Open Thread

This Weekend Open Thread Feels Like Rain

It’s the hottest summer ever here in the Midwest, and we’re in the middle of a pretty terrible drought. My city is under a water ban, and everyone’s yard is dead. Currently, the only green things on my block are the oldest trees, an assortment of clearly mutant weeds, and the neighbor’s questionably painted sedan. 

The good news: Some of the people in my Facebook Magic Update Box who thought climate change was hooey seem to have changed their thinking. The bad news: According to the local news, some local houses are starting to crumble from the combination of heat and lack of rain, and everyone is being invaded by ants and other creepy crawlies.

I sure know how to start a party.

Let’s take our minds off the weather with this open thread, shall we?

We hired SO MANY NEW WRITERS this week, I hope many of them will pop in and say hello. You’ll be getting to know all of them in the next few weeks, and I think we’re all in for a treat.

Here’s a song.

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.

178 replies on “This Weekend Open Thread Feels Like Rain”

After a week away on vacation (well…visiting my parents and hiking and drinking said parents’ wine), I am back at work, and thus on Persephone. It’s weird getting back into reality, but I’m hoping by the end of the week I’ll at least be adjusted to the time zone again (those two hours between MST and EST are a bitch in the morning –7 feels like 5 AM, blergh). At least my roommate is away for the next two weeks and I have the apartment to myself!! Actually may be the longest I’ve had one to myself ever! Wheeeee naked time!

Nothing but grumbling today. It’s 15º C out, and it’s been pouring rain for hours. So dark inside I have to keep the lights on. I don’t know why I bother painting my toenails this summer. Also, a work event I’m in charge of, the first time I’m organizing one like this, is derailing so badly I suspect the universe has marked this as my lesson in humility. And then there was a “spiritual” person on the radio, touting that souls choose to be born into lives of horrid misery because it’s exciting and a challenge. Reincarnation as adventure tourism, basically. It must be so thrilling to experience life as an abused child, a civilian trapped in a war zone or a trafficked sex slave. I wanted to slap her.

I moved into a house with random people I met on craigslist. The girl that moved out had almost all of the living room furniture. Currently, we have one recliner for a house with three people. I’m trying to get a craigslist couch lined out for Tuesday. My friend with a truck was texting me about the whole situation and then just…quit. I went ahead and made arrangements to get the couch at 4:30 without knowing for sure if that works for my friend. I’m going to be annnnngry if he’s all like…that doesn’t work at allllll, waaaaah. I hate having to ask people for favors.

I’m on a train heading east, going back home after spending the night with my boyfriend’s friends from university. They adopted me once we started dating in his last year of uni and I don’t get to see them too often, so yesterday and today have really been lovely. We say TDKR in this ridiculously fancy theatre where you can ORDER FOOD right to your seat. Afterward we went for drinks and it just HAPPENED that we ended up at the bar where the BF’s bro’s best man works- so we ordered triples and tipped 50%. It was fab.

Today we slept late, ate some muffins, I introduced one of the girls to Pinterest (haha) and then we went for a vegan brunch and shared an order of tempeh BBQ wings (omg so delicious). Tonight I get to hang out with my local friends and the BF has another night with his homies!

Perfect weekend.

My living situation has become pretty much unbearable because my roommates keep doing things that I interpret as them having no empathy at all for my feelings. I just got back from a family trip and of course they’ve done another thing that pisses me off (they came into my room and turned off my AC, which they know is on for my instruments, and they could have easily called me and asked if they could do it if they thought temperatures were too low or something- I pay the most in rent and the rooms are the same size so they really shouldn’t be worrying about the electric bill). I really want to go directly to my guy so he can make me feel better, but I know that I need to do household chores first, because once I meet up with him we’ll be pretty busy. With Batman. And make-outs.

I need to work on my ability to delay my gratification.

Sounds like a lot of us have been productive this weekend! I’m trying to get myself motivated to get some work done today that I keep putting off… I have to re-do some narration stuff and my voice is so whiny/nasal it’s hard to get it sounding good. Ugh. I think once this project is done I’m gonna do more writing stuff for a bit. I’m thinking of starting to write some beauty stuff for a change of pace, so we’ll see how that goes.

Also, I’m kind of still rage-y about that Louis C.K. interview on the Daily Show earlier in the week. I’ve never quite understood why people seem to defend him so much (i.e., make excuses for him just because he’s occasionally funny) to begin with. It’s not just that it was offensive, but it was mean and hurtful and… low. Just low and unnecessary and feeding into the chasms that are already problematic. And the sight of him makes me sick now.
(if you didn’t see it, he starts by trying to explain that his ‘defense’ of Daniel Tosh was merely that he was on vacation watching his show and unaware of his controversy – he doesn’t denounce him, just tries to explain the timing. But then he went on to say that ‘stereotypically’ feminists have no sense of humor and are the enemies of comedians (who are ‘pussies’), and how he still likes a good rape joke even with deeper understanding of how hurtful they are to people, and how women just need to shut the f’ up overall, putting jokes about rape and the Holocaust on par with ones about the Mets, and ending with saying ‘we’ need to kill all the Jews.)

I squeed all over Twitter yesterday upon learning of this. And I was in the middle of reading a chapter about Ramsey being his ghastly self, too!

Well, he may not be ugly enough to match the descriptions in the book, but I am not complaining.

OK Song of Ice and Fire Real Talk;


Just finished reading Game of Thrones and I’m on to Clash of Kings and I have THOUGHTS;

1) I have decided Sansa is my teasworn. When and where she desires it, she gets tea. I fucking love Sansa, mostly because her histrionics are pretty darn realistic, and because she’s being taken through the process of hardening in a way which is really cool – slowly building a mask. I kind of bristled at how much the book seemed to want me to think Arya is awesome, too; yeah, Arya’s great, but Sansa represents I think a much more credible look at what it takes to survive as a woman in society where women have comparatively little power.

I also like her interaction with Cersei, and her quickening ability to read others. I have the feeling she’ll grow into the best of her siblings politically.

2) Cersei was cast flawlessly, after having read the book. Flawlessly. I can SEE that actress’ face.

3) I like Tyrion, but I don’t get the bowled over fandom. It is nice to finally have a Hand who actually knows how to stfu about honour, though. Honestly, I was pretty done with Eddard by the time he got gesnickt.

4) LOL DAENERYS GOT DRAGON SWAG. LOVE. The bit in the book where Mirri Maz Duur suddenly realises what Daenerys is doing and it says something like “her contempt was replaced by something else that could’ve been fear” I was like HELL YEAH BOW TO THE DRAGON KHALEESI.

5) The agitation between Robb and Catelyn now that he’s King of the North is so pitch perfect to a mother son relationship it hurts.

6) Samwell Tarly is my spirit animal.

THOUGHTS CONCLUDED, SPOILERS OVER (though I hope comment spoilers are just beginning).

testing the spoiler shortcode:

[spoiler]All the Lannisters, I think, were brilliantly cast. I can’t see anyone other than them when I read the books now.

Sansa gets very interesting, as well. I just finished re-reading Feast for Crows so all this fun stuff is fresh in my head:) [/spoiler]

Ok, spoiler code is: [*spoiler*] blah blah blah [*/spoiler*] with no *s

Agree completely about the Lannister castings. I still don’t see Sean Bean as Ned Stark though. I understand why HBO would cast a known heroic type as the lead of season 1, but he’s too alpha male (I hate having to use the tainted word, but you get the gist). I still think of Ned Stark as someone who looks like a mousy middle-aged math teacher who rides a bicycle to work.

I was ok with Seán Bean but I wish they’d dyed his hair darker. For someone who’s supposed to look like Jon and Arya [spoiler] (and it’s particularly important that he looks like Jon) [/spoiler] he didn’t at all.

I’m totally with you. I love Arya because I identified with her, but I also love Sansa, and I will fucking defend her to the death.

I also like Tyrion a lot. Really, I love most of any of GRRM’s characters that feel perpetually othered. Except Jon. Jon can go STFU.

Honestly I identified so hard with Samwell Tarly it hurts. I’ve always been an overachiever academically, I’ve always felt a complete coward (really, I am nooot a hero) and I was really overweight and unfit for most of my childhood so I get how humiliating it can be to be forced to publically show off your lack of fitness. I was squirming for him in all of those scenes.

I mean if Samwell Tarly is anything like me he’ll also fancy Jon like crazy, but there we go.

/feeling down for no real reason. Feel free to ignore

I think the hardest thing about the school I go to is that it’s so far away from everyone and everything I know and love that I feel completely cut off, set adrift in this world of hate and mistrust, of petty jealousies and selfishness. I’m so tired of feeling stranded, abandoned, and desolate. I just want to feel a connection to another human. I just want to know that at the end of the day there’s someone there for me if I need it and that I can be there for someone else if they need it. I need that connection right now, and I don’t know how to get it.

/end pathetic

I wholly get this. I was living in a town for years where I had amazing friends (that I had made all on my own!) and a generally great community. Then I moved to be closer to my research and lab (grad-school style), and it’s been totally alienating. I have no friends, no support (well, some support academically, but none personally/socially), and so far 2012 has been a variable shit-show. Then I came home this weekend for one of my oldest friend’s wedding. Between seeing family and great friends and everyone else, and being surrounded by all this support and love and empathy, I went to bed last night and just cried at how much of that I used to have, how completely alone I feel where I live/work/study now. Luckily, my school is pretty low on the competitive/petty side, but there’s still a lot of mistrust and anger there. I’ve spent most of the weekend trying to figure out a compromise for how I can get to a better place (mentally/socially) and still manage to stay roughly where I am (geographically). My work/research is going so well, but right now that’s possibly the only thing going well…

So internet hugs if you want. It always gets better, you just have to figure out what that “better” is and how to create it.

Thanks. I know it’ll get better. It’s just always hard when I come back to school for the first month or so… I just came back from 9weeks of summer break where I did nothing but hang with friends and family in my hometown. It was so perfect. So so perfect. Now I’m just readjusting. And hopefully, when I move for rotations next year, I’ll be able to get to the site that’s only 2hrs from home instead of one of the places that’s 16+hrs away. And that will help, just knowing I could be there for something important if I wanted to.

I’m moving tomorrow! It’s a decent drive and I’m currently doing last minute packing and making new kick-ass CDs to play in my car. Currently I have:

Watch the Throne

Death Cab

Metric + Yeah Yeah Yeahs


And random free songs from Amazon that are, surprisingly, awesome!

I’m feeling pretty bummed for pretty much no reason. :-/

I went on a second date with the shorter-than-what -I-normally-go-for dude and am feeling all sorts of conflicted still. I really like hanging out with him and he’s not an ugly guy but I’m just not feeling a spark. But I can tell he is. And I’m really bad at having the ‘let’s be friends’ conversation.

I’m also kinda feeling super lonely and friendless lately. It’s one of those overwhelming, just want to sleep for days, don’t want to talk to anyone who tries to talk to me kind of funks. And they stink.Boo. I need a hug.



Anyone have any advice for how to go about asking your partner to be more assertive? I have come to realize that I’m going to have to directly talk to my boyfriend about it, because my he’ll-get-more-assertive-over-time theory isn’t panning out. He’ll speak up if things are happening that he doesn’t like, but won’t come out and ask for what he wants. The example that made me realize was when he didn’t ask me to come to a very important event in his life, all because I’d have to travel to attend and he felt that that would be imposing too much. And from his response when I eventually asked him about it, it’s REALLY important for him for me to be there. (Also, the guy has never asked for anything during sex ever. Not even a position change. Freaks me out.)

I’m seeing him this coming weekend, so I’m hoping to have a chance to talk to him about it then. But I need time and a firm strategy to psych myself up for relationship talks, so figured I should ask for advice now.

Can you frame it in a way that makes it sound more like encouragement than criticism? Such as: “Hey, Snookums, I really would have loved to come to your [event]. When you ask for stuff you want, I’ll probably make it happen, because I love you.” Only less cheesy and more applicable to your circumstances.


One of the ways I psych myself up for this sort of thing is reminding myself that clear communication is absolutely essential for a relationship. So, if you’re feeling this way, being silent about it is more likely to hurt far more than help. By bringing this up, you not only have an opportunity to strengthen your relationship by working on issues, but in this case you also have an opportunity to try and help him.

I usually try to talk about issues in a way similar to, “When you do ____ it makes me feel ____.” That way, you’re being clear that it is about your feelings, and you aren’t necessarily making a statement to your SO’s character. This can help to avoid putting him on the defensive about it, and it might help open up a discussion about why he has these issues. I’m with @selena, making it clear to him that you WANT him to ask might help!

This reminded me of a conflict formula a friend had told me about a loooong time ago that I always think about when dealing with interpersonal problems (but I didn’t remember the whole formula, so I just looked it up):

1. When you _____

2. I feel ______

3. Because ______

4.  Can we_____

From the “I message” on wikipedia:

Things are easier for me when there’s a script/formula.  You’ll do alright.

I had to do this just recently! Unfortunately, I avoided it for long enough to get angry inside and do passive aggressive things in an attempt to get a reaction. It did not work.

The conversation itself went really fine. We just talked about things behaviorally and why they bothered us, though it was still 90% me saying “I have a hard time respecting you when you base your decisions on what you think I want you to do,” and him saying I should stop being mean and that he would try to be more communicative about his needs.

It hasn’t really changed much, though, because that’s just the way he is and I’m the way I am. So it’s tricky. I hope it works better for you!

I made new friends this week (moved to a new town a little less than a year ago) and have been hanging with them all weekend. Add to that, I’ve sold a few things on Etsy this month, and I am a happy camper.  Plus I just caved in and bought 2 yards of green glitter vinyl (what’ll I do? Who cares?). WEEKEND WEEKEND WEEKEND.

Still struggling with my sister, But I’m putting up a new comment thread because I feel accomplished!

I walked to the laundry, did laundry, walked to the grocery, and did grocery stuff.

Why is this an accomplishment? Because agoraphobia was starting to set in again, and the only way to stem that- it gets triggered by stress usually- is to go someplace. It’s even harder for me to do it alone, but I did. I likely didn’t get everything I needed to get, but still. I DID IT.

Is unfucking your brain a thing? I mean, I’m still brain disabled but symptom management is a big fucking deal yo!

I went to the Summerland tour last night and it was soooo fun! It was at the site of the original Woodstock, which is now a really pretty outdoor venue. I made N get me 2nd row center seats for my birthday (they were barely more than the crap seats and I couldn’t believe they were still available). I’m used to nosebleeds, so it was so much fun being right up in front of the stage. I’m a total 90s music fan, so the lineup was awesome: Marcy Playground, Lit (I caught a guitar pick!), Gin Blossoms (got a high five from Robin Wilson when he came out into the audience!!), Sugar Ray, and Everclear. They were giving away samples of Mike’s Hard Lemonade as we walked in and I drank both mine and N’s and was tipsy before we even got to our seats (yet somehow, the 25oz one I drank during the show had no effect on me). Picspam!

Lit, “My Own Worst Enemy”

Sugar Ray, “Fly” (I tried to get a picture of him shaking his butt right in front of me, but the stage lights washed it out.)

Everclear, I think this was “Father of Mine.”

My coworkers are no closer to sanity and good sense than I am. The dude that’s given me silent treatment for well over a month has suddenly resurfaced on a Saturday night, with a long, apologetic, completely reasonable e-mail about the status of the project he’s in charge of. Well, the status is near-catastrophic, given the deadlines, but hey, at least he’s alive? And maybe, if everyone gets their shit together now (yeah, what are the chances of that), the entire thing may be finished just a month later what my boss assumed was the worst scenario?


I don’t know your work situation, and it sounds pretty complex.  Are your coworkers and boss….trying to see if you can swoop in and save their rear ends?  Even if my interpretation is not right, it sounds tough any way you cut it.  Hang in there, and it’ll be done before you know it (I know, I know, cliché)!!

It’ll be okay – I hope, I got the email as cc, and I won’t get involved until my boss has had her say in the matter. It concerns an edited volume, the guy is supposed to be in charge of compiling it, handling all the contributors, while I’m in charge of the technical edits + handle the print preparation, etc. Hard to do when the actual texts aren’t coming in. It’ll go fast once I get them.

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