Open Thread

Weekend Open Thread Commentganza

It’s only nine o’clock, but the hamster in the wheel that makes our server go needs a drink, so we’re knocking off early and letting you guys have run of the place until Monday.  Have a great weekend!

Here’s a little something to get you started:

By [E] Selena MacIntosh*

Selena MacIntosh is the owner and editor of Persephone Magazine. She also fixes it when it breaks. She is fueled by Diet Coke, coffee with a lot of cream in it, and cat hair.

242 replies on “Weekend Open Thread Commentganza”

Hello Sephies! Happy weekend!
So, quick question.. my bf and I already have one six month old baby kitten and we want her to have a kitty playmate. There are two issues: 1) What if the cats don’t get along? Is there a way to ensure they do? and 2) Our current kitten is a female and though she is spayed and we would only adopt a neutered male, is there anything we should be worried about there? Or should we just make sure to adopt another female?
Any advice would be most appreciated!

Well I have experience with rabbits and not cats, but I find that two fixed opposite-gender bunnies tend to form a really nice bonded pair. I think their being introduced as kittens could probably help things. Either they’ll just get used to one another, or if there is any fighting, it will be pretty harmless since they’re still too little/clumsy (awwww) to do any damage.

Anyways, as I said, take it with a grain of salt since I don’t have specific kitty experience!

We have 4 cats (yes, I’m a scientist with lots of cats). We adopted the first two about 9 months apart. They’re both males and they get along very well.

For your situation, I think a male/female pairing would work well.

Just make certain that when you bring the new kitteh home, you put him, a litter box, and food into a room and keep the door closed for a day. That way current kitteh and new kitteh can meet/smell one another through the door. This way, your current kitteh won’t flip out and get territorial and try to beat the crap out of new kitteh.

I mostly know dogs, but it might be a good idea to only let them be together supervised during the first few days – so keep the new kitty in a separate room whenever there is no one to watch the two cats to make sure they get along. This also can cut down on the stress of the meeting, because it doesn’t force the two cats to be together constantly right away, so they each have a bit of space.

I had a female cat for about 6 months before I adopted a male kitten. They LOVE each other. There were never any problems. As soon as I brought Linus home the original Lucifurious aka Lucy was like, oh it’s bath tiiiime and gave him a bath. They cuddle together all the time. Hopefully it will be as easy for you cuz I have no idea how to get them to get along if they don’t. Also I did nothing else, there’s never been any sexy-times attempts or anything. Just hugs and snoozes.

A million years ago, I posted on my blog about a hilarious book by semi-local guy Starbuck O’Dwyer called Red Meat Cures Cancer. (Seriously, go read it. I laughed so hard.) Somehow, he came across my post and sent me an awesome e-mail that totally made my day.

Anyway, I just got an e-mail that he now has a new book out on Amazon called How To Raise a Good Kid, “a collection of 23 funny and often poignant stories about growing up.” I’m pretty psyched and thought I’d pass along the news to my lovely fellow Persephoneers. :)

Happy Saturday, everybody! I’m trying to watch 100 movies directed by women and I would like some suggestions. I’ve watched about 30 so far and have some more in mind, but I would love to hear some of your favorites?

Mine, so far, is Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress. I usually don’t watch many period dramas, but everything about it was gorgeous and amazing.

One of my favourite films is the German film “Bandits”

The director and main cast are all female, it’s the story of four women who form a rock band in prison, escape on the way to a gig and their songs become a success while they’re on the run. I like it for the strong characters and their relationships and the female perspective of the story, the music is good too!

I hope you enjoy them! Only the filmmaker is Spanish actually, they are English-language movies made I think in Canada… My life without me stars Sarah Polley, Mark Ruffalo and Debbie Harry, and The secret life of words, Sarah Polley and Tim Robbins. If you feel like hunting down some really great Spanish movies, try anything by director Icíar Bollaín.

I’m going to the library soon. I’m doing an “Olympic Reading Challenge” where I’m supposed to read a book by an author from every country that participates in the 2012 Summer Games. I don’t actually expect to complete this, but it has exposed me to lots of new (to me!) authors.

Any suggestions? I still need lots for the countries of Africa.

And to give you an idea, I’m returning “The Death of Artemio Cruz,” by Carlos Fuentes, and “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands,” by Jorge Amado. I’m picking up “Algerian White,” by Assia Djebar.

That’s a really interesting challenge! Out of curiosity, which authors will you be reading (or have you read already) for Spain and Canada? If you still have to do Nigeria, I really recommend Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. I’ve also heard good things about Ugandan author Ayeta Anne Wangusa but I still haven’t had time to check her out.

Thanks! I have read Half of a Yellow Sun, but not for this challenge. For Spain, I read A Heart So White by Javier Marias (which I LOVED), and Canada was Hey, Nostradamus, by Douglas Coupland (enh). I will certainly look into Ayeta Anne Wangusa, as I still need Uganda.

Hey guys, does anyone have experience buying a used car from an individual (as opposed to a dealer)? I found a 2009 car online for a pretty good price, but it’s about a third of the price that dealers are asking for the same model of the same year. Possible explanations: online car is a piece of crap, dealership is probably planning to haggle a little on the price, I don’t know anything about buying cars that aren’t from dealerships. I’m tempted to ask my dad to help me out but that makes me feel hopeless. Any wisdom to offer?

Eeeeeeee I’m off to the grocery store to buy things and also tooth whitening stuff because the job offer I got is in dental supplies sales and I should probably have nice teeth even though most of it is over the phone eeeeeeeeeeee I got a job offer!

(Note: there may be another one or two posts today of random excitement about this. But they have bitchin’ benefits, and that is exciting. As the interviewer said, they have two dental plans, and you pick one. One is the regular plan. The other one is the “My kids are going to need braces soon” plan. Did I mention that they have a gym? At the office? And sports leagues? Eeeeeeeeeeee!)

I’ve read different things about whether or not zinc actually helps you fight off colds, but from my experience I swear that it does. If you can find any throat lozenges with zinc in them (I’ve found them at natural foods stores and even at CVS), that will help your throat feel better and might also help you fight off whatever’s making your throat hurt. (Just make sure you look and see how many you’re allowed to take in a day.)

Gargling with warm salt water helps a lot. So does eating a spoonful of honey like you would cough syrup, and it tastes much, much better (this trick might be most useful if you have a cough accompanying your sore throat, but worth a try). Drinking regular old hot water and lemon is my go-to sore throat/coughing/sick remedy.

I hope your sore throat goes away and you have a lovely weekend.

OK, Sephies/Persephoneers/P’neers, discussion question for you: I’m having a really interesting conversation over on Tumblr about how people love to read Persephone articles, but we don’t have much of a commenting culture yet. Lots and lots of people are reading articles, but only a few are commenting. Why do you think that is? If you don’t comment much, is there a reason? I’m just interested to know if there are particular reasons people have. I, for one, think that comments can be the most interesting part of an article (well, except in some terrifying examples from Serious News Media Sites that have Seriously Asshole-y Commenters, but I know that’s not a problem here; our commenters kick ass).

So what would encourage you to comment more? And if this comment just hangs out there with no responses, I’m going to go cry into my coffee. Just so you know. No pressure.

I don’t know what it is. I know that I, personally, made it my goal to comment as much as possible, because I know that if people don’t comment, then the comments sections will continue to be dead. Having more comments makes people feel more welcome to comment, I think.

So, uh, I actually made an account just to reply to this. I’m a long (long, long)-time lurker from the other ladyblog, who never posted a comment there, either. I think my main reasons were intimidation and a fear of not being seen as smart/witty/insightful enough. I don’t get that vibe from Persephone at all, but when I came here I think I was already in the habit of reading and not commenting. Perhaps an article specifically aimed toward the non-commenting lurkers would help? Something like your post, asking the lurkers to sign up and make their voices heard. Because, honestly, it wasn’t until I read your post that I realized maybe it was a little strange to only read and never comment. Now that I have an account, I think I’ll have to continue to!

This is a great response, and one I hadn’t even considered! LURKERS, WE LOVE YOU! And as far as smart/witty/insightful, most of my comments are me talking about how much I love cheese or musing on nail polish or whatever. It’s too much pressure to try to be impressive in every comment, so I don’t even try.

One of the reasons why I don’t comment in the articles is that I don’t have a lot of time right now to really engage with brainy articles and discussions. Persephone posts are long, well-thought-out essays that I want to read carefully and think about for a while. They are not the kind of posts that make me want to fire off an immediate reply – they are the kind that I want to mull over. This is why I was asking the other day whether it was ok to comment on old posts – because sometimes a week goes by before I have time to really read an article and think about my own reaction.

Another reason is that I often don’t have anything to say other than “Fuck yeah!” And we don’t want to lower the level of discourse around here like that! :)

I know exactly what you mean.

I want to let it be known that the article is fantastic and I appreciate it, but I might not have anything to really contribute to the dialogue. I do usually end up posting a supportive but not additive comment. This is where the “like” button was good. :)

I also might behind the eight ball in “really life”, so I visit in bursts and starts… which means I comment a whole heck of a lot all at once; and then disappear like a ninja!

Then again, I wouldn’t want the articles to get less meaty, or more shitstormy, just so that they would attract more comments. I mean, sure it would be great to have a commenting community as active as the (now defunct) Jez community, but I think one of the reasons why the comments stood out over there was that the editorial content was not so great, and the commenters would often end up schooling the writers on their own topics.

There are a few things that really annoy me about the commenting system that make people comment less, I think. :) Not sure how tough these are to solve, but here you go!

Apologies if these are all sort of in reference to the features I miss from The Site That Shall Not Be Named.

-No easy way to ‘heart’/friend someone whose comment you like, without going to a different page.

-When you hit ‘reply’ to a comment, it pops you back up to the top of the page — so I can no longer directly see or quote what I’m replying to. This is EXTREMELY annoying. I’m replying to your post from memory right now, for example, because I’m too lazy to scroll all the way through the thread finding it again after I hit the ‘reply’ button.

-Reply tracking appears to be broken in the ‘my account’ tab. Comments I’ve made there that people have indeed replied to appear to all have ‘zero replies’. This makes it very hard for people to follow a continuing conversation.

-I’ll freely admit, I like to debate… and nothing got me commenting on Jezebel like someone saying something awful. People simply tend to be… less wrong here? And that might drive down comment numbers. It’s a blessing and a curse, being as awesome as you all!

I know less than nothing about the tech end of things, although I know that the powers-that-be, along with a super-talented volunteer programmer did a lot of work a few weeks ago to make things a little more in line with what people wanted to see here. I think there are some limitations with the commenting/notification systems that would be much easier to overcome if we were a Supermega Blog Empire Site with vast resources. Hopefully, we’ll be able to implement some more of the changes people are looking for with the commenting system.

For me, it’s 99% the publishing schedule. I know it was only like a month ago that Persephone decided to go to the noon-to-evening publishing schedule, but for me, I do the vast majority of my Interneting during the day, so I pretty much don’t read (and thus, don’t comment on) articles that don’t get posted until evening. (Unfortunately, that includes my own column, “Ask the (Student) Nurse!)

Funny, I just wandered over here with the intention of joining in on the comments. I’ve been commenting on Jez for a few months, but it just went alll wack, and the quality of articles on Persephone is 1000x better at this point. This is inspiring me to dive in!

I’m with you on this- the quality here is so much better. I just found this site in January. Oh Persephone, I wish I’d met you sooner. Some sites have such a negative,elitist vibe. I wouldn’t comment much because I felt like the new girl trying to sit at the cool kids’ table. It seems much more friendly here.

Hey POM; I’ve had an account for a while but only started commenting today. I wasn’t sure where to jump in, to be honest, and that’s considering I know many of you folks from ladyblog/tumblr/forum communities. If there was a post explaining the commenting community (I know there are guidelines, but something that explained the aims for post comments versus the forums, what groups are for, the culture of the open threads, etc. might make it a bit less confusing to know where to start). Also I wasn’t sure if there was an approval process in place, because I saw reference to one somewhere?

Maybe an occasional “hey, lurkers, come introduce yourselves and say hi” article/thread/whatever might draw some people into commenting. It would be an easy place to start, anyways.

Eeeee! Job interview went well. The company seems really great to work for (i.e. great office environment), and I got an offer that I’m going to officially accept on Monday. Aaaaand clearly it’s meant to be, because last night right before I went to bed, the girl who’s fostering the dog I’m going to adopt when I get a “Real Job” (i.e. one with health insurance so I can save the $400 I’m paying a month for COBRA and put it towards apartment and dog-stuff) sent me an adorable picture of said dog. She just had surgery and still has the cone.

So…. eeeeeeeeee!

She is a rat terrier (all of 12 pounds). She is also deaf, thanks to ear problems that were left completely untreated before she went to the rescue organization (which held several fundraisers to raise money for surgery on her ears. She still can’t hear, but won’t be in pain from the damage.)

I tried figuring out how to transfer the picture from my phone to my computer to post it, but haven’t had much luck so far.

PLEASE HELP!! I posted this on Jezebel but of course gt is dead. Currently freaking out.

So, due to a long story of circumstances, I started my birth control pill pack 3 days late (Wednesday instead of Sunday). I took 2 pills on Wednesday, 2 on Thursday, 2 on Friday.

My boyfriend and I had sex on Friday. I told him to pull out, but he, uh, misfired, and ended up coming inside of me. I KNOW we should have used condoms, and yes I’m sort of dumb, but please don’t be snarky about this.

1. What are the chances of me getting pregnant? Are they that high since I started the pack a few days late?
2. When can I take a pregnancy test and have it be accurate?
3. I’m scheduled for a colposcopy on March 1st…do you think that the procedure would cause me to miscarry, or otherwise prevent pregnancy if I do get pregnant?
4. FUCK.

I would echo the others and suggest getting the morning-after pill as soon as you can. One of the riskier things you can do is start the pack late, like BaseballChica03 said, but you’ve still got plenty of time to get your hands on Plan B if you only just had sex last night. I wouldn’t think that a colposcopy would affect a pregnancy, especially such a new one, but I am not any kind of medical expert and I’d call your doctor and explain the situation and ask what they suggest you do.

As for how soon a pregnancy test can be accurate, that’s something that I’ve always had difficulty understanding. I would talk to the pharmacist if you’re able to go get Plan B – explain what happened and ask how soon a test would be accurate.

@onestrawplz Definitely read over the insert that comes with Plan B – side effects like surprise spotting are extremely common, so don’t be surprised or alarmed if you’re still taking your active pills and start spotting.

Also, I was thinking after I replied to you that I would ask the pharmacist whether you ought to finish the pack of BC you’re on now or start a new one, since you won’t have had at least 21 days of active pills before going on your placebo week – you’ll have had 21 pills, since you doubled up when you realized you missed them, but I don’t know if it matters that they weren’t spread out evenly when it comes time for you to be fully protected during your week off. Does that make sense? I’m sleepy and have only just started drinking my coffee. :)

There are no limits to my love for Portia. I wanted to name our first daughter Portia, but my husband argued that no one except English teachers would know how to pronounce it unless we spelled it “Porsche,” and then everyone would think we named her after the car (which would be okay with him, because he loves Porsches).

Portia is a great name! When people find out I have a cat named Cordelia usually they think I’m a huge Buffy/Angel fan. Don’t get me wrong, Cordelia Chase was pretty badass. But I decided upon the name Cordelia at least 20 years ago.I’ve never wanted children, so I was saving it for my first pet’s name. Silly, I know.

Tomorrow I am going to buy a bicycle! I am excited – the one I have my eye on is purple and awesome. I am going to be saving money, getting fit, and it’s good for the environment too!

Also (shameless plug) – I have just updated my blog with a post on personal and national identity, and my experience of growing up between two cultures. You might (or might not!) find it interesting.

Weekends with my wife temporarily off on another continent are meh. I get more video games played, but the fun feels kinda hollow because she doesn’t have her notebook propped up in bed next to mine. Visiting with friends is still a good time, but it reminds me how much I would’ve enjoyed having her there in the moment as well. Meh, meh, a thousand times meh.

So I just got my nose pierced.

And I love it.

I’m 22, in grad school, living in NYC off of loans.

Point is: I’m still financially dependent on my mother; she’s also my employer. Because of this, I haven’t gotten any tattoos (the ones I want, despite wanting them for YEARS, are large and thus expensive).

I guess my question is, how do I break it to my mother, who lives a half a country away.

I probably won’t see her for over 3 months (I can remove the small stud in 2 technically).

So do I tell her now? Send her a picture? Not tell her and show her? Is that disrespectful?

What do you think?

My mom and I are close, but she does hate face piercings (but my sister got her tongue pierced, so hey, at least I didn’t do that?). Heeeerrrrrmmmm…

Years of dealing with parents and tattoos/piercings has taught me this: treat it like getting your ears pierced.

Nose piercings really aren’t that big of a deal anymore, but some moms don’t think that. My advice would be to positively break the news to her, and wear a small, tasteful stud when you visit.

I got my nose pierced when I was 18, I’m 28 now and I still have it and my mom still hates it. I told her about it ahead of time, but I’m with doomie…I treated it like an ear piercing and I was pretty casual about it. She doesn’t really say anything about it anymore, but at the time I was just like “whatevs, I think it’s awesome” and she got over it.

Congrats on the piercing! Regardless of how she might react (which I think you can’t predict anyway), would you rather see her expression when you tell her, or would you feel ok about telling her on the phone? I think I would go with telling her on the phone the next time you talk to her, and then following her lead: if she asks to see it before you meet in person in three months’ time, send her a pic or arrange to skype with her. Are you concerned that, because you are financially dependent on her, she may be angry that you spent her money on something she hates? Because she can’t realistically expect to agree with everything you spend money on!

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