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”

Today I started page 36 of the “Books I’ve read” notebook that I’ve been keeping for 18 years. If you still don’t have a notebook where you write down the titles of the books you’ve read, I recommend you start one right now!. This is seriously one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. I love to look at the books I was reading in 1994 and go “You rock, 14-year-old-me!”

I just started doing that last summer when I made a summer reading list of books I wanted to read and checked em off once I had. I have continued to write down the books I’ve finished so far this winter too. It helps me keep track of what I’ve finished tend to be in the midst of about 5 books at any given time so sometimes I forget if I’ve A)read or B)finished reading, so now I reference my handy dandy lil list.

Ugh, that twitter is so completely fail.

Back when my wife and I used to post on Jezebel, one of the things that stuck in her craw the most (As someone who grew up in the quote-unquote “third world”, and as someone with basic good sense) was the appending of “I know I know, FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS AMIRITE” to any complaint that basically didn’t involve scavenging in the husks of burnt-out buildings for food — like people in the “third world” don’t have drama with their parents or love lives or fret over what to wear.

This twitter takes that time-honored stupidity in a new, spectacularly racist level. Because apparently non-white people never wonder “if I ever get my shit together” or “texted someone 93 times last night” or date people whose boyfriends look like someone else’s dad or listen to Radiohead or have therapists or eating disorders or whatever else.

Stuff White People Like at least mined through this vein of humor in a far more self-aware, in-on-the-joke sort of way. This twitter just trikes me as lazy and trite.

I guess the way I see it is that it’s making fun of those with privilege who feel the need to complain so frequently and with such disdain really small problems. I don’t read it as “only white/first world people have these problems” as much as “sounds like a minor enough problem that someone with a lot of privilege would complain about, like it’s a bigger issue than it really is.”

Random question for those more experienced in dating than I… Any advice on dating more than one person at a time? I’d like to navigate this without being a jerk.

I’ve been out a few times with a guy, I really like him, but it seems to be staying casual for the time being. A friend has been working to set me up with one of her friends for a while, and he gave me a call yesterday. After talking for almost an hour and a half, we’ve made tentative plans for this Saturday.

I know that logically, there’s no issue here. Neither of these things is serious, and while I don’t exactly feel the need to actively volunteer the info, if either of them asked, I would be open about dating other people… but how exactly do I juggle this? I’m smart enough to not try the sitcom scenario of making two dates in one night, but apart from that, I’m entering new territory here!

The first thing is to let them know you are casually dating multiple people (you don’t have to get into details, and honestly IMO it would be rude for the men to ask). I know it doesn’t seem important, but it might be to the guy.

This is how they used to do it back when my grandparents were young, and I still sort of wish dating was this way so I wouldn’t get so focused on one guy at a time.

And that’s why I was thinking that at least having dinner with someone else would be good for me- I wouldn’t get so hung up on the first dude (he’s great, but he’s kind of a workaholic, and I’m not sure if he’s got the time or inclination to be serious). I tend to get really focused on people quickly, and that’s not good for anybody when you’re first dating!

How does one put that info out there in a casual/FYI type of way? It seems like such a weird thing to just bring up out of the blue!

Well first, if they ask, you answer honestly, “I’ve gone on dates with other people.” AFter that you can tag on “but I’d be interested in making this monogamous” (if you are) or “and I’m really enjoying seeing you, but I’m not ready to take it beyond a casual level yet.”

Certainly my situation is a little different. I’m in a long distance open relationship and I take advantage of the open part not by dating, but making out with other people.

The thing is, you don’t HAVE to put that info out there unless 1) he asks (and I agree, it’d be sort of rude to ask UNLESS the person was wanting to take it beyond a casual level) or 2) you feel that he’s getting a message that says “I’m attaching to you” and you don’t want him to.

Still, while that’s how it “should” work, my SO and I just started dating one another exclusively despite neither of us being particularly committed to monogamy. No conversation. (I still don’t think… a year into the relationship… we’ve had the “we’re dating” conversation. We skipped right to “let’s get married.”) My point is, you just have to feel it out and if feelings get hurt or someone assumes something is happening that isn’t (or is), you apologize sincerely and say “this was my line of thinking/I should have been more up front/blah blah.”

Good luck!

And relax and enjoy guilt-free multi-dating ;)

I’ve basically accepted that my nails will look terrible on the day that I paint them (I can’t do it neatly, so I just let the extra dry really well and then scrape it off my skin in the shower), but it kind of disappoints me every time.

What color are all y’all’s nails?

Mine are grape. (I went for the regular purple instead of the sparkly purple because hopefully starting a new job this week. Sparkly purple is for, like, three weeks in, after they see that my ridiculous choices in nail color don’t affect my work.)

Right now, mine are “Not Like the Movies” by OPI from the Katy Perry collection (shut up). It’s kind of an iridescent shimmer that looks a little like an oil slick. Depending on the light, it looks either green, purple, gray, or pink.

As far as making a mess when you polish, pick up some orangewood sticks from the beauty supply store. Dip the pointy end in a little polish remover, and you can go back and clean up whatever’s on the skin.

I’m wearing a bright blue called Slushied from the OPI Glee collection. I wanted a fun spring like color to liven things up. PS I do the same scrape the extra color off in the shower thing too. I’ve be trying to paint em like they do in the salons where they don’t go all the way to the edge of the nail bed but its tricky.

I want that one so much! Haha, I think once I get my first paycheck for my new job, I’m definitely placing a Sephora order (almost out of a few essentials), and I’m just going to pad the order with nail polish until I get free shipping and hopefully prezzies.

That is one thing I love about them. Since I have a membership and am a “VIB” (which means I spend an obscene amount of money there. Seriously, it’s probably a problem, but I don’t shop when I’m flat broke, so that’s a plus.), they’re frequently like “Oh, you ordered $50 of stuff, which is like three things… here’s this bag of free stuff!”

I do the same thing with getting polish all over my fingers then scraping it all off in the shower. The funny part is that my friends always compliment me on how neat my nails look. If only they knew. ;)

Right now I’m wearing Trixie by Zoya, but since I’m feeling springy right now, I want to change to a bright Easter-candy color, maybe pink or blue.

My neighbors (who live in the same building) are doing construction. On a Sunday. They started at 8 a.m. On a Sunday. If my dogs hadn’t already woken me up, I would be out for blood. As it stands, I’m just randomly shouting passive-aggressive things loud enough for them to hear.

I cannot wait to move.

Happy Sunday everyone!

I’m in the UK and I’m getting confused about when posts are published around these parts. Am I right in thinking that Persephone is on EST time, which is GMT -5? I never seem to be on here when new posts are published…

Any other UK’ers lurking around?

Hello! I’m not a UKer, but the publishing schedule is 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST M-F. If my coffee had kicked in yet, I’d be able to tell you when that is GMT, but, yes, I think it’s GMT -5. For right now, there are only occasional posts on the weekend, and those don’t really have a schedule at all.

Well hello everyone and thanks for the responses! Looks like I need to start hanging around here in the late evening and not in the morning at work (shhh)

Since my message failed to turn up anyone else from the UK, I’m taking this opportunity to appoint myself the evil overlord of British Persephoneers….Mwa ha ha ha!!!

Have you watched any Downton Abbey already, or are you just getting started? It’s premiering in my country in a couple of weeks and I really want to watch it (especially after reading all the raving comments on here), but I fear it may be too Jane-Austen-y for my partner’s taste…

I am just seething with blinding rage right now. Things are so far sh*t in my life and every little thing just gets worse and worse and worse and tonight was icing on the cake.
First world f*cking problem I know, but I feel like a prisoner in my own home. This is a house that has more TVs than it does people, and I don’t watch TV. Recently my mother bought herself a 40-incher and put it along the wall that is directly across from my bedroom. Which means that unlike before where once and a while I’d have to deal with someone watching TV near me, I now have every member of the family watching TV down here from 8 or 9 in the morning until like 2 at night.
Now my sister is watching a movie that I kindly rented for her, and I’m trying to do an essay whilst hearing every word of dialogue from the f*cking thing. So I put on music to drown it out and she comes yelling at me to turn my sh*t down. I bought earplugs specifically for this dilemma, but even they’re not foolproof.
Tomorrow I’m going to force my mom to move that f*cking TV or I’m going to lose my head. I’m the only one in this house who works and has a full courseload, so I just can’t catch a f*cking break.

I think I would kill myself in that situation. Or kill the members of my family. I am so sorry. I’ve never lived in a house with a television (the downside is that in public areas they just make me anxious…) and the very idea of eight makes my hair raise. I am so sorry.

I also think you should order one of these. (They work beautifully, and I speak from experience.)

So I have a question to ask people that has been bothering me.
I’m thinking about applying to this grad school program. The problem is, I have to get letters of recommendation. It’s only a problem because for a job I applied to a while back, it required me to get a LOR and then scan it and submit it to the job–not it being sent directly to them. One of the people I asked was okay with writing a LOR, but when I told them that it wasn’t sent directly to the district, I was supposed to get it, they didn’t want to do it. I didn’t harass them, but now I feel really awkward, and this person was my mentor… So they’re like a very good person to ask for a letter. I’m not sure what to do.

It doesn’t hurt to ask, especially since I assume the letter will probably be going directly to the program. The problem before seemed to be that the person was uncomfortable that you would be seeing the letter; if that’s not the case here, there shouldn’t be an issue. Just make sure you’re up front about the requirements of the letter: where it is going, how it needs to be formatted & sealed, etc.

Good luck!

So… if you haven’t seen Ke$sha’s new music video for “Blow,” I highly suggest that you see it.

It has a nonsensical gunfight with laser pistols. There are unicorns. They literally bleed rainbows. Also, James Van Der Beek is in it.

Warning, some language is NSFW or small children.

Mr. Furious just went to the store to get some soda so we can make rum and cokes. I also told him to get a tasty treat but who knows what he will come up with. Fun night! Maybe we’ll get drunk and play Little Big Planet like last weekend, which was seriously the most fun I’ve had in forever.

So I guess i should have been specific with my tasty treat. What I really wanted were these chocolate covered pretzels that they sell. But what he brought back was some skinny cow ice cream sandwiches. I was a little disappointed, but I didn’t realize until I saw that they weren’t the pretzels that what I really wanted was the pretzels. Oh well.

So I’ve decided that I’m going to break up with my boyfriend. Our lease is up at the end of May and I’m just going to tell him that I don’t want to live with him anymore. We’ve been dating a little over two years and have been living together for almost as long. I’m terrified because we’ve been together quite a while but this relationship has run it’s course and it’s time to end things before I waste anymore time with him.

Can someone please give me encouraging “I left him and I’m still alive” stories?

My current situation is such that I will probably end up looking for a craigslist roommate because I am lame and have no friends so any positive stories about that would also be appreciated!

After you actually do it, in hindsight it’ll seem incredibly easy.

I was with my ex for five and a half years… we’re still great friends, and we had quite a few great experiences together, but ultimately we weren’t compatible as romantic partners. She even designed the wedding invitations for my wife and I! Actually getting to the point where we could admit that it wasn’t “failing” somehow if we ended up breaking up was most of the battle.

Or, put another way: When your sane, normal friend breaks up with her boyfriend of 2 years, do you feel like her life is over and it’s all downhill from there? Or do you just go, “Oh, huh! Okay.”? It always seems more catastrophic when it’s us, just keep that in mind. :)

I think you hit the nail on the head with the failing bit. I really thought that he was perfect for me but he’s changed so much since we moved to another state. I think by the time it comes around to discussing the lease I’ll have a lot more courage about the situation.

So, is anyone else as cool as me, sitting in my flat on a Saturday night writing a conference paper (that was due a week ago and I’m meant to deliver on, er, Thursday morning)? No? Come on friends, I need to know I’m not alone in losertude! I’m not even drinking because I rather feel I need to cut down in that department (and intend to have a few beers watching the rugby tomorrow)… I need to commiserate!

My Saturday night involved eating leftovers, watching the news and going to bed early. My Sunday is going to involve sitting at the computer all day, working on my dissertation, and roaming the open thread for human contact during my breaks. Oh, and I also suck at meeting deadlines, so… definitely not alone.

Guess who has a butter-basted chicken roasting in the oven right now? With a bunch of potatoes under it catching and roasting in the drippings?

I am so excited for this chicken you have no idea.

Also: When I got out my vegetable cutting board (I have a color-coded set of cutting boards, which is awesome), it was filthy. Housemate put it away dirty. Sooooo glad I got that job offer and will hopefully have my own place by May 1. And then my dog! Who I will spoil by giving chicken and bacon drippings (she needs to put on weight anyway, and has bad skin. So… bacon fat! It’s the only logical solution!)

I can try!

First, I cut up a quarter of an onion and three potatoes. I put those in the bottom of the roasting pan and pour on some olive oil and put in some chopped garlic. I smoosh them around a bit with my hands to get everything mixed together.

Then, I take a thawed chicken and put another quarter of the onion in there (doesn’t need to be chopped) as well as some garlic. This time I also added half an orange because I heard that was a good idea. Then I get some melted butter (about 1 stick) and use a basting brush to get that all over the outside of the chicken. Don’t use all the butter – just enough to cover the chicken. Put on whatever herbs/spices you want (I used sage and rosemary) and put the chicken on the roaster.

Roast the chicken for 20 minutes at 450, then turn it down to 350 until it’s done. Every 20 minutes or so, cover the chicken with more butter (you may have to re-melt). Use a baster to make sure there’s enough liquid on the potatoes. Some will turn black. It’s okay, they still taste amazing.

I then prepped some asparagus in a ziplock bag with some olive oil, black pepper, and garlic and let it marinate while the chicken was cooking. Now that the chicken’s done, I took that and the potatoes out of the roasting pan and put in the asparagus, which is cooking. I’ve never tried that particular step before, but it’s how I usually prepare asparagus, only with chicken fat involved, so I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be some awesome asparagus.

Also: ZOMG the orange in the chicken is amazing. It gives it a nice citrusy happiness (I can’t even call it a flavor since it’s so subtle).

Addendum: It was two quarters of an orange, not the whole half. The whole half wouldn’t fit.

The asparagus was a bit overcooked, but otherwise good.

I don’t really know how to cook, I just know how to make things swim in butter and animal fat, haha.

Chip in for rent, and we’re good! That would actually be funny if you were in the Southern Tier area of New York and we both found housemates over Persephone. I get a feeling we would get along in real life, but I must admit that I am terrible to live with. I hate sharing!

Haha, sorry but I’m quite happy with my current arrangement (finally living with my partner after AGES in a long-distance relationship). Also, minor detail: I’m on the other side of the Atlantic. But I’m excited for you that you finally get to live on your own, especially if you hate roommate situations.

I’m such a sucker for anything rabbit oriented. I almost want to go post on the open thread with the rabbit picture.

In other news, I just heard Childish Gambino (Donald Glover, aka Troy from Community, aka ex writer for 30 Rock, aka gianormo celeb crush) rap. And I’m… underwhelmed.

In fairness, I’ve only heard one track, but it’s all dick and pussy and “you guys masturbate while I get laid” lines. Certainly he has an original sound, and the video I saw is JUST him in a warehouse, all done in one shot, just dancing, moving around, and rapping. I think his look is unique– he’s sort of preppy and, thus, isn’t that “hard balla” OR “ladies man” kind of look that we get so frequently.

Still…. it was a lot of pussy and dick… even for a rap song.

Any one else heard his stuff?

I’m not really into rap music (is that even how it’s called? I feel old) but I wanted to join you in your love for Donald Glover. When I first saw him on Community I thought he was the typical straight actor being forced to play a straight-ish character in a comedy show. I was so wrong! He is one of the funniest actors/characters now, he has Tina-Fey-approved credentials, and he’s supertalented in everything he does.

Also: I was checking out his wikipedia page to see how old he is (one year younger than me, I feel old again!) and it turns out he was raised in Stone Mountain, Georgia! I’m guessing he came up with the details of Kenneth’s childhood, which are usually hilarious!

My daughters just finished watching Mulan, the Disney movie. This was the first time I’ve ever seen it; it came out after I was an adult. I’ve heard women say it’s such an amazing movie and so inspiring for young girls.

I hated it. Am I being ridiculous? The entire thing is about how girls are useless and decorative and a waste of space, and I know the point is that Mulan proves that all wrong, but seriously? A movie that is supposed to be all about empowering women that doesn’t even remotely pass the Bechdel test? There are only three women in the movie: Mulan, her mom (who is a silent, delicate little wife who only cares about marrying Mulan off), and her grandmother (who is the cliched take-no-crap old woman, and who would be interesting, except all she cares about is getting Mulan married too).

Plus, it’s awfully violent and involves a lot more blowing things up/punching people in the face/trying to burn people to death than I usually want my 2-year-old to see.

I have to amend my comment–there are a couple of other women characters among the ancestors who send Mushu, the dragon, to help Mulan. It’s possible they have names and talk about saving her, thus passing the Bechdel test, but I barely noticed them while watching the movie.

ARGH! People in my state piss me off so badly.
People who all have jobs, private insurance, are healthy keep pushing for less coverage and higher co-pays for the sickest people in my state.
It just… I do not understand how Americans can not see that the access and ability to get quality healthcare *is* a right.
I wrote more about it on my blog, but I’ll link it.

*sigh* And I’ve cleaned up kitty barf and my bathroom from the kitten eating tp all night. Not the greatest start to a morning.

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