Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

We made it to Friday, beloveds!

Who’s got Halloween costumes or plans? I’m dressing as punk rock Louise at work on Monday. I’ll have photos for next Friday’s OT since I neglected to get photos at the costume’s premiere last weekend. If you have photos of your costume for this year, post them here or next week!

120 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    In less festive news, I am still shaking from the phone conversation with my mother this morning where she told me she was going to vote for Jill Stein based on (I am not even shitting you) a fucking internet quiz. My mother. Former nurse and librarian.
    <img src=""&gt;

  2. LaxMom says:

    Update: Sore throat and cold still going strong. Vaccine still kicking my butt. It's like when you come home from an evening of drinking and the room is spinning and your head's all a muddle, without the fun of all the drinking first. Plus stomach pains and injection site pain. I have totally given up on any deadlines I had this week and only grudgingly gotten dressed in yoga pants.
    I thought people were exaggerating this week when they said, "your health is more important, worry about all this stuff second". The good thing about being 40-something is that I can admit that gee, maybe they had a point, and I can just give in and feel awful without driving myself to constant tears trying to keep up with everything.
    Still, it's going to be a long month. (I have 3 more mondays of shots).
    Also I found out that a bat can fit through a 5/8 by 7/8 hole..and that's not the smallest bat in our state, that's the average species.

    Edit, to add: Teen boy dressed as Dorothy and we made his tuba a cyclone, and coincidentally a friend of his dressed in gold paillettes and so he became the yellow brick road. The good news is he won first place. The bad news is that he had to march in 40 degree rainy weather in a dress, tights, and too-small ruby slippers. I have been prevented from even taking pictures, much less posting any.

    • CleverManka says:

      I am so glad to hear that people are reassuring you to care for yourself first and tasks second (or third, or fourth). Use this time to take it easy. You deserve a break, even if it's not under the circumstances you might have chosen.
      <img src=""&gt;

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Ugh, rabies shots are awful. I got the standard headache/loopy feeling plus low grade fever, plus (and I still have no idea why) they messed with my cycle. That was a nice surprise. I wish you luck with all of this- at least it's not as many shots as it used to be in past decades, I guess. But it still sucks.

      • LaxMom says:

        Omg, thank you for saying that, because it brought on yet another period (that would be 3 in 6 weeks, if anybody's counting) and I am so wiped out. I thought I was just being special.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          And I've never even heard of that being a side effect! Why is this not listed? No one told me 'oh you're going to have random breakthrough bleeding.' Would've been nice to know. I'm so sorry for the additional hormone ruckus. It just makes everything feel more off. Hope you get all the rest you need and the next few weeks don't drag as much as anticipated!

    • CleverManka says:

      OMG just saw your edit about Teen Boy's Dorothy costume and I am SO SAD about the no pictures.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Yeah. Your health is more important than the rest of it.

      BTW… If you haven't talked to your profs (and maybe your department admin if you deal with them regularly) about your situation… I highly recommend that you do. In situations like yours profs often have latitude in helping students cope with assignments and missed tests/labs/etc. They will also be able to tell you if you need documentation.

      When I was in undergrad I had a friend die in another city. Most of my professors were kind AND the Darth Vader prof was the absolute kindest of them all (he wrote off a midterm for me). Turns out he had a compassionate human being under his terribly bitter and can't wait to retire exterior.

      • LaxMom says:

        When I broke down on Tuesday one of the profs who ran into me bawling in the ladies' room urged me to tell my professor. I could barely talk through what was happening but he was amazing. So was my other prof and my advisor–they are the ones who said to go home, health and family is more important. I'm pretty lucky.

  3. littleinfinity says:

    This is more link roundup-y, but I really liked this take by Rebecca Onion on the American obsession with (white) rebellious boys:

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh, wow, definitely marking that for a closer read later. Thank you.

      From a quick skim, it also ties in with the (disturbing) SW fandom affection for the Kylo Ren/Hux pairing that I see all over my dash. Libidos want what libidos want, but when a fandom has a men of color pairing practically handed to them on a platter and instead they cream themselves over two white Nazis? There needs to be some serious self-examination going on here and I'm not seeing that happen. So gross.

      • dancingcorvid says:

        I understand zero, even less, like negative numbers worth, of Kylo Ren affection. He is a risible individual, deficient in intellect, whiny, crabby, unfortunate in affect and wholly inadequate as a human bean.

  4. vladazhael says:

    My only concrete Halloween plans are to go carve pumpkins with friends, which isn't really a costumed thing. I suppose if I manage to make the intended adjustments to my jacket, I can be (lady) Poe Dameron on Monday at work, but frankly I might duck out before the part of the day that involves everyone else's kids anyway. I don't know. Ever since I've started doing more costumes for conventions, I've really been half-assing Halloween, plus there's enough Life Stuff going on that I'm distracted.

  5. damngoodcoffee says:

    I'm over the hump today; already spoke at an accounting class, so the rest of the day should be slow. I might pick up a bagel on the way home and take a gluten enzyme pill b/c every once in a while I just want a damn bagel.

    Yoga early tomorrow morning, then early voting, so hopefully it's not too cold. Then as many Halloween-themed (or just horror-themed) movies and TV episodes I can cram in to the weekend. On Monday there will be costumes and candy at the library (so much candy I can't even), then I'm teaching Monday night (and bringing candy). A coworker suggested I throw candy to students who answer questions, but just the thought of that inspires nightmare scenarios in my mind re: me braining students with sweet tarts b/c of my terrible aim, so those'll be passed around instead. 🙂

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh, that sounds delightful. Ahhh. Thank you for this, because reading it made me feel better immediately. Yay for damn bagels and holiday candy!

    • Theo_Winterwood says:

      Over the course of my middle/high school years, I had two separate teachers (one an old Vietnam vet substitute teacher, the other my 10th/12th grade English teacher) who thought it was a good idea to give us Jolly Ranchers on the regular by pelting them directly at us in the hopes we'd catch them.

      Maybe weirdly, this made both teachers very popular with students.

  6. littleinfinity says:

    My work had our big Halloween party on Tuesday, and my department decorated our cube area as a creepy carnival with a big tent, people popping out from behind doors, scary clowns, etc. I was a fortuneteller but I'm not sure how to upload pics here if they're not already posted to the internet? Imagine a sort of German-biergarten style top, with a floofy white skirt, and a bunch of belts/ scarves/ jewelry, and a sparkly headscarf. It me.

    I did want to go out or do something for actual Halloween but it looks like the boy will still be under the weather… he's had a tooth abscess and has been on antibiotics for it, and is patiently waiting for insurance to come through so he can get the damn thing pulled. So we might do something low-key. I wish more kids trick-or-treated in our neighborhood! We only get a couple of little bears and princesses every year even though our neighborhood is full of kids. Maybe they go to the richer areas with the better candy… 😛

  7. Räven says:

    Hey, you know what everyone should have? A bootable copy of your hard drive! You know when is a good time to make it? Sometime before your poor old hard drive is making a miserable grinding sound and doesn't want to have to offload all its data. (I am listening to it and it's breaking my heart, like listening to a baby cry and not picking it up.)

    I am tip-top at backing up my data, but it's a huge pain – and takes time and attention – to recreate a hard drive from archival backups. So you buy an external drive – I got a really nice one cheap from B&H – and you download some free software (super duper or carbon copy cloner, for the Mac) and you let it run, and then you can use that drive as your startup drive, in an emergency, and you can clone it to a new hard drive if you have to install one. Everyone please just go do this. This has been your 2009 MacBook Pro PSA of the day.

  8. Onymous says:

    I will probably just be handing out candy and watching something on Netflix. In the unlikely event I end up at thing though I'll probably just tape some stripes onto one of my yellow shirts, draw a squiggle on my forehead, throw a rock in a pillowcase and go as charlie brown if given sufficient notice, also cut too many holes in a sheet.

  9. Theo_Winterwood says:

    I don't really have any actual plans for actual Halloween, so I feel like I should come up with something to do. (We live in an apartment where there aren't any trick-or-treaters, sadly.)

    I have a Halloween party the Saturday after on November 5, but that's long enough after that I still feel like I should do something Halloweeny this weekend/Monday.

    (My attempt to watch 31 horror movies this month failed pretty spectacularly. I think I got to 16, and five or six were movies I'd already seen that I could multitask through, because it feels like it's been a weirdly busy month with not much to show for it.)

    • CleverManka says:

      I think sixteen is pretty great! Media consumption is a serious time commitment.

      • Onymous says:

        Oh god is it a commitment. I've basically stopped watching movies because I can so rarely be assed to find a 2.5 hour block.

      • Theo_Winterwood says:

        It really is! (I am notorious for almost never making it more than five to ten episodes into a TV show, even if I was really enjoying it.)

        I think I had more faith in myself to do this because I somehow managed to do it last year, but I'm realizing that in retrospect, last October, I had a lot more free time by pure chance, and also my dude was working a restaurant manager, so I had the apartment to myself pretty much every weekend and evening until about one or two in the morning. It's somehow a lot harder to spontaneously toss on a movie now when you often have two people home at the same time in the same 500 square feet.

        (And last year, a lot of the 31 I watched were kind of background noise to me doing art or something, which has been the case with a few this year too.)

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I've been so lax through October, in terms of Halloween prep overall. I've decorated more this year than past ones, though, and I'll be participating in Halloween stuff at work that day. This weekend will be for watching Halloween/horror stuff, but yeah, I just couldn't get enough time/focus to really do any of that the past few weekends.

      • Theo_Winterwood says:

        Me neither! I don't know what it is this October, but a lot of it for me has been either being busy with other things or having some spare time and then thinking, I could do something Halloweeny! But . . . meh, I don't feel like it right now.

        So as of right now, I feel like I haven't done much, which is too bad, 'cause I love Halloween. (But I don't really decorate, since I have a tiny apartment whose balcony faces into some woods and doesn't get trick-or-treaters.)

        But the whole thing for me this year still feels sort of like the Halloween equivalent of a year or two ago when we put up the Christmas tree at around 9pm on December 23rd.

  10. Onymous says:

    I just walked across the quad and saw
    "Abortion is legal up to the day of birth in New Mexico" chalked on the ground and thought hey that's cool.

    Then I saw that it was #studentsforlife and realized it supposed to be a bad thing.

  11. meat lord says:

    I don't really have Halloween plans, as it's on a Monday. I'll probably go out for spooky clubbing this weekend, though. Maybe I'll watch a horror film or something.

    In other news, I made an absolute ass of myself in an online argument with an old acquaintance and am therefore in the midst of what will probably be a multi-day anxiety & self-loathing episode. FUN.

  12. Onymous says:

    TFW you realize some one has caught you talking to yourself and you're so glad ubiquitous cellphones and Bluetooth has made shouting at air innocuous.

  13. Heathered says:

    I got up at 5 am to go to a Toastmasters open house today. Nice group of people all giving speeches and drinking too much coffee. I don't know if I'll join–it looks spendy–but I'd love to get a gander at all their speech prep materials. Now it's 10 am and I am completely drained, but still have a day to do. Phew.

  14. pseudonymica says:

    I have a question for people in academia. Is it okay to object to being evaluated by someone with a master's degree and ten years of teaching experience when I have a PhD and eight years of teaching experience? I'll put the details in a reply.

    • pseudonymica says:

      I got my master's degree with this guy, let's call him Supercilious. I went on to a doctoral program at another university while Supercilious was hired full time (though I assume not tenure track) at our master's institution. He's not qualified. I could give a list of evidence but here's the most horrifying: recently he bragged to me about how he was giving a lecture on reverse racism and some "stupid student who's black" tried to claim that wasn't a thing. He recounted this exchange:

      Not stupid student: You mean to tell me everything I've learned and all of my other professors and textbooks are wrong?
      Supercilious: Yes. They're wrong and I'm right.

      I was too shocked to do more than sputter.

      Now I've been informed that he is going to observe my class to evaluate my performance. My first thought was "ooh! I'll lecture about how reverse racism isn't a thing!" But my second thought was "No. I can accept that academia is unfair, but I don't have to accept Supercilious stepping foot in my classroom." The guy tries to correct my pronunciation of my own last name every time I see him.

      Worse, my classes aren't going well. I got stuck with classes at high schools because I had a concussion when the adjunct classes were being distributed. Most of my students shouldn't be in a college class, and I'm not at my best because of that concussion.

      • littleinfinity says:

        Wow. Just… wow. Generally I would say that that differential in experience/ degree is not enough to say "this person cannot fairly or meaningfully evaluate me". BUT, I think in this circumstance regardless of experience/ degree, you have a fairly reasonable argument for not wanting to be evaluated by this douchebag. I would say that it depends on who is in charge of assigning the observations, what their opinion of this guy is (if any), and how receptive you think they would be to you politely telling them that due to your past history with this dude (no need to get specific), you fear that he would not be an objective evaluator of your teaching performance, and you would like to request a different evaluator. I think it really depends on who is in charge here – but my guess is that they'll actually be more likely to re-assign evaluators based on a specific request about one person, rather than based on a general feeling about hierarchy (because that would possibly eliminate multiple people, and you really only want this one person eliminated from the pool).

        • pseudonymica says:

          Thanks! My problem really is with that one guy rather than the hierarchy itself, which also gets complicated because he is above me in some aspects.

      • CleverManka says:

        I am usually opposed to that sort of thing (the Burgomaster has encountered SO MUCH prejudice over the fact that he only has an MA despite the fact that when he was in grad school, there was only one institution in the world that offered a PhD in his area of study) but when you're in a bind and need the shitty system to work for you? LET THE SYSTEM WORK FOR YOU FUCK YES.

        He's not TT and you are. He doesn't have a terminal degree and you do. Leverage the shit out of that situation, bb.

        • pseudonymica says:

          I usually hate that kind of elitism too. My mom, for example, has a master's degree but enough course work by far for a doctorate, plus high scores on professional exams and years of experience.

          But now, hell yeah! I need to stake claim to any power I can get from this shitty system. I'll use the judicious approach littleinfinity suggested above. I think I'll start with "is it really necessary for me to be observed at both schools, teaching the same class?" Someone whose expertise I respect is scheduled to observe one class and that should be sufficient.

          On the other hand, it might be hilarious fun to proofread a report written by Supercilious. I read his master's thesis once when I was avoiding grading during my office hours and his writing is astonishingly bad.

          • CleverManka says:

            There's that angle, too! Let him observe it and write an evaluation that reflects poorly on him. Let it get turned in with all the terrible typos and grammatical errors. Just let it happen and smile when he shows himself to be an idiot.

            Really, the more I think about this, the more your situation could be (as insulting as it is in the moment) a win-win for someone willing to play the long game. Slytherins 5EVAH.

  15. Onymous says:

    Oh so I haven't actually bought candy yet so I am open to suggestions: given that I am far to poor to be giving away full size bars, what would you like to get on Halloween?

    • CleverManka says:

      Kid me loved Hershey Kisses or Reese's Miniatures. Luckily, those can be metered out in small handfuls without your looking too stingy!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Marshmallow Peeps come in pumpkins, ghosts, and green Frankenstein's Monster heads. Very affordable.

      Young Rose loved Tootsie Rolls, also affordable. I still love them, but now have dental work that Tootsie Rolls ruined very expensively, so they must remain no more than a fond memory. Adulting sucks.

  16. katerkins says:

    For me, Halloween – like New Year's Eve – is one of those holidays where I feel I *should* do something but I never do. As someone who loves to dress up, it's both a relief and v disappointing. We live in an apartment building where trick-or-treating is Not Allowed, and we don't have that many friends so no party invites for us. A few years ago when I was a Girl Guide leader I got all dressed up for our Halloween party and then felt sad that my only dress-up occasion was a weekday evening with 9-11 year olds that wasn't even on the actual day (at least they liked my costume!)

    Tomorrow I'm cleaning out my closet, so that should be frightening. Monday I'm planning wearing an orange sweater to work and watching a non-scary scary movie on Netflix

  17. Doc_Paradise says:

    I'm not doing anything Halloweeny for Halloween. I'll be going out on the day after to try to find those ping-pong ball eyeballs. I've been collecting bags of them for years with the goal of having enough to fill a bath with a layer of floating eyeballs. It takes a surprisingly large number of fake eyeballs to fill a bathtub.

  18. Lynn says:

    Giantic logistics nightmare work project is done, f'ing finally! Now I have two hours of chill in my hotel room before I go help my coworkers with *their* logistics nightmare event.

    I can already feel the post project cold coming on, but I'm currently the furthest I can get from the next recurrence of this project and that is fine by me.

  19. CheddarBiscuit says:

    I will probably not have much opportunity to be festive on Halloween. I'll be out for over twelve hours running from one job to another because I was silly and didn't remember that Monday was Halloween when I signed up for a shift. But I put some Halloween wraps on my nails last night — I went to two different CVSs to find them, so clearly this was a priority! And there's a puppy costume contest in my neighborhood this weekend that I'm gonna try to check out.

    Unrelated, but does anyone here have any insight into careers in technical writing? I have a temporary gig right now doing some technical writing for the billing department of a law firm and surprisingly, I'm kind of enjoying it? I have absolutely no background in the field, but it seems like it really plays to the skills and strengths that I do have — things like learning quickly, being very observant and asking good questions, organizing information, explaining complex stuff simply and clearly, and having a good eye for document design. This was not at all in my career plans, but now I'm thinking it's something I might explore.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I don't do it, but I have a variety of friends who do. They seem to like it and seem to have less problem finding contracts and work than other tech people. The impression I have is that the frustration level of the work depends on who you work for (but, as I said above, they don't seem to have a problem switching employers). It also seems to require skills in getting up to speed fast on various products and topics, as well as being able to communicate well with people.

    • CleverManka says:

      The Burgomaster was a technical writer for Microsoft, and taught technical writing up until a couple years ago. Here's a link for such things on his old class website. Hope there's something there to help!


      (deleted this comment and reposted b/c I couldn't figure out why I kept fucking up the HTML on that link)

  20. LaxMom says:

    This just in: tomorrow's halloween, and Hillary Clinton will be at my campus tomorrow. Should be an interesting day. I won't get anywhere near her, I'm sure–events like this usually 'sell out' in minutes. But it will be a nice change from all the T—- signs in my neck of the woods.

  21. sherwood21 says:

    I ended up not having the time or energy to do a costume this year, which is TRAGIC, because I was going to do a zombie costume with a creepy zombie baby coming out of my stomach, and I highly doubt that's an opportunity that's going to come around again. But I do have a sweater with skulls all over it to wear to work tomorrow, so that helps.

  22. Kazoogrrl says:

    Taking J out to dinner for his birthday after work, and speaking of, I have to wrap his presents. I got him the Holtzman Funko!

  23. Onymous says:

    No, but seriously: Tootsie Rolls are fucking magic.

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