Open Thread

It’s the Weekend Oprah Thread!

So, um, April Fools! I don’t think we fooled anyone for more than a second or two, but today was a lot of fun.  We did not get purchased by anyone, so we’re all still working for internet hugs.  And no worries, we’ll be back with our regularly scheduled shenanigans on Monday, which also happens to be our six month birthday. 

Blogs grow up so fast, don’t they?  Anyway, thanks for being good sports and playing along with us. We’re turning in just a smidge early this evening and turning the joint over to you.  Everybody grab an Oprah cupcake and settle in for a weekend full of open threading.

Here’s some music to get you started:

Actually, scratch that, here’s the new Who trailer to get you started, then some music.

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.

114 replies on “It’s the Weekend Oprah Thread!”

Okay, eveyone. So about a week ago, a friend of my very good friend got attacked in the west village. The police are treating it as a hate crime (he’s gay). My (also gay) friend was really upset about this. He helped put together a “Gay Bash” fundraiser at one of their favorite bars. They had makeup artists painting black eyes on people, to show that when one person gets attacked, it’s an attack on the community. This really meant a lot to my friend, so I decided to stop by for a drink, even though I was in the middle of a 24 hr take home final.
So I go to the bar, have a couple drinks, have a bunch of fun, and get a fake black eye. I beg off early, since I have to finish my test.
I get a call from my friend at about 1am. He had left the bar, and some random guy punched him in the face, stole his wallet, and called him a faggot. So now I’m kinda freaking out. There’s nothing I can do, except try to calm him down and get him to call the cops. He texted me at 4am to tell me he was still at the police station.
I feel horrible, because I really can’t do anything. I still have to finish my stupid exam, and I didn’t get any sleep last night because I was worried about him, and the whole situation is totally effed up!
And I just kinda needed to vent. So thanks.

Can someone please tell me why Oprah has been all over Persephone this weekend? Everywhere I look, there is Oprah’s face, and it seems like every single post had something to do with her – why?? It was kind of annoying, and definitely confusing. Please enlighten me!

Hello Sephies!

I’ve been lurking rather than commenting for a couple of weeks – the guy I was seeing broke things off with me, so I’ve mostly been hiding under the duvet and being sad.

I’m feeling a little better now though – and to cheer myself up, I compiled a list of my top historical crushes. Remember – if they’re dead, they can’t dump you! The list is here:

I had a job interview last week. I had given up hope hearing from this (amazing) company and then they’d called me out of the blue about my application; I was so floored. So I got there on Thursday and the first thing she asked was, “I told you [position you were applying for] is no longer available, right?” Um… no.

But, they liked my application so much she wanted to find a place for me, and for some reason they’re actually doing super well and creating new jobs so they have a lot of positions. I interviewed for three jobs there, and despite being completely unprepared since they were all in totally different departments than I thought I was interviewing for it went well. I came home and passed out hard since I’d barely slept the night before, and she called me a few hours later, waking me from my stupor to ask me to come back and speak to two more people. I set up the appointment and then woke up enough to FREAK OUT wondering if I’d said anything dumb in my grogginess and to realize I hadn’t asked enough specific questions about what I was coming in for again.

I emailed her since it was then after normal business hours and she called me the next day to say she didn’t want me to worry, she felt pretty sure that either a or c interviews would offer me a job, or both. So I’m going back in two days to talk to a couple more people from c department. I can’t believe it. It’s looking likely that I’m going to be a.) employed b.) in the arts c.) in a totally established, reputable company where there will be lots of opportunities for growth for me in the future. I was at the point where just getting a job with a desk and not at Starbucks was going to seem like a major feat.

Now that this is looking probable and awesome, the amount of school stuff I have to do in the next month to finish my MA is hitting me like a ton of bricks. Dude.

Thanks, I will! I’m not sure there’s going to be any space between school and the job; it’s possible I’ll start going in part time to train before the semester ends and I start full time, so it’s going to be exhausting. But worth it, to land a position like this right now!

Hi everyone! I haven’t been around in a while… What is everybody up to? I somehow managed to sleep until 2 pm today, so I guess I will be working late tonight…

Did you all have a nice weekend? The highlight of mine was that I finally got around to organizing my iTunes library and syncronizing the music in my desktop, laptop and iPod. When I excitedly told my partner, he called my achievement “a hilarious combination of geekiness and anal-retentiveness”, so I thought I would come here and tell my fellow Sephies about it. Somebody out there HAS TO understand the importance of well-organized files!

This shall come as no surprise to you, but I’m CONSTANTLY aware that my itunes is all effed up. Constantly.

My weekend was.. rough. PhD candidate perspectives were in the city, then we were hosting our graduate conference (which my roomies organized). Just chalk full of (fun but exhausting) academic/social events. It all culminated in consuming way too many and too much substances (though I did abstain from wine, and chose gin instead–stupid food allergies spoiling my fun!) at an after party at my house.

I got zero done today other than naps. Luckily, I put very little on my to do list so I’m not starting TOO far behind. Still, two abstracts and a presentation to do this week. All I have are paper topics (no words down on paper). So, you know, torturously long work day tomorrow…

I knew I wasn’t alone in my geekiness and anal-retentiveness! :) My pet peeves: albums with no cover image, songs archived under “unkown artist” for no reason, and groups which start by “The” alphabetized under “T”. The New Pornographers go under N for “New”, dammit!

Fun but exhausting sounds great! At least, it sounds better than “frustrating and exhausting”, which is what the life of a graduate student often looks like… And don’t beat yourself up over all the napping, that’s what Sunday should be for!

How are you doing re: motivation?

Thank you! But what feat are you referring to? The one whereby I sleep until 2 pm, or the one whereby I organize my whole iTunes library? Personally, I’m equally proud of both.

I’ve been… can you guess? Working on my dissertation! I got tired of whining about it all over the open threads, and when I vowed to stop doing that I realized that I didn’t have much to say that wasn’t dissertation-related, so I stayed away for a while. I’m happy to report that I already have 250 printed pages in front of me and I am working on the general introduction and conclusions, which I expect to knock out today or tomorrow at the latest.

How’s your research coming along?

Well, I’m pretty good at the sleeping, so I was most impressed by the organizing. But I agree: both are commendable.

Congrats on the dissertation progress! That must feel good to have so much done. Once you’ve gotten it down, will you still have revisions, or is this pretty much the final project?

My research is going well in fact; I’ve got a subject I’m excited about, and a possible plan for executing it. Of course, this all means I’m committing myself to a few years’ worth of research–which I’m sure you can’t possibly relate to–for a book that I can only hope will be publishable and readable. But I feel good about it!

It feels GREAT! I went to my office on campus to print out my draft (don’t judge me – paper, ink and a library card are basically the only research resources my university provides, I might as well take advantage of them!) and I almost danced out of there and all the way home. I will probably have to make some final revisions, but if everything goes well I may get to finish before the weekend!

Your plans sound exciting… Have you ever written a book or worked on a long research project? I published my MA dissertation in book form and I hated the whole process – I had always thought working on my first book would be challenging and fulfilling… but reworking material I had written two years before was soooo boring! But you seem to be going about it the right way, so I’m sure you’ll really enjoy it.

@bicuriousshoes Sweet! I’m so happy for you. What a relief. Is it too soon to ask what’s next for you?

I’ve never tackled something this big before; I just do the daily journalism stuff, so perhaps the longest thing I’ve written is maybe 2,000 words? I always thought it’d be hard for me to focus on one topic for too long… but I want a new writing challenge and I like my topic. So…. we’ll see!

Yes! One of the best things about switching to a new desktop computer was that I got to transfer only the most important files I had in my laptop, leaving all the useless stuff behind. Once I’m sure that all the essential stuff is safely stored in the new computer, I will really enjoy going on the old one and doing a “Select all” and “Delete”.

So… I was sick of my super-slow memory card in my camera, so I bought a new one today (thanks, mom and dad’s newspaper for having sale information!). It’s a smaller size (oh, no, I can only take 1500 pictures at a time instead of 3000. Whatever shall I do?), but faster, so that’s good.

Now I have a speed-2, 8-gb SD card hanging around. What is that useful for? Because of the speed issue, it’s not really good for a camera. What other devices would be okay with that kind of low speed?

It’s about 30 seconds between pictures with the slow one. I also have an external HD for backing up files and use DropBox for things I’m using both my regular computer and my netbook for.

I might just throw it in my box of “random computer crap.”

I just watched Disney’s take on Rapunzel – Tangled – and what I’m mainly left wondering is why the hell did they have to make Rapunzel’s eyes so big that she looks like a Bratz doll? All the female characters, really. They were like a stuffed animal’s.

Ok, any persephoner cycle commuters out there? Do you get crap from dudes who you think wouldn’t harrass you if you were, let’s just say a 6 ft tall man? I live in a big city, with a rather fraught relationship between cyclists and motorists but I get so sick of being honked at or rude shit being said to me when I am obeying the law.
Tonight, I was told to “move my fat ass” (which isn’t, for what it’s worth) because oh I was stopped at a red light, in the right lane, less than three feet from the curb and the cab behind me was pissed off cause he couldn’t turn around me, even though that’s totally illegal. It just bothers me so much that yelling at female cyclists by drivers so quickly devolves into making lewd comments about our bodies. It annoys me too, because I do all the right things, I stop at lights, I signal, I use lights, I have a rearview mirror on my drop bar, a bell, I wear a helmet, I stay three feet from the curb only unless I am doing a critical mass ride, and I never ride and listen to my mp3 player. I don’t understand how people possibly feel that they have a right to treat me like shit, say rude things, and endanger my life. And I totally resent that the “saying of rude things” often is some sort of commentary on my body or appearance.
Ugh- sorry for the length.
tl/dr: I am a smallish female cyclist and I am really sick of being treated like crap.

It’s really frustrating. While I’m not a cutting-edge feminist theorist, it sounds like the ‘mild’ end of rape culture (you do all the right things, and still some asshole thinks it’s his right to do what he likes). No fun at all to be reminded of that.

I fortunately haven’t had too much of that, but I mostly biked on trails last summer. This summer I do plan on biking around to do my errands, which will involve biking on major roads (does not bother me. I learned to bike while in Japan, yo. That shit is hardcore.)

But, yeah, not looking forward to that possibility.

I’m not a cyclist; I would be way too scared to bike in the city I live in, especially in the area of town I live in. But I’d love it if the cyclists around here were like you and actually did things properly. I live near a really affluent area where a lot of drivers and cyclists alike think they’re too good for the rules; drivers constantly skip at stop signs, make illegal u-turns, and honk if they don’t feel like you’re making a right on red fast enough. Cyclists do similar, or decide that they can run red lights, bike on the wrong side of the road or the wrong way on one way streets… it scares me a lot. I try to be conscientious of them when I’m driving but it’s a lot harder when you make a turn and suddenly a bike is coming towards you in your lane. So good on you for doing it right and screw all those people who are jerks about it.

Ugh, I am so sorry that your experiences with cyclists has been so bad! I think this is the crux of the issue with relationships between drivers and cyclists- the fact that there are alot of non-law abiding cyclists and consequently we all have a reputation for running red lights, not wearing helmets whatever.

I’ve definitely gotten some harassment while bicycling, though I think male cyclists get hassled pretty often too. Mostly it’s been pedestrians or people in cars yelling unintelligible stuff at me, so it’s hard to tell what’s gendered.

I definitely think there’s a certain segment of the car-driving population who just HATE that they have to share the road with cyclists, and will take any opportunity to be a jackass towards you if you’re on a bike. It can be terrifying to have a huge SUV bearing down on you honking and yelling because you dared to (legally) use the left-hand turn lane or whatever.

I’m a female city cyclist – I haven’t received any ‘abuse’ as such, but I notice that male cyclists tend to be a bit impatient and huffy if they have to wait behind me at lights or whatever – especially if they’re the lycra-clad, luminous jacket-wearing, aerodynamic helmetted kind of cyclist. Like having to wait behind me at a light for 30 seconds, because I don’t want to risk shooting into rogue traffic, is going to be the END OF THE WORLD :)

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