Open Thread

Weekend Open Thread-O-Rama

Happy Friday, Persephoneers! 

I promise I’m working on getting you the power to add .gifs again, and when I do we’ll have the biggest .gif party ever. Until then, chat it up in the comments.

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.

81 replies on “Weekend Open Thread-O-Rama”

Fuck, that sucks. Is it because of the rent-related issues? Because in most states it is illegal for them to evict you right away.

A quick Google search tells me that it will show up in some background checks, depending on what they’re looking for. However, since things like foreclosures and evictions are so common right now…I wouldn’t worry about it hurting your chances too much, because there’s plenty of other people in a similar boat.

I’m so sorry you have to deal with this right now. Hugs if you want them.

I am going to add one more voice to the stressed-out crowd on this thread: I am moving to a new state in a few weeks, and I feel like my brain is going to explode. I have known I would be moving in December since March, and I really like the place I’ve been assigned to, but I am still taking it harder than I thought I would. This will be my first time living anywhere outside of Illinois, and more than 3 hours from where I grew up.

I’m getting on a plane today to hang out with my new boss and go apartment hunting, so I’m hoping I’ll have a better feeling about it by the end of the week. (Having a place to live will be a good start). If anyone is from the Harrisburg PA area, I’ll be in your neck of the woods soon!

I’ve never moved that far from one place to another but I have moved 8 times in the past 5 years so I know how much stress is involved and it sucks. Once you find an apartment and have everything set up, it will be so much less stressful.

Just take it one step at a time!

It’s been ages since I’ve posted anything (truly; possibly over a year), but I’m OH SO PROUD of the pretty little green tea sugar cookies that are cooling next to my stove that I feel compelled to talk about how tasty they look. So tasty! So small!
I’m going to a cookie/ornament swap hosted by a very good friend, and the competition will be fierce. It may be too late in the week for anyone to see this and send me good vibes, but if you see this… Send me good vibes, please!
(Persephoneers are my favorite commentariat anywhere. No more lurking, self.)

I love watching the mister play Zelda, I love the heavy mythology, but listening to him scream and yell because he can’t win a minigame is the MOST IRRITATING. LIKE DUDE, IT IS A VIDEO GAME, CHILL.

I love him but he is a sulky bastard sometimes.

Other than that, our weekend has been lovely.

You guys, I am a giant ball of stress because of finals and, you know, life. But I need advice about something.

Things have been really crappy between my best friend and I for over a week, and it’s over a guy. So it’s automatically really stupid. But basically, I’ve been interested in this guy since I met him, but never said anything because it was the kind of crush where I didn’t expect that anything would happen. Then she decided she was interested in him, and I was like, cool, that’s fine, and very encouraging. Long story short, nothing ever happened between them, even when it could have, and my friend moved on to other guys, and I was secretly relieved not to have to hear about it anymore.

Then we hung out more and it turns out this guy is kind of interested in me, and we’ve been talking. I did a pretty terrible job bringing it up with my friend (like, I was admittedly passive aggressive about it), which I totally own and have apologized for. But now when I see her, she either all but ignores me or bails as soon as I’m around. I would really like to talk to her in person about this, but she will only talk to me over gchat or text message.

Meanwhile, the guy and I have spent several night texting for HOURS, and it’s been really nice, and I have full-on feelings, which is rare for me. Things got a little sext-y and I decided to force the conversation about what was going on, and it was basically a mutual “I think you’re cool and want to get to know you better” situation. But he also said he didn’t want to create a rift between my friends, and that he knows my friend is really interested, but he’s not interested in her. I acknowledged that that was an issue, and said that it wasn’t worth it to me to risk all of that for a hookup or fling or something that’s definitely not going to go anywhere. And he was fine with that, and we decided to be friends and that things didn’t have to be weird and that we could still talk.

I haven’t been able to tell my friend any of this because of the aforementioned ignoring me. At this point, I’m getting kind of angry, because I still have feelings for this guy and would like to see if something could happen, but I sacrificed it for my friendship. But my friend is being deliberately hurtful at this point. And frankly, it’s really crappy and I would never hurt her the way she’s hurting me, and it’s making me wonder if that’s the kind of friendship that’s worth denying my own feelings over. And I have done literally everything I can to fix it.

I get that she’s hurt and probably feels rejected and that’s totally understandable, but it’s not fair, and what she’s doing to me is more malicious than my having feelings for someone, since I can’t exactly control that. We should definitely talk in person, but, ugh, now I’m done apologizing and am just angry.

Gah, that really sucks.

Obviously, the two of you need to talk. I doubt she’ll ignore you FOREVER…but I also think it’s not fair for you to feel you’re in the position where you have to choose between her and him. If she’s moved on to other folks, and he’s not even interested in her, she can’t just keep him “on hold” somehow.

No matter what you decide to ultimately do with regards to the guy, I don’t think it’s okay for her to put you in that position when the two of them never even dated.

That’s basically how I feel. It isn’t fair! We are adults! And it was sucky to have to watch her flirt with him (like, physically cut me off when I tried to talk to him) when I was just admitting to myself that I had a feeling or two about this dude.

And then I wonder if maybe I am the selfish jerk, and I ask the internet :)

Does she know that you had feelings for him before that? Cause if not, then this might be coming out of left-field for her. But if she does, then she’s totally being an ass.

I mean, she’s still being an ass about it, but I guess I could understand her response even if it’s stupid if she didn’t know. (Although that still doesn’t make it right of her to do) But if she DID know, then she’s even MORE of an ass!

I have one week left in this semester. I am so done with dealing with all this. I’ve been holding off on making any major life decisions until it’s over and I’ve had some time away from it, as well as some time to destress, but I don’t know. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up taking off from academia for a little while.

This is a totally understandable place to be in. The stress of grad school (and academia in general to an extent, I think) is constant and crazy-making.

You’ll get through it, though! It’s okay to take a break, but I found that just getting out of my home-school bubble for a few days at Thanksgiving was enough to remind me that the world is still turning and that I should calm down, so hopefully the break gives you time to process as well. Hang in there!

Yeah, it’s just, I still haven’t properly dealt with the fact that I completely shut down over the summer, since I didn’t get a chance to pull myself out of it at the beginning of the semester. I’m still actively avoiding faculty I haven’t run into yet, as well as the department secretary. And I STILL am avoiding any social event in the department. Going to class was sending me into panic mode sometimes.

I seriously doubt that anyone who might have been disappointed with me this semester would want to see me drop because of it, but I know that fixing the situation is going to take a LOT…and I feel like it’s more than I can muster. At least for now.

I’d rather just go somewhere else that will give me funding again.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of finding a career at a non-profit, or maybe some sort of editing/publishing gig. I love doing philosophy, it can be great fun, and it is intellectually stimulating…and I know at the BEGINNING of my semester I was still in the “I don’t know what else I’d do with my life!” mode. But this semester has been so hard, and really I just want to get away from all the stress.

I guess, I’m feeling unsure whether putting myself through all the stress of grad school, and then coping with all the uncertainty of whether or not I’ll be employed and get to pay off all my debts…having to deal with yet more financial insecurity, for god knows how many more years…I don’t know. I’m not sure what to do, and I’m not sure how much of this is motivated by the fact that I just don’t want to face the people in this program anymore.

Ugh, I feel that.

I think part of the reason it feels like it would take a lot of fix the situation is because you are in a bad place anyway, but you’re definitely not the first grad student do go through that. It would probably be really helpful to talk to a faculty member or adviser that you trust and explain that you have been having a difficult time emotionally/personally/mentally this semester.

I was trying to claw my way through (what I’m pretty sure is) my Fall annual major depressive episode all semester. Eventually I couldn’t take it anymore and dropped the ball in a couple of my classes, so of course I felt even worse, barely left my apartment, and couldn’t face going to those classes, making it even worse, and so on and so forth. Ultimately, I talked with my boss about it and she was very understanding, which gave me the confidence to meet with my professor about my late assignments. I mean, I still wanted to throw up with nerves and considered not getting out of bed again, but I did. She was also really understanding and said she knew something must be going on because she knows I’m a good student, and that it was fine, and emphasized that I should do whatever I needed to take care of myself. And aside from nearly crying in her office, I felt much less like I had ruined my entire life.

Moral of the story is, I doubt you’ve ruined anything. If you talk to your professor(s) and they are unsupportive, then you’re probably right to think about leaving the program, because taking care of your mental health is important! But you will still need to talk to faculty about it because academia is such a small world.

In the meantime, if your school has free counseling or anything, I would encourage you to try it… with some caveats. I did, and while my assessment counselor was amazing, I was eventually paired with an incompetent grad student as a therapist, and he made me feel ten times worse that I already did. So if you do it, ask a lot of questions about who you’re going to see (experience, specialty) so you don’t end up being someone’s lab rat.

Yeah, I’m sure you’re right. There’s a reason why I haven’t made any decisions on it yet. I guess part of me just feels like I’ve done something unforgivable, so of COURSE they won’t (or even, shouldn’t) be supportive of me. Even though I know I probably couldn’t have helped what happened, because all all the wanting for things to be different in the world wasn’t going to make my mental health improve. Even though I didn’t in a million years mean anything maliciously by dropping the ball big time. Even though I desperately wanted to pick up that ball.

I went to the counseling for a little while, but I freaked out and stopped going because I avoided yet ANOTHER big important but hugely stressful thing I was supposed to do (because they were tied with the whole “I shut down and lost my funding” issue). But I had said I wasn’t going to avoid it in counseling. So…what do I do? Avoid counseling, too.

Everything about this semester has just sucked so hard.

My hope is that once I’ve actually had some time to relax, the BF and I get a chance to get our own place again now that he FINALLY has a paying job (whoo), I’ll be able to work up the courage to talk to the professor who usually takes it upon himself to mentor all the students. I figure if anyone could help me see what I need to do, and to help me feel better, it would be him.

Also, my current plan is to go ahead and at least enroll for the next semester. It’ll suck that I have to take out some more loans, but at least tuition is cheap. And, we’ve been so poor for so long that we really could use a little extra with the loan money to help get us back on our feet. If things really aren’t getting better after I’m able to make more efforts to fix things, I’ll just drop and try to go somewhere else.

I just…I would really like to get to the point where the idea of just checking my e-mail doesn’t send me into stress spirals.

You will get there! It sounds like your plan is good. Talk to that professor. Register for classes. Grit your teeth and make sure those things happen, and then you can tackle the other things one at a time. I know it’s hard though. And being broke compounds everything like 10x. You can get out of the stress hole, though! It will happen!

And you absolutely deserve to be supported, and I hope your situation gets better soon. Internet hugs.

Hey all, I’ve been MIA the past few weeks due to random life stuff. But I’m back! Weee!

And anxiety laden. I need you guys to pull me out of anxiety land. Ready for some insanity?

My dad suggested going to see a movie on Christmas Day since the family thing isn’t happening this year. I said sure without even really thinking about it but then my OCD/anxiety set in. I don’t even know where this phobia really came from but all of a sudden, I’m terrified of going to the movie theater. More specifically, I’m terrified of a mass shooting happening in the movie theater like what happened in Colorado over the summer. I’ve been compulsively researching the odds of being involved in a mass shooting, what to do if you are involved, etc, etc. I’ve even gone as far as writing up instructions for my best friend telling him how to care for my cats if anything happens to me.

I feel insane and I know how absolutely crazy this comes off but can someone reassure me that they have gone to the movies in the past few months and lived to tell the tale?

P.s.: are gifs not allowed any more at all? I don’t have any option to attach anything…and I had a perfect gif!

I go to the movies all the time. I even go to a historic theater that’s in a pretty rough part of town on a semi-regular basis. No incidents at all. Not even pan handlers in the parking lot. Chances are very good that you and your dad will have a pleasant time.

Thanks for the reassurance!

The worst thing that ever happened to me was when my dad took me to see The Babysitters Club movie and something got messed up with the film reel so we had to go home.

Hopefully that will continue to be the worst thing that has happened to me in a movie theater! :)

I completely get how you feel. I can feel the same way about my cocktail of phobias. It’s totally illogical to be afraid of spiders that I know aren’t poisonous, and I know that airplanes are the safest way to travel, but that only helps me COPE with the fear. It doesn’t help me get rid of it…

Have you been to the movies since, yet? Maybe if you go a few times and nothing bad happens, your brain can start rerouting the negative associations into neutral and/or positive ones again.

Girlllll, I feel you on the plane thing. I have never been on an airplane. Like, ever. EVER. And since I’ve never been on one, I have no reason to be afraid of them since I haven’t had a bad experience but even going into an airport sends me into a panic attack. I will forever drive (or I guess boat if it’s not a drivable route) to my destination.

I haven’t been to the theater since before the Colorado shooting, which def is playing a role in my anxiety.

Holy crap as if I needed another reason to love Scott Lynch. I love his books. And I love how every time I read comments for articles like these there’s always this:

“I do not expect to change your mind but i hope that you will at least consider that I and others will not be buying your work because of these issues. I have been reading science fiction and fantasy for years and i know that I speak for a great many people.”

ALWAYS. Gah! Feh. One in the Tor comments was along the lines of, “Well I prefer to read about male protagonists because I’m male. More men read SF/F than women. Therefore all men want to read about men. Your argument is invalid.” At no point during my blossoming love of fantasy and science fiction did I EVER have the luxury of deciding that, as a female, I would highly prefer to read about female protagonists. I’d have been cutting off my nose to spite my face. Don’t like something? Don’t read it. But don’t try to speak for other people because you know best, obvs.

Okay…. end disjointed rant now. Off to snuggle kitties!

Oops… that posted in the wrong spot – was supposed to be in response to PoM. Doh!

Second minor rant: Just saw that they’re going to be making a second Alice in Wonderland film and hints are that they’re going to make the Mad Hatter the main character. So now we have a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel that’ll probably focus on the Huntsman, a Wizard of Oz movie focusing on the Wizard instead of Dorothy and an Alice in Wonderland movie focused on the Hatter. Am I the only one who is a little grossed out by this? Maybe I’ve had too much coffee today and should stop looking at the internet.

I’m doing the bookstore temp job again because it’s the end of the semester and ALL OF THE TEXTBOOKS are being returned or delivered. So we are busy, I’m getting at least 35 (usually closer to 40; sometimes we get sent home early) hours a week, and I’m getting paychecks. YAY.

Downside: my next paycheck (that would cover all of December’s rent) will happen a week after their “absolute last day before evictions are filed”. Sheeeeeit.
So, can I spam y’all? I have an etsy shop (, and there’s a fedex store a five minute walk from where I work (and a UPS store a fifteen minute walk away), so I can ship quickly. And I have cooooopon codes (jinglemerryhoho for 25% off, jinglemerrylocal for free shipping if you live near Raleigh NC). I’d really like to not get evicted for Christmas.

Right, that’s it. I’m putting on the Michael Buble Christmas album while I get our evening meal ready. I need some musical loveliness. (Er, it has to be said, recommendations for other Hogswatch albums would be very much appreciated – my searches haven’t been all that successful.)

That was awesome, thanks for sharing! My son is at that stage (17) where he gets some things about sexism and other -isms, but is getting a bit too comfortable in pulling his white male privilege – he’s actually said the whole ‘but history was like that, so it’s okay’ line about GoT and got a bit huffy when I tried to explain that a fantasy world that can have dragons doesn’t need to passively (or aggressively) be sexist, so that argument does not fly. And after his whole ‘it’s so tiring to be PC, it should be okay to say retard when talking about a disabled person and why do I have to call blacks African-Americans’ speech earlier (which I totally shut him down on), I think this is required reading for him :)

This is the same reason why I got really mad at Call of Duty: Black Ops for justifying excluding women from the team because historically, Black Ops didn’t allow women. THEY HAVE A FREAKING ZOMBIE EXPANSION! PLEASE TELL ME WHERE ZOMBIES AND BLACK OPS INTERSECTED IN HISTORY.

Out of fantasy works set in a sexist world, I actually appreciate GoT the most. I get mad at a lot of fantasy because it makes it seem like sexism isn’t a thing. However, all the main players in the story are male.

GoT has a sexist world, but it doesn’t try to conceal that. However, it doesn’t just stop there. I get to watch strong, awesome women negotiate the sexism in their lives.

At the same time, I can totally understand why someone wouldn’t want to read GoT because it can be a bit…much sometimes to deal with. And we don’t need to make ALL fantasy this way.

I’m going to try and watch it soon; I watched the first episode and couldn’t get past it, but I will give it a try.
I’ll admit that I get somewhat tired of ‘strong’ characters whose strength comes from something a man did for her or to her. It’s the type of thing that allows people to say that it’s ‘okay’ that rape or abuse happened when the woman/abused goes on to become successful, because the trauma ‘made her stronger’ or somehow was a helpful, driving force. As if she didn’t have the potential for the same or even greater things otherwise. (I’m not saying that this is in GoT, just that it’s something I see often in games, comics, movies, etc.) So for me, I want not just women, but a variety past the few women that there normally are as well, who tend to be either physically strong, male-like characters, victims who became successful not so much despite their abuse, but because of it, or background maternal/love interest types.

For what its worth, the episodes unfortunately focus a lot more on the male characters than the female characters. You get to see some of their depth, but to really see how they negotiate the sexism in their world to get shit done, you have to read the books.

And I am most definitely with you on the strong female character problem. It is everywhere, and it pisses me off. There’s a reason why I have gravitated towards works such as Game of Thrones, or stuff by Tamora Pierce, or The Mists of Avalon. Because they have…gasp…female characters with variety!

GUYS! GUYS! You know all those interviews I’ve been stressing out about? I GOTS THE JOB! And this could not possibly have happened at a better time. The current boss wants to meet with me Monday to “discus my future with the company.” Imma walk into that meeting with my resignation letter. BOOM! GOODBYE SHIT JOB! Goodbye sexist asshole boss! Goodbye job that I never got fully trained for, but got blamed for doing wrong! Goodbye toxic atmosphere from other salesman thinking I will steal their commission! Goodbye having to sell things full stop! There really are not enough exclamation points in the world. So relieved. So very, very relieved.

And the kicker? I will be making more money at my new job with a better benefits package. This will be the first time in like… three? years that I will have dental insurance. Imma get my teeths cleaned. Wheeee!

I just found a bunch of random David Hasslehoff gifs. I wish I could use them….

Instead, I’m watching a bunch of Big Bang Theory, drinking wine, and knitting a blanket. I’m also making some excellent plans for sewing up some Christmas presents this weekend. Yay!

So when does the next Doctor Who come on??

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