We're staying in a rental house while they lift the house. It's maybe 900 square feet? Maybe 1000? What I would call a standard two bedroom/1 bath apartment. The kids' room is annoyingly small - we have to put three of the mattresses up every day, because they occupy all of the floor when down (and these are not adult size mattresses), but it's fine.
What makes the house tolerable is that it's not cluttered with all our stuff. On the other hand, what we all miss most is all our stuff. (If we actually lived in a 1000 square foot apartment, we would put a lot more thought into storage, and the kids would have their bunk beds, and we would not use up most of the living room with a pool table.) The other thing I miss is having two separate ends of the house for hanging out. (The bedrooms are in the middle.)
In conclusion: 2000 square feet is more pleasant than 1000 square feet for a family of 6, but 1000 square feet is not the end of the world. Those tiny houses that are no longer fetishized quite like they used to be: now those seem pretty unpleasant.
On the subject of housing, I think what this town needs most is boarding houses for very poor single mothers, with a cafeteria and a fulltime employee to help stay on top of organization. I think they should have two bedroom units, maybe 8 to a building, with a communal living room, and then several of these buildings around common building with a functional cafeteria, and some outdoor space with a playground. Well-subsidized. If I were a poor single mother in this town with a weak support system, that would help me stay sane and connected to other parents. It's never going to happen, of course.
In order to preserve 40 comment topic purity on any and all prior discussion, I do hereby ordain and establish this here thread for the discussion of Supreme Court Decisions. Void where prohibited.
1. Ugh, the Senate vote. Apo repeatedly says elsewhere that all this hemming and hawing by moderate Republicans is just performance, and that there are currently zero moderate Republicans in the Senate. I think he's probably right, but that a big enough stink would cause them to waver on their re-election.
IMO, the real lesson for Senate Republicans is from the House vote: If the opposition rallies against you, just wait a month and try again. It takes tremendous energy from everyday, non-elected voters to wage these oppositions, and we can't do it over and over again.
So do I think the vote will pass this week? Not necessarily. But I think they'll wear down the activists by doing this month after month until it ceases to command attention, and then it will pass. It might screw up their reconciliation timeline, but since when has blowing through a deadline bothered Congress? They've got a million ways to stall and extend deadlines and do stop-gap measures.
2. One of the trainers at the gym is heading to Peru for one of these Ayahuasca-Shaman led guided weeks to turn yourself inside out and upside down. He's a really interesting candidate - a vet who is pretty straightlaced, but struggles a lot. (In general, I respect him a lot for struggling internally and not burying it in rightward talking points. He's definitely struggling, but is not kidding himself about that point, if you see what I mean.)
If I weren't a parent, I would do something like that in a heartbeat. In general, I am pretty damn risk averse, but that kind of thing just sounds like Disney World to me.
Consul Caius Martius writes:
I've had, for about the last 12 years, periods of what I as layman would call depression. I'm not sure how consistent they've been in frequency or duration. Presently, they're maybe 1-2 weeks long at 1-2 month intervals. The worst I can remember was during college, lasting maybe 5 months; in hindsight, I think that one would qualify as clinical depression. I also procrastinate chronically, causing repeated dropouts and massive underachievement in college.
I've never been in any therapy before, apart from a couple of one-off sessions I attended unwillingly years ago; I know a little about psychology, from one year of study and random reading. From that, I have some prejudice in favor of psychiatry, as opposed to psychology. I've been to one introductory session, with psychologists. I think it went well, and was much easier than I expected.
The proximate cause of this is rage issues (I teach; students sometimes anger me). My manager suggested I go and get help. I think she is sincerely supportive,* but is also bound to protect the organization. I am otherwise good at my work; they've said essentially that they would have fired me already if I wasn't.
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I told the psychologists everything above, but didn't mention the suicidal ideation, self-harm, and occasional heavy drinking; because I really wasn't willing to say that up front, and because they didn't ask, but also because I want to hold those facts in reserve in case I need to give someone a persuasive push somewhere down the road.
I pushed for medication; they said that drugs would make an immediate change, but that they didn't want to go that way: what you feel is what you are. I said I didn't like what I feel, and wanted to change it. (Which is true. I am very tired.) They didn't push back, and didn't seem affronted,* and will refer me to a psychiatrist. We agreed to further counseling combined with medication. I would have agreed anyway, tactically, but I did actually see value in the counseling; simply in answering questions I realized things I hadn't noticed before; for instance that (as best I can calculate) my job satisfaction on any given day tracks my mood, rather than vice versa.
I am an expatriate in a non-English speaking country, but there are English-fluent people available (my privilege, I cuddle it like a teddy bear). This is a land of single-payer, so money is unlikely to be an issue. All the therapists will work in hospitals rather than private practice, and I'm guessing will have limited flexibility in scheduling; I don't see these as issues, but that's the picture.
General comments? Advice? Specifically: withholding information? Gaming tests, which I could probably do if I tried? Figuring out drug regimens? Anger? I want to make this work. I didn't expect it, but I left that session with a glimmer of hope, which in retrospect I don't think I've had for years.
*But I can't read people for shit.
Heebie's take: I think medication plus therapy is the way to go, provided that you find a therapist that you don't think is dumb, and that you respect them enough to be basically cooperative and open-minded. I think one of the biggest hurdles is therapist-shopping, because each new appointment takes such a toll of hope/energy/re-hashing unpleasant questions that the idea of doing it 3 times and then picking a therapist is enough to just turn Netflix back on and binge whatever the depressives are binging on these days. (I would not enter it by booking three different appointments. Just book one, and if you are on the fence with the person afterwards, book one more, and trust that the profession has a wide, wide range of people practicing it.)
On withholding information: you are fully entitled to withhold information, especially at the beginning, when the therapist is still earning your trust and respect. Some people might feel comfortable disclosing all information up front, but if you don't, then don't. Same with gaming tests: the tests aren't the therapy, they're shorthand for acquiring information from patients in a systematic way. As long as you engage honestly and sincerely with your therapist when you find one you trust, then I would just do whatever feels most expedient and useful on the tests to get there.
Once you have a therapist that you trust and respect, you are on the hook to engage honestly and sincerely. There's no point in wasting everyone's time. On withholding information: it's okay to wait while you get to know the therapist, and then at a certain point, it would become counterproductive. You are not obligated, but I imagine there'd be a point where your System I and System II grow into conflict about it, and you'd have to sort it out.
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So, Obama and the CIA knew for sure that Russia was trying to sabotage US voting systems in August last year. But making a big public fuss about it would have looked political and would have upset people, so they kept it quiet. Hillary was definitely going to win, so NBD.
I don't really know what to say.
At one point, I decided that age 25 was the age of accountability - it's the bright line in the sand where, after that age, if you are massively uninformed on basic parts of big political issues, you are culpable.
Inspired by the discussion starting at roughly 111 with Just Plain Jane in the Fuck This thread, I have a question which is a variation on the age of accountability notion:
Suppose you have a UMC white flight suburban family, demographically the kind that is ruining the nation. They live in a mostly Republican district known for its good schools. This particular family is right in the grayest area between maliciously ignorant and actually evil. They are uninformed and profess not to like politics, and so they absorb bon mots from the Republicans around them, and vote based on that. (And they probably genuinely do not like politics: it causes them cognitive dissonance, they have to entertain the idea that their loved ones are horrible people, there is a lot of confusing, contradictory information out there which is hard to navigate, so they passively decide that it's easiest just to sit "politics" out.)
My question: what is the bare minimum amount of political self-education that these adults ought to be expected to do, in order to pass into "acceptably minimally informed" realm? If it's given and immutable that they will continue to hate politics, what is the news-equivalent of eating three servings of vegetables and getting twenty minutes of exercise a day?
There's one kind of maturity where you consider other people's feelings and think of them as three dimensional people with independent minds and full rights and responsibilities. I'm not talking about that kind of maturity.
There's another kind of maturity (which overlaps with the first, to be sure) which I think is borne of exhaustion. That finally, you find yourself in drudgery and tiredness, and the cost-benefit analysis of making messes starts to kick in - it's really worth that ounce of prevention to avoid the mess. And you start pausing and assessing the world through, "where is it useful to stop and do things more smartly to save myself a lot of work?" Every little glitch seems to reverberate and cause a cascade of consequences that cost you time and energy, and you're already tired, so it's really fucking worth it to make sure those glitches don't happen.
Here's an example: fifteen years ago, if I hit a dog with my car, I'd be horrified and maybe not sure what to do, but say I decided to wrap it up in a towel and drive it to a nearby vet. That's the first maturity. Today, if I were to hit a dog, I'd have the first kind, but I'd also have the, "Fuuuuuck. This is going to start a cascade of complications and it's all going to suck, from kid care to work juggling and at the end of the day, I'm going to get less sleep and it's going to reverberate throughout my week." That's the driver of the second kind. "I'm always tired and I don't want to go out drinking because I don't have any buffer over the next week to absorb the physical consequences and the last time I did it anyway, it sucked a lot."
I'm not saying this is moral maturity, just that it's a driver that gets people to start thinking through things more proactively.
ALSO. I'm thinking more on a general population level, not you maturity-savants here.
This seems like a good week to bring this back. My submission for daily mundane horror might be the North Carolina case affirming that women, at least in NC, can't withdraw consent once sex has started. Particularly because the woman in this case says something like, "I consented, but then once it turned violent, I didn't want to have sex anymore." But the Philando Castile case continues to haunt, as well. Or the ratfucking we're about to get from the Senate health care bill. What's on your mind?