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06 January 2011

Well, how are you today?
Rich in love and spirit. How about you?
posted by msali 06 January | 09:52
I'm OK .. trying to handle a difficult situation and still maintain my positive outlook. Reminding myself to focus on what's good, not what's bad. There's more good than bad (I keep telling myself).

Thanks for asking.
posted by Kangaroo 06 January | 09:56
I just read about Bill Zeller on mefi, so I am a bit gutted, even though I didn't know him.

So, I have to think about my blessings. I am very behind on a script, but I have to remember how lucky I am that this is my job and that there are much worse things.
posted by typewriter 06 January | 10:10
Braaaaains. Braaaaaaaaains.
posted by galadriel 06 January | 10:12
Getting ready to head to California, woohoo!
posted by leesh 06 January | 10:12
I too am feeling down after reading the Bill Zeller thread on mefi. His was one of the usernames I looked out for.

It's a weird thread, because it is of course dreadfully sad and then there are moments of grace and insight throughout. As I guess often happens when people gather to talk about death and dying and life and suchlike.

Quonsar's comment will stay with me for a bit.

...its a monstrous world, but its also a beautiful one. and we can't know for sure which world those around us are living in.
posted by gaspode 06 January | 10:23
Aside from that, I'm just kind of normal. I'm looking to get a little ahead on my work, I'm a bit tired after the kid woke up for about an hour overnight. Drinking coffee and indexing.

How are you, Miko?
posted by gaspode 06 January | 10:25
Beautiful quote, I agree.

Here's an internet hug for ((Maddie)).
posted by typewriter 06 January | 10:25
aw, thanks typewriter!
posted by gaspode 06 January | 10:27
yikes, I hadn't seen that meta. Ye gods the world can be a brutal place.

I am okay. Still hacking and wheezing from a chest cold that was simply an ironic coda to an utterly shitty two weeks in which the mister lost his father, a man he worshiped, and the rest of their little community held in great regard. My poor beloved has never lost anyone close and he's processing it as gracefully as anyone can under the circumstances, but this will take a great deal of time.

I'm currently at work trying to concentrate on year end closing stuff through a haze of pseudoephedrine and caffeine.

I'd hug you all, except you probably don't want my cooties.
posted by lonefrontranger 06 January | 10:46
I've also been thinking about the Bill Zeller thread. I didn't run across him a lot on MeFi, but he was literally in the first small group of MeFites I ever met, at a post-holiday meetup in Connecticut at an Indian restaurant. I was really scared to go to my first meetup, and I think there were just 8 or 9 of us, but he was one of the many who made the whole thing seem normal, fun, and welcoming instead of weird-people-from-the-internet-ish. And thinking about the perpetuating cycle of abuse and the mixed nature of humanity - beautiful/monstrous - that quote stood out to me too.

Other than that, OK. It's kind of a stressful month for a random handful of reasons, but I'm looking forward to starting grad school again in late January. And to the weekend. Glad to hear from everyone.
posted by Miko 06 January | 10:47
sorry for the loss to your partner's family, LFR. Sad, sad.
posted by Miko 06 January | 10:49
The best I can come up with is: meh. The new boss is a nice guy, and I'm getting calls for other jobs I've applied for, but they're not really good fits and it's not intolerable enough here that I'll take just *anything*.

Run on sentences are apparently my thing today.

posted by lysdexic 06 January | 11:08
I'm fantastic, thanks for asking!

^ Fake it til you make it.
posted by ecrivain 06 January | 11:49
I actually went to see a new therapist yesterday and I liked her a lot, so I feel almost hopeful. Granted, I only get to see her 3 times - money - but 3 times is better than nothing.

Also, I believe I should market my usual at home uniform these days - black yoga pants, black waffle weave shirt, giant men's flannel shirt or big black sweater, wool socks - under the brand name Cozy Ninja. Cozy Ninja! You know you want to be one.
posted by mygothlaundry 06 January | 12:01
And don't forget a ninja cozy!

posted by Kronos_to_Earth 06 January | 12:35
Holy shit, he was from the same town as me and Facebook tells me we had mutual real life friends.
posted by amro 06 January | 12:36
As for me: I think I have another sinus infection, but other than that I'm good (and perversely, I even kind of like the sinus infection because I've had no appetite and lost weight). I bought a new car the other day, got Fios hooked up today, and had a good date last night.
posted by amro 06 January | 12:49
All things considered, I can't complain. Treating my low thyroid has improved my lot immensely.
posted by Ardiril 06 January | 12:54
Two cats who adore me doesn't hurt either.
posted by Ardiril 06 January | 12:55
I'm good, all things considered. Bunny holiday cards continue to arrive (Youngergirl's today). I'm going to a wedding on Saturday in my old home town, and I've booked an hotel for the night instead of staying at my sister's, although we are attending the wedding together.

The Bill Zeller suicide note is heartbreaking, I had to stop reading it.
posted by Senyar 06 January | 13:03
I would like to be a cozy ninja, that's true.

I'm distracted today and trying to relearn MicroSoft Access on the fly.

I am also sincerely grateful for the life I have.
posted by crush-onastick 06 January | 13:36
Taking a much-needed day off from work; among other things, I got enough sleep for the first time in weeks. Feels wonderful. Made some popovers; discovered that using bread flour makes them lighter and fluffier. Ate too many of them.
posted by Melismata 06 January | 13:50
Oooh I dress Cozy Ninja style too it seems!

Tonight I have an orientation session at the ward office training centre - I am fed up with not fitting back into my funky smaller clothes. I refuse to accept that I can't get back into shape so I'm going to pummel this body until it just does what I tell it to dammit!
posted by gomichild 06 January | 15:31
oh wow I just read the metatalk post.. damn RIP
posted by Firas 06 January | 15:34
Doing okay I guess. I cut my finger last night while knifing into and destroying a plastic jar of mayonnaise that would. not. open. Then I wrote "mayo" on my shopping list.
posted by JanetLand 06 January | 15:42
I'm feeling introspective today. Distancing myself from online community has bought me more time and focus for my job and family, but left me feeling disconnected and mentally lazy. Surfing and lurking eases the boredom, some, but doesn't seem to stimulate me the way that immediate interaction does. The Bill Zeller thread broke my heart. But then I caught myself selfishly reflecting on my own growing alienation and missing the chance to join with the group catharsis. But I know that balancing my interests is probably my biggest weakness. And feeling sorry for myself after reading that thread makes me feel dirty, because I have no right. Sadness makes me suspect my motives. Sorry. More honesty than usual, and not very clear. I suppose I'm saying that I miss you all. And now I should probably delete this comment, as I usually do when I write something personal, especially since I really do need to get back to work. But today I think I'll dare to admit that I'm lonely, because even if it's a small emotion compared to what others have to face, I think today is a good day to drop the mask, if only for small emotions, if only for a moment. Be well.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson 06 January | 16:25
Hmm, good and bad right now. The good: new kitty Cleopatra is finally ready for beginning introductions to other animals. She's a wonderful addition to our menagerie. Also, I see I have lost a few pounds, and thus far having no trouble sticking with my dry January resolution.

Bad: dreading fully reading that thread, am currently reading some materials that are similarly depressing for work, and my back is acting up again, so I'm off to acupuncture again tonight.

Yes, I would like to be a cozy Ninja right now, right after a hot bath, enjoying the new kitty and counting down to the acupuncture.
posted by bearwife 06 January | 16:28
Also, Its Raining Florence Henderson, I miss you A LOT. It is a joy to see your comment here. You are a very wonderful and funny person yourself.
posted by bearwife 06 January | 16:34
I've read Bill's note and am still reading the MeFi thread. Having been in Bill's situation (being abused and contemplating suicide) it's really tough going.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones, bunnies. Big hugs all around.
posted by deborah 06 January | 16:38
I've tried to drop the mask a little lately, at least here on metachat. Has it made a difference? Does anyone read the comments down here?
posted by Eideteker 06 January | 16:59
Well, I've missed you too IRFH. And Eide, I think I read every comment on metachat. You've definitely dropped the mask - a lot.
posted by gaspode 06 January | 17:06
There's a lot of backchannel stuff going on for me today. We've been on tenterhooks waiting for the other shoe to drop about Bill all week. After Matt emailed me the note on January second, I went temporarily frantic and tracked down Bill's cell phone # only to have a terrible conversation with someone I assume was his mom. "No he's not here, no he's probably not okay." Neither here nor there in the grand scheme of things, but like IRFH I've been feeling a little whiny today and have been lucky to have found some good people to talk to.

Managing community response to this sort of thing is really challenging. There are a lot of people with a lot of high emotions and I know that Matt and Josh and I [and probably pb, but I haven't spoken to him] are all feeling really bent out of shape at the same time. Sorry for the mopemopemope but it's the sort of thing I try to keep off of MeFi in the interests of minimizing my own personal concerns but damn, what a day.

I went for a long walk and suggested Josh do the same. Feeling guilty about feeling lucky to be alive.
posted by jessamyn 06 January | 17:23
Yeah that thread is very difficult, if not impossible, to read. So sad, so goddamn sad and heartbreaking in a very real sense. I gave up trying to read it, actually. An artist I knew a little here died yesterday as well; he was only 56, a massive stroke, his wife was by way of being a friendly acquaintance of mine some years ago. I hate to hear of it. As I get older it seems as if every death, even those of people I don't know well, kicks up a whirling duststorm of sorrow and loss and memory and grief. It is too hard to be human sometimes.
posted by mygothlaundry 06 January | 17:46
I have to say, when I found this comment from 2 years ago, I almost cried.

I was in a conversation recently about how "hero" gets thrown around a lot these days. But comments like that, and like this one (which someone on IRC just linked to, prompting this outburst) remind me of something. I never had heroes growing up. Adults love(d) to ask you that question, right behind "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I never had an answer. But now I do. There are a whole bunch of really phenomenal people here on MetaChat and MetaFilter who are really amazing. And they're just ordinary people with their heads screwed on the right way. They have ups and downs and moments of despair just like the rest of us, but they have the courage to keep going (not a judgement on Bill at all) and to say the right thing in the right moment. It's a courageous act. I have a whole pantheon of heroes thanks to you guys. Folks who I carry around with me in my head who act as my better judgement, who cradle me through my insecurities, and who warm my lonely nights alone.

I can't thank you enough. I try; I try to make people laugh, make folks feel at home in #bunnies, try to stand up for my convictions (sometimes a bit too much on MeFi), and most of all, I try to keep fighting. I'm not worthy, but y'all make it worthwhile to entertain the idea that maybe, just for a bit, I might be.
posted by Eideteker 06 January | 18:10
I still need to take that walk, yeah. I keep gravitating back to the computer, but there's nothing really happening. I get forensic when something's bothering me, so know I've seen a wide variety of little conversations about his death elsewhere on the internet, some good, some shruggo, some gross in their use of his dead body as an axe for grinding. I need to stop looking, but it's hard to switch gears.

I didn't know Bill well at all but he was one of those good nerds who I could do my enthusiastic-chatterbox thing to about datawankery stuff and he was just as down with it. I was thinking about him the other day when I was gearing up for some new nerdery, and then we got the news. He'd followed me on Quora the night, a few hours before he hung himself, and I've got that fucking follow prompt sitting there now.

I know that feeling self-involved and introspective about someone else's death is normal, and that feeling weird about that is normal too, and I know tonight I'll get a better night's sleep and tomorrow I'll feel better, but it's been a weird foggy grind today.

IRFH, I'm glad you're managing your shit even if that means you not being around. I'm glad you let it slip for a comment in here today too, though. You're a goodun, we miss you terribly.
posted by cortex 06 January | 18:58
Yeah, I've been better. I never really knew Bill except where our paths crossed on MeFi, which was almost never, but I shed a few tears this morning over the whole thing. For people that actually knew him a a person, it must be immeasurably worse.

Sorry for the mopemopemope
Don't even think about apologising - you (and the rest of the MeFi team) are not only feeling sad about the news, but have been dealing with it for what must seem like ages when the rest of us were mostly blissfully unaware and I'm sure your responses on MeFi are muted because of your positions there, plus you have to watch the outpouring of emotion from everyone else over and over to keep an eye out for trouble, so you can't even get away from it. You know that MeCha is here for you to mope all you like, or for whatever else you need to do.

Like others, quonsar's comment really touched me. It probably surprised a lot of people, being quite at odds with his reputation, but it's reflective of the person that I know is behind the persona.
posted by dg 06 January | 20:07
Miko, now that you got quoted/referenced by Paul Ford on, you have offically Made It in my mind
posted by Firas 06 January | 22:58
Oh, I didn't see that response on ftrain. How nice to have the conversation go two ways, in a roundabout fashion. Dumb as it sounds, the whole Steve Martin/92nd St. Y thing made a minor splash in my profession, and became the launch pad for a big discussion about public programs, expectations, media, planning, etc.

And what dg said. Thanks to the mods. MeFi can be funny and warm, silly and informative, but because it's a place where there are people it is prone to all the vagaries of human interaction and, sometimes, sadly, loss and grief too. This is why it's a real community, and not a steam valve for noisemakers. I'm sure it's been a difficult week for everyone, and thanks for managing it as well as you have for the participants.

As I get older it seems as if every death, even those of people I don't know well, kicks up a whirling duststorm of sorrow and loss and memory and grief. It is too hard to be human sometimes.

well put, mgl. With many individual exceptions, of course, as a person gets older, death goes from being this quite rare and shocking event in your life, sometimes even a distant or abstract idea, and becomes a more regular companion as people you know and know of leave this mortal coil with greater frequency. It's a strange thing; even celebrity deaths give me a pang; as a kid, celebrity deaths tended to be 'old people' who in my callowness I considered has-beens from a long-ago generation, whereas now they tend to be people who have been doing creative work throughout my lifetime, who in some sense you feel you grew up with. Some days it's easy to get really down when thinking about the future because of all the deaths we all know we'll have to endure.

NOt a cheerful start to start Friday on, but one to remind me to live while I can, enjoy others while I can, and do better.
posted by Miko 07 January | 08:59
As people get over the initial shock of the news, a lot of people want to do things, something, anything. This is good and bad news. It leads to a lot of different sorts of behavior. The worst sort is the hectoring email "You NEED to do something about this" which stops just short of saying "This is your responsibility."

For my part, I'm plodding along, dropping notes to people who got questions-about-suicide rejected from the anon queue recently, biting my nails when I don't hear from them, working on the wiki page about depression, adding crisis resources, watching the birds, watching it snow.
posted by jessamyn 07 January | 12:31
I had no idea there were so many good existing resources on the MeFi wiki. That's cool.
posted by Miko 07 January | 13:03
As I get older it seems as if every death, even those of people I don't know well, kicks up a whirling duststorm of sorrow and loss and memory and grief. It is too hard to be human sometimes.

That really is so painfully, perfectly stated, mgl.

Bill Zeller's death (and especially his note) hit so hard --- though I only knew him as a funny, smart, friendly name in the ether, and I don't imagine he knew of me at all. His note was so brutally hard to read that I simply cannot imagine what it felt like inside of him.

And I'm so grateful to the people around me who make life better a little bit at a time --- for me, for others, for themselves. As Eideteker says, those are my heroes. Make it better, a bit at a time. It's the greatest thing we can do for each other and ourselves.
posted by Elsa 07 January | 14:11
So, a couple of hours ago, I got a call from a friend of 25 years or so. That's nothing unusual, except that he was calling to say he is going in for surgery on pancreatic cancer on Tuesday and that, as the odds of him surviving are only about 40%, he wanted to say 'thanks for everything'. You know, just in case.

I found out a few months ago that he had the cancer, but it's only been in the last few days that the decision has been made that his only chance of survival is surgery. The call was hard to listen to, but it must have been immeasurably hard to make. At least, though, he has the chance to 'put his affairs in order' over the next few days.

Yeah, my days haven't got better.
posted by dg 07 January | 22:19
Oh, dg, I'm so sorry. It's good that you're there at the other end of the phone line for your friend, at least. I know it doesn't feel like much but when someone needs to reach out, this is what grace is: being present for our friends and family, even when all we can offer is an ear.

Maybe I'm trying too hard to look through rose-colored glasses, or maybe this is the bastion of the disheartened. I cling to the comfort I get from my friends, and the comfort I can offer my friends. Some days, it's the brightest light in a dim world.

Wow, I am just a fucking ray of sunshine, huh. It's been a bad week, a bad month, a bad year or so. But I still believe in the importance of that simple comfort. Sometimes it makes all the difference in the world.
posted by Elsa 07 January | 22:28
Huh. || Why Cecco Beppe Does Not Die