Open Thread

Persephone Lounge is Open for Business: OT for 2/16

This week, you guys. Seriously. It’s been a tough week at work and I’ve had a fever I just can’t shake for the last few days, but P-Mag has been hopping, and I love it! 

So grab your favorite drink (right now, it’s tea with honey and lemon and a little vanilla for me), get comfy, and tell us what’s happening. If you’re new, don’t be shy. Say hello! If you’re a little overwhelmed with what’s going on here on the site, this post might help a little. Old friends, catch us up on what’s been going on. And please remember to be excellent to each other. That’s how we do around here.

I’m in a Kate Nash mood, so here’s a little something:

606 replies on “Persephone Lounge is Open for Business: OT for 2/16”

Folks originally from P-Mag are prolly sick of hearing Jez-related stuff, so I promise I’ll be quieter about it after this!

I was just thinking, it really really sucks that I’m not going to touch anything other than Groupthink with a ten-foot pole unless it gets better (which I’m doubtful will happen). HOWEVER! If the drama had never happened, then I wouldn’t have heard of this site, which I am already growing quite fond of.

So…pretty awesome silver lining, I say.

This is stressing me out to an illogical degree. The second I hit the “Reply” button, I get sent way to the bottom of the page! I’ve figured out, obviously, how to find said reply box, and how to reply to what I intend to in the first place, so that’s cool. But is this the way the site works, or do I just need to fix something with my computer?

Seriously, I see about a bazillion brilliant points I’d like to weigh in on/at least acknowledge, but each would take 5-10 minutes apiece.

Site bugs are site bugs, and that I can forgive. The more rapid-fire commenting of others, however, leads me to believe that they are in fact better than me. Them, I will not forgive.

Seriously, I’m just new here, and it’ll take me a while to figure out what’s the norm and what’s not. So far, this place rocks.

Full size keyboard as opposed to what? Not tech-savvy here…

But in case it’s useful to anybody else, if I just open “Reply” in a “new tab,” it seems to come right up, rather than sending me all the way to the bottom of the page, and then I have to scroll up to type, and then I have to perform the sacred dance, and…

@Larissa, I had a dream about sloths last night.  I’ve never had a thing for sloths, but didn’t dislike them either.  they were on that list of animals you know about and can identify, but don’t have a deep love for.  after seeing and squeeing over your sloth pictures yesterday, it must have entered my subconscious, cause there I was last night, snugging a baby sloth who had escaped from a zoo enclosure.  it was quite the adventure getting him back home.  my old phys ed teacher was involved somehow . . . ..

anyway, thanks for the cool dream fodder!

I DREAMT ABOUT SLOTHS, TOO! :D I had two sloth dreams, and Anderson Cooper was in one of them! They were after I’d FINALLY gotten back to sleep, around 7am, because I woke up at 3 and started thinking about a dumb scary movie. >.<

But we’re dream twins. That makes me happy! And you’re most welcome! :D

Question: does NyQuil really make you high? Because I feel really hyper and gregarious right now, and everything is funny. I misread the “dark chocolate” label as “dork chocolate” and I’m wheezing with laughter even typing it out. But my typing seems okay? Maybe the lack of oxygen from the sick is making me slap-happy?

Also, the blush/flush joke. AHAHAHAHA! >D

Slappy squirrel! Animaniacs!

bwahahaha “speaking hypodermically” is my new favorite phrase. would that I were so fun when high on NyQuil.

Was it liquid NyQuil? I find that pill NyQuil and the liquid kind have very different effects. The pill form is just like roofie-ing myself, but the liquid one makes me feel ridiculously high. It’s also really unpleasantly flavored.

NyQuil makes me soo loopy. I’ll take some,and then an hour later I’ll be staring off into space until something makes me giggle uncontrollably. Once my ex came home to find me dangling upside down off the bed, smiling dreamily. NyQuil does bad, bad things to me.

Good luck to you too! That’s a great piece. It’s so moving. :)

Oh! I know that! You don’t wish good things to people otherwise it might attract bad energy, spirits, whatever, so you wish something bad, knowing it won’t happen in order to trick the spirit into leaving that person alone. I love superstitions! Especially ones that carry over from a long time ago.



It’s important to take credit for your subconscious. Well, take credit for its good bits, at least. Blame the bad and naughty stuff on the cat, or feign ignorance.

Really, it’s my life’s philosophy, and I don’t even have a cat.

I’m sorry I don’t know more about cheaper blush, by the way. I’m all Nars and Smashbox and setting stacks of money on fire in strange beauty rituals.

There’s a Loreal primer type thing called Studio Secrets Color Correcting Anti-Dull something or the other that is really lovely. It’s liquid, so I just put a little on my fingertips and blend it over my cheeks. It gives a lovely, shimmery flush, and I think it’s about ten dollars.

I’m going to tell you a secret, so don’t tell anyone ok?  I was opening the box to my brand new Smashbox Halo foundation powder and the lid kind of got stuck.  When I finally got it opened it flew into the open toilet.  I fished it out, let it sit with the lid open for a couple of days… and then used it.  I’ve used it for over six months and have so far not gotten any toilet cooties on my face.

It was brand new, don’t judge!!

I’m in a predicament and could really use some help from all your clever and bookish brains.

I’m out of dish soap but must wash dishes.  Too late to walk to store. Is there anything else I can use?  Laundry detergent?  Vinegar and baking soda (seems to work for practically anything else)?  Shampoo?  Hot water and elbow grease?


When I lived in dorms I washed a lot of dishes with hand soap in the bathroom sink?

oh goodness that makes me sound like a way grosser person than I am.
I wouldn’t recommend it all the time, but in a pinch you could probably do it, and not tell anyone…

and vinegar and baking soda might work, though I’ve never tried.


The most exciting part was when my sink got all volcanoey.  Even if it didn’t make them clean it was worth it for the sheer thrill.  I should probably get out more to do things like buy soap and have regular human fun.

Vinegar and baking soda. YES. Seriously, a lot of my chemically sensitive friends swear by it- without smelly essential odors usually. Don’t get me wrong, smellies can be fun, but natural chemicals are still chemicals and can trigger issues for people with sensitive systems.

I’m not a person with MCS, but I have a pretty sensitive nose and get overwhelmed by smells often. When I move into a place, I’m planning on going low scent.

Ok filled sink with super hot water and a ridiculous amount of baking soda and vinegar…. it’s working!  Washed a whole sinkload!  Which means I’m 5% done all my dirty dishes.  Taking a break now for wine and cheesy mashed potatoes because that was just too much excitement around here for Kitty McGotes and I for one night.

I hate to bring the mood down, but has everybody seen news on the travesty of a hearing held by Representative Issa?

I don’t even have any words to express my frustration. I used to think things wouldn’t ever get that bad, I had faith in the system, flawed as it was. Now I’m almost in tears. The lengths these men are going to in order to deny women basic healthcare just leaves me shaking in rage.

I… I just can’t even address it.

I just got an email about it. I honestly don’t understand it either. How on earth does this become an okay thing to do? Also, the notion that these guys are against the government getting “involved in the conscience of the American people” is laughable considering their stance on abortion rights.

I am very much feeling my name right now. As in, stabby.


so I am a part of this small Anglican Bible study where everyone is either working on a Master’s, working on  a PhD, or finished all of those, which is generally lovely because everyone is well read and knows basic things like critical thinking!
but so tonight I was supposed to lead, and someone had suggested we read Esther. I haven’t really read Esther since I was in jr. high and she was one of the few decent female role models in the Bible. but so I was all set with this great little thing on “hey! Esther as historical novella! how do our own stories and the stories of our families function in our lives, how do we re-tell them to others, and is there a way to interact with biblical texts in a way that doesn’t insist on ‘and the moral of this story is’…?”
but no one wanted to talk about that and instead we talked about why the king in the story must have fallen in love with Esther? and then about how he probably granted her request because she was “properly feminine and deferred like a wife should”? so that kind of ruined my awesome literary study thing. I’m still a little bummed, as one can only be after discovering they hang out with almost painfully conservative pat-answer type people.

It’s kind of weird and full of coincidence that you say that. I was having a similar feeling about my Bible study group just last night, which is even weirder considering I tend to be the more conservative person in my friend groups but not in Bible study.

Also, I think your take on how to dissect Esther would have been way more enlightening in so many ways. Maybe next time just keep talking, that’s what I do to make my group stop thinking from just one side of the line.

I did try, and I maybe talked too much… that happens a lot.

I guess with Esther I was just like… there’s no easy moral? when I was a pre-teen it was mostly “be courageous and stand up for what you believe in!”… and somehow that was paired with “but be submissive so boys will want to marry you.” or something. but with Esther it’s weird because it’s, like, the origin story of a holiday, this weird historical comic novel thing… God isn’t mentioned at all (except in the LXX but that’s a bit different?), it has a weird place in the Christian canon, and trying to “Christianize” it is really not the best journey to take! I don’t think so anyway.

We covered 1 John last night as part of our Valentine’s celebration, but we’ve been going through Philippians. It’s been very interesting to see different religious viewpoints on it. Our group is an all-faith group of medical students and the wives/partners of students. We do an all girl thing so that it’s easier to open up and share. But as the only Catholic in the group, my opinion tends to lean to a darker, more guilt ridden, “the world isn’t supposed to be rainbows and sunshine” thing, which only gets worse when they talk about how wonderful and happy the world is supposed to be.


That would be very interesting!

I’m not Catholic (I was briefly engaged to a Catholic guy who’s now in the process of becoming a priest), but I have the role of “MA Theology student!” in my group. and everyone else is pretty evangelical and current trends mean evangelicals (at least the ones I encounter) mostly want to talk about marriage, or how to get married, or how to stay married, or how to date… so a lot of our conversations end back at that. which can be frustrating.

also I am never sure how to deal with the “rainbows and sunshine” crowd. I’m more of a “the world can be really awful, so we kind of need to start actually being Christians and taking care of poor people and advocating for our society’s oppressed and marginalized!” … but apparently that is less fun than I Kissed Dating Goodbye or whatever.

k maybe we should have a Grouch Club!

Oh God! The marriage talk! *headdesk* I hate the marriage talk. I just want to shake them and yell, “You are perfect just the way you are! You don’t need a boy to make you happy! Stop it! Enjoy your life!” I hate the marriage talk. It annoys me so much how these beautiful, smart women can put so much of their self-worth into whether or not some random guy wants to marry them.

Also, I think you’re right. We should start a grouch club, where each member must face reality at least once a day. Also, we can have cookies and tea parties.

ugh. I can’t deal with all the marriage talk. and then when they couch it in “if it’s God’s will for you to get married…” terms, and then talk about how being single is apparently like, this test for only the strong Christian women? and then the dudes who aren’t married talk about how they want a Proverbs 31 wife and I’m like YOU CLEARLY HAVEN’T EVEN READ THE PASSAGE and then I hate everything.

so yes, cookies will probably be a good idea.

I know, right?! I happen to like being single. I have plans to move in with my best friend next year and hopefully within five years start the adoption process for her to have a daughter. I will NEVER tell my group about those plans; otherwise, there will be no end to the scandal. How dare I like to be without a husband?! How can I function without a man telling me what to do?! I’m such a harlot. Also my hair is not big enough. I must not be that close to God.

I think we might need lots of cookies, and maybe those apple and white cheddar cheese scones posted earlier…

I think you’re right. It has a weird place in Christian cannon, but I think it’s necessary. We have far too many examples criminalizing women and making them scapegoats. But Esther, even when presented in a very Stepford way, can’t help but smack a few people in the face and make them realize that women are people too. I think her book is necessary but extremely poorly taught in most churches.

I’m more of a Calvin fan myself, but who am I kidding? Both Luther and Calvin were assholes. It’s like, they contributed good things, but also, you wouldn’t want to be friends with these guys if you met them, ya know? Although, I do really enjoy Dempsey’s (sp?) book Women, Freedom, and Calvin, because it really helped me, as a reformed conservative evangelical feminist (that’s a mouthful), put Calvin in his place.


I haven’t read WFaC, I may have to look it up! I’ve been on a real New Perspective on Paul kick so NT Wright and I have become fast BFF. have you read Slaves, Women, and Homosexuals by Bill Webb?

Reformed conservative evangelical feminist is a mouthful! love it! I wrote a few pieces here last year on Christian feminism you might find interesting.

YES. I so agree, Savannah. Esther was always a strange one for me in my childhood and it wasn’t until I took a few courses in Old Testament literature and did some self-study on Jewish textual criticisms that I *started* to make some sense of it. I have no more thoughts than that because my brain is dead, but you are just so right.

Are there any ukulele players here? Can I ask a ukulele-player-with-big-boobs question? I cannot, for the life of me, grasp the ukulele correctly because of teh boobs being in the way. I know there is a strap you can buy specifically for this purpose, but it cannot be beyond the realm of female ingenuity to make it work. I find that I have to either crunch the uke body between my right boob and my right leg, or else lean back in my seat far enough to just sort of balance it on my upper chest as best I can. I’m still in the beginner-to-almost-know-what-the-hell-I’m-doing phase, which means I’m also still in the “death grip” phase. Suggestions?

do you mind if it’s a : “guitar-player-who-used-to-have-big-boobs” answer?

I had the same issue before my son sucked my boobs down to a disproportionate 36 A.  The only thing I could do to get around the girls getting in the way was to sit with my legs crossed and prop the guitar on my knee.  The strap will help if you’re standing, but if you sit, it prolly won’t do a lot of good.

Ok Persephoneers, lets share podcast suggestions. I am looking for more podcasts. Prefer free ones that I can get from iTunes. The pattern I have so far are comedic ones based (somewhat) in the UK. I currently listen to:

BBC Radio 4 Friday Comedy which is either The Now Show (satirical show about the news) or The News Quiz (satirical news quiz)

Answer Me This- where 2 people called Helen and Olly answer questions to the best of their ability, is very funny.

The Bugle- hosted by John Oliver from The Daily Show and his good friend Andy Zaltzman. Billed as “an audio newspaper for a visual world”.

The Smartest Man in the World- Greg Proops talks about anything that comes into his head.

I did listen to “Stuff You Missed in History Class” but the ladies who host it drove me bananas.

Any suggestions would be great!

I need to listen to more podcasts. mostly I just listen to The Vinyl Cafe. for those outside of Canada, GET ON THE VINYL CAFE TRAIN. or if you’re in Canada you should. I have the biggest voice crush on Stuart McLean. he is a less twee Garrison Keiller type I guess? but talks about books and libraries and has new and excellent Canadian music a lot and tells really good stories, he’s quite funny. Well, I think he is anyway.

he did a piece once on the Fischer Library that made me cry. he was talking about books and ancient books and the preservation of knowledge and the “holiness” of it. and I was just like I LOVE YOU STUART.

I did meet him once. I was working at a little bookstore back home and he came to do a live show and signed books at our store so he sat at a little table by my till and we ate cake. I did not pretend it was our wedding cake.

See, you either love Stuart, or you hate’em. I for one can’t stand the sound of his nasal, long-voweled voice. However, if we’re talking CBC, Jonathan Goldstein’s Wiretap has my heart forever. That and Ideas. That show makes you smarter in like five minutes of listening.

Andy from the Bugle is Helen’s brother, so there’s an episode with Andy on AMT! and the 200th AMT! has Andy’s kids in it too, one of whom is named Horace.  I love Helen and Olly, I must go check that this weeks one has downloaded. Have you seen the videos they made all around England about the best cheese and all that? So funny.

I often work on the computer from home, so I’ve become a bit of a podcast connoisseur.

Wait…Wait… Don’t Tell Me!, Car Talk, and This American Life are my favorites from NPR. I’ll occasionally listen to All Songs Considered and the Piano Puzzler too.  For a podcast parodying NPR, This American Wife is pretty amusing.

A good friend of mine had the same complaint about Stuff You Missed In History Class, so I guess you’re not alone there. I personally prefer Stuff You Should Know. The hosts Chuck and Josh are very likeable.

I’m also a big fan of listening to Real Time with Bill Maher. It’s the audio from the show, so if you watch the show already, you probably won’t want to re-listen.

For a while I was listening a podcast called the Word Nerds, a show about “the things we say and why we say them.” They haven’t come up with new material since 2009, but they go back to at least 2006. There’s quite a lot of stuff to get through and will last you a while.

Also (last one, I promise!), there is a pretty wide selection of vintage radio shows, which can be interesting and a nice change. Search for “Old Time Radio” on the iTunes store.

Hope that helps! Happy listening!

Adding my unnecessary “I’m so glad to be here!” post.  I’ve been reading the articles all day and they are really fantastic, but just in this one open thread so far I’ve seen entire threads devoted to quoting Mitch Hedberg, 90s nostalgia, a ridiculous pun on a teapot (I am such a sucker for so-bad-they’re-amazing puns or plays on words), and a mention of Jasper Fforde.  Everything is awesome.


I had a pog book. One time I won a thing of pogs out of those impossible claw machines. I also had a pog maker, with which I fashioned many Casper, Batman Forever, and Tiger Bear pogs.

They sucked as a game, though.

Also, hello and welcome, ModelSystem!

So, this is a terribly boring and tedious subject for an open thread, but could any US based Persephoneers recommend a reasonably affordable insurance plan? I’m currently a temp and have been skating along without health insurance ever since I graduated a couple years ago. So far, I’ve been lucky but my normally reliable immune system has decided to take a shit on me in recent months and I think I should seriously start looking for a health plan. Any advice would be appreciated!

I would check into state programs that you can buy into.  I know CO has one where an individual qualifies if they make less that $27,000k per year, and when I lived in CA there was something similar.

It really depends on what you want it for.  If you’re looking for a just in case policy, depending on your age and health status you should be able to find something for less than $100 a month.  If you’re looking for a plan that allows you to actually go see a doctor in a non-emergency setting  you’re going to pay much more than that.  I suggest looking into a broker who has no ties to any particular company.  They’ll be honest and get you the best plan for what you want to pay.

Did you get your temp job through an agency?  Many staffing agencies offer group health insurance that you can buy into if you’re working a certain amount of hours.  I would check there as well.



Google short-term insurance. You can carry a policy for up to a year at a time, typically. It’s not a Cadillac plan, it pretty much only covers the major stuff (fancy term: catastrophic plan) but the last one I had only cost $150/month. I’m an old, too, so my price is probably higher than you would pay if you’re younger than I am. (I’m 40)

It’s Friday in Cesy-land, whoop whoop! I just got the car cleaned (because  somehow Mr Cesy parked it under a tree that had had a car lit on fire under it. When it rained, the ash that ended up in the tree ended up on our car. Lovely ashy car), went and did some shopping, and now I am lying on my bed. I’ll get out into the garden soon and rip out a flowering broccoli plant, but for now, lying down is great.

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