased to see that “Cisgender Woman” was among them….because my gender should not be the default, I like the option of specifying.

  32. glodson says

    @Tony: that Bill Cosby post got me hard too. I hadn’t heard those allegations before. It is stunning. And there’s this dizzying part of me that wants it to not be true, because I have pleasant memories of him as an entertainer. It is making me sick, experiencing that. And it isn’t because I disbelieve the allegations, but because I want my fictional version of the man to be real.

    It isn’t, and he’s an asshole.

    It is entirely selfish of me to lament the loss of happy memories of the entertainer in light of the reality in the face of the man’s actions. Maybe that’s part of why that post hit hard, it got me to realize that I can easily be as guilty of taking part in the rape culture if I’m not careful, hit me hard to realize how insidious rape culture is. And it hit me hard to realize that this asshole will likely never pay for those crimes. It is sickening.

    @Portia: I got nothing but hugs.

  33. cicely says

    *handing Anne D a tissue*

    rq, the domestication of maize has fascinated me ever since I first read the tentative theorizing about teosinte as its base-stock. (Popular press; I’m sure the professionals heard about it long before that!) This approach is something that never would have occurred to me to try; now I’d like to see it done more widely.
    Knowledge Is Good.

    Mmmmm…Cheap Chocolate Day!

    *hugs* for Mellow Monkey.

    Dalillama, I think one of my best creature creations was the displacer flamebat.
    Well, either that, or the lycanthopy-vectoring mosquito.

    How Amazon ships bubble wrap.


  34. says

    Portia — Holy shit. *offers tea & a fuzzy blanket*

    re: IUD

    Thanks, guys. I’m leaning towards going the IUD route. Mom’s concerned about it not working. I just want birth control I don’t have to worry about every 12 weeks & trying to schedule the shot precisely AND get it scheduled on a day I have transportation.

  35. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It sounds like the IUD is probably the best bet then, if implants aren’t an option.

  36. says

    Well behind in keeping up ..

    Portia I’m so sorry.
    Giliell I’m glad you’re back
    Mellow Monkey *hugs*

    Today is spouse’s bday. Chocolate cake awaits her return from teaching night class. Spawn is having a hard time waiting …

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

    USA, spreading good ideas as usually.

    “Let’s privatize Croatian prisons! If it’s working in US, why wouldn’t it work here?”
    – said by the owner of the biggest security company here
    (a large number of whose employees probably do belong in prison, but on the other side of the cell door)

    The article does a surprisingly good job of explaining why this is really not working in US, from the human rights angle.

  38. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Sitting here at work listening to this.

    It’s hot here, and humid, exactly like it was those couple of days we recorded these. It’s putting my head in a very strange place. I seem to be oscillating between the graying ex-pat father I am now and the young, enthusiastic musician I once was. Very strange, must be what an electron in superpostion feels like. Quick, somebody observe me!

    Anyway, if you wish to hear some of the music that scraped off my high frequency hearing feel free to down load them. It’s a zip file of 16 tracks recorded over a couple of days, no overdubs, no vocals. I encourage you to make up your own words, keeping in mind that all of these were used in a rock opera about Marshall Mcluhan who encodes himself in a vat of nano computers to foil a Faustian bargain he’d made with Cuthulu. Uh yeah… it made sense at the time.

  39. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says


    Conservative columnists being what they are, it already sounds like wishful thinking. >.>

  40. rq says

    *observes FossilFishy*
    Mmhm, young enthusiastic musician, who happens to be an ex-pat father, just as I thought!
    Can’t see any grey from here, though. Must not be there.

  41. says

    Good morning

    *chrystalized ginger for Anne D.*

    Well, privatized prisons are a very good idea for people who own prisons

    Now, since this is again a discussion in Germany right now:
    Can some of the wise people here please expalin to me what homosexual sex-acts are? Because people are afraid that with more inclusive sex ed etc. kids will be taught them.
    I mean, maybe I should go back to school, or maybe I’ve been doing heterosexual sex wrong all the time, but I’m currently lacking ideas about sex acts that are exclusively homosexual…

    I’m also right here with the Valentine’s Day hate. I hate it almost as much as mother’s day. Both are based on the worst heteronormative patriarchal ideas about women and relationships paired with vomit-inducing consumerism.
    I have no love for the idea that it’s OK to ignore me as a person as long as I get stupid flowers twice a year.*

    *Which I’m not. Neither ignored nor getting flowers.

  42. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Alejandrito. That shall be the name.

    (~2oz each Jose Cuervo Gold and cheapo Creme de Cacao, and 4oz nonfat milk.)

    Also, I made a version of Hangman’s Blood I have yet to name:

    (25mL each: Bombay Sapphire, Jameson’s, Myers Dark Rum, Kirkland Signature Tequila Anejo, C&J Brandy, white port. 2oz Tawny Port. 8oz Imperial Stout of Choice.).

    (…”Hangman’s Joke?”)

    Or… (“Better Than It Sounds #13?”)

  43. rq says

    I like getting flowers, just not on valentine’s day. The romance becomes too forced, far worse than a spontaneous (or even non-spontaneous but voluntary) demonstration of affection.
    If they made valentine’s day all about marzipan in dark chocolate, however… I might go for that. On the following day, though, when it’s all on sale.

  44. says


    We’ve got lumps of it round the back.

    chocolate covered marzipan?

    I like flowers, but not getting them because I have no place to put them.
    I also much prefer some small “Aufmerksamkeiten” (a wonderful German word that means “small gifts”) during the year, but I’ve come to accept that Mr. is just no good for those kind of things (apart from buying plushies at Ikea) and that it doesn’t mean that he doesn’t love me.
    He will happily buy me my favourite chocolates if i ask him to (and if you’re wondering why I’m not buying them myself: My usual shopping is done at a store that doesn’t have them while his is done at one that has them, so I don’t need to go to an extra store just for the chocolates)

  45. chigau (違う) says

    going to bed
    good night
    good morning
    good afternoon

    happy favored portion of the diurnal cycle

  46. rq says

    But chigau you never answered about those lumps out back! Are they marzipan in dark chocolate?

    Yup, Husband isn’t one for small gifts, either. I suppose I’ll just have to accept that he loves me anyway. :) On the other hand, yes, if I ask him, he’ll buy it for me (for, strangely enough, the exact same reason you mention). Except for socks, he promised me socks back in autumn and still hasn’t delivered them. I’ll assume they’re very special socks.

  47. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says

    Sorry, sorry, sorry! That link is indeed an auto-download. I should have warned about that. I’ll also add that any hearing damage and/or loss of respect (such as it is) for me is strictly your own lookout.

    I’ve been very lucky with the coming in of my grey hair rq. So far it’s happened symmetrically in my beard only. From a distant it could be even be confused for a more blond beard than my head hair. Mind you, I’m not too fussed about it. Seems to me that the only way to go grey gracefully is to accept it.

    MARZIPAN!!! I can eat my own body weight in the stuff, daily.

  48. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    Small gifts are good. Things I’m getting my girlfriend: a CostCo pack of almond flour (phonetic pun, plus she’s doing the Low Carb thing and likes baking) and a bottle of pumpkin cider :3

  49. Nick Gotts says


    Just to add to the pile of sympathies – what a terrible thing, not only for the victim and children, but for you.

  50. Nick Gotts says

    TW in case anyone is dentistphobic.


    Had two teeth out yesterday – both at the back, fortunately, but that means I’ve now lost 1/4 of my original allocation. The second one took a good 20 minutes to dig out in chunks – no pain thanks to excellent local anesthesia, but keeping your gob wide open that long while someone yanks and hammers within and blood oozes from the first socket, is not fun – just in case anyone was thinking it might be.

  51. rq says

    Here’s a poem for Valentine’s day. I’m pretty sure you can substitute [beverage of choice] for wine and adjust for colour.

    13 portraits of homeless people as they want to be seen… Such a little thing, but so eye-opening.

    Posting your cancer scars to Facebook will lose you a lot of friends. But I think it is an amazingly courageous thing to do.

    It was silver in Vancouver, and bronze in Sochi – but this medal was worth a whole lot more. Latvia has its own Terminator. Go brothers Šics! (And yes, that’s how you pronounce it.)

    So nervous today: runs 1 and 2 in men’s skeleton. The truth will out!

    Here’s to a quick recovery! I have to say, tooth work is completely outside of my area of sympathy/understanding, as I’ve never had any actual invasive tooth work done. Your fortitude is laudable. :)

    I’m with you on the marzipan. It’s healthy, too – almonds are good for yo! And so is dark chocolate. Win!

  52. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    I wasn’t.

    Among my few regrets is that I never actually got the chance to drop my two upper wisdom teeth (or, what was left of them >.>) on a professor’s desk, in front of the class, and announce, “sorry about [ASSIGNMENT]. I was…busy.” D:

  53. birgerjohansson says


    *safe hugs*

    — — — — — — — — — —

    The language of Valentines -so that is why I get tons of bath salts!
    — — — — — — —

    Cure for love: Chemical cures for the lovesick If I had had stuff like that as a teenager, I would have concentrated more on school work!
    — — — — — — —

    Even the Wall Street Journal is upset about this:
    “$2,832 a year for a single parent is too high a salary for Alabama Medicaid” – What the hell?
    — — — — — — —

    The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet

  54. carlie says

    Soft hugs and ice cream for Nick. Ouch. Child 1 is on the tail end of recovering from having all 4 cut out of his jaw (along with another extra one in front). I remember when i got mine out as a teen, that night was the first time I ever passed out, swooning down from a standing position and all. (be sure to stay hydrated!!!)

    I like getting flowers, just not on valentine’s day. The romance becomes too forced, far worse than a spontaneous (or even non-spontaneous but voluntary) demonstration of affection.

    I taught Spouse so well that I HATED FLOWERS ON VALENTINE’S DAY that unfortunately he carried that lesson over and I didn’t get any flowers at all for years and years. It took a long time to get that I love them at any other time of the year.

  55. bassmike says

    All, Hi! I have a moment to post.
    Portia *hugs* sympathy. That’s a terrible thing to happen.
    Nick dental pain is one of the worst. I hope that you recover quickly and that it doesn’t mentally scar you.
    Regarding 14th February: have some sympathy for my wife. It’s her birthday today. We’d love to be able to go out as a couple and celebrate, but of course everything is geared toward Valentine’s Day so it takes that individual aspect out of the occasion. Even trying to get flowers without hearts all over the packaging is tough!
    Personal update: My father is still around. He’s now on the waiting list for a local hospice, mainly because of the strain it’s putting on my mother rather than his infirmity.
    I’m struggling emotionally/mentally with the whole thing at the moment. Mainly what’s happening with Dad, but also my daughter’s going through an ‘I only want mummy’ phase at the moment. And it affects me more than I’d like. I understand that this phase will pass, but I’m vulnerable now and it hurts.

  56. says

    *big fluffy hugs* and Happy Birthday to your wife

    wisdom teeth
    Hey, I was already on Pharyngula when I got the teeth of Cthulu removed. The second one was no problem, but the first one got so inflamed I needed a general because local anaesthetics didn’t work anymore. Everything was fine once they were out. I think the kid were very happy about the uneaten ice cream

    Oh dear, I think I made the editorial department of the biggest German news broadcast cry. No cookies for me. We’re still discussing whether women in Germany should be allowed to buy Plan B without going to the doctor and saying sorry for having had sex, and last night there was a debate in parliament.
    They quoted the conservative healthcare guy (this medication is not like eating smarties!!!), they quoted the social dem healthcare guy (who was sensible, but still) and the doctors’ association guy (doctors make about 20 million a year from writing the prescriptions, guess what his position is) and I tweeted that they were apparently unable to let a single woman speak about women’s healthcare. That tweet got so many retweets that they noticed and told me “It’s not our fault they’re all guys, we’re just reporting!”
    And unless I can get evil feminazi girlscout cookies, I get no cookies

  57. rq says

    I hope the hopsice has space for him, and hopefully the move will put less physical strain on everyone (I doubt the emotional strain will be lessening anytime soon).
    And a happy birthday to your Wife! I hope you get a chance to celebrate accordingly. (My bestfriend’s son was born on February 14, and she didn’t like that one bit – mostly because of the overshadowing rather than any emotional attachment to V-Day. But he’s only turning 5 this year, so I doubt the overlap is bothering him yet.)
    Yes, the ‘only mummy’ phase will pass, and may just turn into a ‘only daddy’ phase… In the meantime, there’s not much else to do or say except that it will pass. :( And to be there.

  58. bluentx says

    I don’t care for commercialized ‘holidays’ like Valentines Day either… but this got to me on my FB page:

    “To all my single male & female friends. If no one else loves you, I do. Happy Valentine’s Day!! Hugs!! xoxoxox”

    I’m a sentimental softie, I know, so sue me!

    Happy b-day to Ms. bassmike and Happy VDay to your parents!

  59. rq says

    *hands Giliell evil feminazi girl scout cookies*
    You deserve those, and congrats on getting noticed, I suppose??

  60. bluentx says

    And unless I can get evil feminazi girlscout cookies, I get no cookies

    I never say this but…LMAO! Thank You, Giliell!

    And goodnight/good morning from Texfacepalmastan.

  61. opposablethumbs says

    Happy spouse’s b’day, dontpanic, and I hope you all enjoy the chocolate cake (mmm chocolate cake mmmm!!!)

    Ugh, Beatrice, so Croatian aresholes would like to introduce what is effectively legalised slavery too? What a surprise … :-((((

    bassmike, best bday wishes to your wife. Wishing you strength to deal with the situation regarding your father – and I’m sorry about the phase your daughter is going through, that kind of thing hurts a lot even when you know it’s just a passing phase (and even if you didn’t have so much else to deal with at the same time).

    Good tweet, Giliell! Bit radical, though, don’t you think? I mean, just imagine, allowing women to speak about women’s healthcare ….

  62. FossilFishy(Anti-Vulcanist) says


    I’m very sorry to hear about your Dad. Despite the inevitability of our parents’ mortality the reality of it is never easy.

    My mother never made it to a hospice, and despite my not being able to make it home before the end that was a mercy, and not just for her. To some that may seem cold, and perhaps it is. But my relationship with her was unusual to say the least. I’d been living a great distance away for decades so we weren’t very close. But on the other hand we’d both made an effort in the last few years to seek and give forgiveness for any past wrongs, real and perceived.

    I have no regrets, no non-trivial things that I wish we’d talked about before the end so a lingering death would have had no purpose. Or so I tell myself. I occasionally spend a great deal of energy in the middle of the night not thinking very, very hard about the possibility that she didn’t feel the same.

    I have no idea the point of telling you this. Except perhaps to illustrate that there’s no right way to deal with these things. Coping and grieving, there’s nothing more subjective than those.

    And also to say that we who like to think of ourselves as rational, as folks who live uncluttered by fantasy as best we can, we are still heir to all the human emotional storms. But at least we have the advantage of understanding the immutability of reality. That ain’t no panacea, but it ain’t nothing either.

    For myself I understand that despite fearing that my mother died hurting because she could’t see me one last time, I know, in a way that brooks no doubt, that she no longer feels that pain. That is reality, and it’s a comfort that softens my pillow on those bad nights.

    Enough, on a mildly more upbeat note:

    I used to describe my daughter’s understanding of her parents as:


    Daddy: That guy who hangs around a lot.

    I have to admit it bothered me emotionally even as I understood it to be no slight upon me. Now that she’s six it’s changed a bit. She still calls out for Mum if a bad dream strikes, but she’ll accept a cuddle, tuck and kiss from me despite knowing that Mummy is in the next room. Every time that happens I feel ten fucking meters tall, capable of healing all ills and slaying the most vicious and pernicious of closet monsters with a mere glance of my fatherly eye. To be able to feel that, as exaggerated and cartoonish as it is, I can let go of all the times I unjustly felt slighted.

    I wish you and yours all the best bassmike. Hugs, booze, chocolate and all manner of fluffy mammals should you desire them.

  63. rq says

    You’d think 0.23 seconds isn’t all that much, but sometimes, it’s an eternity.
    But, as they always say, never piss off Martins, and the best way to piss him off is to put him in second place.

  64. Portia says

    glodson, WMDKitty, chigau, bassmike, dontpanic, Nick Gotts, birgerjohannson,

    Thank you for the hugs and commiseration.

    I’m so sorry you’re going through this with your dad.
    Hope you and your wife find a way to celebrate that feels special and lovely.

    Belatedly, hope your wife’s birthday was nice.

    Giliell, Why do you have to be such a misandrist?!

    The autopsy is scheduled for this morning. I wonder when the services will be.
    I was going to call her on the day she died to see how the new visitation schedule that we won for her was working out. I put it off because I was busy. Or distracted. Agh.

  65. says

    Didn’t see anyone link to this article regarding the common statistics MRAs pull out to prove women are really a lot more privileged (97% of combat deaths are men, 76% of homicide victims are men, 93% of industrial deaths and accidents are men, 80% of suicides are men, only 16% of custody winners are men.)

    It’s a very thorough, excellent application of how to properly use statistics, while also showing precisely why MRAs only care about hating women, and don’t care about helping men.

  66. Portia says

    I nearly forgot

    rq, thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad to call you a friend. *hugs*

    Anne D
    Thank you for the hugs. :) Hope your sniffles recede quickly!

  67. birgerjohansson says

    Gilliel: “*big fluffy hugs* and Happy Birthday to your wife”


    — — — — — — —
    Interactive map of human genetic history revealed

    — — — — —
    Possible safe and novel painkillers from tarantula venom

    — — — — —
    Laser-sparked fusion power passes key milestone

  68. birgerjohansson says

    Black holes do not exist as we thought they did

    — — — — —
    Grey is the new black hole: is Stephen Hawking right?

    — — — — —
    Drastic chemical change occurring in birth of planetary system: Has the solar system also experienced it?
    Homing in on the mosquito

  69. chigau (違う) says

    The Italian grocery store sells marzipan in 1 kilogram lumps.
    Every so often I buy one.
    And eat it in about two days.

  70. glodson says

    I’ve got to stop reading the atheist blogs at Patheos. Not because they are bad, I actually rather enjoy a few. It is because Patheos is a gateway to some very stupid people, and I have a masochistic need to seek them out. Which is why I’ll never stop reading the atheist blogs at Patheos.

  71. Portia says


    Yeah, that commentariat is why I had to stop blogging at Patheos.

    I called the police station and thought I could report the threats over the phone. But they’re sending an officer to my office to take my statement. I have had enough talking to cops. My boss gently teased me for breaking my cardinal rule that I tell to clients: “Never talk to the cops.”

    : p

    I guess it’s a sign of my privilege that it feels like a burden for the authorities to take my safety seriously and be interested in my complaints. Gah. Sorry for privileging all over the thread. I’m just exhausted.

  72. glodson says

    Portia: I would say that’s why the cops are there, to take your safety seriously. Be safe. And sorry I can’t do more.

    On a lighter note: that stupidity is so good. I had a long argument with a guy who thought the snake that tempted Eve wasn’t a snake. It was just so bad that I couldn’t stop. I had to keep going. But I got to make the claim that I stole Jesus’ body because he said his blood was wine, so it wasn’t a complete waste of time.

  73. carlie says

    Portia – what a truly shitty week. Can you think of something little you can do for yourself this weekend? Go out and see a movie? Splurge a little on a new book or fragrance or dessert? Stay in pajamas all day? Check out a trashy romance novel at the library and yell at the characters all the way through?

  74. blf says

    I released a small but significant amount of Magic Blue Smoke™ into the atmosphere this afternoon, very possibly reducing the entire world’s supply of working examples of the specific new computer we are working on to precisely one — which is on my desk, BRAAAAHHAHAHAHAHAAAA!

    Fortunately, Magic Blue Smoke™ is not a known GHG.

    Unfortunately, that particular computer was the only example claimed to have a certain peripheral working. (I was about to reverify that claim…)

    The reason it blew up is because the Specification/design called for a certain part to be so-and-so millithingies, but the contractor who build it put on a so-and-so Megathingie part. We found that after a previous sample blew up, and supposedly “fixed” all the remaining samples. Including the one I just blew up today — which further investigation showed the Megapart was removed, but was not replaced with the millipart (which actually made things worse in this case). The wonder is the unit lasted so long…

  75. Portia says


    Thank you for the idea. :) I did get a book from the library: I am Malala. I look forward to curling up with it this weekend. (S’s kids are with their mother this week (one week on, one week off) which is lonelier for us but requires less emotional energy for me so I’m a bit relieved, I’ll be honest, at the timing).

    And even though my chiropractor told me to take it easy on the knitting, I did some self-soothing with that last night. I’m working on a hood for my mom in a lovely federal blue merino wool.

    Tonight, S is making his signature steak au poivre and, at my request, risotto. Brussel sprouts with bacon as well. We don’t do V-day big, we just have our own date night usually. A little time aside to focus on ourselves and each other. I got him a Dalek poster on Amazon for $4 as a gift. I’m excited to give it to him. :)

    Thanks for the catalyst to focus on some good things, carlie.


  76. rq says

    Check out a trashy romance novel at the library and yell at the characters all the way through?

    That sounds like an amazing idea, even for us less-hectic-weeked folks.

    Steak au poivre sounds absolutely amazing, Portia. Enjoy your evening, you deserve a break (even if it is for only an evening!).

    Still no sign of the MDP, huh?

  77. blf says

    I [rq] dedicate this penguin to [Beatrice].

    Nope, that’s not the still-off-on-rampage-or-something mildly deranged penguin. Natural tuxedo, fast and frantic and doing the chasing, perhaps a bit small, but no cheese, RPGs, nor any cheese.

  78. Portia says

    thanks rq!

    We will also binge on House of Cards, I think, given that the second season was dumped on Netflix today.

    Or more Dexter. I have never wished-but-not-really-wished more that he was real. : p

  79. blf says

    Still no sign of the MDP, huh?

    Not really. She is very unlikely to have anything to do with the volcanic computer.

    If she had been responsible, the South of France would either be the volcano, or else a crater being filled by a greatly expanded Mediterranean Sea, and lots of tsunamis sloshing about. And all the cheese would have gone missing… (checks… cheese is still here in the lair…).

    That assumes, of course, she is not actually annoyed, and was in a hurry.

  80. cicely says

    I mean, maybe I should go back to school, or maybe I’ve been doing heterosexual sex wrong all the time, but I’m currently lacking ideas about sex acts that are exclusively homosexual…

    Giliell, that’s because if it ain’t penis-in-vagina, it ain’t sex. Obviously, therefore, there is no such thing as homosexual sex, or acts thereof.
    And also, it depends on what “the” means.
    *high five* for your Completely Awesome tweet.

    But chigau you never answered about those lumps out back! Are they marzipan in dark chocolate?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

    *hugs* and on-going sympathy for bassmike.

  81. rq says

    Ha, if Dexter were real… I just imagine the kinds of headaches that would cause – solved rate statistics, mysterious criminal, etc. I’d rather he stayed in a TV show. ;)

  82. rq says

    Speaking of which…

    marzipan in 1 kilogram lumps

    Not big enough. Marzipan is heavy, therefore a 1kg lump is not that large at all. I demand bigger!

  83. blf says

    There are lumps of dark chocolate with traces of marzipan lurking out there someplace?

    Not seeing any on the CHOCDAR… (hits it a few times with a hammer…) Nope, sorry, not showing up… However, a lot of packages with fancy chocolates are moving about tonight. Must be migration season, heading for the nesting sites to have bunnies and ensure an adequate supply for spring rites.

  84. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    About the IUD. I never used Depo so I can’t compare, but I used the IUD for years and years. It hurt during insertion, but not too much, and after that I had no pain whatsoever. I would have it removed every few years and replace it with the newest version. I never experienced a pregnancy while using it. I only finally stopped using the IUD when I got a hysterectomy. My problems had nothing to do with the IUD and everything to do with many other things. I would recommend an IUD without hesitation. YMMV.

  85. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Portia, I am just catching up and I’m so, so very sorry to hear about your client. You are doing good work, don’t ever think differently. Even if it hurts like hell. Take good care of yourself. I’m sending a pile of big fluffy hugs, use as needed.

  86. David Marjanović says

    *pouncehugsquishes carlie* ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^ ^_^

    State of the Union address confirmed: Republicans are fringe minority party
    Compares Reptilian attitudes to poll results.

    Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) “threatens jobs if Volkswagen workers unionize

    Kansas is trying to legalize discrimination for sexual orientation when it’s caused by sincerely held religious belief. A few logical consequences.

    This is How Citizens United Dies“: a Mexican businessman pumped half a megabuck into an election in San Diego, all of it legal.

    The Italian grocery store sells marzipan in 1 kilogram lumps.
    Every so often I buy one.
    And eat it in about two days.

    I approve.

  87. David Marjanović says

    Bitcoin – it’s like exchanging Turkish Lira, without the glamour. Or security.” Highly amusing.

    “Starve the Beast” doesn’t even work.

    Cartoon: Chelsea Clinton’s 2036 presidential debate with Ken Ham

    “Massive amounts of unlimited and undisclosed cash are pouring into our election process from unknown sources. Americans are facing an onslaught of negative campaign ads like they’ve never seen before.

    Who pays the price? Every American voter.

    Transparency is critical to our voting process. Every voter deserves to know more information before they cast their ballot.

    Add your name to ensure Congress puts people before special interests and takes a stand against secret money now.”

    And finally, because I happen to have found it, the Song of Death.

  88. carlie says

    David! *hugs* [whispers]I didn’t really mean it to go stand in the corner.[/whispers]

    Portia – you should get ALL the good things this weekend.

    Random thoughts:
    Anyone else never sure if they’re an introvert or extrovert? It seems like it’s supposed to be such a basic part of one’s personality, but I can never decide if I’m one or the other. I love meetings! But I have to have time after to decompress by myself or there is hell to pay. Teaching classes gets me revved up and happier than before class! But then if any one student stays too long to talk to me after I can’t take it. I love talking to people!… but on my own time schedule don’t even think about before 9am. You would think by now I would know what I am.

  89. David Marjanović says

    Argle. Stop being bad, world! I have a manuscript to review! And a grant proposal to write!!!

    “Dominion has a plan to draw huge quantities of natural gas from toxic fracking fields across Appalachia, feed it through a vast, snaking network of explosion-prone pipelines and polluting compressors to a massive new facility on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay that would liquefy the gas, load it onto tankers and ship it to Asia. [two cited sources]” “Submit a public comment to the Maryland Public Service Commission“.

    Petition “calling on Congress to overturn Citizens United.”

  90. David Marjanović says

    You would think by now I would know what I am.

    Oh, there are people who seem to be in a precarious balance. And the terms are just extremes of a spectrum anyway.

  91. David Marjanović says

    And while I’m writing comments here, “Nancy Pelosi” “sends” “me” a link to the next petition!!!

    “If the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since 1968, it would be $10.60 today. Instead, it’s stuck at $7.25. Tell Republicans in Congress that something has to change.”

  92. Portia says


    I can definitely relate to that. I don’t think that enjoying social activities is an un-introverty thing to experience – my understanding is that the need for recuperation is the key to introversion. Regardless, I am in the same boat as you. I enjoy social interactions the most when I have time to mentally prepare for them (unexpected client because my assistant didn’t tell me she scheduled it? AUGH. random girl scouts in my office without warning? AUGH) and often feel invigorated after social times. But yeah, very much need decompress time and hate when they go too long.

  93. David Marjanović says

    I only need decompression after being around extremely extroverted people, I think. Had to deal with an exhausting specimen yesterday.

    Dammit, link!

    I already provided one in link 624. It’s blatantly unconstitutional (the proposal, not the link).


    An Obamacare enrollment trend to strike fear in the heart of Republicans

    Bill O’Reilly believes that lots of people outside the US watched his interview of Obama, and is auctioning off his graciously so called notes for an opening bid of 10 kilobucks. Stephen Colbert mocks this as only he can.

  94. rq says

    I think introverted means that you need quiet alone time to recharge, whereas extroverted people recharge by being around crowds of exciting people.
    Dunno, sounds kind of woo-y.
    I know I enjoy certain public/crowdspace things, like giving lectures (oh boy do I ever love teaching people!) and participating in seminars, but I hate random parties where I don’t know anyone and am forced to mingle. I can’t handle too many people at once, or too much of people at any one time (or unexpected people and spontaneous guests, as Portia mentions). I still need the alone down-time or the mental preparation to be civil (which took ages to explain to Husband – that even though it was his family coming over in an hour, I am not ready).
    I prefer to consider myself an introvert, but then, I talk so much here on the Lounge that I might as well be an extrovert.

  95. Dhorvath, OM says

    For me, introversion is how I deal with being low, say being sick as a common situation, and when my business failed at the more extreme end of things, while extroversion is how I react to boredom, day to day life, and doing things I enjoy. Certainly an argument could be made for either, but I think I spend way more time pursuing social situations than I do avoiding them.

  96. says

    birger @582, thanks for this:

    The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks’ Most Devious Scam Yet

    It’s too bad they had to insult squid, but the “vampire” metaphor is apt. Effing bankers are getting away with sucking blood out of the entire global economy, and they are doing it, in part, by dealing in ways that are complicated and difficult to fathom. Hence, Matt Taibbi’s five-page report on the devious scams, and even then he was obviously trying to summarize and to make clear whatever is opaque.

    Here are a few excerpts, but anyone who wants a clearer picture really should read the article to which birger linked:

    […] the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 – also known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act – was just the latest and boldest in a long line of deregulatory handouts to Wall Street that had begun in the Reagan years. [Nope, it was much worse than that, much sneakier, and way more damaging.]

    […] lobbyists were pushing a new law designed to wipe out 60-plus years of bedrock financial regulation. The key was repealing – or “modifying,” as bill proponents put it – the famed Glass-Steagall Act separating bankers and brokers, […] Now, commercial banks would be allowed to merge with investment banks and insurance companies, creating financial megafirms potentially far more powerful than had ever existed in America.[…]

    That’s all kind of familiar so far, right? As Taibbi points out, we missed the worst aspect of the 1999 bill:

    […] to understand the most explosive part of the bill, which additionally legalized new forms of monopoly, allowing banks to merge with heavy industry. A tiny provision in the bill also permitted commercial banks to delve into any activity that is “complementary to a financial activity and does not pose a substantial risk to the safety or soundness of depository institutions or the financial system generally.”

    Complementary to a financial activity. What the hell did that mean? “From the perspective of the banks,” says Saule Omarova, a law professor at the University of North Carolina, “pretty much everything is considered complementary to a financial activity.”

    Fifteen years later, in fact, it now looks like Wall Street and its lawyers took the term to be a synonym for ruthless campaigns of world domination. [..]

    Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs own oil tankers, run airports and control huge quantities of coal, natural gas, heating oil, electric power and precious metals […] zinc, copper, tin, nickel and, most infamously thanks to a recent high-profile scandal, aluminum. […] Goldman Sachs, for instance, is apparently now in the uranium business. […]

    Banks (which are not really banks anymore, but more like Kings of the world) bought not just commodities, but the processes for extracting, refining, storing, etc … and they simultaneously controlled all those same levels on the stock market, futures market, swaps market etc. As Taibbi pointed out, we’re not longer looking at unethical financial schemes, we are looking at wholesale manipulation of, well, everything. There’s price rigging, supply manipulation, economic reorganization that no one ever voted on and that no one regulates effectively.

    The Koch brothers bought a bunch of oil tankers and stored cheap oil offshore, keeping the oil out of the pipeline long enough to jack up prices.

    There’s a lot more to this, like the grandfather clause that allowed commodities trading by bank holding companies that were doing it before 1997. A bunch of lawyers looked into this and found it hopelessly ambiguous. In 2008, when the sky was falling, the Federal Reserve allowed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to become bank holding companies. You can see where this is going.

  97. Portia says

    7th Circuit Judge Posner is a bit of a folk legend in the legal community of Chicago radius, for precisely this sort of thing.

    A contentious oral argument Wednesday before a federal appellate court panel in Chicago included a lesson in appellate advocacy for the BigLaw litigation leader representing the University of Notre Dame in a high-profile health care case.

    “Don’t interrupt,” Judge Richard Posner told Jones Day partner Matthew Kairis several times during the course of a 45-minute argument. He and Kairis talked over each other repeatedly about the remedy being sought by the university in the Affordable Care Act case being heard by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Although there is a provision in the act that allows religious institutions to obtain an exemption to the statute’s contraception mandate, Notre Dame doesn’t want even the “complicity” of filing out a form to transfer responsibility for contraceptive services to a third-party provider, Kairis said. Additionally, Notre Dame argues that it shouldn’t be forced to give up a portion of its authority as the administrator of the health care plan to a contractor providing products and services the university considers morally wrong.

    Posner repeatedly said that he thought Notre Dame’s objection to the exemption process concerned a “trivial” role in the provision of health care services. He sought to get Kairis to tell him whether Notre Dame objected simply to sending a letter to the feds stating something along the lines of “we’re a religious organization, and so we’re just not going to pay.”

    In an increasingly aggravated tone, as Kairis sought to qualify and explain his answers and began speaking more quickly, Posner tried to pin him down and get a yes or a no response.

    Posner told Kairis to “stop fencing,” demanded that he answer questions with yes or no responses, and threatened: “Look, if you don’t cooperate with me, I’m not going to let you continue your argument.”

    Finally, as the courtroom battle continued, Posner gave the Jones Day partner a lesson in trial advocacy:

    “Would you stop babbling?” he told Kairis. “When you’re asked a question … you’re not supposed to interrupt judges and, if they ask questions which can be answered yes or no, you answer yes or no. Don’t you understand that?”

    A Religion Clause post provides a link to an audio recording of the 7th Circuit hearing. In addition to Posner, Judge Joel Flaum and Judge David Hamilton sat on the appellate panel.

    Kairis declined to comment when contacted by the ABA Journal.

    Columbus Business First provides a lengthy profile of Kairis, who heads the litigation department in the firm’s Columbus, Ohio, office and played football as an undergraduate at Notre Dame.

  98. Portia says


    Thank you for the wonderful link. I’d quote it for effect to show my enjoyment but I want everyone to read it for themselves.

  99. Esteleth, [an error occurred while processing this directive] says

    I don’t believe in astrology, but the moon is full today and all hell broke loose in class today.

    This week has been stressful – three exams and a major assignment due. So after the third (and final) exam, we kinda lost it.

    Like, lost it to the point that the professor trying gamely to lecture us about hypertension was left to ask us why we were falling out of our seats laughing and inventing dirty puns to “asystole.” Smut got posted on the student message board. After class let out, we walked (ran? shambled? locomoted?) to a bar and utterly terrified some poor bartender by charging in en masse – mind you, this is forty people – and (no joke) ordering “one of everything” off the drinks menu.

    Someone observed that our emotional age seemed to have regressed to vaguely middle school.

    I’m rather terrified.

  100. A. Noyd says

    I’m already having a shitty day so, fuck whoever decided the news stations should use their helicopters to cover the removal of this mammoth tusk from a construction site. The tusk find is awesome. Being in relatively close proximity to several helicopters for over an hour is making me want to kick puppies, though.

  101. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Long day here at Casa la Pelirroja. The Redhead decided she wanted Surf & Turf for dinner, and swore up and down it was available (small steak and a lobster tail packaged together) at a grocery store. Nope, not his year. But obtained said foodstuffs as two lobster tails and two filets, and cooked one each up, with a chocolate cake and peach champagne for desert. I had a different entree. That was my first time cooking lobster. Now, trying to get her to bed early, so I can get to bed early.

  102. Nutmeg says

    Hoo, boy, winter blues. I’ve spent most of the past 3-4 weeks either sick or really busy, so I haven’t been working out as much as usual. Lots of exercise is my normal method of fending off winter blues, so my brain pretty much hates me at the moment.

    If you see me in here tomorrow, yell at me to go do Pilates or something before I’m allowed back, okay?

    On the bright side, my experiment with setting up a lamp to turn on 30-60 minutes before I need to wake up has been quite a success. Having my room be dimly lit instead of pitch black makes it much easier to drag myself out of bed in the morning. It doesn’t do anything to help with my moods, but it’s a big help with the sleep cycle.

  103. ajb47 says

    Nutmeg @647:

    Winter blues. I realized a couple years ago that the lack of daylight was affecting me. The other thing that affects me, and maybe even more, is cabin fever. I really want to spend time outside. Soaking up sunlight. Breathing the air. And this current southeast PA, USA winter has forced me inside more than usual. So yeah, I’ve heard that exercise can help, but I can’t get my usual with these temps.

    For me for many years, the opening day of trout fishing in PA was kind of the finish line. Just make it to Opening Day. Now, we also have a camper, and the campground I have been going to since I was 8, and that is my lifeline. My wife has even been more vocally enthusiastic about getting back to camping.

    I am really trying to limit my intake of bourbon for these next couple of weeks. And I am blaming that damn groundhog and his 6 more weeks.

  104. Nutmeg says

    ajb47: I hear you about opening day! Around here, walleye season usually opens on the Mother’s Day weekend. It’s still pretty cold then, but opening day is pretty much a high holiday in my family.

    May 10th-ish is a long way away, though. As a shorter-term finish line, the geese usually arrive back here around March 15th. When I see my first goose of the season, I know that the worst is over.

  105. ajb47 says

    Nutmeg @650:

    Thank you! Nice to know there are others. I don’t really have anyone but my dad who feels this way, so it’s nice to know it’s not just genetic. I get hit by cabin fever differently in different years, and this one is a bad one.

    Our campground turns the water off from November until April, though we could technically camp all year round. My wife is, let’s say severely opposed to not having a working rest room for in the middle of the night (whereas I only have to take a few steps outside.) (I hope that wasn’t too much sharing.)

    I am probably going to say the hell with it and camp by myself, maybe with one of my kids, while the water is still off. Just because I need it this year.

  106. rq says

    A. Noyd
    Awesome tusk! Crappy about the helicopter. :/ Doesn’t do much for the concentration, I suppose…

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

    good morning,

    I wish you folks could go hiking with me today. It’s a nice day, and there’s a mountain just here, but I have no one to go with… and I’m so full of energy right now I’m nearly bouncing off the ceiling.

    (we wouldn’t even have to talk, just accompany each other. And they have really tasty beans in the restaurant on top. And apple or cheese strudle.)

    ((there was a lot of rain the day before yesterday, so the ground should still be muddy, but who cares?))

  108. rq says

    I’d love to go. Your weather sounds better than hours.
    And apple strudel…………………………..

  109. rq says

    Well, this country apparently passed a nationalistic amendment to the Preamble of the Constitution yesterday. This is going to go over well. The implications are rather terrible, actually.
    (Like how the Constitution prior to (I think) 2006 didn’t define marriage as between a man and a woman (didn’t really define it at all except as marriage), but suddenly in 2006 (or was it 2007?) it needed that specific definition. No, we can’t be at the forefront of anything, have to make the same mistakes as everyone else. That complete ban on abortions is probably coming within the next year or two. *downhill*)

  110. Walton says

    If you haven’t seen it, a former guard at an immigration detention centre in Australia run by private company Serco has blown the whistle on abuses in detention, depicting his experiences in illustrated form. It’s a really horrific insight into the way the immigration system dehumanises people. [Serious TW on the link.]

    Similar things are happening in British detention centres, some of which are also run by Serco. On Thursday I and one of my colleagues went to a protest in solidarity with women detained at Yarl’s Wood, outside the Home Office in London. I’ve posted about Yarl’s Wood here in the past – it’s where hundreds of women (many of them rape and torture survivors, and some suffering from physical or mental illness) are locked up, with abuse and harassment by male guards, and severe medical neglect. We need to keep pressure on government, and expose the abuses happening in the immigration enforcement system.

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


    Like how the Constitution prior to (I think) 2006 didn’t define marriage as between a man and a woman (didn’t really define it at all except as marriage), but suddenly in 2006 (or was it 2007?) it needed that specific definition.

    We did this last year.
    After a referendum, which I think was an even bigger blow because the change was made after a really horrible campaign with lots of bells and whistles.

  112. carlie says

    Walton! *hugs*

    You’re doing really good work, you know.The world needs more people like you.

  113. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Portia @494:

    Oh. Shit. I am so sorry. Safe and supportive hugs.

    Nick Gotts @579:

    Had two teeth out yesterday – both at the back, fortunately, but that means I’ve now lost 1/4 of my original allocation. The second one took a good 20 minutes to dig out in chunks – no pain thanks to excellent local anesthesia, but keeping your gob wide open that long while someone yanks and hammers within and blood oozes from the first socket, is not fun – just in case anyone was thinking it might be.

    Been there. Done that. Got the pain pills.

    bassmike: Hugs and support.

    carkue @626:

    Different context, but some of us (me) are afraid to know who we really are.

    I’ve had a bad week (Sounds like the intro to a monologue: It’s been a bad week here in Lake Depression . . . . (Which (if I can make jokes) sounds like things are getting better (which (I think) they are))). Trying real hard to convince myself that I am not a monster, just a human being who keeps failing. Of course, my ambulance-chaser mind keeps pointing out that if I have failed at being human, then I am a monster. I hate myself — every time I reach an equilibrium, every time I reach a point at which I am accepting of what I have done and, at the same time, cognizant of what was done to me, I find ways to fuck it up and take a two week trip to Lake Depression.

  114. rq says

    No referendum here, just a decision by the parliament… Actually it would have been nice if they’d had a public discussion about it. So much of this happens where people don’t see it, and I hate it, because there are so many opportunities to educate people… Ah, but I suppose an educated populace is one more likely to realize when the tax-and-economic wool is being pulled over their eyes, and then a lot of politicians would be facing a lot of very public questions about financing.

    You have not failed at being a human. I love you.

  115. rq says

    In more trivial news, I couldn’t convince the security guard that it would be worthwhile to watch the skeleton runs 3 and 4 this afternoon, so I have to sit here at work and nervosate about results and GAH.
    Not that it matters to anyone but me.

  116. says

    HI there

    Sorry you’re going backwards, countrywise.
    In Germany it amuses us evil progressives to no end that while marriage and family are protected under the constitution, there is no definition. Well, there is none because when it was written people thought that homosexual people were sick and criminals and single mothers were half-criminals, so the homophobes have a hard time evoking the spirits of the fathers and mothers of the constitution.
    Still, the debate over the last weeks has been ugly.

    There are no monsters outside of stories. There’s just people and the things they do.

    I envy you. Weather here’s too warm and too wet and there are almost no things you can do with the kids.

    Talking ’bout marzipan, the kids and I made Cantuccini

  117. kouras says

    *hugs* Portia, Mellow Monkey, & bassmike

    WMDkitty *nosebump*
    Whatever you end up going with, I hope that it works well for you.

    Bit threadrupt… I’ve still only caught up as far as the end of November. The people in the threads over July to September were fucking epic, one way and another. I’m not really sure what to say otherwise.

    The good news is that P is starting to get assistance in classes, and the parents are starting to get better with things, although still occasionally coming out with spectacularly clueless comments. But part of my reason for being away was a range of personal/MH problems. I’m getting some help now, but one aspect of it seems a little off, in light of some of the comments that were made in the course of MRA incursions in the threads over the summer. May I ask a question related to that, and if so, should it be done in the Thunderdome, or would it be okay here with a precautionary “Tw:’splaining/ intrusive therapist” type warning?

  118. rq says

    I could leave, but then it would really go bad. :)
    I just don’t see why things need to be retroactively defined – why can’t people just move forward in the spirit of the idea, letting the Constitution progress along with society and culture as a whole?
    Oh, right, because we’re not progressing here (that is, my specific location). *pulls some hair*
    Last bastion of christian values in Euroepe, bah. *spits*

    Those Dukurs boys had better perform, because at this point only gold will make me feel better.

  119. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says


    There are no monsters outside of stories. There’s just people and the things they do.

    The nice part of me agrees. The honest part? Not so much. I really do feel like, on many levels, I have failed at being human. And if I ain’t human? Monster? Ambulatory failure? Not sure what comes next.

    Sorry. I’ve been really down for a week.

    Shoveled snow the last two days.

  120. rq says

    You’re just human. No more and no less than the rest of us. There is nothing to come next – you’re just human. You can’t fail at being a human, because you can’t turn into anything else. Not even a crocoduck. And as Giliell says, monsters are only in stories, not real.

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


    Last bastion of christian values in Euroepe, bah. *spits*

    Are you sure you live where you say you live? Because I live in the last bastion of christian values in Europe.
    Pope said so. The former.
    It was a very nice speech about Europe going downhill with all the nasty secularism, and us being the last stand.

  122. rq says

    No, no, we’re the last stand. I’m sure of it. The Pope wouldn’t say so, because the country as a whole isn’t particularly catholic, but many of the politicians say it, and so do the leaders of the Russian orthodox community. All of them. That’s more than the pope.
    Plus, protestants are realer christians than catholics (and let them be so, my former-catholic soul just doesn’t care!). :)

  123. Dhorvath, OM says

    I had an interesting week. My vehicle died. About two hundred metres from the summit of the pass between the low area where I live and the low area I was visiting. I had my bike though, so I could ride to the nearest service station and arrange a tow truck, then back up the hill to the car. In the snow. Like I say, interesting.

    Diagnosis: burned out transmission. Treatment: replace. The vehicle. Too expensive given the age, make, and model to sensibly repair. Gonna wait it out until summer when we have more resources to find a replacement.

    It gets better. Our secondary vehicle is a Miata. Not nearly large enough to clean out the Odyssey. So, wheelbarrow in hand I visit the garage, load up with booster seats, spare mtb wheels, car stereo, and a three bike tray style rack from the back of the car. Got it home in one trip!

    I now have many more lugging options attached to the city bike, including a quick release metal basket. I guess I will need to learn how that works though as I put the sharp end of a fallen tree’s root cluster through the basket while riding with my child through the forest between home and school. (Hilarity ensued as I lay on the ground tangled in bike and root.)

  124. rq says

    I hope the next week is better and less full of transportational issues! I’m pretty sure it’s not actually fun to travel by wheelbarrow on a regular basis. :/
    And good luck finding a replacement at a decent price.

  125. says

    Anniston Star link.

    In Alabama, legislators want to make prayer mandatory in classrooms. Not kidding.

    Teachers in Alabama classrooms would be required to read a Congressional prayer every day under a bill filed in the state Legislature.

    “If Congress can open with a prayer, and the state of Alabama Legislature can, I don’t see why schools can’t,” said Rep. Steve Hurst, R-Munford, the bill’s sponsor.

    Hurst’s bill would require schools to set aside the first portion of the first class period every day “for study of the formal procedures followed by U.S. Congress,” which must include “a reading verbatim of one of the opening prayers” given at the opening of the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. […]

  126. says

    Well, this is good news. Gay marriage is making Ted Cruz weep, or to be exact, gay marriage is making “our heart weep.”

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz joined Family Research Council president Tony Perkins on Washington Watch yesterday to discuss his proposed State Marriage Defense Act, which as we explained earlier would “make it more difficult for married same-sex couples to receive legal recognition.”

    Cruz said that the Obama administration’s support for LGBT equality represents an “abuse of power and lawlessness” and chided gay rights advocates for their “litigation approach.”

    “Our heart weeps for the damage to traditional marriage that has been done,” Cruz said, warning that marriage is “under attack.” […]

  127. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Hi Horde,

    Completely threadrupt again. Can one of you good folks post a link to the “holding thumbs” pic of the baby monkey. My google fu is not strong and I’ve been unable to find it. Would be so grateful.

  128. rq says

    Interesting. An interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is blocked at work because it’s classified as ‘Entertainment’. :D I thought he was a scientist!!!

  129. morgan ?! epitheting a metaphor says

    Big thanks, rq. I did google holding thumbs and simply couldn’t find it. I feel exceptionally dumb. But then, I often have an adverse effect on machines… They malfunction or break with nasty frequency when I’m around. Now I have to go out and try to find a washer and dryer for a reasonable price. We just moved and the appliances here were supposed to work perfectly. And the previous owner supposedly purchased a one year insurance policy on the appliances just in case. But they broke, and the policy does not cover the machines. Typical of my luck.

    That was one helluva digression.

  130. yazikus says

    Good Morning Horde! I too, am ‘rupt.

    Hugs to all that need them (Portia, I’m so sorry about your client.)

    I can’t believe how fast time seems to be flying by. I feel like i’m just keeping momentum, and if I slow down I’ll trip and fall. The weather has warmed up (last week we had snow and cold, it has all melted now), and I’m looking forward to spring, but I know it is too soon. It is nice to venture into the warm and cozy lounge where everyone is awesome.

  131. says

    All the *hugs* over there. Can’t add much to what others have said, so I’ll nth it.

    Sorry about your car (cue lengthy digression for which I haven’t actually got the spoons re: urban design and transit issues which can be distilled into “This is what happens to people when urban design is shitty, and private automobiles are a deeply stupid solution to a society’s transport needs.”).

    Still wrestling with my own depression, hence the general lack of posts. I’ll be back on form eventually, or not. One or the other, I’m sure.

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

    Latvian comic go to open mic night while visit NYC, but not know how to spot secret police, so nervous. Audience throw many potato! Comic is rich! But hospital take all potato to pay bill for potato to head and give bill for 6000 more dollar.

  133. says

    Skirts made of smartphones, handbags that track your spending and more odd tech creations.

    Created using Nokia Lumia 1520 and 1020 handsets, the project is a collaboration between the Finnish firm, fashion designer Fyodor Golan and creative design house Kin. It took three months to complete.

    Whether the world needs such a garment may be a matter for debate but there is no doubting the challenge of building one. Combining a heavy Nokia 1520 with fragile materials was problematic, and there were also issues with turning them on and maintaining battery life once attached to the skirt.

    The phones each display different parts of an image to give the illusion of one big picture. The pictures change when the model moves, mimicking the way the tone of a fabric alters when it moves back and forth from light to shadow.
    The brainchild of Australian comparison site Credit Card Finder, it uses an Arduino processor and an RFID (radio-frequency identification) tag, which are mounted in the base of the bag to track your credit card spending.

    The bag is also fitted with a clock and can be programmed to stay closed at your most vulnerable times of day.

    When you enter a shopping “danger zone” the bag lights up with an LED warning light triggered by a GPS chip. You can also nominate a person to receive a text message if you have a spending relapse.


    In a surprise move, US workers have voted against union representation at a Volkswagen car plant in the southern state of Tennessee.

    The article talks about ‘outside influences’. I wonder *why* the workers voted against something that’s in their own interests


    General Motors (GM) announced plans to pay boss Mary Barra $14.4m (£8.8m) this year, 60% more than her predecessor, Dan Akerson, who was paid $9m in 2012.

    GM had previously said Ms Barra would be paid $4.4m in cash and stock this year, but that figure did not include long-term compensation.

    The disclosure comes after the firm had been criticised by some for underpaying Ms Barra for her gender.

    If the revised number is accurate, I wonder why it wasn’t released in the first place.

  134. ChasCPeterson says

    I thought he was a scientist!

    nope. Planetarium Director and Media Personality.
    (not that there’s anything wrong with that)

  135. rq says

    You sound like one of my colleagues – the tech guy at work stopped taking calls from our department.


    I feel like i’m just keeping momentum, and if I slow down I’ll trip and fall.

    I know how you feel. This is why I am rq. And I’m so tired of running.
    As for the rest of it, personally, I could have done with a couple more weeks of Real Winter. This springtime mud-n-slush crap does fuck all for my mood, which hits an all-time low ’round this time of year – snow and cold, for some reason, actually help. In the meantime, the Lounge works. Sort of.

  136. rq says

    Planetarium Director and Media Personality

    Hmm. Revising personal encyclopaedia (for future reference; thanks).
    (But he does have a science education, right?)

  137. rq says

    give bill for 6000 more dollar

    Latvian proceeds to nearest potato field to work rest of life as indentured slave to potato farmer who passes meager earnings to hospital.

  138. yazikus says

    I know how you feel. This is why I am rq. And I’m so tired of running.

    I didn’t know that about your name, rq, thanks for sharing. I empathize with the running. I guess it could also be the “Just Keep Swimming” thingy too.

    I know what you mean about mud ‘n slush. A woman I know from Alaska was relating how a few years ago Glade came out with a scent called Springtime in Alaska, and Alaskans thought this was hilarious, as they all knew that Springtime in Alaska smells like dog shit.

  139. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Only $6000? How did the Latvian comic get that big of a discount? Hell, my nont-quite-a-heart-attack-but-we’re-still-not-sure-three-years-later-what-it-was came in at just under $30,000.

  140. says

    Wow, that’s a lot of catching up to do.
    Feel free to ask your question here if you like.


    Sorry to hear about the car. Hope things go smoother next week for you :)


    As others have said, you’re no monster.
    You’re a human being.
    A human being who was manipulated and coerced by horrible adults (who themselves were also human).

    Eternal hugs from me to you my friend.


    Hi morgan!
    I can’t help with the search for the pic. I hope all is well with you.



    Still wrestling with my own depression, hence the general lack of posts. I’ll be back on form eventually, or not. One or the other, I’m sure.

    I hope you kick depressions ass.
    Also hoping you’ll be back on form when you’re able, cuz you’re one of the good ones, and I really like reading your comments around here.

  141. rq says

    He was in possession of the right kind of potatos.
    Alternatively, hospital staff were also of Eastern European origin.

  142. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Tony, Dalillama, rq (and others I’m sure I missed):

    Thanks for the support. I’m sitting here watching the snow come down, waiting for a bus group that is supposed to visit our park today, wondering why I feel like I failed. One possibility is that I really have failed. Another is that I hurt, and pain is your body’s way of saying, “Don’t do that, you idiot!” So maybe I think I’ve failed because that explains the emotional hurt? Shit, I dunno.

    As others have said, you’re no monster.

    Yah. But my idiot brain keeps telling me that I’ve done monstrous things.

    You’re a human being.

    Who has done monstrous things.

    A human being who was manipulated and coerced by horrible adults (who themselves were also human).

    Yah. I know. And every time I have myself in a position where I can see that clearly, something will come in out of left field and knock me back down. Usually from the inside.

    This time, it was a statement that somebody (don’t remember the thread — about two or three weeks ago) was a monster but, at the same time, is human just like all of us and that kinda shook me which it shouldn’t have but did.

    Anyway, thanks for the support. I really do appreciate it even though there is a loud voice in my head telling me that I have you fooled into thinking I am someone who deserves support. Or sympathy.

    Does that make sense?

  143. rq says

    Yup, springtime in [insert snowy country/state name here] is definitely not an aroma for the masses… :D

    yazikus and Tony
    Heh, no problem with sharing – besides, rq seemed friendlier than iq, my high school nickname (besides, you know, that whole iq bit).

  144. rq says

    I have you fooled

    We’re not that stupid – you totally deserve all the support, all the hugs, and all the sympathy. And anything else that will help you, friend.

  145. says

    Ogvorbis 689
    Indeed. I got a prescription for omeprazole yesterday instead of taking huge numbers of the OTC stuff. OTC omeprazole cost: $22 for 42 20 mg tablets. Prescription omeprazole cost: $350 for 60 40 mg tablets. Fortunately insurance covered most of it and I was only $16.50 out of pocket, but what a fucking racket.

  146. says

    Gosh, I’m ever sooooooo surprised (yes, that would be sarcasm):

    Using state-level murder data for the time period 1999-2012, researchers concluded that removing the licensing requirement contributed to an “additional 55 to 63 murders per year in Missouri between 2008 and 2012.” The increases occurred in the first full year after the repeal, during which the state saw “large increases in the number of guns diverted to criminals and in guns purchased in Missouri that were subsequently recovered by police in border states that retained their PTP laws.”

    The analysts controlled “for changes in policing, incarceration, burglaries, unemployment, poverty, and other state laws adopted during the study period that could affect violent crime,” a press release for the study says

  147. says


    I really do appreciate it even though there is a loud voice in my head telling me that I have you fooled into thinking I am someone who deserves support. Or sympathy.

    That loud voice?
    That voice telling you these things?

    It is lying to you.

    Know how I know?
    You are liked and respected around here because of who you are.
    You’ve spoken up against Rape Culture more times than I can count and in more threads than I can count.
    You’ve offered unconditional support for the survivors of sexual assault.
    You’ve condemned the actions of the catholic church.
    You’ve spoken up in support for equality for women, LGBTQI, people of color, people with disabilities and more.
    You’ve spoken in opposition to religious privilege and the ways in which religion harms people.
    These are only some of the things that you’ve done that mark you as a good person.
    These things mark you as the kind of person deserving of love and respect.

    You deserve our support because we know that you should not have been subjected to manipulation and coercion as a child. We regret that you were and wish that you never had been. We know that you were groomed by horrible human beings to do horrible things and these things were not your fault. We further accept and know beyond doubt that you’re not a horrible human being. Why? Among other things, you recognize the harm those assholes did to you and others. You’ve spoken up in opposition to people like that and the systems in place that support sexual assault. You’re a person who doesn’t do those horrible things.
    You may think you’ve failed as a human being.
    Me, I see someone who was manipulated by horrible people to do horrific things at an age when you lacked power. Now, as an adult, you have power. You have responsibility. You use both wisely. You are not the horrible human being you were being groomed into.

    You are a good human being.

    I will continue to repeat this as long as necessary. Because it is true.

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Tony #698 to Ogvorbis

    You are a good human being.

    I will continue to repeat this as long as necessary. Because it is true.

    Listen to Tony. Maybe we can “pray” to Heikki Lunta if you don’t listen.

  149. kouras says

    Thanks, Tony.

    Keeping it superficial in this respect, but TW, I guess…

    I had a bit of a crisis back in mid-July, and although antidepressants were provided almost immediately, I’ve only lately started with therapy. The GP who prescribed the medication, and made and persisted in following-up the referral has been really helpful; at least one person on the MH admin side has basically said that if patients are non-NT, they won’t be helped, but others who deal with that person have made strong disagreement with that sentiment, and have been very helpful in working around them to make help available.

    At the first full session, things that happened during school were discussed, including sexual harassment and assault. I didn’t volunteer very much information, because I haven’t really talked about it offline before, and wasn’t comfortable with disclosing the nature and duration of abuse. The therapist pressed for more details of the specific incident that I’d mentioned, and I gave some (when he asked for the specifics of what had been done, and confirmation that I was underage at the time, and that the assailant was an adult and known to me), but not others, and became very upset while doing so.

    He has asked a few times since, if I’d like to talk about it more. After each session, whether or not we’ve gotten into it, I’ve come out feeling exhausted, and then spent several days in a worse state than I was in before the session, with recurring suicidal thoughts and inclination to self-harm.

    I’ve never really done anything like this before, and wanted to ask whether people who have found themselves in therapy with a similar type of situation would think it normal for things to feel a lot worse before they get better; whether it would be thought advisable to go back to the GP and bring this up, and if so, how long to persist with the therapy before doing so.

    I’m sorry if this is out of line: I’m confused, and don’t have many options for discussing this offline at the moment.

  150. says

    So many of my insecurities are coming together all at once and I don’t know how I’m currently holding it together.

    That promotion? The person that can easily beat me apparently changed her mind and is applying after all. Fear of rejection and failure? Yeah, right as I was getting excited and confident which I have issues with. I get there, and bam, knocked right out. IT would be one thing if she had applied in the first place, I wouldn’t have let myself get so excited and all. And tying into my fear that people don’t like me, that they tolerate me and are just too nice to call me an asshole, I have this irrational fear that she’s applying not for her to get the job, but to make sure I don’t get it. This is completely irrational. She wouldn’t have helped me with being able to do the job if she would pull petty crap like that…

    Then I was going to message the previous holder of the job I’m after for tips on the interview for it, which is happening tomorrow… Except, apparently we aren’t Facebook friends anymore. Random no notice drops happen, but I was already in insecurity red alert mode. I have no idea if I did anything to offend her, or if it was just a routine pruning, or even a Facebook glitch(which apparently does happen occasionally). I didn’t click add friend again, though non-friends can message so I did send her a message asking about the interview and if there was any particular reason fro the defriend. And every minute I don’t get a reply is maddening, making me more and more sure that she hates me and everything I stand for. This is irrational. I realize this. But that isn’t helping much in not feeling this way.

    Another friend either brought her profile private and defriended me, or deleted her profile entirely. This is oddly enough giving me slight hope, I’ve seen her at work for the past few days and she hasn’t said anything about me being offensive/creepy/etc or deleting her Facebook, so maybe it’s a glitch on Facebooks end?

    So yeah. Most of my insecurities have been thrown into overdrive today, and it’s really tearing me apart. But at least I have this safe space, rather than Facebook or my blog where people might worry unreasonably.

  151. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Phew, we had a emergency at work where one of our important raw materials was no longer available, and we had to qualify new sources ASAP. Being the old fart covering that legacy product, I got heavily involved in the process. I finally finished the draft of the report qualifying two new sources, although one has a concern. But the company should be able to start churning out good product with the good source and fulfill orders on the books for our clients, while we look at better secondary sources.

  152. rq says

    FB can be mysterious and assholish sometimes, and good luck with the interview tomorrow!!

  153. says



    I did go ahead and set up a list on Facebook for trusted friends- they have the Close Friends feature, but that prioritizes them in the newsfeed- and the people I want prioritized and the people I feel comfortable with being entirely open to don’t precisely match up. Maybe this will help me with having safe spaces to just be myself, insecurities and all.

  154. rq says

    Safe spaces is good. My ultimate safe space is still here in the Lounge, but I’m getting better with Facebook, too. Strangely, being so open here makes me feel braver over there. :)

  155. says

    *hugs* for gworrol, Tony!, rq, kouras, and Oggie again.

    I would definitely discuss it with the GP, who it sounds like you have a good relationship with and has built up some trust. The same is not true of the therapist, who seems to be pushing your boundaries before building up some trust first. If you feel comfortable doing so, you may want to bring this up with the therapist as well, that you’re feeling worse after sessions etc. It sounds to me as though you and this particular therapist may not be ‘clicking’, and it might be advisable to see if a different therapist might be available.

  156. David Marjanović says

    Gah. Got stuck in Wikipedia, and now it’s 1:11 in the morning.

    “By now, we know that too many Catholic children have been abused by priests. So why do those priests so often keep their comfortable positions within the church while the children grow up damaged and with no justice served?

    The United Nations has issued a stern statement to the Vatican: Quit protecting child molesters at the expense of children. A UN report says that the church’s victims number in the tens of thousands, and that the Vatican has not admitted the full extent of the problem. The report calls specifically for an “independent mechanism” for investigating complaints and for offending priests to be thrown out of the priesthood, not just relocated at the Catholic Church is famous for doing.

    Tell the Vatican that the United Nations is right! The Vatican needs to get tough on child abuse.”

    I’ll sign it, but I’ll use my parents’ address in traditionally Catholic Austria, not here in Protestant-turned-godless Berlin.

    And of course I have next to no hope of anything happening anytime soon. The Vatican doesn’t throw priests out, because:
    1) Sheer ignorance: they don’t know that paedophilia isn’t something you can snap into and out of.
    2) The scary thing: they need those people. The number of churchgoers is decreasing, but the number of priests is decreasing even faster. Practically nobody in Europe (or, I’m sure, the Rest of the West) wants to become a priest anymore. Poland alone is already supplying half the continent’s parishes, and the rest is increasingly being staffed with Nigerians! There are priests who have to serve three rural parishes, spending all their time at Mass and in the car. The Vatican is extremely reluctant to let any priest go – even minor bending of doctrine or ritual isn’t punished anymore.
    3) Massively fucked-up priorities, relating in part to 1).

    I also got sent a link to a petition to Monsanto saying they should stop selling Roundup because of the Monarch butterflies. “The monarch butterfly is in a serious, decades-long decline. The WWF has reported that this winter, the monarchs are only occupying an area of 1.7 acres in Mexico, down from 45 acres in 1996. An evolutionary strategy based on eating a common weed seemed smart — until Monsanto came along. Just one state along the monarchs’ migration route, Iowa, is reported to have lost 98 percent of its milkweed.” But… wouldn’t it be enough to set aside some land and letting milkweed grow there? And if so, isn’t that rather easier to accomplish than to get Monsanto to completely stop selling Roundup (in the US, which is certainly the majority of the market for Roundup)?

  157. David Marjanović says

    is already supplying half the continent’s parishes

    Uh, I do have to say that this number is nothing more than my exaggeration of my guess based on anecdotal experience. The lack of priests, however, is real and is widely perceived as a grave problem.

  158. David Marjanović says

    “Just four days later he was arrested and jailed on gun-related charges, including endangering safety. Apparently, a friend called him to help in a dispute with her roommate. Simonsmeier (in mug shot) showed up with two friends, also armed, and threatened the male roommate with their guns.”

    Simonsmeier also is, or used to be, a highly popular advocate for openly carrying guns everywhere “for the protection of myself, my family and my friends.”

    Cartoon video (minute and a half): “Obamacare Job Killers!”

    Remember the Kansas state senators who wanted to legalize discrimination by “sincerely held beliefs”? They’re facing backlash. Hard.

    “‘In the 13 months I’ve been in the Senate it has become apparent to me the single thing that Republican politicians hate and fear the most, and that is when they’re forced to tell the truth. It makes their heads explode,’ Cruz told radio host Mark Levin Thursday. […] ‘A lot of the Republicans wanted exactly what Barack Obama wanted, exactly what Nancy Pelosi wanted, exactly what Harry Reid wanted, which is to raise the debt ceiling, but they wanted to be able to tell what they view as their foolish, gullible constituents back home they didn’t do it.'” Quoted here.

    Koch Brothers Pay Actors to Pose as Louisianans Upset with Obamacare

  159. David Marjanović says

    Petition: “Every day we learn about the multiple ways large corporations are destroying democracy in this country. It is time to stop nominating corporate lawyers to the federal bench, and to instead nominate qualified public interest lawyers.” 71 % “of judicial nominees have been corporate lawyers.” “Just ten of President Obama’s judicial nominees—fewer than 4 percent—have worked as public interest lawyers, and only 10 others have experience representing workers in labor disputes.”

    “This week, the nation’s top two largest cable and internet companies, Comcast and Time Warner Cable, announced a $45 billion merger deal. It would create a monopolistic consolidation of corporate power that would make Darth Vader blush.

    But the FCC and Department of Justice still have the time to stop this Mergerocalypse — if they hear from enough concerned activists and customers.

    Sign our emergency petition to stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable Mergerocalypse now!

  160. David Marjanović says

    Better news.

    Saturday, February 15, 2014 9:06:39 AM
    The Center for North American Herpetology
    Lawrence, Kansas

    Coastal Herpetology is once again being offered through the University of Southern Mississippi. This summer short course will be held from May 12-23, 2014 at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in beautiful Ocean Springs, MS. Topics include the identification, life history, and ecology of amphibians and reptiles of the Coastal Plain. This course will provide students with an introduction to field herpetology through lectures, discussions, a class project, and many field excursions. College credit is available.

    For more information, visit us at or contact the instructor, Dr. Matthew Chatfield, at mattchat [at]”

  161. says

    Feeling a bit better now, in part thanks to here… even just posting here helped, and getting a bit of support on top of it was great.

    Hopefully I find out what was up with the defriend. Maybe I won’t, and that would suck, but I’ll get over it. If I did do/say something wrong I do want the chance to apologize- even if it’s not enough to save the friendship, it’s still the right thing to do and I’d like to fix whatever blind spot lead to it. Nothing springs to mind, the few plausible things are only because this is a stupid red state and I’m a New England liberal on what amounts to economic exile(seriously, minimum wage people here are wealthier than min wage in CT, and the min wage is LOWER here). And if it’s one of those things, it’s likely I’d have cut ties from my end sooner or later anyways.

    Is there a protocol, though, for following up on “hey, why the defriend?”. I don’t want to sound like I think I’m owed an answer, because I’m not, but I know I’ve frequently thought “I’ll get back to this message later”, and later only comes when the person follows up and says “Hey, what about…?”.

    The other one who seems to have disappeared from Facebook I’ll just ask at work.

    The promotion- if I’m up against that coworker again, as I’ve said before, my odds are very bad. But after several hours, it’s finally gotten through to me past a mere intellectual recognition that this brings Plan B- taking her job- back into the picture. Worst case, as long as I don’t make an ass of myself in the interview, I’ll be in a good spot for the next opening- be it my Plan B or something else.

  162. carlie says

    On defriending – back when I was on facebook, I reconnected with someone who had been one of my best friends in high school, but we had fallen naturally apart when we went to different colleges (20some years ago). We caught up, “liked” each other’s stuff, got into one bad argument about homeschooling (she does it, I had posted something negative about a particular homeschool curriculum) that I thought we had finished off and understood each other, had a few more supportive/friend conversations, etc.

    Then a couple of months later, she just dropped me. I thought she had left facebook altogether, but then found out from another friend that she was still active on it. I was upset, and wanted to know why – was it the liberal stuff I was posting? Was it lingering resentment over the argument? I thought about asking but then, thanks to all of the good advice columns I read (thanks, Captain Awkward and Carolyn Hax!) remembered that everyone gets to decide who they associate with, and doesn’t owe anyone an explanation for that, and if you go looking for one you’re only going to get hurt. (because there really isn’t an answer to “why don’t you want to be friends with me anymore” that will make you feel anything but worse about yourself, because “I’m a spy and our friendship was so close that it was making you a target for my enemies since they know you are my emotional weak point” isn’t going to be that answer).

    So I bucked up and didn’t contact her to ask. I guess I could have emailed her just to say I had noticed it and had no hard feelings, just in case it was an accidental defriending and otherwise she might have thought I defriended her, but that was a pretty remote possibility. It still kind of hurts, but if she had ever changed her mind she knows where I am.

    That left a bad enough taste in my mouth that it was one of the (many) reasons I later left facebook, though. I already have enough social minefields in my life without adding more.

  163. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Re promotions:
    Just found out my boss was promoted. I’m already campaigning for another person (as I’m the senior in the department) to take his old job. I simply can’t take any responsibility that requires travel, with the Redhead’s condition. But, I can take care of all internal stuff that doesn’t require travel until a new person is promoted or hired. Even if that takes a while. Well, up until I retire in a couple of years.

  164. cicely says

    From Cracked: The 6 Male Characters Women Never Get to See in Movies

    I agree with carlie—the world does need more people like you.

    Major *hugs* for Ogvorbis.
    You are a human being.
    Human beings are fallible.
    Life is trial-and-error.
    These two things, taken together, virtually guaranty that each and every one of us fails, in any number of exciting (*sarcasm*) combinations of ways.
    You are not a monster.
    We are not monsters.
    We are Only Human.
    Many of us have second homes on Lake Depression.
    Howdy, neighbor!

    You’re a human being.

     Who has done monstrous things.

    And awesome things.
    If you insist on taking all of the ‘credit’ for one, you must take all of the credit for the other.
    (Even Later)
    Like that list at Tony!‘s list at 698

    Dhorvath, my sympathies on the death of your car.


    Interesting. An interview with Neil DeGrasse Tyson is blocked at work because it’s classified as ‘Entertainment’. :D I thought he was a scientist!!!

    He’s both a floor wax and a dessert topping!

    morgan ?!! yazikus!
    *matched set of pouncehugs*

    *hugs* and sympathies for gworroll. Farcebork is, in my experience, routinely a fucked-up mess.

    *pouncehug* for David.
    Wikipedia may not be quite as good a time-suck as TVTropes, but in any close race, someone has to come in second.

  165. Nutmeg says

    I have completed today’s goals of exercise, studying, and laundry. Thus, I am allowed Internet.

    I have a First World Problem. [slight TMI] My favourite style of everyday cheap comfy underwear doesn’t seem to be in production anymore. I haven’t been able to find it anywhere for at least a year, and I’m down to just a few pairs that are in acceptable shape. And I can’t find another cheap style that even vaguely resembles the kind I like. I didn’t think that it was possible to be so annoyed about underwear, but I am seriously peeved/kind of sad. Tomorrow I’m going to check out post-Valentine’s Day sales at a (not-cheap) store I don’t normally go to, in the hope that they’ll have something similar. Grr. [end TMI]

  166. rq says

    Post-valentine’s day sales? It’ll probably all be frilly lacy stuff out there, but good luck in the underwear hunt! You remind me, I’m in somewhat of a similar situation. Also, socks. :( They’re all holy.

  167. opposablethumbs says

    Ah – now I get the nym, rq! Thank you for telling us. And wow, does that ever resonate … a lot.

    Wishing a lot of warm hugs and spoons to them as could do with a few, and and especially to Dalillama and Ogvorbis. Also my sympathies to them as has vehicular and other similar-type issues.

    One of our neighbours – a particularly nice one, and we are lucky in having some very nice neighbours – had a whole lot of us round last night; she made 70th birthday dinner for a friend, whom many of us are also on friendly terms with through her. I took everyone else’s life in my hands and made cake. Amazingly enough, it was ate and nobody seems to have suffered any ill effects … win!

  168. rq says

    Sometimes the debilitating effects of cake only show up a day or two later. ;)
    Yay on having a good time!

  169. opposablethumbs says

    Sometimes the debilitating effects of cake only show up a day or two later. ;)

    This is very true ::nods sagely:: Especially if you then eat more cake (which is to say, a third neighbour also made cake, and it was ginormous, and there was a lot left over of that one, so several of us took a piece home … it is in the fridge as I type (it has cream on top) and it is ginger cake and I am the only one here who likes ginger!!!! bwahahaha!!!!! maniacal glee)

    Also seconding (thirding etc.) Tony! at #698. And good luck to gworroll. I totally tie myself up in knots over whether someone might have been pissed off by me/misunderstood me/did I make things worse by asking X or Y … argh.

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

    18°C right now.
    About 15°C too many for the middle of February.

  171. carlie says

    Here’s another reference for when people say “why don’t rape victims just go to the police then?”
    Because even when the police believe them, the state prosecutor won’t.

    On Friday, the Department of Justice sent a letter to the Missoula County Attorney’s Office in Montana, alleging that it has found “substantial evidence” that prosecutors there systematically discriminate against female sexual-assault victims. According to the DOJ, the office considers sexual-assault cases involving adult women a low priority, often treats these victims with disrespect—quoting religious passages to one woman who reported assault, in a way that made her feel judged—and declines to prosecute some cases in which it has confessions or eyewitnesses,

  172. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Dalillama: Thanks. Again.


    Thanks. Yeah, the depression thing has been hitting me hard. Part of it is my mind playing games with me. Part of it is no sun and two feet of snow in the past ten days.

    Went out for dinner with the future in-laws to a really good pizza place. That carries about 600 kinds of beer. I had an Achel Blonde Trappist Ale — a nice, light, almost lemony, Belgian ale. And sampled a dozen other ales and ciders.

    You’re a human being.

    Who has done monstrous things.

    And awesome things.
    If you insist on taking all of the ‘credit’ for one, you must take all of the credit for the other.

    See, I don’t see any awesome things. I’m a father to two pretty good young adults (nothing awesome there, just the way it should be), I’ve been married to a wonderful woman for almost 25 years (again, nothing awesome, just boringly normal). I’m a mid-level bureaucrat in an agency that does good stuff but, in the grand scheme of things, is not essential. Hell, I’m even a bureaucrat when I go to fires — either a mid-level manager or staffing a road block (and road block is pretty much what I do all the time) — I’m doing the same things. And Tony’s list at 698 is just me saying things.

    I don’t see awesome. I see average. If that. So yeah, I’ll cop to average, boring, useless. Not awesome, though.

    and @731:

    Yeah, the deck is stacked against rape survivors at every level — friends, family, police, prosecutors, culture, and even inside the brain.

  173. rq says

    Ah, but Ogvorbis, raising any number of human beings to be decent is awesome. Even if it seems mundane and trivial, it is an awesome accomplishment. So is maintaining a marriage for 25 years.
    Plus there’s all that firefighting assistance you do, so… yes, you do awesome things.

  174. rq says

    I like ginger, especially in cakes with cream on top. I’m sure if I was there, you’d share… Right?

  175. carlie says

    Og – you see average, where in the grand scheme of things, that average is extraordinary.

    Raising good kids – isn’t that what we all worry about all the time? Isn’t there a billions-of-dollars industry around whether you’re a good enough parent and how to raise kids “right”? Didn’t you know other kids in school who couldn’t have friends over because they never knew if Mom or Dad would be drunk and disorderly? Didn’t you know other kids who showed up with bruises and ridiculous cover stories?

    You have a solid marriage – I don’t even have to tell you how many people don’t have that. And how for so many of them, it isn’t just a marriage that shouldn’t have happened, but that deteriorated because they didn’t treat each other well or respectfully.

    You have a job where good things happen for the planet and for people. Think about all the jobs where that’s not the case.

    You’re downgrading all of what you do because that allows you to feel bad about yourself. NO. You don’t get to do that. You have accomplished good things.

  176. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    rq @734:

    I like ginger

    I always liked Mary Anne. The whole movie star glamour thing turned me off even when I was young.

    rq & carlie:

    Sorry. I’m kinda down right now (no shit, right?).