Monday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Stormy Dragon says:

    So one of my goals for this year was to be completely out by the end of it, and this is one of the few remaining places I’m not yet.

    Given this is Trans Awareness Week, this seems as good a time to do so as any.

    I first started to conciously experience what I later came to understand as gender identity issues around age 19, although being the mid 90s, I didn’t have the language or cultural exposure to really understand it at the time, particularly since I’m non-binary and thus didn’t even have exposure to a cis version of myself for comparison. And so things were left to fester, slowly growing worse over the years.

    Even when I did finally have the understanding, I was well into adult life and that was just something for young people that I could never do myself. There was too much to lose. And so things were left to fester more.

    By most objective measures I was a success. Good career, regular promotions, bought a house, saving for retirement, etc. But I was really just an empty shell walking around pretending to be a person and gradually withdrawing from humanity completly.

    Roughly two years ago, I had the longest night of my life, full of crying and pacing until I finally was forced to accept the truth: “This isn’t working. It’s never been working. Something has to change.” I was finally able to fall asleep and the next morning I woke up and started looking for help.

    The diagnosis, gender dysphoria, major depressive disorder, and general anxiety disorder, came a couple months later. Since that time I have finally been able to self-accept that I’m transgender. After that came the beginnings of social transition. At this point I’ve been trying to present as my preferred gender expression more and more places for about a year and a half. Probably almost comically so at first, but I think I’m finally getting the hang of it these days. And later the beginnings of medical transition. I’ve been on HRT for nearly a year now. My depression almost completely vanished within two weeks of starting, although I’m still working through the anxiety.

    It’s been like slowly waking up from a nightmare, and for the first time in decades, I feel like I’m actually living instead of just surviving. So often lately, I just feel positively giddy for absolutely no reason, although maybe this is just what most people feel like all the time, and it feels so estatic because the feeling was absent for so long.

    I said earlier that this is one of the last places I’m coming out, but strangely, it was also one of the first, even though I didn’t really realize what I was doing at the time. There is, somewhere on this site, back in the mid-2010s, a comment thread where someone thought to ask me what my gender was and I replied flippantly something to the effect of “Dragons don’t have genders, they merely are”. Most people immediately decided this meant I was male and it was quickly forgotten. I tried to locate the comment before writing this, but was unsuccessful.

    I probably should have spent some time trying to figure out why had such a negative internal reaction to such a simple question and why I felt the need to answer so evasively. But I didn’t, instead preferring to torture myself for another 15 years before I was ready to truthfully answer that question. I finally am now.

    Hello, I’m Stormy Dragon (they/them).

    25
  2. Jon says:

    Hello! It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance 🙂

    Also, reading it back to myself ‘make your acquaintance’ is a really odd turn of phrase.

    1
  3. Slugger says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Thank you for sharing your story. I hope your life brings you happiness and fulfillment. I, like most of us I think, have almost no information about your life’s path. Us straight guys simply followed the way of the majority without much thought. When you’re inside the herd, it seems like the only possible way. Likewise, conventional gay guys appear to have been gay since early life, at least my classmates and acquaintances. Age 19 seems late; is that common for MtF? I’m trying to be better informed.
    On further thought, the Bruce to Caitlyn Jenner, highly visible MtF, obviously happened beyond adolescence.

    2
  4. Scott says:

    Well, good morning, Stormy. I am glad that you view this little community as safe enough to let us know a major piece of yourself. Thank you for honoring us in this way.

    11
  5. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Slugger:

    Age 19 seems late; is that common for MtF?

    Late transition has been becoming much more common recently, although I don’t have over all numbers. While the traditional “I knew I was the other gender at age four” narrative certainly is true for many or even most trans people, there’s are a lot more exceptions than used to be believed.

    Part of the problem is that until recently, the medical community gatekeeping meant that the stereotypical narrative was a requirement for diagnosis, so anyone who didn’t fit that either had to lie to their medical team or would conclude that the late realization meant they weren’t really trans at all and further prolong their suffering. It was a way for a society that wanted to limit the number of trans people to the smallest group possible to restrict the diagnoses to only the people with the worst cases.

    And as I mentioned, being non-binary, it probably took me a lot longer to figure out what was going on with me beyond a vague sense of “something is horribly wrong” because I had no role models to look at and say “Oh! I’m like that person!” One of the ironies is that even if I had come out earlier, I probably wouldn’t have been allowed to transition before 2008 or so because I was bisexual and didn’t intend a full binary transition.

    There’s basically five things you need to have an adult gender identity crisis:
    1. To be trans
    2. To be aware than transness is a thing that exists.
    3. Be at a major life transition (moving away from your parents, major career change, retirement, etc.) that gets you thinking about “big picture” issues
    4. Be in a place where you feel secure enough to explore safely
    5. Have all your coping mechanisms removed.

    It turns out being trapped alone in your home for 9 months is basically #3 through #5 all at once, so a lot of people had their “Ohhhhh……” moment during the pandemic lockdown. I was one of them.

    6
  6. CSK says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I wish you all the very best, Stormy. Be happy.

    5
  7. Beth says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Awwwww. I’m crying. Congratulations!!!!

    9
  8. CSK says:

    Tim Scott is suspending his presidential campaign.

    1
  9. MarkedMan says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Hello, I’m Stormy Dragon

    Hello, Stormy Dragon. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

    6
  10. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK:

    Tim Scott is suspending his presidential campaign

    Perhaps the least surprising thing that will happen today…

    2
  11. Neil Hudelson says:

    Good morning, Stormy! It is never easy being vulnerable. I’m glad you found our community worthy of your trust!

    5
  12. KM says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Hi Stormy! Welcome back and welcome as yourself for the first time!

    6
  13. Kathy says:

    @CSK:
    The news he’s suspending his campaign, I’ll bet, will be the first many people find out he even had one.

    5
  14. CSK says:

    Former U.K. P.M. David Cameron had been appointed foreign secretary by Rishi Sunak.

    2
  15. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    I should mention that there are things I can point to before age 19 that in hindsight were definitely indicators that I wasn’t cisgender. What happened at age 19, is that this is the first time I can remember being aware of it internally.

    Although even that maybe be more due to the fact that my memory of childhood is strangely sparse and fragmentary and I simply don’t remember much about what I felt like growing up (I’ve since learned this is common in trans people and is probably a trauma response).

    4
  16. Tony W says:

    Hi Stormy! Thank you for sharing your story here and trusting us with it. One of my reasons for being here is to learn about the world – particularly the corners that are outside my daily experiences. You (and Beth) have helped me understand transgenderism more, and it’s lovely to feel better equipped to not misgender or deadname somebody – or make other hurtful mistakes because of a lack of familiarity.

    You are making the world a better place by sharing your story! Congratulations!

    6
  17. Moosebreath says:

    Good luck, Stormy.

    3
  18. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    until I finally was forced to accept the truth: “This isn’t working. It’s never been working. Something has to change.”

    This is how it happens.

    In AA, they call it a “spiritual awakening”. That moment that when you hit bottom and you (likely involuntarily) make a choice that changes your life.

    I remember when that type of experience you described happened to me. it comes out of a combined desperation and a desire to live at the same time.

    Am I trying to mke this about me? No… I’m trying to say: I see you. I get it. It will be OK.

    6
  19. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Beth:

    You were the person here I wanted to tell most of all. I don’t think you’ll ever know how much of an inspiration you’ve been to me.

    12
  20. Liberal Capitalist says:

    An update from Santa Rosa CO FL…

    Remember the “Moms for Liberty” article a few days ago that discussed how they (MFL) called teh Santa Rosa County Sherrif to report a librarian wich allowed a your adult to check out a young adult fiction title?

    Well, it looks like they FIRST manufactured the situation so that then they could clutch pearls and feign outrage.

    How Moms for Liberty and a notorious English teacher exploited a high school student

    Outrage porn for MAGA. Feeding the beast.

    5
  21. Franklin says:

    Wow! Thank you for sharing, Stormy Dragon. This feels like a momentous day in the OTB community. Pleased to meet you!

    5
  22. EddieInCA says:

    Stormy – Congrats. Best of luck and success going forward.

    When you find yourself in LA, let me know. I’ll buy you the cocktail of your choice at the location of your choice. My suggestion would be Yashimirio’s in the Hollywood Hills.

    9
  23. Scott says:

    Now this is the definition of obscene. And I don’t care whose pocket the money comes out of.

    Texas A&M to spend more than $75 million to fire football coach Jimbo Fisher

    Texas A&M University fired head football coach Jimbo Fisher on Sunday, committing itself to spend more than $75 million to buy out his contract and announcing a national search for his replacement.

    4
  24. becca says:

    @Stormy Dragon: @Stormy Dragon: this comment brought tears to my eyes. Beth must be a puddle of joyous tears right now. So happy for you, Stormy!

    4
  25. Kathy says:

    NASA wants to undertake a sample return mission to Mars, and this is making other solar system scientists unhappy.

    The BIG cost of such a mission will eat up money that could be invested in other missions.

    Truth is there are more missions worth undertaking than money to fund them. So, one must choose which to fund, based on who knows what criteria. Naturally a big, expensive mission will draw fire from about everyone else involved in other missions.

    Martian samples would be invaluable. It’s true the various probes and rovers can do a lot of work on Martian geology, but they’re limited to the instruments they carry and how well they hold up. If a new technique gets developed, you need to send another probe to mars to take advantage of it. Moon samples brought by the Apollo astronauts are still being studied today.

    Now, Apollo brought back hundreds of kilograms of samples. An automated mission from Mars won’t bring back as much. The Soviets landed rovers on the Moon and managed to bring samples back, about 300 grams worth. NASA might do better than that, but it will be well under 10 kilos all told.

    So, here’s an idea:

    Cancel the sample return mission. Then set up a Mars Sample Prize in the amount of the original mission budget, around $5 billion, to be paid to the first private space company that brings back 5 kilograms of samples from Mars. They don’t have to bring them all at once. It can be done over several years. Payment due when 5 kilograms are reached.

    Maybe the Head Xitter can use the money to pare down his Xitter debt.

    2
  26. MarkedMan says:

    I come here to find commentary and answers on all the burning issues of the day. Which is why I’m asking the knowledge base that is the OTB commentariat: When did “out of pocket” stop meaning, “incurring cash expenses or ones on my personal credit card that will eventually be reimbursed by the company” to “traveling”?

    4
  27. Erik says:

    @Stormy Dragon: a thumbs up for something this important isn’t nearly enough so I’m going to pile on to the “thank you for trusting us” crowd

    8
  28. Matt Bernius says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Hello, I’m Stormy Dragon (they/them).

    Thank you for sharing your story. That was really brave and I know I appreciate the trust you have placed in our community by doing it!

    around age 19, although being the mid 90s, I didn’t have the language or cultural exposure to really understand it at the time

    Based on these context clues, I’m a contemporary of yours. Reaching these forms of self-understanding in mid-life is never easy and reflects a lot of work. I’m sure you’ve come across this quote by Anais Nin: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” I reflect on that one a lot.

    Good luck with these next steps on your journey. Please keep sharing your progress with us (provided you feel comfortable doing so).

    And I’ll do a little bit of digging and see if I can find that comment you referenced.

    [Update: Ok, that comment is harder to find than I expected… sorry I came up empty]

    5
  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    Obviously I support you in this.

    Reminds me a bit of when my daughter came out as trans and my reaction was, “Huh, I just thought you were gay.” Just as with her it has, perhaps surprisingly, zero effect on how I see either of you. It’s one of these things that is very important for the person involved, much less important to the rest of the world – or should be. My daughter is the same smart, stubborn, prepared, witty creature she was as a male. I tweeted a couple of times to parents to say, relax, they’ll be the same pain the ass kid they were before: they’ll still think you’re out of touch, and they’ll still hit you up for money.

    5
  30. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..out of pocket

    Maybe he spends time daydreaming that he’s a top 10 quarterback counting on his offensive line to protect him as he runs into the end zone for the game winning touchdown as the clock runs out…

    1
  31. Joe says:

    @MarkedMan: I have long (as in for decades) heard “out of pocket” as meaning unavailable though, when I draft contracts it clearly means actual expenses paid. I imagine it started as some conflation of those meanings.

  32. CSK says:

    Maryanne Trump Barry, Donald’s oldest sibling, has died.

  33. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    If I may be forgiven for indulging in the “transfem computer programmer” stereotype, gender is in a lot of ways the API people use to interface with the rest of society. Swapping out the “male” API for the “female” API, or in my case trying to frankenstein together some unholy combination of the two doesn’t change the nature of WHAT I can do with society, but has huge effects on how it feels to do them.

    So yes, the essence of me hasn’t changed at all, but how I relate to others has changed forever.

    6
  34. CSK says:

    Jacob Chansley, the Qanon Shaman, has filed papers to run as a Libertarian candidate for Congress from Arizona.

  35. JKB says:

    San Francisco proves they could have cleaned up the city and enforce the laws at any time. Or were they saving up their budgets for when Gavin Newsom’s master, Chairman Xi, was to visit?

    What this proves is that if you are a downtown business in SF, you should just close and move, the situation outside your door is by design of the local and state officials.

  36. MarkedMan says:

    @Joe: I think it used to be more literal. Back when I started my career I was talking to a Sales Rep, an older guy, and he was explaining what it was like to be a traveling salesman back before credit cards. When he said “out of pocket” he meant “on the road and carrying vast amounts of cash” which was quite dangerous. He thought Travelers Cheques were literally a lifesaver when they became available. Before that, he thought thieves would ride trains and hang out in the bar car listening for sales reps who were at the beginning of their journey and therefore were carrying all the cash they would need for weeks of hotels and fancy meals with customers and sleeper car train tickets,

    By the time I was putting in expense reports it meant that I had personally paid for something work related and needed to be reimbursed. It was before the era when a company would automatically issue a corporate card to a white collar worker.

    3
  37. Mr. Prosser says:

    @Stormy Dragon: I’m late to the party today but I wish you well. I think your essence is beautiful.

    2
  38. Kathy says:

    Well, a sample return mission from Mars would be a tad more complicated than I expected.

    The speed required to get into orbit of Mars is about 4.5 km/s, compared to Earth’s 7.2 km/s or so (numbers are approximate recollections). I thought for sure a first stage of any rocket, say the Xalcon Xine*, could exceed that.

    Not so much. On a random XpaceX video, the speed of the stack was around 2.2 km/s when the first stage cut off.

    But it’s not that simple (is anything ever that simple?) The Xalcon was carrying the upper stage and the payload, as well as fighting Earth’s much stronger gravity and thicker atmosphere. Mars’ gravity is 1/3 of Earth’s, and the atmosphere about 1/100th as dense. That helps, even if the atmosphere in Mars ought to extend farther out from its surface, because of the lower gravity.

    Sparing a lot of engineering and physics I don’t understand well, you could probably orbit a small sample capsule payload off Mars with something smaller than a Xalcon Xine, but ti will still be a pretty substantial rocket. More important, it needs fuel and oxidizer too. So in addition to the mass you need to put on Mars, you also must make sure the fuel and oxidizer don’t blow up on reentry or landing. Probably they’ll use solid fuel, as this carries also less risk of evaporation or leakage.

    So, yeah, it will be really xpensive.

    * Complying with xompany xolixy

    2
  39. charontwo says:

    @CSK:

    Yay! He’s in my 8th district. I always vote against Republicans whenever possible, and the Dems never bother running a candidate in my red district.

    So he has my vote.

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Be well.

  40. just nutha says:

    @Scott: There’s simply too much surplus capital sloshing around in America if this type of expenditure is possible.

    1
  41. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy:

    Truth is there are more missions worth undertaking than money to fund them.

    In a nation where a relatively unremarkable sports coach can be awarded a contract with a $75 million buyout, I find your statement hard to believe. I can believe that such a nation has no sense of values, but then again, I’m inclined to see space exploration as a black hole as big economically as athletic coach salaries.

    1
  42. Gustopher says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Welcome out of the closet!

    Your story reminds me that I really do not understand the struggles that transgender folk go through. I know they’re real struggles, I can vaguely try to map them into how long it took for me to figure out that I’m bi/pan/whatever, and decide to be open about that, but I really don’t get gender issues. I don’t need to get it to support trans folks, but it’s just wacky that it’s so completely unrelatable in the specifics (the more general “look, there’s a person in pain, we should try to lessen that pain so they can live a decent life” is straightforward)

    My relationship with my own gender is basically “huh, I got the easy one, awesome.” (This is my relationship with my white race, and my full head of hair as well… it’s not very deep)

    But enough of my warbling about myself, time for important questions:

    – Do you get a cool aggressively non-gendered name like Knife or Porcupine, or a gender neutral name like Alex?

    – If we wanted to address you formally, you’re not Mr. Dragon, and Comrade Dragon seems like a younger person thing… Mx. Dragon? (How is that pronounced? What does it stand for?)

    – Did you have a big gender reveal party? (It’s not too late, even if everyone knows, they’re all just there for the cake)

    Congratulations.

    2
  43. Franklin says:

    @Joe: I was today years old when I learned “out of pocket” could mean unavailable

    2
  44. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Franklin:

    They are “out of pocket” when they can’t be “brought to the table” in the “war room”.

    I hate corporate speak. We need to build a structural framework to maximize synergy.

    30 years of this crap that I had to sit across that table and not slap the shit out of sone moron that just spouted buzzwords. Mid level managers, most of them. The protected class.

    3
  45. Gustopher says:

    @MarkedMan: Lately “out of pocket” has taken on a different meaning, describing an entirely sudden and bizarre comment only tangentially related to the topic, frequently sexual.

    Teen1: my dad did a typical dad thing that has caused a moderate disruption to my life and rendered me temporarily embarrassed. Woe is me.

    Teen2: your dad is so hot.

    Teen1: Teen2, I regret to inform you that “out of pocket” responses, such as your last statement, leave me confused and somewhat alarmed. Also, I want to fuck your mom.

    4
  46. al Ameda says:

    @Stormy Dragon:
    What a journey you’ve been on.
    I wish you good health and peace of mind.

    3
  47. gVOR10 says:

    NYT reports the Supreme Court has announced adoption of an unspecified ethics code with an unspecified enforcement mechanism. I feel so reassured.

    2
  48. Jen says:

    @MarkedMan:

    When did “out of pocket” stop meaning, “incurring cash expenses or ones on my personal credit card that will eventually be reimbursed by the company” to “traveling”?

    According to the OED, 1908. O’Henry used it in Buried Treasure “…Just now she is out of pocket, and I shall find her as soon as I can.”

    2
  49. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Kathy:
    I saw that there was a volcano near Mexico City that was starting to become active. Is that close to you? Is that causing any difficulty in your neck of the woods?

  50. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    The practical consideration is that NASA has a yearly budget it can’t exceed easily. Space missions take between years and decades from conception to implementation, and then years to decades to run. Managing money that way isn’t easy.

    Take the Voyagers. They began mission design in the early 70s, but studies for the Voyager 2 grand tour mission (fly-by of four different planets), goes back to the mid-60s. Since launch in 1977, it’s been 46 years. The probes are still sending data, so money on this mission still gets expended.

    So, NASA doesn’t get infinite amounts of money, not even the 25% of the national budget many people believe it does. Therefore there are more prospective missions than money to fund them.

    1
  51. Jen says:

    @Mike in Arlington: There’s one in Iceland that has just split open a fissure in a town street. Is Popocatepetl rumbling again now too?

  52. DrDaveT says:

    @MarkedMan: Just for extra confusion, “in pocket” has always meant “possessing adequate funds”, since the mid-eighteenth century. That’s almost certainly a back-formation from “out of pocket” meaning not possessing adequate funds (which evolved from an original meaning of “having expended funds”). It still means that in the UK.

    The hyphenated version, on the other hand, has always meant “paid for from personal funds” (as opposed to by someone else on your behalf). I think you are right that the sense of “out of the office; unavailable” arises from “living out-of-pocket” while on the road for a business trip, doing things for which you hope to be reimbursed later.

    2
  53. DrDaveT says:

    Apparently Mt. Etna is now erupting as well. It’s a worldwide fad. Fox News will find a way to blame general wokeness.

    1
  54. DK says:

    @Gustopher: To my cohort, “out of pocket” is synonyms with “outrageous, unhinged, and startling,” in reference to behaviors or statements.

    As in, “Did you hear what Kanye said? Dude is completely out of pocket rn.”

    3
  55. Stormy Dragon says:

    @Gustopher:

    – While not legally changed yet, I did do the enby thing of naming myself a seemingly random noun, although I’d describe it as more playfully non-gendered than aggressively non-gendered. I’ll leave it up to others to decide whether it’s cool or not.

    – There’s no real agreement on what the honorific for an enby should be, with many opposed to the idea of honorific at all. For titles, there’s multiple pronunciations of Mx., but I prefer “emex”, because it sounds pretty metal getting called “Emex Dragon”. Mx. Doesn’t stand for anything (same as Ms. doesn’t) and is literally just Mr./Ms. with the last letter being unspecified.

    – My reveals have generally involved too much crying and hugging to qualify as parties. But there is always cake, just on general principles

    5
  56. Jen says:

    @DK: Hahahaha oh jeez. Something fresh and new for me to worry about…I am pretty sure I’ve used “I will be out of pocket between the hours of x and y, but will get back to you as soon as possible when I return” as an OOO message.

    For me, “out of pocket” has always been either a direct statement of payment (out of pocket expenses) or “unavailable.” I have unwittingly been labeling myself as nuts, fantastic…

    4
  57. Beth says:

    @Gustopher:
    @Stormy Dragon:

    On the name thing I think my general “Binary-ism-ness” and my 99% perfect basic white girl score (I hate PSL) really screwed me on the name thing. I had the world open to me and I went with the name of a minor character of a semi-obscure 80’s movie. In my local trans group there are like 3 “Nyx”‘s, a whole mess of other goddesses, people with way more imagination and gumption than me. We also have fully 1/3 of the women named Madeline in Chicago.

    Also, on the Bi part, @Gustopher: , being Bi was the easiest thing in the world to accept about myself. Oh, look at that, boys are cute, hmm, girls are too, and smell better. Lol, I was at a rave this weekend and I was text flirting with my wife and a guy that looked like the “giga-chad” meme walked in front of me. He was soooo hot. Being Bi is a friggin super-power.

    3
  58. gVOR10 says:

    @gVOR10: I see Kevin Drum has had a chance to at least skim the new SCOUS ethics rules. More of a declaration as it turns out. Drum describes himself as “underwhelmed”.

    POSTSCRIPT: The word “disclosure” appears only twice: once to ensure that justices don’t disclose nonpublic information and once here:

    For some time [since 1991], all Justices have agreed to comply with the statute governing financial disclosure, and the undersigned Members of the Court each individually reaffirm that commitment.

    That’s all there is. Everything is fine the way it is. Note also that this is phrased merely as a personal commitment. It’s not part of the actual code.

    Looks to me like this is the least Roberts could do. The absolute very least.

    I may send a couple bucks to Pro Publica since the supposedly liberal MSM don’t seem much interested in digging into this.

    2
  59. Kathy says:

    @gVOR10:

    I didn’t bother to read “the code”. I suppose it’s aspirational, voluntary, and without an enforcement mechanism of any kind.

    Looks to me like this is the least Roberts could do. The absolute very least.

    The very least is nothing. This is the very least he could do above the absolute very least he could do.

    Also, keep in mind the Leo-Crowe justices Thomas and Scalito had to sign up. No way they’d hang themselves or forego their privileges for real. They’ll just try to be more discreet and better hide the evidence until this blows over.

    1
  60. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon: Welcome. I don’t have your issues, but I do have issues. My wife pushed me into counseling recently (because she said she didn’t know if she could deal with my shit any longer and it scared me enough to do something.) I don’t know where this journey ends (ain’t the adventure great?) but my anger poisons so much and she deserves better.

    So you be you, and know that we are here for you

    4
  61. Kathy says:

    @Mike in Arlington:

    Hm. I had heard nothing about it and had to look it up.

    It’s not near me, nor near anywhere I’m likely to be in the foreseeable future.

    I don’t want to seem complacent. Mount Popocatepetl has been active since the 90s, throwing off ash and steam sporadically, sometimes with tremors. One time we got some ash-fall in the city, but I saw little of it. Ashes get carried far by winds. I’m about 80 kilometers away.

    It may erupt, but likely not explosively. All the exhalations, I assume, work to relieve pressure. If lava flows down the sides, I hope people nearby will be evacuated and losses will be minimal. It won’t hurt me directly.

    1
  62. Kathy says:

    How about that? HBO Max in mexico has Babylon 5 The Road Home out today.

    It’s an animated movie about multiple timelines. The multiverse is really getting overused right now…

    1
  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: The nation could allocate more money to NASA. It could allocate more money to courts to process asylum cases or to provide more nutritious school lunches or more money to kill Russians and Palestinians or to build public housing so people don’t have to live in tents or to facilitate gender affirming care for children or lots of other things. The fact that it spends money on buying out the contracts of athletic coaches or bringing rocks back from Mars shows where the values of the nation’s decision makers lie.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    1
  64. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: I’ve been watching the original Babylon 5 on Roku for a while now. I’m in Season 4 and have just watched Sheridan, Delenn, and Lorien (??) snow the Shadows and Vorlons in a plot twist that was as threadbare as any duel Spock and Kirk had with a computer on Star Trek, the Original.

    I’m not surprised particularly. A common fault of American TV scheduling is that producers, writers, and showrunners run out of story before networks run out of advertisers to buy time on the shows over and over. (And I’ve come to the conclusion that Mira Furlan either can’t act or has no chemistry whatsoever with Bruce Boxleitner. Watching them is duet scenes is positively painful. 🙁 )

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  65. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Hoping this helps both of you. From personal experience, red rage as a default setting isn’t good.

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