Open Thread

This OT is Dancing on Its Own

Sometimes your week just needs a kick-ass anthem with some awesome dancing.

Y’all, this has been my jam for the past two weeks. It’s on repeat on every music-playing device I own.

So, join me in a Thursday night dance party? Or just come on in and tell us about your week so far!


By [E] Rachel

I punctuate sentences with Oxford commas, and I punctuate disagreements with changesocks. Proud curmudgeon. Get off my lawn.

132 replies on “This OT is Dancing on Its Own”

To be fair it’s the Catholic Bishops not the Catholics en mass. The birth control kerfuflle is all them and no one else. The Catholic Health Association (run by nuns fwiw) is fine with how Obama settled it. And most Catholics I know (self included) think that the bishops are dicks.

I think this recent round of dickery is the equivalent of a two year old throwing a tantrum because the grownups won’t listen to them. They are desperately trying to be relevant to a church that increasingly sees them as theologically unimportant.

Whoa. That’s no good. Schedule an appointment with a counselor; make a point to note the urgency. Unfortunately, hospitals can’t or won’t do much unless you’re at risk physically.

You might try looking up some breathing exercises online to use as a stopgap measure before you meet with a counselor. A lot of people find breathing exercises useful for staving off and/or easing acute panic attacks.

If you can think of anything at all that might help you relax, go ahead and do it.

Remember you have not done a single thing wrong. It’s them, not you, and soon they’ll be little more than a bad memory. Someday they’ll be little more than the laughable source of an anecdote.

Good luck, and feel better soon!

If you’re used to kind and rational enough people, encountering others who are among the meanest and most irrational around can be extremely jarring. Being the object of an intense, irrational hatred, even briefly, even without any physical threat, can easily be traumatic.

Anyone’s personal psychological trauma is not something to be rated against the traumatic experiences of anyone else. What matters is how you feel, and how the experience fits in the context of your life. It’s the same for those who are prone to anxiety or panic and those who aren’t.

It seems plain enough to me you’re suffering from the after-effects of an acutely traumatic experience (but I’m merely Dr. Internet).

Scheduling a short course of counseling sessions is a good idea. You may want to alert someone at your school to what’s going on. Is there a counseling office there? You shouldn’t have to provide much more information than that you’ve been having some personal difficulty which has been interfering with your attendance and classwork.

Remember, too, the gravity of your feelings and experience is not for anyone but you to evaluate.

You could try taking some Benadryl to sleep. If you’re not familiar with its effects, I recommend taking it about three or four hours before you would normally go to sleep. Chances are it will knock you out in less than one hour, but if you’re sleep-deprived, a few extra hours might be helpful. Expect to be groggy at least part of the next day. If you’re barely sleeping at all, it’s worth it.

I hope (and suspect, truly) the worst of this will be over for you within a few weeks.

My best friend and I are both (aspiring) comedy writers and we decieded to give stand up a try in May(or thereabouts). I know once I get up on stage I’ll be ok but I’m freaking terrified, even now months beforehand!

Has anyone here ever done stand up? I’m pretty dirty/not politically correct/snarky and I don’t know how hard to go the first time on stage.

On a somewhat related note, I meant a very attractive, smart, and funny fellow (friend of my BFF) last night and completely charmed him, if I do say so myself. AND he complimented me on my stellar sense of humor, which gave me an insane ego boost.

I haven’t done any stand-up, but I  have seen enough shows and hung around with enough comedians (improv tends to scoop up drifters) that I think these basic rules still apply:

The audience wants you to succeed. Sure, there may be a few assholes here and there, but the vast majority of people go to a comedy show to laugh with comedians, not at them. Use that to your advantage. You want to be able to take the audience on a journey with your jokes, so snag ’em at the beginning.

Insulting the audience works for some comedians because they are well known for insulting the audience. When you are first starting out, I think strolling up on stage and calling everyone a bunch of wankers feels ultra-defensive and is generally regarded as bad form. Friendly poking and audience interaction though is great, but you’ve gotta be quick on your feet if you want to riff off someone.

Bombing is okay. It happens to every single comedian at one point in their career. Even the funniest person can misjudge an audience and veer in unfunny directions with their set. Take your inevitable failure as a badge of honour.

And just do it. The only thing you have to lose is your pride.

Today has been kiiiiiinda full of win, and it was much needed after a SUPER shitty start to March:

I chopped my hair off on a whim and love it, it’s pay day, Community came back, I put in to take tomorrow off and was actually able to finish my tasks today so that Monday won’t be rough, I got to see my extremely busy-thus-absent husband for longer than 5 minutes, I made a really tough decision I’d been putting off and felt a huge sense of relief after doing so.

Maybe March will be in like a lion, out like a lamb for my life.

I hope I figure out how to deal with asshole-dude from Monday in a way that isn’t “pretend you don’t exist,” because he’s in classes with me, and it’s hard to do that with someone I’m forced to be around.

How do you all deal with a colleague you can’t stand but have to be around/have to talk to?

If you figure out how, help a sister out! I have a coworker that grates on my nerves more than any person I’ve ever met in my life. It takes all my concentration on positivity to work on anything with her. I dislike her so much I can’t naturally smile and make eye contact (which has never happened to me before.) I must work w/  her frequently in our very team-based environment so I need to just deal and it’s so. hard.

Best of luck to you! “Pretend you don’t exist” is usually my default when people deeply bother me, and since she’s the only one who I’ve felt this way about and don’t have that option, I’m at a loss. :-/

I have quite of a few of those colleagues. Usually, I try to find some positive thing about them. Just one thing and I’ll remind myself about that. It’s tough when you cant remove yourself from their presence and the you don’t exist thing isnt always effective

Sometimes it’s fun to be super-cheesy-nice to assholes. It can really disconcert them, I find, and can be bizarrely much more satisfying than ignoring them or getting pissy with them. So try smiling broadly when you next see Mr A-hole and exclaim, “How lovely to see you!” or something equally inoffensive and untrue…

I must choose one of two to attend, because my ingenious solution to go to neither has been vetoed by my SO. Neither of us are religious, FWIW.

Option 1 is hosted by my sister. My parents will be there, my hyper-religious and stark raving mad Republican aunt and uncle will be there. I do not like spending time with my parents or the crazies at all. My sister and my other siblings (and their SOs and children) and I get along well, and we see each often. I don’t see my parents or the crazies often. Therapy is expensive. My sister says it’s fine with her if I don’t come, but my parents will be upset. The crazies don’t care as far as I know. The food will be good. Most of the conversation I hope will center around my sister’s/SIL’s pregnancy (it’s a little complicated). I expect my parents and the crazies will find opportunities to berate me nonetheless.

Option 2 is hosted by my PhD advisor. My understanding is this seder will be gigantic, with a number of people in my field and related fields, from a ton of universities and businesses around here (Boston/Cambridge) attending. There will be networking maybe? Half the guests aren’t even jewish, so it will be low on religiousity. That’s a pro for me. A con is I have major social anxiety, and meeting bigwigs (famous people!) from my field scares the crap out of me. I suck at smalltalk. Most of the people I know who will be there make me feel kind of not the best about myself. I am insecure. Compared to these people I feel unpublished, unpolished and BROKE. Out of 30+ guests I only know 6 or 7 though. Only two of those people I like. They are my boss and a coworker from my “day job” though. I like my advisor, but he will be busy hosting, and I would not be his only advisee attending. He wants me to attend, but he says it’s totally fine if I choose not to. IDK if I will miss out on important networking (ugh) if I don’t go. I doubt it?

Thinking about going to either one makes me anxious. Having to choose makes me anxious. Reading what I just wrote, it sounds like the second one is the obvious choice. But I will be going out of my mind with anxiety beforehand. For days. Then when I’m there I will be in a cloud of awkward silence. If I get tipsy there maybe I could handle it or maybe I will say something stupid that will haunt me for all eternity. Going to my family’s seder only makes me a little anxious in comparison. It will be unpleasant at times, but ultimately OK.


Second one, definitely. Are you bringing a partner with you? They can be your chaperon. get tipsy before hand, and if alcoholic wine is used, you won’t have to worry so much about the anxiety. If you are recovering alcoholic, see if you can get something else to calm your nerves. Some docs might perscribe or give samples of anti-anxiety meds around holidays because of big deal events.

You can also come up with scripts to run with each of the known guests, or you can be like me and follow a small number of people around, alternating with finding the food/drinks fascinating.

The huzzle is the one dragging me out in the first place! I feel way less anxious when I’m drinking, no doubt, but then later I start turning over every interaction in my head to figure out if/when I went wrong. If I don’t drink at a party I stand alone in the corner all night. My man comes over to check on me on the half hour.

I already have anti-anxiety meds I can take. Thing is they don’t make me talkative and friendly like alcohol does. Their effect would be making me feel better about standing alone in the corner. I take a low dose? It’s not a hazard to take with alcohol, but it knocks me out.

Scripts seem like a good idea, but IDK if I can stick to them. Maybe it’s OK to carry around index cards I have to look at while talking to people? Is that weird? :)

I’d use index cards even if it were weird!

Yeah, I understand that with the alcohol. That’s why I suggest having your dude be your chaperon- that way they can give you feed back and keep you from being *too* embarrassing. And if other people are drinking, slightly embarrassing behavior is usually acceptable.


ETA: Your second option is basically a seder-themed cocktail party. The experience may shed some light on the ass-kissing habits of your peers. Be careful “networking” with transhumanists; you might get a cable jammed down your ear canal.

Smoke me up beforehand and I’ll do my best to be your foil.

I would also go to the second. Partly because it gets you out of the first, partly because I think half of academia is (unfortunately) just showing up. I am also an anxious and shy academic who would rather be at home getting my knit on and watching old Muppet shows than socializing. For me, the key trick (which my Mum who is also shy told me) is to remember that people LOVE LOVE LOVE talking about themselves. Just think up a few key questions that you can ask people and then you can relax and listen.

My favorite question (which is lame BTW) is “So tell me more about what you’ve been working on!” (it’s totally flattering/pretends you’re super interested in their work and also helps eliminate dead air. ) Also, know when to move on, if there is a lot of silence just tell them it was nice to talk to them and then get the hell out of there/pretend you have someone else across the room you really want to speak with. Good luck with all of this! I really hope it goes well for you. This is the strategy I deploy at all receptions following graduate colloquiums and so far so good- I get quite nervous at these things too.

***TRIGGER WARNING: I talk about body image issues and diet-type stuff below.***

Advice O’Clock: I’m just beginning to try to move away from a dieting mindset into a HAES frame of mind and I’m having some real difficulty challenging these ingrained beliefs. For example, I can easily comprehend the idea that people come in all shapes and sizes and that the way their body appears on the outside is not necessarily reflective of health. However, I’m having real difficulty bringing this over to my own body. Using my own experience, I am currently at my heaviest and at my unhealthiest. When I stopped exercising and when I stopped eating properly, I put on weight. So I am having a real hard time trying to accept my body when it feels like this isn’t the proper body weight for me. If I exercise (which I’ve started to do again, more on that below) and eat properly (also trying to implement this), I can’t imagine my body being healthy and remaining this size. And I feel like that that mentality is sort of in contradiction to the whole philosophy of HAES.

Now, as for the aforementioned exercise, how do you yoga ladies keep your breasts from suffocating you in downwards dog? I end up having to tilt my head slightly uncomfortably to keep from boob smother-age.

Also, I’m working on intuition eating and this is proving to be really challenging in one regard: I cannot tell if I am full or not. Tonight, I had a hankering for pizza and now, half a pizza in, where I would normally feel overly full, my stomach is still rumbling! It’s so bizarre. Since I started paying attention to my stomach, I now feel hungry ALL the time. Which just makes no sense. I’m eating the same amount I was two weeks ago, it’s just better foods. Does this mean I’m genuinely hungry? And how long will I have to work at this for food to not be a constant thought?

I’d just appreciate hearing from y’all about this.

Under HAES, you might lose weight. That’s fine. If that’s what happens when your are living a healthy life style that is what happens. If you don’t lose/get smaller living a healthy lifestyle, then Guess what? you’ll still be healthy. Don’t let something that may or may not be a problem interfere with focusing on your health while you are just starting.  Attitude change takes time. Working on it isn’t hypocritical.

Hmm… I’m not entirely sure. I sip on water all day. I’d wager a guess that I’m getting through at the very least five large glasses full. But I put lemon juice in it. I don’t know if that negates it or something. I could probably try keeping track tomorrow, but since I’d be aware of my drinking, it would probably skew the results.

For the record, I had another slice of pizza after originally posting this and then I stopped. I’m still hungry, I was still hungry when I stopped, but I think that half a medium pizza should have been enough for goodness sake!

My brother once said that lemon juice in water helps increase your metabolism but I have nothing on hand to back that up.
I mostly asked because I know/have read about people thinking they are hungry when they are really just thirsty.

It also could be what you’re eating – high fiber foods will make you feel more full than low fiber.

High fiber foods. These are things I enjoy. It is breakfast time so I think I’ll try out a strawberry oatmeal and see how that covers the hunger.

Thanks for the tips.

I just like lemon juice for the taste really, metabolism boosting or not. I used to get through a big bottle in a couple of days (since I drank it straight), but it was doing a number on my teeth (and really funny things in my digestive tract), so I had to compromise with diluting.

Ah-ha! I’m not the only one to have boob issues in Yoga! I double bra, personally, and that keeps those suckers DOWN, and I don’t drop out of cleavage tops. <rant> what is WITH yoga top designers that think that I WANT a low v-neck in my shelf bra tank thing? No, I want a nice high, practically victorian neck line (also keeps the boobs in place).

I know, for one, I do yoga in a full body wetsuit.

Thanks for your input. I guess I’m going to have to suck it up and go bra shopping again. Oh how I LOATHE bra shopping. There is nothing quite like plunking down hundreds of dollars for something to keep my boobs in place.

It looks like this is the general consensus (according to another google search). To the bra-shoppe! If I say it that way, it makes it seems more like I’m going for milkshakes even I’m looking for something to stop the shaking of my milk bags.

Also, milk bags is a gross term.

I’m trying not to freak out… As I’ve complained several times already, I’ve had consecutive, worse-than-usual colds since early February (and so has BF). I’m not sure if it’s one particularly persistent bug or just bad luck. A week ago I got prescribed antibiotics again and I’ve felt much better. However, I took the last one this morning, it’s nearly midnight now and my throat has been a little sore for the past hour or two. If this is the beginning of another cold, I might have to cancel flying to the US on Tuesday.

Well, on the grand scale it wouldn’t be a catastrophe, just mighty inconvenient. I do have travel insurance that is supposed to cover canceling for health reasons (after an unknown amount of paperwork and time). Buuut I’ve ordered a pile of stuff to a friend’s house that I’m supposed to pick up. And this conference is actually interesting, besides the academic cred points appearing there would get me (this matters in my line of work).

Guess I’ll be heading right back to the clinic when I wake up feeling anything less than spectacular tomorrow.

Friend just messaged and said she got us tickets for World of Wearable Art in October! SO EXCITING, it’s an event I’ve wanted to go to for ages. It is crazy.

Also a girl from high school is getting married this weekend, I’m looking forward to doing some Facebook stalking.

Thank you to everyone who gave me encouragement last night regarding the arrest of one of my staff. It has been a very difficult week but luckily the board and I are in total agreement about the situation, the ramifications, and what action needs to be taken. The staff member has been put on leave until a formal “firing” can be done in a couple of weeks, but he has worked here for over a decade and I believe this job was the only thing he really had going for him in his life, so we are all watching the situation very carefully regarding our safety and his. It’s just a terrible situation all around, but he made his bed and these are the consequences.

Also today, I received an email from the coordinator of an internship that I really want asking me for further documentation. She wants transcripts, which I can certainly provide, but she also wants supporting documentation to prove that I’m planning on returning to my graduate program in January. But…I wouldn’t sign up for classes until December, so I’m not sure what supporting documentation I could give her…? Does anyone have experience with this? What should I offer as supporting documentation?

Not sure if you saw Meghan’s reply (I think it’s appearing as an update on your comment), but the concise answer is “server vomit” :)

Slightly longer answer c/o @rubybruiseday:

“We had some server vomit, and letting all the posts go at once was the only way to get it righted again. Whoops! Sometimes, through no fault of anyone’s, the internet hates us.”

My Spring Break starts now, except not really. I have homework due during Spring Break. WTF.

My grandpa is in the hospital, but it seems like he’ll be okay. Just replacing a valve in his artery. I’m trying not to worry about it; if he’s still able to make jokes and talk about escaping in taxis, he’s okay.

Cue all the Gaelic Storm in  honor of Saturday.

I have Red Bull. I AM a Red Bull.  ROAR. GRUNT. STOMP.

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