Open thread until the real thing comes along.

Have at it!

Standard FYI clause: I generally wait about 2 hours after Ta-Nehisi would typically open a thread (roughly noon, EST, back when such a thing was typical…!), and if none is forthcoming, I put one up here.

72 Comments

  1. Guys I’m stuck at my desk having a panic attack. Please help.

    • Oh honey. I’m so sorry. What do you normally do when panic attacks hit?

      • Drug myself and go to sleep.
        Not really an option here.
        This is my fault. I should have waited to apply to the job until after work. I should have known I’d have a freak out like this.
        It’s not helping that *everyone* in the office is seriously on edge right now. One of the middle people above me gave their two weeks notice yesterday.
        Our CEO left for Madrid Friday, won’t be back for two weeks. The interim head hasn’t told her yet since he’s afraid she’ll drop everything and rush home and screw herself out of her (very much needed) two weeks away.

        • Can you go for a slow walk around a few blocks? Get yourself some kind of calming tea? Go into a back room and breathe deeply, or stare at the wall and listen to music?

          I know that none of these will truly end the attack, but might one of them (or something like them) lessen it, until such time as you can go home, take drugs, and go to sleep?

        • In the immortal words of the Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: DON’T PANIC. Just put a towel over your head and the Bugblatter Beast of Traal will move on to eat someone in Accounting…

        • carlosthedwarf

           /  October 23, 2012

          Can I offer you a stiff drink?

          • yeah I need one. and then a corner to curl up in.

            • carlosthedwarf

               /  October 23, 2012

              If you want to swing by my house after work, I’d be more than happy to serve you one. How do you feel about scotch or gin?

              • No I have to hit target and pick up a list of things and then go home and blog furiously.
                I am coming over for horde meet up on the 27th? Is that still on, yes?

                • carlosthedwarf

                   /  October 23, 2012

                  Yes. Will post something about that below. And on facebook. And in coatesworld, if he ever posts another open thread.

          • this is where the Pangalactic Gargle Blaster recipe is much needed…

            • koolaide

               /  October 23, 2012

              I went to a school that had a club with its own recipe for said drink. In addition to bringing towels to all events, new members had to learn the Philosopher’s Song well enough sing it while quite sloshed on said drink.

    • What is needed to unpanic?

    • caoil

       /  October 23, 2012

      Can you do some steady eyes-closed breathing for a few minutes? Counting equal inhalations and exhalations (1-2-3-4-5, 1-2-3-4-5)? Stretches?

      If application of kitties will help, I uploaded all of my cats-in-Halloween-collar pics for you the other day, and I can link it here?

      • I’m clinging to my desk, forcing myself to breathe.
        I just feel seriously out of control right now, which is most likely mental nonsense but that doesn’t make it any less certain that something is very wrong and I can’t fix it.

        • koolaide

           /  October 23, 2012

          perhaps I can distract you from the anxiety attack w/ the question I just asked at your blog re: Fabio. WTF is that striped cloth bag thing he wears around his neck all the freaking time?

    • koolaide

       /  October 23, 2012

      http://calmingmanatee.com/

      Though this situation seems to call for more than manatees. If you can do the slow breathing exercise like caoil suggested that may help. If you close your eyes and visualize yourself at some favorite locale (beach/mountain stream/etc) while doing the deep (slow) breathing exercises that can help.

      Possibly also the trick where you focus on one muscle group (say you left quad) and tighten it as much as possible for 3 seconds and then release–repeat that with several different muscle groups. Both the focus on the specific part of your body & the relief of (semi?) relaxed muscles when you release the tightened muscle can help.

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  October 23, 2012

      Short of the Ultimate Unpleasant Solution, the only thing I can recommend is a long lunch (even if you don’t eat anything) with zero distractions. Specifically: no coworkers, no Internet. Just quiet, reflective silence to get the mind out of panic-space.

      If that doesn’t cut it (or doesn’t last once re-exposed to coworkers and the Intertoobz), the Ultimate Unpleasant Solution is to vomit. The “reward” mechanism for vomiting makes you feel “good” for heaving out the poison. I’ve found it stellar for ending a Toxic-Environment reaction … but it is unpleasantly Ultimate, and ultimately Unpleasant. I wouldn’t recommend that you go for this unless the panic attack is so bad that it’s actually causing you to have those pre-vomit mouth-waterings. At that point, your body is acting like it swallowed poison anyway, and you might as well get the benefits of placebo-purging it. (Bonus: actually vomiting is a huge justification for saying “I need to go home now”).

  2. (Also once again my bullshit answer to The View from Your Window Contest Is ABOVE THE FOLD.
    I seem to be making a habit of it. Too bad I never know the real answer.)

    • Which one was yours? My answer didn’t get printed (they never do) but this was one of the rare occasions when I got the country right. I went with Auckland, though.

      • The first one.

        • aaron singer

           /  October 23, 2012

          And I thought Wellington was a beautiful city (Auckland seemed kind of blah).

          Sadly, I did not get to the South Island. Some day. My dream honeymoon, if I ever get married, is to hike the Milford Track.

          • I just want to go to New Zealand in order to behold it with my own eyes.

            • aaron singer

               /  October 23, 2012

              Wellington was a smaller, prettier San Francisco. Just an absolute gorgeous setting for the countries’ capital city. I remember also spending a night on a marae overlooking Lake Taupo, seeing the bizarre geysers of Rotorua (the whole town smells like sulphur), as well as climbing a (dormant? extinct?) volcano. And we didn’t even get to the South Island. I love would love to go back and drink lots of good Sauvignon Blanc, as well.

          • Wellington was my second choice, but looking at photos the mountains behind Auckland seemed a better match than Wellington. Never occurred to me to check South Island. Duh.

    • wearyvoter

       /  October 23, 2012

      Your bullshit answer was beautiful.

  3. Working on another blog submission at the moment, I’ve noticed my 2012 state amendments rant is fast becoming my 4th most popular blog entry ever. http://reformamendment.blogspot.com/2012/10/florida-ballot-amendments-2012-big-no.html The most popular was the post about the 6th day of the Iranian Green Uprising from 2009. http://reformamendment.blogspot.com/2009/06/and-iran-day-six.html I’ve got people still reading that Iranian article this month (66 views on the month). Hmm.

    If you all wanna help get my 2012 state amendments entry past the 1000 reader mark, I just need 312 more views for that article! Can I count on your support!

  4. carlosthedwarf

     /  October 23, 2012

    To make a long story short: My parents and I are doing a vacation the week between Christmas and New Years. [This is our first real vacation together in years, thanks to complicated family shit.] We need a place that fits the following criteria:
    1. Urban. My parents get bored sitting on the beach for an extended period of time, and my mom does not get along with nature. There must be activities, and good food to be eaten.
    2. In the US. My passport long ago expired, and it would be a huge hassle to get it renewed in time.
    3. A warm place that is not Florida.
    Any suggestions?

    • San Diego?

      • San Diego is most excellent.

        • mythopoeia

           /  October 23, 2012

          SD is also really family-friendly. I mean, obviously you don’t need stuff for kids to do, but between the zoo, the bay, the historic/touristy districts, and a bunch of other areas I can’t recall off the top of my head, there are a number of actual activities (i.e. not shopping or drinking) that will not make you or your parents want to run screaming for the hills.

    • koolaide

       /  October 23, 2012

      How urban? And which coast? There is always NOLA. But there are warm Southern cities that do tourism like Savannah, GA & Charleston, SC & the ATL. I’m sure the middle/southern CA cities will have things to do & warm weather.

      • carlosthedwarf

         /  October 23, 2012

        I’ve been to Savannah–there’s not enough there to keep us occupied for a full week. I haven’t been to Charleston, but I imagine the same is true there. But we haven’t been to LA since I was quite young, and the last time either of them was in SD was before I was born. NOLA is also a possibility, but I think I’d prefer to do that one without them.

      • aaron singer

         /  October 23, 2012

        Not sure you could fill a week for Atlanta, either. I didn’t mind living there, but there isn’t a lot of touristy stuff to do. It ain’t Chicago, but it won’t be all that warm in around New Year’s, either.

    • Anything north of I-10 is tundra come Demember (IE Cold As Hell), but anything in a southern clime would do. How about Savannah GA? Next best suggestion would be San Antonio TX, after that New Orleans LA (although New Orleans may have hotel booking issues that week depending on when the Sugar Bowl game is).

      • David L

         /  October 23, 2012

        San Antonio or Austin would be good (and they’re within day-trip distance of each other, so you could do both in one trip), but to add to mythpoeia’s comments about New Orleans below, the Texas/Louisiana end of the Gulf coast region has a pretty high standard deviation during the winter months when it comes to weather. There’s no way of telling until a few days out whether it’s going to be sunny and warm, or grey, cold, and windy on a par with what you might experience on the East Coast. (I just looked up on the web–the record high for December 25 in San Antonio is 90. The record for coldest high on the 25th is 23.)

    • mythopoeia

       /  October 23, 2012

      We needed something that fit these exact same criteria a few years ago and went with New Orleans. I caution that it was colder than expected–40s rather than 50s/60s, which I’m told is more normal–and the immediate few days after Christmas were pretty quiet–even the French Quarter seemed to be taking things easy. Pretty much all there was to do was go to restaurants and stare at architecture. On the other hand, from most of my family’s perspective, this was a feature, not a bug!

      • carlosthedwarf

         /  October 23, 2012

        I don’t think my mom would be very happy in New Orleans. She almost never drinks, and cannot be happy on a vacation if she doesn’t go shopping. San Diego, on the other hand, would be a much better fit, as they have a good regional theater scene, places to shop, activities to do, and the culture doesn’t revolve entirely around drinking.

      • Bookwoman

         /  October 23, 2012

        And the WWII museum, which was excellent.🙂

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  October 23, 2012

      Southern Arizona is gorgeous that time of year. I’d recommend Tucson, but it sounds like you want someplace way fussier and busier. Phoenix will have a lot more shopping and random events to attend, by comparison (but Tucson will be much more majestically glorious in the scenery sense).

      • efgoldman

         /  October 23, 2012

        I wouldn’t spend a plugged nickel in AZ, the way things are there.
        And we’ve visited there and loved it.

  5. JHarper2

     /  October 23, 2012

    A unicorn is a horse with its own bayonet. Why doesn’t the US Army have more unicorns?
    #Obamaunicornfail

    • I don’t blame Obama for the lack of unicorn deployment: I blame Congress for failing to fund for adequate unicorn recruitment and training.

    • Why is the media not trumpeting Obama’s beating Romney with a stick last night? Why do they obfuscate his wins? I swear i I’m faced with President Romney come Nov 7th, i am holding MSNBC personally responsible.

      • Horse race BS. The tighter they can make the race look, the more coverage they can wring out of it. Assholes.

        • koolaide

           /  October 23, 2012

          yep. And (as Fallows’ blog points out today) there is very little (basically none) cost for continuing to trumpet the “it is close” or “Romney is catching up” lines. There will be no negative consequences to them for it.

        • taylor16

           /  October 23, 2012

          Yep, this.

          My only consolation is that (1) most people have already made up their minds and Obama seems to have the advantage, and (2) most people (especially those who are pretty uninformed) don’t watch a ton of cable news.

          So I’m not sure the horserace BS is going to matter much.

      • JHarper2

         /  October 23, 2012

        Dr Rachel and her Lost Boys are doing as well as they can.

      • the Beltway narrative must have its way. Personally, I think we need a term limit not for politicians but for media insiders and talking heads (sorry, Messrs Stewart and Colbert!)

        • koolaide

           /  October 23, 2012

          Don’t lump comedians (Stewart/Colbert) in w/ news media talking heads. Their role is much different or at least should be different.

      • wearyvoter

         /  October 23, 2012

        All Romney has to do to win a debate is 1) Show up. 2) Be whiter than I am, and I’m pretty dayglo white.

    • Captain_Button

       /  October 23, 2012

      Wouldn’t only allowing virgins to enlist be unfair lifestyle discrimination?

  6. carlosthedwarf

     /  October 23, 2012

    Reminder: DC Horde Meetup, This Saturday at 1 PM at my house in Arlington. I will post the address and directions on the facebook group–if you are not on facebook and want to come, email me carlosthedwarf2@gmail.com

  7. caoil

     /  October 23, 2012

    Application of kitties for anibundel: here be kitties!

    • Darth Thulhu

       /  October 23, 2012

      I think the kitties need to be applied topically, with bandages if necessary, for maximal healing efficacy.

      Clearly, ani should be allowed to go home immediately to implement this needful medical procedure.

      • doginajacket

         /  October 23, 2012

        I agree that kitties are most effective when applied topically, but care should be taken with the pointy bits. Please use kitty therapy responsibly.

        • caoil

           /  October 23, 2012

          They are also at their greatest level of effectiveness when they are purring, so models with this feature should be used.

    • I love the little black one! He looks so humiliated yet resigned to his fate.

  8. Yesterday, there was a power outage at my workplace that started about 6:30 in the morning, and was not resolved until almost 4.

    Today, I found out that an international trade/market access project I worked on but was killed by political interests has been elevated to a WTO case. Now I have to help fix that, in addition to every other thing on my desk.

    And then there was the truck wreck hazmat spill on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge that basically shut down US 50 eastbound, including all rational paths from my workplace to my home. I guess I’m lucky that I know the irrational paths, too, so I got home, but UGH.

    Can we just cancel the rest of this week?

  9. wearyvoter

     /  October 23, 2012

    Plane reservations to visit the impending grandchild have been made. Should have made the reservations two weeks ago, when it was cheaper. Oh well.