Top Posts Of The Week And Open Thread

This week’s featured animal isn’t just cute–it’s also available for adoption from the Washington Humane Society.

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  1. chizu says:

    So our boss talked to us yesterday — we’re looking at about 25 hours per week, and reduced to hourly rate… Which means I’m probably looking at about a 40% loss in income. Right now, all I could do is grin and bear it and hopefully will be able to ride this one out, one way or another. I’ll have to try to explore my options… I’m not exactly sure who I could turn to for help if things get worse… I’ve caused my ex enough problems as it is, so I couldn’t even bring myself to talk to him… Anything I say will probably end up causing him even more distress… :( As much as I want/wish to lean on him a bit…

    I’m kind of doing a silly and petty thing to keep myself “distracted”… But it’s kind of depressing if you think about it. I had been focusing on getting “upset”/”finding out the truth” about one of my friends. I have a friend whom I knew for over 10 years, and recently I discovered how she either 1.) had always been lying to me 2.) just never fully disclosed truthful information 3.) somehow completely distorted information in her head thinking she was telling the truth, or 4.) all of the above.

    So it comes down to me trying to find out more about what she had been telling her other friends — and cross reference that with the versions she told me. It actually keeps me very distracted and… Amused. I can’t even bring myself to get mad at her because I think I’m beyond hurt. Usually, it’s incredibly painful to have people whom you love and care about, and to think that they are supposed to be really close to you, to actually actively lock you out of their lives, or to lie to your face. But for it to get to the point of not hurting anymore, I think the serious damage had been done a long time ago.

    On top of that, I just recently discovered/noticed how incredibly privileged she is. I’m not upset that she’s privileged, I’m upset that she’s so privileged that she’s blinded to the struggles and issues her friends have to go through — and is incredibly insensitive about it. You could be telling her how you are worried about losing your place and not be able to pay for your bills, and she’d “hear” you, then invite you to an extremely expensive outings a few minutes later because your situation doesn’t really concern her. (Or rather, so what if you can’t pay for rent and bills — you could/should still be able to cough up a few hundred dollars to go on a skiing trip with her.)

    This level of ditzy naiveness might have been cute when you were in high school, but when you’re 30, I think it’s no longer adorable. It’s sad that I am losing a tremendous amount of respect for this person, and to think that she’s playing all of us all along, on top of that, I can’t trust anything she told me in the past and anything she tells me in the future.

    The past few weeks had been rough, so, yay weekend?

    More: Ugh, just had a talk with my brother and we probably could only hold on for a few months unless there’s more income… (I am looking/exploring my options, in case anyone thinks I’m doing nothing about this.) Otherwise, we’d have to 1.) sell the house 2.) get a roommate. The problem with that? It’d be one of my rooms (I have a lot of possession in the “spare” room — it’s a small room, and it’s not just a place anyone could come and live in there.) AND my bathroom that “roommate” will be using. It’d be me who’d have to make the sacrifice. (My brother has the master bedroom.)

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      No reason she needs to remain your friend. Maybe just take a break from her.

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        This. She sounds like an insensitive bitch.

        • Cat says:

          I’ve caused my ex enough problems as it is, so I couldn’t even bring myself to talk to him
          HE is a biatch.
          chizu is a woman.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Or, if you really enjoy her company and can write off her version of things as a coping mechanism or something rather than active manipulation, just politely refuse her invitations to things you can’t afford, and say “How about we go watch the dogs at the dog park for a little while?” or replace with whatever cheap/free entertainment you think you both might enjoy.

        Sorry to hear about your work troubles. Keep looking for something better now, while you can afford to be at least a little choosy. Maybe you’ll find a part-time gig for now that could develop into full-time eventually.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Would you be able to file for partial unemployment benefits? This happened to me at my first job. Our department was cut back to 2 days one week and 3 days the next, and this went on for months. I live in PA, and at that time (late 80’s), we could file for unemployment benefits to cover the missing days.

      • chizu says:

        I actually totally forgot about this… But I think I’ll try to find a second job before I tap into the the partial unemployment pool. Thanks for the reminder.

    • pop top says:

      First of all, drop that friend. You don’t need to deal with that kind of negativity and drama. Friends are there to add to your life, not take away from it. I speak from experience that you will be much happier when you cut off a toxic friend.

      Secondly, since your brother is moving out to get married anyway, why not ask him to move out early so you can have the master bedroom? If nothing else, maybe start going through your stuff and seeing what you can donate/give away to friends/sell/toss. Getting rid of a huge pile of junk and re-organizing things is very cathartic and might help you de-stress a bit.

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        yeah, if you take the master bedroom it will be a lot easier to rent out the other room. and you don’t need to set the rent at something specific to be nice or fair- find out what’s the going rate in your area and start there and negotiate down if need be. but you own the house, the tenant doesn’t need to know what your mortgage payment is

        • chizu says:

          Yeah, I’m going to have to talk to my parents a bit about this over the weekend. The problem is, I don’t know what my brother wants or his plan is like. :/

      • chizu says:

        The problem is I don’t know when my brother wants to/will get married and move out. I don’t think he’d just “hand” the house over to me.

        I am going to start cleaning out my rooms and just the whole house in general (now that I’ll have the time to do it in a couple of weeks). At the very least, one of my friends said when her lease is up, she will be looking for a new place to stay soon. So if my work situation doesn’t improve, I could always take her on — once my room is clean…

        As for my friend, it just makes me sad… I do enjoy her company a lot — but I’m going to keep at her arm’s length. :/ And keep her as a friend whom I won’t be sharing deep feelings/secrets with…

        • pop top says:

          Having someone you know as a roommate is good, but make sure that her personalities matches yours first in terms of cleanliness, not being a loud asshole, etc.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Good luck with the job thing. As for the “friend,” don’t waste the energy on her. You can’t control what other people do, and it sounds like all the decisions have already been made. Move on. You don’t need that kind of drama right now.

    • Don't Bother says:

      I’ve been following your “story” from the past week. I am so sorry. I know it’s not much, but try to take solace in the fact that there are people (even if we are internet people) that are thinking of you.

      PS. I’ve had a lying friend before. But she’d tell us that her father was dying so she’d get more attention. She was just that way–a compulsive liar that had to have everyone’s eyes on her. She told us once she had been raped. I think it actually did occur because I boyfriend backed her up (he didn’t do it to her), but I always felt bad because I doubted it… still do.

      I had to just never listen to a word she said and cut ties. I found out later she turned out not to just be an attention whore but a financial leech as well.

      • chizu says:

        When I first knew her, I found out a bunch of things that she entrusted a few of us with. Those things stayed with me till this day, but due to the recent discoveries, I have no idea if those things she told us were real. At the same time, I have to keep my mouth shut about them because if they were real, I just don’t think it’s anything anyone else should know. But it’s like, if she’s not telling me truth about all these things — what about all those really serious stories she told me before? Can I believe any of them?

  2. Ratty says:

    I got to play the Diablo III beta and now I just want Diablo III out yesterday. >:(

    • The Upright Man says:

      Isn’t it fantastic?

      I need this game now.

      • Ratty says:

        It’s amazing. It’s such a refined experience compared to Diablo II. And DII was a good improvement in its own way. The physics, the new spells, the pacing… oh baby.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          stop, you’re making me want it and i swore off the gaming crack a long time ago. i have a life and grown up responsibilities now…..

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      have fun, i’m envious
      i lost 1996 to the original diablo and i don’t play online or multiplayer anymore. i’m too easily addicted.

      • Ratty says:

        I lost 1999-2001 to Heroes of Might and Magic I-III, and 2001-2004 to Diablo II and Counter-Strike. Uggggh. this is going to be so bad. the game is amazing.

  3. lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

    It’s Feb 3 and 41 degrees, sunny and breezy here in PA! The cats are snoozing in sunny spots, and the dog is trying his best not to bother them. Sometimes I wish I could change places with one of the cats, just for a day.

    I noticed that the original Lone Ranger shows were added to Netflix streaming, and I watched two episodes last night. I remember they used to rerun them on TV when I was a kid. I also noticed on my queue that Dragnet ’69 Season 3 and Quincy all say “coming soon” next to them in the saved section.

    We’re still waiting for Dad’s surgery to be rescheduled. Dad is cool with it, but Mom seems to be fretting more than usual. I have to say it’s harder waiting for the reschedule than it was for the original date.

    Hoping to get to Goodwill again this weekend – I found a shower caddy for $1.37 recently & replaced my old rusty yucky one. It was a good find. I also got a waterbed sheet set for $1.10 (pillow cases included), and took it apart to use to cover the loveseat where the cats hang out.

    Happy Friday everyone!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      THEY’RE GETTING QUINCY??? OOOOOHH YEEAAAAHHH

      My mom gave me a set of those but it was only the first season. Not good, cuz I can’t watch them all and really didn’t want to own the series in the first place. But I would love to watch it again!

      I’ve been watching Emergency! on Netflix. I don’t remember a lot of what happened on those so it’s almost like they are new. Same with The Incredible Hulk. :)

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        I loved Emergency! It was a staple at my house when I was a kid, as my Dad is in the volunteer fire department. I watched it on DVD through Netflix. Quincy is awesome! Seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix DVD. I don’t care if they add it to streaming or DVD, I can’t wait.

        I’m also rewatching Law & Order. I’m still sad about Jerry Orbach.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      i think the original lone ranger is on pub-d-hub on roku too. maybe it’s just on gold. if you like stuff like that, old black and whites, classic movies, don’t forget that buried in nowhereTV is the internet archive.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Did you get the Gold membership on Pub-D-Hub? I like the old education movies, like they used to show in school back in the day. And thanks for the tip on nowehere TV – hope to check it out this weekend!

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          i do have pub d hub gold but i am having an issue with it. i had to reboot a couple of my boxes due to hulu plus issues and pub d hub gold won’t let me relink them on their website. it says there’s a button to delete the previous info and start over but there’s no button.
          i should just email ralph and have him reset it but i was busy dealing with my whole home network crashing repeatedly after i switched isp’s so pub d hub was the least of my worries.

  4. Dallas_shopper says:

    I think I have hypothyroidism and I can’t find a doctor who will see me any later in the day than 3pm. I hate the hours doctors work because the way work culture in the US is going, if you take time off to see a doctor, you’re a pussy and therefore fireable.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      And I hate the fact they give you an appointment time, you show up on time (during the day, and if you’re an hourly worker like me, either losing money or having to use sick time or vacation time if available), and then you wait. You wait in the waiting room, and then you get called back to the exam room, usually after the appointment time, and then you wait in a cold room in a paper gown for another 1/2 hour or so.

      If I can’t get the 8 AM appointment, I call the office before I leave work to see how far behind they’re running, and tell them I’ll come closer to my “real” appointment time.

      My Dad knows a guy who actually handed the doctor a bill for the time he spent waiting. Not sure I’d like to do that though!

    • scoosdad says:

      The good news is that since it’s hypo (low) and not hyper (high), it’s relatively easy to diagnose (with a blood test) and to fix (a daily dose of a cheap generic thyroid replacement drug, usually a tiny little pill).

      I had cycles of hyper/normal for years. They finally had to shut off my thyroid with radiation (via a simple drink), and now I’m slightly hypo so I take that little pill every morning. Finally felt normal after about 20 years of up and down. Good luck!

      • Dallas_shopper says:

        Thank you! I’m glad they got you feeling normal. I’ve suspected hypothyroidism for years but it’s gotten REALLY bad recently; I’m white as a sheet, hoarse, my skin and hair are dry, I’m usually so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, my muscles hurt, etc. Basically by the end of the week I’m so worn out I can hardly stay awake at my desk. And I’m almost always cold. I’m so sick of it! Plus I’ve gained 7-8 pounds in the last couple of months without changing my diet or exercise routine. I even journaled my food intake and given the calories I’m consuming, I should not be gaining. I’m just sick of feeling like I’m always dragging butt, no energy,constant aches and pains, etc. I’m too young to feel this old. I’m only 37 :-(

        I’m actually tearing up now. And I STILL can’t find a doc who can see me at a normal hour! Fuck it, on Monday I’m going to make an appt with the first doc who can see me. This has to stop.

    • Dr. Ned - This underwear is Sofa King Comfortable! says:

      Hey sorry about unloading on you yesterday, I read your post differently than you meant it and reacted like a retard.

      Even Evil Doctors like myself have moments of stupidity.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Try to get the first appointment if you can. You’ll be in and out much faster and not miss too much work.

  5. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    WOOHOO!!!

    After a very traumatic day and a half, I am happy to say that my Bastien is healthy again. He had to stay over night at the vet after he refused to give them…er…. a sample. They finally got one late the next morning and he was able to go home. He still has to stay on the special food, so my feeding is all wacked out still. : /

    Alfred has a new game he’s playing called Hunger Strike. If Bastien has his food, Alfred will not eat his own. The easiest time for me to feed Alfred is when Bastien is busy eating his own food, but that doesn’t work anymore. Alfred acts like he wants to eat Bastien’s wet food, but if I gave him his own wet food (the SAME food) he won’t eat that, either.

    Complicated. Frustrating.

    I still love em though : /

    Fun times tomorrow, Mr. Aroo and I are going to go see Iguidisman and Joo in concert. YAY! : )

    • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

      I’m glad Bastien is feeling better. But unless Alfred is diabetic or has other health issues, I’d say just let him wait until he gets hungry. If he gets hungry enough, he’ll eat.

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      I’m glad to hear Bastien is doing better. Now if Alfred will quit acting like a spoiled human toddler, everything could get back to normal for you.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Silly kitteh. I agree; if he’s hungry enough he’ll eat. Glad to hear Bastien is better though. That’s kind of funny about the “sample.” :)

      Have fun at the concert!!

    • Not Given says:

      My cat had to come home with plastic pellets to use in her litter box to get a urine sample. She held off for over 24 hours. She just really really didn’t want to use the plastic litter.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      happy for bastien!
      hunger strike will end eventually. but cats sure can be stubborn little jerks

  6. Don't Bother says:

    This isn’t that important compared to the deeper comments in this thread, but I had a question I’ve been wanting to ask.

    Is Straight Talk worth it?

    I’ve been a Sprint costumer for a long time, but I’ve never been able to afford a data plan of any kind. I still use my old Razr that’s about seven years old. Now I want to live the glamorous life of Androids and smartphones. Switching to Straight Talk seems like a no brainer.

    My only concern is that S.T. doesn’t have any sort of roaming. With my current plan, all roaming is free, no matter what network I’m on (usually Verizon if I do actually roam). But without roaming at all… well, I can just picture myself on a dark stormy night in the middle of nowhere not able to place a call at all. Is roaming actually an issue on Straight Talk from anyone’s experience?

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I wish I could figure this out too. I’ve been looking at the Straight Talk and Tracfone plans available in my area. I’d really like to get the triple minutes for life deal on Tracfone. I don’t use my phone for much, a few calls, texts, etc. here and there, and I’m on my husband’s Verizon plan now. He pays over $120 a month for this stupid plan, and won’t listen to me that there are other options. Of course, that would mean he’d have to give up yapping on his stupid phone for hours every day. Ugh.

      • parv says:

        If you don’t use phone much, get a Tracfone the proper or Net10 phone. Else and if you have Verizon service, look into PagePlus plans. (FYI: Virgin Mobile operates on Sprint network.)

        Tracfone, the proper: besides the regular minutes card & Double/Triple minutes for life thing, there are bonus codes that give extra minutes; bonus amount depends on the number of minutes originally available & the bonus code. That reduces the expense over the life of a phone.

        Minutes roll over; service due date & minutes accumulate as they are purchased for a phone. There is 30-day grace period after service due date during which one can extend the due date & buy minutes without losing phone number, remaining minutes.

        Net10 (from Tracfone): No bonus code to track; expense is $0.10/minute. That is all I know about it.

        Straight Talk (from Walmart w/ Tracfone): If phone is used much, this would be cheaper than Tracfone the proper and Net10 offerings. Minutes do not roll over. Then again, there may be other options near its expense point.

        Read/Search through Tracfone_Users Yahoo group (http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/Tracfone_Users/messages/). There are also other forums, which get mentioned there now & then.

    • Hmmmmm needs more WarOtter says:

      Have either of you thought of using another company like Virgin Mobile? That’s who I use…a decent phone may cost a bit up front, but the plan I have is $35/month (300 minutes, unlimited data and texting). I looked at ST as well and didn’t really like their data plans as much as other pre-paid companies.

      • Don't Bother says:

        I’ll need to check that out. I live around Indianapolis, and sometimes coverage around here can vary more than you would think.

        Thanks for the suggestion!

        • I just blue myself says:

          Be aware, though – they just changed their rules and even though data is unlimited, they start to slow down your speed after 2.5 GB I believe (forgive me if I’m way off, lol). They were up front with it, which is nice. I love still love them, though.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Thanks for the suggestion – I’ll have to figure out if it will work in my area of PA. Cell phone coverage can be spotty here, but I know Verizon works, and so does Tracfone because I have friends with Tracfone plans.

  7. InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

    I’ve been doing a lot of baking lately, and I have a question for the hivemind: would strawberry cupcakes with caramel centers taste good, do you think? I can’t stand strawberries, so I have no way to judge.

  8. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Well, the bad news is that my daughter is home sick. The good news is that work is quiet, so I can just check e-mail every so often but I don’t really have to put in 8 hours today. The biggest disappointment is that I was going to try and meet a couple of other commenters IRL tomorrow with my family, and now we should probably stay home and rest. :(

    • Coffee says:

      Awwww…I’m sorry, Max…I’ll bet everyone was looking forward to that too…I hope I’m in the DC area sometime soon ;)

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Thanks…you’re welcome to stay in the basement. That’s where I keep the booze that doesn’t fit in the bar!

        Oh, wait….maybe that’s not such a great plan….

    • pop top says:

      Lock the kid in her room with some food, she’ll be fine. ;)

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Actually, she shut herself in her room and slept for an hour. But when she’s sick, she gets unlimited bread and water. I hope it doesn’t spoil her.

  9. pop top says:

    I finished my paper on Aristotle and the Occupy movement a lot sooner than I thought I would, so I’m pretty happy about that. I need to get a hobby of some sort though, like knitting or something. Any suggestions?

    • Ratty says:

      Soap and candlemaking. ;)

      Candles are really easy though, and cool rewards if you like fire.

      • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

        Could you recommend any resources for making candles? I like jar candles, they’re safer with cats around, and I wonder if I could save the empty jars from the ones I bought and make my own refills.

        • Ratty says:

          You can definitely do that if they’re heat safe. i’ve started taking wax scraps from finished candles, re-melting it in a container with a wick, and letting it set up as a new candle. Works great. I even just melt the scraps down with a heat gun in the container. be mindful if you’re blending fragranced wax bits that some mix poorly.

          I get my supplies from here: http://www.newdirectionsaromatics.com/ they’re very well-priced. They even sell a candlemaking kit with a pitcher (can use it as a double boiler and just melt wax in it), a book (not a good one), and a good set of wax/wicks/colorants/containers.

          • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

            I checked out the website – and please forgive my dumb questions – what type of scent does one use in a soy based candle? I made candles when I was a kid, but I never put scents in them.

            And could I buy a metal pitcher at the thrift store, or does it have to be a certain type?

      • pop top says:

        I’d love to do soap or candles sometime, at least to try, but I don’t have any room for something like that. Maybe when I move into a bigger place later this year. But thanks. ;)

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      I know a knitter that could help with resources ; )

      Need some blue yarn? I know a pusher.

      • pop top says:

        Hehehe. :p I’d love to start but I know I’d need to do it in person with someone because I’d have to see it directly. But I’ll tkae up that offer if/when I get a bit better. ;)

        • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

          I mostly learned from the internet and library books. My favorite site to start with is http://www.knittinghelp.com and I still refer to it often, since I’m a visual learner.

          • pop top says:

            You’re the best Kimmy! ‚ù§

            • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

              I’d also recommend (as a self-taught crocheter and knitter) seeing if your library has books in the “Teach Yourself Visually” line. They have great step-by-step pictures that show you exactly how to make stitches, what they should look like when they’re done, and all of that. I used a combination of those and knittinghelp.com.
              If you want some free patterns for inspiration, knittingpatterncentral.com has a very large collection, broken up into categories (like scarves, dishcloths, hats, &c). I found it a very good place to start.

    • Coffee says:

      Do you have an XBox? If so, we could always multiplayer over Xbox Live…Dr. Ned is into that as well…

      …oh, you meant a productive hobby.

      • pop top says:

        I don’t have XBL Gold on my profile; the hubs does though. Hit me up at the clubhouse and I’ll give you his gamertag. ;)

    • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

      Knitting is fun, though I personally found crochet easier to learn. It can also be a relatively inexpensive hobby, especially when starting out. But fair warning, keep it up for too long, and you may start craving the really nice (and really expensive) yarn. ;)

      • pop top says:

        I know a few knitters and it has become a bit of a habit for them (Kimmy ;), but it looks really fun. I’d like to do something somewhat “practical”. Hopefully this summer I can get outside more and go walking/hiking like I want, but for right now I need something simple and cozy. :)

    • Don't Bother says:

      I learned how to knit on my own from videos and books. I can knit lace and cables now. It’s actually very relaxing and fun (which look complicated but aren’t that bad). And you can make cheap gifts.

      There are plenty of places to get gorgeous free patterns (knitty.com and ravelry.com).

      The other thing I love about knitting is that you can can always learn how to do something new and different with it. It never gets stagnate or boring.

      • pop top says:

        Thanks! I appreciate the links. Would those sites let me know what I’d need to get started?

        • Don't Bother says:

          I’ll tell you what you should start out with : )

          Start with making scarves, because those are the easiest. If you want to make a late winter, spring scarf, I’d make a thinner one than wider.

          Go to Jo Anne’s or Hobby Lobby or Walmart. Pick up some cheap aluminum needles, size 8. Then I would get some cheaper yarn. Don’t get Red Heart Saver, it’s awful. Maybe get Vanna White’s Select yarn. It’s a decent, cheap brand, and pretty soft especially after you wash it. Get two skeins for a scarf.

          Lastly, get a embroidery needle. That is to help you sew in the ends of your work so you don’t have strings hanging off your scarf when you finish.

          If you want to use a specific pattern, most will specify what weight of yarn (thickness), what needle size, and even sometimes give you the brand of yarn they used themselves. But what I’ve suggested is good “start out” materials to make sure you like knitting before you sink in for good money for expensive needles or yarn.

  10. Princess Beech loves a warm cup of treason every morning says:

    I love the kitty pic.

  11. Cat says:

    I watched “Who is Harry Nilsson, And Why is Everybody Talking About Him” on Netflix this week. Awesome musician, I never knew he was so connected inside the music business – and I am a veritable compost heap of useless Rock and Roll trivia.

    If you are interested in music history, this is a must see.

    You guys watched anything good?

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I like history, so I watched a documentary about the Dark Ages on Netflix streaming. It all started when a Visigoth who worked for the Romans felt like he got stiffed over a promotion, so he and a bunch of other Visigoths laid siege to Rome and eventually sacked it. No more sewer system, running water, food supplies, jobs, etc. Just ruin and chaos. And then, as if hand to mouth existence wasn’t depressing enough, a plague came through.

      I’m also watching a series called Monarchy, which chronicles all the British monarchs from about 500 or 600 AD through present.

      • InsertPithyNicknameHere says:

        That documentary sounds interesting. What’s the title?

        • Cat says:

          I think it’s called (wait for it….)
          “Dark Ages”.

          Seriously, though, I saw it, too. Pretty good. I am a history buff, and like to learn the real story they don’t teach you in school.

          History Channel is now crap, IMHO.

          • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

            I like the old History channel stuff. Now it’s nothing but Pawn Stars, Hard Core Pawn, Cajun Pawn, auctions, picking, and restoration.

            **I just clicked on the TV to see what was on, and The Dark Ages is on right now on the History Channel. Weird!

        • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

          It’s called The Dark Ages and it’s a History Channel show.

          It really made me think, and worry about our own country. After so many people died, and the empire fell, no one was left to build roads, aqueducts, maintain the sewer systems, grow food on a large scale basis, to coordinate trade with other countries, or even educate anyone.

          Example: PPL has a big coal generation plant nearby. If the sh** hit the fan, so to speak, and the power was off, and a bunch of people died, I know the plant is there, but I have no idea how to make it run or to get the lights back on. I think that’s what happened to the Romans after the Visigoths attacked.

    • pop top says:

      I just rented the first season of Rome from the library and I really like it so far (I’ve only seen the first two episodes). I also rented Bunraku, which while it wasn’t a “deep plot” movie, I thought it looked pretty. Plus Kevin McKidd from Rome was in it as well, me-ow.

    • Don't Bother says:

      I watched “Exit Through the Gift Shop” the other day. Started “Food Inc” but I got too enraged to finish.

      • Cat says:

        “Food Inc” pissed me off too. Remember rage is good. well except for what it does to my blood pressure.

        (picture me watching the news and yelling back at the TV ala Lewis Black)

    • scoosdad says:

      Did he eventually sober up? I’ve been reading Michael Palin’s (of Monty Python, Around the World in 80 Days, etc.) diaries from the 70’s and 80’s, and Harry popped up in them every now and then, drunk or stoned on something, and would join the Pythons on stage in that condition.

      There’s a story in there from 1976 how he jumped up on stage to do the lumberjack song with the Pythons in New York, and as the curtain came down he was so stoned he fell off the stage and landed half in the first row and the orchestra pit. MP wrote that even Graham Chapman, who had substance abuse issues of his own at the time, was concerned about Harry’s intake.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I forgot to mention Waking The Dead. The first 5 seasons are on Netflix DVD and Streaming, and Season 6 just got released on DVD. I’ve enjoyed it an awful lot.

  12. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    eagerly awaiting:
    compensation discussions [annual event, bonuses and raises]
    restricted stock awards to vest so i can sell them because my company’s stock is at an all time high and headed higher
    3 paychecks in march
    the rest of my 1099’s so i can do my taxes and get my refund

    my dog is at 23 pills a day and in a week and a half i take him in for more blood tests so we find out if whatever’s wrong is being treated by all his meds or if he’s just having organ failure and dying. it’s getting expensive and i’m a couple thousand in debt right now between his medical bills, mine and some car repairs.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yay for money to come in and take care of debts!

      Poor doggie. :(

      • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

        i can’t remember what i wanted to check in with you about but it was something about your roku from last week’s open thread. there’s an email to contact me on the channel list page, or @catastrophegirl on twitter

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          It’s working okay now. I think the problem is with my intermittent connection. I did some checking and when I have a problem, it’s usually because my DSL speed has dropped a bit. If I can’t get it back I can still watch Netflix on the computer.

          • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

            ah, it wasn’t the connection. i was suggesting that if your computer is up for it [and your budget, sadly the sale already ended but it's still super cheap] playon will get you nickelodeon and a&e and stuff on your roku.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      Off topic, but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the pictures and videos of your cats that you link to. My cube mate at work likes them too, and it gives us a chuckle on days that otherwise might be a little grim.

      I have a wooden cat cutout, with a blue heart underneath that says “a house is not a home without a cat”. **psst don’t tell the dog it says that :)

  13. Straspey says:

    Friday’s Joke:

    The guys went to the lodge for a weekend of deer hunting.

    No one wanted to room with Bob, because he snored so badly.

    They decided it wasn’t fair to make one of them stay with him the whole time,
    so they voted to take turns.

    The first guy roomed with Bob and came to breakfast the next morning
    with his hair a mess and his eyes all bloodshot.

    The guys asked, “Man, what happened to you?

    He said, “Bob snored so loudly, I just sat up and watched him all night.”

    The next night it was a different guy’s turn. In the morning – the same
    thing…hair all standing up, eyes all bloodshot.

    They said, “Man, what happened to you? You look awful!

    He said, ‘Jeez, that Bob shakes the roof with his snoring. I couldn’t sleep and just sat up and watched him all night.”

    The third night was Fred’s turn. Fred was a tanned, older cowboy…a real
    “man’s man”.

    The next morning he came to breakfast bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

    “Good morning!” he said, “I feel great. What’s for breakfast ?”

    The others couldn’t believe it. They said, “Man, what happened?”

    Fred said, “Well, we got ready for bed. I went and tucked Bob into bed,
    patted him on the ass and kissed him good night. Bob sat up and watched me
    all night.”

  14. LightningUsagi says:

    I found out in December that I have poly-cystic ovarian syndrome and endometriosis, after years of just dealing with the pain. I started seeking treatment around 2002 for the constant pain, and was just pushed from one doctor to another. I had a laparoscopy in 2007 where the doctor “only found 3 large cysts” and was insanely annoyed that I had pushed for the surgery. I’m happy to finally know what’s going on and that there’s simple ways to treat it.

    First and foremost, I have to lose some weight which will help even out some hormone levels and make it easier to treat. I was put on my official plan two weeks ago and had my follow-up today. I’ve already lost 3 pounds, and haven’t really changed much other than my eating schedule, which is exciting.

    I’ve tried to set some simple goals to meet so that I can not only see results, but get rewarded. My current goal is to be down a size by the time the Hunger Games is out so that I can wear my super awesome TeeFury HG shirt. XD

    • pop top says:

      I’m sorry to hear about all the stuff you’re going through; I know PCOS is tough, but at least you know what you’re dealing with now. Congrats on the weight loss! I’ve lost about 20 lbs. since I started my diet, and I haven’t even started exercising yet. :) I’ve cut out alcohol and pop and am drinking mostly water and tea now, and I’m making a lot of substitutions, like Miracle Whip instead of mayo, etc. What’s been really nice is Aldi has a healthy food brand that’s cheap, so I get their yogurts and rice cakes for snacks. Their diet shakes are good too. Another helpful thing I’ve found is keeping a food diary so I can track my calories from day to day; it helps me not cheat. ;) Good luck!

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Have you looked into a ketogenic diet? Efficient weight loss and it has helped many people with PCOS! There is a really great community of people at http://www.reddit.com/r/keto who would be more than happy to talk about their experiences (I’m one of them!) Its the best diet and lifestyle change I’ve ever done :)

      • LightningUsagi says:

        I’ve never heard of that, actually. They have me on a low glycemic index diet plan now because my insulin levels are a little high. From what I’m reading on Wikipedia, the LGIT diet is a modified version of yours.

        My plan for the next two weeks is to get really familiar with the foods that are ok to eat and what to avoid, then the next two is to increase my excercise a bit. I already do a good bit of walking with the dogs, but that’s stop and go. They’re both too easily distracted.

        • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

          That’s a great plan – a lot of people go over there and get totally overwhelmed. The big thing about Keto is that its not just low glycemic, its totally grain free as well.

          Good luck :)

  15. SissyOPinion says:

    I have a question for all you consumerites. While I find the articles on Consumerist to be pretty interesting, I really come here to read the comments. I’ve been coming here for years and have always found this group of commenters to be articulate, just snarky enough, and perhaps most importantly, fairly non-political. I’m wondering if any of you can recommend another site with a similar group of commenters? I love coming here but I think I need to branch out to other news sources. Any suggestions?

  16. HogwartsProfessor says:

    OPEN THREEEEEAAAAADDD

    I have to replace the sink faucet in the bathroom. It’s old and only trickles now and the handles are all wonky. I got a little faucet / pop-up assembly and it looks easy enough, but the turning off and on of the water is the part that I’m worried about. It’s a tiny manhole in my front yard and I’m not at all confident about messing with it. Maybe I’ll just call the handyman to do it. He’s amazing; he can do anything. In two weeks my honey will be here. Yay! I miss him so much. I want him to be able to use a working faucet, LOL.

    I’ve applied to three jobs this week, one of which said no right away, but that was probably because of the salary requirement. Guess they want some cheap person they’ll have to replace several times. Fine with me; they were too far away anyway.

    Today I paid a payment on my hospital bills over the phone and there was one that was completely wiped out by the payment, with a little bit going on to the remaining balance. Woo hoo! I applied for a job with the hospital; I don’t know if that would ruin my chances that I owe them money, but since I’m making regular payments and the balance is only $700 and some bucks, they might go “Oh if we employ her she’ll be able to pay it all off!” or they could just take some out of my paychecks once a month ha ha. Probably not. I didn’t think about it until I pushed “Submit.” Then I was like, oops.

    Nothing more to report except I’m going to start painting the inside of the house finally. I figure if I have a little money now I can get some cheap paint and fix it up a bit while I have time, and if I have to leave then it will look better for selling it.

    • pop top says:

      Glad to see you’re in good spirits. I missed your post in the last thread so I didn’t get to offer my support, but you know, there’s a big group of us who cares. ;)

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Thank you, squinko. It really helps to know that. *hug* :)

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        Yes indeed, I missed it too : (

        I’m glad you are keeping yourself busy and already applying for jobs! I hope you get one that is way better than your old one. You didn’t like it much anyway!

        *hugs* Did you join G+ yet? Did ya? Hehehee.

    • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

      I don’t envy the faucet replacement task! I did it once. It took me 3 hours, and I was nearly in tears until it was done. Next time I will get water out of the tub and save money for a plumber :)

      Hope you find a new job soon! If I were the hospital, and you applied for the job and owed us money at the same time, I’d look at the fact that you were making payments, and would think you were responsible, and not look at it in a bad way.

      My home project for today is to clear out the black hole cupboards under the kitchen sink. What a mess.

      • MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

        Wow, I’m glad you said that. I was thinking about replacing our kitchen faucet. I actually bought the faucet months ago, but I’m concerned about getting a good seal in the caulking around the faucet base, so I’m waiting until we can stay home while having a plumber come out for a few various non-emergency fixes. I guess I’ll stick to the new ceiling lighting fixtures. :D

        • HogwartsProfessor says:

          I replaced my kitchen faucet by myself, but while lying on my back in that disgusting space under the sink, I remember thinking “Now I know why plumbers get paid so much.” BLEAH.

          • lovemypets00 - You'll need to forgive me, my social filter has cracked. says:

            YES!! This is why!! I replaced the bathroom faucet, and it was up and down, up and down, put larger body into smaller space under sink. At the end I wondered, is it possible to bruise your liver or spleen? My back hurt for days. Plus it was yucky, and the stupid thing leaked for about the first 4 times I turned the water back on.

            Normally I try to do as many things myself as possible, but this is one thing I’m crossing off the list.

        • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

          teflon tape is your friend

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        Hmm, I never thought of it that way. About the payments, that is. I hope that’s a point in my favor!

  17. Anonymous37 says:

    That cat is freaking me out. Make it stop staring at me, Laura.