Speakeasy #4

Kick back and relax in the Speakeasy! Everyone is welcome for social chit-chat, political talk, and whatever else might be on your mind. Just leave bigotry at the door and play nice.

Speakeasy #4

564 thoughts on “Speakeasy #4

  1. 2

    Ok, so that story. This may be somewhat TMI for some people. While I’m not going to be terribly graphic, I am talking about working for an escort service, so keep that in mind.

    Picture it. Sicily, 1920. Wait. Sorry. I was channeling Sophia there.
    The year was 2001. I was living in Huntsville, Alabama. I was making pretty decent money but y’know, unless you’re rich, more money is never a bad thing. But there was something more than money at play in my decision to work for an escort service. Here, now, in 2015, I continue to intermittently feel like I’m not an attractive guy. This is likely the lingering effects of thinking I was ugly as a teenager. Back then, I had so much acne on my face that you could play Connect the Dots with my forehead. I didn’t want to look in the mirror, and I never thought I was attractive in the slightest. Much of that has gone away over the years, such that today I only start to feel that way when I get down about being single. In 2001 though, which was 14.5 years ago, the feelings of worthlessness and being ugly were much more pronounced. In fact, I’d joined a gym a few years before that with the thinking that if I couldn’t have a good looking face, then perhaps I could develop my body so I’d have that going for me.

    The funny thing about my lack of self-esteem is that-and I don’t say this to brag-I’ve never had much problem finding a guy to have sexy funtimes with. Sure, the last few years have been a dry spell, but that’s largely due to a lack of transportation and $$ on my part (well, that and I’m largely past the point of deriving enjoyment from one-night stands; though I’m sure if the dry spell lasts long enough, I’ll want a night of fun here and there). When I lived in Huntsville though, I had several people I could call up for some hot times. But I wanted something more. What I *really* wanted was to come to terms with my appearance and feel comfortable in my skin without needing anyone else’s approval. What I *thought* I needed at the time was external validation of my attractiveness. So what better way to seek that validation than to go to work for an escort service.

    The first job I took was a nude massage. It was for an older guy-I think he was in his 60s or 70s. He wanted nothing more than to be massaged by a guy who was naked (he was unclothed as well). He never asked for anything more, nor tried anything more. It was kind of awkward for me as I’d never done that kind of thing before, but for $75 for an hour’s worth of work (it was actually $150, but the agency got half), it was a no-brainer.

    Over the next few months, I had a few other jobs. Only one actually involved sex. I was rather surprised at that, as I thought being an escort was really a fancy way of being called a sex worker. I had some stereotypes rattled out of my head back then.

    In any case, for the story…
    The head of the agency called me up and told me he had a bachelorette party that requested me to perform. It was a group of women. No nudity on my part was requested. Which I thought was nice bc I wasn’t sure I’d be able to ::ahem:: keep my attention up for women. So I went to the house where the party was and IIRC, I was being paid for 1.5 hours, maybe two. I danced, and danced and danced. I dressed up for the women. They hollered and laughed and seemed like they were having a good time, though admittedly I was not a professional stripper. Not like you see in Magic Mike XXL (though I *can* dance, as you can see here; warning, it’s autoplay).

    The noteworthy thing about performing for this party was that it was my last time working for the escort agency. Why?
    Well at one point, the women decided to play a game of truth or dare. Initially they played it while I was dancing. But at some point they decided to incorporate me into the ‘dare’ part. With me laying on the floor (wearing nothing more than a thong), one woman was dared to gyrate on my crotch. No problems there. The problem for me came when the next woman took a dare-to sit on my face. I’ve never had sex-oral or vaginal-with a woman. Aside from a “I wonder what its like”-level of curiosity, I’ve never had any strong desire to. And being that close to a woman’s vagina just made me rather uncomfortable. I don’t think it showed (or at least I hope it didn’t), but once I’d finished up, I left thinking “that’s not something I want to do again”. So I chose to stop working for the escort service. Looking back, I suppose I could have just requested not to do any further bachelorette parties. That way I could have continued making more money. Oh well.

    Several months later, I decided to commute between Huntsville and Birmingham (also in Alabama; about an hour and a half drive) so I could work at a gay strip bar called Bill’s Club. That was another unique experience.

  2. 3

    Okey, dokey…
    Having trouble commenting (some places on FB).
    So, instead I’ll do it here:

    re: Ahmed Mohamed…

    Egads ! 9th graders with clocks !? What next !? *gasp* *faint* *tha vapahs !*

    What next, indeed ? College professors (with ‘funny names’) elected to the Presidency ? How ridiculous ?!

    Oh… wait ….some are STILL questioning THAT 6 years into Obama’s administration ?

  3. 4

    I hate that Ahmed had to experience this shitshow, but I’m happy that he’s received a paid scholarship to Space Camp, a trip to the White House, and internship with Twitter, and much more. He has a lot of opportunities that have come his way in the wake of this.
    Just wish it didn’t have to go down this way (and I wish others who have faced similar situations saw as many doors open for them).

  4. 5

    Alexander Z
    Oh, they’re still making those and much more. Slides, doors, wheels… Kids loved them at that age. Best to give a pack of sellotape as well as the parents will need to glue doors back again repeatedly.
    What didn’t work out for mine: magnet books. I love the idea. You get a book where the pages are magnetic and just show the background and the characters are magnets that move along from page to page as you read the story. Only that the magnets got stuck everywhere within hours of buying the book and never in the book. I think there are still two of them inside the radiator ’cause the kids threw them in and then had to learn a hard lesson about magnets: They won’t just fall through and come out again at the bottom.

    Do I want to go back to the Harris thread and the resident fascist dutchdelight?

    *restocks hugs*

  5. 6

    Oh, beatrice, I forgot: Congratulations for living in a not quite shitty country when it comes to refugees. While HUngary is starting open season (water throwers, tear gas), Croatia is providing them with buses to Austria. Only sensible solution.

  6. 11

    I’m pleasently surprised, but we still have to see how long that lasts.

    Hungary… there will be deaths there. It’s just the question how many. Right noe I’m just hoping Serbia keeps the restraint and doesn’t answer with their own army at the border. The only thing worse than one group of military facing refugees is a second group facing the first over those same refugees.

  7. 12

    The bachelorette customers sound pretty disrespectful. I thought it was quite common for things like this to be look-don’t-touch??? (mind you I’ve never been to anything like this, so I probably only got that impression from TV or something).
    The agency must have been coining it in, taking 50%. A workers’ cooperative is what’s needed (as in most things! 🙂 )
    If it’s not too presumptuous of me to say so, I bet you looked great.

  8. 13


    In your last post on the other thread, did you mean to say “Islam is not a race”? Because you wrote “not a religion” and I haz confused. Though I am also reluctant to go read the comments again, too. None of the sycophants can answer the simple question of how do you tell Muslims from non-Muslims in a line at the airport.


    Had my root canal yesterday. There was some pain involved before they finally got the novacaine in the right spot, but otherwise, the tough part is done. There will be a little more grinding so the crown fits correctly. Of course, I also have to get a gross debriding, which is the part I am *really* not looking forward to, and then three cavities filled.

    Yes, it had been 8 years since I was at a dentist, why do you ask?

  9. rq

    *free hugs*

    So as I said, we wrote up a letter, but we couldn’t find the email of the woman who is responsible for after-class activities (which include choir), so Husband held off on sending it, and called her up first – otherwise we end up emailing the school director himself immediately, and since maintaining the hierarchy is important, it might not be taken well. Anyway. So he talked to her, and was relieved to hear that she already knew of the situation (Eldest’s teacher had already gone to her), and was equally astonished and disappointed and angered with the choir director’s response, and will be speaking to her tomorrow (apparently she only comes in on Tuesdays and Fridays, when she has to teach the children). This is a comforting reaction, and I am hoping that there will be some kind of action, or at least some stern reprimands for the teacher, who will hopefully adjust her attitude. We checked her out on the internet (o wonderful technology) and thus far she has only been teaching adult choirs and ensembles; it seems she lacks direct experience with children of grade school age (which begs the question of how she got the position in the first place, but she’s familiar with the director (same adult choir) and probably has the musical credentials). So we’ll see! Eldest is willing to try again and I’m reassured that the school, as far as we can tell, is on our side.

    I would agree with opposablethumbs, that the actions of the bachelorette party were a bit… over the line; they may be paying for your services as a dancer, but this does not mean you have to submit to unwanted physical contact, especially of a sexual nature. As a straight, white woman I find myself ashamed of the way they treated you, and I’m sorry it (the dancing in general, not their taking advantage of you!) wasn’t a pleasant (if slightly odd) experience for you.
    I also append the caveat that I have never participated in a similar event, but I would not be comfortable with playing dares with another human being who may not, in fact, feel completely free to choose to participate and give clear, unpressured consent.

  10. 15

    Finished Mr’s Birthday present. Now I want to keep itf or myself.
    I still owe him a sunhat after I promised him one before the holidays and then got sick. He used my jeans one in Spain and I made him one, too, with gorgeous sea-serpent embroidery.

    Don’t even think about that. Fuck.

    Glad to hear there are sensible people there.

    Our school is offering a special football group for girls with and without migratory background, including a two day camp. If only my kid were half as excited as I am…

  11. 16

    another human being who may not, in fact, feel completely free to choose to participate and give clear, unpressured consent.

    Exactly. Granny Weatherwax put it in a nutshell, didn’t she – “treating people as things” is at the heart of almost every ill we do.

  12. 17

    rq, that sounds positive from the school – I hope they do sort it out! Bravo to Eldest for being willing to consider giving it another go, and here’s hoping the choirleader has the skill and willingness to adjust. If they were only used to working with adults before, I suppose that sheds some light on their skewed expectations and having no notion of adapting to mixed and above all developing abilities. You’d think somebody would have given at least some thought to that, though!

  13. 19

    Apparently I’m “trolling” because I’m standing up for children’s right to not be hit.

    Some Guy Somewhere wmdkitty • 5 minutes ago

    I’m not going to respond to you any more. You have consistently demonstrated an unwillingness to discuss a subject that is demonstrably debatable in favor of vilification, demonization, and a litany of logical fallacies. You have provided no value to the discussion at hand, and I will henceforth consider you a troll.

    Dude’s projecting, hardcore. I (and others) have produced study after study proving that spanking is detrimental to children, and this guy is still saying “it’s necessary because kids can’t reason”.

  14. 22


    The nationalist scumbag party is already asking we close our borders.

    While we’re still being decent, government keeps saying a lot of these people are economic migrants and not refugees, so I’m not sure what they are setting up with that for the future.

  15. YOB

    Stop! Hold on…

    *hangs up caution tape everywhere*

    Here’s your hardhats, everybody.

    *banging noises…saw.saw.saw….bang bang… … … CRASH*

    Oops, sorry bout that.

    *more constructions noises… Chicken squak…band bang bang….

    Ok, ALL CLEAR!
    The TARDIS-Tech Manatee Habitat is installed. In the floor this time. 🙂

  16. 32

    What’s your favorite type of insomnia: The one where you suddenly get second wind and feel like you could go out for a jog, or the one where you’re too tired/sleepy to open your eyes, but still manage to stay awake?

  17. 34

    B, eh? Very interesting… Your answer shall be recorded for… future reference, citizen.

    BTW, I have no idea how anyone can sleep in that couch-bed. Since when tents are good things? It’s not even a proper tent. Back in the military I had a better tent – it was large and cozy, it had better beds, electricity and even locks.

  18. 35

    re: WMD Kitty’s discussant
    I propose that we all use variants of ‘discuss’ ‘discussing’ as many times in every sentence as is discussingly possible.
    Also ‘henceforth’, because that will make us look smart.

  19. 37

    Well, looks like we’re finally getting the real Fortress Europe. Or as German activists said, “Oktoberfestung” (Festung = Fortress), a play on Oktoberfest, because closing the borders to Austria just coincidentally came right before the start of the Oktoberfest…
    Fuck everybody, except us.

    Aaaaand, because life isn’t busy enough, somebody stole my license plate.
    First breakfast, then I’ll call the police and ask when I should turn up, then get new license plate

  20. rq

    You know what all that border closing will end up doing? It will end up pushing thousands and thousands of refugees to Latvia, thus fulfilling the prophecies of all the doomsayers who predict we will be overrun by economic migrants!
    I’m only half-joking, because I’m pretty sure that, if the border-crossing gets uncontrollable (right now it’s a matter of about 50 Viet Namese walking across the border with Russia per year), we’ll probably end up putting up the fences and the barbed wire and reinstate the border-crossing checks, too. A good thing that none of the old checkpoints got torn down, hahahaha ha ha hah. ha. ha. haaaa….

    Fuck everyone, indeed.

  21. 39

    The question I’m asking is “who thinks that Serbia is equipped to deal with all the
    refugees? I mean, they’re all closing their borders to people who merely want to pass through.
    But I guess nobody cares cause Serbia isn’t EU and therefore they can look as bad as they want to.
    I also thought of something: Maybe next time your fellow Latvians complain about all those 250 refugees, make the following proposal: All Latvian expats (we wouldn’T want to call the immigrants, right?) have 10 days to get back to Latvia to make room for the refugees. No Latvians are allowed to emmigrate unless the same number of refugees is taken into the country.
    See them wriggle around a bit

  22. rq

    Ah but Giliell Latvian economic migrants aren’t like those economic migrants!!! (See: mostly white, christian, cis-straight, etc.) I’ll bring your idea up sometime, though. Just for fun!
    (Sidenote: I know (of) several people/couples who have left due to political opposition in the question of recognizing same-sex couples legally, which brings up the old joke about why should Latvians be afraid of same-sex couples? After all, most have been raised by same-sex couples: Mum and Grandma!)

  23. 41

    I like that joke!
    Also, where did that people go to? Russia?

    Well, back from the police. Now I need to find my “Fahrzeugschein Teil I” (very important official document) and take everything to the License Office. *sigh*
    If only i knew where that stuff is…

  24. 42

    Dog but I despise my current government and its media apologists. For so many reasons, but currently because of the smooth, articulate, well-off embodiment-of-privilege I saw arguing on TV last night that taking 4000 refugees a year (for 5 years, then we stop) is more than generous because the UK puts money into the camps in Lebanon. Fuck all the people already in Europe, we don’t care. Who cares that if drowning victims had made it to shore alive, our current policy would have sent them right back.
    If they were whiter, I bet more people here would be more inclined to consider letting them in.

  25. rq

    They went to Ireland or the UK. And I think Germany, and the Netherlands, and Denmark, and……. you get the idea. 🙂


  26. rq

    Wow, I just totally held down that conversation in Russian. That is, I didn’t speak Russian, but the other person on the line did, but I understood everything except the question “Who am I speaking to?” 😀 That was like a whole conversation. Woo!

  27. 46

    Going to Germany because Latvia isn’t conservative enough when it comes to gay marriage. That’s a joke I find amusing.
    And congratulations for the Russian conversation. I’m always a bit sad that I can’t speak Russian. My gran, who’s Russian German used to be fluent…

    Aaaaaand I can’t find very important document.
    We’ll look through everything together at the weekend…

  28. rq

    I must have written it wrong… no, it was people going away because Latvia is too conservative – i.e. these were people who wanted to marry the person they loved, rather than someone dictated by law, and they left to less conservative countries, because people locally are way too afraid of same-sex relationships (politically speaking, the recent EuroPride had quite a lot of popular support).
    I think my English wasn’t. Sorry for the confusion.

  29. YOB

    Checked but don’t see anything.

    AlexanderZInsomnia: definitely A. Those are the nights I say “Fuck it” and play Minecraft til 4 in the morning. So turn a bad to a good by getting to play MC all night then blame the insomnia for the next day’s afternoon nap. 🙂 (like I really need an excuse. Best.Perk.Ever of working from home.)

  30. YOB

    [The following ProudPaPa Moment is brought to you by “Yay Us Parenting”.]

    *scene: Yesterday evening, at the supper table*
    *YOBling discussing her lunch convo with her 6th grade friends*

    YOBling: …so we were talking about Donald Trump and about how he wants to send families like Samantha’s and Angeles’ back to Mexico and I’m like why? We have lots of room here. Lots of money and jobs. If people want to leave and come here for a better life and we can help them do that, why don’t we? I mean, some of them walk for miles and miles and even might die just so they can hopefully get a job. We have lots of jobs here. If they want a job, give them a job! They just want a better life and we should be helping.

    *HFW and YOB quietly, smilingly fist bump*

    *fade to black*

  31. 53

    Urgh. No sleep last night. Feel like crap. Apropos of very little, I must comment on The Donald’s disparaging of Carly Fiorina’s appearance: He obviously thinks she is unattractive. I fully subscribe to the moral position of discussing one’s ideas, not one’s appearance, but in this instance it is specifically The Donald’s appearance I must discuss. I have a very real feeling of disgust when I look at Trump. The ways that he contorts his face, particularly his mouth are repugnant to me. His emotions that are the basis of his facial contortions are equally repugnant to me. How in the name of Maude can anyone take him seriously?
    Back to bed now.

  32. YOB


    The ways that he contorts his face, particularly his mouth are repugnant to me. His emotions that are the basis of his facial contortions are equally repugnant to me.

    I find his appearance repugnant, too. I think our repugnance is for the ideas and motivations behind his expressions and our brains are extending that feeling towards his appearance. The visual cue of his expressions cause our brains to connect what we are seeing with what we know about his ideas and then generating an emotional response. I don’t that is necessarily bad or wrong. If we were to use his appearance as some sort of rebuttal or denigration of his ideas or his humanity (as he so often does to his detractors), then we would be in the wrong.

  33. 57

    Well, thus ended the worst week at work in a long time. Apparently, I shouldn’t take vacations longer than a week or max two, because on return I’m unable to do the simplest task without screwing it up.

    Friend from another town is coming this evening, because of that wedding tomorrow and I think chances are good I’ll start crying on her if we start talking instead of going to sleep.

    And now to depress myself further by reading the news.

    *hugs* all. World in general sucks

  34. 59

    Regarding the insomnia options: I would pick A.

    Right now, bags under my eyes have their own little bags and they both hurt. What the hell? One week at work. One single week. And the first day was mostly consolidating task lists.
    So that’s 4 days. 4 days after which I’m dead tired, everything sucks and I’m getting into that horrible state about my job that led to me screwing up my uni education (I passed everything, that’s the best I can say about it).

    And I didn’t have time today to do shopping for food and things for refugee donations. It looks like they’ll be here a while, so I guess I’ll do it tomorrow. Red Cross has a very specific list and they say they are not taking anything that isn’t on it. I’m afraid too many people took the opportunity to get rid of moldy clothes instead of giving necessary things, that’s why they had to get strict.

  35. 61

    I’m now turning off my RDC to work computer and I’m going to chill. Really.

    And next week I’m going to be brilliant at everything.

    On refugees, a couple of short comments:
    1. Police made a public statement warning citizens that there are circling many false claims about a rise in rapes and kidnappings, blamed on the refugees. They assure people that there has been no significant change in the number of crimes and people should ignore the fear mongers.
    2. Giliell had it right. Europe’s official stance seems to be : fuck refugees and fuck Serbia. *washes hands*
    3. Are assholes more common among taxi drivers than the rest of the population, or is it that most people are going to be assholes if they have a chance? (re: taxi drivers taking small fortunes from refugees for short drives)

  36. 63

    Hello, international incidents:

    Hungary has seized a train carrying refugees from Croatia, according to the Hungarian Disaster Unit.

    It is reported that 40 Croatian police were disarmed and the train driver was arrested during the incident.

    Earlier today Hungary accused Croatia of encouraging refugees to illegally cross borders and “shipping” them to Hungary without prior consultation.


  37. 64

    Fucking goddamn Kim Davis is at it again:

    On Friday, Mason’s attorney told the judge that when Davis returned to work Monday she “confiscated all the original forms” and replaced them with forms that delete her name, the name of the county and all references to the deputy clerks. The new form has Mason’s name and a place for him to write his initials but not his signature.
    “It also appears to this counsel those changes were made in some attempt to circumvent the court’s orders and may have raised to the level of interference against the court’s orders,” attorney Richard Hughes wrote. “Mr. Mason is concerned because he is in a difficult position that he continues to issue the licenses per the court’s order … which had some remote questionable validity, but now with these changes may in fact have some substantial questions about validity.”

  38. 67


    Kim Davis won’t stop listening to her lawyers as long as they keep telling her exactly what she wants to hear. She’s convinced herself that she is a martyr to her cause, whatever that is. Ghastly woman.

  39. 69

    I just got an email from my cousin. Her brother died yesterday afternoon. He would’ve been 67 this year. I think his wife’s sudden death just broke him. Dammit, he was good people, and so was she. It’s not fair.

  40. 71

    Oh, gods-dammit. Y’all know who Rich Sanderson is, right? One of the leading anti-FTB crowd, likes to start smear campaigns against people who call him out on his shit, utterly obsessed with PZ…

    He’s… well… just see for yourself. Pretty sure what he’s doing here is a massive DARVO with a side of gaslighting, not to mention the “PZ is sending you here to defend him” conspiracy theory he’s cooked up. (Because anyone who has ever been to Pharyngula is, like, PZ’s drone, or something?)

    I need a gut-check, here — am I out of line, or is he just genuinely batshit? Am I being abusive?

    Sorry, I just… I still don’t quite trust my own judgement.

  41. 73

    Thanks, everybody. We knew it was coming, but it’s still hard to deal with. It’s worse for my cousin, I know. I already called Aged Mum to let her know, since she doesn’t have email. At least I can do that.

  42. 76

    Why USAnians are so obsessed with bacon? It’s very annoying.

    Please accept my condolences as well. 66 is too young to die.

    I have most of Patheos blocked so I don’t know what you’re talking about. Screencap?
    Nevertheless, Bayesian statistics says that in all likelihood Sanderson is full of shit.

    Please accept my condolences as well. 66 is too young to die.

    *hugs* for the shitty week. Anne is right – working and managing to pass exams is no small feat. Most people are unable to do that.
    As for Hungary, it’s a rogue nation pure and simple. It should have been kicked out of the EU when it changed it’s constitution to eliminate judicial oversight over laws and to restructure elections and parliament rules in a way that de facto turns Hungary into a one-party state. Orban himself is aware of his shaky standing in EU and has been lately cozying up to Russia.

    You’re good parents. Very well done.

    Donald Trump is repulsive! He is also adored by repulsive people.
    They see his face ooze his smug, self-adoring smile and like it. They see his face swell and bulge as he bellows his hatred and they like it. He is their id.
    BTW, regarding faces Orwell once said that “at fifty everyone has the face he deserves.”

  43. 77

    I was looking through Orwell quotes and found this one:
    “Each generation imagines itself to be more intelligent than the one that went before it, and wiser than the one that comes after it.”
    The latter part should be heeded by those who rile against millennials or recent “SJW culture”, while the former should be hard-coded into every Tumbler post.

  44. 79

    Anne, I’m sorry for your loss. *hugs*


    OH no, my English doesn’t English well again. I was comparing my work attitude to my study attitude from years ago. These two things were never happening at the same time.

  45. 80

    Respects and salutations; also hugs because hugs are just plain necessary. Thank you for the loan of the sledgehammer, rq (I’ve put it back in the workshop).

    I’m sorry for that sad news, Anne. And Beatrice, honestly I think you’re managing really well – hope you get a chance to recover a bit!

  46. 82

    Ahoy there, me corsair. Come, join me for some hardtack and grog, and tell this sea dog why WordPress doesn’t have a feature to distinguish blogs I hate-follow from those I love-follow.

  47. 91

    Thanks kitty, that Sanderson fellow is full of fail.
    Let me wrap my head around this – FTB aren’t New Atheists, and FTB hate New Atheists (like Dawkins) because the New Atheists aren’t SJW. THEREFORE FTB will accept/support/train (I’ll leave it for the reader to figure out what the actual accusation is) any non-SJW who is also against the New Atheists, by ignoring them completely.

    But as for your original question, no. He isn’t gaslighting or DARVO-ing(?) anybody because he isn’t an abuser and this isn’t about abuse. He’s just a liar and a moron. There is no need to bring abuse terminology into this.

  48. 93

    Hey folks
    Since we’re all in a crappy mood, i’ll dump my shit alongside.
    I’m back to worst daughter in the world. What did I do, you may ask. Well, I horribly and nastily and everythingily asked my mother to please no longer load the tables with sweets when we visit on Fridays. We go there for about an hour or an hour or a half on Fridays and we always leave at 6 pm. Dinner is at 7pm. I don’t mind the kids having a cookie or two at 5 o’clock. I know they are hungry at that time and it’s still two hours until dinner, but not twenty cookies because then they’ll be out of bounds and won’t eat dinner.
    OK, so after having some cookies on Friday I told #1 to stop. When I saw her next she was eating cake. I took it away from her and chastized her and then it struck me that this was fucking unfair. She’s eight. You cannot reasonably expect a kid with a sweet tooth to simply ignore the cake that’s been put in front of her.
    So I asked my mother to please stop doing that. I was fucking nice about it and even said that it was fine to give them something that is packed so they can take it with them and eat it after dinner.
    She looked at me as if I was asking something nobody could have thought about and that was totally unreasonable…

    My heartfelt condolences.

  49. 94

    Giliell, thanks, and I offer hugs and sympathy for unreasonable Aged Mums. We are proud members of the Society of The Worst Daughters in The World.

    At least mine has had to take it down a few notches since my dad died. He was the worst for that sort of thing, especially as I produced their only grandchildren and got all their grandparental energies. But she still pushes all my buttons.

    Speaking of same, we just got home from a rare entire family expedition to a ringing phone. It was, of course, Aged Mum, wondering why we weren’t home, because I’m supposed to keep the phone surgically attached to myself and/or mystically divine that she’s calling, because if I don’t pick up the phone by the second ring and know in advance that it’s her, there must be something terribly wrong, etc etc etc. Anyway, she had been playing with her answering machine, she found an old message she thought might be from me, and she had to call in case it was something important. Aka, any excuse to call and bother me will do. I have no idea what the message was; probably the one from several weeks ago when I called to tell her that our home phone was out. So much for my happy day. THBPBPTHPT upon her, I say.

  50. 95

    Forgot to change my name back when I posted. It’s too hot here (103° this afternoon by the backyard thermometer), and I think my brain is melted.

    Now, let’s see if changing my name puts me back in moderation-land again. Inquiring minds want something… a nap, I think.

  51. 96

    Hello all and would somebody please help me put down this truck load of hugs and grog? I just can’t seem to do it alone.

    Ooofff. Thanks. Aaahhh, that’s so much better. Mind if I stretch out and put my feet up? Mmmmm. Anx.

    I’ve been away for quite a while, I know. I plead slings and arrows and getting older. Blame me if you will, whippersnappers, your day of reckoning is coming. (For those of you of the mature persuasion, what else is new?)

    Times are intriguing as well as challenging. Adapting to age and diminished ability is at least a chore, at the most a pain in the ass. I know, I shoulda seen it coming. Just like I shoulda known that my night vision would diminish and my strength would leave me and I can’t get a good night’s sleep either. Eh. Something else I didn’t know was that the day would come when I could make my grandsons laugh so there’s that. And some other stuff mostly concerning them. Such cool dudes are they. By them I am blessed. Not the least because they are dealing remarkably well with this:

    Surviving daughter is still using. Son in law is in jail. Oh, there was a major event in early August, let me tell you. Yard full of cops, screaming and invective, neighbors parting curtains and copping furtive glances. Two teenage boys taking OUT their maniac father and sparing their mother. It was . . . well it was damned near TeeVee worthy.

    I’ve been silent because I keep waiting for another shoe to fall; invoking the Unspeakable Law* here. It is hard to describe something that is in constant flux. Here it goes this way and upon describing that trajectory it is suddenly veering off on another. My father was fond of saying that “life is made up of disappointment” and I think I’m beginning to see his wisdom.

    Still, and all, I don’t have time to start over and if I did life would be unrecognizable from my present vantage. One thing that helps immensely is coming here and finding you all loving one another. Why, it’s damn near biblical and all, you know? >insert grinning winking eyebrow arching emoticon here>

    So, aahhh, mind if I just cozy up and share some of that lovin’ with you all?

    *The Unspeakable Law: No matter what you mention, if it’s something bad, it happens. If it’s something good, it goes away.

  52. 97

    Hey there Crudely Wrott. Nice to see you. Sorry to hear things have been going so well. And of course you’re welcome here for whatever length of time you choose! I think Anne’s pillow fort is currently without an occupant if you need.

    I’d stay and chat, but I was actually about to go to sleep when I saw your comment. I’m sure one of the others will be along shortly. Take care my friend.

  53. 98

    Hello all and would somebody please help me put down this truck load of hugs and grog? I just can’t seem to do it alone.

    Ooofff. Thanks. Aaahhh, that’s so much better. Mind if I stretch out and put my feet up? Mmmmm. Anx.

    I’ve been away for quite a while, I know. I plead slings and arrows and getting older. Blame me if you will, whippersnappers, your day of reckoning is coming. (For those of you of the mature persuasion, what else is new?)

    Times are intriguing as well as challenging. Adapting to age and diminished ability is at least a chore, at the most a pain in the ass. I know, I shoulda seen it coming. Just like I shoulda known that my night vision would diminish and my strength would leave me and I can’t get a good night’s sleep either. Eh. Something else I didn’t know was that the day would come when I could make my grandsons laugh so there’s that. And some other stuff mostly concerning them. Such cool dudes are they. By them I am blessed. Not the least because they are dealing remarkably well with this:

    Surviving daughter is still using. Son in law is in jail. Oh, there was a major event in early August, let me tell you. Yard full of cops, screaming and invective, neighbors parting curtains and copping furtive glances. Two teenage boys taking OUT their maniac father and sparing their mother. It was . . . well it was damned near TeeVee worthy.

    I’ve been silent because I keep waiting for another shoe to fall; invoking the Unspeakable Law* here. It is hard to describe something that is in constant flux. Here it goes this way and upon describing that trajectory it is suddenly veering off on another. My father was fond of saying that “life is made up of disappointment” and I think I’m beginning to see his wisdom.

    Still, and all, I don’t have time to start over and if I did life would be unrecognizable from my present vantage. One thing that helps immensely is coming here and finding you all loving one another. Why, it’s damn near biblical and all, you know? >insert grinning winking eyebrow arching emoticon here<

    So, aahhh, mind if I just cozy up and share some of that lovin’ with you all?

    *The Unspeakable Law: No matter what you mention, if it’s something bad, it happens. If it’s something good, it goes away.

    (did I get edit right?)

  54. 99

    Hello all and would somebody please help me put down this truck load of hugs and grog? I just can’t seem to do it alone.

    Ooofff. Thanks. Aaahhh, that’s so much better. Mind if I stretch out and put my feet up? Mmmmm. Anx.

    I’ve been away for quite a while, I know. I plead slings and arrows and getting older. Blame me if you will, whippersnappers, your day of reckoning is coming. (For those of you of the mature persuasion, what else is new?)

    Times are intriguing as well as challenging. Adapting to age and diminished ability is at least a chore, at the most a pain in the ass. I know, I shoulda seen it coming. Just like I shoulda known that my night vision would diminish and my strength would leave me and I can’t get a good night’s sleep either. Eh. Something else I didn’t know was that the day would come when I could make my grandsons laugh so there’s that. And some other stuff mostly concerning them. Such cool dudes are they. By them I am blessed. Not the least because they are dealing remarkably well with this:

    Surviving daughter is still using. Son in law is in jail. Oh, there was a major event in early August, let me tell you. Yard full of cops, screaming and invective, neighbors parting curtains and copping furtive glances. Two teenage boys taking OUT their maniac father and sparing their mother. It was . . . well it was damned near TeeVee worthy.

    I’ve been silent because I keep waiting for another shoe to fall; invoking the Unspeakable Law* here. It is hard to describe something that is in constant flux. Here it goes this way and upon describing that trajectory it is suddenly veering off on another. My father was fond of saying that “life is made up of disappointment” and I think I’m beginning to see his wisdom.

    Still, and all, I don’t have time to start over and if I did life would be unrecognizable from my present vantage. One thing that helps immensely is coming here and finding you all loving one another. Why, it’s damn near biblical and all, you know? >insert grinning winking eyebrow arching emoticon here<

    So, aahhh, mind if I just cozy up and share some of that lovin’ with you all?

    *The Unspeakable Law: No matter what you mention, if it’s something bad, it happens. If it’s something good, it goes away.

    (did I get edit right?)
    (Yes, apparently.)

    Gentle regards to all. MOar later. Keep doing what you do. It’s good for all of us.

  55. 100

    Ooofff. Dubpost. This tech used to be within my grasp; I was a hot shot BASIC hacker back in the day. Now I just get embarrassed.

    Oh, to Anne: my heart knows your hurt. Here, have some of my intrepedness, gleaned from loved ones who went away. They would have wanted me to give it to you. So do I. Doing so is part, perhaps a very large part, of how we help ourselves to survive.

    K. G’night.

  56. 101

    *big hugs* to you, too. Damn, you’ve got a handfull with your family. How’s the mancubs coping?

    Your mum reminds me of my friend’s mum. My mum, well, she’s not that old yet, but alcohol has completely erased all her nice qualities and honed her assholishness. And my father is a textbook example of co-addiction..

    On the good news, I have a valid car registration again. After some hours of searching we found the Very Important Document so this morning I got that shit done. That’s 100 bucks and an aweful lot of time I won’t see again in a hurry. Luckily I’m at home preparing for my exams at the moment so I could simply use the morning.

  57. 102

    I stop keeping up with Ahmed’s story for a day and I come back to it to see it’s now about the workmanship and un-originality of his clock. The bigots are getting desperate. Anything to dehumanize a brown child, I guess.

  58. 106

    I’m really not getting the fooled and hoax thing either.

    He never said he invented a timekeeping device. He never said he machined each individual component from scratch in his factory.

    And even if he had, why is a millionaire academic with a PhD and best-selling author and a millionaire TV host picking on him?

    Oh right…

  59. YOB

    *hugs* and *mops* to everyone that needs ’em.

    Ug. Money troubles causing some conflict between Honored First Wife and myself. 🙁 I don’t like it. We haven’t fought in so long (possibly years?) that it’s really throwing me off my oats. YOBling even noticed (our fights are very low key) and expressed concern so had to talk about it this morning.

    Ug. 🙁

  60. 111

    It’s really strange to watch bigotry emerge in people in real time.

    It’s not that my colleagues don’t like immigrants or don’t want to help them, it’s just.. .there’s so many of them. And isn’t it strange how many are men? (I explain that I’ve seen reports about groups consisting of families where more than 30% were pregnant women.. it probably just happens that some groups have more men and some more women.)
    And isn’t it strange how they don’t want to give their names to be registered? (I explained that they are afraid they won’t be let to exit Croatia if they do, another colleague added that they can’t gain anything by giving their information, but they are afraid they could lose)
    And isn’t it strange how they all want to reach Germany? (I just rolled my eyes with “And where did we run years ago?”)

    Tiny little seed of doubt. One person adds one little conspiracy theory, the other adds another.. and it grows. And soon “THEY” are taking over Europe.

  61. rq

    Funny how that narrative is so unoriginal. Like there’s some collective unconscious at work, constructing that particular story. Word for word, I could say the same thing about the people around me. Both media articles and conversations. Just, you know, we wouldn’t be speaking Croatian.
    “I have nothing against immigrants, but…” (And they’re always immigrants or economic migrants, never refugees.)

  62. 113


    I think both words are actually used here with similar frequency. It might be because we’re used to dissing Bosnian refugees so that word doesn’t evoke much more sympathy than the other one.

  63. 114

    You have been sorely missed, my friend. I commiserate with you regarding the indignities of old age. In my case, I have stopped coloring my hair, taken to wearing bright colors and red lipstick and the mockers can go get screwed.

    I’m sorry about the family travails, but the mancubs, though probably suffering sound strong and O Holy Maude I am glad they have you.

    More anon. We are FINALLY picking up my repaired car this afternoon. I threatened the auto body shop with exposure to social media. I hope they did a decent job, but I have my doubts.

  64. 115

    Crisis averted. Phew.


    Do you have any neighbors who are good with tools?

    Yes! You won’t believe my luck – while I was walking on the roof (over here all apartments are outfitted with solar heaters that are stored on the roof, which means the water goes up to the roof and then comes down to each apartment) I discovered that another family in my block was installing an air-conditioner. They also came up to check the roof because about half of it was flooded (but it looked was than it was – the water was evaporating fairly quickly once the water was closed). They jammed one of their plastic hoses into the broken pipe and dropped it down so I could hook it up to the flat from the window.
    The only downside is that I can’t close the window, but I’ll worry about it come winter.
    The really bad news is that my entire solar heater is falling apart. Literally! One piece of plastic fell off when I touched it. I searched around and it seems fixing it (more like replacing the whole thing) will cost about 500$ and there is no way in hell for me to pay that. It still has one unbroken glass surface and the interior seems to be functional, so I’ll go back tomorrow while the sun is still up to tape all of the exposed wires and that’s that. Maybe I’ll move out when the contract will end.
    Meanwhile I have my new window-pipe.

  65. 116

    Greetings to Crudely Wrott and *hugs*!


    YOBling even noticed (our fights are very low key) and expressed concern so had to talk about it this morning.

    It’s good that you talked to her about it. It might not make her feel any better now, but she’ll appreciate it later.

    Your Aged Mom sounds like my great-(n-removed)-aunt. Any time my mother can’t answer her calls, I get a call from her. And every single time she acts like it’s the end of the world.
    What’s really weird is that she lives in Munich, has a son not far away, has her granddaughter and her great-grandson nearby. Why is she even calling here all the time?
    It’s not because she needs something, I’ll tell you that. Some time ago she called me because she need some technical help. I tried to do what I could, but in the middle of the explanation she announced that an interesting opera is about to start and hang up on me. The next time she called she didn’t care about the earlier tech problem at all, but some other thing. Oh, and she hang up that time as well.

  66. 117


    I’ve always been the one who showed up when the Aged Ps needed help, partly because I lived closest, and partly because they trained me that way, so Aged Mum always calls me. Sometimes she calls me because she really wants to call my ratbag baby sister or my younger brother, but she “doesn’t want to bother them”, so she calls me and expects me to answer the question she had for one of them.

    If I hadn’t started being mean to her (see “World’s Worst Daughter) and restricting her regular calls to one per day Mon/Wed/Fri, she’d still be calling me at all hours whether she had something to say or not and expecting me to be there, know that it was her, pick up the phone by the second ring, and be ready to entertain her. All hours, day or night. Then she eats in my ear and won’t turn the TV down. She’s been doing that since my dad retired years ago.

  67. 119


    I’ve always been the one who showed up when the Aged Ps needed help

    No good deed goes unpunished.
    You have my sympathies.

    Don’t worry, they’ve been out like that for who knows how many decades. I don’t think anything bad will happen if they one more day before getting taped.

  68. rq

    *more free hugs*
    I’m sorry I can’t contribute too much more than that besides random weird comments that might seem like I’m avoiding the personal touch, which (sorry) I kind of am. I just feel like there’s not enough of me to go around right now, so you’ll have to take the impersonal hugs and know that I am thinking of you all together and individually.
    In other news, it’s weird how it’s not always the things you expect that strike the emotional chords out of the blue.

    And re: Biped!?‘s lipstick, the obligatory Warning shall have to do. (Love songs are just so overdone, and who the heck wears the bottoms of their trousers rolled (unless at the beach) anyway?)

  69. YOB


    I just feel like there’s not enough of me to go around right now, so you’ll have to take the impersonal hugs and know that I am thinking of you all together and individually.

    Yay! I’m not the only one that feels that way, sometimes.

    I read the comments and I want to reply to each and every one, especially if it is bad news type stuff. So, I for one, accept any general *hugs* as personal *hugs* and hope that others accept mine in the same spirit.

  70. 124


    I remember another one I heard today re: refugees:

    “Did you see what kind of phones they have? I’d like that one. Haha ”

    At least several others criticized that stupidity. Virtually everyone owns a phone these days, and it’s not like smartphones are a sign of riches any more.

  71. 126

    rq, I usually do the mass hugs apply as needed thing because I’m afraid I’ll miss somebody or hug someone who’s not into hugs today. Hence the basket of hugs thing.

    [whine] it’s hot and humid and now my digestion is upset about something I ate. Grump grumble growl.

  72. 129

    I understand where rq is coming from, too. I regret that I haven’t responded with more hugs lately. I always mean to, and have started several posts before feeling like it isn’t going anywhere (and I am actually feeling that with this post, but I am going to force myself to actually put it up). So, yes, I will refill the basket next to the pillow fort.

  73. 131

    Anne, I just drove down the mountain to the flatlands and boy howdy it is hot and humid down in your neck of the woods. It is a lovely 66 degrees F up here. What a difference 5500 vertical feet makes. Maybe you should move up the mountain? And maybe one of these days I’ll drive down and we can meet for lunch. We really don’t live far from each other.

    So the MFing mechanic in fact did not have the car ready. Spit. Now I’m supposed to try again on Wednesday. Am I paying for the sins of my ancient relatives or something?

  74. 132


    We just opened all the windows and turned off the ac because it’s 79°, but there’s a lovely breeze. It’s really kind of weird out, overcast but not actually raining, and it probably won’t cool down much at all tonight. But right now it’s nice outside.

    I’m sorry you’re having mechanic troubles. Hugs are offered.

    If I can work past my fear of meeting new people, we should meet up sometime.

  75. 134

    I am almost at a loss for words. I just read a story about sexual violence against a woman that is hands down the absolute worst, most disturbing story I have read in my life. The article was graphic in ways I was not prepared for (even though a warning was included under the title). I originally read the story at Raw Story, and followed the link to the original article from the Sun Sentinel in southern Florida. You may see it in the news soon.

  76. 137

    Tony! (bless his heart) says:
    “Sorry to hear things have been going so well. And of course you’re welcome here for whatever length of time you choose!”
    Well, if things were actually going so well I’d have something more uplifting to say!

    Thanks for the sweet greetings from Giliell and Anne and Biped? and Alexander Z. You folks are a deep part of my personal support system. So nice to know you. So very nice.

    Hey, rq, that poem you linked to; hits home in a way that is pleasant. That is, age and experience = some snark and some glee. You make me glad that I’ve lasted this long. Best wishes to you and your trying tribe.

    Elder Grandson is doing spectacularly well. He is a font of pride and gratitude for me. Tomorrow we will go over with a fine toothed come a letter of invitation from a (I think, that’s why I reserve judgment for the moment) well respected educational society that tries to pluck out from high school students those who show some exceptional promise. Bragging about him is likely forthcoming.

    Younger Grandson is mostly video games and blowing shit up. Still and all he is a fine young fellow and he hugs me a lot. I do so love these two young fellows.

    I have it in mind that I will continue to comment here and maintain a meaningful relationship with all of you as long as I am able. Should I become unable to do so one or both of my mancubs will intercede for me. They don’t know this yet. I shall inform them of this charge before long.

    The reason that I do so is simple. I have always gravitated towards people who spoke plainly and with honesty. The Lounge was a revelation that spoke loudly to me. Suddenly there was a source of informed commentary that spanned disciplines. Rational conversations unencumbered by doctrine, free of deeply held personal beliefs, transcending petty hatreds and inculcated fears. Well, mostly,

    The path to the future is paved with stones of rationality. Each on carefully laid according to established knowledge, not belief. Belief is the child of credulity, informed only by rumor and gossip. The reliable path is paved with stones well earned by experience and repeated test. Such are the principles that I choose to show to my grand sons. I have a notion that they each have a chance too influence the future, be it by one person at a time of multitudes at a go.

    The foregoing may seem a bit ambitious, I admit. But a guy can hope, eh? Now I have to get them to reading SciFi from the thirties. Anybody got some old Book Club volumes to sell?

  77. 140

    Lately I’ve been signing out books from the library by C. J. Box. Crime adventures located in my home state of Wyoming. I recommend any and all fans of the genre to check out the same.

    A great attraction for me is recognizing many of the locations referred to in the stories. “Wow! I stood right there where (asshole) got his due.”

    Really. Check it out.

  78. 144

    chigau, how’S the plants?
    It’s one of the funny things about the Lounge: When some folks are still baking in the summer heat, others are getting frost.

    I think you get bragging rights for your grandkids

    Annes, YOB
    Thanks! The colours are indeed lovely. What was funny was that by pure chance the kids wore complementary sweaters during their first outing: #1 petrol hat, burgundy sweater, little one burgudy hat, petrolish sweater

    *restocks hugpile*

  79. 145

    No need for mops anymore! Taped all the wires. It was very easy, now that the water has dried up. The window-pipe system works very well and has been tested by two showers.
    The best part is that there was no damage to any of the neighbors.

    It reminded me of the many similar stories from the African refugees here. Apparently, it’s a common torture-execution method (almost exclusively used against women) that is employed by certain desert gangs on the major refugee trails.
    The US man is just a case of sick minds think alike.

    Crudely Wrott
    Congrats to your elder grandson!
    (though I find the youngest’s interests more to my liking 😉 )

    Well, mostly

    I like this place a lot, but I also missed the Thunderdome. There are a few people I really want to chew out. Luckily, Dawkins is one of them, and I like the push back against his dishonest bigotry.

    re: hugs
    I agree with what the others have said. Very often the things that are shared here are too much for me to cope with, and I’m not very good at expressing emotions as it is, so all too often *hugs* is all I’ve got.
    Yes, it’s a shortcut. But it’s a shortcut for heartfelt sympathy.

  80. 146

    Anti choicers, how do they work?
    Got into an argument over at Twitter. one of thosef ucking “secular pro lifers” replied to Sally Strange that “the children who would have been killed would beg to differ” that abortion is good. I replied that actually, I would prefer if I had been aborted.
    I got subsequently told I need help. Repeatedly.
    Clearly, if you think that not having existed is preferably to childhood abuse, you’re crazy!
    Actually, I even brought that up during therapy. My therapist was a little shocked and quickly evaluated if I was suicidal, but we agreed that “enjoying life now” and “not having enjoyed it in the past” is totally OK

  81. 148

    She’s also as dense as uranium. Now she’s claiming that you can experience harm without suffering from that harm which makes sense in a world where harm is defined as “strawberry icecream”…

  82. 149

    “. . . we agreed that “enjoying life now” and “not having enjoyed it in the past” is totally OK.”

    Yup. This ^.

    I love you, Giliell, and I think you do too.

    That’s the spirit we need. Not beating up and not beating down. Just easy rolling, watching the world go by while we watch our steps and try to not be stepped on. Full time work if you ask me. 😉

  83. 150

    Hmm. Didn’t know that my semicolon, dash, greater than* would be replaced by an indeterminate, middling, generic smiley face impostor.

    Technology: watering down expression since that movie where a guy wiped his face with someone’s shirt.

    *it’s a wink with a grin

  84. 151

    I now have the distinct honor of taking Elder Mancub for his very first job interview.

    This is a moment that will live forever . . . even if he doesn’t get hired.

    He’s so nervous and I’m having a hard time hiding my amusement. I’m just so glad to have a role to play.

    Wish him luck, ya’ll! He really doesn’t need it but when I tell him that he’s got backing from unexpected quarters it just might add to his confidence. Not to mention his curiosity about those lurking in said quarters.

  85. 153

    Hi all.

    A bit ‘rupt after being out of town for 4 days and work being absolutely crazy (and, frankly, causing me a bit of concern after a mild reprimand for something mostly out of my control). At least the trip was fun.

    General *hugs* and *condolences* offered. Similar to what others have expressed, I’m most times at a loss to say anything specific and so usually just don’t post anything (sorry about that).

    For the time-being I’ll be at the end of the bar, nursing a Scotch, and following the conversations as time allows.

  86. rq

    I’m going to leave this stack of *pre-emptive hugs* because as of tomorrow evening I’m out until most likely Monday evening. Going to Galway. For a bit of half-family time (actually kind of like two-thirds-family time since there’s only six of us now and two aren’t going to make it – and by ‘us’ I mean my parental-and-sibling family, not my hubanded-and-childed family). In any case, I don’t know how much posting I’ll get done between now and when I leave. And yes, I’m going without any computers and will be pretty much computer-free, except for random email checking I might manage to do from my sister’s computer.

  87. YOB

    Everybody look under your chairs! You get a *hug*! And you get a *hug*! Everybody gets a *hug*!

    Safe and happy travelin’

    Crudely Wrott
    Ah, the first interview *dun dun dun* I think I threw up the morning of my first one. Thirty*mumble* years later, I still get pretty nervous before one. Good luck to the Eldest Mancub.

    Ug, secular forced birthers* are The.Worst.Evah. At least with the religious ones, I can “kind of” see where they are coming from.

    *my autocorrect tried putting in “Birchers” for “birthers”. Actually seems kind of appropriate.

    I think I know the story you mentioned above. I am not easily shocked anymore. Seen too much, grown too cynical, but that shocked me. It is beyond disgusting. I understand the problems inherent in using words like “monstrous” but, holy shit, do I want to use it now. This is definitely a case that really challenges my stance on the death penalty.

  88. 165

    D’oh! For the last month or two, I’ve been selling my comic book collection on ebay to make money. I’ve made probably $700, which has been quite welcome. For some reason, I didn’t think about this until a few minutes ago-people are always looking to buy and sell stuff on Craigslist. So I checked, and sure enough, there are three separate listings from people looking to buy comics (along with action figures and video games). Already sent an email to one of them. Hope to hear something back.
    If someone gave me $5000 tomorrow, they could have my entire collection (given that I have over 10,000 comics, many of which are worth more than $1 each, this would be a steal).

  89. 166

    Good morning

    Love right back!
    And YAY for Elder Mancub

    Safe trip and have fun, rq! Galway is nice.

    Hey, with some luck my parents leave for a holiday today. So much for my father’s anouncement that he wouldn’t goo n a holiday with my mother until she sought treatment. I guess that unlike the last 20 times she is really clean now and really doesn’t need any help.

  90. 168

    My cat is now so old that occasionally he forgets to go to his litter box to crap. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain and is relatively normal, but very cranky – everything pisses him off now. He spends the afternoon yelling at the children playing downstairs.

  91. 169

    *threadrupt w/ a side of panic* ! [need to be in ‘a meeting’ in 4 hours… HOPE I don’t lose my shit …due to sleep depravation and general ‘fed-upish-ness’]

    I was trying to tough- it -out but …. now having second thoughts [not uncommon].
    So, my natural instinct was : “See what The Lounge/Speakeasy thinks”.

    *BIG sigh*

    So, some may recall my ‘fairly recent’ rant about my problems at work…. my contacting a state agency about ‘proper’ lab procedures… [BTW, still have no indication that THE BIG GUYS took my concerns seriously !!]….

    Now, it’s employee performance evaluation time ! [Always something to look forward to !!!]

    Question [I’m asking myself]… Why am I the ONLY person on the water treatment staff rating a “meets standards” evaluation while ALL OTHER staff got a “Superior” rating ?* [ In the current economic status PLUS having a new City Manager, word is that we will be lucky to get ANY pay rise this year.]

    1) Is it because I’m the ONLY woman in the pool? …. Surely, in the 21st century my 30-something supervisor (with less experience than I have) isn’t a raving misogynist ? [Evidence to the contrary.]

    2) Have I really performed ‘marginally well ONLY” in the past year?

    3) [THA BIGGIE QUESTION} I hope to present to the appropiate person, in the appropiate tone of voice at the appropiate moment:

  92. 170

    3) [THA BIGGIE QUESTION] I hope to present to the appropiate person, in the appropiate tone of voice, at the appropiate moment:

    HOW does my coworker (with the least experience in the field) get a higher rating than I —when HE DOESN’T EVEN HAVE A BASIC REQUIREMENT FOR THE TITLE ‘PLANT OPERATOR’…. A STATE CERTIFIED LICENSE TO BE A PLANT OPERATOR like all the rest of us? His license expired Dec. 2010 !!!!

    [Is it as it seems— that operator in question– gets away with (various infractions) JUST because he is ‘tight’ with the Plant Superintendant? [Or am I just an overly sensitive?

    [ And why does the phrase ‘Gaslighting’ so easily come to mind?]

    Okay, must get some sleep. Hope this makes sense to at least some.

    Any how… got to figure on an approach when talking to the new City Manager. How NOT to sound like [in their minds] a raving Femanazi ™, a ‘moocher’ looking to get something for nothing [they always try to use that one]…. or a legitimately wronged/ maligned worker who seems more concerned about the end product than the ones who actually drink the water I help produce. [ I live in a diffrent county and have a well as a water source.

  93. YOB

    It sounds like your nym is entirely too appropriate, right now. *big hugs*

    Regarding your query:
    1. It certainly could be the case. (It sure sounds like it). It’s possible that your supervisor is a misogynist and not even know it. I’ve known people that seriously believed themselves to be egalitarian but then consistently downplayed the efforts of the minority.

    2. It may be that your performance was “perceived” to have been only marginally well. See #1

    3. One approach that could be considered is from the “Help me improve” angle. If they come back with “just work harder” or similar nonspecific platitude then you have at least a confirmed crappy boss and probably a misogynistic boss in addition. If they come back with specific reasonable actionable suggestions, then some introspection may be in order.*

    I hope things improve for you. I know that working in a crappy job sucks and so often the crappy part has nothing to do with the actual work itself.

    *please accept my preemptive apology if #3 is too personal or overstepped a boundary.

  94. 172

    x-posted from the “humanity is ridiculous” thread at Pharyngula, ’cause I found a couple of handy links for comparing teh dred o noes bogeyman benefit fraud with the real deal – tax fraud.

    From the government’s own figures (Sept 2013):

    The UK government estimates that total fraud across the whole of the economy amounts to £73 billion a year. UK government figures for 2012 estimate benefits overpaid due to fraud is £1.2 billion and tax credit fraud is £380 million. So just under £1.6 billion in total; less than 1% of the overall benefits and tax credits expenditure and less than benefits underpaid and overpaid due to error.
    Sometimes it helps to compare the figures with other fraud or error. More than this amount was overpaid in benefits due to claimant and official error. That was £2.2 billion in 2011/12 and is recovered by the UK Government. Equally claimant and official error led to £1.3 billion benefits being underpaid.
    So to get some perspective, benefit fraud represents 2% of the estimated total annual fraud in the UK. Public sector fraud, which includes benefit fraud, is £20.3 billion a year, so within this category it accounts for just under 8%. The majority of this £20 billion is tax fraud which costs the economy £14 billion annually, or 69%. So we can see that both in absolute and percentage terms tax fraud is a much bigger issue than benefit fraud. In fact, out of all the categories of fraud calculated by the UK Government, benefit fraud is the second lowest. Only identity fraud which costs individuals £1.4billion a year comes below it.


    To put it in proportion a nice easy-to-read graphic form (and don’t forget – the figures for benefits overpayment and tax underpayment come from official government sources):

    So naturally you’d think the government would devote proportionally more effort to combating tax fraud, right? Seeing as how it costs the economy so many times more than benefit fraud? Well, no …

    The tax gap from evasion is, give or take the odd billion or so, £70 billion at present. The total tax gap is about £120 billion.
    Benefit fraud and official error combined cost £3.1 billion last year.
    But apparently benefit cheating is times more important than tax abuse.

    over three years tackling tax evasion was worth just £633,000 but benefit fraud was worth £17.5 million.
    So apparently, prima facie benefit fraud is 27.6 times more important than tax evasion over this period.
    But weight the spend by the size of the problem and the ratio is even more spectacular. Then benefit fraud is 624 times more important than tax evasion.
    Which is indicative of a spectacular error of judgement.
    – See more at: http://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2010/07/01/benefit-fraud-is-624-times-more-serious-than-tax-evasion/#sthash.nmjQScCX.dpuf


    Because it’s easier and a better vote-grabber to take cheap shots at economically insignificant benefits fraud than to go after tax fraud. Benefits claimants have no friends in high places, after all, while those tax evaders and avoiders are rich people with lawyers. Some of them might even be major party donors …

  95. YOB

    Should have refreshed before posting. Ignore my #3 above. He’s an asshat. I’m not sure how I would handle that kind of situation. The “Help me improve” angle is only good for smoking out the problem. Sounds like he’s the problem.

  96. YOB

    Surprised? I am not.

    Now I’m trying to think of other famous people with verbs for last names. Sadly, I suck at remembering stars and their names. I’m so bad that My wife no longer gives me a verbal response when I ask “Isn’t that [person name]?” I just get “the Look”.

  97. 178

    You have a massive asshat for a boss and I have no idea how you improve your situation without running the risk of losing your job.
    How interested the new City Manager in your plant? If they’re very interested (i.e. itching for a “reform”) the direct approach might be the best, but still risky. If they’re moderately interested than you need to test the waters lightly by saying jokingly “at least I have the X certificate”. If the CM become alert explain your problem in detail.
    Otherwise you’re totally fucked. If you say anything the CM will, at best, forget about it, or at worst label you as a “troublemaker”.

    I’m sorry 🙁

  98. rq

    My wife no longer gives me a verbal response when I ask “Isn’t that [person name]?” I just get “the Look”.

    This just proves, contrary to popular opinion, that men are perfectly capable of reading the Incredibly Subtle body language of the Incredulous Woman. Husband is also quite adept at telling the difference between the “Seriously? Yes.” Look and the “Seriously? No.” Look.

  99. 180


    I suck at remembering stars and their names.

    Me too. I once confused Billy Blanks with Bruce Willis. I literally could not see color.


    Husband is also quite adept at telling the difference between the “Seriously? Yes.” Look and the “Seriously? No.” Look.

    Clearly an evolutionary adaptation.

  100. YOB

    I wouldn’t go that for myself. I am notoriously inept at reading the body language of most humans, in general. I can read Honored First Wife so well because she has been training me for the last 20 years or so. Training is ongoing, still. 🙂

    My trouble is mostly with names, as opposed to the actual people. I, invariably, get Jack Nicholson and Jack Nicklaus mixed up, for some reason. I see Nicholson in my mind and call him Nicklaus (and vice versa). In fact, I had to Google in a separate window to keep it straight for this comment.

  101. 184

    My money’s on “yes they’re sexist and they still think they’re actually unbiased”

    I swear my husband tries to provoke “looks” Looks” and “LOOKS” by making bad puns.
    I am also bad at remembering “stars” and only do so in rare cases. I generally suck at names but am quite good at faces.

    Shameless self-promotion: I have a new post up at School of Doubt which might be of interest to folks here:http://schoolofdoubt.com/2015/09/23/crafting-gender/

  102. YOB

    Oh, I do that all the time. Not so much with puns, but with “Bad Dad Jokes”.

    HFW: I’m going to run to the grocery store.
    Me: Really? That list is awful long. Maybe you should take the car? *rimshot*

    YOBling: Daddy, I’m hungry.
    Me: Hey, nice to meet you, Hungry! My name is Robert.

    Me frantically to YOBling: HEY LOOK OUT! THERE’S A NOSE ON YOUR FACE!

    I’m full of’em. Or rather full of something anyway.

  103. 187


    See, I know you’re a good writer. I’ve been reading your comments for years now. I don’t know what makes an essay (article? opinion piece?) so different, but that was really an extraordinarily well written essay.

  104. 190

    Great essay! And good for you to advertise yourself because I had no idea you’re writing essays.
    As for the topic: I agree with you completely. I know I would have enjoyed doing things that were considered “girly”. This masculinization of normality is harmful to all children, boys and girls, and is the exact opposite of what art/crafts class supposed to do.

    I’ve read all of your essays there, and one can tell you’re a teacher by how you end an essay with a “discussion question”.

  105. 191


    My cat is now so old that occasionally he forgets to go to his litter box to crap. He doesn’t seem to be in any pain and is relatively normal, but very cranky – everything pisses him off now. He spends the afternoon yelling at the children playing downstairs.

    Except for the “forgetting the litter box” part, that pretty much describes me at the moment. Sigh.

    **holds up empty Scotch glass expectantly**

  106. 192

    At least semi-‘rupt.
    Gotta do something about my priorities, hmmmm?
    *hugs* for all, with *chocolate and/or rum*
    Extra rations of all, where circumstances (or inclinations) indicate.

    Sympathies and *hugs* for Anne.

    AlexanderZ, bacon is not annoying!
    Holiday season already?
    In any case, my condolences on the death of your pipes.
    *proffering suitable floral arrangement*
    And your solar heater, as well.
    *adding casserole*

    Ah…must’ve been Pirate Day again.
    Um…swab the poop off the deck? Haul the keel aft?

    Giliell, you cannot possibly be the Worst Daughter In The World!
    That title is mine, dammit! Mine!

    Fukken bigots, how do they work?


    *belated pouncehug, fortified with Vitamins and Minerals*
    (And probably *Organic!!!*, as well.)
    I’m sorry to hear that you are Experiencing Turbulence.
    *moar rum*?
    My best to the mancubs.


    I commiserate with you regarding the indignities of old age. In my case, I have stopped coloring my hair, taken to wearing bright colors and red lipstick and the mockers can go get screwed.

    I also say fie to mockers and wear bright colors—even purple, and if they don’t wanna watch it disagree with my coloring, tough noogies, they can just avert their eyes!—but I dye my hair in defiance.
    For October, I’ve found a dye that promises me Velvet Violet highlights.
    We shall see, oh yes indeed we will!

  107. 193

    *specially-hand-crafted hugs* for rq.
    Safe travels, safe return.


    So, I for one, accept any general *hugs* as personal *hugs* and hope that others accept mine in the same spirit.

    Me, too; and me, too.

    Giliell, I’m not sure which of the hats I like best, but they are lovely!

    Which obliquely reminds me—must persuade The Husband to take a pic of the luna moth tee shirt, which—while not as Completely Awesome as the one in my mind, is at least not worthy of midnight burial in the backyard. Then, get him to tell me how to link the pic.
    Sounds tiresomely tech-intensive.

    Having successfully nurtured a begonia outside throughout the summer, I have re-potted it and brought it inside. We’ll see if it can continue to flourish in my near presence.

    I had to smack a young man down on Facebook for referencing Dawkins as the “World Leader of Atheism”.

    Crudely, I hope Elder Mancub’s interview went well. In any case, retrofit my “best wishes and good luck” in there!

    Extra *hugs* for bluentx.

  108. 194

    About dying ones greying hair, when I stopped I assumed I had a full head of grey hair. But no, just the locks above my temples. Now, when I pull my longish hair back I can do a decent Bride of Frankenstein impression. But I am thinking of putting in a teal stripe somewhere. I’ll keep you posted.

  109. YOB

    Well, My hair is going “steel”. That’s a color of strength and totally not age. 😉

    Unfortunately, my once deep ginger beard is now basically white. I’d love to dye my hair (once it grows back into a proper pony tail) but I don’t think a color exists that wouldn’t look totally weird ( and not in the good way). I really miss being able to dye it jet black and go full goth. Too old to pull it off anymore.

    *sigh* I guess I’ll just put on some Bauhaus and be nostalgically nihilistic.

  110. 196

    Thanks for the nicewor ds about the essay, you’re making me blush

    Re: Dying hair. I used to dye mine black, which made my grandpa ask about once a month “are you dying your hair?” Then there were more and more greys and the black hairdye stopped working. I changed brands, tried the cheapest and the most expensive, nothing would stick. Now I use a reddish brown (and I need to do it again one of these days).
    Funny thing about Mr is that one side of his body went grey much earlier than the other. Seriously, for a while it looked like he way dying the left side of his torso…

    Usually my sister and I compete for that title. OCcasionaly my BFF does as well, her crimes being “having a job and therefore not being available 24/7” and “not reading her mother’s mind”. Her mum’S one of those people who will not say “I have a doctor’s appointment, could you drive me there?” but who’ll go “I have a doctor’s appointment. I don’t know how to get there. I am a poor old woman and nobody cares about me. Woe me. Waily Waily Waily”

  111. 197

    Today, at exactly 3am I was awoken by a telephone call. Naturally, I assumed it was from the Pentagon and that I’m Hillary Clinton. But no – it was some stupid drunk teenager randomly hitting buttons.


    **holds up empty Scotch glass expectantly**

    *Fills with Laphroaig single malt*
    It’s gud fer ya.


    Unfortunately, my once deep ginger beard is now basically white

    My once pitch black facial hair is becoming more and more ginger.
    I know some basic genetics of red hair, but I wonder why the hear on my goes white whereas the hair on my face goes both white and ginger. Curious.


    Woe me. Waily Waily Waily

    Oh how I love those people – you can screw with them forever and never grow tired. Funny story:
    My entire family is like that and when my mother was a small girl (three or four y.o.) there was a family gathering. As was the custom, the entire family took turns saying how they couldn’t take another bite and how “you shouldn’t have gone to all this trouble, really”. Eventually my mother got annoyed and told one particularly egregious couple that they always say that right before gobbling as much as they can and then asking for seconds.
    The shitstorm that followed raged for decades. Even I remember how that couple kept ignoring me and my mother and family gatherings, much to my mother’s delight.

  112. 198

    Oh gad. I had one beer and three quarters (of a bottle of beer) and I’m a bit drunk.

    Boss person: “With your weight, you’re all “wheee” after what… a beer and a half?”
    Me: “Something like that”
    Colleague: “You’re handling it well”
    Me. “Something like that”

  113. 199

    Giliell, I am guilty of Criminal Failure To Read Her Mind, and Criminal Negligence (Failure To Visit While Living Within 500 Miles), as well as Felonious Refusal To Let Her Fuck My Son Up—to which a second Felonious Refusal count has lately been added, involving Grandson.
    In terms of minor crimes, I have just this month not voluntarily joined her in Branson, in the middle of a workday, on a last-minute Strong Hint.

  114. 200

    Does anyone know a good biography of Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan?


    Boss person: “With your weight, you’re all “wheee” after what… a beer and a half?”

    Did he just call you fat?

  115. YOB

    Re: Big Bang Theory
    I suspect it is a combination of “Yay, it’s Us but Not Us.”

    That is, it’s cool to see people similar to yourself on TV. But at the same time, we* can laugh at how we are not “as bad” as them.

    *we being them what like the show for the nerdy ness

  116. 206

    Re: Big Bang Theory,

    I think it’s a terrible show, for all of the reasons mentioned above. The Husband, however, loves it. I know a few other nerdish people who do as well. YOB, I think you’re onto something (as opposed to on something) here.

  117. 207

    I think what irks me is that it’s got some good comedy talent and clearly no shortage of resources … but every time I think it just might be leaning towards doing something interesting or a bit subversive with a female character or a gay theme – and clearly it could, if they wanted to – it quickly snaps back and shows such a misogynistic streak … (yes, it is watched in this household).

  118. 209

    Thanks for the multiple-source *hugs*, they were much appreciated. [And returning same as needed.]

    I also appreciated is the advice given regarding how to approach voicing my ‘grievances’ with my supervisor and/or informing the new City Manager.

    I went to the meeting I mentioned (the meeting itself was about relatively trivial business). That part went fine. After the meeting, which was held at City Hall, I went in search of the CM. My intention was to ‘feel him out’ about how receptive he would be to ‘complaints’. I still don’t know the answer to that. He was no where to be found (in a meeting elsewhere I was told). Therein is part of the problem.
    As AlexanderZ said, “How interested is the new City Manager in your plant?”. Good question. It makes me wonder since he has been CM since early June and hasn’t even made an effort to meet the water plant night staff (myself and the other night operator). When I looked for him at City Hall my plan was to introduce my self then decide if I should discuss specifics with him.
    As far as the ‘evaluation’ goes I asked my supervisor [in writing] to explain it. All he ‘explained’ [by a return jotted note] was how much my raise would be if it’s deemed any can be afforded. Uh, actually I was asking him to explain where I was supposedly ‘lacking’ compared to my coworkers. [Ya see, he had asked me to sign the evaluation form with no commentary from him. No indication of what he considers ‘inferior’ … nothing…. nada… How the heck am I supposed to improve if I have no idea why or where I’m considered to be ‘lacking’ ??!!!]

    I’ll keep working on this but it may take time (my work hours do not coincide with city hall hours, I (and the CM) live in towns other than the one we work for so coordinating a time to meet is tricky, yadda, yadda…

    In the meantime, I’ll work on those plans for my part in the Barfly& Lounge Lizard Commune.

    *stares off into space dreamily*

  119. YOB

    I “like” BBT, for certain values of “like”. Lemme explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up…*

    I am and have been since I was wee, extremely nerdy. I love all things nerdy. Cos-play at a Con? Anime, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, or Renaissance? Yes. LARP? Of course! Heck, I learned to blacksmith, originally, to better portray my Amtgard character. Gaming? Any and all. I’ve even designed a few (both video and tabletop.) D&D, Pathfinder, GURPS, Hordes, Warhammer. I write computer code for a living and get all my clothes from ThinkGeek.

    So. Why tell all that? When BBT came out, I was thrilled! There were people on TV that I could relate to that were the stars of the show. They weren’t getting beat up and shit on by the Preppies. They were talking about stuff that I could grok. That show helped make being nerdy ok, even cool, to some degree. I really really dug that.

    But. 🙁 The more I watched, the more disenchanted I became. The jokes that I “got” but didn’t get why they were jokes. I started noticing the misogyny, the punching down in the guise of humor, the exaggerated ineptness. While the creators are not hitting the nerds as hard as John Hughes did in the 80’s, they are, IMHO, only marginally better.

    Something else I noticed about it that I referenced in my earlier comment: I’m seeing some of my fellow nerds (as well as non-nerds) use the characters against others derogatorily. “OMG, you’re such a Sheldon!” “Now, don’t go all Wolowitz on me, bro.” For some reason, that annoys the ever loving shit out of me.

    Ok, tis late and I’m obviously rant-rambling. So, yeah…

    *not very good at summing up, apparently.

    I do hope that your situation gets resolved satisfactorily. There’s soothing manatees in the floor aquarium, if you need.

  120. 211

    There are no African Americans on Big Bang Theory.
    The only POC is a foreigner.
    You may be missing out on some PopularCultureReferences™ but I don’t think that’s anything to worry about.

  121. 212


    That really sucks. I hope you’ll get somewhere with your enquiries.


    In last night’s episode that prompted me to make that conclusion:

    Penny is working as a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. A doctor she met on the job visits her with a bouquet of roses because he thinks he’s into him (she held his hand two Mississippis and winked at him). After finding out Penny has a boyfriend and realizing he was probably mistaken, Sheldon invites him in, they talk some more. Guy is “their type” – a total nerd who can’t find a woman.Penny comes, she’s unhappy that they are befriending the guy and points out how ridiculous it is that the man thinks every woman who is nice to him must be interested.
    Guys don’t really take note and go visit the doctor’s home when invited, only to find he has a huge collection of geeky stuff. During their conversation everyone keeps saying that Penny’s boyfriend whatshisname only “got” her because he was annoying and persistent.
    WHat does the doctor who? Takes that as advice , and goes back to Penny with roses, locking the guys in his basement:
    On the way he meets Amy and is after 4 Mississippis and a sympathetic comment in love with her and ready to notify Penny that they can only be friends.

    Guys find out they’re locked, Penny takes the doctor by the ear to take her, AMy and Bernadette there. THey find guys playing video games and not at all upset about being locked in.

    … and that’s it. Penny clearly shows displeasure, but a) it’s amused displeasure and b) guys don’t get a single thing from that situation.
    It’s ok that it’s played for laughs, but no one learns anything and even the audience can easily watch it as just another nerd be nerds haha situation.

  122. 213

    good morning
    I am extremely proud of the little one. I am angry with the world. One of her daycare teachers told me today how she praised her on Monday during their “ready for school training”. At the end of their session they did a colouring sheet with a boy flying a kite and they first talked about what colours things are, because they were supposed to colour it naturalistically. So the tree trunk is brown, levaes can be green, yellow, red, orange…
    When it came to he boy, all kids simply grabbed peach, only the little one was wondering “Now, the kid could also be a refugee kid and their skin is darker. And also there are Germans with darker skin, so what colour do I use now for the boy?”
    Yes, looks like my attempts at race sensitive anti-racist education is bearing some fruits. But isn’t it really fucked up that a 5 year old had to state the obvious fact that not all people are white? They had to talk about how leaves aren’t blue with pink polka dots but obviously no adult thought it necessary to ask which colours people come in.
    Though the teacher who told me was obviously pleased, because she has Italian roots…

    Ooooh, family feuds!
    REminds me of that episode when Mr’s cousin’s kid was still small, preschool age. They live withh is grandma who raised his cousin after her parents died, so the kid was often with his gran, especially since they all share a kitchen/dining room. One day, grandma had a visitor. Kid came in, was introduced and said with all the innocence of a child “Oh! You’re the woman with the fat ass!” Of course grandma chastized him, you don’t say that to people! The kid was confused. “But grandma, that’s what YOU always say about her!”

    Don’t feel bad about liking BBT. First of all it’s easy to miss those things when they don’t affect you, second you’re allowed to like problematic things.

    Sometimes I’m glad i more or less broke with my parents. All contact happens on my terms. In retrospect she did me a great favour when she kicked me out.
    And no, she’s not allowed to fuck up the kids. She’ll break their hearts anyway. She has a strange entitlement to #1. See, when she was a kid my grandma was sick and for some years she was mostly raised by a collection of grandmas and aunts. when my sister was born she was in the middle of her training as a medical lab technician so my sister was mostly raised by my gran for the first years (and before you pity her, she planned BOTH things like that, the pregnancy and the training). So she thought that somehow she was entitled to her first grandchild as a compensation. I could keep the second*.

    *If there’s one miracle in this world it’s that my sister and I have such a strong bond, even though we’re almost six years apart AND with me having been the “golden child.” My sister once told me that at one time she overheard my mother telling my father that unlike her, I was HER child.

    Some times I’m glad I don’t watch much TV. BBT is on private TV and I’ve found my tolerance for comercial breaks vane into oblivion over the last years.

  123. 214

    allowed to like problematic things

    Yes. Some of my favourite things are problematic things (and frankly, there just aren’t enough unproblematic things to go round anyway).

    bluentx, wishing you luck with what sounds like a difficult situation. I would be so crap at this, would totally fail to deal with it on any level I suspect – there’s a reason I’m a self-employed sole trader working from home! (when I can get the work, that is … I’m pissed off right now because I’m waiting for a project to start – that I’ve already committed to – so I turned something else down to avoid a clash and so as not to let either one down, and now the first project hasn’t turned up yet so I probably could have done t’other one in the meantime if I’d known …. argh.)

    Beatrice, yes! They keep having potentially interesting things come up, that could be played for laughs, sure, but which they constantly play in a very regressive way.

  124. 215

    Paging Giliell, paging Giliell –


    Cinco colombianos pertenecientes al grupo neonazi Tercera Juerza, que viajó a Alemania para apoyar la marchas de grupos de ultraderecha que protestan contra el éxodo sirio, fueron golpeados brutalmente al ser confundidos con refugiados sirios.

    “Five Colombians belonging to the neonazi group Tercera Juerza, who travelled to Germany to support the marches by ultra-right groups protesting against the Syrian exodus, were brutally beaten when they were mistaken for Syrian refugees.”

    do you have any info on this?

    OK I will admit to a tiny tiny bit of Schadenfreude even though I don’t want anyone to get beaten up. But the fact that the German neonazis apparently beat up the Colombian neonazis who had gone to Germany specifically to support the German neonazis in marching against Germany receiving refugees … because the German neonazis mistook them for refugees … has a certain something.

  125. 216

    “… soothing manatees…”
    Considering that image… unfortunately that quickly morfs into less soothing images of [current foes] confronting painfull jellyfish or eels, man-eating sharks, painful/ deadly portions of puffer fish…

    Yes, I am still working on forgiveness v. vindictiveness issues. Why do you ask, Doc? : )

  126. YOB

    Thing is, I want to like BBT but I don’t. Too often, the laughing is at the nerds, not with them. And by “them” I mean people like me and my friends. It gives me the tiniest teensiest hint of what it must be like to be a minority while watching TV. It sucks and I don’t like it. Pile that on top of the other stuff I’m noticing since becoming more aware of SJW issues, and I just can’t like that show.

    I found that story to be amusing. Then I felt bad that I was amused. But, still…

  127. 219

    I’m stuck in moderation hell over at En Tequila Es Verdad for about a week (I’ve never commented there before) 🙁

    Problematic entertainment is precisely why I like VG so much. In them (at least the ones I play) I can decide just how problematic I want everything to be.
    With some limitations, of course (sorry, trillions of people in TBS games, but you died to make a better world – one where I’m in charge).
    That’s also why I like certain cartoons – unlike HBO series they aren’t pressured to insert doggy-style sex/rape every 10 minutes and instead focus on plot, character development, comedy and action.

  128. 220


    Try sending an email about it. I had to send individual emails to each blog owner on whose blog I wanted to comment because of some error where your comments get labeled as spam. Blogger checks one comment as not spam, and after that you can comment without problems.
    (as explained by Stephanie Zvan, and it worked)

  129. 222

    Boehner is quitting! This is extraordinarily good news, methinks. Although the furthest right of the right wing party will probably get someone even worse in the position ’cause Boehner was just too librul fur them, doing so I believe will bring the wrath of the populace down on their heads. In the short term, things will get even more difficult, but it bodes well for the 2016 elections.

  130. 223

    Tom the Dancing Bug
    Bill Cosby: Universities rescind honorary degrees

    Giliell, hurray for your little one!
    One can hope the incident triggers thought in some of the others.
    My mother also thinks she’s “entitled” to Son…and now, Grandson.
    Sucks to be her.
    Seriously—with almost all of her other grandkids living within 15 miles of her, she neeeeeeds access to Son as well?

    opposablethumbs, I join you in indulging in a bit of Schadenfreude.

  131. 224

    Thanks for looking Giliell. I have no idea about confirmation either – it could have been so minor an incident that it hasn’t been picked up, but it could be fake too. I’ve only found a few references to it in Spanish (there might have been something on the stormfront website but I couldn’t see enough to tell whether it was this story, and I really didn’t want to go on the site to check!)

  132. 227

    Thank you for the advice. I sent her the email and now I hope she won’t label me a stalker as well as a troll (I know I’m blowing this out of proportion, but that’s GAD for you).

    You’ve raised an awesome kid!

  133. 228

    I’m reasonably sure Dana won’t think you’re a stalker or troll. I had to do the same thing when I first began following her blog.

  134. 229


    She won’t think you’re a stalker or a troll. By now, I think every FTB blogger is familiar with the problem, and you’ll get pulled out of the spam filter.

  135. 231

    Oh dear. Husband came home by way of the market today. He’s doing a dinner fryup – potatoes, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, yellow squash, zucchini, garlic, some kind of hot pepper, bacon, and chorizo. And probably eggs fried on top. It smells wonderful already, and I shouldn’t eat more than a spoonful, if that, because of the damnèd gallbother. It’s been more bothersome this week, and I really can’t take the time to deal with another bad attack.

    Oh well. The Daughters will take up the slack for me, I’m sure.

    My surgical consult is Monday morning. I don’t have time for surgery, let alone the recovery, which at my age and in the shape I’m in (think mother goddess of Willendorf) is likely to be on the long side of the average. I really hope there’s another option. Gah.

  136. 233

    Thanks, Biped.

    Trouble is, when I had the right half of my thyroid removed, everybody knew somebody who was 110% better after their thyroid surgery, and I certainly wasn’t. So I’m skeptical, especially since there’s no such thing as sick leave for us domestic engineer types. Still, it can’t possibly be as bad as a c-section.

  137. 236

    Alexander Z
    Thanks, I’m doing my best

    Good luck with the surgery. My BFF had hers removed 8 years ago (almost to the day!) in an emergency surgery and she’s quite happy with it.

  138. 238

    Anne, with any luck, the gallbother surgery will be laparoscopic, and will thus be a piece of cake in recovery.

    My appendectomy, at age 70, was laparoscopic. It took longer to flush the anesthetic than to recover in the abdomen. YMMV, but it’s much less worry than it used to be.

  139. 242

    Croatian right-wingers organize a protest against refugees/immigrants in Zagreb’s main square: 30 people* show up.


    *although, I think that possibly counts some curious onlookers who came too close to those assholes. Main square, in the middle of the day – it was full of people.

  140. 243

    Here’s hoping everything goes well!

    If’n you have it out, for 3 or 4 days afterwards if you have to cough or sneeze, hug a pillow; you don’t have to, but it helps.

  141. 244

    Beatrice 9/26 at 1135am
    Perhaps that’s why they chose the time and place: it would appear that some o the onlookers were part o their group and so look more popular than they really are.

  142. 246

    Well. I just hit something of a jackpot. I decided to check Craigslist a few days ago to see if I could sell any of my comics. Sure enough there was someone looking to buy some. This gentleman and his wife showed up today and after chatting with them, I sold some comics.
    All of them, to be precise.
    I have…had 10K+ comic books. Now I have next to none. I really wanted $5,000 for them, but given my desperation, I sold them for $2200. Far from the price I wanted, but hey, I don’t have to stress about rent, water, or utilities for the next two months.

  143. 248

    Party above again. I’m too scared to go and tell them off.

    How aren’t other people complaining? I’m on the first floor, parties are on the third. People on the second floor should also be in the circle of hell deeper than mine.

  144. 252

    Anne, I will keep *all tentacles crossed* on your behalf, through consult, surgery, and recovery.
    If you have a choice, I’d say go laproscopic—the recovery period seems to be shorter.

    Tony!, I’m sad that you had to sell up your comics, but glad that you found a buyer.

  145. 253

    Ahh, Beatrice, you have my sympathy.
    I once had downstairs neighbors who’d make the floor vibrate (steel I-beam and concrete construction 18 inches thick). Sometimes I’d pour myself a nice glass o Laphroaig or Macallan and sit in my comfy chair and enjoy the party. But I understand that it can be really stressful. They were there about 4 months then were removed. Here’s hoping you have at least as good a luck with your annoying neighbors.

  146. 254

    Now that you’ve unburdened yourself of some material possessions, look at it as the start of a new phase in your life. Find something that doesn’t require a large inventory. As I read in a (humorous) book once, material possession is prima facie evidence of moral leprosy. I have been divesting for several years now. It’s actually nice to get rid of stuff. I’ve two friends that got rid of everything they own (well, almost) and now live somewhere in Europe (last I heard). Everything they now own can fit in a backpack. They are mobile and love it.

  147. 257

    Yay for getting some (financial) air to breathe.

    gorgeous shirt
    And it sparkles!

    You know, I’m generally glad that Germany doesn’t lock up people quickly and good reason, but some times we overdo it in the other direction.
    Our little village has, as most places do, a resident alcoholic. Guy with aggressive tendencies and a Rottweiler dog. Usually he goes to the supermarket in the morning, gets his usual dose of alcohol and a can of dogfood. He opens the can in front of the supermarket, throws it down, the dog eats, they leave. He then gets drunk and passes out somewhere.
    Last week the dog attacked the older sister of one of #1’s classmates. The sister is an adult, she managed to fend the dog off and seek refuge in a döner restaurant. She got away with a black eye and some bruises. Police collected the guy and the dog, but in the evening both guy and dog were out and about again.
    Really, does the dog have to maul a child to death before something happens? Apart from this being mistreatment of animals as well…

  148. 260

    Heh, I’m still not sure if those people are the same ones who own a motorcycle which they really like to start at 3am under my window..

    Anyway. The other thing I have realized is that I’m a whiny baby and should maybe stop complaining so much.

  149. 261

    You have my sympathies.
    The people on the floor below me love to have loud fights in the middle of the night. AND there’s apparently some TV program (sounds like news or something like that) they always turn on before 11pm and apparently in their bedroom. I hate them. I will not miss them when we move out.

  150. 262

    Motorcycles are the worst. I have the same problem as you do where I live now and had a different asshole doing the same thing in my previous place. Motorcyclists are like gun owners – I bet there are responsible ones, but we never get to see them.
    The odd thing about this asshole is that I don’t think he even lives here – I’ve never seen his bike during regular hours.

    Anyway. The other thing I have realized is that I’m a whiny baby and should maybe stop complaining so much.

    No, you’re not.
    Or was it a tongue-in-cheek reference that I’ve missed?

  151. 263

    Beatrice, no, you are not! Sleep is important for proper functioning. [hugs offered]

    We have several assholes with motorcycles, plus two with old souped-up VW bugs. One of them sits in the alley behind our bedroom, at 2 AM or so, and guns his engine for a while before entering and leaving his garage. And don’t get me started on the ones who stand outside and talk and let their cars idle with the radio up full blast, at all hours of the night.

    On the other hand, last week there were landscapers working on a yard across the street, and listening to some oldies station, and suddenly they all started singing along. It was adorable, all these big guys singing Hey Jude while they worked.

  152. 264


    No, it wasn’t tongue in cheek. I really do complain too much. Woe is me, no one likes me. Woe is me, friend asks me to go camping but I don’t know how to human. People are noisy. Someone looked at me wrong. Colleague spoke harshly. Seller on the Sunday market might have possibly laughed at me or I’m just paranoid.

    Always something. I spend so much time feeling sorry for myself that I don’t have time to drag myself out of whatever misery pit I’ve fallen into or to work on improving myself.

    Um… sorry. That was a sudden mood change today.

  153. 266

    Read the posts on this page. We all like to complain a bit. It’s normal, it’s healthy and it’s human. Nevertheless, Anne is right – the fact of viewing normal actions in such a negative light is a sign of depression (with a side order of general anxiety disorder). You know what I’m going to say: please see a doctor. You’ll be surprised what one little pill in the morning can do.
    Other than that I’d like you to know that I enjoy all of your comments very much. You’re a great person. *hugs*

    Completely OT:
    I’ve just finished watching Russian news. They portray the border closing between Croatia and Serbia as another act of war against Russia, with Europe and the West (headed by Croatia) viciously attacking a fellow Slavic nation.
    Russia’s solution is to redouble its efforts in keeping Assad in power.

    Regarding further Russian troops going to Syria one guy twitted a pic saying: “Patriots of every nation are willing to die so that their countrymen would live a better life, only in Russia patriots are willing to die so that people in another country would have a shittier life.”

  154. 267

    Thanks and *hugs* back.

    I think Russia is full of crap because the whole freaking world doesn’t in fact revolve around Russia, but the troubles between Croatia and Serbia are worrying and some people are probably deliberately stoking that fire.

  155. 268


    I also enjoy reading your comments here and across FtB. The people who came here after the Lounge went belly up are the people who’s comments I enjoy best, and you are part of that.

    Also, loud noises late at night in an apartment building are definitely the kind of thing one should be annoyed by, so I don’t really consider it whining.


    Great decoration on that shirt.


    Once a week for the last three weeks, I’ve spent 45 minutes to an hour with someone’s fingers in my mouth (along with suction tubes and drills). I’m not convinced chewing without pain is worth it. No, it totally is.

  156. 269

    I don’t know if the black dog is barking in your ear or not, but I think many of us have been socialized to think of complaining as a bad thing. One aspect of that is the belief that venting to others about our problems is burdensome. Then there’s also the view that some complaints are so minor that someone should just shut up and deal.
    To them I say:
    1-Offering comfort and surcease to others is not a burden. It’s a sign of caring, empathy and compassion.
    2-I hate the minimization of others’ feelings and emotions.

    All of this is to say I don’t think you complain too much (nor am I certain what that would look like). This is a space for just that sort of thing. If you’re having problems and feel like sharing-share. As much or as little as you want. You are no burden. You are our friend.

  157. 270

    Thank you, Beatrice, Giliell, Anne, and barkeeperin.
    While it didn’t turn out quite as well as I had hoped—because there is nothing I can ever do that does, and the constant crises of confidence certainly don’t help—it did turn out better than I expected.
    Which is the best I can expect.
    (I’m still working on the whole “accepting compliments relatively gracefully” thing.
    It’s one of the manymanymany things I Am Not Good At.)

    *hugs* for Beatrice.
    Depression Lies.
    Fuck Depression.
    Also, what Tony! said.

  158. 271


    The people who came here after the Lounge went belly up are the people who’s comments I enjoy best, and you are part of that.

    Indeed! Here’s to us.

    Once a week for the last three weeks, I’ve spent 45 minutes to an hour with someone’s fingers in my mouth (along with suction tubes and drills).

    My sympathies. I went through that a while back when one of my wisdom teeth disintegrated (and than an X-ray showed that another tooth wasn’t doing much better).

    I think Oglaf (NSFW) is on to Pope Francis’ endgame.

  159. 272

    My turn to complain.

    Elder Daughter was outside photographing the eclipse, and her camera jammed. She’s understandably upset, because the camera is almost an extension of her body, so I lent her mine. She’s going to have to get her camera to the repair place (which has moved farther away) on her own tomorrow because I’ve already got to drive down to Anaheim for my surgical consult, and we’ll both be worried about whether the camera is fixable, and it’s going to be more money we don’t really have, and she’s already stressed studying for her GRE, and I have no idea what’s going to happen with the whole Gallbother thing, and, well, Gaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

  160. 274

    For those who didn’t see the moon, I brought you a picture.
    And now I’m tired as hell because I couldn’t fall asleep anymore afterwards.

    My sympathies for your daughter. I followed her blog for the wonderful pictures.

    Some times we’re just raw and small stuff gets us on the edge. And then there’S this wonderful place where you can vent and naturally you make use of it. But it’s OK. The problem isn’t you constantly complaining to us, the problem is a world where you have so few occasions to actually honestly say how you feel.

    My sympathies. And don’t remind me of dentists, please.

  161. rq

    *free hugs*

    I actually met the seventh son of a seventh son, but he claims not to have any powers. He was awfully cute, though. And anyone who thinks I’m younger than both my sister and my younger brother is alright in my book.

  162. 276

    That’S what they all say!

    Ha! Apparently Shakira sang John Lennon’s Imagine at the UN right after the Pope spoke there. That must have been the most beautiful middle finger of all times!

  163. 277

    I’m back. The surgeon said that since I’ve already had several severe attacks, I should get the thing removed, because it’s going to get worse eventually. Surgery dept will be calling me to schedule within the week, but it won’t be until January. Laparoscopy is most likely; he said that the only people he’d ever had to do the more invasive surgery on were men who’d put off seeing a doctor until things were really bad. This afternoon, I will break the news to Aged Mum that I will be having surgery and that I could be out of action for at least a month afterwards (I’m padding the estimate, but really, I don’t know). I should probably let BiL and my Ratbag baby sister know too, not that she’ll do anything to help but tell me how much worse she would be if she ever had gallbladder surgery.

    Emily took her camera to the repair place; the lens mechanism is out of alignment, which probably is to be expected considering how much use the camera gets. They’ll call her with an estimate.

    So that’s all I know right now. Updates will be provided when and as available.

  164. 280


    “Patriots of every nation are willing to die so that their countrymen would live a better life, only in Russia patriots are willing to die so that people in another country would have a shittier life.”

    Unfortunately, that’s not nearly so unique as the tweeter believes.

    Sympathies; I’ve been having similar experiences lately.

    Saw the Moon on the way home from work, and spent the whole way dodging damn fools who were trying to take selfies with it, wandering around looking for a good shot, and paying no attention to their surroundings.
    What the others said. *hugs*

    Best wishes.

  165. 283

    Great pic! I’ve missed the moon, so I’m glad you took that picture, not to mention it’s one of the best amateur photos I’ve seen.

    *waves to rq*
    Welcome back!

    Best wishes, Anne!

    You need to use the strong tag instead of b. Most other other html tags work normally. The edit has been broken for about a month now.

  166. 285

    Thanks, all. Aged Mum behaved about as I’d expect, alas – she wanted tell me what the cat had been doing and how down she was. I gave her my news, she responded that she guessed they’d have to manage somehow. Yes, I said, you will.

    I am going to try very hard not to wear myself out for her benefit – Husband and the Daughters, and even the Resident Felines, are my first priority, and she can lump it. Famous last words…

    Oh, I just remembered this – the surgeon and I were discussing my concerns about how all the people who depend on me would be affected during my recovery. So, he says, are you Jewish or Catholic? I told him I’m an atheist. Whoa, he said, where’s that load of guilt coming from, then? I like my surgeon, he has a good sense of humor. Also he did nothing to guilt me about my weight, just said I should try to eat a low-fat diet, and when I said I was trying, but sometimes I binged, he said I shouldn’t feel guilty about that either. He seems pretty cool.

  167. 287

    -Catching up…
    Beatrice said:

    “I have realized is that I’m a whiny baby and should maybe stop complaining so much.”

    Me: PFFFTTT !! [As others have said (paraphrasing): You’re not whiny for wanting …a decent nights sleep, a reasonable expectation of privacy (or quiet), or for that matter…..common courtesy. ]
    MY whiny-ness requires me to relate a (somewhat) similar instance:
    The one (and only) time I had a complaint (against me) while living in an apartment seems pretty tame. I listened to a favorite song. [ CCR’s- Born On The Bayou] . Decided I wanted to hear it again. Cranked the volume up….. Before the song was even complete (okay, it IS pretty long) my downstairs neighbor was banging on my door. “TURN IT DOWN !!! I’M TRYING TO STUDY !!!” [Boy, those UT- Austin students can be cranky ! : )]
    Point is— one song, one time = a minor infraction of decency. Beatrice, on the other hand, your situation seems to be a chronic lack of decency on your neighbors’ part. Who doesn’t GET that apartment living means getting along with others? Courtesy? Discretion? Compromise?

    Giliell said :
    gorgeous shirt
    And it sparkles!”

    Indeed !

    So sorry you had to sacrifice your collection but glad it will help to de-stress the financial situation somewhat.
    Hope the (least invasive) surgery works for you. Also, fingers crossed (so to speak) for you and Aged Mum post-surgery.
    re: eclipse

    Missed it ! Whatever was visible (or not) at my location I missed completely! Heard about it after the fact.
    All I do know is… Despite the full moon/werewolf/cause and effect questions… STILL the coyotes WERE going crazy again during this full moon. Even more ‘voices’ calling back and forth this time than last month. [More than I could count.] : )

    *Hugs*, *Higs*, *ScrItches*, etc. all around !!

    Also, still no word from Ogvorbis ??? : (

  168. 290

    Some good news: Daniel Handler and his wife, illustrator Lisa Brown, have donated a million dollars to Planned Parenthood. Because, he says, “We’ve been very fortunate, and good fortune should be shared with noble causes.”

    I should probably add that Handler is better known as Lemony Snicket, author of the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and, from the way he interacts with his fans, generally a good person. Also, today is Snicket Day at our house; the new SUE book is out today. Emily and I will be heading over to Barnes & Noble this morning so she can get her hands on a copy as soon as possible.

  169. 291

    Your surgeon sounds like a pleasant, nonjudgemental fellow. Good to hear! Hope everything goes well (and completely uneventful) for you.

  170. 292


    Hope your surgery goes well. And afterwords, when someone says, “I can’t believe you have the gall to blah blah,” you can say, “Lemme stop you right there. I don’t have the gall anymore.”

    Yeah, it’s a crap joke, but that’s all I got right now. (Some people would say that’s all I ever have.)

  171. rq

    *waves at everyone*
    *waves at AlexanderZ*
    *waves at everyone*

    Sorry, I had a great trip, it’s true, but I’m having trouble finding the energy for anything. I don’t even want to re-start posting on the racism thread over at Pharyngula. Not right now, anyway, though I suppose I will get to it, later tonight. I don’t even feel like opening my twitter. 😀 I feel thoroughly emotionally exhausted. That’s what you get for livin’ it up with 22- and 23-year-olds, I suppose (my sister’s trainees, a lovely bunch, really!). They’re all so young and fresh and naive, and then they make you feel old even when you’re not. Oh, to be so unspoiled by the cruel reality that is life! *sigh*
    Anyway, I’m sure I’ll be back on top of things soon enough, but for now I’m going to enjoy the doldrums for a bit. 🙂

  172. 295

    stupid question time:

    Can I have trouble with my driving license’s renewal in a couple of years, if I get a diagnose of a mental illness?
    I’m not driving because reasons, but I really want to and plan to buy a used car and start driving.
    For getting my driver’s license I needed my doctor’s confirmation that I’m healthy enough (what is enough?) and one of the questions was whether I’ve been diagnosed with a mental illness.

  173. 297

    You have that general EU licence, right? You should not need to have to renew it at all. AFAIK, only comercial drivers need to have their health checked at certain intervals.

    Good luck. The others will cope.

  174. 298


    nope, I only got it for ten years. After that, I’ll have to renew it. I don’t have the papers here, but I will almost certainly have to take a medical exam because I wear glasses.

  175. 300

    I feel like I’m moving up in the world: I have my very own conservatroll on my FB page. He thinks he has points, but he is flailing badly.

  176. 303


    Can I have trouble with my driving license’s renewal in a couple of years, if I get a diagnose of a mental illness?

    This depends on your country’s laws. In Israel the answer is both yes and no.
    The law requires a psychiatric evaluation by the Road Safety Center when a person is or has been treated by a psychiatrist and/or when they are taking any medication for a mental illness, even if it’s the most basic of anti-depressants. This evaluation can lengthen the time it takes to get a license by a few months to a year.

    However, this law is weakly enforced because of how widespread minor mental illness diagnoses are, particularly for the well-off people (who are more likely to seek treatment, not because they’re likelier to have an illness). That means that for anyone who hasn’t had a history of suicide attempts and hospitalizations, and doesn’t suffer from acute illnesses, the process is as simple as getting a second stamp on your form. You’ll never even see the evaluation committee.
    To be on a safe side many people get a medical opinion note from their doctor, which helps with any unforeseen difficulties.


    Sorry, I had a great trip, it’s true, but I’m having trouble finding the energy for anything.

    Trouble readjusting after a vacation? That reminds of a story:
    Back in the early 90s, back during the Apartheid era, an acquaintance and her young daughter went to South Africa for a couple of weeks. They had a good time and returned home feeling well. However, when her daughter exited the airport terminal and had to get on a bus (during the hot and humid summer, with the typical Mid Eastern hustle and bustle around her), she had a nervous breakdown and started screaming “I don’t deserve this! I’m white! I don’t deserve this! I’m white!”

    I’m happy that you have an open minded doctor, but I’m a bit curious why Catholics and Jews are singled-out? Don’t Protestants have families too? Or is like in the Monty Python sketch?

  177. 305

    *waves back at Beatrice*
    *anyone in between can have wave and hugs*

    The driver license is a primary “picture ID” thingy here.
    In Alberta Canada, license renewal is required every 5 years.
    I have pretty much given up on driving so I let my license lapse.
    Last time I renewed my driver license, I was concerned that I would hafta take a road-test.
    They were, like, “Whatever. We’ll use the old picture. Give us your money. Here you go.”
    I think I’m good until I turn 80 years old.

  178. 309

    Love the stylish hat, Tony! And I’m sorry you had to sell your collection. Otherwise a bit ‘rupt, apart from Anne‘s gallbother and rq‘s return from trip (::waves::)
    I don’t suppose anyone has any news of Ogvorbis? (I know I probably wouldn’t have found my way here ever if it hadn’t been for rq. Thank you again, rq!)

    Work for me is usually drought-omfsm-I-don’t-know-argh-there-is-nothing!!!! interspersed with the occasional flood-omfsm-argh-panic-I-can’t-cope!!! I am lucky to have some for the moment, but, well, ‘rupt-ish. So I’ll just leave a few hugs over here on the table; I’d be glad if anyone would care to take a couple.

    I think Corbyn is doing pretty well, considering the massive, massive opposition to him and his policies – in the press, in the establishment and in some parts of his own party. The press have been beside themselves going after him (including most of the left-leaning press). Which is weird when you think how mild his policies actually are in a historical context; it’s just that the Overton window is so damn far right lately.

  179. rq

    *waves at opposablethumbs*
    *waves at bragimike*

    I hope you have (both) been as well as can be, with no undue stress and/or illness and/or familial strife.

    Also, *free hugs* for everyone!

  180. rq

    Soooo *waves to everyone*, looks like it will be a bit of a tense time at work (possibly) over the next few months, with a risk of joblessness (or at least unpaid vacation) for rq. It’s a rather longish story but some things have to be done, and if the official entities are incapable or unwilling to provide us with normal work conditions (honestly, we have a damaged floor that is about to break out into holes but nobody gives a shit right because we get the work done), something’s got to move somehow.
    I don’t know if anyone has any advice on this, feel free to email me at eye zed ay enn dee ay at google’s mail service, but at least for now we have a partial plan and ideas on how to gather more information. Right now, it’s mostly about the documentation and keeping a record of all the shit that’s not up to standards or about to break or about to injure someone.
    On the plus side, we have some pretty decent collegial unity going on right now.

    *free hugs*

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    Does your family have Canadian passports or anything else that will allow you to move from Latvia?
    Take care and be careful.

    Hi, bragimike!

    I’m still very happy with Corbyn, but I’m beginning to grow more and more concerned with his Milquetoast attitude towards Russian expansion. I sincerely hope that when he becomes PM (which will happen eventually) he’ll remember why it’s necessary for UK to be part of NATO.


    I, for one, would ♥ to see that as your gavatar.

    I dunno, his sunglasses avatar is pretty badass.


    Alexanderz, I think surgeon guy was trying to help with my enormous load of familial guilt.

    Yeah, I got that. I was just a bit amused, that’s all.

    Put a couple of antennas on that hat and you’ll have yourself half of a Halloween costume.

  182. 315

    Trying to get caught up…..

    Bummer about having to sell the collection, but having funds is a less-bummer.
    And agree with everyone else – LOVE the hat.
    Well wishes for a successful surgery.
    Glad to hear you had a great trip.
    Work here is similar – mostly just a nice steady workload punctuated by periods of headless chicken mode (one co-worker has the following posted in his cube: Keep Calm and don’t Enter Headless Chicken Mode). We happen be in one of those periods at the moment, sigh.
    Adding *hugs* and *higs* to the pile.

  183. rq

    Considering that Husband is still very gainfully employed, I’m not too concerned about having to move away at the moment (I mean, worst case scenario, I’ll be leaving my job, but then, the plan is if one of us resigns, all of us do, thus paralyzing absolutely all criminal DNA analysis in the country), but yes, the kids are Canadian citizens. There’s a process I probably should start with Husband, about permanent residency and stuff, so he’s the only non-Canadian of the family right now.

  184. rq

    Thank you for that. 😀
    Sadly we have no actual union (the one that exists for police officers – most of my colleagues – has been bought out and they don’t actually do anything), but we’re banking on the exclusivity of our job and the necessity of getting it done. (And by that I mean the perceived necessity, since police investigations would probably get by without us – but it’s The Thing right now, our backlog is in excess of a year, and EVERYBODY wants to be first in line. Which is funny, because even the short line is a three month wait from the time they call us – which is usually about three months after they submit the request for analysis.)
    I notice there is a line about ‘building a new union out of the ashes of the old’ in the song, though. Hmm.

    Also, interestingly, I just posted a somewhat cryptic but pointed status on FB about this… and my (direct) boss has Liked it.

  185. 319

    It’s good to hear that you’re covered come what may.

    Also, interestingly, I just posted a somewhat cryptic but pointed status on FB about this… and my (direct) boss has Liked it.

    This is pure awesome. Though bosses don’t usually reach their positions by being politically suicidal, so don’t be surprised if you see a sudden reversal of loyalties in a short while.
    Your demands are worthy, but police is a touchy organization. Hope all goes well.


    Solidarity Forever!

    Indeed. Solidarity, brother.

  186. rq

    Well, I’m reassured by the fact that she is low on the list of bosses (she is the direct boss; there’s at least two more bosses just within the organization before we hit the big boss of the police, and then from there there’s at least a couple more until we get to the Minister of Internal Affairs). And since she spent years working in the same (though not as far advanced) conditions, she’s a bit fed up, too, because she’s the one who interacts with all the European organizations, and frankly, she’s embarrassed at the state of our lab. As well as the priority it assumes in the eyes of those higher up. So we shall see; she had some ideas herself earlier this afternoon.
    Next few weeks, though, will be a combination of writing complaints (complete with photographs) and waiting for reactions. We have a few official hoops to attempt before breaking the chain of subordinate command.

  187. 324


    JimB, I wouldn’t mind the work-drought times so much but I’m self-employed

    Ahh, yeah, that would make the drought times a bit more of an issue.

    I have a few friends that are self-employed. I can usually tell when one of them has a deliverable deadline – he tends to post more on our local email list. 🙂

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    deliverable deadline

    Yup, I know what you mean! 🙂

    But it’s midnight here, so I’m allowed ::nods sagely::

    AlexanderZ, yes I think he’s generally got most of the right ideas and principles. (Especially compared with the one-percenters in the tory party, of course).

  189. 326

    *head desk* *head desk*
    An FB friend (real friends’ son-in-law) just posted “We need Trump” message* (along with an anecdotal rant about someone in the checkout line ahead ‘obviously abusing welfare’). Aaaaghhhh!
    Fortunately, he replied that: “I don’t vote cause my vote doesn’t count.” Thank FSM! Please, keep ‘not voting’ if you’re going to abuse the privilege.

    Oh, and an extra *head desk* goes toward the fact that this Trump fan is Mexican-American !!! **

    * My response, “Please tell me you didn’t say ‘We need Trump’ !”

    ** Does not compute….

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    Solidarity Forever! indeed, rq !

    As you have mentioned before we seem to be living parallel works lives.

    [Okay, so you jumped ship on the night shift thing…. and I’ve recently moved into a new control/lab building, but other than that it’s TOTALLY the same ! 🙂 ]

    Good luck with the admin angst… I’m working on mine !

    [I have no idea why there is 3:46 + on this video. *shrug*]

  191. rq

    Thanks, Beatrice. Speaking of good luck, the lab has adopted the three stray all-black cats living in the courtyard. 😀

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    Good morning

    *hugs* to rq. Hope you can retain your employment. You are not allowed to move to Canada as it is my plan to meet you one day somewhere in Europe. Are the kids bilingual?

    I love your hat!

    And some ranting about German politics. Politicians keep demanding that all those refugees integrate themselves quickly (maybe we could even let them work for less than minimum wage!) and learn German, but of course they’re not providing them with any resources to do so. Technically they cannot get into a language course before their claim has been approved. Currently there’S a backlog of 200.000 claims. From last year. That was before 800.000 to 1 million refugees arrived. Evaluation time: months to years.
    And then of course there are too few language courses (ghee, I’m wondering how there can possibly be a shortage of teachers if you demand that people have the qualification of a high school teacher, something you need for no other language class in adult education, and only pay about half of what high school teachers make..) and no money to pay for more. But hey, let’s blame this on the immigrants who are stubbornly refusing to learn German from donated paperback novels…

  193. rq

    Yep, the kids are bilingual. With a smattering of other languages (random words in German, Russian and French).
    I like your plan, too. That sounds like a good one!!

    I think Latvia might end up with a similar language situation as German immigrants – they’ve approved a bill (?) that immigrants and refugees must learn Latvian and their children must go to Latvian-language-based schools (previously they had the opportunity to also attend Russian-language-based schools)… BUT there’s no talk of training teachers or teaching them the native languages of said immigrants and refugees to facilitate initial communication and learning, also no talk of specific financial support for the schools taking on immigrants and refugees. So, immigrants and refugees will have issues learning the Latvian language, but it will be all their fault.

  194. 333

    Yay for bilingual kids. Never worked out here because I’m not “naturally bilingual” and also the only fluent English speaker around. But they’re keen on learning, happily picking up some Spanish and English. I was really pleased and surprised when the little one, who loves the video about the green anaconda, saw a “gelbe Anaconda” and subsequently changed the song to “yellow anaconda, yellow anaconda”. They definitely both got my ease with languages.

    As for the language classes, the situation for the children is not good but better because once they have their claim approved they have to go to school and most schools are starting with a 20 hrs/week German course for the first six months. I guess we will end up with a situation similar to all the last immigration waves where in the end the children do all the communication for the parents.

  195. rq

    Well, I’m not particularly bilingual in the family, either, but because most movies I know, I know in English, I have therefore acquired them in English, and basically they’ve got most of their English basics from films and cartoons, plus additional English classes in kindergarten/daycare. They recently went on a Legend of Korra and Last Airbender binge, and they got through even the complicated bits with pretty much perfect understanding.
    And as I discovered last year in Canada, when faced with a non-Latvian speaking person, they’re perfectly capable of making understandable conversation, too.
    (Yesterday Youngest was going through the latest grocery store flyer, with all the discounts for the week, pointing to things and saying them in English (he got about half of them right). I was quite pleasantly surprised.)

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    Yeah, I tried “books and movies”, too, but as they’re all dubbed in German, they prefer German. The disadvantage of having a big market, I guess…

    Speaking about English in Germany: I’m not one of those snobbish language purists who think you need to have a near native speaker accent. English is really robust. But some things really DO change the meaning. I just heard on the radio that the Republicans in the USA are threatening to shut down the government over the funding of “Planet Parenthood”.
    At least that’s what the speaker said..

    Also, do you know the situation when you need to park the car parallel to the sidewalk, and it’s a really close fit, and actually you’d rather not but you know that you’re lucky to have found that space and a dude is watching you, smirking already and then you ace it at first try? Almost as good as an orgasm.

  197. 338

    Russian official claims there is no moderate opposition in Syria

    “The moderate opposition is largely a myth invented by the United States. Its fighters are not fighting with Isis, they have gone to al-Qaeda, and fired at the Russian embassy. Is that moderation?” wrote the head of the Russian Duma’s Committee for International Affairs, Alexei Pushkov on Twitter.

    However, Syrian opposition groups claimed the air strikes killed 36 civilians, including children.

    “The Russians struck northern Homs today and killed 36 innocent people…who fought against extremism,” Khaled Khoja, head of the National Coalition, told AFP on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.

    Pushkov is the head of the foreign affairs committee in the Russian Duma.

    Just so you know, all of Putin’s actions are widely supported in Russia as they are perceived to restore Russia’s “honor”.

    Good for you 🙂

    Happy birthday to her!


    Also, do you know the situation when you need to park the car parallel to the sidewalk, and it’s a really close fit, and actually you’d rather not but you know that you’re lucky to have found that space and a dude is watching you, smirking already and then you ace it at first try? Almost as good as an orgasm.

    I really need to get a car.

  198. rq

    Safe thoughts to all those themselves, or with family and friends, in the vicinity of the shooting. 🙁
    Fuck this shit. 🙁

  199. 342

    When you send your kid off to college you should be worried about them eating well and not partying too much and studying well, not about them getting shot…

    *gathers up some of the hugs that are lying around*
    I’m in the pillow fort.
    I fucked up.
    I mixed up two dates and missed a deadline. Now I cannot apply for a teacher training place for January. OK; my chances of getting on here in January were vanishingly small, but still. Fuck.

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    Thanks y’all
    No use crying over spilled milk, they say…

    Good luck. There’s always room in the pillow fort *brushes away cookie crumbs*

  201. rq

    Hey, I was eating those!!
    More seriously, we had more discussion at work today (together with Direct Boss) and to be honest I’m just getting all jittery now. But it’s a long slow process, bureaucracy being what it is. So I’m just wasting nerves right now.

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