You can donate to the Brady Campaign for gun control here, or here, also on Facebook, Twitter.
Very appropriate. So sad.
@hairspin Agreed. I'm horrified by this event. It's too sad.
@hairspin Thirded. Thank you, Edith.
@yeah-elle Yeah, I am crying at home. Supposed to be doing work. God. So many hugs to all of those affected, especially the kids and the families in Newtown.
Thanks for linking to an org working to stop these horrific events, Edith. It helps to have something to do, in the face of all of this.
@hairspin Can't imagine what those families (and, really, any families anywhere with little ones) are going through. Thanks, Edith. Good thoughts going out to the universe.
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher It's so many levels of wrong.
@fondue with cheddar I'm just totally overcome.
@hairspin I feel lightheaded trying to fathom it. Trying not to weep at my desk
@hairspin I am having a really hard time dealing with this today. I'm trying very hard not to cry at work. I certainly will when I get home. My daughter is going to be in kindergarten next year and I used to be a substitute teacher, and it's just hitting way too close to my heart.
@MsGray At a high school you're sort of prepared for something like that. But if you're a teacher or student at an elementary school...it's just unthinkable. Shootings are always terrible, but these are little kids. They're innocent. Fuck.
If you need ideas about what to write, here's what I wrote. Feel free to copy/paste:
"In the wake of the horrific shootings in Connecticut this morning, I am urging you as my representative in the [Congress/Senate] to support any gun control legislation that comes before you.
From an admittedly hasty online search, it does not seem that there are any gun control proposals on the [Congress's/Senate's] agenda. If that is in fact the case, then please either propose some gun control legislation, or support other legislators who do.
Please do your part to prevent a repeat of this awful event. Columbine, Aurora, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary...it's too much.
What a heart-shattering tragedy. I am so sad for these families.
@hairspin This is horrible. My thoughts are with the parents and the survivors.
Also, please sign this petition and others like it at the WhiteHouse.gov site.
According to the website, if a petition reaches 25,000 signatures within 30 days of being posted, the White House will respond to it.
Let's boost this, Pinners. Seriously, let's fucking GET.THIS.DONE.
I am really thankful for you, for encouraging people to do this.
@dtowngirl No problem. I'm a Connecticutian, and my first reaction to this horrible tragedy was to think about my 5-year-old cousin, a kindergartener in Connecticut, and go cry in the bathroom at work.
And my second reaction was to rage rage rage rage RAGE against this Goddamned uniquely American reality, where the most advanced country in the world with the highest standards of living also has the highest rate of gun-related death of any similar country.
I am trying to figure out ways to make sure that rage is heard. If anyone else has any good ideas, please post them here! I understand that not everyone feels like they can mobilize right now, but I'm hoping that after the shock and grief wears off a little bit, we can band together to make sure that we see some change surrounding this issue. Let the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings be the event that pushes America over the edge into a reasonable climate of gun control. We can do this.
@MsGray God yes, I used to work at a school, and the first thing I thought of was the kids that I worked with. Those kids were just like "my" kids at the school :( I want to go back and hug them all real hard right now.
@wee_ramekin Thanks for sharing this... I am having a hard time being coherent or level-headed about this terrible event, but wanted to have a voice. This is all just so utterly heartbreaking.
@wee_ramekin I signed it gladly. I work in a high school, and we heard about this tragedy at a professional development meeting. It hurt, and it's been on my mind all day.
We're having a bunch of safety meetings and procedures on Monday, and it's terrifying to think about.
@Statham I didn't comment on this thread, but I think this link is required viewing, so here it is:
Broken thumb update: I have a cast on my hand now, and the possibility of surgery in the future (which would suck), but that's all seeming a lot less overwhelming than it did a few days ago. I'm going to take the water taxi home across the gorgeous harbor, and I'm going to sit on the couch with two dogs draped over me, and I'm going to enjoy the fact that I'm alive and here for all of it. Take care, everyone.
If I lived for a thousand more years I'd never, ever, ever understand why this happened.
This is the most terrible thing. The most terrible terrible thing.
@thebestjasmine I'm posting thing everywhere, so here you go:
I just can't imagine the depths of evil one's heart would have to plumb to do something like this. I don't understand. The puzzle pieces don't fit together in my head.
@Emby I'm posting thing everywhere, so here you go:
Yeah, I'm ready to go home and start drinking. Those poor kids. Those poor teachers. Those poor parents and siblings and families.
@anachronistique I've got a couple more hours of trying not to cry at work, and all I want is a goddamn whiskey. This is beyond comprehension.
I'm posting thing everywhere, so here you go:
In news that is not terrible, I have made it through the week, not been blamed for things that were only a little my fault at work, gotten a small bonus, and my cat is doing better! Still dying, but a little more chipper than over the past week or so.
@Lily Rowan Yay! We need news that is not terrible today.
@Lily Rowan Also: Pin Up on Monday that I can actually attend! Yay!
@Lily Rowan Hooray! I'm sorry that your kitty's going, but I'm glad she's going easy. That's all any of us can hope for, right?
@Daisy Razor Oh yeah! I kind of forgot. PIN UP MONDAY, BOSTON!!
@Lily Rowan Can we make this the not-terrible news thread?
Seems like a good plan.
@Porn Peddler In not terrible news, we adopted a second cat this week. He is one year old and would like for you to scratch his head, please.
@plumb-bob awwwww, friendly kitty.
In not terrible news, I brutally fucked a really hot dude this week. Utterly destroyed him. He's my buddy and man he's hot/fun to brutalize.
@Porn Peddler In additional not-terrible news, I am making crab dip for our office party on Monday. And once I visit the pet store tonight, I'll be done with holiday shopping! (My brothers just love rawhide.)
@Daisy Razor I will be at the Boston Pin-Up Monday night too! So excited to see/meet everyone.
@Bittersweet I'm planning to be there!
My piece of not-terrible news is that I made plans to go see Les Miz a couple days after Christmas with my best friend from elementary school who made me a tape back in seventh grade of the OBC recording. Super excited.
@area@twitter crab dip, mm.. wanna share your favourite recipe?
@planforamiracle I am actually looking for a good one! Might go with this one from the Old Bay website, because damn do I love me some Old Bay.
@anachronistique Hooray, Les Miz! I first saw it in London back in the Stone Age (OK, it was 1991) and then bought the cassette and listened to it for hours a day. I can still sing all the songs.
In other un-tragic news, my daughter and I have a girls night out tonight, complete with Chinese dinner and The Rise of the Guardians. (My husband would never forgive us if we saw The Hobbit without him.)
@Lily Rowan I am going to classes and being productive and non-depressed and feel 200% better than I did a year ago :)
@Porn Peddler I won a sofa bed in Apartment Therapy's Holiday Giveaway today, and my husband's Starcraft II custom game was featured by Blizzard. It was a pretty stupendous day for us until like 11am.
@Porn Peddler <3 u Peddlie
@Porn Peddler Not terrible: this week I got a side gig, in an area I need more experience with that really interests me, with like zero effort (when does this happen ever?); the super kind/smokin' hot dude I hooked up with the other week wants to take me on a real date, which is exciting because 1) I have never been on a date with anyone I actually liked or found attractive and 2) he's going to help me re-learn to ice skate, which is secretly my dream date (and then hopefully we'll sleep together again because DAAAAMN).
@Lily Rowan i am very excited to go to the pin up on monday and make friends, as i do not have any anymore.
Update: I took my daughter on our Girls Night Out and it was amazing but I almost lost it twice. So I came home, put my darling girl to bed and wrote about it.
You guys, she is asleep next to me in my bed and she is the sweetest thing in the world and so beautiful it takes my breath away. (And now 'scuse me while I go grab a Kleenex.)
@Lily Rowan I'm having a little latke party tonight! My apartment is 97 square feet, so I'm putting a tablecloth on my bed (which is also my couch) and having half of them sit on it.
@Lily Rowan I'm graduating this semester! Assuming I pass spanish. But still!
This morning, I thought my FOT go-to would be talking about how the series finale of The Hour trampled all over my emotions.
Everything is relative, I suppose.
@yeah-elle Indeed--I was all ready to blather on about the usual nonsense that spouts out of my head, but because I am terrible about following news sites and things, I didn't know what Edith was referring to and had to go look it up. Christ.
@frigwiggin I have been working (and not noodling on the internet) all morning until I saw this post on my lunch break. At first I thought it was referring to the other shootings that have happened in the States this week...but no, another one.
I had no idea either. Now I'm afraid to look. I think I get the gist of it.
@yeah-elle I was keeping my shit together until I got home and finally watched The Hour and O HELLO CATHARTIC SOBBING FIT. Good times.
@anachronistique Oh man, I couldn't handle it last night (lots of whimpering "noooo" at the screen while slowly pulling a blanket over my head), I don't think I'd come anywhere near handling it after a day like today. At all. Catharsis is good though, oof.
Y'all, I'm rooting for the apocalypse. I've had it with humanity.
@Daisy Razor I'll second that.
@Daisy Razor so done with humanity right now.
Right there with you.
I work in the local DA's Office and one of the juvenile attorney's is apparently preparing for trial, because for the last couple of days there's been a poster board with pictures and names of all the defendants in a gang rape.
I'd really like to go all Dexter on their asses.
@Daisy Razor right with you there.
@NeverOddOrEven Yeah. Also, there are young people dying every week in Chicago as a result of gun violence, and I don't even know how to handle any of this anymore.
@Daisy Razor Yeah that kind of sums up everything in my mind.
@smidge There was a documentary on ESPN a month or two ago about a Chicago high school basketball star, Benji Wilson, who was shot and killed in the 80s. It really stayed with me afterwards. It's sad that it's been 20+ years and it's still a plausible outcome for many teenagers in Chicago and elsewhere.
Thank you, Edith. I wish everyone could start today over again and be safe and loved.
In light of the horrible tragedy today in Connecticut, and the week of horrible things in my state of Michigan, losing my job today doesn't seem as terrible in comparison.
@charlesbois Oh lord. You're right, but that still completely and totally bites. I'm sorry.
@charlesbois All the same, I'm really sorry to hear that. That happened to me a little more than a year ago. If it helps to hear success stories, I was out of work for a couple months, applied for several jobs during that time, and wound up with an even better (and better paying) job than the one I'd lost. So I hope the same for you. Hang in there.
I'm still sorry about your job. Xoxoxoxoxox
@charlesbois I'm sorry to hear that, fellow Michigander.
@OhMyGoshYouGuys @charlesbois Another Mitten State resident sends sympathy your way.
@charlesbois But still -- that's the shitty thing that is happening to YOU. So it still sucks.
@charlesbois aw, thank you all! It does suck, but I got a nice severance package and I look at it as an opportunity to go on to better things!
@charlesbois Another Michigander here! Sorry you lost your job, but it sounds like it will be a window of opportunity. And yay severance package!
Random: A couple weeks ago my husband came home and said "Edith Zimmerman is standing outside our building." I said "Who?" and he said "From the Hairpin." "How did you recognize her?" "Her picture is on the site?" #myhusbandisnotastalker #sorryEdith
@sprayfaint On the contrary, maybe Edith is stalking YOU?
If I ever decided to abandon the US for a different country, I think it would be to escape the gun culture and our utter inability to address it.
In personal news, I had emergency surgery on Monday because of an ectopic pregnancy found on my first ultrasound. I had just been getting to the point that I might actually have a child. I feel somewhat undone.
@vunder Oh man. Not to sound like a broken record, but I'm so sorry. Be good to yourself. ::hugs::
@vunder that is terrible. you poor thing. i hope you have real people around you to give you real hugs, but here is an internet one from a stranger too.
@area@twitter and @madge Thank you. I do have a good support system here. Family, friends, husband have been very present. But sometimes it feels too raw to have real people too close. Plus, they're working and I'm home and the time passes differently in each space. There are a lot of things I want to do for myself that I can't do just yet since I'm still physically recovering. So Internet is helpful.
@vunder Oh, I'm so sorry.
@vunder My heart feels for your heart. I'm so sorry.
@vunder Oh no... I am so so sorry.
"sometimes it feels too raw to have real people too close." <-- yes, this, so much. I hope that when it's not so raw, you can find comfort near you too. ::hugs::
I'm very sorry. I had a miscarriage on Monday (rough day for embryos, I guess...) It sounds much worse to also have been cut open. Is there anything I can virtually lift for you?
@lemonadefish Oh man, I am sorry, too. So much empathy. Your comment about virtually lifting made me laugh. The lifting and reaching, and indeed trying to sit in a car, all those will come in time I suppose. Still, feeling very grateful for modern imaging and laparoscopy, my doctor's skill, and that I didn't hemorrhage on any of the 5 international flights I was on during the 2 weeks prior to my appt.
How are you coping?
@vunder Oh, that is just beyond unfair. Internet near-stranger hugs and thoughts and sympathy.
@vunder I'm so sorry. Hugs for you.
@vunder So, so sorry. Hugs.
Well, I hope the laughing didn't hurt your incision :)
I'm doing pretty well. Very sad for a day or two, now mostly just annoyed at the (further) delay of my timetable. I want to be in control!!
Best wishes for a speedy recovery, for your abdomen and your heart.
I'm so sorry, I've had a couple of those, they're not easy. the good news is that it is definitely overcomable. <3 Be good to yourself, be patient with your grief.
Sorry in advance for oversharing, but I need some tips/coping skills please. A few months ago I got laid off and made the decision (95% based on financial realities) to sell my house. I had to move in with my parents. The good news is that this is free and probably less terrible than living in a shelter. The bad news is that my family is dysfunctional and living here is extremely stressful. I already have stress, anxiety and chronic illness issues and living here is not ideal. My best option is to find a new job as soon as possible and try to stay out of the house when I can. I am doing both these things fairly well.
However, my mother has decided to stop talking to me, but then texts me several times a day asking if I want to go to holiday events with her... What? She's very clearly not speaking to me, not eating the dinners I'm cooking, not interacting with me, etc. Why is she texting me at all? After 3 days of this, I broke down and responded to ask. She does it because I "snap" at her and she's sick of my "nasty tone" in person. Why does she want to pay money to do public activities with me if she feels she can't even speak to me at home?!
I'm extremely stressed out and depressed over the whole job/homeless/family situation. My mom has said in the past that she doesn't explain depression. I'm not sure how to talk to her about it if she's not speaking to me. I'm also not sure how best to handle the depression on my own (aside from doctors, which I am doing) because everything I read lists family support near the top of the list. Ugh.
@VelourFog My suggestion is that you try to focus less on the (admittedly sort of insane) circumstance where your mother doesn't want to talk to you, and more on finding and expanding some moments of ease in your life. Trying to figure out the whys of your mother's logic and the hows of changing it seems like it's another source of and receptacle for the stress and anxiety. What if you channel that into something like meditation, focused breathing, progressive relaxation techniques, stuff like that. Not to get all Serenity Now on you, but I think you will get a lot out of trying to step out of the stress/anxiety cycle.
While I otherwise advocate face-to-face talks, cleary that wouldn't work here, plus your mum has already introduced the text-based-communication.
So, here is my advice, for what it's worth:
Write your parents an email. Try to make the tone as neutral as possible. Acknowledge that the living situation is not great for any of you, and has been affecting your relationship and that none of you are on your best behaviour, including you. If I were you, I would also include some sort of pseudo-apology (you know, "I think the changes to my mood that are a symptom of my condition have come across as unfriendly or ungrateful, and for this I am sorry"). Then explain in your own words what you're going through (don't include that they're making it worse - it sounds like your mother is already defensive), and ask for their understanding and support. Tell them what you're doing to try to take care of yourself. Then include some links about the medical side of depression, and maybe some first-person accounts - background reading so she can hear it from someone else. Ask them to read this, because you have a hard time explaining it.
Also, just because your family isn't helping, doesn't mean you're alone. There are lots of kinds of families. Do you have friends you can talk to? I know I didn't feel comfortable going into it in detail with my friends, but just telling them "I have depression, things are rough" was a real relief to me. Are there support groups in your area? I would suggest trying that (even though I know how rough it can be to just leave the house), or maybe online support groups and forums.
@VelourFog to add to vunder's suggestion, i can't personally recommend this, because i have yet to try them, but i discovered http://marc.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=22 the other day, which are free meditation podcasts from UCLA, and may be soothing when things get particularly stressful.
@gobblegirl Thank you (and everyone who's written suggestions). I am pretty sure the key is to adjust my reaction to the situation and everyone's behavior rather than trying to actually change them which is just not possible. It's just like my mind/body has reached the adjustment limit at the moment and can't really deal with more. Meditation or other stress relief is probably a good idea to try.
I'm really bad about asking friends for help and support, but typing things out here is a small step and that is helpful. I need to just reach out to a few people and see how it goes. I have an appointment with one of my doctors on Monday, too and will see what she suggests.
@karenb Yeah! My favorite practical technique is #2 here: http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00521/three-breathing-exercises.html
@VelourFog Yep! The only person in this world you can control is you. Trying to change other people will only make you frustrated and more stressed out. Focus on your reactions.
Depending on where you live and the feasibility of this due to weather/safety - consider going for a long-ish walk once a day. It will get you some moderate exercise (good for your mood/stress!), provide an opportunity for meditation/solitude and get you out of the house.
"Family support" doesn't mean the people have to be blood kin. You just need people around who will support you. They can be real-life friends, or a support group, or Internet friends.
@VelourFog I agree with @gobblegirl about the letter, but perhaps write it, hold on to it and reread it a day later before sending it. I do this at work a lot when I'm feel particularly frustrated and it's cathartic to write a letter that can be edited over and over again. It really helps me to work through my emotions and keeps me from saying something angry that can be misinterpreted.
@VelourFog hug, geez I'm so sorry, that sounds really tough. I have been in a similar situation (around family / staying with family when depressed, got the 'you've changed / i don't like your tone' and no-talking thing, no allowances made for depression).
Here are my suggestions:
- Every day, you do something towards getting a new job. You search for ads, you work on an application, you read articles on how to get interviews or improve interview technique, you get someone to check over your resume and make sure it's awesome. Something. Every day.
- Every day, you do something nice for yourself. Make a cup of tea just exactly how you like it. Read a fave book or watch fave dvd. Anything tiny.
- As often as you can handle being around people, find kind people to be around. If you don't feel like you can always be around your friends (and you may be surprised who is happy to hang out if you reach out), look for a support group for depression, or join some kind of volunteer group.
- More on that one - do something kind for someone else if you can find a way - volunteering to help out with a Christmas drive is a good one right now :)
- Make sure you eat proper meals, get proper sleep and get some exercise every day, it sounds lame at first but it really helps. A walk out of the house is a great way to escape your family.
- Get proper assistance, it's great you're seeing your doctor, consider a counsellor as well. Consider meds. You don't have to take them, but you should consider them. A herbal one to consider is St John's Wort.
- Google beyondblue and moodgym, there may be American cognitive behavioural therapy that will help you, these are Australian ones. This stuff will also help reinforce that you can't change your family's behaviour, but you can work on how you react.
- Once a week list out your blessings. when I have felt awful, I have counted hot showers, pretty trees, having friends and having food to eat and a roof over my head as blessings.
Doing these things is not just about the activities themselves - taking action and having routine to your life in any way will help you feel you're moving forward. Focusing on good things will help block out the bad things. Read the Hairpin and think about where you'd like to be.
Above all remember you're a beautiful being having hard times; we're all children of the universe, or God, or nature, or whatever power you care about (science! children of science?) and today some people cared enough about you to write you some encouraging and kind words :)
@VelourFog There's a lot of great advice here already, but I had to add because I've also been depressed and living with family for financial reasons. What helped for me is meds, exercise, going to some anxiety/cognitive behavioral classes, and setting aside time for purely relaxing things, like a hot bath or meditation. I recommend talking to your mom (when both of you are calm) using "I feel" phrases, to get her to understand your point of view. Someone above said you can only control your reactions, not others, and that is very good advice. It can be difficult to climb out of this hole, but you have friends you can talk to, and you always have the hairpin. I wish you luck.
Bless you, Edith. What a sad, sad day.
@miss olsen Update: Donated. It made me feel just a little bit less helpless.
I remember having a couple of gun scares at my elementary and middle schools as a kid--one was a couple of teens with BB guns, I don't remember what the second one was. I remember sitting against the wall under the windows with all the lights off and having to be very quiet (this was music class so we didn't have desks to hide under, I guess)--those moments were frightening enough, I can't imagine what it would have felt like as a twelve-year-old if the situation had escalated. These poor people.
@frigwiggin My mother teaches in a public school and just a few weeks ago, she had to do an Emergency Reunification drill or whatever, as though there had been a bomb or a shooting and going through the routine of identifying the victims and reuniting the survivors with their families. I remember being amazed at how complicated it was. I've thought of almost nothing else since I found out -- these teachers and administrators had to do that for real. Awful, awful, awful, awful.
@par_parenthese Yeah, my dad was an elementary school teacher for 20+ years (I was in his class the first time we had a scare)--I can't get my head around it all. God.
@frigwiggin I am so glad I am Old and the worst thing I had to deal with in elementary school was a tornado drill.
I just can't get it out of my head that they were just babies. Just babies learning to tie their shoes and reciting the alphabet. And they died scared. I'm just sick about it.
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose That's what has me sitting here crying off and on at my desk 3000 miles away, and counting down the hours until my perfectly safe daughter gets out of school just so I can call her and hear her voice. Even though she's in HS now, remembering her sweet little kindergarten self, and knowing that those babies were just like that. I can't even.
I wonder if she'd be willing to cuddle in Mom's bed and watch funny movies tonight.
@TheCheesemanCometh My mom called me this afternoon (knowing full well that I was perfectly safe, given that we'd seen each other about an hour earlier) to talk to me about this. I was kind of wondering why, but your post made me understand a bit more. <3 my mom, and moms everywhere.
Thank you for the link to the Brady Campaign.
@EMarrinner I'm posting thing everywhere, so here you go:
My coworker, 30 seconds after he informed me about what happened: "I feel like I'll be crucified for saying this to people, but gun control really would do NOTHING to stop something like this!"
@KatieBarTheDoor I'm going to have to go ahead and respectfully disagree with him.
@KatieBarTheDoor Did you reply by slapping him and saying, "Oh, I'm sorry, but self-control really would have done nothing to stop something like that."
@KatieBarTheDoor I've been in a similar situation and my response was, "You know, I think it's pretty crass to turn people's unimaginable loss into an opportunity to promote your political views. Now is not the time."
@KatieBarTheDoor @KatieBarTheDoor Oh my god, the exact same thing happened with the maintenance guy at my office. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people. I could kill someone with a baseball bat, but you don't see people trying to outlaw--" I told him that when someone kills 27 people with a baseball bat I'd be willing to have this conversation and not before.
@KatieBarTheDoor UGH. It wouldn't stop such things from happening, but at least it wouldn't be so easy.
@KatieBarTheDoor How can people say this when real places with real gun control have so much less real gun violence? Why are people so willfully stupid about how to even talk about this. Evidence people. Use it.
@KatieBarTheDoor I hope you told him to fuck off directly. Holy shit what is WRONG with people.
I went ahead and crucified him with my eyes, but I like these suggestions better.
This is not the first time he's tried to sway me with these points, either. So many times he's said something about "Yeah, well even if they outlaw guns, people have knives!" WHEN was the last time you saw someone burst into a room and instantly kill 28 people with a knife, you insufferable moron??
@vunder Seriously. Gun control is really strict here in NJ, and you hardly ever hear about shootings here, at least in suburban and rural areas.
Urban areas are still bad, but the one closest to me (Camden) just happens to be right across the river from Philadelphia, which is in a state with very loose gun controls.
@KatieBarTheDoor That's exactly what I said to my boss (about the implausibility of killing a mass of people with a knife). The difference is that he wasn't in disagreement with me.
Guns don't kill people, PEOPLE kill people! (using guns)
@par_parenthese I'm torn on this, because the last time this happened (just a few months ago!) no one wanted to turn it into a political thing, and a serious conversation about gun control was avoided. Now it's happened again. I actually think this IS the time to have the conversation. That discussion does involve two sides, and politics, but if not now, when?
@fondue with cheddar erm... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-china-20723910
eta - I mean, they weren't killed, but...
@fondue with cheddar And you're just talking about the US, where even gun control means that guns are legal. I'm talking about most of Europe, most of Asia.
@par_parenthese Isn't that kind of what this post is doing, in all fairness? I'm for gun control and am from a place that has it, but there is more than one issue here. Both sides waited about three seconds before making it about politics.
@MmeLibrarian exactly. not instant, not easy, and no one died. horrible, but not comparable.
@MmeLibrarian I heard that on the radio. But let's be real. All the countries with elevated homicide rates have gun problems. Easy access, lack of enforcement, etc. There are a few exceptions where there is access and lax rules but still smaller levels of violence, but we've proven that our culture can't do it that way.
@iceberg Mhm, exactly.
@vunder Same reason we couldn't possibly have universal health care and still provide quality care and still afford it. Because it's IMPOSSIBLE! Never mind countries like Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia, the UK, and the list goes on and on. If the US is so great, why can't we do it EVEN BETTER than them?
@whateverlolawants Because ZOMG SOCIALISM or something.
@sprayfaint The fact of deliberately NOT having a conversation about gun control in the wake of a gun tragedy, is just as political, IMHO. It maintains the status quo.
@sprayfaint @Sister Administrator I'm not saying "let's not talk about it at all." The reason you shut someone like that down and refuse to have a conversation about it with them, at that moment is because that sort of glib, knee-jerk, Fox News talking-point response indicates an inability to have the kind of sensible conversation that intelligent people have and that I hope we keep having here.
If anyone's first response to a tragedy is to start riding their political hobby horse, my first response tends to be, "You picked the wrong gorram moment, dickbag. Grow some compassion." If their first response is, "My God, this is so, so awful. We need to have an intelligent conversation in this country about ____________," on the other hand? On board with it.
@par_parenthese This guy has a good point:
"When, after a hurricane strikes, we advocate for funding to mitigate future floods, that is not 'politicizing' a tragedy. When, after a terrorist attack, we advocate for better measures to prevent future deaths, that is not 'politicizing' a tragedy. The notion that gun violence is somehow different - that it deserves unique immunity from serious conversation in our political dialogue - is nonsensical."
@SarcasticFringehead Again, I am not saying that we shouldn't talk about it.
@par_parenthese I didn't mean to imply that you were; I agree that a kneejerk reaction doesn't really contribute to a meaningful conversation.
@KatieBarTheDoor Heard the very same argument today. While I do see the general idea of that point, as you said, the mechanics of it do not add up at all. It's almost like saying that someone could splash the same amount of people in a room with a cup of water as you could with a hose. Maybe you can, but not likely.
@fondue with cheddar Hello, fellow Jerseyan. I just wanted to tell you that I got the rings from last week's Bargain Bin and the seem to fit OK enough, if not perfectly (the panther one doesn't wiggle at all, but the owl does a little but it's pretty heavy). Also, they are the kind with the elastic string in them and not solid metal, if that matters to anyone. Maybe it said that on the item description but I missed it.
@KatieBarTheDoor "I feel like I'll be crucified for saying this to people" -- yes indeedy, and I will just go get the hammer and send out the e-vite for the angry mob.
...sorry. Seriously though, straight up the only way I can deal with this shit without being super depressed for the next week is via inappropriate dark humor.
@Sister Administrator I think I see your point. I'm from a country with much stricter gun laws than the US (which is where I now live), and would definitely be for stricter gun laws here. That being said, I wish there could be more of a pause between "whoa this is so stunningly awful" and "here are my policy opinions..." I'm not sure why, it's hard to articulate, but even people I think are right are making me uncomfortable by bringing it up right now.
@Hellcat Ah, it seemed like they might have had elastic because they looked segmented. I'm guessing they wouldn't fit me, because my fingers are not skinny.
Also, may I suggest http://goodstuffhappenedtoday.tumblr.com/ for all of your terrible-thing avoidance needs?
@Lily Rowan THANK YOU. Water bottle puppy helped a bit.
@Lily Rowan I have never heard of this Tumblr! Thank you!
@Lily Rowan We definitely all need this. Today and all days.
@Lily Rowan Just about every time I watch this, I have a laughter-induced asthma attack: Best of Sparky Kibble Dancing.
@Lily Rowan I have been flipping through Lil Bub and it seems to be helping. Lil Bub!
@frigwiggin LIL BUBBBBBBB OH MY GOD.
@frigwiggin What the Porn Peddler said! OMG.
@Porn Peddler GOOD GRACIOUS
@frigwiggin I AM SO HAPPY TO LIVE IN A WORLD THAT CONTAINS A LIL BUB.
@fondue with cheddar Me too, friend. Me too.
Whelp, I got embarrasingly drunk at the company holiday party last night.
@Brunhilde I'm semi-disappointed I'm almost 29 and have never been able to have this experience. I've worked at the same company since graduation and we just have holiday breakfasts. Alcohol would make the awkward coworker conversations so much easier.
@Biketastrophy i think they might have the awkward breakfasts because of past indiscretions. just a guess.
@theotherginger Wouldn't be surprised, its also a massive corporation so those companies CYA as much as possible.
@Biketastrophy I ended up going out afterwards with some guys that work on a different floor than I do, and by the time we were walking to the third bar my shoes were hurting and I put them in my purse and was walking around rainy downtown seattle in just my stocking feet and one of the guys fireman carried me a block.
Oh my god... I hadn't seen the news, and I only had heard that the school prinicpal and psychologist had died. My sister told me, assuming I'd heard the rest of the story. She's studying to be a school psychologist. I work in a retail store that also has a location at Clackamas Town Center in Oregon, the site of another shooting this week. These random shootings always bother me a lot, and it bothered me a little more how the bystanders/victims in these ones had the same jobs as my sister and I.
But now I'm reading the whole story from today and shaking and sobbing just from the summary. OH MY GOD. I can't even say more.
I have a child. He has made the world a better place for me, just by him being in it. I am so sorry for all the families who are having the worst day of their lives today. We need more mental health care in this country, and it needs to be free and there needs to be a national push to stop the stigma of mental illness. Wouldn't this be a great country if, instead of saying "I'm so angry I'm going to get a gun," people could say "I'm so angry, I'm going to go see my therapist"?
@Mabissa Yes. I think we should really try to branch out from just gun law considerations and really look at our mental health system and societal stigma.
@Mabissa Amen. A few months ago, a guy I went to school with from 7th-12th grade went into a gun store, rented a gun, fired off a few rounds, then went up the register to pay, and instead shot the clerk. The clerk shot him dead. It wasn't a robbery. They didn't know each other. My only guess is it was a suicide-by-gun-store-employee. I didn't know the guy personally, but he never seemed like the kind of guy to shoot someone (although who can ever know?) I don't know all the facts, but it's a statistically good guess that he was dealing with some serious mental problems and didn't have help.
And one day a month later, a guy bought a gun at that store, went to work, shot a random coworker and then killed himself. His family said he was severely depressed after several family tragedies, and his antidepressants weren't working for him and he was scared to keep going. So awful. I'm not necessarily for the banning of all guns, but it scares me so, so much... how our country stigmatizes mental illness, doesn't make treatment accessible or easy for many people, but definitely makes guns accessible BECUZ OF THE CONSTITUTION YEEHAW
@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose
This is what our President should be doing right NOW. Talking about how not only are there too many weapons too easily bought and made too deadly, but also how mental health care needs to be at the top of our concerns.
Look at the graph here and realize that when mental health hospitals were shut down nationally, which started in 1965, the incarceration rates went up proportionally.
@whateverlolawants Whoa, that's just... and why do people try to take someone out with them when they want to die? I don't really want to understand this but it baffles me. Is it a gun-glorifying macho culture?
@Mabissa - and it's not just that hospitals/institutions were shut down, but that the community-based resources and services that were supposed to serve those with mental illness never got the funding/support necessary to do the job.
@Mabissa I know. It makes even less sense when it's someone they don't even know. In some murder-suicides, they know the victim, so at least we can figure there was a fucked-up personal motive. It's still awful and inexcusable and confusing, but when it's a stranger... even more bizarre.
@katiemcgillicuddy Great video, thanks for sharing that. I agree, the media has gone on steroids about these events, which I feel grew immensely after 9/11/01. We need to stop saying his name, stop reporting on all the background details. Like the person on the video said, we need to make this as BORING as possible. If you look at the mass-shooting timelines going around, it's like they cluster around each other. The media is just as sick as the people doing this.
Maybe we need a petition to turn off the news when these events happen. Turn off the news right away. If you want to find out about it pick up the newspaper tomorrow, but for now take a break from the constant drone and speculation.
repeatedly getting the chills from thinking, reading, hearing about this. thinking about how they were all such young children, probably getting really excited for the holidays, for vacation, for presents.
and I also keep thinking, "motherfucker." like, that's as eloquent as my brain feels right now. sorry.
@lisma I'm feeling about as eloquent as you are, with occasional hopes that hell is real just for this guy.
@lisma Yeah, I work with kids and babysit/tutor, and I was just thinking about how most of the parents of the kids who died had probably already started buying Christmas presents and hiding them away in their houses. Those poor, poor parents.
@Faintly Macabre For some reason, that's the kicker for me. I feel like when adults enjoy the holidays, it is in part because we are trying to recapture that giddy joyfulness we felt as kids. And in a way, it's not just the idea of presents that kills me, but all of the other hopes and wishes these parents had set in store for their children. It's too much.
@Faintly Macabre Yup, me too. I'm a nanny and sat quietly on the couch and cried as I read the stories with a preschooler asleep next to me, hoping she wouldn't wake up and ask me what was wrong. Among other things, I just kept thinking about how awful the holidays will be for every single person involved forever. There are no good words...
Thanks to redheaded&crazie and other people who gave me advice in the last Friday Open Thread. Texted the boy pretty much exactly what you said, i.e "I'm having fun going out with you, but I can't tell if you're interested. If you'd like to be just friends, let me know", and it turned out he's very interested but took my OkC profile re: me looking for long-term dating or friendship very seriously and had thought that since he may be moving after being done with school this semester, he could only pick the latter. (I had no idea because we'd only talked about the possibility of him moving away from Toronto once, and in very general terms; Also, I seriously didn't give my OkC profile that much thought.) I also directly asked him if the lack of asking-out initiative was because of that or if that's just how he rolls in general, and he also hates it when people are passive and don't initiate hangouts, and apologized for making me feel that way. So we decided we'll give dating a try and see how it goes. Hanging out next Friday after his last exam!
@Lyesmith Fuck you're brave.
@gobblegirl cosigning. BRAVE. i aspire to be you.
@Lyesmith good on you! I always feel so proud of myself when I do things like this. Reclaiming agency in dating!
@Lyesmith amazing! good for you! are you coming to the distillery district pinup on sunday and teaching us (ok, I'm a maybe, so those who go) about how to be an active agent?
@Lyesmith That is GREAT! good work :)
@theotherginger Actually, I'm the one hosting it! I hope you can make it - it should be really fun.
@redheaded&crazie Use Your Words is generally the best advice ever.
@Lyesmith but why is it so hard?
@theotherginger Because you think the stakes are high. What really helped was to lower them: knowing if his answer would be along the lines of "I'm just not feeling it/I'm not interested", I would've been totally okay with it not working out because when people aren't interested in me, I totally lose interest in them. Also, if he didn't have a good reason for the lack of initiative but was just naturally passive, that would've also been a dealbreaker and I would be okay with not dating another passive dude, too.
@Lyesmith Hooray! You are definitely brave -- I feel like people can get stuck in this passive aggressive cycle, without the ability to break it, but you DID! Holy crap, assertiveness! You're amazing!
I feel like I was stuck in this really bad cycle with someone too (per last's week posting, which you answered! thank you!) and realizing the stakes were really low helped me get out of it.
@Lyesmith Dude, I love that line of thought. The stakes are never as high as we think!
@mystique Thanks! I'm glad you're out of it - there's nothing wrong with cutting a person out of your life if all they bring you is confusion and pain. And ever since I started reading Captain Awkward, I feel my emotional intelligence has really improved. That, and listening to good advice from Hairpinners!
@Lyesmith I love reading Captain Awkward too -- and it definitely helped me too! I can't wait to hear good things next week from you :)
From an ABC News article:
"First grade teacher Kaitlin Roig, 29... said that the terrified kids were saying, 'I just want Christmas... I don't want to die. I just want to have Christmas.'"
As if my heart couldn't break any further...
@lilly pilgrim oh my god.
@lilly pilgrim jesus christ.
I have to note, posting that felt somehow... wrong? I can't really pinpoint- like as if it's gratuitous. idk man. Why did I though. My immediate reaction upon reading that was just "oh my God" and "share with 'pinners"- ay, I don't know what I'm saying. Something something line between empathy/shared experiences and sensationalizing just to provoke Sad Feelings.
@lilly pilgrim What are you even saying???
@lilly pilgrim You know what, I think part of it is because we need to hear these things. We need to hear these awful things if we're ever going to change anything. And I doubt anything will change after this, but if it's ever going to? Somehow, and I don't really know how to explain it, but I think we need our hearts broken in order to rebuild everything else.
@lilly pilgrim Oh, wow. That hits really close to home. I teach in two elementary schools, and the kids have been obsessing about Christmas since November. That's one of the first things I thought of when I read about the shooting--such cruel timing, just a week before Christmas vacation.
@katiemcgillicuddy Thank you for saying it so beautifully. I think what I was struggling to express was that even as I was posting it, I wasn't sure of my own motives - am I sharing this because I genuinely think 'Pinners, as you put it, "need to hear these things"? or am I sharing just to get reactions, as it often feels is the case when we share things online.
It's one thing to do that when we're groaning about a bad day, since that's at the expense of our own selves, if anyone - but what about when the subject is someone else? When does it become exploitative?
Again, I'm just rambling, but thank you @katiemcgillicuddy and @Faintly Macabre for letting me allow myself the benefit of the doubt.
@Faintly Macabre Someone wrote on Facebook about how the parents will go home and see the presents they'd hid around the house for their children. That may sound maudlin to some, but wow, that just broke my heart. And I'm not even much of a Christmas person.
@lilly pilgrim I appreciate that you're self aware enough to question why you posted that. I mean, I don't think it was necessarily a bad thing to do, but it's cool that you're considerate and trying to be thoughtful.
@lilly pilgrim I totally understand what you mean about feeling wrong about possibly looking for reactions, but I don't think that that, in and of itself, is inherently wrong. It's a way of searching out community, grasping at a connection, especially in the worst of times, and not really knowing how to do it. It's all so raw and so indescribably brutal that you just end up yelling, "Look at this! See this! Feel this!" You want to know someone, anyone, is out there feeling the same way you are.
@smidge I think saying thank you might put me in a self congratulatory trap of my own doing (hahahhhh), but I must say thank you for your sweet words. You are very considerate yourself!
@katiemcgillicuddy Lady you are amazing and you say things I would like to say except you say them really good.
@lilly pilgrim You are too kind, and what you said was real, painful, and entirely necessary. We go nowhere without honesty, even if we are hoping it helps us a little bit, too.
(I promise you can credit anything decent I said to cheap vodka.)
@katiemcgillicuddy I will check out this "cheap vodka" you speak of - sounds like something I need, especially on a night like this.
@lilly pilgrim See, the cheap vodka is great, cause it tastes like nothing. I'm an Irish girl, so I care very much about whiskey, but not much about vodka. BUT! Vodka is like, diet liquor, and while I'm not on a diet (because they are just awful) I realized after many years that goddamn beer (beer is still the greatest thing on earth, I drink it on holidays/birthdays, etc) and heavy drinks were why I could never be in the shape I wanted. But magic vodka allowed this! So, basically yes, cheap vodka forever.
@lilly pilgrim I'm new to commenting, despite being a long-time lurker... but I get the impression that The Hairpin is a safe space for thinkin' ladies, and that if you're feeling something, many of us are feeling it as well. So, that you were moved when you heard that and felt like sharing it... I think that's okay. And, hugs.
I wanted to post this because it is so fucking on point and I want people to fucking see it.
This post by LeVar Burton makes me feel better.
@anachronistique: I'm reminded of one of my favorite Mr. Rogers' quotes: "When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world."
@laurel That is so beautiful. Wow.
@laurel Yeah. Which is lovely, but I also hate that it keeps being relevant, you know?
@anachronistique That's lovely, but he definitely missed a trick when he didn't call his website readingrainblog.
@laurel Oh my god, that's what has finally set off the tears for me. Awkward at my open-plan office. What a beautiful realization.
@laurel Mr. Rogers is my favorite ever. That quote made me cry the first time I heard it, and it wasn't a time near any tragedy that I knew of. I just thought about things in the past and how beautiful it was that he and his mother were both so wonderful to always find something amazing about the human spirit.
Fuck, you guys, I was OK until I saw the President tearing up and now I'm losing it too.
@area@twitter :\ All the feels while at work. Which is awkward, so awkard. UUUUGH.
I have had a sad and stressful week, but for reasons that now seem somewhat petty. Everyone be safe.
Tomorrow my foster kittens are going to a kitten adoption event, and what if they all get adopted (actually desirable outcome) and I don't get to keep rhem forever (actually impossible outcome)? And, other things are in the news, but I'm sticking to kitties, so, another foster I pulled this week was so sick when I got him, and he was on the euth list, but he is getting better! I have to torture him by putting a misting nebulizer near his face a couple times a day, but he is breathing so much better. I think he's the going to be ok.
@frenz.lo Aw! I'm glad to hear that your new foster kitty is getting better. I'm sure he feels more "mild annoyance" than "torture" about the nebulizer. I remember giving my childhood cats their eyedrops when they both got some kind of pinkeye-ish thing, and they would hate it for a second, but 5 minutes later it was NBD.
@Emmanuelle Cunt yeah I think cats sort of regard everything as bullshit on a scale from necessary to inconvenient.
Great to hear, frenz.lo, you ought to be proud
ALSO ALSO: All donations today, apparently, will be MATCHED DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. At least, that's what it says on the "About Us" page: http://www.bradycampaign.org/about/
@ellbeejay Yep! Go donate if you can! I just did and it actually did help me feel (a tiny, tiny amount) better. I mean, not really, but it's nice to feel like you did something, even if it's small and not very significant and not nearly enough.
In bad-stuff avoidance news, I cut into my fruitcake today after a month of brandy-soaking. It's delicious. I used Alton Brown's free-range fruitcake recipe, like I do every time I make it. So looking forward to a brandy-soaked cake for breakfast! here's a picture of a slice. It's got blueberries, cranberries, tart cherries, crystalized ginger, raisins, sultanas, apricots and lemon and orange zest. I like to give this to people and tell them it's an english wedding cake and watch them go crazy for it. Anybody else enjoying some holiday baking this weekend?
@bocadelperro here's the recipe btw, if anybody is interested http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/free-range-fruitcake-recipe/index.html
@bocadelperro now there's a fruitcake I would actually eat!
@bocadelperro Aw crud, now I'm doubly sad that I forgot to start mine a month ago!
@sprayfaint awww, you can still make it and have it be ready by new year's or epiphany (aka three kings' day aka spanish christmas)!
@bocadelperro ME! I'm making fruit cake. Just made this recipe today and I'm so impressed, having never cooked with Polenta before and being terrified about it by a friend who'd had no luck with it...
Anyways! Basically, its delicious, try it!
@tea sonata goodness gracious that looks good! I have to make biscotti for, like, my whole family and in-laws, but I really really want to make a chocoflan, which I learned about earlier this week. (It combines two of my favorite things! Flan and chocolate cake!) but I'm pretty sure Mr. Delperro is full up of baked goods with the fruitcake.
@bocadelperro Breaking in my new KitchenAid with gingerbread! I'm so very excited about it.
Your cake looks fantastic! What is a sultana?
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher AUGH i am SO JEALOUS I want a kitchenaid so badly I could SCREAM. I used to borrow my parents' to do all this heavy baking, but they're moving far away (and won't donate it to me, sadly).
A sultana is another word for a golden raisin.
@bocadelperro Ohhhhh okay! I like that. :)
I ordered the KitchenAid last week (present for myself, I got a raise!) and was feverishly tracking its movements from Dallas to here this week. It arrived on Thursday and I considered calling in sick to work today to play with it. I am in lurve. (Also, it annihilated the gingerbread dough.)
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher there is a kitchen goods consignment shop near my in-laws' house, and I have promised to purchase one if there is one there after Christmas. I can't take making 4 dozen biscotti with a hand mixer--I almost burned it out last week. Plus I want to try making these pretzel rolls (http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2006/10/salt-cross-buns/) and I refuse to do so without a proper dough hook (seriously, try the dough hook, it will change your baking life)
@bocadelperro Oh baby.
I busted the beater on my 70s-era hand mixer last year and was miraculously able to order a replacement, but I don't know what I would've done if the motor went out on me. Definitely get yourself some serious horsepower asap.
KITCHEN GOODS CONSIGNMENT SHOP? I have never heard of this before but it's genius.
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher I've never been in there because I'm afraid of the damage I'll do, but we're taking a U-haul full of stuff (they live in AZ), so I figure at the very least, I'll be able to get it home
@The Everpresent Wordsnatcher Ohhh, what color? I don't cook much and definitely don't bake but I have admired the aesthetic perfection of these things for so long! It sounds silly (and is) but that cobalt blue!
@bocadelperro that is so apt because it is the precise cake my grandmother made for my mum and dad's english wedding!
@tea for all I understand that a cherry-almond fruitcake soaked in brandy for 3 months and covered in marzipan is traditional? And that even the giant royal wedding cake was a brandy-soaked fruitcake. It certainly makes the tradition of saving a tier for your first anniversary (and sending a piece to people who couldn't attend) make much more sense.
I love fruitcake and I'm a bit spikey about it because most people who make fun of it either haven't had any, or haven't had any that was decent.
@bocadelperro aah i did not know that about the tradition! i'm expatriated and more american than anything else at this point. but that makes sennssseeee
@tea for all hehe I'm no expert on English traditions, I'm just pro-fruitcake.
@bocadelperro You should probably still stick fruitcake in the freezer if you're going to keep it for a year, though. Besides, it helps it mellow.
@Apocalypstick thanks for the tip, although I won't be saving mine for a year--it's already 2/3 gone since friday. Also last night Mr. Delperro took another one of my fruitcakes to a party I was unable to attend and everybody LOVED it!
My idiot cousin has already posted something on Facebook about how these gun shootings happen because "today especially in the schools is because we pushed God out of it and ask him to stay out of our schools and basically our lives and retro spec."
I CAN'T EVEN START.
@The Lady of Shalott yeah I'm pretty much only looking at the hairpin today, lest I get into a comments/facebook argument with stupid people.
@The Lady of Shalott Yeah, because that's what happened at the Amish School shooting in 2006 or the Sikh Temple in August. Lack of religious belief.
Wrong God, duh.
@The Lady of Shalott As a religious person, I'd like to look up at the sky, point at your idiot cousin and say to God, "I'm not with him."
First of all: UGH, ugh, ugh in response to the shooting. I can't even fathom how terribly, terribly depressing this whole thing is.
I've decided to move. Roommate situation getting too annoying. She's about to start working from home and will be around all the time and ugh, I can't deal. I'd like to move into a studio, but my budget is super tiny for NYC, even for Queens. Am I crazy? I'm just the kind of person that works best living alone. Any tips on super-budget-NYC apartment hunting?
@terrific Oh, I saw your post on Facebook! Are you willing to get a realtor, or are you just Craigslist hunting? My friends have also used PadMapper. I'm also in Astoria, so if I hear of anything, I'll let you know.
@meetapossum I used a broker for the apartment I'm in now and I'd consider it for the next, but I want to tryyyy as hard as possible to avoid it.
@terrific How tiny is your tiny budget? If it's super tiny, maybe it would be easier to find a studio in Woodside or Sunnyside. Farther than Astoria, but close enough to make traveling between the neighborhoods easy, especially if you have a bike.
@meetapossum Teeeeeeeeeeny. Like $1,100ish teeny. (I hate that that's tiny in NYC!) I'm looking mostly in Woodside and Sunnyside because it would be a straight-up miracle to find something at that level in Astoria.
@terrific I think you can do it; there are stabilized units out there. I used to live in a stabilized studio on the UES for $1250 and it was lovely. And that was only maybe four years ago? Of course I ate spaghetti all the time in order to be able to afford it, but hell yes it was worth it.
@terrific I live in Jackson Heights in a very large studio for 1150 a month in the historic area. It also is closer to more transportation options than Astoria, which is really nice. How I got it without a broker is I went there and walked aroun (never straying more than 15 minutes from the subway) and creepily followed people into their buildings and then looked around for a super or management company number and called it. I found it on my second day of hunting.
@Sea Ermine That is so smart! Plus if you're working directly with realtors then you usually don't have to pay a broker fee.
@terrific We found our rent-stabilized place through a family friend, so it's worth getting the word out that you're looking. You never know who someone might know!
@terrific Try Jersey City! We are much more affordable, generally.
@miss buenos aires Man, I would loooove to move to the Jersey side. But due to work and boyfriend, I'm pretty much confined to the eastern boroughs.
@terrific Aw, boo. If you ever change jobs, I know from experience that boyfriends can be convinced.
@Sea Ermine Seconding Jackson Heights! I lived there for 4 years and it's pretty great, as out-of-Manhattan options go.
I don't think I'm reacting right to this thing that happened today. I'm not crying. I don't feel sick to my stomach. I'm pissed right the hell off, but otherwise it just sort of....i don't know, somehow I can't comprehend it enough to even be sad about it? Is that a thing? Is this the whole "well because you don't have children like nature intended you clearly have no compassion" thing? I think I have a bit of biological clock kicking in over the last few months because I suddenly have stopped actively hating children and I have this really strong mental image of my future son (I can see him, I know his name, I have some idea how he would react to things - right now he's being very quiet, sitting in a corner building buildings out of blocks and methodically knocking them down with a grim look on his face) but - I'm not having a meltdown. I'm not crying. I'm not praying or wondering why people are so horrible - I'm done with it, people just ARE horrible, and this country is irrevocably fucked, and I want nothing to do with this place and this society, but there's no fucking thing I can do, and I can't even understand what happened well enough to muster even one tear for it. I felt the same on 9/11. Just a sort of weird bleak anger, except anger implies way more emotion than I felt either time. I'm just kind of staring blankly at everything, not talking, grumbling, hating the world, feeling indifferent and cynical. What the fuck is wrong with me?
I'm leaving the country in less than a week, traveling for the holidays, and I think once I land in Prague I'm just going to "accidentally lose" my return ticket though. Fuck this fucking country and its fucking assault rifles.
@Countess Maritza How would there even be a RIGHT way to react to this level of incredibly fucked up bullshit? You're not the only one. Just feel your feelings (or your not-feelings)
@Emmanuelle Cunt The problem is I'm not sure if I have any actual feelings at all about it. And it scares me because WTF is wrong with me if I have no capacity for empathy or compassion. Doesn't it make me more like the murderer, or someone who would have stood by or turned my back and run away? Ugh fucking fuck fuckety fuck fuck fuckkkkkkk.
@Countess Maritza I think there's a lot to be said about the ways that mass media interferes with our ability to respond authentically to events.
@Countess Maritza I get how you are feeling. I've been angry since I heard about it. I feel sorry for the people involved, but mostly I'm pissed that gun culture is so pervasive that not even elementary schools are safe.
A) No, you are not "more like the murderer". Just because you're not sobbing at your desk over it doesn't mean you don't have empathy or compassion.
B) running away is perfectly normal human response to danger, doesn't mean the people who do it are necessarily bad.
C) There is no "right" way to feel, about this or anything else. You feel what you feel. It's a horrible tragedy, and I can't imagine how terrifying it must have been for those children, but my tears or prayers won't help them.
@Countess Maritza I've felt like that about many things. There's nothing wrong with you.
@Countess Maritza There's nothing wrong with you. I am similar - I think it's a dreadful thing, and I am sad about it on an intellectual level, but it doesn't actually hit home emotionally. You're not weird.
(And enjoy Prague! It's lovely there.)
@Countess Maritza Hi! Can you please go down here? (to prevent threadjack.)
@Springtime for Voldemort I'm posting this thing everywhere, so here you go:
Spent the week getting tarot readings, developing crushes on androgynous women and walking around West Harlem, which only made me love it more.
Goodbye New York, goodbye New York pinners, ilu. Onward to home, and my cats, and Denver.
I do wish random reporters would stop assuming this person was mentally ill. I've been mentally ill, I know lots of mentally ill folk, and not a single one would do something like this. There are root causes in US culture that foment violence of this kind, that breeds entitlement and selfishness, and regularly devalues the lives and opinions and experiences of many different sorts of people, and also encourages easy access to tools designed to do exactly what they did, which is kill lots of innocent creatures quickly. While better access to mental health treatment is desperately needed, I'm sick as shit of the reliable shrouding of a mass murderer's motivations in "He was crazy!" (and damn if it isn't always a dude) as though the culture we live in bears no responsibility and therefore, has no reason to seriously examine and try to change.
I also saw The Hobbit last night. Waste of time.
@KatPruska Yes, this.
@KatPruska The Hobbit wasn't very good? Elaborate.
@KatPruska While I 100% agree about the cultural underpinnings of violence but I still think that killing a bunch of children is an obvious manifestation of mental illness. It does not then follow that all mental illness will manifest this way.
@KatPruska I just saw someone on fb blaming this on antidepressants because "most shooters have been on those dangerous pills". I had to immediately log out in order to avoid writing FUCK YOU over and over again. Like just what. What?
@Emmanuelle Cunt There really is no end to the diversity of utter stupidity, is there?
@Emmanuelle Cunt I am SO lucky that my FB friends are mostly really awesome people, and those who aren't don't show up on my newsfeed much.
@Lyesmith Mostly I found it sort of tedious, which is probably a pretty predictable result when you're trying to stretch a single paperback into another 9-hour trilogy. It seems pretty clear that the writers are trying to sell this story as somehow thematically equivalent to the universally-appealing story of united good vs. the ultimate evil of the LotR trilogy, but it just doesn't work.
Low on whimsy and characterization, super high on CGI and an interminable score devoted to dictating audience emotions in a really obvious way. Like, hmmm, I think something dramatic is about to happen, since the dramatic theme just picked up again! Okay, now everyone feel sad and a little wistful! Oh, look how noble Thorin is in THIS close-up...so much more noble than the previous million identical shots.
I'm not terribly coherent about it. Just disappointed. I mean, it is making me complain about seeing Richard Armitage's eyes too much! STOP IT, MOVIE. The negative reviewers currently being excoriated by the rabid fanboys all over the internet are all correct. I couldn't sit through it again, and I saw the LotR trilogy like, six times in the theater. I was so ready to love this, and nope. Not happening.
@KatPruska I was worried this might happen. I am so much more attached to the Hobbit than I am LoTR, and I really don't want to hate it. Going to see it on Sunday, fingers crossed I'm not bored through it.
@KatPruska Agreed! I went in prepared to love it and ended up disinterested and counting down the time until it was over :( "Low on whimsy" is a great way to describe it -- the best I could come up with is that it lacked the heart that was present in Lord of the Rings.
The new filming technique (more frames per second?) also really disrupted the experience for me. Did anyone else find that?
@KatPruska This is disappointing. I was put off by the fact they made a rather short book a trilogy, but I was trying to overcome that cynicism and get excited about the movie. Oh well.
@no bricks Yes! I checked my watch twice. Twice! And I'm not super clear on what happened in the many lengthy battle scenes because the chaos was too overwhelming (some of that may be ADHD/sensory processing stuff, too). Or, it's my 30-years-old eyes' fault, since, to paraphrase one delightfully intense commenter in response to a less-than-flattering review: old people shouldn't bother reviewing this movie, since they'll miss entire plot points because only the young'ns will truly see the film, since their eyes are accustomed to the frame rate, because every single person under the age of 30 plays lots of video games. Or something.
@KatPruska I have been excited about The Hobbit's release for YEARS. I avoided as much information as I could prior to seeing it because I didn't want to be biased. I spent the first 5 minutes of the movie literally squealing and bouncing up and down in my seat a bit because I was so excited to be going back to Middle-Earth and seeing all these characters and beautiful Bag End again. Now I kind of wish that they hadn't bothered at all, because I was that let down by the pointless meandering of the story and the childish gross-out humor and the repeated battles ending with a deus ex machina (and/or escaping the effects of gravity?). I loved the segment with Gollum, and I loved Figwit. End. I dearly wish that they'd just made ONE movie; The Hobbit does not have enough substance for all this bombast, and what they've put in to try to make up for it...pass.
@KatPruska I really enjoyed myself, save for the last... hour? I dunno, whenever Bilbo gets away from the goblins. Right then, I got something stuck in my eye and didn't want to leave to go fix my contact. Having said that, it was definitely tedious and could have used some more substance. The fight scenes are sooo long.
I did, however, really enjoy the length of the first big, in the Shire. It's my favorite setting, and I always wished LOTR had more time spent there. But I think my next viewing will definitely have to be at home, where I can pause to go make dinner and everything.
Also, I'm under 30, but play no video games.
Well, here's a bit of a bright light: Hairpin Winter Surprise, anyone?
I'm heading to the post office this afternoon. Someone's getting glitter nail polish.
@yeah-elle Oh god yes that reminds me: MAIL OUT YOUR WINTER SURPRISES, EVERYONE! Or else something bad will happen. I don't know what.
@terrific I just sent mine out! It is going internationally so I don't know when it will arrive, but I hope my surprisee likes it.
@yeah-elle Yes yes! I posted mine 3 days ago, can't wait to receive mine! :D Exciting.
@yeah-elle I'm mailing mine today too! I am so so excited!
I sent mine Monday! I am so excited.
@terrific Mailed mine out today! I really almost forgot.
@terrific I'm working on mine! It will not be sent out by the 15th as instructed -- I'm making a thing and it isn't finished yet -- but I expect to have it in the mail on the 17th. (Sorry!)
@yeah-elle @ terrific
I got mine and it was delightful! Also mailed mine out a few days ago. So great -- even better than I expected! Thanks so much for organizing this, terrific!
@yeah-elle Sent mine today. I hope she likes it!
@terrific I didn't end up being assigned a Secret Winter Surprise 'Pinner to send to - someone isn't receiving!
If you assign me someone I will send ASAP and they may or may not get their surprise in time... It might have to be a January surprise, but it will come!
I want to be sad about this, but my heart is already so full of sad that I do not know if there is room. And now I feel guilty about that.
@causedbycomma the most important thing w/r/t grief is self-care, so go easy on yrself
@Danzig! Thanks... I am just feeling so much self-loathing right now that self-care is really not a viable option... Maybe self-medication with alcohol...
@causedbycomma Maybe just take a deep breath or two, like really deep breaths, and then go to bed and listen to a nice podcast or book on tape that won't make you feel any sadder. You can brush your teeth and wash your face, and then you will have officially done something nice for yourself.
Been there. It's ok to feel what you feel.
This is the town next to my hometown. I still live only 30 or so miles away. My dad teaches at a school in my hometown and is still in lock down. A good family friend teaches there, but she is safe. I'm pretty sure my best friend from high school teaches there, but we have not been in close contact for a few years, and I have not seen any update about here safety. Everyone I know knows someone connected to Newtown and Sandy Hook Elementary, including the family of a child who is still unaccounted for. This really sucks.
On an unrelated but equally shitty note: I gave my mom's eulogy and buried her two weeks ago, today.
@Spinach Party I'm sorry for your loss.
@Spinach Party Ugh, this reads so melodramatic, sorry. I'm just a feelings-robot right now. I don't know how to process this, I can't even imagine how my neighbors feel.
When Gabby Giffords was shot, I was living across the street from the hospital they took her to. I was out walking my dog, and then a phalanx of ambulances and medivac helicopters descended out of nowhere. It was super-eerie. I don't think I had a proper emotional reaction for two days, until I drove by her office, saw the piles of flowers, cards, etc., and burst into tears (and I am normally not super-receptive to that sort of sentimentality). What you're feeling is perfectly normal.
@Spinach Party I don't think you're being melodramatic at all! You lost your mom, and these horrible shootings are closer to you than to many of us watching the news. Feel however you want to feel; whatever you're feeling is the right way to process the situation. If you're too numb to have a strong emotional reaction, that's okay too.
@Spinach Party No - I had the same feelings when Hurricane Sandy came, and I was worried about every.one.I.knew, but I couldn't do anything to help because I live so far away. It's not melodramatic, it's what happens when the people we care about are in harm's way.
I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope the new year brings you and your family peace.
@Spinach Party Jesus. I am so, so sorry about your mom, and for your friends and family. What @bocadelperro said; I think you can get to a point where you're just feelings-saturated; your brain is just like "nope, fuck it, we're shutting down for a while, no more". And this whole thing is so surreal. I didn't really connect until I saw the President getting choked up as he spoke, and then it all sunk in of a sudden.
Be kind to yourself. Thinking of you.
@area@twitter Oh man, I cried a lot when President Obama cried. But it made me feel better that he cried too.
@Spinach Party If I'm allowed to ugly-cry for an hour while watching the news, you are DEFINITELY allowed to cry. (Not that I think we have to be allowed to cry, etc. Also your userpic is great.)
Going to try to think about cheerful stuff and good things to keep from crying at my desk.
1) I just took my Hairpin Secret Winter Surprise gift to the mail room to be sent out! I hope you like it, surprisee. I made it myself!
2) This week, after not trying for months because I had difficulty and pain the first time I tried it (probably because of my vulvar vestibulitis), I successfully inserted my Diva Cup! I have been using it all week and really like it--it was weird and uncomfortable at first but now I don't even notice it's there. I can even ride my bike, which I was a little worried about (because of the stem and all).
3) Some ridiculous yellow plaid skinny jeans should have arrived at my house this morning--I will get to try them on when I get home, I hope they fit!
@frigwiggin you can clip the stem off or shorten it with scissors if it works for you! For some of us, it sticks out too much to be comfortable. It can be a weency bit more difficult to remove, you just have to grasp the ridges harder.
YAY DIVA CUP! congratulations. I hope it will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship for you. My diva cup and I have been together for 8 wonderful years. Does that sound creepy? Sorry.
@planforamiracle The stem sticks out a little bit when I first insert it, but as it settles into place, it recedes and isn't a problem. I am glad I gave it another go, I was convinced I'd never be able to make it work, but as long as I'm patient, it slides right into place once I get it past the vestibule. I am excited for the months and years of using it that are ahead of me! (Also, what creepy? I brought it up in the first place, haha.)
@frigwiggin "vestibule" lol
I have a Diva Cup and I am just so glad I discovered that ridiculous thing. It makes everything so much easier!
@frigwiggin ooh ridiculous skinny jeans are the best! I've been going back and forth about purchasing these from urban for a while now, but I think they're a little too...blue? Still, I'd totally rock them if I was about 5 years younger.
@bocadelperro Damn, those are bright! I love the idea of bright skinny jeans but only had one pair of burgundy ones before the yellow plaid ones arrived today--mostly because I have trouble getting most skinny jeans to fit right, because if they fit at the waist they suffocate my calves, and if they fit in the calves the waist gaps. (But thankfully the yellow plaid ones fit fine and are pretty rad, I'm tooootally wearing them this weekend!)
@bocadelperro I have seen a lot of royal blue skinny jeans lately - would that be up your alley?
@frigwiggin I just finished up my first period using a juju cup (Australian Diva Cup) and lurved it! It's so much tidier and you just don't need to worry about changing/keeping spares of you hygiene prods, or ever running out again!
In ten minutes, I'll be teaching some adorable, sweet, ridiculous 6-year-olds how to swim. I don't know how this is going to go because it's going to hard to focus on getting them to do tickle-t-touch knowing that they were at school today, being loud, being silly, being weird, being just like all those kids up in Newtown. This really is overwhelming.
@katiemcgillicuddy oh goddddd. Be brave I guess.
@katiemcgillicuddy Look at it this way - you are helping the kids you CAN maintain a sense of normalcy and some innocence.
@Blushingflwr @Emmanuelle Cunt Thanks to both of you. By the time we were halfway through I pretty much couldn't handle it so out of necessity I just let the whole thing devolve into me throwing the kids into the pool and playing a pretty rousing game of water tag. Making them laugh seemed like the only option. The parents didn't seem to mind.
@katiemcgillicuddy I think that was the best course of action, considering what today's been like! Good to let them blow off steam and experience normalcy like Blushingflwr said.
@planforamiracle Once the mentions of Christmas started I was basically like, "aaaaand that's it, I'm done" and basically said "yeah, I'm just gonna start chucking you guys into the water, for sport" which got a positive reaction. Floating on your back is only so much fun.
@katiemcgillicuddy I'm sure the parents were glad you were able to think up a fun and silly alternative activity on the fly.
@Emmanuelle Cunt It was half lesson, half play. Ha, I wouldn't have been surprised if one of them complained (entitled, overly involved parents with $$) but we usually request they don't sit right near the pool cause it distracts the kids. So I could kind of get away with it without worrying.
Edited to say: I wouldn't really have given a shit if any of them bitched.
There is so much awful, sad news around today. My heart goes out to everyone who is going through a tough time right now. Please stay safe and tell your loved ones what they mean to you, I know I am this evening.
Watch this, rather.
@Decca I apologise for being off-topic and talking about something more light-hearted, but I wanted to ask something: have you ever been to the Traumfrau clubnight in Brighton? A friend and I are going next week, and I am worried it will be far too cool for me (I have never been clubbing, just gone to college "bops" while at university, which are nice and non-threatening. I won't know any of the music! It is unnerving) and am looking for information about it.
I want to add that dudefriend owns like, 12 hunting rifles and I think a handgun. He grew up on the shore, so he's been hunting since he was a kid. He is completely pro-gun control, thinks not banning assault riffles is beyond absurd, and keeps his guns in a GIANT SAFE (one of those deals that is so hardcore it's the size of a huge fridge). I went hunting with him once, and over the course of almost an entire day he didn't fire ONCE. He only fires when he is absolutely, completely sure. I don't understand why more gun people aren't like him, and I'm just really glad people like him do exist.
@katiemcgillicuddy Mr. Delperro is a competitive marksman. Our gun safe is actually right behind me as I type this. There are a lot of responsible gun owners, and most of the ones I know are very pro gun control.
@katiemcgillicuddy If we could rely on everyone doing the right thing, we'd need no laws at all. We can't, though.
@bocadelperro The gun safe is so cool. I laughed when I first saw it because the first thing I thought was that it looked like something one of my hipsterish friends would buy to be ironic, or because it just looked interesting (which it does). Then he spun that tumbler spinny thing around and opened and it and I thought, nope, nothing ironic about this.
@katiemcgillicuddy Yes, my dad has guns, only hunting guns, and maybe one hand gun. I saw the handgun once. I've never seen him shoot it at all, or heard of him taking it out to practice. Anyway, he has a big safe and he keeps them all in there. He used to have a locking cabinet with a glass door, but he didn't feel safe enough with them so easily accessible (story below). I'm not sure about his views on gun control, but I'd bet you he's fine with controlling assault rifles.
Also, guys, my favorite childhood cousin tried to commit suicide at age 11 by shooting himself in the head. It miraculously did not kill him, as it angled just right and missed vital parts of his brain. It left him legally blind. Please, if you or your loved ones have ANY kind of gun, please keep them locked up and never let children have access to them. I understand families who hunt and want to teach their kids responsibility with supervision, but leaving guns where kids can get them is not responsible. He was a part of a family that loved to hunt and shoot things, and I am sure they are still very adamantly pro-gun rights all the way. It makes me really sick.
@baked bean Your dad sounds like a good guy, and I hope your cousin is doing well. Thanks for mentioning the importance of locking guns up, it is so, so important. Upon texting dudefriend after this happening (where I mentioned my appreciation of his supreme cautiousness when it came to guns) he pretty much mustered, "...beyond awful". Pretty much everyone's sentiments, I think.
I hope tonight finds you guys safe and warm.
@katiemcgillicuddy My cousin is doing well. He's a happy newly-wed these days.
And yes, I'm at home with my roommates and a friend and it somehow seems extra special. The friend is a teacher, and he was pretty shook up today. We had a comforting dinner and some beers and some heart-to-hearts, and it did our hearts good.
@baked bean Good to know you and yours are doing okay tonight. Dinner, beer, and full hearts. Good stuff.
@katiemcgillicuddy Many of my friends are gun owners as well, and they are similarly responsible with their guns -- they're locked far far away from little hands -- and they similarly recognize the need for sensible things like waiting periods and licensure and background checks and banning certain types of weapons. Unfortunately, I also have friends and acquaintances who think that any regulation of gun sales is halfway down a slippery slope to a government agency coming to confiscate every gun down to their air rifles and BBs. They are hidden from my facebook feed now.
@par_parenthese God, right, because banning assault rifles will lead to banning hunting rifles. Jesus, the intellectual disconnect with these pieces of fucking garbage is astonishing. I laugh/cry at the fact that these idiots who think background checks are somehow a.) unfair and b.) and invasion of privacy, are prrrrooobaably the same people who are against gay marriage and abortion rights. "Get out of my personal life, boo government!/ but keep telling the people I don't like how to live!" I don't even fucking care if I'm being broad or unfair right now, I'm fucking sick of it.
I just posted this on another thread, and at the bottom of the FOT, because I really hope someone sees it, but it's really, really spot on about how abjectly disgusting the 24 hour media machine is. So, hey, maybe you'll be that one person.
@katiemcgillicuddy THANK YOU for posting that. SO FUCKING TRUE.
When the Aurora theater shootings happened, one of the local Colorado stations made almost all of the decisions the video mentions -- they buried the story deep into the newscast with no teasers or "coming up next!!" lines, they NEVER showed the shooter's picture, they mentioned his name once at the beginning of the story and then referred to him as "the shooter" from then on, they profiled one victim per day, they focused on the community response and heroism, and they generally tried to make it as dull and clinical as possible.
@katiemcgillicuddy YES. I needed something like this to show people. It sums up all of my anger toward the media. Thanks.
In response to the shooting, one of my cousins made a comment that she was going to home school her daughter. I think it was kind of a joke, but maybe not completely. I don't know.
Anyway, one of her friends replied about homeschooling, saying she had done it herself for her kids, and her writing was just so bad that I winced to think this was a woman who had taught anyone's children, even her own. Said woman also said that it is hard on kids because they don't get socialized.
My cousin said she didn't care about socialization, she just wanted her daughter safe. It took a lot not to point out that proper socialization is important to good mental health and a successful adult life. Keeping your kid at home all the time with you might make you feel better, but it doesn't help them turn out to be healthy, well-adjusted adults. (This is not to say that I think home-schooling is inherently bad or that kids who are home-schooled are screwed up, but rather that I think over-protective helicopter parents are no good).
@Blushingflwr How does this solve a problem? We should all be terrified to leave our homes and to live our lives? What about malls and movie theaters? I can understand why a person might make a comment like that, but it won't make anyone more safe.
@Blushingflwr Damn. I am so in favor of doing what works best for your family and I know some awesomely smart, well-socialized homeschool grads, but fear is a genuinely terrible motivation for how you educate your kids.
Exactly. I don't think she'll actually do it, I think it was an expression of "something terrible happened and I currently do not want to let my child out of my sight because I am afraid", which I think is a reasonable feeling. I mean, my mother says that she never wanted to let me out of her sight, but she did, all the time, in part because she knew that keeping me close to her all the time wouldn't actually be good for me.
@OhMyGoshYouGuys yeah I'm pretty sure that statistically, the place that gun violence is most likely to occur is at home. Really the best thing you can do, short of getting rid of guns altogether, is remove them from residences.
@Blushingflwr Because I always have to do this when someone remarks on homeschoolers not getting socialized: I am an only child, was homeschooled, and grew up in the comparative middle of nowhere with few friends. I'm socialized fine. I went to college, did pretty well, and am now in grad school. I'm a little shy and can sometimes be awkward around people, but that's not due to homeschooling, it's due to my nature.
@Blushingflwr Several of my cousins are primary school teachers, or are training to be them. Their spelling/grammar is awful, and they can be casually homophobic. I don't want them to be the ones moulding young minds. :(
That was my elementary school, guys. And my mom works for the school system (thankfully she took the day off and wasn't there!) This is literally hitting too close to home. I keep desk-crying.
@ajayne Oh shit. Oh gurl. Can you just take the rest of the day off? I'd be a wreck too. Imagine I am awkwardly patting you on the shoulder right now.
@ajayne I second Emmanuelle Cunt's "Oh shit."
Virtual stranger hugs. So sorry.
@ajayne Wow. That's pretty fucking "close to home."
@ajayne Holy fuck. Sending hearts.
@ajayne Oh god, how scary for you. I'm so sorry.
Also in totally frivolous nonsense, I seriously hated both Awl articles about living in Berlin. Like not that I would've written a less annoying article about my expat life in Berlin? But seriously. "Am I part of the problem?" argh come on are you just recycling your article about living in gentrifying Brooklyn 5 years ago? Come onnnnn
@Emmanuelle Cunt I used to live in Berlin, (Oberkreuzberg from 2003-2005) and I had to keep myself from commenting on those articles. I'm not convinced I was any less-horrible when I lived there, except that I had a job working for the govt, and left when my program was eliminated.
@bocadelperro Hah, I doubt you were that horrible! I think I'm super bitchy about those kinds of articles due to my urban planning background, because everybody just says the same shit 95% of the time and it's just so pedestrian. ugh. Can they at least put a MAP? At least my despicably boring Berlin article would have maps of my depressed grad student life in it.
Also seriously where is "ober" Kreuzberg? Does that have to do with the split between the two different zipcodes that I don't even remember what they are? Did they have "Kreuzkölln" back in 05, for people who didn't want to admit they were in Neukölln instead of Kreuzberg? OH BERLIN LOL.
@Emmanuelle Cunt Oberkreuzberg is the western bit that bumps into Tempelhof. The first time I heard someone say "Kreuzkölln" I snorted into my beer, but I'm originally from SF, a city where people are constantly re-naming neighborhoods so they sound less scary.
I'm just amazed that so many people can descend on a city, manage to learn next-to-nothing of the culture or language, and not be humbled by the experience. (seriously, how do people get around not speaking German?) Also, the last time I was there (in May), I noticed that, unlike when I lived there, people are now openly hostile to me when they hear my (very, very slight--my mom is German) American accent. So there is significant pushback from "Native" Berliners to this nonsense, and I don't blame them.
@bocadelperro they're doing the neighborhood-renaming thing in NYC as well, natch. I initially moved to West Harlem but the realtor people were quite adamant that I was actually decamping for Morningside Heights. I don't know why they didn't just call it Safe For White People Heights.
@bocadelperro Ehhh people who are side-eyeing you for a slight accent really need to get a life. 10 to 1 those "native" Berliners are from Stuttgart and there's someone out there pissing on them for being Schwaben in Berlin. All that shit gets on my nerves in a big way, and I speak flawless German! Plus it's so often a cover for ignorant racist bullshit. A friend of mine who grew up here got dismissed at a bar she often goes to with "sorry, no tourists" (literally, btw. they assumed she spoke no German) because she is Persian. What even is that.
@Emmanuelle Cunt Did she rip into them? I actually lost it at a woman working in a Bakery when I was there in May because she was so unspeakably rude. I have family in Charlottenberg, and still quite a few friends living and working in Berlin, so I get both sides of it. (But really, at this point, I'm over Berlin)
@Danzig! in SF now they're trying to make some of the more sedate western neighborhoods seem like trendy places to be. I heard of "The Smission" the other day--which I guess used to be the inner Sunset, where I'm from? Oh, realtors. ^_^
@Emmanuelle Cunt Articles about expat life in (or even tourist visits to) Prague are usually even worse. Like, imagine all the terribleness of those Berlin articles, throw in a lot of "omg EASTERN EUROPE!", something about a veneer of Western-ness over a) primitive Slavic passion or b) Soviet decrepitude, a wise-sounding reference to some cultural or political thing that probably really happened in Budapest (but who's counting, right?), an entire paragraph about how "bizarre" the language is, another paragraph about beer as if one were the first to discover that Czech beer is fucking amazing, some weird fetishizing of a "blood-soaked history", mysticism about "the border between east and west," rhapsodizing about the architecture and historical sites in such a way that betrays the esteemed writer literally never leaves a four block radius of the Old Town, more bitching about the language, and ending with a weirdly self-congratulatory tone when he inevitably observes that nowadays, instead of tanks and soldiers on Wenceslas Square, there are Western European college students partying hard. Extra points for a tortured Milan Kundera reference straight out of the Cliffs notes.
...sorry, pet peeve. Close to home and all.
@bocadelperro what's your favorite San Francisco neighborhood re-naming?
@Countess Maritza Have you ever read Prague by Arthur Philips? (which is about Budapest, but hey) It touches on a lot of these issues, and also is terribly funny. You might enjoy it.
@lisma The constant (unsuccessful) re-naming of the Tenderloin has always cracked me up, but for sheer absurdity, The Western Addition to Lower Pacific Heights takes the cake (think about it...)
@bocadelperro how do you feel about the Tender-Nob moniker? Everything else aside, I think it just sounds gross.
@lisma wow that's a new one to me, and I'm giggling a whooooole bunch. SF realtors are the worst. My parents have great stories of realtors contorting themselves trying to show them the "bridge view" from houses in the Haight (!) when they were looking to buy in the 80s, and also people insisting that the converted garage they were being shown was a "dollhouse unit" in a duplex. Aaah city life...
@Countess Maritza I'm a (half-)Slav and totally agree with you about this neo-Cold-War Eastern Europe fetishization! It gets old, doesn't it?
@bocadelperro DOLLHOUSE UNIT. I am dying.
@lisma I have an even better one! Someone this weekend was fairly heavily pressured to rent in an "exclusive high-rise" near china basin. They wound up going somewhere else, and found out later that that building is 90% UCSF housing.
@siniichulok agh thank you! Someone who Understands! Ethnically I'm a total mutt but for one reason or another have ended up at least a partial expat and hopefully soon long term resident of Prague. And I mean I enjoy visiting the historical sites and famous pubs too, but like.....I cannot with all the postcommunist pity wanks and the constant drunken dudebro hordes.
"A study in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery found that the gun murder rate in the U.S. is almost 20 times higher than the next 22 richest and most populous nations combined. Every one of those nations has stricter gun control laws.
And then there's this fact: add together all the gun deaths in the 23 wealthiest countries in the world and 80 percent of those are American deaths. Of all the children killed by guns in those nations, 87 percent are American kids." http://abcnews.go.com/m/blogEntry?id=16827509
Worth noting is that, if one excludes the South, the U.S. murder rate falls into the range of other rich countries.
@Rock and Roll Ken Doll Where did you find that statistic?
Here's an article from the Times that I found easily. The basic fact is not really disputed, though the reason for it is up for debate.
That said, I'm not sure heightened Southern murder rates derive from killings of children, which was @vunder's subject, so perhaps this is sort of an aside.
Pregnancy kvetch ahoy: I had to practically jump through flaming hoops to get my obstetrician because my now-former-thank-G-d GP was offended that my pregnancy was too complicated for her so she didn't want to acknowledge that by referring me anywhere even though all the ER docs I saw were like GET AN OB NOW PLEASE. But at my first OB visit a few days ago, the OB marched in, performed a cursory ultrasound on a machine she herself said was "bad," got a panicky look, and barked that my fibroid was in such a bad place that I was at increased risk for hemorrhaging and hysterectomy during delivery. (FWIW I had had six ultrasounds before her and no one else seemed fazed by my fibroid.) She's referring me to a fancier obstetrician, thank G-d, but she was utterly baffled and a little disgusted as to why the idea of a hysterectomy might cause me to start sobbing in her office. She also told me my fibroid should have rendered me infertile and she didn't appear to believe me when I told her that we got pregnant on our first try.
Fortunately, I went in yesterday for my funnest ultrasound (genetic screening so lots of pictures) at the fancier obstetrician hospital, and the kind technician who did the ultrasound told me that, based on what she saw, the OB's statement was premature and really odd and that there's really no way to assume that outcome at only thirteen weeks. Also, that most fibroids get pushed to the side by the uterus and even most fibroid births are vaginal, yay....Also, my new GP called me just now after calling the OB to get her to explain herself, and he reassured me that she was only talking about the worst-case scenario, which was unlikely to happen (a pity she couldn't have told ME that, but oh well). And a good friend of mine and Mr. Siniichulok works in a birthing department at a hospital and is helping me arrange a second opinion consultation. And now I get to sleep again....
My love-hate relationship with doctors is incredibly abusive.
Sorry you have to deal with an asshat.
@NeverOddOrEven Thank you!! Yes, At least I feel like I'm fighting my way to the non-asshats, slowly but surely.
A few times a year, our school is required to practice "lock down drills" in which we practice a procedure should a violent person enter the school. After I check the hallways for students and stand watch over my own students while they sit together in silence, I find myself reflecting on what I would do if a shooter did enter the school. There have even been days when I tear up thinking about my kids while we run through the drill. I would do everything in my power to save those students.
Teachers love your children.
@ohpioneer I think the staff who lost their lives today are proof of this sentiment. Thank you.
@ohpioneer We had those in my high school way back in the 90s (because Columbine). One day we had a lockdown drill but apparently my teacher hadn't gotten the memo, because he looked like he was about to faint while he locked the doors. After a minute I felt too bad and asked him if he'd seen the notice about the lockdown drill that day, and I'd never seen a human being look so relieved before.
Then as now, the fact that we live in a world where we have to worry about people shooting up schools makes me very sad.
I'm just gonna go ahead and post The Onion's response to today's tragedy. It nails it, and heartbreakingly so.
@katiemcgillicuddy That about sums it up, yeah.
Required viewing I've already posted, multiple times, but here it is again:
I'm hoping that the 'pin can help me with some perspective on something: my almost-21-year-old brother just told my parents that he's taking a (permanent?) break from school. He's halfway through his sophomore year, and just not feeling it. He's working in a fairly high-end restaurant, and they've offered him more hours and an opportunity to get some training in the kitchen, which he's pretty excited about.
My parents are a little upset about this (for context, my grandparents freaked out when my dad decided not to get a PhD in chemistry), but I'm...not, really. I know that many/most jobs require a degree these days, but I also feel like slogging through a major you've settled for just because you feel like you should isn't actually all that enriching for your life. Not to mention he can always go back (I know it's not that easy, but it's not like you get blacklisted for taking a break). My instinct is to tell him to go for it.
On the other hand, I have a BA, and have never tried living in the world without one, so maybe I am talking out of my ass. Thoughts?
@SarcasticFringehead that's totally reasonable. I took my sweet time (BA at 25!) and it was for the best. Now I'm rushing forth into grad school and hoping I haven't made a mistake! Your bro will be fine
@Danzig! Thanks! I wanted to make sure I wasn't projecting my feelings that it might have been a good idea for me to take a year or two before starting college.
@SarcasticFringehead I took a year off university after my second year to work a minimum wage phone customer service job for those late-night 1 800 commercials for Snuggies and epilators that don't even work. I was an English major who had taken no English courses, and was enjoying random Linguistics, History, Political Science, and Women's Studies curses and getting some As, mostly Bs, and a few Cs and Cs. When I decided to take a break, my mom was seriously pissed and took away my desk (??) to express her anger, I guess. I didn't hate customer service but it was obviously not a viable solution to my so-so achievements at school. After a few months, I quit my lame job, worked the summer as a research assistant intern for a writer (unpaid, of course), decided I didn't want to go into publishing but wanted to go back to university all the same. I went back to university, found out that all the courses I enjoyed best added up to a Political Science degree with a minor in History, and because I'd gone back knowing what I was interested in, I got straight As in my 3rd and 4th years.
So taking a break obviously worked for me in terms of getting more serious about school. It may not work for him the same way - but he may find he loves working in the restaurant and wants to advance by studying business or management or going to culinary school, or something. And there are people who are just not cut out for university, but go to college or straight to work and enjoy the careers that they have anyway.
If he's interested in kitchen work than he's doing the right thing. Culinary School is bullshit. I realize that's not what he's currently studying, but if he thinks he may want to be a chef someday, best way is to start early at the bottom and work your way up.
My husband never got a degree, has a GED, and makes a very comfortable living as a sous chef with no formal training. In fact, he has to do quite a bit of re-training and basic education to graduate interns.
But even if he doesn't stick with restaurant work, let the kid experiment! You're doing the right thing by supporting him.
What are you guys drinking tonight? Cause I am going to be drinking and I'm going to be doing it as soon as I walk in the door. Vodka, seltzer, fully squeezed half lime and half lemon, rocks. Buddy of mine will be drinking Maker's Mark out of a mug. Also, I imagine a few (read: more than a few) shots.
@katiemcgillicuddy I've got several Jubleales (winter brews for the win) but may finally finish off the half bottle of rum in the freezer instead....
@katiemcgillicuddy All of the Alcohol. I cannot handle the world today.
@katiemcgillicuddy don't know. Fancy office holiday party is tonight with, I HOPE, an open bar. Drink all the sads from today right away.
@katiemcgillicuddy scotch and soda, light on the soda.
@katiemcgillicuddy yeah, I had 14 drinks last night (that I remember) so I think I'll probably just have a couple hot toddies to get rid of the shakes and curl up on the couch.
The past 2 weeks have been difficult for me. I am now reminded that my problems are considerably less significant than the terrible things other people are going through all the time, though. I am keeping everyone in mind.
I've had to have more unpleasant conversations in a short span than I have in a long time. First, my husband got a job offer across the country-- which is great! Exciting! But then, because of the timing, I had to turn down an opportunity for a new job of my own-- one that I'd really wanted but didn't expect to happen. Then, I had to tell all my friends that I'm leaving, as well as my current job. And then, I had to tell my parents, one at a time.
Oh, my God, my parents. My husband and I currently live in the same town as them. I grew up here, and I am their only child. It also happens that neither of them really has any friends or hobbies, and they don't even particularly like each other. And they are taking this news SO terribly. My mom cries every time I talk to her. Of course I don't expect them to be thrilled that I'm going far away, but I don't think it should be THIS difficult. I'm having a hard time feeling anything except this crushing guilt. And yes, I will be sad to leave here too... but people do this ALL THE TIME. And I am also a little... resentful? that I feel held back like this. But I can't stand how horrible I'm making them feel.
Oh, and the final difficult conversation was telling one of my best friends, gently, that I believe her fiancé is abusive and that maybe she should rethink their wedding plans. (These are not the exact words I used.) (I have actually expressed my concerns about him on a prior Open Thread, and you wise ladies heartily agreed that he was Bad News.) That conversation... did not go very well.
@KatieBarTheDoor Congrats on the upcoming move and too bad you had to turn down a job opportunity of your own. Regarding your parents, is it at all possible for you to talk to them about taking a breather from...well, talking? They're certainly entitled to their feelings and it's understandable that they're sad their only child is leaving far away (and their lack of hobbies makes it worse), but it also sucks to be guilt-tripped, however unintentionally, for what seems like a great chance for you and your husband. So maybe give them a week to process it and chill out and next time you talk, invite them to a lunch at a nice place to show them you appreciate them but hopefully to also discourage tears or guilt-tripping. And slowly introduce the idea of things like a weekly Skype call/Facechat to keep you connected even when you're miles away?
And because Captain Awkward is the best, here's a long discussion about friendly social coercion - http://captainawkward.com/2012/10/23/hiatus-holiday-open-thread-389-friendly-social-coercion-is-still-coercion/ - it may not directly apply to your situation, but there's still helpful advice to be found.
@KatieBarTheDoor As someone who moved across the country from her hometown and left my family and most of my friends behind - I understand how much those conversations suck. But you have to remember that this is YOUR life to live and while these decisions and these conversations are hard, you are making a good decision for yourself and your husband and your life together.
I've been away for 3 years now, and I still have to remind myself of that. I just noticed you're the cold weather FL to MA poster - being in the same time zone will help a lot. I hope before you go you get to have better conversations with people and end up with happy memories of your last few weeks in FL.
I work at a preschool, and two parents came to pick their kids up early, one in tears. Looking at all of these kids, I just...ugh. When I get a little tear-y and they ask why, I've been saying, "I think it's because I need a hug," and then I am plowed over by a group of 4 and 5 year olds, which helps immensely. I highly recommend hugging everyone you know today.
Oh my god, on my break at a major kitchen retail store. Holiday shoppers! Kill me now!
@barefoot cuntessa Unfortunately, that can be arranged.
I know this is trivial and stupid by comparison to today's events , but my Ex just got a "facebook official" girlfriend and for a minute when I saw the notification and the heart and the new girl's smiley happy face pop up on my screen I lost my breath and thought I would start crying at my desk. But I didn't. With all the bad stuff that's happened today, I shouldn't even let something like this upset me even a little. I am safe, I am okay. But gahhh.
@lasso tabasco Facebook WHO NEEDS IT! Stay strong, tabasco girl!
Just because others have it worse than you doesn't mean your feelings aren't valid. Hang in there! I ended up deleting my Facebook profile because I couldn't stop ruminating over an ex. It really helped me to move on. Have you considered un-friending your ex or taking a Facebook break?
I deleted my facebook eventually (only to get a fake one later... another story) but do what I did before I deleted the first: HIDE NEARLY EVERYONE from your feed. Seriously. No one knows if you are hiding them. Don't like their boring posts? Hidden. Don't want to read about your ex bf but think it might be rude to "unfriend" him? Hidden. Don't care about someone's posts about their cat? Hidden. Don't really know that person? Hidden. Haven't seen or talked to that person in so long you don't give a fuck about them? Hidden. Tired of that gun rights asshole on your feed today? HIDDEN. You don't even need a good reason or need to feel bad. If someone makes you irritated/angry/emotional HIDE THE FUCK OUT OF THEM.
No excuse to see stupid people on facebook. I was down to like 20 real, legit friends I followed, basically.
If you still find yourself getting on his profile to read his stuff anyway, then you should delete him as a friend, and don't respond if he asks you why, it is not your concern, he's supposed to be moved on :)
@lasso tabasco I straight-up blocked my ex because i couldn't deal with it. And then I hid all his friends' posts. And then an invitation to his birthday party showed up on a mutual friend's wall and my heart did that flippy floppy thing and I started crying at work. D: anyway STAY STRONG is what I'm saying. breakups are the worst.
i unfriended my ex about two months after we broke up, right before i texted him to stop talking to my brother. he actually did tell me how "rude" i was being, but 1) wtf does that even mean?? and 2) i don't give one fuck.
@fuck fuck fuck Yeah, I'm trying to explain this to my roommate who still talks to her ex (who broke up with her, and has a new gf). She is not ok, and not over him. She sent his family a Christmas present :| Had I known she was going to do it I really would have stopped her.
@fuck fuck fuck
Has anyone else been encountering opinions online or in real life along the lines of "but if good citizens could be allowed to be armed as they were walking around the mall/teaching in a school they could defend their kids and themselves"? What do you think about this opposite-of-gun-control way of thought? I'm pretty sure that the U.S. is not in so chaotic a state that this is necessary, but... "recent events"...
@Dirty Hands I think that thought is bullshit.
I'll leave the eloquence to someone else.
@Dirty Hands I think this is a pretty good response to that argument - even highly-trained soldiers and police make mistakes with guns. How much more so panicked civilians in chaotic situations?
@Dirty Hands Also wasn't there an anecdote that came out of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting - someone was carrying a weapon and took it out, only to nearly shoot ANOTHER bystander who took out his weapon to protect people, rather than Jared Loughner?
Yeah. More guns is not the answer.
@Dirty Hands Here's what I have to say to that: I don't WANT to have to carry a gun to feel safe walking around in a supposedly "civilized" sohttp://thehairpin.com/2012/12/friday-open-thread-49#ciety. I do not want to need firearms in elementary schools to protect from the inevitable lost soul wandering in with a legally-purchased automatic weapon; I do not think this scenario should be considered an inevitable thing we must defend ourselves from. Civilians do not (necessarily) have the training or the experience to shoot with accuracy and level-headedness in chaotic, crisis situations; I fear that mass arming of the population would result only in more innocent lives lost in the cross-fire.
@Lurkasaurus In short: fuck that noise.
@Dirty Hands I never wore *ties* in elementary school because the kids would grab at it and play with it. Bringing a gun into a class of kids would be beyond irresponsible.
@Cawendaw Yeah, beyond the risk of kids stealing it for stupid or dangerous reasons, I think even a cop or soldier would have trouble shooting against an armed intruder in a classroom full of kids, seeing as most well-meaning people wouldn't want to shoot a child--even by accident.
(Since this is the internet, yes, I meant that a bit tongue-in-cheek.)
@Dirty Hands I was a bystander in an active shooter event and during the debriefing afterwards, one of the officers on the scene pointed out how helpful everyone had been and how glad he was that only the shooter was waving around a gun.
Also, one of the responding officers was a plain clothes officer, who helped clear rooms, so I imagine that person would've been in danger if someone had a gun, but wasn't trained to use it in these situations.
More guns = not the answer.
@Lurkasaurus I second the fucking of that noise.
UPDATE ON MY OFFICE: We now have a working kegerator filled with an IPA from a local brewery. So when I say I'm drinking office-OK'd beer at my desk, it's good shit.
I have been living up to my username for way too long. :( But my Facebook news feed is full of people like this: "If tighter gun control is the answer, let us draft a 28th constitutional amendment. Until then, 'the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.'" And this: "Maybe someone in a school should be trained and armed instead of trying to take away guns...which will never happen" and I just. Can't. Deal.
@Lurkasaurus ... Thank FUCK it won't happen. Who the hell wants an armed person in a school at all times?
@Lurkasaurus BUT I did manage to knock out some Christmas shopping as a distraction attempt, so whoo for that. NOTE: ThinkGeek is offering free (economy) shipping through the end of today! If you have friends or family who are into that kind of stuff, it's a really good deal - their shipping costs seem kind of exorbitant, otherwise.
@Lyesmith Seeeeeeriously. Seriously. SERIOUSLY. The talking points have been stretched to the point of absurdity now.
@Lurkasaurus LET'S JUST ARM THE KIDS WHY DON'T WE
@Lyesmith Well I know after a certain point of hijinks and bomb threats, the high schools in my district had a cop (and I'm assuming his firearm?) there during the school day. But yeah, it'd be weird to have the school secretary the designated "gun carrier" or something in each school.
@Lurkasaurus Sure, why not, so I guess they want us to train people to guard schools with TEC-9s? Because we seem to have a real problem with banning assault rifles cause AMERICAFUCKYEAH. Can't defend against a semi-auto with a measly little handgun! So ask those motherfuckers that, ask them fucking that. Assault rifles for everyone! Ugh. Jesus fucking christ.
Required viewing I've posted multiple times now, but feel a need to do it more than once.
In the interest of starting a mildly happier thread (or at least, a not tragic one....)
I am FINALLY watching Season 3 of Southland, and oh man my heart is breaking for Sammy, even though I don't really think he's great guy overall. I've seen season 4 already so I know how these storylines wrap up, but naturally I'm still getting too emotionally invested in everything. I also love watching Regina King get paired with new partners - I really like her dynamic and hot and cold relationship with her current partner.
And of course it's always fun to watch them pretend to be in Inglewood/Compton/South Central and...yeah definitely are not actually there. Although close!
This is not even comparable to the amount of sad in the news right now, but - I have to go home to borderline-abusive parents for three weeks, and I leave Sunday. D:
I don't have a support network where my parents live, and my friends and boyfriend will be thousands of miles (specifically 3,000 miles) away. When I was last at home (in September), I was basically not allowed outside of the house without parental supervision. I am, for the record, 22, and mostly live alone.
I don't know, I am just sad?
@sarantium@twitter Ooof, honey. That sounds rough.
Any POSSIBLE chance you can stay in a hotel? Any crew around at all?
edit: just saw "three weeks." Big hugs going your way.
@sarantium@twitter I don't know if this is a helpful thing to say at all so I apologize in advance but... is there any way at all that you just don't go? I mean, I don't know your whole situation but three weeks sounds like an eternity in this scenario.
@Hellcat if I don't go, they stop paying my school tuition. Since I'm under 24, their income affects my FAFSA, and I can't get aid from my school. They also control my health insurance. So, no, not really?
@sarantium@twitter Ugh, I'm sorry.
@sarantium@twitter Ughhh, this situation is VERY familiar to me! I'm sorry, I hope you find some good books to lost yourself in... start reading War and Peace or something and keep sane... yeah, sympathies.
My heart goes out to you. I am also going through a very similar situation with my sister. I guess I would just echo what some of the others are saying--try to keep in touch with friends (and us!) via social media to help you feel less isolated. There are also crisis hotlines that you can call if you start to feel really overwhelmed, even if you aren't at your breaking point. But yeah, distraction is usually the best way to go when you're stuck in family situations that you can't escape. Maybe download/rent a TV series you've been wanting to watch--then it won't be the three weeks you were trapped and alone, it can be the three weeks you got sucked into the Wire or Mad Men or something. Good luck!
@weebleswobble Will do! It's hardly the first time I've had to go home to unpleasant interactions with my parents -- I've been near-tears going home from college since my freshman year. (Our relationship has been worse than it is now. That does not mean it is pleasant now.)
I am thinking The Hour? I also have Treme and Boardwalk Empire downloaded.
@sarantium@twitter The Hour! Is very good and visually pleasing, too. But it is emotionally crushing and there are only 12 episodes between the 2 series, so...maybe have some backup in the form of something more uplifting.
@sarantium@twitter It's no good to REALLY suggest going into debt with private loans, but that might be where you have to go with it. I had a friend with a very similar problem (except only her dad was emotionally abusive & controlling, her mom was just a doormat) and she was just too scared to get out of that situation.
Can I recommend going to campus health? An advisor there might know if there's a way to circumvent the FAFSA stuff or at least find a private lender, due to extreme circumstances. It's better to be in debt, I think, than for your soul to be crushed (even Logan/Mike might agree with me)!
At any rate, please know that you are not alone and I hope you have a great stable friend group to fall back on even with just a phone call when you need it.
We all like advice, right? Well, I need some.
What does one do for a friend in a shitty if not textbook abusive relationship?
After Friend started dating this dude, we gave him a chance, but he did a lot of personal-space-violating, sexually-inappropriate, sexually-harassing things. He rubbed me and one other friend exactly the wrong way every time we saw him. He squicked us out real hard. And he's twice our friend's age which, in my humble opinion, adds a layer of creepitude (because dude has been through way more than 20-something-friend and has had years to become so shitty and manipulative).
Friend frequently complained about him and said she didn't want a long-term thing with this guy, that she kinda hated him, in fact, and that he is kind of a douche. And we were like "...." Once, she even confessed to another friend that she didn't feel safe around him. Which, of course, freaked us the fuck out, and we were like GIRL, PLEASE, LET US KNOW HOW WE CAN HELP YOU LEAVE. And she said she was going to, but never did. At some point, after avoiding the subject and his company for a while- and after one particularly galling incident with him and other friend- I stepped up and told the lady, in so many words, that we really don't want to alienate her, but are very uncomfortable around her boyfriend. We want to see her, but we hope that does't mean we have to be around him because, well, dude does gross shit to us, like asking about what positions we like during sex with our boyfriends (and then grabbing at us and being like THIS IS HOW YOU DO IT). I had nothing to say about the dude and her relationship, but felt it was well within our rights to express that we are uncomfortable with him and don't want to have to submit to his sexual harassment in order to hang out with her, and she was like oh yeah you aren't competing with him for my time. No problem.
Except now I haven't seen her in months. She kept complaining about how she doesn't like him and he sucks and all that and then she'd get drunk and text us how much she loves him and we were like oh god, oh god. She eventually stopped texting us about this shit because we were getting very, very worried about it. But ohhhhh his apologies ohhhhh how well we treats her, oh oh, all of that.
She seems to now just be pretending none of this ever happened. She asked us to come out and celebrate his birthday and we grudgingly accepted because it meant we'd get to see her. They were going out to the same bar two nights in a row, oh boy. She just texted us that she's canceling tonight because a bunch of people can't make it. I asked if she could just hang with us for a little while, come over, have a beer or whatever, and she said no, she's already at her boyf's for the night. His birthday was yesterday and they already celebrated. Girl, you have a car and a license and so do I, so does our other friend, so does my room mate, YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SEE HIM EVERY NIGHT. RED FLAG? RED FLAG ANYONE? Such a red flag. Guys, guys, what the fuck do I do about this. I do not want to be sexually harassed by this man or have to see him again- ever- and deal with him staring over the table at me, with his possessive arm around my awesome friend saying YOU HAVE TO GET THROUGH ME TO SEE HER. He knows we hate him, too. She invited us our for his birthday, of all things. What. in the fuck.
oh gawdddd, help.
@Porn Peddler aaaaaaah noooooo. It's not exactly clear to me what's happened in the months you haven't seen her but can you and your friends initiate a regular "ladies night" kind of thing? That makes it very clear that dude isn't invited. And you and your other friends can say "okay every other saturday we are doing ladies night" and invite her out, and just keep inviting her out no matter how many times she says no?
that is my thought of the best thing (that I can think of) that you could do. you've expressed your concerns, if you are always reaching out to her, she knows you're there for her.
that is rough. :( I hope you're able to spend more time with her WITHOUT HIM soon.
@redheaded&crazie She constantly is like "i have workkkk" or "I have plans with doucheboyfriendddd" every single time. Like...every time we've been like HEY LADYBEERS? (it's our code for ladies night) she's said one of those things. Or invited us somewhere and been like ME AND BOY ARE GOINNNNNG SO YOU SHOULD JOIN US
@Porn Peddler I vote that you plan with her something that is specifically and clearly for ladies only and then hang out with her and rebuild but stay away from talking about him for now unless she brings him up. There's not much you can do for her until she wants to face it.
@Porn Peddler watching friends live through toxic relationships is so difficult and sad and awful. I had a friend who, not that it was abusive, but after they broke up they would just stay constantly in completely toxic and nasty and negative text conversation. And I would say (naive me) "text me instead! ANY TIME! text me anytime instead!"
It is hard because you are essentially helpless ... you can't run her life for her. I think constantly inviting her out, even when she constantly says no, is still the way to go. I know it is draining, if friends say no to me constantly when I invite them places, I stop inviting them places and wait for them to reciprocate. But, this is different, so I think that will help to soldier on through endless rejection. Maybe? It sucks though.
I also would not go to his birthday. Maintain the line you've drawn, ya know? Stick to your guns.
@redheaded&crazie Prob a good thing I didn't go out tonight...yeah, she wants to come over on sunday night. And she seems to understand we would only be out to see her. ugh this sucks so hard and I know there's so little I can do.
@Porn Peddler Oh noooo. It sounds like she's really, really deep in denial about what happened and about the things she's already admitted about her relationship. If she's continually asking you out to things where he will be there, maybe it's kind of a "perhaps they just got a bad first impression?" type of wishful thinking? I am also like o_o at the way drinking seems to be a rather major factor in all of this. A two night bday celebration at the same bar sounds kind of like... a two day bender.
I sympathize so much with you. It really is tough because there's nothing you can do. I'm thinking she desperately wants all of this to be OK and for her relationship to be healthy and positive and accepted, and it's just not.
Stay strong, don't give up on inviting her places. Even if she cancels for Sunday, keep it up girl. Again this is just a guess, but you might also want to invite her for coffee or something else that doesn't involve drinking, as awesome as ladybeers sounds.
Thanks, pinners. I am going to do all these things.
Y'all are such wonderful ladies.
@Porn Peddler It seems like you have two problems, really. One is, what do you do about creepers in groups. Captain Awkward covered that ground recently. But to recap: it is totally okay to want to be free of unsafe creepers who use social circles to perpetuate their rape culture-ey badness. It is the responsibility of everyone to set up a social environment where that shit is NOT TOLERATED. So. Good for you and all your friends for saying "THIS GUY IS NOT WELCOME HERE." You needed to do that.
The second is... well, as part of keeping yourselves safe, you and your friend group have established for your pal that her partner is not an okay guy. Which is a tricky thing to do when you know a dude is abusive, because support isolation and all that. BUT your safety has to be your priority. Allowing that dude to mistreat other women was NOT going to make your friend safe or realize how much she needs to go.
So what can you do about that? Well, do all the things the advice about supporting a friend who is being abused say to do. Let her know you are concerned for her well being without going all "your BF is a douche tool." Let her know if she ever needs to ask you for help she should come to you without hesitation. Gently reach out to her when and how you can in ways that keep you and your friends safe. Ask her for only-ladies beers. Call her to check in and say. Send an occasional email or FB message. Remind her you are there. Don't endorse the shitty stuff he does while not directly attacking him when he ramps up on being a tool.
And then let go. You can't make her change her behavior, you can't make her leave, you can't make her realize how deep in she is. She gets told every day by her dude that she doesn't know what's real or okay or acceptable or what real love looks like. Her own grasp on reality is buried under his smog of mind-fuck. Trying to say these things to her will not make her see the light, it will only make her be lost in two sets of reality over which she has no control. You have to just let go of being able to save this person. When the time comes, she is going to have to save herself.
It sucks so, so hard. But that's how it's going to be until something in her changes.
If you think she is in imminent danger- from herself or him, call the cops.
@Porn Peddler A late addition: have you read The Gift of Fear? I just read it and I feel like I'm going to be recommending it all the time, and reading your description of the situation was just setting all my Gift of Fear alarm bells off.
One of the things the author just bangs on about for pages and pages is LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCT. The idea is that we have a built-in mechanism for knowing when a situation has genuine danger potential, and it's almost always completely right, but we (especially women) have been socially trained since, like, birth to ignore it. Is there any way you can subtly pass along a resource like that to her? Like, "Hey, I just read this amazing book, and I'm recommending it to all my girlfriends OMG I HAVE IT IN MY PURSE HERE BORROW IT!" The author tells a couple of stories about women for whom the book was the wakeup call they needed to leave an abusive relationship. Maybe? Worth a shot?
....basically crying on my room mate's bed. You ladies are the best. And so perfect. omg.
@Porn Peddler I wasn't sure I could respond sensibly before, but here are my thoughts now that I'm in a calmer place:
Please, please, if it doesn't drive you into despair (it if hurts you, you should prioritize yourself first!!!!!) keep in touch with her. Invite her to things. Send her facebook messages with smileys and let her know you care, even if it's just to say you watched the latest episode of whatever and you ladies should totally have a ladies night and stuff. Text her invites, etc.
In my experience... it's going to be up to her to get herself out. But if you can keep lines of contact and support open without hurting yourself, do it.
Also, possibly throw a surprise party for her? For her half-birthday or her cat's birthday or whatever. Literally show up at her door, hug her to death, drag her into the car and have a lady night partizzle of joy. Try to remind her how many people love her, and how worthy she is of love. Even if it's just to rewatch The Golden Girls while passing around bottles of pink Andre.
Take care of yourself too: your needs don't get any less important.
(Personal thoughts: The Gift of Fear is fucking incredible, but I don't think I'd hand it to a lady in this situation, in case her dude keeps an eye on what she's got in her handbag. Instead, once you've gotten her out for a "let's buy holiday gifts for our dudes!!!" shopping date or whatever, maybe talk about the book/the relevant topics with her while you've got her alone?)
Porn Peddler, you are an awesome friend. I wish everyone had someone like you in their lives. All (or none) of the hugs that you want, okay? Keep being your badass self.
@PatatasBravas I'm having an attack of the warm fuzzies over all of the advice I've received on here. It is so, so on point.
And also, your "or none" qualifier? Fantastic. Because I'm such a non-hugger.
SHE'S COMING OVER TONIGHT. IT HAS BEEN CONFIRMED IN THE LAST TWO HOURS. FINGERS CROSSED.
@Porn Peddler YASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
@Porn Peddler Oh my gosh, yay! Updates? Did she come over? My fingers are crossed!
There is so much good advice in this thread. A member of my family was in a relationship similar to this for a long time (after 30 years, she's finally getting a divorce! Hooray!)
My mother and I spent a lot of time over the last 5 years doing research and talking to professionals about how to help this woman, who we adore. The most important thing we learned was that saying "you should leave him" was never going to work, and that the best we could do was to say "if you want to leave him, we are here for you." In addition, it was helpful to be careful in our responses when she told us about terrible things he did. Instead of "oh wow, he's such an asshole," we'd say "oh my gosh, I don't even know what to say. What would you do if someone treated me that way? What a tough situation." I'm sure it's different for everyone, but these are the things that worked well for us.
@Roxanne Rholes She did come over! She was herself, if a little quiet, and very pointedly stated "I'm sure as hell not gonna let a man hold me back [from a job that would mean traveling for several months at a time]!" and then looked around expectantly. I'm just so glad we got to see her. I have little more news than that.
Countess Maritza: You recently recommended When Sisterhood was in Flower. Upon reading it, it has become my second favorite novel of all time.
Ok, I think I'm not quite doing this justice here. See, I don't actually read much fiction. Oh, sure, every now and again there's a drunken one-night-stand or a turbulent two-week fling, but for the most part, fiction and I have been on a break for about a decade now.
Reading Sisterhood has been the first time in so long that I wanted to stay up later than I should, for just one more chapter. It was sublime. It was delightful. It was... ecstatic. I have promptly placed the Florence King Reader on my Xmas wishlist, and am hoping to try another couple novels over winter break. So, thank you for bringing this book into my life.
@Springtime for Voldemort oh my gosh this made me so happy! So glad you liked it. Now I'm going to reread it tonight even though I just did so last month.
@Countess Maritza Yay!
I'm from the Kansas City area, and we were just getting over the horror of the Chiefs player that shot and killed his girlfriend then himself...
Also, what do you do if you sort-of know a fucked up person who owns (dangerous) guns, likes to enthusiastically talk/dream about war, nuclear holocaust, death, hell, and destruction? When you kind of get the idea that he was abused as a kid, and that he's had a fucked up life? That not only is he a little racist, but also a little sexist? He attends the same University as me, and is in the same department. He's nice (I know, weird, but he's always trying to talk to people like he wants to be friends). Should I like, speak to a higher-up about getting a counselor to talk to him? Most of the time everyone just acts kind of nice but then is scared shitless of him and tries to get away from him. I really don't know, man. Can anything be done if he's never done anything? Can we have the police go check to see if his guns are legally owned?
@baked bean Those are a lot of red flags. I don't think it would be a bad thing to mention your concern to someone higher up, and hopefully he can get some counseling.
@baked bean Yeah, I think talking to someone higher up in your department or someone in your school's counseling service is a good plan, and maybe encouraging anyone else who you know is afraid of him to do the same. I don't know exactly what might come of it, but honestly, it doesn't sound to me like "he's never done anything" -- maybe he hasn't done anything violent, but he's displaying scary, threatening behavior around his classmates by telling you about his guns and his fantasies about war and death.
@Elsajeni You're right, I suppose I need to figure out who to go to about this. Even if he's all talk and no game, he still needs counseling for his former abuse and the things he talks about anyway.
I do have a friend that had to ride in a car with him on a field trip for a couple of hours. My friend thinks that this guy might have actually participated in violence against people before, or at least talks like he has.
@baked bean Now I'm not even sure why none of us thought about telling someone about him before...
@baked bean People who brag about violence against others, whether it was real or imagined, are getting off on retelling it to others. It's creepy, but true.
@baked bean Sorry to be replying so much... but about not reporting him earlier, we're conditioned to "mind your own business," and hear stories about the wrong person getting into trouble. OR we worry about the person seeking revenge against us, which is perfectly logical, so be sure, when you tell the higher ups about him, that you expect your privacy to be respected and protected.
If you're really worried about that you can have a "non-release of information" placed on your file at your school, as per FERPA. Your school will be obligated to act like you don't exist if someone tries to get information about you, but that can be problematic if someone is calling trying to verify your degree...
@Mabissa Yes! He smiles and laughs when he talks about all this dark shit. That's why the hesitation exists for us, I guess. Like, it seems like a joke, but then he's creepy, so maybe not? I've never heard him say anything about sexual violence, or I would really flip out.
Edit: Also, I don't even know his last name, so I'm going to have to figure that out somehow, which means involving someone else... aahhhh. But yeah I don't think there's any turning back now.
You've been enrolled in classes with him before so all you need to do is tell them his first name and the class(es) you've taken with him, and maybe describe his features.
@baked bean Please tell someone. His actions sound like a cry for help to me.
@baked bean I just said this five seconds ago upthread, but seriously read The Gift of Fear. Like ASAP. We are trained not to take shit like that seriously, but if it's scary, it's worth paying attention to. Glad you're making a plan to tell someone.
@baked bean The thing I would ask:
What's the worst thing that can come of an unnecessary report?
What's the worst thing that can come of not reporting?
That easy heads-up to the school officials may be a waste of their time, but it may well be something far more valuable than that, for this man and for your community.
@baked bean AND (and this is no small thing) you'll be letting yourself off the hook, a bit. Which could be good. Give someone else this information that's been bothering you, and let them be bothered by it, and let them act. This doesn't have to lie on just your shoulders alone.
Your feelings are valid, and they don't have to be solely your responsibility.
We'd all be fools not to start being a little kinder to ourselves and to each other right now.
DEDICATED HOUR TALK THREAD.
I really liked how emotionally compelling the final episode was ("cathartic" as they said above). There's a lot of heartbreaking stuff but there were bright spots as well.
*SPOILER ZOOOONE* (Copy / Paste into a google search or drop it in an email / browser bar and the strike formatting should be eliminated, it's just there so people aren't spoilt)
*****So yeah, I assume we all knew that when the Freddy / Bel kiss happened that he wasn't going to come back. Brutal cliffhanger but you know, I hope he dies. It'll make for a better show in S3, if there is one. Then there was the Lix / Brown storyline, which also ended badly. But I think my favorite part of the series was Hector's storyline - he starts off more or less at rock bottom and then redeems himself by the end. But the more I think about it, the more unsure I am of it... It depends on the internal decision-making that is obscured to us. Did Hector decid that he would be a father to Marnie's child despite knowing for a fact that it was the product of an affair (that she freely admitted to having), committing to this woman who he had mistreated and who was beginning to love again (for the first time?)? Or did he do what he's always done, and kept a secret that will corrode away at his marriage, sinking to a new low of denial? I don't know, I want to say he matured and decided that he was going to make Marnie happy even knowing he'd been cuckolded, completing that arc on a high note, but the look in his eye as Marnie hugs him is pretty haunted.***
@Danzig! I think Marnie knows. By timeline alone, it'd be more likely that the child wasn't his, having been sleeping on the sofa, & his surprise infertility of last episode just confirms it. So I think the look was facing up to how his previous behaviour measures up to hers, and choosing to take on that responsibility.
I adored Lix & Randall -some of the most interesting characters & best acting in the show, they'd be great as a spin-off.
Kinda don't want to see Freddie/Bel actually happen, even though I ship them like crazy.
@Danzig! I think I might be an episode or two behind by accident because I swear Freddy and Bel did nooot kiss last episode. Were there two episodes last week or something?! Those spoilers look mighty unfamiliar.
Also is it ending? Will there be a season 3?
@Danzig! Yeah they aired new eps two nights in a row back UK way to clear the schedule for holiday programming. The series finale is up on the ~shadow Internet~.
I don't know how popular the show is with UK viewers but i don't think a renewal's been announced
@Danzig! OH MY GOD I HADN'T READ YOUR SPOILERS EXCEPT THE FIRST LINE AND THEN I WATCHED IT AND OH GOD HE CANNOT DIE.
Oh wait this IS the BBC...
Ehh I doubt he'll die. He instigates a lot of the plot, I don't think they can carry a season 3 without him.
I'm pretty sure I read a fanfic where he lay dying (war correspondent or something) and he whispered 'Moneypenny' though. A little overdramatic but oh god. When they cut to them kissing?
... I want to see them work out their relationship. I think it'd be interesting. Watch him be in a coma for the first half of season 3 though...
@Danzig! NOOOOOOOO HE CAN"T DIIIIIIIIIIIIE I WILL CRY FOREVER. I don't even want him and Bel to stay together because I think they'd make each other miserable, but I don't want Freddie to die! D: D: D:
I totally think Hector knows and is making the choice deliberately to be that child's dad even if he's not the biological father. The line "aren't you clever?" broke me. I didn't expect him to turn into a somewhat decent dude! And Marnie's storyline this season has been absolutely spectacular.
Lix and Randall, holy shit, I just. No words for them. AUGH.
@anachronistique Hector has to know, because he said he's infertile. Likelihood of it being his is low, but it doesn't matter, because he's patching things up.
I think they're the only two who can work together-- they both are devoted more to The Hour than to each other, hence while Camille didn't work out and neither did Other News Guy Whose Name I Don't Recall.
Watching Randall fall apart was just the best piece of acting. I just. No words.
@Shayna oh Hector definitely knows, but the prior episode he indicated that he hadn't told Marnie he was sterile. So the question is whether Hector's the only one who knows the baby can't be his and is thus rebuilding his relationship on yet another lie (thus dooming it a second time), or Marnie has intuited that he's shooting blanks. I might need to rewatch the scene but the vibe was pretty ambiguous.
...so anyway, awful post upthread aside, that dude I boned was really hot and enthusiastic. He made me feel like a goddamn porn star. and he had suuuuuch thick black hair, ffffff. He looked like he was practically in pain/about to pass out and made so much noise, ugh, ugh, amazing.
@Porn Peddler Um... Lovey, I am SOOO out of the loop.
Dude you boned?
@PistolPackinMama I was back in my hometown...he was the perfect candidate. Fucked him twice, then Mister came down to celebrate the Jewish holiday and OBV I BONED HIM TOO.
@Porn Peddler You are awesome, and delightfully distracting. Thank you.
@katiemcgillicuddy I concur! Yay!
@PistolPackinMama I have been in LALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU mode all weekend. LALALALALALA harder than I even thought possible LALALALALALALA
@Porn Peddler yup. OH HEY LOOK SOMETHING SHINY OVER THERE!
@PistolPackinMama LOOK AT THIS SHINY GLASS DILDO.
DON'T YOU WANNA PUT IT IN A CUTE BOY? MAN, I DO.
@Porn Peddler Yes, that would be very distracting indeed. Lalalala no troubles in the world EVERYTHING IS JUST GREAT.
@Porn Peddler aaaah they always told me unequivocally that NO GLASS TOYS unless yr really into colostomy bags
@Danzig! Who told you that?
Who. told you that?
Glass is one of the safest sex toy materials on the market.
So it turns out my boyfriend is getting screwed at work and I'd like to ask for advice. Sorry for talking about another bad thing, I still feel sick over the shooting.
The leader of my bf's department has worked at his store for like 14 years and even hired the current store manager. During that time, she has figured out ways of hoarding hours/cash/raises to the detriment of the other employees in the dept. To give some context: a few years ago, one of the asst. store managers found out she was logging 40 hours of overtime each week and dipping into the monthly profit sharing bonuses that she was supposed to distribute equitably amongst all the employees of the dept. She was soaking up the budget for the entire team and no one was getting raises. The asst manager gave her a write-up. A few months later, he got fired. She had worked with the store manager to set him up so they could continue embezzling.
The store is supposed to give employees 6 month and yearly raises. My bf has been working there 9 months, busting his ass, no raise. People in other depts see how hard he works and will sometimes give him vouchers or small gift cards. Now this team leader is telling him she cant give him a full raise because he "isn't working as hard as he did when he started"??! And that people in other depts are saying the same thing???! She is only saying this so she can continue to rob him of his rightful wages. Its making me so, so angry, I know for a fact that my bf is a hard worker. Ugh, retail/service jobs are so shifty, people can be so fucking shady. What should he do? I told him to try to find a position at a different store? Or should he just go into tempting? Is there ANY way of getting this team leader lady fired for her filching?
@rimy Is this a corporate store, so that there's someone above the no-good store manager? If so, it's definitely possible to contact corporate and tell them what's up -- there may even be an official procedure. (My store has a poster in the back room with instructions for if you have a problem at work, and one of them is "If the store manager doesn't resolve your problem, or if your problem involves the store manager, contact...") It will help if he has any evidence that she's hoarding hours and keeping the raises for herself, because otherwise his complaint could just be heard as "I think I deserved a raise and she didn't give me one" -- how do you know about the asst. manager who found her out before? Are you in touch with that person, or do you know a way to get in touch with them? (It might also help to find out whether they already tried something like this, after getting fired.)
The risks, of course, are: 1) the district manager/HR office/whoever doesn't actually do anything, and/or 2) the bad manager figures out who ratted her out and your boyfriend gets fired. But depending on whether he'd be able to show evidence, what you can find out about the asst. manager's experience, and whether he's getting to the point where he'd just as soon just quit as keep trying to deal with these people, it might be worth the risk.
@Elsajeni Yeah, if it isn't corporate, you could call the actual store owner, or if you have an HR department, walk in and see them.
I suppose you could contact the Better Business Bureau and ask them. If the store is unionized (hollow laugh) you could talk to your local grievance rep. Also if your town/county has an office of human rights you could call and ask them for advice.
I am sorry. :(
@Elsajeni Thank you for your thoughtful answer. It is a corporate store, which means there is some hope for following the correct procedural chain. However we feel like there is very little possibility of any action being taken. The team leader knows how to play things so they look kosher from the outside, so bf would need to have strong evidence against her. Getting the guy who got fired to help out would be great but I don't think anyone is still in contact with him. I think the risk of your option #2 happening (boyfriend gets found out and fired) is unfortunately a very likely scenario. Turnover at this store is high and people get fired all the time.
I guess the best thing to do would just be for him to find a better job. Easy to say, harder to do. He's looking but since he only has experience in service/retail/lower wage jobs, plus has an English/creative writing degree so... yeah.
@rimy (plus he'a a veteran, which unfortunately is a strike against him for most professional jobs - lots of fear of PTSD/crazy) But he is a damn hard worker, a good writer, and a really thoughtful, caring, great guy. Sigh, sad/angry feels. :(
@rimy Also he mentioned to his team leader once that he prefers opening. Last week, she changed his whole schedule from mostly opening shifts to ALL closing shifts that end at 11pm every day for no reason other than pure spite. I work 8am-4pm every day so I don't see him till he gets home at 11:30pm, right before I have to go to sleep. It's so frustrating.
I got Mirena and it was not a horrible experience! The internet scared the crap out of me, but actually it wasn't too bad. Comparable to getting a cartilage piercing, maybe -pretty uncomfortable, but over quickly & then you just feel pleased at the new addition to your body. So just balancing out the hordes of "it is the worst pain you will ever feel in the wooorld" stories out there.
Also my lovely boyfriend for whom I took the above decision is moving to Paris. In just over two weeks. Shit shittity shit.
@Apocalypstick I got the Mirena this week too! And it wasn't totally terrible! Although I was reallyyyyyy cranky the day after, but otherwise so far so good.
@polka dots vs stripes Hooray for our bionic uteri!
I've been avoiding the internet for the past 24 hours but I've finally ventured on because I just don't know what to do with myself today. I'm from Newtown, and I've basically spent the last day crying on the phone with people, or crying on my friends or while wandering around campus. I'm still stuck at college with a week of exams before I can go home, and I don't even know if I want to go home because my town is just going to be destroyed. The whole thing is so surreal. Obama's in my town, and my friends are getting phone calls from the press and people at college keep being like "You're from CT right? Not anywhere near Newtown, are you?" And I have to be like "Well, actually..." I just cannot believe this is happening.
@darklingplain Hugs. I am so sorry.
@darklingplain Stay strong! We're all behind you. Hope things get better for you soon.
@darklingplain Oh my heavens. I am so very sorry. Be kind to yourself- of course you do/don't want to go home and feel stuck. How else could you feel?
@darklingplain Oh no. :( Internet stranger hugs.
@darklingplain God, just stay away from non-close people as much as possible, sounds terrible. And of course, rant on here if you need to. Good luck with your finals :(
@darklingplain Jesus, I'm so sorry. (Also, if you don't feel up to exams, maybe check with your profs to see if they'll give you incompletes. I know the professors I've had and that I work with would much rather you take the time now to take care of yourself than have outside events fuck things up.) Sending hugs and love for you.
I know this is late, and people may not see it, but it's absolutely fucking on point and just, jesus christ, anyway.
@katiemcgillicuddy Agreed. Gavin de Becker talks about this in The Gift of Fear, too (which I recently read thanks to recommendations from the 'Pin). In particular, he writes about the need to de-glamorize the criminals and their crimes: to not refer to them as genius masterminds, to not glorify them. "Getting caught for some awful violence should be the start of oblivion, not the biggest day of one's life".
And to consider that the Media could- should- be discussing their own role in commercializing crime, but instead choose 24-hour streams for revenue, is abhorrent. It seems quite clear that media celebration of violent criminals promotes more of the same. So in addition to gun control reform, shouldn't we also be talking about media reform as a means of prevention?
It's all just so immensely saddening.
@Fingers Crossed I just rec'd The Gift of Fear TWICE upthread! So glad people are talking about it.
Also, EVERYONE: watch the video.
@katiemcgillicuddy I instinctively avoid media coverage because it feels so crass to dwell on someone else's misery, but I had no idea that wide media coverage was actually encouraging these kinds of events. Terrifying.
I'm just going to leave a comment no one will read, because its important to me.
Gun control is not the solution. In the face of a tragedy like this, of course we all want to point to one thing as the cause, some general problem behind the specific. Something we can actually change. But it just isn't there. The non-sensical horror within humanity persists, regardless of laws.
I live in central Atlanta. A few months ago I heard a shooting right outside my window at 5 am. My neighbors would ask if I was packing heat, they all were. everything I still owned was stolen . I'm going to the gun range on Thursday to learn to shoot. I feel no goddamn shame, gun laws only ensure that the government and those who want them badly enough hold guns. It's always dangerous to think the government is making laws on your behalf and not it's own
Is anyone still kicking around in here? I have an issue (regarding needy sisters and ex boyfriends) I want to throw out there but don't know if I can contain myself until the Open Thread...
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