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    • Rachael Rants! Cars, College, Commuting, Kindness, Sickness, Psychology

    • Posted by Rachæl Tyrell on 22 Jan 11
    • Because I rant on those SNOM threads waaaaay too much, I'll do it here.

      Yes, I'm going to school. Full time, even. This is perhaps not a good idea, and not just because I have to transfer from bus to train to Paterson (a notorious dangerous shithole) to get to my University.

      My Lyme Disease brain swelling headache of doom is returning with a growing vengance of perpetuity. Sure, I've been taking two different antibiotics twice a day for six months now, but they only work for so long before the virus grows a resistance and fights back, and you've got to switch pills. Or get an IV. I've run out of one of the meds, the lack of which is kicking my head even further into a poundy state. I tried to get the prescription filled, but for one month supply of antibiotics while not having coverage, they'd asked me to pay $260.

      (My school forces me into crappy medical coverage plan, but it's not kicked in yet, I suppose.)

      My commute, to travel just 35 miles away, is a 3-4 hour trek. A mile walk to the train towards NYC, to then transfer to a different train away from NYC, to a bus. The bus stops running at 10, so to get home, I've got to take a bus to Manhattan, and then walk 8 blocks through midtown to the train station to get home.

      Google maps tells me that it'd take less time to travel by bicycle. Christ.

      But it's not really even a matter of the time that it takes. I'm patient when it comes to public transport, really. It's the physical exertion and being upright for so long making my head go 'splody. Also, it's fucking expensive. It's between $25-$35 each day I trek to school. That's nearly $300 a month! Therefore, I'm looking into buying a car with all that Federal loan money I'll be getting soon. I'm also looking on craigslist to see if I can hire someone to drive me to classes, as well as hiring/barthering an auto-literate man to go with me to look at cars.

      This might all fuck up my attempts at Federal Disability. I hope not. Six months ago, I asked my caseworker how I could switch from Unemployment to Temporary State Disability. I wanted the health coverage. There's a specialist in Princeton I need to see that ONLY takes medicaid and medicare. My caseworker told me I'd make half the money, and that instead I should keep my unemployment until I ran out in a few months, be only breifly without coverage, and then switch. OK.

      Unemployment has not run out yet, but I don't care about the money, I just want to see doctors. My head is exploding. So, this week, I'd gone to Unemployment to ask them about getting on state Disability.

      They told me I'd been on Unemployment too long, and no longer qualified. Then they canceled my Unemployment because if I was unable to work that meant I wasn't looking for work.

      I then went to Financial Aid at my university and asked them about if student loans will fuck my disability claim. They didn't know, and sent me to Student Services.

      Student Services didn't know, but the lady DID tell me TO MY FUCKING FACE that she didn't believe that people who can handle going to school should be able to get Disability.

      Now, through school, it's mandatory that I go on their plan, or prove that I'm already on a plan of equivalence. So I have coverage, but it's really crappy. Also, there's no dental, and I've got at least one tooth that will probably rot out of my head in the next year. I've already got one missing tooth, I don't want another. Whatever makes my spine and joints crap is likley effecting my teeth. At my last dentist visit 6 years ago, I needed something like 24 cavaties filled.

      It's not all bad, though. I'll be getting enough in student loans to either get a car, move out, or maybe even do BOTH. If my disability DOES go through, I'll have the peace of mind to know that if I continue to worsen, my student loans will be severely reduced or "forgiven".

      Also... Two men helped me find a cab when I arrived in Paterson; a cab driver charged me half price; another man brought me to my bus stop and walked me from the bus to my train; a train conductor let me ride for free instead of charging me the on-train fee.

      And... the Photography I professor, after looking at my website, changed her mind about suggesting I take the prerequisite courses and invited me to her class.

      I've successfully kept it quiet that I'm going to school, and family is unaware. Hopefull I can slip away like the fuck up they think I am, and then kick some ass.

      It's a shame how well spite works as a motivator in my life.

      EDITED TO ADD:

      I'd emailed my psychologist. Since I'll be going to school full time I'll have coverage, and my psychologist takes this new coverage of mine. I also asked him to fill out the form that would allow me to get a discounted rate on NJ Transit for disabilities. I mentioned to him the arduous journey it was, taking 3 hours each way, and how VERY fucking expensive. About $30 a day. I added that I hoped this experience of going to school wasn't going to make me lose my shit.

      His response:

      If you stick with this plan, you WILL lose your shit, and it won't take long. It is preposterous for anyone to do such a commute, much less you, with your assorted issues. It is NOT in your best interests, despite a few "positive" things that could come of it. For the sake of your overall health, and your psychological health in particular, I recommend against it. You would need to step up all efforts to find a ride to make it remotely feasible. How about any other schools to attend?
    • Who's Been Tumbl'd?

    • Posted by The Gentleman Mummy on 22 Jan 11
    • I've recently become one with the spongy white internet demigod of communicative blogging and re-blogging. I'll mostly be using it to do something constructive with my internet addiction and get doodles and drawings online.

      So...is there any particular page or pages within the great Tumbularity that anyone can recommend?
    • Ugly Fonts, and Reading

    • Posted by Rootfireember on 18 Jan 11
    • There's been a recent explosion in my feed-reader about how Ugly Fonts may boost Reading Comprehension. Some have taken this to mean that fonts such as comic-sans should be used more often. Those people haven't paid attention to the actual study. It's not ugly boosting the reading comprehension. It's the harder-to-read fonts doing it. The ones that make you stop, read slower and focus more on what you're reading instead of speeding through it like a cheetah on speed.

      Just because a font's ugly, doesn't mean it's great to use. Different fonts can convey different things -- and a font (such as comic sans) doesn't necessarily convey the "oh look, it's school, let us learn now" feeling. It's not a bad font, it's just a bit silly and goofy for a place such as a text book, and it's really not hard to read. Which is where websites seem to be mixing things up, equating all ugly fonts with proper fonts for any use now.

      Is it just me or has the media, in general, been taking a lot of rather bland stories, twisting them to the point where recognizing the sources is near impossible, and throwing a shitfit? Tiger Mom, Comic Sans is for Educating! and the 13th Zodiac...

      or maybe it's just the local coffee shop keeping the tv on fox news and pissing me off with this crap in the morning.
    • GovSpy dodged a tire iron to the face

    • Posted by government spy on 18 Jan 11
    • I witnessed a breaking and entering the other night...

      I live in the top half of a duplex, and this gay guy lives downstairs from me (I say gay guy because it actually pertains to the story later). He's had a few boyfriends/roommates living with him since we moved in back in August, and a lot of traffic in and out at all hours, day or night. I don't know what he does for a living; landlord said something computer related and left it at that. Because the kid's scared of a break-in, he installed numerous CCTV cameras all over the outside of the apartment, along with motion detectors and flood lights. I had told him some time ago that burlgar bars would do him much better, but he ignored me. We've often wondered if there was something illegitimate going on down there, but since our only real problem with them is that they play techno dance music a bit late in the middle of the night, we pretty much leave them alone except for a few random knocks on the door to tell them to turn it the fuck down for christssake.

      So, Sunday night, around 8pm, me and the lady are watching a movie, and we hear something break downstairs. A door slams loudly. Twice. Three times (Thrice). People yelling. We assume (and I know it's not pc) that it's just a couple gay guys slapping the crap out of each other and that it's nothing too serious. I tell my girl to hold off calling 9-1-1 while I check it out. I unlock my gun safe, but on second thought I leave my pistol in the safe because I don't want to appear too threatening. Besides, it's just a lovers' quarrel, right?

      I knock on their door, and the door swings open. I see into their living room, and some guy is ripping a flatscreen TV off of a wall. A folding door lies broken in the kitchen doorway. One roommate is standing there looking clueless. I yell at the TV thief, "What the fuck are you doing? Get the fuck out of here!" I step into the apartment, and down on the hall to my left, one guy is kicking in a bedroom door. Another man is standing behind him holding a tire iron.

      In not one of my more intelligent decisions, I step forward, yelling, "Hey, get the fuck out of here, I'm calling the cops!" The guy with the tire iron raises it above his head and charges at me. Somehow, I ducked a blow to the head, and the tire iron hits the wall above me. I run like a bitch back to my apartment, Mr. Tire Iron right behind me, and I just barely manage to lock the door behind me. I yell up the stairs for the lady to call 9-1-1 after all, and I grab my gun.

      I look out the window and see all three hopping into a pick-up truck and get the hell out of Dodge.

      On one hand, I feel stupid for going down there unarmed. Not a bright move. Had I gone in armed, though, I would have shot Tire Iron Guy. I surprised the burglars, according to the downstairs neighbors, and when I took off, they said something about the cops coming and they dropped everything and ran. Only two people had any injuries, and they were minor. Nobody had to go to the hospital, and nothing got stolen. There was minor property damage.

      I don't feel as though I saved the day, far from it. I am glad that no one was hurt, and in the end, I think this ended the best way possible. I write this here, to, I dunno, get it off my chest, and to feel better about walking into something I wasn't prepared for. It's times like these where you are made very aware of how much of a badass you are not. I can't, unarmed, fight a guy with a tire iron. In the fight or flight world, I ran like a mother fucker. I am glad that I wasn't packing, that I wasn't put into a position where I may have had to shoot someone. I have not been put in that spot professionally, though I have been trained for it, and I have never looked forward to it. I can picture clear as day how it would have gone down, and I am much more satisfied with the way things turned out without having my weapon. But I am buying a baseball bat. Just in case. There's a middle ground between my pistol and being unarmed, and I'll take fucking someone up with a bat over killing someone any day. Especially if they're swinging a tire iron at my face.
    • Self-Promotion

    • Posted by RenThing on 17 Jan 11
    • I have to wonder about people who come to places like Whitechapel merely to pimp themselves and their work without contributing to any threads or topics that aren't related directly to them.

      On one hand, it could be said that doing so does add to the discourse of the board by providing things to discuss, new art to peruse, etc.

      On the other hand, I find the inherent selfishness kind of boring and annoying.

      I think when self-promotion crosses the line is whether or not people are adding to the general discourse in other ways that have nothing to do with themselves or their work. For instance there are a lot of great artists, musicians and authors doing a lot of wonderful projects who frequent WC but many of them post other stuff that has nothing to do with their work and thus contribute to the general success (if you want to consider it that way) of the community. By posting other things, they aren't simply wandering onto the forum and essentially shouting "HEY, LOOK AT ME!" and treating the community like we're here just for them to advertise to.

      Meh, sorry about the brain dump, I've just seen a lot of this on other forums and a few threads that were nothing but one person essentially spamming their work without contributing much else.
    • Work Related, Need to Vent

    • Posted by government spy on 30 Dec 10
    • Alright, a few hours ago, when I got to work, I was told an inmate on my housing unit had a seizure earlier in the shift, but because nobody saw it actually happen, that he had faked it. The inmate had a cut on his forehead, and it was decided that he must have been in a fight, and the "seizure story" was an attempt to cover it up.

      Ignoring the fact that this white supremacist inmate had a serious history of violence, that there would be no way for this inmate to be hit in the face that hard without causing a serious violent incident on the unit that no one could have missed.

      I was told not "to bother medical unless the inmate was having a seizure."

      When I got to work, I was informed that medical had already seen the inmate and refused him any treatment. Since the inmate was on a psychology watch list, I was told to notify the chief psychologist of the situation. I spent the next hour attempting to contact the Dr., and finally he interviewed the inmate.

      The psych discovered that the inmate had been taken off of his medication last month, and that he should be placed back on the medication ASAP. The inmate stated that he was afraid of having another grand mal seizure, that he was afraid of the injuries he could sustain during the seizure.

      The inmate later approached me, saying he felt a seizure was imminent. I called medical on the radio, several times with no response. The inmate collapsed in my office in front of me and began to hit his head on the floor. His cellmate who was nearby, grabbed him and held him as he continued to have a seizure.

      I had to activate an alarm on my radio to obtain any response from the medical staff. When staff arrived, there was no attempt to examine the inmate during his seizure. He stopped moving, and was unconscious. At no time did the medical staff member enter the office or examine the inmate. When my LT. asked her how she wanted us to transport the inmate to medical, she responded that he was faking and that he didn't need to go to medical, as the inmate lay bleeding on my office floor.

      After all the inmates had been secured, I kind of exploded at the nurse. Really? He faked it. I must have imagined the whole thing. I'm glad her medical expertise is so proficient that while I was there, the whole time, her viewpoint outside my office, after the fact, was able to verify that there is nothing wrong with the inmate.

      The explanation I was given, was because the inmate had a seizure in my office in front of me, with his cell-mate nearby, that of course he was faking. He had planned it all day.

      That's right, how obvious. He was told that because he had a seizure that no one witnessed, then he was faking it. And when he stayed near an officer so that when he had another seizure, someone would witness it, that also meant he was faking it. I can see it so clearly now. And his cellmate couldn't possibly have been nearby because he cared about the inmate, no that's completely unreasonable.

      Look, I get the guy is a Nazi. I hate Nazis. I have an anti-swastika tattoo on my arm from my old punk rock days where we used to get in street fights with hammerskins and some people got hurt pretty bad. I still harbor some resentment for the Nazis there. I don't know the reasons this specific guy became a Nazi in prison, and I really don't care. Unless it's a security issue, it ain't my job. My job is to keep the peace, keep the unit safe and secure, and provide for the care of my inmates. Whether I hate a Muslim, Jew, Nazi, Black, White, Hispanic, Russian, French or Middle-Eastern inmate has absolutely nothing to do with my job. For the most part, my personal politics get left at the door. Except, you know, for that part where I consider human rights to be non-negotiable.

      I have been a firm believer in the idea that the government should provide health care for its citizens. But if the Public Health Service that is responsible for inmate medical treatment is indicative of how the "Public Option" would be like, then I am against it in any form. I would rather suffer a heart attack with no medical response at all, rather than have a response by that nurse. She would most likely think I'm faking it.
    • Travel buddy needed

    • Posted by looneynerd on 29 Dec 10
    • Hey guys, weird post here, but I'm getting desperate!
      I am planning a backpacking trip to Europe between March 15 and April 19, 2011. My travel partners have bowed out of the trip because of financial concerns. I am in need of a new companion(s) to travel with, to help share costs and reduce my anxiety about traveling alone. I realize this is short notice, but if anybody is already planning a similar trip, or would like to go, I’d be appreciative.
      About Me:
      -I plan on traveling by using a railpass, and staying primarily in Hostels and Pensions.
      -I am spending several days of the trip with a friend in England. I can meet back up with you after my return to the continent. You can come along to England, but he only has room for myself.
      -I plan on spending several days in Heidelberg, Germany. I lived here as a kid and I’d like to visit several places while I’m there. Apart from Heidelberg and my Trip to England, I am open to most other destinations in Europe accessible by rail. A trip to Bavaria is a must, but this still leaves at least two weeks of traveling around the rest of the continent. Again, I am open to most destinations.
      -I speak passable German and have traveled extensively (my most recent trip was to Turkey in 2008). This is, however, my first backpacking trip.
      -I am willing to meet people part of the way through the trip. As long as I’m with somebody for the majority of things, I’ll be happy. Multiple partners are welcome.
      -I’m an aspiring Historian, and would like to see sites of these interests. I sometimes drink in social situations, but am not much of a bar or club hopper. However, I am open to ideas on how to spend time on the continent.
      -My entire trip will cost approx. $3,500, including cost of my flight, railpass, lodging, etc. My plane ticket has been purchased, and I have the rest already saved. I plan of traveling cheaply but with some degree of comfort.
      About You:
      -Travelers 18 to 26 are preferable. I’m 23 but am comfortable with any traveler over the age of 18. Older travelers are of course welcome.
      -Both men and women are fine.
      -Non-whitechapelians who you know who might be interested are welcome too. As long as one of you lot vouches for them, I trust most of you :P
      -Any and all interests are fine, as are destination ideas.

      Please let me know if you’re interested. I really don’t want to have to cancel this trip! If you have any other questions, go ahead and ask, or hit me up at looneynerd at gmail dot com :D