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  1.  (10721.1)
    The Rules:

    The THREE ACT SPEAKEASY is here for you to vent, to express, and to learn. This is your chance to perform -- but you're also in the audience, guv, and are expected to behave as such. So your skits at the steely Whitechapel microphone will ALL and ALWAYS be divided into three sections:

    1: The Boo. The Get-It-Off-Your-Chest. The "I've-Had-A-Shit-Week-And-I-Need-To-Vent". Your chance to scream silently into the face of Internet apathy, and trepan your pressurized consciousness. Deposit your spleen here.

    2: The Huzzah. Wherein you tell us something which goes just a teensy way to mitigating the effects of the psychic turd you just laid on our heads. Perhaps it's a tiny hint of hope in an otherwise bleak situation. Perhaps it's an unrelated Thing Which Happened which made you smile rather than frown. Shit, maybe it's just a silly joke. Show us you can cope as well as carp.

    3: The Applause. You will choose one of your fellow whitechapellers, from this same thread. Doesn't have to be the person who posted before you - just someone whose story touched you. And you will offer them a word of advice, or comfort, or support, to help them with their own SECTION 1 Whinge. Doesn't have to be much. A sentence, a word, a bloody emoticon - whatever. Just a paltry donation to the art of Thinking Of Others. And try to avoid schmaltz, please, or the Urethral Maggots will feast anew. Circle of life, kids.

    Naturally, the first person to respond here is excused from Stage 3.

    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2012 edited
    Train got struck by lightning on Friday, got scalded by hot water from the friggin drinks trolley exploding next to my seat. Spending my entire spare time programming an online radio station and nagging everyone who promised to supply material. Came here to relax and saw yet another 'funny' post in the net thread at the expense of a disabled kid. My son is in a wheelchair so that stuff almost physically hurts to see, especially in a place where I thought people were decent enough..

    But I got to hear Zane Ibrahim speak about bush radio on Saturday and it was like a wave of warmth and passion washing over everyone. Hearing him speak about how they united their townships under apartheid in South Africa with just a hint of the risks and sacrifices made. Well it was one of those moments that you realise you are in exactly the right place at the right time.

    As I'm first I'm going to applaud all of you. Keep being strange, keep standing out, keep your community alive!
    • CommentAuthordnewling
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2012
    The Boo: Shanks for dinner. I hate shanks!

    The Hurrah: We are pretty much set for digital tv, which takes effect tomorrow.

    Applause: To Paprika, for escaping pretty much unscathed from the train accident apart from scalding water.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    Boo: My art, the theatre, this play... it's turning into a grind. Just couldn't escape that feeling this weekend. Trying to conserve effort and think things through so I'm not thrashing around, just trying to keep my nose above water. But it's tough. Just...tough. Even though I drive up on the weekends and crash with friends only 20 minutes' drive away, the truck guzzles gas and I'm not sure how I'll make it through the month. The simple basics I still need - coffee, minimal food - I'm not sure how I'll scrounge. And though I'll get reimbursed if I buy food for the show (there is eating and drinking on stage), I still have to front the money. Argh. Just tired of the juggling and fancy mental work to make it balance out. And yeah, tired of the actors. And the director and my ASM and just fucking everyone. I'm just tired of everyone. Agreed to see my friend's show because it's free, but it means staying in LA another night. God I want to go home. Be among my things, get my non-theatre shit done. Hit the goddamn gym. Haven't been in a month and have been downing a steady diet of junk food. *sigh*

    Yay: New home away from home is made of cool, clever people. They've hooked me up with way more than a couch and shower. And it's just the way it goes here, people come and go all the time. And one of my "roommates" (another couch surfer) hooked me up with a ton of music. No rationale, it's sharing. I get on other people for such "stealing" but am easily mollified by the idea of giving back to the artist eventually. Just this time I take without repentance. It's hard when we're bunch of people just holding on, trying to make things better and music is a way to light up the darkness till we get there. I haven't gotten a whole album of new (to me) music in almost three years. So pardon me while I float away on an aural cloud of industrial happy yum.

    @paprika - sometimes people think they're funnier than they are, and no one dares say otherwise. Sometimes it's perspective, those far from the situation can laugh, those close are in pain. But press on, love, forgive and you'll give yourself everything you need to make it through, as well as your son. Take good care.
  2.  (10721.5)
    Boo: My coworkers were jerks. Nothing new there, except that I'm now going to buy my own equipment for work. And totally not share. And make sure it comes with a lifetime guarantee. Kind of mentally exhausted/overwhelmed by the crazy heat wave we've been happening, the increase in work load, and therapy.

    Huzzah: Service dog official papernes is like, all official and doctor signed. :D Now I just have to save up money for the dog.

    @Paprika- sometimes people just don't think. Especially when it comes to people with disabilities of any type- I think they forget that people with disabilities are people, instead of cartoons and such. Also: Are you okay from the hot water burn?
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    Boo: I've seriously lost all motivation at work, and these days my brain feels a little like this.

    Huzzah: Taking photos! For things online! That are real!


    @Paprika, as one person who was definitely making fun of the photo, I'm sorry that came across like that. My intention wasn't to make fun of the kid, but more the idiot who put the photo together without any thought for how the finished product would look. The photo, despite intending to sell a useful product, came across as poking fun at the kid in the photo. However, I know it could totally have come across that I was making fun of the kid, and I assure you that was not my intention. Sadly, I didn't think about how to phrase it in a more careful way, and that's completely my fault. Thank you for the reminder that we all need to be a little more thoughtful.

    And here's hoping you have all the burn relief spray you need. Yowch!!

    @Roo, oh my god, please post pictures of the lovely puppy when it arrives.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    @paprika, my little brother was severely disabled (couldn't talk, walk, eat, had to live in a 24-hour care facility with trained nurses who worked in shifts on weekdays [we would take him to the cottage on weekends]) and is now dead, so I get where you're coming from with the "HA! Look at the handicapped kid!" jokes.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    (rassin frassin stupid keyboard closed my tab and it's late so I'm gonna make this quick)

    YAY: Put in request for time off in July to go to Aquarium and to Georgia to see the Dark Knight Trilogy in IMAX w/ the fella.
    BOO: But it's gonna cost about $140, before hotel and gas and stuff. Holy crap.

    YAY: Spent the day w/ Dad, helping out on the farm. He sent me home w/ awesome berries and potatoes and corn.
    BOO: But try as I might, I don't like corn. I feel bad; I need to eat better but I just can't make myself like veggies. Still trying though.

    YAY: Trying to cut soda consumption to zero. Only had a couple in the past 4 days, so I'm feeling pretty accomplished.
    BOO: But fuck I miss soda.

    @roo- Yay about the future doggy! I hope it all happens quickly, I'm sure it's gonna help you a lot.
    @razr- Wow, that sounds like a really cool place to stay. And, I'm totally w/ you on the rationalizing music piracy thing, and I'm totally understanding of throwing that aside sometimes.
    @paprika- I kinda gathered that the Original Poster (I don't remember who) of the pic was totally unaware of the nature of the product, so I don't think any harm was meant. Doesn't make it any less painful, certainly...
    @dorkmuffin- Woah, if your brain's feeling like that video, I think you should have an ehug.
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2012
    @Britt, KALE CHIPS! Everyone else here is raving about them and I've only had 'em once, but they are nom. Also sweet potatoes. They're a good compromise between veggie and delicious carb and the work SO well with ketchup.
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012
    Bueno: Getting psyched for my New York trip in September. I'm going to get brownout drunk with my writing partner and other lunatics various and sundry. Also got a new mattress; it's like sleeping in the Blessed Virgin's cleavage. Still dropping weight, still crushing it with psych meds.

    Malo: My dad has the worst puppy on Earth. He goes berserk when people come over, licking and nipping and climbing about like a forty-pound cat. He won't take him to obedience school, I know it.

    Noticias para la gente: Kale chips rule.

    @brittanica: How do you feel about seltzer water?
    @roo: yes please to see dog picture, yuss
    @raz: All of the industrials!
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012
    @everyone: Thanks, sorry it was a bad night and I was just too close to it to be understanding of the lack of bad intention. I am now calm and sorry for having a pop. @Dorkmuffin you're totally good people! Gawd I need to think before I type.

    Scald is almost gone, not so bad, although I think I scored with the woman whose lap I jumped onto holding my laptop aloft.
    • CommentAuthorArgos
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012
    @paprika -

    that stuff almost physically hurts to see, especially in a place where I thought people were decent enough..

    I don't think people here really meant to hurt anyone. I had an incident here myself not too long ago where we were talking about an issue that was very personal to me, and people involved in the debate didn't realize how much some of the things said hurt me, and I had that same thought process where I kind of went "really, in whitechapel of all places???" Anyway, after some some arguing I apologized for having gotten over-emotional and others apologized for having unintentionally been insensitive and things went on. I really don't think you have anything to be sorry about, sometimes we just get hurt by certain people or communities when we expect more out of them but then realize that we have to educate them, as well. I don't think I commented on the photo in question, but I remember scrolling past quickly and thinking "Well that's an odd photo" and then moving on, not having realized what the product was actually intended for. It honestly just did not occur to me because disability is an issue that I personally don't have much experience with. I think your bringing it up is a good thing because we were able to learn from it.
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012 edited

    It honestly just did not occur to me because disability is an issue that I personally don't have much experience with. I think your bringing it up is a good thing because we were able to learn from it.

    What she said. I don't think you overreacted at all. In addition to being entitled to your views on this, you have a different & informed perspective that, as Argos mentioned, not everyone gets exposed to. And b'aww, you didn't come across as though you thought we were bad people, just disappointed at our lack of sensitivity. Valid!
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2012
    I have a fair amount of experience with developmental disability, and I thought I was missing a joke somewhere. I figured "Nah, couldn't possibly be making fun of the kid" and then didn't bother deciphering anything more. I definitely didn't realize how callous and immature posting that image was, because I DO expect WC to be better than that. Thanks for being vocal about it. I think we let slip a fair more than we ought to, these days.
  3.  (10721.15)

    I'm feeling the beginnings of the seasonal depression that hits when I'm knocked down from the health downturn of summer. Which sucks. I hate feeling like this. Just kind of stuck in a fog of useless sad.

    I wish it were at least sharp. But it's not. It's dull and smothering, with nothing to fight.

    Hopefully I'll snap out of it.

    But today my arms and legs have been painfully numb and tingly and clumsy all day, and it makes me useless and angry and sad and the past twenty years of fruitless effort and familial denial springs forth in my head and I get a bit anti-social. Because I'm thinky in the ways that nothing can make better.

    I realized something. It was pointed out to me that the Mayo Clinic no longer takes Medicare. Now that the pre-existing condition clause no longer applies to commercial health insurance, it seems that Medicare is far less appealing to high end medical centers. It's just not worth the hassel, comparatively. Now, a few weeks ago I'd questioned why my case was turned down at the fancy doctors at The Chiari Institute, and I was told they'd review my file. The thing is, they'd already sent me back my MRIs. Any review they did would have been just looking at my list of symptoms (nearly all of which I have) and my insurance. Which is Medicare. And so they called and told me that due to the "new protocol" they couldn't help me. This year, for the first time ever, The Chiari Institute has started taking commercial health insurance.

    I'm on new medications to help my weight and hair and hormone issues, and now my hair has started falling out again. I've been eating a lot of spinach and carrots, as per the diet I'm trying (and failing) to stick to, and now the skin around my nose and mouth have started to go yellow. These, and the aforementioned limb numbness, seem to be hypothyroid symptoms. It seems Hashimoto's Encephalitis causes specifically right sided badness, so... that fits. Ugh.


    I'd applied for some Social Service corrections, and now they will be taking less money out of my disability, which means I'll have enough money to slowly pay off my $2000 of bills at $15 a month after I pay rent, which is an amazing feeling.

    A friend of mine has a mother who is a pituitary adenoma specialist, and she wants to meet me when she visits next week. It's been mentioned as a possibility in my MRIs, and it'd totally explain the crossed eyes and possible hypothyroidism. I have the mad hope that if it IS the case, then getting it removed and going on proper medication could rid me of the joint pain and brain fog that has been a constant in my life since I was a teenager.

    Also, sometimes they put people with pituitary adenomas on human growth hormone!

    Clap clap clap clap:

    @dorkmuffin - thank you for that song. It's really fucking perfect right now.

    @brit & dorkmufin - make the kale chips, don't buy them. (so expensive!) Also, for diet drinks, try making your own sodas out of seltzer and juice, or even using splenda based syrups (like the sugar free vanilla at starbucks). Keep in mind that sugar doesn't only do terrible things for your weight control, but your emotional control as well! The sugar high results in a mood crash, and that sucks.Also, to like corn on the cob, try boiling it like you normally would, but then use mayonaise instead of butter, and coat it in sprinkle cheese and pepper. Mmmmmmm! As far as dieting in general goes, you've got to figure out what it is that draws you to certain foods. Is it the sweet, the salt, the texture, the crunch, the tactile feeling, the hand to mouth activity? I need crunchy snacky food constantly, which is my downfall, and the hardest to battle when trying to live low-carb.
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2012 edited
    Chewed mix-tape from the bitch who left me to rot:

    I had a meeting yesterday at the treatment centre I attend about my application to go into rehab; I did my usual honesty thing, which seems to help, but I did lay it on a bit thick. Because I thought they might want to hear it, because it's the sort of thing human fuck-ups usual utter, I said, "If I relapse again I reckon that's it, I can't take it any-more, I reckon I'd rather be dead than live like that!"

    You know, the usual sort of self-obsessed, self-pitying junkie shite. Thing is, though, it's sorta true - I got a bit of my confidence back, I've been interacting with people and sharing at meetings, going out and putting on a front that I'm OK-ish, even though I'm usual consumed with gut-churning fear and anxiety. I don't like it, but it's better than being on my knees craving crack and smack like some feral atrocity. Fuck that! Anger, fear, and desperation can be useful tools if you use them to your advantage.

    Anyway, I got the call later, funding has been approved... and I'm shitting myself! I did a hardcore rehab when I was twenty. It was real one-minute-late-out-of-bed and you had to brush an already clean floor for hours stuff, sitting in massive groups screaming at people you hardly knew and threatening to kill them over tea-bags, having your ego dismantled to rebuild it, dressing up as bastard I-don't-know-what, having the windows blacked-out so you didn't know if it was night or day, mad fuckers getting infatuated with each other because they couldn't help it (I did it)...that sort of thing. To be honest, I loved it; I even got a job there. Ha!

    But I'm not a young git now, and I'm not as tough. Things have changed, and so has rehabilitation, but people are still people; and addicts are crazy, like little children with the strop. Sometimes, us older ones can be more immature than the younger ones. The place I'm trying to get in takes druggies, alcoholics, gamblers, sex addicts etc. Reckon I'll smuggle in some whisky, a deck of cards, some porn, and have myself a par-tay!

    They've also informed me that I'm not going into The Max Glatt Unit in Ealing beforehand, but instead to a place in the west end called City Roads, which is meant to be rough. Street-shit! I got no time for street-shit!


    I get to visit the rehab, to check-it-out. I've really no idea when this could happen, but it's going to be soon-ish. I guess I've blown all chances of ever going into politics by baring myself here - a mate from the Prime Minister's family once called me a "militant bastard", so you never know. Even though I'm shitting it, I realize that the only constant is change, and through pain and suffering comes growth. Shit, I sound like a hippy Peter Parker going on about bastard responsibility. I also know I'm one of those irritating people who are hard to be around, but who you actually miss when they've really gone. Double-Ha!

    The Empathoids:

    @oldhat: I was sorry to read that about your brother, and I admire you for bringing it up to support Paprika.
    @Rachael: Even though I'm getting around without using a cane at the moment, my legs are numb and tingly. Some days are better than others, so I feel for you.

    Sorry about my grammar and shit word construction thingy.
  4.  (10721.17)
    @ flecky - It's hard to explain to most people that something being numb and tingly can also be quite painful. Murrg. Like dead flesh. Have you ever used a TENS unit? It might help get your legs going. They are awesome tiny boxes of electrical joy. Also! When I was on the psych floor of a ghetto hospital in NJ, they gave me the room all the way at the end of the hallway that had it's own bathroom. Before I moved in, that room had been where the crew of latinos had been sneaking cigarettes. When I took residence in there, I continued to let them do so, which endeared them to me. We had a party in my room one night, pretending the one grimy menthol butt we took turns with in the bathroom was a joint, that our juice cups were 40's of beer, that our cookies were made of hash. PAR-TAY indeed!
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2012
    Seltzer water, by itself... that's like what comes out of a soda fountain when the syrup runs out, right? Ick. I've definitely been thinking about ways to experiment, and I've been drooling over that Sodastream contraption ever since I found out about them. Not something I could buy now, but I might pick up some seltzer... I do have black raspberries I was thinking of making a syrup out of anyway... hmmm...
    Kale chips. Terrified of them. I'm never quite able to put my finger on the reason I don't like vegetables, but it's probably mostly texture. That, and that weird cold mouth-feel stuff like lettuce has, ugh. BUT I will give it a try, honest.

    But, yes! Inspiration! Thank you all!
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2012 edited
    @brittanica, yowzers. We need to figure out a way to get you to like veggies. I mean, you like plain berries, right? Being that your folks grow berries and all? As for seltzer, it's just water with bubbles in it. If you're really trying to eat healthier, you could start by transitioning to homemade seltzer that you sweeten with Crystal Light or some equivalent, but I've got to second what @Rachael said a while back there:

    If you can cut sweets and salts out of your diet for a while, you don't crave them the same way. Especially sugar: sugar has a pretty addictive character, as far as foods go. I go through phases where I'm a total sugar FIEND, but it's only ever brought on by myself. If I cut sugars out of my diet, I don't actually want them.

    As far as the veggies go, getting them fresh helps. However, if you find that you really hate the taste of veggies, I'd start by hiding them in foods. Thanks to overactive mothers with internet connections, there are a whoooole wealth of recipes out there that have hidden vegetables. Zucchini bread, especially if you can cut some of the oil and refined sugar out by using unsweetened applesauce, is probably a great place to start. Do you like spice breads, muffins, and cakes? They're perfect for hiding veggies in, and you can add whole grains. Think carrot cakes. OOOH OOOH also soups if you don't like cold veggie textures. Or stuffed green peppers! That might be pushing it but I love stuffed green peppers.

    Also, while it may take a while and you may never fully love vegetables, I find that making things with fresh ingredients can go a long way. Taking a while to prepare something that is healthful and flavorful can be pretty rewarding.

    I forget, do you live with your fella? Because if so, he may be really valuable support in a quest to eat more healthfully. Hell, he may even do it with you (best case scenario). I mean for me eating healthier food is never just about maintaining a good weight, it's primarily about treating my body really well and feeling truly satisfied after I finish a meal without feeling like I need to sleep for a week.

    I say all this cuz I have crazy food allergies that were diagnosed a few years back, and while I was raised in a pretty healthful house, having to eat around the food allergies made me pay attention to what I actually put in my body in ways I never would have otherwise. Maybe you can give yourself short-term goals? Like "no x" for a week and "eat x servings of vegetables a day." Change up the challenges weekly or monthly. Or maybe start introducing one or two healthful meals into your weekly meal plan.

    WOW sorry, I totally wrote you a novella.

    EDITED TO ADD: If you're interested in pulling sweets out of your diet entirely (I don't know if you are, but I find that it's pretty satisfying), artificial sweeteners are good as an intermediary but they don't eliminate the cravings for sweets. They just don't. So scaling back on those will end up being important.
    • CommentTimeJun 20th 2012
    @Britt, Check the Food & Cooking thread. I just put up a recipe for spiced breaded cauliflower bites. Hides the vegetable well and a serving is no more than 70 calories (a little extra if you bring tofu in to the mix). I'll post more when it's not midnight and I'm tired (send you an e-mail if you want) but there's a lot of great ways to hide vegetables in meals. What gets kind of fun/weird is when you reach a point where you prefer that stuff over the usual junk food you have.