Re: The place where the local minimum of my ambition meets the local minimum of my job requirements.

1

On the other hand, I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here.

I'm sure there's a hierarchy of unambition that runs, top to bottom, something like this:

-Front Page posters
-Frequent commenters
-Occasional commenters
-Lurkers
-What's Unfogged?

President Obama would, of course, be in that last category. But, as your post suggests, so would Hitler.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:14 AM
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My personal ambition is to eat at El Bulli.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:17 AM
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I think we just simultaneously read that Ezra is celebrating his engagement there.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:20 AM
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'The place God calls youyou punch the clock is where your deep glsadness and the world's deep huanger meet'."

Fised


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:20 AM
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Once I dreamed of great power
To control the world
Now I rejoice
In my irrelevancy.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:20 AM
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Fixed, even.

pf, how do you know Obama isn't a regular lurker on Unfogged? He might even comment presidentially.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:21 AM
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I'm just saying that there is definitely a case to be made for medium-low ambition. On the other hand, I suspect I'm preaching to the choir here.

Not entirely. But I am receptive to your message.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:27 AM
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I don't even have the ambition to be a front page poster.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:29 AM
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8: Neither do most of the front page posters.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:30 AM
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Bob has the ambition, but the flesh is weak.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:35 AM
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I had ambitions once: one moved away, taking with her my heart and, I think, lungs; one is probably going to kill me; and most of the time even I don't want to read my crappy poems.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:43 AM
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I'm pretty sure Obama was Meekins.


Posted by: cree | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 8:57 AM
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Becoming a frontpager would be bourgeois and decadent. Only the stagist meliorism of those who failed to ally with the true progressive forces of the stahlhelm would mislead you to such a believe.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:09 AM
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The right balance between ambition and complacency is a tough balancing act, not least because it's hard to tell when you're leaning.

My biggest frustration is that it's hard to get resources for good work; in practice, ambition means understanding the desires of a small number of influential people. Doubtless this comment will help somehow.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:13 AM
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13: Clearly, Alex is Obama.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:17 AM
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My ambition is to be shot out of a cannon. But I still haven't found a suitable cannon.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:24 AM
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Oh, social workers don't necessarily make that big a difference.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:49 AM
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My ambition is to be shot out of a cannon. But I still haven't found a suitable cannon.

In the era of Craigslist, there's really no excuse for this.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:52 AM
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I'm not sure I'd trust my safety to a cannon I found on Craigslist. I need one that meets OSHA requirements.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:07 PM
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The McRib wasn't as good as I remember from the last time it was out. Maybe I've developed a more refined palate?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 12:08 PM
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I stand by my contention that the unfogged commentariat is drawn from the intersection of the top quartile of smarts and the bottom quartile of ambition.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:13 PM
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21: The obvious exceptions tend to move on -- I'm thinking of J Dry/mala and Saiselgy, but I think there are others.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:15 PM
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How does one go about being demoted to lurker?


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:20 PM
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23: The power is within you, Eggplant!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:23 PM
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It's something I have to do? I dunno, that seems like effort.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:27 PM
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From the post that the comments that KR links to in 21: "Back in grad school, exbeforelast and I (well, mostly I, but she knew what I meant) would watch and note just when the spark of youth left someone's eyes. … Kids will usually do it to you, as will a dissertation."

Boy will it.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:28 PM
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In that regard I was the model of efficiency, losing my spark with the aid of neither.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:33 PM
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And that's about as much responsibility as I want

This is all a grandiose scheme to get Hawaiian Punch to rebel by becoming a Rhodes Scholar, isn't it?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 2:52 PM
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This seems like the place to put this. I know we've had a lot of discussions about the best way to choose therapists, but does anyone here have good advice on finding the right anti-depressant for you? I only have access to rather shoddy health care so I'm not expecting a lot out of my doctor.


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:06 PM
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29: The advice I hear most often is to see an actual psychopharmacologist for med determination, rather than a therapist, but if you have shitty health care I am not sure that that's an option. But you should certainly see if you can get a referral.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:11 PM
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29. You could see if they are running a clinical trial in your area. They'll give you the anti-depressants for free to see which one works best. Of course,, there is the small chance that you could grow a second nose, so tread cautiously.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:17 PM
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No clue, but great appreciation for the pseud.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 3:29 PM
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Thanks, 30, 31. 32, glad someone got it.

It turns out I have to wait a month to even see a psychiatrist (I thought I was seeing one today, but no, that was just to have me tell the health center my symptoms in person) so I have plenty of time to do the research. I may just end up paying out of pocket to get the original meeting with someone good.

(I find it really frustrating that this has to be a multi-step process. It's like they don't even fucking understand what depression does to a person's desire to go to multiple appointments, etc. It was a big first step to even get me in the door today, and it was completely disheartening to be sent away without any sense of accomplishment or plan. I feel like I need to threaten suicide just to ensure I actually get someone to see me.)


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:15 PM
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I feel like I need to threaten suicide just to ensure I actually get someone to see me.)

If you're at a university any suggestion of serious suicidal ideation will cause a very strong reaction. There will be good sides (you get a lot of attention very fast), and bad sides (they'll react even more strongly than is ideal due to fear of liability). As for the drugs, the only thing I can suggest is give each one a chance for a month or more. Make sure that if the side effects are bad, that you insist on a change. You might get lucky on the first one, you might have to go through several tries. Good luck.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:28 PM
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34: I told them (truthfully) that I have lots of thoughts of "I can't do this anymore" and other borderline suicide thoughts, including urges toward self-harm. I would not commit suicide in my present mental state, and I was honest about that, but I was pretty surprised that this was their reaction. I know some of it is my fault as I let this depression go too long unchecked because it had a pretty normal cause and I thought I would start to recover, but I'm at the point where it doesn't feel like anything is going to get better, ever, and it's been that way for too long. I want to see someone now and start the process towards recovery, dammit.


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:39 PM
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One month is pretty standard, unfortunately, but psychiatrists have a much better understanding of the differences and risks (including withdrawl dangers) between different drugs than GPs do. If you feel you're in danger of imminent self-harm, then don't hesitate to go for immediate hospitalization. If you can wait it out, try and do what you can in the meantime to take care of yourself, including reaching out to others to help take care of you. I am certain that there are people who care about you who will be willing to step up.

Don't beat yourself up for waiting so long, either. Depression creeps up on you and makes it more difficult to take action. Know that you've taken the hardest first step.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:53 PM
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35: Mary Todd, it is not your fault.

A University system would probably set you up right quick, as teraz says, but if you don't have access to that, it maybe be best to pay out of pocket, as you say, in order to get started. No self-recrimination, though, seriously. Being asked to wait a month to see a psychiatrist is a fault of the health care system, not something for which you are to blame. You're taking the steps now; keep fighting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 6:55 PM
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I might also take 2-3 weeks to get in to see a therapist (which, I would say, you should definitely do alongside the drugs), but there may also be places in your area where you can go for free or low cost short-term counseling (some professionals volunteer their time alongside their paid gig).

Good luck.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:00 PM
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"It might"


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:00 PM
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Mary Todd,

Do you have a PCP who's based out of a hospital? If you do, make an appointment with your PCP or a resident at the clinic. They can make a fast track urgent care within 48 hours appointment for you if they think it's urgent.

Talk about not eating and sleeping.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:06 PM
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Thanks for the good thoughts and encouragement. I am in an university health care system, but I'm sure they differ.

The therapist thing I have covered and I will be able to see one sooner. The problem there is that in the past, therapy has taken a very very long time to become effective for me (and I'm not very optimistic about finding a good fit quickly, in this case). I was hoping to tag team it with the meds.


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:07 PM
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Mary Todd, Feel free to e-mail with your location if you want more specific advice.

An ER will look for a plan if you talk about suicide. See a PCP at a decent hospital and they can get you in.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:07 PM
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M-Todd I think I may have a good name for you, and if I understand your insurance, some of it would be covered, since you can get referred out for specialist consults.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:10 PM
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I went a little redacty on 41. I hope that's OK.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:25 PM
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I'd just like to second the 'it's not your fault' thing on not seeking help faster, it's standard. To me it seems that when you have an obvious precipitating you're more likely to delay, and thus allow things to get really, really bad since you're thinking that it's just the normal reaction to what's happened.

I am somewhat surprised that they're not reacting more, but that might just be my experience. I had a burly ex-NYPD detective with the demeanor of a hostage negotiator at my door within an hour of my e-mail. I spent the entire next day with various shrinks talking to me, calling deans to try to put my mind at rest regarding missed deadlines, etc. while being shadowed by Mr. Supercalm at all points in between. They also tried to lock me up against my will, which was a tad less reassuring. I did make two serious mistakes in the weeks and months that followed that I suggest you watch out for. One was to initially mistake no longer being a complete basket case for being better, the other not being more assertive about my treatment once I did figure that out.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:26 PM
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I feel like I need to threaten suicide just to ensure I actually get someone to see me.

This may be true, and it's (for better or worse) probably a useful thing to recognize, but don't exaggerate the talk of self harm as a tactic for being seen faster unless you're ok with the possibility of being hospitalized rather than getting a shorter date to see a psychiatrist. Some people reach for the phone faster than others, and one imagines this may be particularly the case on campuses. Not that hospitalization is necessarily the wrong answer...


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 7:35 PM
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Prozac is a pretty standard first choice SSRI; I don't have direct experience, but depressed relatives and friends have done OK with it. One of three switched to a different but related medication due to some physical side effect. MDs usually start with low dosage once a day and ramp up.

If and only if you are not taking other medication, have you considered Mexico? Many prescription compounds stateside are OTC there (and cheap if locally manufactured). Alternately, if you are in or near a big city, the late-night urgent care places might be good for a prescription, though I bet pricey. You don't mention finances or geography, not sure if either of these is an option for you.

Good luck. Don't be hard on yourself, depression sucks and bouts seem to last forever when you're in them. Having a few people to talk to even if there's not much to say is a good thing, try not to retreat.

I'm not a doctor, and this isn't medical advice.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 4-10 9:02 PM
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BG, I'll probably email you in the next week or so.

Standpipe, I assume I messed up my pseud, in which case, thank you, though I'm not all that worried about it. (Hi, everybody!) (If that wasn't it, what did I do, I wonder?) I went presidential more because I don't want to worry anyone (not that I would) than anything else. I have a decent support system; I just thought I'd poll the mineshaft for extra advice.

And, thanks for the rest of the advice. It is helpful. I'm really not planning on exaggerating my non-suicidal state. One should leave the emergency services for those who need it. I had a friend involuntarily hospitalized in college and it was not conducive to healing.

I talked to my mom at length and found out exactly what she and the rest of her siblings are on, so I'll probably try asking for that first, unless the doctor has objections.


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 12:22 AM
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The obvious exceptions tend to move on -- I'm thinking of J Dry/mala and Saiselgy, but I think there are others.

Felix Gilman has a new book out which is apparently brilliant.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:38 AM
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re: 49

Also, nworB won the Orwell prize.

It's only the rest of us that are pathetic slackers.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 1:50 AM
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MTL: if you're not already exercising regularly, it can extremely helpful; in my experience, more effective than SSRIs. The trouble, of course, is doing it; much easier to take a pill every day than to get to a gym. This is where friends are often very helpful--if you can get one to commit to a daily workout with you, not-letting-them-down is often much more motivating than taking-care-of-yourself.

So, uh, I guess I'll log off and leave the house now.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:09 AM
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50: Don't forget Labs: he got tenure.

Best of luck, MTL. Let us know how you're doing.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:22 AM
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49: I really liked it. His first two were good, but more in the sense that I thought "He's a really good writer," rather than just enjoying the book. This one I enjoyed straightforwardly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:48 AM
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53. Christmas list, then.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 7:52 AM
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re: 51

Yes, exercise has been helpful for me in the past. Also, whisper it, booze. But that's not healthy/respectable advice.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 8:30 AM
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Allow me be the first to suggest excercise. And mushrooms.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:02 AM
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Contra 55, booze was not at all helpful to me in the past. Temporary numbing, but followed by further descent into the pit of despair. Medication (Zoloft, short-term Xanax) was far more helpful, and you should be able to get started on something without seeing a psychiatrist. (I just see my PCP.) Setting specific goals, particularly with respect to addressing the underlying trigger, and then taking even itty-bitty baby steps forward probably helps the most. But, personally, I really needed the chemical assist before I felt capable of taking those itty-bitty steps.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:10 AM
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For clinical depression associated with an out-of-tune serotoninergic system (this kind responds to SSRI drugs), alcohol is a bad idea.

You can't tell what the biochemistry of your personal unhappiness is, and neither can your doctor, really; there's more than one possible biochemical underpinning, so this is not one-size-fits-all advice. But for me personally, alcohol and depression definitely do not mix. I would strongly counsel against drinking while depressed, personally.

Exercise helps a lot. Again, personally, having formed the habit when I feel OK helps a lot, since I have momentum and know which forms of exercise work for me. Trying to get started while depressed seems risky-- not getting the shoes on is one more reason to feel down on yourself.

But many people respond really well to group exercise-- if you haven't tried it MTC. maybe yoga if you're not a jock or a spinning class or something if you are?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 9:15 AM
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re: 57/58

Of course, it's not meant as serious advice -- many many pitfalls. But the temporary numbing really was helpful to me during a brief but very intense bout of depression following a ... major life event.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 5:28 PM
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And I'm not talking about spending the whole time sozzled, either.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 5:29 PM
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Moderation in sozzle as in all.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 5-10 5:50 PM
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Thanks again. I'm not much of an exerciser and even when I've been diligent about it I've never gotten the much vaunted mood boost from it - I do intend to refrain from being a complete couch potato but I don't think the answer for me lies in exercise beyond my usual activities of hiking and biking. (Which are pleasurable because I like looking at shit, not because I like breathing hard.)

I'll keep you updated every once in awhile. I've been feeling considerably better today, probably because I actually talked about it with any number of people and got some good care. (From my friends and family, if not the health center.)


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:30 AM
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Mary Todd,

People often forget the importance of medicine management. Dosing isnt an exact science. You need to document the effects you feel. Also, your friends and family might have good feedback. ie: you feel like it hasnt done good, but others see improvement.

But, be interactive with your doctor AND your pharmacist. Those pharmacists are trained to help you. If yours isnt helpful, switch.

With my daughter, we are constantly evaluating doses bc the correct amount today wont necessarily be the correct amount next month.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 4:30 AM
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Contra 55, booze was not at all helpful to me in the past. Temporary numbing, but followed by further descent into the pit of despair.

This has also been my experience.

Oh, and! People often find that the lack of sunlight in the fall/winter worsens things; full-spectrum lights sometimes help with this.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:46 AM
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(Which are pleasurable because I like looking at shit, not because I like breathing hard.)

I think that's all you need -- the cheering effects aren't so much about fitness as about just being in motion.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:41 AM
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One more thing on depression. There's a screening tool called a PHq or something which is basically all of the questions from the DSM with degrees of severity. It turns out that it works better than a quick exam done by a doctor who doesn't know someone well, because patients often minimize or maximize their symptoms.

The psychiatrist who mentioned it to my team said that we were often in the awkward position of seeing that our clients were doing worse but not being able to convince a doctor (that they needed an antidepressant or needed more of one) because of course "we don't know anything," and that the doctors do respond to the data.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:54 AM
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Tough to get xanax from a student health system, and the PCPs at a campus health services are much less willing to prescribe psychotropic drugs and prefer to pass it on to the one or two psychiatrists on staff.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:00 AM
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The bit about Xanax was directed at Di.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:00 AM
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Interesting. I didn't realize Xanax was considered "harder" than SSRIs or whatever. (Or are you saying those are tough to get from a student health center, too?). Makes sense, I suppose, as Xanax is probably the only medication I've ever taken that had such an immediate effect, and exactly the effect promised/needed.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:04 AM
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Xanax has potential for abuse. SSRIs have risks, but not that risk.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:20 AM
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Makes sense. Just hadn't occurred to me.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:33 AM
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It's similar to Valium.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:52 AM
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65

I think that's all you need -- the cheering effects aren't so much about fitness as about just being in motion.

I think vigorous physical activity can induce various chemical changes in your body which can affect your mood.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:05 AM
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73: You forgot to add, "Laydeez."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:06 AM
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Xanax really is something of a wonder drug.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:07 AM
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re: 64

Yeah, I probably should have qualified it quite a lot.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:21 AM
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I think I said this here before, but Xanax not uncommonly has a paradoxical effect (or whatever the term is) on old folks. My (preternaturally mild) dad was given it in the hospital once and because wild with rage and fury. Creepy.

[I have a friend (who is not elderly) whom it makes quite mean.]


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:23 AM
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77.2: I've known a few people where alcohol had the same effect.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:33 AM
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But that is probably less of a paradox.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:35 AM
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77: Er, because = became. And I can't even blame auto-correct.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:41 AM
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Dexies might help.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:58 AM
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Apropos this thread I just went for a run for the first time in a couple of months (my knee had been doing disturbing things, and I wanted to let it chill out). Damn, but that felt good.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:10 AM
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(my knee had been doing disturbing things...

Pretending to be an Asian American female nurse from MN?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:27 AM
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I can't decide whether that's racist, sexist, or anti-weejun.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:47 AM
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Did you read the linked article in the "Twisted Psycho" post?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:52 AM
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re: 82

Injuries suck. I've a hip injury at the moment, and my GP is insisting I cease all training before he'll sanction further investigation and/or physio. This despite the fact that he's near certain he knows what it is.

So, this means teaching a weekly 'kick-boxing' class, while officially forbidden to kick.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:03 AM
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I played squash yesterday for the first time in 8 years (for exercise these days I typically just do weights and elliptical at the gym) and right now I can hardly move. But it was SO FUN, and I was on an endorphin high for the rest of the day.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:52 AM
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Bave--e-mail. We need to schedule a meet up to welcome you to the state.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:39 PM
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86: my strategy was to fail to ask a doctor.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:40 PM
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Totes off-topic: does anyone know if there's some sort of coating sometimes used on eyeglasses (anti-scratch, anti-reflective) that's extremely fragile? I've had new glasses for about a month, and have only been cleaning them by wiping with a cloth, but I just washed them with soap and warm water for the first time. And now I have what seems to be a permanent large patch of one lens that's more opaque than the rest of the lens. WTF? I've been wearing glasses for more than twenty years, and have always used soap and water to clean them if they got messy, and I've never seen damage to the lens like this. I'm not sure if it's actually permanent, but it sure isn't wiping or washing off, and water pools in the damaged area whereas it just completely runs off the other lens.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:44 PM
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Xanax (and other benzos) occupy this weird territory where some doctors will give a chronically anxious patient enough for daily use and others...well, I remember going to the university health clinic and asking for Klonopin, which I use a couple of times a year for acute anxiety, and they treated me like I had asked for a bottle of their finest heroin and a straw.

I guess some doctors are focused on its addictive potential in an unnuanced way and some are, well, oblivious to its addictive potential. Hopefully in the middle are doctors who get that addiction is more complicated than substance=addictive.

Because if you've ever used benzos out of necessity...it makes you want to write fan mail to whoever invented it. If you've been given one you respond to, it can nullify a lot of bad feeling pretty quickly. And this is of course also why they're potentially addictive.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:46 PM
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90: Some anti-glare coatings are pretty fragile (as in, don't rub them on your shirt), but what your describing sounds like the coating was poorly applied to begin with. I'd take them to the place you got them and tell the folks there.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:49 PM
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90: That's not right. Clean them with a different soap (i.e. if you used a lotion-y hand soap it can make things worse) or a small bit of windex and a paper towel. If that doesn't work, I'd do what oudemia says and take them back to where you got them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:57 PM
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So, this means teaching a weekly 'kick-boxing' class, while officially forbidden to kick.

"I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum. Can I borrow some, please?"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 12:59 PM
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91: Yeah, I've got klonopin, and it hasn't been hard to get. Ativan too. However, I read on a site called shrink rap a post about why psychiatrists don't like to prescribe Xanax.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 1:00 PM
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92, 93: Thanks. I don't have any Windex around at the moment, but I tried vinegar, with no change. I guess taking them back is all I can do. It's annoying.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 1:07 PM
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Recreational Ativan is a good time.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 1:07 PM
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88 - sent.


Posted by: Bave Dee | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 1:23 PM
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Don't use paper towels on glasses. Paper towels are very, very scratchy and will often destroy lenses pretty quickly. My hard-won wisdom: let me share it with you.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 1:47 PM
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You people are liars about running. I barely made two miles (I usually do 3.4) and I feel like shit. Maybe I need time to get used to the cold.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 2:22 PM
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Also, Kobe asked if maybe the good paper towels weren't OK for glasses. At least, I've never had a problem and I clean the lenses with paper towels fairly often.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 2:26 PM
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Lens coatings can be quite fragile, but they usually put an anti-scratch coating over it, I think. Certainly when I bought my last set of glasses there was an anti-scratch coating added. I treat mine like shit and the lenses are still like new. However, the anti-scratch coating is an 'option' at some places, so maybe yours don't have it?

And yeah, paper towels are too abrasive. With cameras lenses I try not to clean them at all, except for giving them a blast of air or a light dust with a soft brush or lint-free wipe [taken clean from a new pack].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 3:48 PM
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95: I've also found Crazy Meds helpful in figuring out what's what with psych medications.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 3:51 PM
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That's a very neat site. I guess I shouldn't have just jumped down from 300 to 150mg of Venlafaxine. Oh, well; live and learn.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 4:43 PM
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Unless the euphoria one gets from excercise feels like a mix of diziness and disorientation, I think it's a recessive trait.

(Something possessed me to traverse the Lizard Q. Breath West Side Bike Path à bicyclette immediately upon awakening from a nap that constituted hours 8-10 of today's sleep.)


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 4:56 PM
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105.1: it took me a good two years or so at least of regular runs before it would have remotely occured to me to refer to said activity as "fun". I felt good afterwards pretty much from the beginning, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:12 PM
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Ativan seems to work exactly as wanted on me. My anxiety (mostly) disappears and I don't get anything even resembling a high, or really any effect at all except for the missing stressed out feeling. My shrink has been pushing me to use this stuff for years, and is now saying - more, more think how tasty they are. Alcohol has the negative effect everybody is describing on my depression, exercise is more of a symptom of feeling better than a source; caffeine and nicotine on the other hand...

a propos


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:12 PM
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106: I've come a ways. Aerobic exercise used to end with me feeling faint and having a headache. In the last year I've started getting intermittent exercise. Now I'm merely tired afterward. So I'm about three years maybe from this fabled runner's high.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:29 PM
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MTL, you've gotten good advice already and I think it's admirable and a good sign that you're willing to talk about this here. Crackpot as it may sound, my partner and I have both responded well to a light therapy lamp in less sunny months. I recommend looking into that if you think a little shot of extra energy might help you. In fact, I'd be happy to send you ours if you wanted to try it, since we're both currently high on adoring our three-year-old.

My partner is currently medicated and I'm not, though I've had much more serious psych problems in the past than she has. You never reallyi know how these things will work out. I think it's a good sign that you're able to be as accurate in self-assessment as you can be. (That's not a slam on you; depression skews that hardcore, in my experience.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:34 PM
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Wow, the link in 95 makes a person want to be very, very wary of Xanax.

90: essear, a friend of mine just had the same problem with new glasses he'd had all of 3 weeks. I took a look at the glasses as well, tried to clean them with an eyeglass cleaning lint-free chamois cloth thingy, and no go: just a cloudy area that was pretty much unworkable. He'd gotten an anti-glare coating; the eyeglass place replaced the lenses free of charge, without the coating, and all is well, though he did have to argue a bit (No, I did not rub sandpaper on them, no I did not put the lens over a bunsen burner).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:42 PM
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Wow, the link in 95 makes a person want to be very, very wary of Xanax.

I hear you can get addicted to Xanax just by thinking about it.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:49 PM
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Indeed, if you're already wary of it, it might be too late.

For your own safety, you must give all your Xanax -- and since you don't have any, you must buy some -- to me.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 5:51 PM
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I have some Zantac.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:06 PM
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Friend, I'm just a little worried about the hallucinations and the seizures. You see. From my experience of anxiety -- something I've only had trouble with in the last couple of years, and try to address through non-chemical means -- it's such a messer-upper that I could very easily see addiction kicking in. I am concerned about it in the abstract! As you say.

More or less OT: a friend of a friend (age 60 or so) was just admitted to the hospital because he suddenly can't recognize people. OMG. I'm not going to be frightened about what our bodies can do to us. No, I'm not.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:06 PM
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106: you ought to go to the doctor. Nobody should have the runs for that long.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:15 PM
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a friend of a friend (age 60 or so) was just admitted to the hospital because he suddenly can't recognize people.

Did he have a stroke?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:19 PM
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110.2: Thanks. Maybe I'll ask for the same thing. And now I remember that the salesperson was weirdly pushy about the anti-glare coating (and not about anything else), and I probably wouldn't have gotten it otherwise. Oh well. I'll go back tomorrow and see what they say.

So functionally it sounds like Xanax is sort of like alcohol in pill form? I can see why people might be reluctant to prescribe it. But why are there not more GABA-mimicking drugs? GABA is the most fun neurotransmitter to say, so it's manifestly important. My minimal awareness of how such things work (probably wrong) would make me think the GABAergic drugs that act on G-protein receptors or that are reuptake inhibitors would have less of the problem described in 95 than Xanax, which works on fast-acting ion channels. Wikipedia lists a few of each type but it doesn't appear they're mostly in common use. Except GHB, but that acts on other things too and doesn't sound very friendly for medical purposes.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:20 PM
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Prosopagnosia is also a nifty word, but 114.2 is nonetheless horrifying.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:23 PM
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The line at the end of this cracks me up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:27 PM
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So functionally it sounds like Xanax is sort of like alcohol in pill form?

Not really. I mean, it's a depressant, and so's alcohol, and GABA is the main fast-acting inhibitory neurotransmitter, but both of them are a lot more complicated than that would indicate. GHB is a much closer analog to alcohol (and in fact has been used to treat alcoholism, as it reduces alcoholic cravings and withdrawal symptoms) and is (as far as I know) pretty useful for medical purposes, but unfortunately is also 1. very fun recreationally and 2. very touchy to handle recreationally, so I think that particular use has not really caught on.

Talking out my ass, I suspect the problem with GABA reuptake inhibitors is that GABA-A receptors are much more important to the kinds of symptoms we're talking about than the g-protein-coupled GABA-B receptors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:28 PM
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AHA! Thanks, wikipedia: it turns out that benzos and Xanax act primarily on GABA-A receptors, but alcohol and GHB act primarily on GABA-B receptors. So there you go.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:29 PM
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120: Talking out my ass

Less so than I am, anyway!

121: Does Wikipedia contradict itself? (It does, after all, contain multitudes.) I saw this which lists alcohol as GABA-A.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:33 PM
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119: A bit surprised it isn't preceded by "Some say".


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:34 PM
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115 to 120.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:35 PM
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In general, though, using drugs that act on fast-acting neurotransmitters as long-term therapeutic drugs seems like a bit of a gun-at-a-knife-fight situation; low-dose reuptake inhibitors that work on modulatory NTs just seem like a saner (so to speak) solution. Partly, of course, I'm just going by what is and isn't fun.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:35 PM
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I didn't know the NYT was handing out "free email alerts". If I'd known they were free, I'd have signed up in an instant.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:38 PM
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122.last: never!

Or, maybe. I was looking at this (which makes no mention of alcohol) and this (which does). But I think it's more likely that the neurological effects of alcohol are just, like, super complicated, and implicate all kinds of receptors. (Weed is the same way.)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:38 PM
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Yeah, booze gets its paws all over all kinds of receptors.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:39 PM
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The GABA-A page you link says "ethanol" near the top. I guess it acts on both?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:40 PM
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Partly, of course, I'm just going by what is and isn't fun.

It is annoying how often doing good for your long term health means picking "not fun."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:41 PM
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Fuckin' ethanol's everywhere, man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:42 PM
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Fuckin' ethanol's in my mouth right now.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:43 PM
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130: eh, I dunno. Like the random internet person said, Xanax taken occasionally (i.e. recreationally) isn't bad for you at all. I'm fairly sure the dependence ze is talking about is only likely to develop if you're taking it on a regular basis, like if you were prescribed it. I suppose it's possible that somebody could develop a Xanax habit outside of a prescription (it was a plot point in the past two william gibson novels!) and benzo addictions definitely happen, but in the scheme of things...


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:44 PM
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132: there's a party in my mouth... and ethanol's invited!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:44 PM
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Suddenly I want ethanol in my mouth.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:46 PM
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At first I was all, Dang, I just had some chocolate; but then I remembered why God made port.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:48 PM
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I'm sure my NMDA receptors are rejoicing. I didn't even know I had NMDA receptors.

(A quick check of my bookshelf tells me I did know this in 2002 or so when I was taking biopsych. Oh yeah, it's one of those Saturday nights.)


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:49 PM
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133: Probably is easier to get addicted to with a prescription, but that's at least partially because addiction is more likely for people with certain mental illnesses and that's who is most likely to get it from a doctor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:51 PM
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why God made port

Starboard was getting lonely.


Posted by: God | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:53 PM
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Speaking of, you ever notice how many smokes someone with schizophrenia will go through if resources aren't limited.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:53 PM
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116: Did he have a stroke?

That was my first question as well. There's not a lot of information as yet -- his husband (not officially husband) is extremely freaked out and didn't give a lot of information, I guess.

I don't know a lot about the ways that stroke can manifest, but he's apparently fully functional physically, was going about his business in the house, fully recognizing everything there (the coffee-maker and where the coffee cups are and such), but just didn't recognize his husband at all and thought he was a stranger. In the hospital now, he knows there's something wrong and why he's there and is having tons of tests. No speech difficulties or anything.

I drowned, or almost drowned, about 5 years ago, but was rescued and resuscitated, thank god. I was deeply confused, though, didn't recognize people initially, and according to my mother and my housemate who rescued me, just kept saying, "I'm so afraid. I'm so afraid."

I do recall that state of mind, and I know that this man must be so afraid. You revert to childhood in that situation. It's awful. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:54 PM
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Oh, good grief. 141 should have been put in pause/play mode. And I should have previewed.

Carry on.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 6:57 PM
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Thanks, Thorn. I think I get more than enough sunlight in my climes, but it is something that my mother is sensitive to so I'll be on the lookout for that.

It turns out it's really helpful to a) have suffered a major depressive episode in childhood within the sort of family that forced (yes, forced, but in the good way) me to go to therapy, as it gave me a vocabulary for discussing things and understanding my own feelings as well as coping mechanisms and b) to have a mother who's suffered from it extensively but also been willing to discuss things with me, for pretty much the same reasons. I think I've been depressed for a long time now but been unwilling to admit it. Being forced to admit it out loud to friends and family really is helpful, as awkward and embarrassing as it can be.

Anyway, a long way of saying that I'm feeling a lot less panicky about waiting until the end of the month to see the psychiatrist and that I feel pretty well prepared to discuss my needs with him. I do suffer from a lot of anxiety as well but Xanax scares me, so I'm not sure what we'll do, if anything, about that.


Posted by: Mary Todd Lincoln | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:16 PM
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but Xanax scares me

You know what will make that fear just melt away? A milligram or so of Xanax.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:32 PM
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141:
IANAD/Oliver Sacks, but my understanding is that this sort of thing can result from various sorts of brain trauma. See also Capgras delusion. I hope your friend is able to make a speedy recovery.


Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:47 PM
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The Capgras delusion.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:55 PM
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145: Yes. Here's hoping. Thanks.

Meanwhile, Matt Taibbi is pretty awesome on the Olbermann thing. I understand that there are issues and issues involved, but I still really like this line:

These periodic spaz attacks the people in our business have over obscure and usually completely made-up ethical controversies [...] are really irritating.

If only because Matt really doesn't bother to avoid telling us how he really feels.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 7:59 PM
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Barack Obama is the president of the United States.

Oh. My. God.

(Points for not capitalizing "president".)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:02 PM
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|| I tried to see Four Lions tonight. It was sold out. |>


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:07 PM
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139: Starboard was getting lonely. - God

Port out, starboard homily.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:26 PM
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/Groan


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:33 PM
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it turns out that benzos and Xanax act primarily on GABA-A receptors, but alcohol and GHB act primarily on GABA-B receptors.

Listening to the Ramones, on the other hand, acts primarily on the GABA-HEY receptors.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:33 PM
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143: Good, then I don't have to march myself to the post office to send anything out. I wasn't initially going to offer up mine, but I figured that if I believe one of the most impressive things you can do when depressed is just get out of bed in the morning, actually trying to acquire some potentially costly accessory that may or may not be helpful is going to be a huge pain. And a huge pain for me is not as much of a big deal because I really should be able to do things like pack things up and send them back, too-small shoes in their boxes in the dining room for the past months notwithstanding. Like a motherfucking adult, I tellya! Plus now I have a small child who can tote small packages and walking to the post office is basically an educational event, so that would make it more doable. But now I don't even have to do that!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:40 PM
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Like a motherfucking adult, I tellya!

This made me laugh. Again.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 8:44 PM
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Apropos of nothing.

There is some kind of small animal scurrying around in my ceiling. (Attic? I don't really know what is above my apartment.) It mostly does this in the evening, and drives me insane. This has been happening for weeks. I think "tomorrow morning, I'll call maintenance and ask them to do something". In the morning I don't. Or if I remember I think "eh, I'll clean up all the clutter tonight, and call them tomorrow", as if some maintenance person who enters my apartment due to an animal that isn't even in my apartment proper will be horrified to find piles of papers with scrawled equations mixed with random library books. In other words, I am writing this comment to remind myself to finally fucking call them, dumbass.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:27 PM
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Do you have neighbours on the same floor? If so, they might call maintenance for you. I speak from experience. Then again, they're probably squirrels, and we all know what squirrels in the ceiling did to one of our front pagers.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:33 PM
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If they were squirrels, shouldn't I have heard them laughing by now?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 9:36 PM
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You're in NJ, right? That means it's almost certainly rats.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:25 PM
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Oh look, the monthly achewood update.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:33 PM
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140: I believe there's evidence that smoking reduces the symptoms of schizophrenia.

141.3: acquired prosopagnosia (that is, acquired deficits in face recognition, usually as a result of stroke) often doesn't correspond to general object agnosia (failing to recognize the coffee maker). The suspicion is that this is because the stroke damages areas in the FFA (fusiform face area), which (per possibly dodgy fMRI work) is where most face recognition in healthy adults happens. If you had a relatively minor stroke, it's perfectly possible for it to damage that part of the brain but nothing else. The good news, if this is actually what happened, is that most people who suffer from this tend to learn methods (look at the hair and/or moustache; say "good to see you" rather than "nice to meet you") for coping. If it's actually the Capgras Delusion, or one of a number of other syndromes that could be grouped under "he doesn't recognize people" then none of the above applies.

143.last: there's always beta blockers.

149: man, I keep trying to watch that but find it excruciating, in much the same way that I found the UK Office excruciating. I'd really like to hear from somebody that loved it, and/or watch it in a theater/big group.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 10:55 PM
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Kibo claims to be prosopagnosiac.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:09 PM
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161: many people do. They might not be wrong! There's no consensus on whether developmental prosopagnosia and acquired prosopagnosia represent the same phenomenon, nor on whether developmental prosopagnosia describes a singular thing, or whether it's just a manifestation of a larger object agnosia.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:16 PM
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I just wanted to see if I could get Kibo to comment by mentioning him.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:24 PM
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Any luck?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:25 PM
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149: I just did a search to see if it's playing around here. Because Moviefone couldn't find it within 25 miles of my zipcode, it expanded the search to "unlimited"; apparently it's playing in four theaters in the entire country.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:26 PM
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I'm hoping to see Four Lions tomorrow. It looks like a very dark comedy and I usually like those. Actually, I do feel a bit uncomfortable at the idea of a jihadi comedy.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:26 PM
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163: Is there an NNTP feed of comments for him to grep?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:27 PM
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Also, I finally got around to watching La Grande Illusion tonight. Whoever here said they were afraid of it dragging: you have nothing to worry about. Now I'm kicking myself for not having seen it sooner.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:29 PM
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163: Is there an NNTP feed of comments for him to grep?

I guess it's not out of the question that the xml feed could be or even has been converted into one.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:34 PM
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I am surprised that it is playing in DC and not in SF. Wow, in Irvine but not in SF. Orange County!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:34 PM
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There was a book in the mid-90s that used kibo as a word of summoning.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:36 PM
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Wow, in Irvine but not in SF. Orange County!

This is actually quite common.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:36 PM
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Hmm. Poor SF.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 11- 6-10 11:42 PM
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||

My band played a gig tonight at a small college. Afterward, someone asked if we'd sign her CD, which of course we did, if sort of sheepishly. This led to a parade of people requesting our autographs. I find this hilariously odd, while flattering.

We are not cool or famous, dudes. No, really, I promise.

|>


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 12:34 AM
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168 Nope, doesn't drag at all. The dialogue can come off as a bit old fashoned, shockingly enough for a movie filmed three quarters of a century ago and taking place two decades before that, but it's a great movie. I was apparently very upset the first time I saw it as a kid, or so my dad claims. Have you seen Rules of the Game or the semi-short Partie de campagne?


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 12:39 AM
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I knew him when... and for a price I'll point people to his Unfogged commentary.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 12:40 AM
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Drat. The hobo-consultants thing will ruin me.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 12:43 AM
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that made me thing of "la legge" from 1959 with gina lollobrigida and yves montand, which is a criminally underrated movie.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:05 AM
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that made me thing
Ha. Now you've got another thing coming.


Posted by: Nakku | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:23 AM
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My five-year-old just told me a joke.

Dad, how do you wake up Lady Gaga?
How?
Poke her face.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:45 AM
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Heh. Apples, trees.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:51 AM
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Because if you've ever used benzos out of necessity...it makes you want to write fan mail to whoever invented it. If you've been given one you respond to, it can nullify a lot of bad feeling pretty quickly. And this is of course also why they're potentially addictive.

Amen. The degree of nostalgia I felt when writing comment 69 took me a little by surprise.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:06 AM
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I like Advil gel-caps.

OT: Of all literary forms, the open letter is the lowest.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:13 AM
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174, 176: Yep, like rookie baseball cards.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:17 AM
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Of all literary forms, the open letter is the lowest.

This lacks imagination. What about the greeting card, the fisking, or the contemporary Christian lyric?


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:12 AM
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Or the dissertation.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:49 AM
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187

Or, more specifically (as an homage to Emerson): the analytic philosophy dissertation*.

* I have never read one. I have no horse in this race. Some of my best friends are analytic philosophers. I just miss Emerson, is all.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:51 AM
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I know some philosophers, but I've never made the mistake of asking them what type of philosophy they do. I did try to convince one that vegetarianism was stupid. It was very rude, but in my defense, I was really drunk and at a wedding reception where I didn't know people.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:53 AM
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182: Yeah. Ativan is so good it's bad. Much nastier to get away from than a 50 year high nicotine Lucky Strike habit IMX.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 10:06 AM
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They replaced my glasses for free with no objections. Apparently the culprit was the anti-reflective coating, as suspected, and they say that such coatings should only be washed with cold water.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 11:30 AM
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Those E-cigaretttes sound pretty cool. Are they as addictive as regular, cancer-style cigarettes? Do they work as well to relax one?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 11:45 AM
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Have you seen Rules of the Game or the semi-short Partie de campagne?

No to both, although Rules of the Game is next in my Netflix queue. My plan for the next few months is to go back and fill in a bunch of the gaps in my movie-watching résumé, so other suggestions are more than welcome.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 11:49 AM
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190: Good to know that one should avoid the anti-reflective coating. I wind up with glasses fogged once in a while from adding seasoning to a pot of simmering soup, or from a steaming teapot, or just from removing something from the oven.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 11:57 AM
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192: A surprisingly great movie that I hadn't even heard of until a few years ago is Robert Bresson's Un condamné à mort s'est échappé ou Le vent souffle où il veut (A Man Escaped or: The Wind Bloweth Where It Listeth). A lot of movies use Mozart to class themselves up a bit, but that isn't one of them.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 3:34 PM
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What about the greeting card, the fisking, or the contemporary Christian lyric?

The greeting card serves the inarticulate; the fisking is less a literary than a glandular exercise; the Christian lyric may be abused, but it is not low.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 3:38 PM
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191: The physiological/psychological reaction to nicotine is going to be the same. I don't know if there's a difference in the feel of the "hit" as one takes a drag though.

There's no particular reason to think they're much safer (overall) than regular smokes though, the vasoconstriction from the nicotine could very well be implicated in vascular disease, ischemic strokes and in MIs. They haven't been out long enough for anyone to see the long term effects.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 3:45 PM
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I still think someone should market a line of nicotine-containing soft drinks. "Nicola", or something along those lines.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:05 PM
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The greeting card serves the inarticulate

The lazy, apathetic, drunk, and hugely confused think you are being over-restrictive.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:16 PM
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The greeting card serves the inarticulate

1970s-era (or so; unclear) card found in a book the other day: just a single-card note pre-printed in embossed silver cursive, reading, "I'm sorry, you deserve better." (signed "Always in Love with You, Yours, S")

Cryptic!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:17 PM
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Dinosaur Comics is all over the greeting card genre. This one and this one are pretty close to the one in 199.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:32 PM
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199: If guessing what book is a contest, put me down for "I'm OK, You're OK."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:33 PM
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Dinosaur Comics is all over the greeting card genre. This one and this one are pretty close to the one in 199.

Wow. It's good I didn't come across that before Friday, or I'd have been seriously tempted to use it. Which would have been really awful. But kinda funny.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:47 PM
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(I actually did send this one after a certain prof let me stay at his lovely house during a legal philosophy conference this fall.)


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 4:53 PM
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200: Oddly, I didn't until now read the card as a break-up. It read more like it was coming from someone with whom the recipient had had a meaningful relationship in the past, perhaps long ago, and now the recipient had been dumped by someone else, and the sender was expressing her condolences and continued fondness, although they weren't really in close touch any more. (The "Always in Love with You" read as though it might have been written by a non-native English speaker, maybe German. Something about the script. So it just meant something like Love Always. It was kind of moving. Yet puzzling.)

Anyway, closer to the second Dinosaur comic.

The book was a very dry socioeconomics text, or maybe international development or public health/epidemiology/demography.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:04 PM
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202: mostly awful, I think.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:04 PM
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205: yes, you're right. Well, thank goodness I didn't know about it, then.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:10 PM
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203: You sent that to someone? Wow, times have changed in the academy.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:14 PM
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Well, context is everything; as it happened, the first panel was rather appropriate.

And, really, that goes back at least to Athens, no? It's just the ironic hipster morning-after commentary that's new.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:21 PM
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Go Bullgdogs!


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:25 PM
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Go Bobcats?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:34 PM
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208: I figured it was something like that. Morning after, huh? Well, anyway, the tradition of house-sitting* for a prof is a strange one: a lot of us did it, and it was never for pay, but just in exchange for living in a much more excellent house than you would ever be able to otherwise, for a month or three. Sometimes I thought it was a bit of a racket. Then again ....

* Sounds like you weren't house-sitting.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:37 PM
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In my continued thread-killing mood, though, I'm going to pass along this Billl Moyers piece from Truthout, on plutocracy.

It's freaking long, and maybe you hate Bill Moyers, but I think we need to pay attention. h/t Balloon Juice, which provides an excerpt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:53 PM
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I was thinking about reading that piece, but it sounds like a downer, so I think I'll skip it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:58 PM
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People hate Bill Moyers? Did he spend a summer killing people's dogs that I didn't hear about?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:58 PM
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210 -- Indeed. That was a pretty dramatic 4th quarter against Weber State yesterday, and I like their chances against the Griz on 11/20.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 5:59 PM
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The Weber State Fighting Briquettes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:01 PM
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(The Cats have next week off, while the Griz are going to get beaten up by the Fighting Sioux of UND.)


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:01 PM
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I was, perhaps too subtly, implying that the "Athens" in 208 was Athens, Georgia or Athens, Ohio.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:03 PM
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Google would tell you that in the August 1906 edition of The National Magazine, Missoula was referred to as the Athens of Montana. Bobcats, of course, are from the other place.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:10 PM
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That Bill Moyers piece is a huge downer, in a way that the referenced Harper's piece could not be (for me) because Harper's house style is so constipatedly whinging.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:12 PM
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219: I don't think I've been to Missoula. The second worst hotel room I've ever stayed in was in Butte, but that's probably not the same thing.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:17 PM
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214: I thought maybe people here had found a reason to hate Bill Moyers. I can never tell with you guys.

213: Understood. I'm bookmarking it to face it in the light of day. There's something about plain speaking that doesn't bring you down but makes you nod and cry in relief that someone's not lying.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:20 PM
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Having read about half of the Moyers piece (I'm finding it a slow haul, because painful), I'm going to say one more time to the general readership of unfogged -- please read this, folks.

I know a lot of us know this stuff anyway, but there are going to be fights coming up, and it would be good to keep our respective eyes on the ball.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:51 PM
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200 is really disappointing. You use a Dinosaur Comics search engine, teo? It was much more entertaining to think you loved the site so much that you just always immediately knew which one to link.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:56 PM
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It was much more entertaining to think you loved the site so much that you just always immediately knew which one to link.

Oh, I do. I was just using the search link to show how many web cards there are.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:58 PM
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(I do sometimes use the search engine to find a specific one to link, but I always know which one I'm looking for before I search.)


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 6:59 PM
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Oh good. My esteem for your comic-linking skills is undimmed.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:06 PM
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Speaking of web comics, how do you read the mouse over text on xkcd (or here) with an iPod?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:11 PM
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On some webcomics I think you tap the screen. I don't know if that's how it works with xkcd, though.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:22 PM
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The Weber State Fighting Briquettes.

Isn't it the Weber State Hard-Workin' Proddies


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:30 PM
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229: I tried here, xkcd, and dinosaur comics and was unable to read the mouse over text on any of them. Dinosaur comics had a very nice set-up for reading on smart phones and such.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:33 PM
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Or the Weber State Magnets? I can never remember which.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:34 PM
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231: Hm, maybe people have been so swept up in enthusiasm for smartphones that they've neglected to optimize their sites for iPods.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 7:40 PM
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Speaking of, you ever notice how many smokes someone with schizophrenia will go through if resources aren't limited.

They go through a ton even when resources are limited.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:06 PM
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I swear I have some kind of very sub-clinical prosopagnosia. Tonight at dinner with a friend, I introduced myself to her boyfriend who I've met a number of times. She's been with him for years. Blerg. It's pretty embarrassing.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:13 PM
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I am appallingly bad at remembering the SOs of people I know. Like spouses of physicists who I run into at conferences all the time, but never have a real conversation with, because they're usually suffering silently through the physics talk. And some of them I see often enough that I feel like I should remember their names and know what they do, but I hate to ask since I feel like I should already know.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:31 PM
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And there was the one dinner party last year where I asked a woman who she was and she sort of dramatically flailed for her boyfriend's arm and was like "I'm with him!", as if by just asking her name I was hitting on her or something, and it was very awkward.

mumble mumble five dollars.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:36 PM
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Be honest now, who knew there were Utah Fighting Irish?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:53 PM
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Kenny Roberson, apparently.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:56 PM
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mumble mumble five dollars.

I got to share the "five dollars"-at-the-end-of-a-seemingly-pointless-story thing with someone new today! True story.

And then...


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 8:58 PM
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I swear I have some kind of very sub-clinical prosopagnosia.
This. God help me when I watch one of those older movies filled with white guys wearing hats.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:04 PM
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Be honest now, who knew there were Utah Fighting Irish?

When they play the Boston Saints it gets very confusing.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:07 PM
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I know some folks here will prefer the Arco Anarchy.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:08 PM
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241: A western?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:16 PM
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God help me when I watch one of those older movies filled with white guys wearing hats.

That too, to some extent. I watched half of The Best Years of Our Lives the other night without realizing the one guy is the detective from Laura. He wasn't all that offended, though, as he is dead and on tv.

S.O. of friend was clearly taken aback, so I gave an awkward little speech about how I have trouble with faces from time to time, even if I've met the person a couple of times, and it doesn't mean I don't remember the man behind the face.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:22 PM
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|| aaaaaah. Shorter: I am a dick about my brother being transsexual. I made jokes about it and avoided being supportive. Somehow my sibling seems to be fine, even though I continue to be a dick. |>


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:26 PM
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245.2: O man, I feel for you. I've been experiencing that recently (and blaming it on my children, as I do with the rest of my mental decline), but it seemed under control until I did a similar non-recognition thing. Yeesh.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:29 PM
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I have whatever the opposite of prosopagnosia is. I don't mean a freakish ability to recognize faces, but a certainty that everyone I see is someone I know. I call out to strangers from a block away. I am very quick to say hello. I find it really weird when other people aren't.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:29 PM
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Holy fuck, the Moyers article is depressing.

It's a good analysis, though. After the election, I went to read Mark Schmitt, who is usually a good source of optimism, but this time he had nothing. He seemed stunned that the Republicans really had no interest in governing, beyond seeking political gain. I think Moyers has the right explanation for this.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 11- 7-10 9:30 PM
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I have whatever the opposite of prosopagnosia is. I don't mean a freakish ability to recognize faces, but a certainty that everyone I see is someone I know.

This. My glib explanation was that my brain had run out of room for new faces.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 12:06 AM
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I'm OK with faces most of the time, but terrible with names:

"Hey, wow, it's been a long time.
Good to see... you. How are, uh, ... you...
doing these days? That's great."


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 12:35 AM
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I'm good with faces but not great with names. I used to be quite bad. However, it depends very much on context, and I've learned [or rather read somewhere] that the trick is just to properly pay attention when someone's name is given; that people who are bad at names and faces just aren't paying attention properly, and people who are good at it just make the effort to connect name and face when they are first introduced. So I've gotten a lot better over the years.

On the other hand, I'm freakishly good with, for example, the names of actors in films, or musicians, or whoever. That sort of trivial stuff just sticks.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 12:40 AM
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Be honest now, who knew there were Utah Fighting Irish?

Hell, I've never heard of them and across the street the houses overlook their home field.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 12:42 AM
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I'm good with faces but not great with names.

I'm terrible with names, too, but it doesn't bother me as much as it used to. What I realized is that you almost never really need to directly address someone while talking with them, so long as you're careful. How did I come to realize this, you ask? Simple: my mother decided a few years back that she'd prefer her grown children now address her as 'mom' rather than by her first name (as we'd been raised to do). This didn't sit well with us; my response has been to avoid all direct forms of address ever since.


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 12:51 AM
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||

Also, Jesus H. Christ at the comments here:

http://crookedtimber.org/2010/11/07/swift-versus-berlin-on-positive-liberty/

>


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 1:03 AM
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The commentariat at CT appears to be comprised of centenarian vicars, plus dsquared. I can't hear that thing at the moment, but the comments are hilarious on their own.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 1:12 AM
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re: 256

Yeah. With bonus points for all the people confident in their view on what certain swear words mean in British English, when used by Britons.

To be fair, it's a mixture of centenarian vicars and crypto-Republican 'libertarian' trolls.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 1:19 AM
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252.2:

I too have that thing of being able to remember stuff as long as it couldn't possibly prevent me from embarrassing myself.

252.1:

The real trick for me is actually following this advice in real time. I go in with the best of intentions, and then suddenly the name has been given and once again I've been too busy thinking of something to say to have registered it.

And I'm quite capable of having people whose names I once knew reasonably well in the past just drop out of the memory bank when I re-encounter them. Not friends, exactly, but people who I've, say, been to lunch with, and spoken to, in a group a number of times.




Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 1:23 AM
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255: good grief, it must be horrible to work at a US university. I really don't understand people at CT: they have what is, generally speaking, a pretty good life (indoor work, no heavy lifting, studying and researching the stuff they like) and they seem to spend so much time working each other up to be miserable about things. Who gathers knowledge, gathers sorrow. I bet they'd be happier as brickies.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 2:15 AM
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I'm good with faces but not great with names...On the other hand, I'm freakishly good with, for example, the names of actors in films

This reminds me of William Gibson's "Virtual Light", in which there's a reference to the discovery that people are much better at spotting resemblances to celebrities than they are at remembering faces. So instead of saying "have you seen a man who looked like this picture?", the police go around saying "have you seen a man who looked a bit like Tommy Lee Jones?" and they have a computer program called Separated at Birth that decides which celebrity the suspect most resembles.
At one point they run a shot of a man who's been killed with a Colombian Necktie and it says he looks like Rainer Fassbinder.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 3:32 AM
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re: 260

I can absolutely believe that program would work.

re: 259

CT is particularly bad, I think. Or, at least, it was my perception that it was that led me to largely stop commenting there, several years back. The front page posts are often interesting, but the comment threads are a hive of villainy. I still skim 'em, though, for the odd commenter who isn't an arse.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 3:44 AM
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CT seems to be a happy home for a partly cleaned up Beauregard ToS. That's fun.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 3:46 AM
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sarsly, there's a bunch of slackers over there at CT.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 4:25 AM
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I wonder if SMBC is following Unfogged.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 4:52 AM
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I guess this link should be more permanent.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 4:53 AM
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Saiselgy's comments section has been just unbelievably bad for a while now. It's gone right past villainy into outright lunacy.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 4:56 AM
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I'd like to get something useful done, but in the short term I'd rather dick around on the internet.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:03 AM
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255: Awesome:

Like most teenagers, they swear to be cool.

Too true, man. If they only knew.

I think there's a bit too much delight above in using/mentioning words that people feel are forbidden.

I realize that just moving your eyes across the word "twat" can render you sterile, but this seems a bit much.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:06 AM
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Dsquared got it right with his comment re: 'wowsers'.

Also, the class element to the discussion is amusing. Where by amusing I mean, 'makes me want to repeatedly punch someone'.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:12 AM
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We've had several dust-ups on my professional listserv about gratuitous cunt-talk, in which several good old boys decide it's time for a chat about their favorite historical descriptions of fucking, and then someone expresses a preference not to wade through 50 emails about rape every morning, and then the first group does a well-I-never about being accused of being rapists, and it escalates pretty much forever. I quit.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:18 AM
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Sure, there are appropriate and inappropriate times and places for everything. I'd still stand by the 'wowserism' characterisation of that particular CT thread, though.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:25 AM
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The word "cunt", as applied to a person, seems to me in its British usage almost as unlikely to evoke its original sexual meaning as a term like "jerk".


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:33 AM
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Also, the class element to the discussion is amusing. Where by amusing I mean, 'makes me want to repeatedly punch someone'.

Didn't we just recently establish that this very reaction, too, involves a class (in addition to geographic) element?


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:34 AM
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I realize that just moving your eyes across the word "twat" can render you sterile, but this seems a bit much.

This, on the other hand, I can only recognise as a word for a nun's headgear.


Posted by: One of Many | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:36 AM
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Err, that was meant to be more of am "Unfogged: a serpent eating its own tail forever!" thing, as opposed to any sort of "gotcha".


Posted by: x. trapnel | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:37 AM
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re: 273

Indeed we did.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:37 AM
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271. Also, as Oudemia points out, it's perfect ToS fodder, and they don't seem to realise they're infected, which enhances the unreality.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:38 AM
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re: 275

Looping is S.Unfogged.O.P, no? At some point someone [Apo] usually links back to the previous discussion. Bonus points for comments in which the person is saying the diametric opposite of the viewpoint they are currently espousing.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 5:39 AM
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Be honest now, who knew there were Utah Fighting Irish?

I wonder about their record against the South Jordan Beetdiggers.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 6:08 AM
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just moving your eyes across the word "twat" can render you sterile

Not to mention...


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 6:55 AM
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280 => 278.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 11- 8-10 7:16 AM
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