Shocking confession

OMG!!! I don’t know what to say! It seems that after all these years of fooling us, Hello Kitty is …. is …. (gasp)… not a real cat!!!!

Some closets … shudder … were never meant to be exited.

Which passenger do you sympathize with and why?

I fly a lot and I’m a larger person. Seat space on flights is very important to me.

Do passengers have the right to recline their seat when flying?

Legroom fight diverts flight
By Marnie Hunter and Mike Ahlers, CNN
updated 3:45 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014

An argument over legroom resulted in a flight diversion
A passenger’s use of a Knee Defender did not sit well with another flier
The two were removed from the plane before it continued to its destination

(CNN) — Do airline passengers have the right to recline?
That simmering debate among fliers escalated Sunday aboard a United Airlines flight that was diverted after two passengers argued over the use of a device that blocks reclining.
A Knee Defender, a gadget that “helps you stop reclining seats on airplanes so your knees won’t have to,” was at the root of the disturbance.
United Flight 1462 from Newark to Denver was forced to divert to Chicago’s O’Hare airport, according to United Airlines. The airline said that it does not allow the use of the recline-blocking device on its aircraft.
A federal law enforcement source, speaking on background, said the incident involved a male and a female passenger, both 48 years old.
The female passenger was unable to recline her seat and flagged a flight attendant.
The flight attendant told the man seated behind her to remove the Knee Defender device, but he declined. The female passenger then threw water in his face. The pilot decided to divert the flight to Chicago, where authorities met the aircraft.
The two passengers were removed from the plane before it continued on to Denver, United said. The passengers were not arrested.
The argument occurred in the Economy Plus section, which provides United passengers up to 5 inches of extra legroom compared with standard coach seats.

Dear Diary (as imagined by the sleeveless T-shirt)

“What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”

— Juliet Capulet

Hah! Poppycock, pure and simple. What other word than “simple” should you use to address some besotted sixteen year old? As if those sixteen years provided here with any depth of wisdom.

Kunta Kinte knew that. His name was Kunte, not Toby Waller.
Do we really think Reek is the same person as Theon Greyjoy?

No, and that’s why I insist you call me by my true name, Sleeveless T-Shirt.

I am not a muscle shirt. Skinny and underdeveloped men and women the world over revel in my comfort and coolness. Why restrict my use to the muscled?

I am not a tank top. Tank suits were bathing costumes worn in the 1920s. I’m not your grandpa’s upper body clothing. This is the 21st Century, baby. Climb on board.

Tube top? Forget it. Completely different garment, best suited to well-developed females highlighting their mammalian properties. Un, unh. No way, baby. I’m an equal opportunity piece of clothing. Men and women both. And I have straps, baby. STRAPS! Aint’ no tube top got what I got. Straps, I say baby, straps.

Guinea tee? Derogatory and racist term. Enough said.

Derogatory? Listen to this. The worst, absolute worst …. god, I hate to even say it … is “wife beater.” Wife beater? Are you kidding me? What the hell does spousal abuse have to do with a comfortable and cool garment which can also be used to absorb perspiration when worn as an undergarment? Puhleeeze!

Sleeveless T-shirt, that’s who I am and I will thank you to call me by my proper name.

(You in Britain are allowed the use of “vest” and you in New Zealand “singlet.” I am nothing if not versatile and international.)

The Internet is Full

The Internet is full. I am not kidding. This is not a Corner Gas episode where everyone makes fun of Oscar by telling him he broke the internet. It really is full.

Experts would have us believe the problem is a memory limit for old routers that recently exceeded a memory limit:

“The issue revolved around a limit on the number of concurrent connections made to routers that underpin the internet. These operate in a similar manner to home routers spreading data about the global internet, rather than simply within a single address.

“Old hardware that is at least five years past its end-of-life sulked, because it ran out of memory,” explained James Blessing, chair of the Internet Service Providers Association, which has close to 300 members across the UK.

‘The address book filled up’

“The problem revolved around TCAM memory – which is like an address book – getting full,” Blessing told the Guardian. “The default settings have 512,000 entry spaces. It reached 512,000 entries last week when an internet service provider (ISP) had a problem and leaked some address space, which caused some older boxes at other ISPs to fail.”

Poppycock. The problem is all those cat videos you’re downloading and sending links of to your friends. Delete them now or lose the internet forever! Forward this link to all your friends or you will lose the ability to ever contact them electronically again!

Thoughts on Depression…from an artistic mind

The Globe and Mail recently reprinted this Facebook post by Michael Redhill, one the best pieces on the disease I’ve read.


Thoughts on depression from an artistic mind
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Aug. 15 2014, 3:46 PM EDT

I admire the (temporary?) openness about depression that is being displayed in the media and online in the wake of Robin Williams’s suicide, and I want to add my two cents. My credentials are that I am a fellow sufferer, and have experienced depression (and its knife-wielding twin, anxiety) since I was an adolescent. I have been hospitalized for it, medicated for it (with both licit and illicit drugs), and I’ve had various therapies as well. Like cancer, depression kills a certain amount of its victims; like cancer, it’s an illness, not a weakness. Even so, I am ashamed to admit that I am a sufferer, which means I find it easy to internalize as well as somehow externalize – through my own silence – the attitude that depression is a failure of strength or character.

I am not an expert in the causes of depression, only an expert in the experience of it, and after four or so decades living with the illness, I know a few things about it:

There’s no cure, only remission. People who suffer from depression (not “normal unhappiness,” which was the goal of Freud’s talking cure), are never fully out of danger because it is depression’s nature to recur. Sufferers of depression have “episodes” the same way those who suffer from multiple sclerosis do. It comes, wipes the floor with you, and then somehow returns you to the world. But it comes back.

Depressives don’t make themselves sick. They don’t choose depression. They may have a cognitive leaning toward interpreting events and feelings in a certain way, but they don’t choose to get or stay depressed. The fact that it runs in families should indicate to fair-minded people that it has a genetic aspect as well. You may get your blue eyes from your father and your blue feelings from him as well. Recent research even suggests that ancestral trauma may be coded genetically, thereby passing a predisposition for mood disorders down through the generations.

Depression is a surfeit of empathy – a killing empathy – that makes depressives great friends to everyone but themselves. Having a self is a rough business and depressives can empathize with others who have to deal with it, but not with themselves. Fundamentally, people who suffer from this illness can give love, but when suffering from it, they can’t accept it. That doesn’t mean they don’t need it, only that they believe they don’t deserve it.

The only treatment is exercise and work. Many depressives become expert walkers. Solvitur ambulando – Latin for “it is solved by walking” – has profound application for depression. I think therapy would be more effective if the therapist and the patient had their sessions while walking, briskly, around a park. Work equates to purpose, something that depressives think they lack. Working gives lie to the feeling of purposelessness and combats it.

Suicidal thoughts become suicidal action when the thought of your loved ones arranged around your grave is no longer a deterrent. When a depressive who wants to die thinks of the suffering it will cause others, it’s a restraint, but it also feels like a trap. It’s the last barrier between them and eternity, which the depressed person longs for. Once the idea of others’ pain is trumped by their own, a peace descends and suicide is often inevitable. I’m not arguing for suicide, only acknowledging its draw. In a terrible way, self-murder is an act of self-love. It ends someone’s suffering.

The only thing you can do for someone who is depressed is to be around them and love them despite their illness. Living with a depressive is a bloody nightmare. They say things they don’t mean, about themselves and others. They cancel dinners. They won’t look you in the eye. They use the words “always” and “never” liberally. The symptoms of depression often seem like they’re directed at you. But it’s not personal. If you can accept this, you’ll be doing the most you can for the sufferer in your life. Be silent and useful and remember it’s not about you.

Touch helps. Get a massage. Give a massage. If you can, make love to a depressed person. Touch is primitive. Your reaction to it is in your reptile brain, but your thoughts are happening somewhere else. Touch creates some distance between the body and the self. Depressives are excellent in bed if you can convince them to take off their pyjamas.

The culprit is the mind. I think, therefore I am, said Descartes. Therein lies the problem. Some depressives conclude, as Robin Williams did this past week, that not thinking and not being is preferable to the alternative. I’m shattered that he lost his battle, but I’m also glad he’s free of his pain. If you have lost someone to depression, or another mood disorder, be aware that your love was enough. You couldn’t have prevented their death and there’s nothing you should have done differently. The suicide’s logic has nothing in common with yours. In the end, death makes mad, perfect sense to them.

Depression is a byproduct of consciousness, and addiction is a byproduct of depression. No one is depressed when they’re asleep, which is why being in bed is such a safe place if you’re really down. The reason so many intelligent and creative people suffer from depression is that when you take the risk of being fully conscious, you open Pandora’s box and you can’t close it again. Alcohol, drugs, and addictive behaviours are a bulwark against what’s in the box. They say people with addictions are escaping pain as if that’s a foolish or illogical reaction to pain. It isn’t. As the comedian Doug Stanhope said, “There’s no such thing as addiction, there’s only things that you enjoy doing more than life.” If you know depression, you know what he means.

To all my fellow sufferers, then, slainte. Your depression exists not because you did something wrong or because you’re a bad person, it exists because you’re you. Remember the last time you survived it and how it cleansed you, and hold on to that if you can. That is the gift of depression: When it leaves you, it leaves you flayed but vividly alive. Dante’s Inferno (an archetypal rendering of depression) ends with Virgil emerging from the seven circles of hell, reborn into life by a holy grace. The depressed person wants to live and wants to love and it is always a surprise to rediscover the pleasures of the world after despair. The final line of Dante’s poem is a talisman to be held dear by anyone who has experienced depression’s pervasive darkness: Thence we came forth to rebehold the stars.

Michael Redhill is a poet, novelist and playwright. His most recent work, Saving Houdini, is a novel for young adults. This essay, at the request of The Globe and Mail, was adapted from a Facebook post.