Open Thread

Here There Be Gifs: The Weekend Open Thread

It’s Friday, and I feel like celebrating. That calls for a Spontaneous Dance Party, a Spontaneous Gif Party, and/or a Spontaneous Dancing Gif Party. 

You know what to do.

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.

90 replies on “Here There Be Gifs: The Weekend Open Thread”

Hello my lovelies,

This weekend was busy for me and my social stores are basically run dry, but it was fun.

If you guys can spare some good thoughts my way I’d appreciate it. We have a typhoon hitting South Korea tonight/tomorrow. It already hit Okinawa and caused a lot of damage. I’m Floridian so getting prepared is old hat, but I have no idea how this country handles such things so I’m more concerned for the aftermath. My city shouldn’t get the worst of it, but still.


I’ve spent an entire week busy with advanced unfucking of my habitat. Well, a lot longer than a week, if sorting through everything I own while packing it up, and getting rid of everything unnecessary counts, but BF and I finally got round to moving all the furniture out of our room and we’re redecorating thoroughly. I haven’t got much previous experience, but this week I’ve removed old wallpaper, plastered furiously, sanded plaster down, cleaned up the horrible amounts of plaster dust that ensued, then prepped the bare walls with some sort of prepping solution, and painted. We’re looking at at least another day of painting for both of us, then moving on to putting up new wallpaper, and finally bringing in a pro to fix the floor.

So far, thankfully, it’s been cheap, since we’re mostly using tools & supplies provided by my dad. And it’s not that difficult either. Eventually moving the furniture back in and putting things back to where they should be, that part seems like it would be the most tiresome, honestly.

Of course, then there’s the other room, and the hallway, and the bathroom… but I am looking forward to living in a pristinely redecorated room. Even if updating furniture will likely take a few more years on my budget.

Since “Cheesemonger” is a points rank around these parts, methinks many of you’d like this essay about cheesemonging: Being a cheesemonger is better and worse than you think it is

On a totally unrelated note, I’m trying to gather opinions about something.  I’m looking to build a writing portfolio, and I have a pseudonymous blog that I’ve been using as a sandbox for figuring it out how to write creatively yet compellingly.  I’m not very keen on putting my real name on the blog yet (though I eventually will, if all goes according to plan), but I want to start pitching the odd story here and there under my real name to build said portfolio.  As far as I can see, I have three options:

1.)  Keep blog pseudonymous, make a portfolio website somewhere else, keep all blog stuff off it.  This requires a second site, which, depending on where I put it, will either cost money or not be the best format for a portfolio rather than a blog.

2.)  Put real name on blog and make a portfolio page on the site.  Keeps everything tidy and in one place, but requires removing the guards of pseudonymity.  (I have a surprisingly unique real name, and thus am very, very googleable [and thus vulnerable, since I can’t hide in a crowd of Jane Smiths])

3.)  Keep blog pseudonymous, build a portfolio page on the site with my real name on it, but have it password protected so only people I want to show it to can see it.  Best of both worlds, but  I worry that people who’d be inclined to give me writing gigs may be less inclined if they have to use a password to see my portfolio.

So, Persephoneers (particularly the many among you who’re writers/editors/various literary sorts!), what do you think is my best option?

Before I rush to do all the things, because oops I just spent the majority of the weekend in bed with my guy, I want to get some anxieties out and then hopefully leave them here while I get shit done. Tomorrow a club we were both very active members of is starting to meet up again. Well, actually, it has been meeting up over the summer but the leader of the club hadn’t gone to it, so it was unofficial. She stopped going because she decided she hated everyone, broke up with her boyfriend in the spring, and then stopped going over the summer. She had been avoiding all of us as we all continued to hang out together, and then in July her ex asked me out. We had been spending tons of time together and we’d become really close, plus she had broken up with him three months before, so I decided it was ok. We’ve been together a month and the relationship has been amazing. And all our friends from the club still kept meeting up with us regularly and said they are ok with us and happy for us, including this girl’s younger sister.

The only bad thing is that she hates us because she thought they would eventually get back together. And I know she really needs friends right now. So I can’t go see my friends tomorrow, and if they ask me I’ve been telling them they should go, so she doesn’t feel like I’ve stolen everyone from her. But I also know she told my boyfriend the reasons she hates every single one of them when she first found out about the two of us, and I think she’s going to pretend to like them and talk negatively about me.  I have anxiety and depression issues stemming from being bullied all through public school and I’m really uncomfortable and unhappy about tomorrow.

Emotionally I feel that the only thing that will make her feel better would be to have him back, but logically I know I don’t have control over that.  He says he’d never get back together with her because she was controlling, would never compromise with him, and didn’t enjoy most of his interests.  He feels like our relationship is much more equal, and he’s not going back to her even if I wasn’t with him. But I feel horrible, like some evil person that pretended to be friends and then took her boyfriend away. But that really isn’t the case, she broke up with him and avoided all of the rest of us for months. Why can’t I let myself stop caring what she thinks of me?

Answer: Because you don’t suck as a person. You’re not evil or backstabbing, but you have some guilt over this and that’s understandable. Let her find her feet with your mutual friends. If they’re really your friends, they’re not going to talk about you negatively. Then come back into the picture slowly. And try to avoid PDA for awhile. She’s hurting, but she’ll most likely get past it. Just give it time.

Guh, I have so much to do this weekend, and all of it is cooking and cleaning. Today I slept til 11, Skyped with the BF’s extended fam, ate a bacon + cheese sandwich and have fucked around online. Might have to do the cleaning UFYH-style tonight so I don’t have to do EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD tomorrow.

After I posted the comment I cleaned the bathroom to within an inch of its life using things I learned on Pinterest! (ie. Never use water to clean water fixtures, just use spray cleaner and a dry rag so you’re not moving germs around) Then attacked the rusty shower curtain rod with WD-40 and sandpaper a la UFYH’s recommendation.

As for your packing dilemma, ask Pinterest. Seriously. It is the repository of all useful knowledge. (If you’re not on there, I can send you an invite for immediate access, it is the beeeeest.)

It seems kind of naive now, but I thought escaping the hellhole was going to magically fix the issues I was having being not depressed. Over the summer I kind of stopped checking e-mail and started shirking responsibilities, and I couldn’t seem to make myself do ANYTHING…it wasn’t until I HAD to go to class and couldn’t push things away any longer that I started dragging myself out of the hole.

But a week in to the semester and I STILL haven’t gone to my e-mail, fully well knowing I’m getting in trouble for doing so.

I talked to the department secretary and told her what happened to me this summer, but all her sympathy in the world won’t help if I piss off folks for not communicating. And yet, I keep wanting to escape into my hidey-hole. I know I should just do it, and the faster I do it the better it will be, but I can’t seem to get over the mental hump.

I don’t know what to do. I’m thinking of going back to counseling. I might try on Monday to track down my TA supervisor person for the online class I’m teaching, but I should just open up my godddamn e-mail and send him something.

I feel like I’m stuck in this goddamn rut and I don’t know how to get out, even though realistically getting out should be so simple. When I was a kid I was always taught you NEVER let your responsibilities go (especially in school!) because you were feeling down, and it was like a personal failing if you did. I’m wondering if that dread is contributing to my continued avoidance, because admitting things have been too much for me is not okay. I feel so lousy because I’m worried that if I tell them that this is because of mental health issues, I won’t be taken as seriously as I would be if it were physical health problems. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to be able to make this better when I’m having such a hard time even showing my face due to guilt.

I’m just bewildered at how to make myself do what I’m supposed to. I’ve tried beating myself up over it. I’ve tried reminding myself how much extra money it’s going to cost me to get this masters if they revoke my TA-ship. I’ve tried visualizing myself doing it. I wish we had gotten out of that hellhole sooner, that I had come face to face with this earlier, because it would have been a lot easier admitting I’m having trouble BEFORE the semester started.

So long story short, this has been a rough first week, and it feels like it’s because I’m making it so.

Hugs – I know the feeling. Negativity and guilt won’t help, so be kind to yourself instead. Try to focus on the good reasons for getting things done, and the positive outcomes that would bring. Try to divide things up into smaller, doable tasks – even down to just sending one e-mail a day, if that’s what it takes – to counter feeling overwhelmed by it all?

All the huggles are belong to you. You are neither faulty nor alone in this feeling, but I won’t advise you because I haven’t yet successfully figured my own mess out. However, I do think that counseling would help, sometimes you need a complete stranger to tell you that no, you aren’t batshit nuts, that you are smart and functional, and honestly, sometimes you just gotta talk it out.

On the one hand, I myself would be hesitant to tell anyone about my own depressive issues because I do feel like people see me differently afterwards (and yes, it sucks that such stigmas still exist). On the other, it might seem strange to them if you suddenly appear with no explanation as to what happened and why.

I know how those mental walls feel…I’m currently having them re: calling back credit card debt collectors (yay, debt!) and it’s awful how they make you feel.

I don’t have much advice, other than to say you aren’t alone in feeling the way you feel and it doesn’t make you a bad/lazy/irresponsible person.

Giant hugs if you want them. I really feel for you on this, since this was basically me last term.(My ta responsibilities were just grading so I think I went to campus five times total and otherwise hung out in my basement suite writing and crying). I also convince myself I am not having a depressive episode and that I will be fine, until I am really in the thick of one, crying for an hour a day, and considering buying shares in Kleenex. My ability to do logistical things like emails is the first to go when I am depressed too….during this last depressive episode, I would make lists… they would say things like a) get groceries, b) email _____ ,c) email ____, d) pay utility bill. I found this kept me on track and gave me a small sense of accomplishment which helped me feel better (or at least, less terrible). Finally, the most significant thing for me was getting into therapy (cognitive behavioural therapy, to be specific) at school. Your school may have a free counselling service (which is what I used) and CBT is pretty common in school clinics because it achieves results in 8-15 sessions. I found it really helped deal with not the source of my depression (which I know stems from PTSD)  but the negative thought patterns which render me useless. I hope things get better for you soon!

This whole relationship thing confuse me.  The former boyfriend (whom you’ve just seen the implosion in the last Open Thread) just gave me a call today to talk – about a book that I left behind (it was at his house before I got there), and his poison ivy rash (from yardwork, I assume).  He had asked about my dog, and I told him about her trip to the vet today and the possibility of her going completely blind, and not just night-blind, in a few years’ time.  I told him about what had tipped me off about her condition (she fell down a small set of stairs in the dark the last time I went to visit him).  He said he really enjoyed having her there (Me: that’s funny, because it could have fooled me with how non-communicative he’s being).  At the end, he told me, “Don’t be a stranger”. I couldn’t really muster anything but a “You, too” and salutations.

I have never had a good relationship with my past exes post-breakup (emotional abuse, physical abuse, not fun things).  I am confused.  Help, please?  Anyone?

It can be done, but not straight away, in my experience. You need some time to settle in to not being together, and then you can enjoy spending time together again. Give it at least a month or two, and if you miss his company, shoot him an email. But if you don’t miss him – there’s no obligation to remain friends (as opposed to ‘friendly’) with your ex.

I’ve found that it’s damn near impossible to be friends with ex, particularly after a bad breakup. Especially if there are bad feelings involved. I’m ‘friends’ with a handful of exes in that we are Facebook friends and sometimes like or comment on each others statuses but I’m not close enough with them that we hang out or even text. Whenever I try to be closer friends with them, it never ends well. One of us still has feelings for the other or are still harboring resentments or (weirdly) fall back in relationship-y jealousy patterns even though things are platonic.

If you’re going to try to be friends with him, give yourself (and him) a long cooling down period.

P-Magicians! I’m BACK!!!

I moved and the roommate with internet had to make several phone calls and visits to get the provider to actually PROVIDE the internet, but three weeks later I’m BACK! I missed y’all!

I need to catch up on P-Mag and create the LONGEST netflix queue ever (and make up for three weeks without internet taking up most of my one-month free trial this week by watching movies EVERY DAY) and things.

Leave a Reply