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off topic open thread

Happy Wednesday and/or Merry Christmas, if you’re into that

Have a good day today, whatever if means to you. Open thread!

Oh, and here’s the one Christmas song I actually like.

— David

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Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Hi fellow mammotheers! Christmas Day is just drawing to a close here in the country that doesn’t exist (aka Australia). I hope everyone has a lovely holiday, whatever you’re celebrating – or not celebrating.

2019 has not been a great year (it can get in the bin, frankly) but it’s been raining here, proper good soaking rain – given the drought and fires, it actually makes me feel happy and mildly optimistic.

Thanks David as always for this space 🙂

A small silver lining in all the madness: a volunteer firefighter rescued these koalas who would’ve been burnt to death

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Universal Kami
Universal Kami
11 months ago

@Mish

It’s hot in the Far North.

I wish it was raining.

It’s been a bad few months for me this year.

Christmas always brings the worst out.

Amy E
Amy E
11 months ago

Mish, Kami – thinking of you and your fellow Australians; stay safe. Bless that firefighter.

David, thank you for “Happy Wednesday”, which I have already shamelessly nicked as a useful neutral phrase.

A very Happy Wednesday to all of you, whatever you’re doing.

Much love
Amy

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

Happy Holidays everyone!
I don’t celebrate Christmas, so for me it’s the fourth night of Hanukkah tonight, but Merry Christmas to anyone who does celebrate it, and Happy New Year! Also Happy Kwanzaa and any other holidays you may celebrate.

O/T: I’m debating whether this is a good time to come out to my family. I know I said I was going to come out three weeks ago, but I got too scared and didn’t then. Since then, I’ve thought more about it and realized that maybe I should wait until spring when half the members of my immediate family (and myself) won’t be dealing with seasonal depression. Should I wait until spring or do it now?

I’m also not entirely sure of what to say. How do I explain to my family? And what do I say when they inevitably ask questions? Fellow trans* commenters, what should I say and what should I be prepared for?

I don’t want to take over the whole thread again, so I’m sorry in advance if that’s what happens.

tgt
tgt
11 months ago

I Love Being a Cow https://g.co/kgs/Y1HHaF

Paireon
Paireon
11 months ago

Happy holidays from a French-Canadian atheist! Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and happy new year! And happy Odin’s day to the pagans out there too – no reason only the Abrahamics get to have season’s greetings. I believe in their religion(s) as much as I do in any other, anyway.

@Naglfar – Dang, I have idea how to help you out on this one, sorry; not many LGBTQ+ people I’m aware of in my friends and family, save for an uncle who had his coming out around the time I was born (late 70s I think) so this is pretty much outside my knowledge. All I can do is give you my best and hope all goes well for you, whatever your choice.

kupo
kupo
11 months ago

@Naglfar
I can’t help with that, but can I offer you a menorasaurus? (Hope this embeds.)

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https://twitter.com/RutiRegan/status/1209703889060204545?s=19

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
11 months ago

@Mish: thank you so much for the rescued koala pics & the link to the story. Truly uplifting when humanity acts on the “humane” part of our nature, something currently in too short a supply.

@Naglfar: I would caution you to wait a little (oddly, I stumbled across an article in the Advocate addressing this very issue right after I read your request).

The author suggests holding off on this sort of announcement at such a time, only because the holidays are already so fraught with tension and people trying to spin a 100 plates at once. You mentioned you & some of your family deal with SAD. I’d say that plus the holidays are more than enough bubblegum on any one person’s plate.

Also, 1 of the other benefits of waiting is it gives you more time to get your thoughts together & think of ways to answer your family’s inevitable questions.

As to taking over the thread, pretty sure the regulars will let you know if you’re getting close to the line.

I’m also dealing with some thorny issues as I’m apparently no longer part of a couple. I’ve mentioned my partner a couple of times previously. She decided sometime back that we were not compatible (her word choice). She’s said this before, & we’ve been able to talk things through in the past & stay a couple.

Apparently not this time though she wants to keep me as a friend (yeah, where have I heard that before). I know it’s possible, but I also know how much work that entails.

But that’s not even the worst. No, the worst is that, in the middle of all this, I’m going to have to euthanize my horse, whom I’ve had the pleasure of keeping the last 20 or so years. This one’s going to hurt–a lot.

So, now my turn to apologize for potentially hijacking the thread.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago

@ObSidJag

I would caution you to wait a little (oddly, I stumbled across an article in the Advocate addressing this very issue right after I read your request).

The author suggests holding off on this sort of announcement at such a time, only because the holidays are already so fraught with tension and people trying to spin a 100 plates at once. You mentioned you & some of your family deal with SAD. I’d say that plus the holidays are more than enough bubblegum on any one person’s plate.

That makes sense. I’ll wait until the spring. I found the article, and it seems like sensible advice. I don’t think my family is transphobic, but I do recognize the stress that everyone is under and that it would be better received if I waited until the spring.

I’m sorry to hear about your partner and your horse. I rode horses for years, although I never owned one, and it is always sad to lose a cherished animal.

Universal Kami
Universal Kami
11 months ago

@Naglfar

I hope your family isn’t transphobic.

My mother still doesn’t accept me.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
11 months ago

@Naglfar: thank you for your kind thoughts: I truly appreciate them.

Re my horse: what’s somewhat, well, odd isn’t the best word but will have to do, is that I bought my horse to help me deal with a truly awful, nasty breakup 20+ years ago…and now I have to say goodbye on the tail end of another breakup…seems almost karmic in nature.

I will say this current emotional set back isn’t nearly as wrenching as the 1st so that’s something.

Glad you found the Advocate article. I realize your situation is a tad different: you don’t really strike me as the type to tie one on & launch into the 3rd degree on a parent before announcing your revelation, to say nothing of the actual situation you’re living.

I think your idea to wait until Spring is wise. Fingers crossed for you when you do.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
11 months ago

@ obsidjag

So sorry to hear about your horsey friend; it’s so hard losing someone who’d been so long in your life. And I really feel what you say about the resonances with aspects of your life. It’s hard to explain, although you no doubt understand anyway; but I had a similar thing with my dear departed doggie. She’d been around for so many significant events in my life; and there’s aways that association. Words always seem so inadequate at times like this; but for what its worth you have my condolences.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
11 months ago

To Alan:
Thank you also for your kind thoughts & wishes. I had this discussion with a close friend just the other day (ironically, also a friend who was hit by the 1st breakup–long, long story that I grew tired of telling years ago). She also had to let her beloved dog go due to bladder cancer.

I said that, for me, knowing it’s the right thing to do when our 4-legged companions need us to let them go–because they’re in pain or no longer have any quality of life–is almost worse for me even though I know I’m doing right by them hurts even more.

I try to comfort myself with the thought that he’s had an excellent life and didn’t wind up in some Mexican kill lot .

I’m trying to arrange it so I can be with him when the vet euthanizes him. I’ve never not been there for a pet when I had to sat that final good-bye: I don’t believe in letting a friend die alone.

Luckily, my work superiors have been supportive, which I also appreciate.

Again, thank you for your kindness, and I’m sorry that you, too, had to say good-bye, no doubt too soon.
But it’s the price we pay for caring, & it is our last act of charity to creatures who’ve enriched our lives so deeply.

Jesalin, Goddess of Lust & Pleasure
Jesalin, Goddess of Lust & Pleasure
11 months ago

Australia?
Oh! You mean fourecks? It sounds like Rincewind needs to pay another visit to cool things off.

Hope everyone had a nice Solstice!

Victorious Parasol
11 months ago

Happy holidays! If any of my fellow diabetics are looking for Christmas treats, I’m baking these today:

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2013/nov/recipes/gingerbread-cookies.html

Snowberry
Snowberry
11 months ago

I haven’t done Christmas for a long time. Today’s just a day off. I do celebrate Solstice with what little family I have left, since none of us are Christians or care much about commercialism. But that’s a small, low-key affair; my big celebration for the season is New Year’s Eve.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
11 months ago

@Victorious P:
Those look awesome!

Fishy Goat
Fishy Goat
11 months ago

And for any Kemetics out there, Happy Establishment of the Celestial Cow (or as we jokingly say, ‘Merry Moomas’ 😀 )

Nanny Oggs Bosom
Nanny Oggs Bosom
11 months ago

Happy Hogswatch, everyone.

Stay safe and good luck to people in Fourecks. I’ve been watching the news here in Lincolnshire and wishing I could send you some of the rain that’s currently leaking through my roof and walls (old house on marshland).

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
11 months ago

Happy Life Day, Mammoth Hunters!

Teabug
11 months ago

I ate so much cheesecake … roll me over on my side, please? 😄

Sheila Crosby
11 months ago

Happy Isaac Newton’s birthday.

@ObSidJag Hugs.

ObSidJag
ObSidJag
11 months ago

@Sheila C.
Thank you also.

I got to spend some time with my boy today. I basically followed him around the pasture with a chair. When he stopped, I stopped & just sat beside him a d talked to him or groomed his mane. When he walked on, I followed him until he stopped again…and repeat.

It was all very peaceful–and exactly what I needed.

Victorious Parasol
11 months ago

@ObSidJag

Thanks! They’re simple to make, and have a good texture.

Bakunin
Bakunin
11 months ago

@Naglfar
Get ready to be both surprised and completely unsurprised, would be my advice I guess. My gf was possibly more excited than I was about the idea, and all of the friends I’ve told have been right beside me, tho I did pick only the ones I trusted at first. Past that, I haven’t really had the chance to choose when I told people. My gf’s mom ignored my requests and invaded my closet, then questioned us until I finally gave in and told her. A few threats later, and I was crashing at a friend’s place while I apartment searched. My gf’s dad was surprisingly unconcerned tho. My gf’s aunt then outed me to my family, my mom didn’t really care what I did, and my brother decided that he’d misgender me and deadname me as he felt. My maternal grandparents told me I wasn’t welcome at their home unless I was a man, one aunt is on my side, what’s left of my dad’s side doesn’t care, and the rest of my family I couldn’t care less about.

There’s a few friends I felt would be easier just dropping rather than deal with the expected gross jokes, and everyone I’ve met since really only knows me as I am now.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
11 months ago

@Mish

So nice to hear from you. I’m very sorry about the fires Australia is experiencing. Stay safe. Happy Holidays!

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Universal Kami, sorry :(. I hope that things start to improve for you soon (the weather and everything else). It is indeed a hard time of year for so many of us, which is why the rain helped me feel a bit better – but I’m sorry if it came across as insensitive.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Okie now I’m doing a list of replies so apologies in advance, but so many people have posted interesting/important stuff 🙂

@ObSidJag, I’m so sorry about your horse (and the break-up!). Our animal friends are never with us for long enough.

@Amy E, @Nanny Oggs Bosom, @Kat – thank you so much for your good wishes, you are all wonderful 🙂

@Jesalin, yes please – a visit from Rincewind (if he can get here) is probably just what we need. This reminds me, I’m probably about ready to re-read DW from the start!

@Naglfar, @Universal Kami, @Bakunin – this is of no practical use, but my wish for you is that you’re loved and valued as the amazing people that you are.

MissEB47 (Rainbow Lorikeet and Beak Typist)
MissEB47 (Rainbow Lorikeet and Beak Typist)
11 months ago

Hello! I hope everyone had a great Christmas, Hanukkah, Hog’s Watch, etc! My Christmas was a bit lonely, because all my family is in Adelaide now and I only had 3 days off and I can’t afford to take more time off work to visit them this Christmas. 😕 I will be visiting early next year, though! 😀

Lumipuna
Lumipuna
11 months ago

I thought December 25 was commonly known as Unboxing Day.

Lainy
Lainy
11 months ago

I hope you all had wonderful days! I enjoyed my Christmas extremely. My family and I went to church and my husband loved the lighter I gave him. I got it engraved to say “love you like an eternal flame”. It was a wonderful day.

kupo
kupo
11 months ago

I think we’ve reached the tipping point where there are more western females under the age of 30 who have multiple tattoos than those who can cook.

https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet/status/1210365281161359365?s=19

We’re done, folx. Feminism has finally reached its end goal.

Naglfar
Naglfar
11 months ago
kupo
kupo
11 months ago

@Naglfar
Exactly! 🤣

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
11 months ago

((Alright, I have no idea what WordPress was doing to my first comment, so I deleted it to try again.))

For those who are remotely interested (all two of you 😛 ) in an update on a couple of problems I mentioned here over the last few months, here it is.

First, the unemployment overpayments. I finally bit the bullet and called the collections department, since I figured that getting a garnish on my paycheck would hinder me the next time I’m looking for a job. Turns out that I did manage to not report my other job’s income on my vouchers. Oops. (I suspect I didn’t understand one of the questions being asked when filling those out.)

Long story short, I now have to pay unemployment $175/month for the next couple of years to get this debt out of my hair. Along with all my other bills to boot.

((Pt. 2 coming soon))

ETA: WordPress ate the majority of this comment; fix hopefully coming in a few minutes. >:|

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
11 months ago

((Lets try this again))

For those who are remotely interested (all two of you 😛 ) in an update on a couple of problems I mentioned here over the last few months, here it is.

First, the unemployment overpayments. I finally bit the bullet and called the collections department, since I figured that getting a garnish on my paycheck would hinder me the next time I’m looking for a job. Turns out that I did manage to not report my other job’s income on my vouchers. Oops. (I suspect I didn’t understand one of the questions being asked when filling those out.)

Long story short, I now have to pay unemployment $175/month for the next couple of years to get this debt out of my hair. Along with all my other bills to boot. >.< May have to get a third part-time job to keep afloat at this rate. Or else see if there’s some sort of craft things I can do to sell on Etsy or Zazzle or something to get gas money.

ETA: see if cutting this into pieces lets it go through.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
11 months ago

((Oooookay. Now let’s try the next part. My apologies for the spamming; WordPress isn’t letting me do this any other way tonight.))

In other news, I had a visit with a doctor who specializes in brain things (forgot the exact name of her specialty). Long story short(ish), one of my sisters deals with several veterans (administration, not hands-on) who’ve suffered concussions in war. Recently she realized that a lot of the behaviors those guys exhibited were quite similar to some behaviors I exhibited growing up (I was hospitalized with a concussion for several days when I was five), and wondered if that was the cause of many of my issues later in life.

So my sister paid for a visit to the brain specialist (since I can’t afford anything like that on my salaries), and the doctor said I was definitely showing signs of something neurological going on, but she’d have to run several tests to see what it might be. She did say she doubted it was autism, though. Just couldn’t say what, yet.

So I’ve been siting here the last few weeks with the knowledge that yeah, there really is a physical basis for some of my oddities. On the one hand, it’s a bit of a relief to be told that by a professional. Explains a fair bit of certain things about myself, at least.

On the other, I’m not looking forward being treated like I made certain decisions about my life because of this condition, not because I had a plan laid out and going where others wanted me to would have wrecked it. Or because others decided for me what my priorities were going to be, and couldn’t be arsed to take one second to see if said priorities would mesh with my finances at the time.

And/or decided that all I needed to do was learn how to ‘grow up’, pull money out of my butt like all true adults know how to do, and ‘learn how to sacrifice and budget’ and everything would magically fall into place. Because that’s what adults do without being told. And if you have to be told then you’re not an adult and will be treated accordingly. (Yes I’m still grouchy about certain things; why do you ask?)

As an aside, does anyone have a way to set up an account on the IRS website that doesn’t involve handing them a loan number? They want to verify that you’re really you by doing a ‘soft’ credit check (one where it doesn’t register as an inquiry, so your credit score isn’t affected). And I don’t have any of the loans they want for this (student, auto, home, etc.).

And when I click the button for an alternative way of proving who I am, I just get sent back to the ‘Hi; would you like to make an account today?’ starting page, which is less than useful, you know? >.< So does anyone know a way around that feedback loop? My thanks in advance if anyone can help here.

ETA: Again, I apologize for the spamming, but for some reason the Blockquote Mammoth was hungry for words tonight. :\

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
11 months ago

WordPress isn’t letting me do this any other way tonight.

Does anyone else find it at least a little bit odd that many of the people here talk about WordPress as if it were a force of nature, rather than a machine built and controlled by human beings?

I mean, David should be able to adjust and configure the WordPress installation used by this site however he sees fit, including things like “exempting all regular commenters completely from all spam filtering”, I should think. Instead its behavior is treated like the vagaries of weather, as if beyond any human control, including apparently by the guy who installed and admins this particular instance.

Why is this? Even if he outsourced the direct management of the WHTM WordPress installation to some hosting company, is that hosting company that unresponsive to customer service requests that trying to get them to fix (or even to not-break) things is like Joe User trying to get Google to do something differently with its search engine? Because IMO paid hosting services really don’t deserve one’s money if they provide no better customer service than the giant tech megacorps provide for free services …

kupo
kupo
11 months ago

Does anyone else find it at least a little bit odd that many of the people here talk about WordPress as if it were a force of nature, rather than a machine built and controlled by human beings?

It is neither of those things. It is a piece of software; a service running on a machine in one location sending information to a program installed on your computer. That’s all I see people talking about it as, either. Seems most people recognize that sometimes software and/or hardware doesn’t always perform as expected.

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
11 months ago

It’s the bit where everyone acts like there’s nothing anyone, even the owner, can do about it that puzzles me.