Open Thread

This Weekend Open Thread Comes With Two Sides and a Dessert

Another week down, another weekend ahead of us. Here’s an open thread to tell us all about your adventures. 

Thanks to everyone for a fantastic birthday celebration on Wednesday. We had a blast putting it together. This was an actual conversation:

Editor: We have way too much good stuff here.

Another Editor: The Best of P-mag: Everything!

Here’s to spending many more years together, Persephoneers!

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.

89 replies on “This Weekend Open Thread Comes With Two Sides and a Dessert”

I recently just ended two friendships that I valued above everything else because it was clear that the feeling was not reciprocated. I’ve been a mess, struggling with my depression in silence while they’ve been buddying up to my ex – the same ex that has been nothing but vitriolic and abusive since I broke up with him. For my own sanity and mental well-being, I couldn’t take any more constant reminders that they think he is better than I am. So I kicked that whole thing off the tallest building I could find. I just can’t take that any more. I feel awful, in a way, but I’m at peace. So at peace as I haven’t been for months. The sun was shining this morning, my boyfriend sent me a message about all the things he finds great about me – something that no-one has ever done before – and I smiled as soon as I woke up.

So now I feel like this, which is great:

I’m having one of those days where I would like to sit back and scream at the world.

Those of you who are/have been in masters/doctorate programs…please please tell me that we all have times where we don’t feel like we can deal with it anymore and that we both hate our program and the world.

One of my professors is pulling some weird shit. She’s making a course required for EVERYONE next semester (even the people who are thesis writing and trying to graduate next semester?), and she sent out a thing that said anyone who doesn’t finish the assignments/make it to class tomorrow will be “dropped from the program.”

I’m just about at the end of my rope with feeling lost and exhausted while I struggle to get my head above water again, and seeing things like this just makes me wonder if I should even keep trying anymore, if this program is even worth my time.

Yes, yes, yes to all of the above. I have an assignment I have to drive in and hand in on paper and if I leave here in 40 minutes I should just make it. I’m not even half way done and I have accomplished nothing all day. I want to run far, far away and never again hear the words “thesis”, “dissertation”, “essay”, etc. I am so burned out and beyond caring. I don’t think I’ve ever felt like this before and finals start in two weeks and I’ve had a killer course load, all of which have finals. I also have the worst exam schedule I’ve ever had. Every second day for four classes, including a Saturday 9am (Masters level economics of which I have no undergrad, but it was the only thing that fit schedule wise and they let me take it). If one more person close to me tries to give me the perky “Oh well, at least it will be over quickly”, I’m going to scream.

The prof thing sounds super sketchy by the way.

I am currently debating whether or not to hand in a very unfinished assignment or hand it in late and hopefully over the next 24 hours get it together. Advice on what would be better would be greatly appreciated.

Fucking hell. Support fist bumps for strength!

I really hate being in academics sometimes. It’s like there’s no conception there of “hey, I need to NOT DEAL WITH THIS right now for my own well-being and mental health.”

I don’t know if having a different sort of job would be any better, but I know even when I had the shit-from-hell telesurvey job that I had to quit for my own well-being, I didn’t feel like a complete and utter failure for not being able to do it.

Personally, I would probably hand the assignment in late. But it depends on the professor. If they’re the kind that will give you a 0 or severely mark it down for being late…might as well give them what you can. But otherwise, better late and good than on-time and incomplete?

I’d shoot them a message about it either way; even if you hand it in, maybe they’ll be nice and let you hand in a “revised” version late?

Oh man, Silverwane- I’ve been in grad programs so long that I feel like I go back and forth between feeling like I can handle everything and feeling like I can’t deal with the whole fuckload on a pretty much daily basis. If there is a person in the world who actually breezes through any grad degree without feeling like they can’t handle it at least a few times, then I will show you a liar. Luckily, I am presently on an upswing from the “oh hell no” to “okay, I can make this work”.

I don’t know what to tell you about the crazy prof (but yes, there are one of those everywhere). For the course requirement, I would first ask the director of your program or the administrator. I don’t know if a single teacher can introduce a new “requirement” at the last minute without a lot of institutional happenings. For the class tomorrow: make it there. If the assignment(s) isn’t done, try talking to her after. I imagine you can’t actually be “dropped” from a program for missing out on one class/assignment without some serious prior warning. Any time someone tries to pull off huge blanket statements like that for a class/program, I am highly suspicious of their veracity. Either way, I hope it goes well and you feel like you can get caught up. *hugs*

I appreciate the comfort, you have no idea.

Problem is, that prof is actually the department head. Soooo…yeah. I’m not really sure what the hell is up with all this. She’d never struck me like this kind of person before, so I *think* that she’s talking a lot of shit, but I’m still going to be there and do the assignment and such. I’m just really unhappy being in an environment in which this sort of thing is perpetuated. I’ve been feeling a little bit like we’re being treated like children, which is excessively odd to me.

I am so sorry to hear you are going through this! If it makes you feel better, I want to drop out often, I have, at times, gone so far as to look very seriously into technical writing for the oil and gas industry in my home province. I agree with @twiddle, the mandatory class sounds suspicious and I wonder if it’s maybe a cash grab on the part of the University (like if people who are already writing their diss will end up paying out of pocket…. my masters institution did something quite similar the year after I graduated.) I think for me, what keeps me going in spite of the lack of sleep, lack of confidence in myself, crappy money, the crappy apartment, the departmental politics, the institutionalized sexism, and occasional bouts of depression is a really strong love of my research and a belief that my research will contribute something to the study of musicology. I doubt I will change the field, but if I can make a change in one teeny tiny part of the musical repertoire and if I can help people think about Canadian music in a more critical manner than this whole (at times awful) process is worth it.

Yes. All of this. It’s that I love what I do, and I honestly never thought I’d get an opportunity like the one I have. Remember why you started. It won’t make the present situation better, but it might give a little more motivation to push through it.

(also, @wannabe- as someone in the U.S., when I could afford XM satellite radio still, I listened to the Canadian rock music channel all the time. I love it. But which is probably not the kind of Canadian music you look at critically.)

It does help, but at the same time it makes me want to throw things that the environment can be so crappy for all of us. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that the hardest part about getting through a graduate program was going to be simply surviving it.

I do love my subject. I think it’s just, since my mental health has been unbalanced for a little while, I’m trying to figure out how to fix that. So, anything else seems secondary to that. It becomes a lot harder to go through a thing like this when you have other priorities that are #1, it seems…

This… I also thought that the hardest thing about a PhD program would be the work, not maintaining my health (both mentally and physically) and dealing with the political b.s. In terms of mental health stuff, does your campus offer counselling or therapy? I had a lot of trouble last year (and am actually still seeing a therapist) and oddly enough, one of the things that kept me in the PhD program was the fact that I could afford to see a therapist as a PhD student at the student health service. Even in Canada, psychotherapy is not covered by insurance as a preventative measure…. you basically need to be on the cusp of being institutionalized in order to get into publicly funded counselling or psychotherapy. Outside of the university, it remains something that you have to me reasonably wealthy to afford. I think the lack of preventative mental health care is a complete travesty in our health system. Sorry, I got ranty there… basically, if your school offers cheap/free counselling, go for it!

“Arthur Allen, CEO of ASG Software Solutions, emailed employees about voting for Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, suggesting their jobs may be at stake if they don’t…”

The entire email is in the Huffpo link. Is this legal in the US? It leaves me with a very uneasy feeling. I know, I know, unions tell (and officially) endorse candidates and people all the time… but… I just think this is terrible. Unions don’t threaten jobs when they tell workers who to vote for, do they?

PS: Those Paul Ryan workout photos… I thought they were fake and then yesterday found out they are real. My head, it shakes.

They do not. The Unions simply print and mail a brochure with the candidates that they have found to have the most pro-union policies. It’s never, “You will lose your job,” it’s just, “These candidates will not promote legislation that is detrimental to your right to collective bargaining and hopefully none which makes it easier to offshore jobs.” My dad gets union voting guides all the time, and none have ever stipulated that jobs would be lost if the vote went one way or another. I don’t think I would have reacted overmuch if this asshat had put out a letter saying he thought Romney’s policies would be best for his business, but he has directly threatened layoffs and that is beyond shitty.

Guys. I just discovered that ‘This Old House’ is online. I’ve been watching for hours now. I can’t stop. My childhood is full of this show and the Old Yankee Workshop and that crazy guy who hurt himself all the time…. *google*…. ‘The Woodwright’s Shop’. Omg that’s online too. Well there goes my Sunday… which had no plans. Squeeee!

Also I had pie this evening. My friend sent me an appropriate gif. If you can see it.

That is exciting. I once startled my mother pretty badly when I called her to come to the living room in a tone of voice that she said left her expecting blood and body parts strewn about. I was calling for her to see that Norm Abram was using a hand tool. New Yankee Workshop was a big part of my childhood.

“Be sure to read, understand and follow all the safety rules that come with your power tools. And remember this, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these, safety glasses.” Words burned into my memory.

Ladiez, I’m done. I just don’t wanna anymore. Pretty much anything.
Basically, I have umpteen-billion obligations to various people, groups, work organizations, etc. I try to tell them: hey, if we can do things on consecutive days so I can cut down on the STUPID amount of driving I have to do and general back-and-forth-ery, that would be great. But apparently, that is too much to ask. So now I’m starting to feel really un-generous, bordering on backlash-spite.

To top things off, I have spent today feeling like all my PMS has been wrapped into one day. But I just finished my period two weeks ago! And I had that period just two weeks after the one before! Why does my body hate me?! I’m going to go curl up under a big comforter, watch a bunch of Hulu, maybe cry for no good reason, and take some drugs for this lingering godawful headache I’ve had all day.

/bitchin’ and moanin’

On days like that I draw caricatures of people I don’t like onto blank mugs and throw them at the people I don’t like.

#not really

That sucks that people are making you put up with that. It must be so frustrating. Is there any way you can cut back on some of your obligations? You need to think about yourself as well as other people – burning yourself out isn’t helping anybody. Perhaps put your foot down – if it’s not convenient, try to reschedule and don’t let any amount of guilt-trippi-snarkiness put you off.

I wish I could harness the power of the internet to send positive vibes. In the meantime here is a picture of a cat with Steve Buscemi’s eyes:

Has anyone here ever donated eggs? What was the experience like? How long did it take from start to finish? Complications? Did you gain weight/have any other lasting effects?

Unrelated: I had pho with the best friend last night then went to a creepy-awesome art exhibit. You can find the artist,Pam Lethbridge, and her creepy doll art here: (no toolbar with handy dandy hyperlink buttons and I’m too lazy to look up the html code. Internet, why u no work for me anymore? eta:but automatic hyperlink? i’ll take it!) Warning for anyone super freaked out by dolls. But they are kinda cute! In a grotesque kind of way! See:

I looked into egg donation in college, but that was 15 years ago, and there were lots of injections involved, and they kept emphasizing that the process was painful. Now, I’m glad there aren’t any mini-mes running around, because with my luck, one would be working for me and I’d hate her on sight.

I’ve only discovered Graham Norton since being in the southern hemi. Love him! He is the reason I fell in love with Ewan McGregor. He had never done much for me and then I watched him be charming and funny and sexy and has a great grin and then my panties fell off…

In other news, I am totally, totally jealous of your travelling! I am finding it difficult being down here with not many options for quick trips. I’m not saying I haven’t been incredibly lucky because really I have and have been to some great places, but everything is just so far away. I have a dream trip of Spain, Portugal and across the strait to Morocco. I have very old fashioned feelings about Morocco in the truest sense of ‘romantic’.

To say the least, it is feeling very much like one of “those” days/weeks. Mr. Juniper is home, thank goodness, but now we have to deal with repercussions of assault from earlier in the week. In less dramatic developments, Juniper Junior has shared his cold and I’m sleeping horribly as a result. And then this morning, while trying to distract myself from distressing welfare news in the Daily Fail, I was sorting out some some pictures to go up in the kitchen (inspired by one of the craft posts on here) when the glass broke in one of the frames.

So am now in great need of cuteness and loveliness. Juniper Junior is rather good at this, and at present, there is an ambulance and jet flying around the library he built. He has also declared that Friends, which is playing in the background, is “a silly cartoon”. Off to make pancakes now, I think.

Oh man. My cat had minor surgery to remove a cyst on Tuesday. Loki has been so sad every since. Today I had to put a cone on him cause he had rubbed the wound raw. He is not happy.

In other news I’m spending the weekend at home to chill with the invalid kitty. And now? I’m going to watch Project Runway!

Within the first week after we brought Pippin home, he needed to wear a cone of shame, and he was absolutely miserable with an upper respiratory infection and conjunctivitis. I felt horrible for laughing when he ran into things, so I can relate. We were all glad when the cone could come off again.

Oh, bless. Juniper Puss had to have a cone after surgery and no matter what we did, the cone came off. So mornings involved Juniper Junior finding the cone, finding Juniper Puss, and reuiniting Juniper Puss with aforementioned cone. Fortunately, Juniper Puss seemed to accept the re-coning each morning and Juniper Junior (toddler at the time) thought it was a delightfully fun game in the morning to find the cone, find the cat, and put the two together.

At least Juniper Junior got to get in on the fun! Small favors.

I felt like an absolute monster because I had to use Loki’s collar to secure the cone. You see – occasionally I do take the beastie outside (only very rarely and then on a leash – which he adores) and he associates the bell on the collar with his trips outdoors. So the first time I brought the cone out with the bell he came running. Broke my little heart. He’s tried valiantly to remove it but hasn’t managed yet. He’s snoozing on the couch at my feet right now looking pathetic.

I hate fall/winter. It’s cold and everything’s dead and I’m tired of being single and alone. I had been sleeping with a married couple which was super awesome and fun but then I got an email from a dude I was seeing March-July that said he was diagnosed with molluscum contagiosum which is not a GIANT deal in the sense that it’s not painful at all and goes away but I had to forward that to the married couple because they’re (understandably) SUPER paranoid about STIs. We haven’t had sexy times since then and I hate life.

The stupid part about this STI is that unless you’re actually displaying symptoms, they can’t tell if you have it or not. It could potentially have a 6 month incubation period so there’s a very slim chance that I could have it and just haven’t had any symptoms yet.

I know I did the right thing by forwarding them that email but it just sucks that I’m being “punished” by no sex.

The beginning of winter is always the worst because all I can think is “uggggggh, 4-5 months of this crap weather.”

Hopefully things get back on track with the married couple. He said they still want to sleep with me, they’re just being really cautious and need to “talk about it a bit.” Which I don’t really understand what there is to talk about.

That sucks, I hope you get some sexytimes soon.

True story: I got molluscum contagiosum on my ribs when I was in 2nd grade. Nobody adults I knew had heard of it, and we all thought it was one of several odd skin diseases I somehow picked up in elementary school. Then in high school they mentioned that it was an STI and I almost fell out of my chair.

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