Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

Posting early this week because I have a 10:00 meeting (might last an hour, might last until noon, not sure) and then I’m in a campus Safe Zone training program from 1:00 to 4:00. So I won’t be around much today, unfortunately. I will check for comments that need approval during breaks (I’ll have my phone, at least), but I doubt I’ll have time to comment after I leave for my first meeting.

128 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    Currently unsure how I'm going to make it through another Yoga Weekend, so soon on the heels of the last one, after another horrible week, when I can't really take Monday off afterward. I will make it, though! Might not be pretty, but I'll make it. Next week is a short week for me, at least, and I'm considering taking off Wednesday as vacation to make it even shorter.

    I'm still struggling with all the stuff I posted about here. I want to start volunteering, I want to start learning Spanish, I want to do so much, but when I get home from work I can barely form sentences. The Burgomaster and I had a conversation a few nights ago where all I could get out were nouns. Typing is easier, so I have been writing letters but I'm not sure if those have much more impact than emails these days.

    Speaking of the Burgomaster, I see him becoming less optimistic about humanity these days and that breaks what's left of my cold, bitter heart.
    <img src=""&gt;

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      That last bit, I understand. J is a really really nice person, like, so nice sometimes I wonder how we're together. When he gets fed up and sad about things, then I really worry about the state of the world.

      Just know you've got someone rooting for you from MD! I'll be thinking about you as I freak-out-clean my house.

      I've been thinking a lot about my own activism and balancing it with my personality. Luckily I have no health issues to deal with, but my combo of empathy/introversion/compassion problems means it can take a toll on me. And my issues with long term commitments. I know, take care of yourself first to be strong to fight!

      On the sad adulting side of things, I have to come to terms that I am not in a place to go to the Hannibal Con in London in Feb. The money is actually there, in savings, but it's just not the best of ideas, and there is other traveling I'd like to do and I can put that money towards, oh, I don't know, any of the other dozens of places I'd like to go.

      • CleverManka says:

        J is a really really nice person, like, so nice sometimes I wonder how we're together


        Bummer about the decision not to go to London for the con. I've revised a lot of my financial plans, too, post-election. Most notably my ideas of retiring early.
        <img src=""&gt;
        ETA: of course, things continue as they are in this state under Brownback and the Koch devils (which is likely to do under the next administration) I might have that decision made for me.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          Retirement, what's that?

          It's one of those things where I COULD do it, but really, spending probably $1000 for 3-4 days in London in Feb, even with a community of fantastic people, when that could be my seed money a longer trip to a place I've longed to visit for years? Yeah. Considering the last time I was out of the country it was just over the Canadian border and I was about 7, I need to get on that travel train.

          • CleverManka says:

            Retirement, what's that?
            Ha! Yeah, well, I'd been considering getting out of the 8-5 scene by my mid-to-late 50s. Not really retirement, just…not being at a desk job for nine hours a day.

        • littleinfinity says:

          Sad beep. 🙁

          Yes, I think a lot of people are reconsidering their financial plans. I know I am at least.

          • CleverManka says:

            Yep. And for me, it's not necessarily for myself. I know I can live pretty damn cheap if I need to (well, once I get my health issues under control) but I am not comfortable not being able to help out people with money woes or donate to causes that need it. And I think a lot of people are going to need it, in increasing numbers. I guess this is one more reason I'm glad I didn't have kids. I'll be in a better position to financially support people and causes when I don't have to feed my own child.

          • littleinfinity says:

            Yeah definitely. I would like to be able to get my personal finance ducks in a row such that I can donate/ help out where needed without feeling too anxious that it will come back to bite me at the end of the month. I mean, I'm not going to be able to make huge donations anytime soon regardless, but I would like to a) have a safety net/ bug-out fund, and b) have a bit of dedicated "extra" that I can give to causes.

    • Heathered says:

      Whew, I hope your busy busy day goes well. And that the garbageness of late is a catalyst for greater community activism and connection, which I think is our best hope of stemming the tide and maybe making things better.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Yes, it's an ugly time. But you continue to be pretty.

      I have time blocked for you this weekend. Delegate moar!

      I do internet research, too. Got an idea that needs fact-checking? A question about the state of ___ these days? Gimme.

    • meat lord says:

      Aw, man. I send large quantities of hug and some spare nervous energy converted into a form that you might find usable.

  2. vladazhael says:

    Last night I got a little bit curious and decided to low-key sign up for OkCupid and see what was out there in my area. I wasn't able to answer many questions to narrow it down on the phone app, so I just looked around for a minute or two at the sea of Not My Type, and then NOPEd out of there like the place was on fire.

    Then I got curious about my old, back-in-the-dark-days account, and lo and behold, I had only disabled that, so I signed back in and promptly deleted the hell out of that one as well. It was both out of date and full of memories of bad times.

    Then a little while later I got curious AGAIN, low-key signed up AGAIN, figured it wouldn't hurt to answer some questions on the much-more-usable mobile site and narrow things down and check out some profiles while not yet posting a pic so that I'd remain hidden… but I forgot that looking at profiles is not a secret thing and someone who was a 93% match messaged me and I talked to him and texted a bit and he was perfectly nice and funny and appreciated my weird Galadriel outburst and we have both nerdy stuff and career fields in common and and and it was TOO MUCH HUMANING and I started feeling weird and exposed and terrified and overwhelmed and EXPOSED and STRANGER DANGER and I broke out in a series of Tina Belcher noises and had to take half a Xanax and a shot of whiskey and pass out in front of an Oscar Isaac movie and I disabled my profile as soon as I got up this morning and I don't mind if the guy texts again and I can be honest about the fact that I am a newly single socially anxious basket case who is not up for more than casual chatting if anything but also maybe I'll change my phone number and move to New Zealand hahahahaha… hahaha… haaaaaaaa…

    …guys, I don't know if I was meant to be released into the wild. O_o

  3. Heathered says:

    Well, shoot, I just found out the Toastie poetry reading is off–she had to cancel but I don't know why. This means I get to stay home and drink cocoa, so, no complaints. Yesterday I got the call & in a few minutes I am off to meet my care manager/brain shepherd/therapist person. Hopefully it will go okay, it has been a stressful few months and of course the last two weeks = the gift that keeps on giving me diarrhea. Yay. Fingers crossed for this to help.

  4. meat lord says:

    Adjusted my own meds. The side effects that I was trying to get rid of vanished, but ohhh my god my anxiety got drastically worse. I guess I'm gonna go back to the higher dose, at least until I can see a psychiatrist. (I have asked for a psych referral no less than three times, but my GP's assistant hasn't come through yet. [My GP is wonderful, but her assistant sucks.])

  5. vladazhael says:

    "Brain shepherd." Love it.

  6. vladazhael says:

    Oh! OH, dear space witches, in my anxious fit above I forgot to share the BEST THING! Yesterday I had my lady-maintenance appointment, and aside from the expected "are you suuuuure?" my doctor didn't give me shit about wanting to have my tubes tied and agreed to refer me to an OB/GYN who she says will be equally cooperative about getting me set up for it. It's still not a sure thing and it's a race against time given the pending destruction of the ACA, but Operation Mule is at least in progress!

  7. ginkgotree says:

    Friends, it's my birthday and they are doing a They Might Be Giants marathon on KMSU and they are right now playing my birthday request so honestly I can't complain. This is the happiest I have felt in some time.

    I love you all.

  8. Räven says:

    I've been offline a lot this week -has it been covered here that Spotify has a Hamilton mixtape playlist available? Gotta say, the "Immigrants, we get the job done" number made me sad AF.

  9. LaxMom says:

    Happy Birthday,Ginkgotree!
    There is one at the top of the big grassy hill behind my office on campus. I've been walking up that hill just for the fun of it lately knowing soon it will be all snow and won't be possible. However, If I had a death wish, I could sled down it (not unusual, there are sleds stored in the geog. grad lounge). Anyway, I will now think of you when I walk under that tree.

    Today went south in a big damn hurry. More in reply.

  10. pseudonymica says:

    Let's make today international Hug Your Mentor day. Someone vastly more qualified than Supercilious observed my other class today, and she slipped me a note that said "you're doing awesome. Can you give me five minutes at the end of class to talk to the students?" She told them I have the sharpest mind of any student she's ever had and (paraphrasing) they're a bunch of assholes who are squandering the privilege of being in a college class taught by someone brilliant.

    I desperately needed to hear that, and it turned out she needed to hear how magnificent she is too. It's been over ten years since I was her student, and I thought I lost my luster or she forgot about it – or no one cares about effort and achievement. See: Hillary Clinton.

    If you feel like crying, here's Kate McKinnon as Hillary, singing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, not giving up

  11. dancingcorvid says:

    I am changing my house to make up for the things changing I have zero control over. I have a (bloody enormous) new table, two new test chairs, a new bench, new spice holders, installed even, and a new small table for next to the couch. Since I have to muck out that corner first, that is the last to be constructed.

    At the Ikea, I helped a man get a large and heavy thing into his car, and someone else helped me get the flipping enormous box onto my giant weird cart, and I smiled at everyone who smiled at me, and vice versa.

    I've been playing Jethro Tull at therapeutic levels in the car while driving. I am captivated by the Paradise Steak House and a cup of silver coffee. How could you make coffee silver? what would it taste like? the reflections would be amazing.

    A friend from high school, rediscovered via FB, has been posting the most amazing photos of dawn over the lake she walks to, I might be driven back to the studio by those alone. Except I can't reach anything because life and the house are in a shambles.

    so that's how MY life is. a thousand thousand hugs for Laxmom, because I did a MS in geography a long time ago and went insane and it was just me and the boyfriend, not an actual complicated life with children and deranged exes involved.

    • CleverManka says:

      I am changing my house to make up for the things changing I have zero control over.

      I love it! Also the smiles, and the Jethro Tull, and the silver coffee which I had to Google because wtf, and the beautiful photographs, and the getting back in the studio someday just like I'm going to be back in the gym someday, and just…everything. Yes.

    • LaxMom says:

      Thank you! Hi!!! Hi!! (waves like a crazy person).

      I am so jealous you have an Ikea. All of mine are 2 hours away at least. And toll roads are so bad it's cheaper to go to my gf's Ikea in Canada than the closest one in PA.

      Just find one room that you can sit in and only see the clean parts. Preferably with a window. I had to kick the cats into the basement because I needed my yoga space in the bedroom back.

  12. RoseCamelia says:

    Clever Comrades, Clever Cronies, Manka Mates, I just heard about the Million Women March on 21Jan2017 (the day after the inauguration). I am considering traveling to participate. Not sure. Must cogitate. Are there any of you in the DC Metro area with a sofa I can crash on?

    • meat lord says:

      One: Thank you for sharing! I had not heard of this. Two: Will put "Manka Mates" into use immediately, omg.

    • Heathered says:

      I hope you find someone here, but if not the Slack group has good regional organization; might be worth a peek there (and then stay for the custom emoji, which are just a delight).

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh my gosh, if you go, will you take pictures and write up a piece for (as informal as you like) of your experiences? That sounds amazing. If you're not comfortable with that, obviously I don't want to pressure you, but as someone who loves hearing about other people's travels and getting a taste of their experiences through their eyes, I would love that.

  13. aqueousmedium says:

    Someone linked to this (sadly very timely) article on the 30th anniversary of Infected the other day and I plan to spend the entire weekend playing all of The The VERY LOUDLY and howling along.

    • Heathered says:

      Hadn't though about that song in probably 29 years, and the opening just crashed into my brain full force. "I got too much energy to switch off my mind, but not enough to get myself organized." Ha, yes, this is why I'm in therapy now.

      • aqueousmedium says:


        What's amazing to me is that Matt Johnson was 22 when Soul Mining was released. Twenty-two.

    • LaxMom says:

      VERY LOUDLY is the ONLY way to play The The.

    • Onymous says:

      I think it was Warren Ellis though I can't remember if it was Planetary, The Authority or Nextwave when he had a character opine that while Reagan was a fucking nightmare Thatcher was legit insane…

      That's been bouncing around in my head all week.

      • aqueousmedium says:

        It definitely sounds Warren Ellis-y. I've been thinking about doing a Transmetropolitan re-read for a while, but I'm not sure I've got the courage just at the moment.

        • Onymous says:

          I have a weird relationship with Transmet… As a stand alone work I love it. God I love it so much. Especially because it's one of the very very few works in which "the future will be hedonistic" isn't just implied by people having orgies slightly more often than now.

          On the other hand I see so many people who seem to be thiiiis close to straight quoting Transmet who talk as if it doesn't count as journalism unless it is taking an extremely opposed stance to what ever is "in power"

  14. damngoodcoffee says:

    So my birthday is Monday, and I just want to share this weird bday story that I didn't find out until last year (in reply). [Basically, how I found out about the story of my birth from an episode of a network television show.]

  15. Onymous says:

    So I mean I kind of threw it out there very half assedly on wednesday but it actually has been a kind of an issue for the last two weeks or so…

    I'm in a fairly good place in a lot of ways but college, being surrounded by brilliant attractive young people, is not doing anything for my body image.

    … I dunno some how being less socially isolated is more isolating.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      It can definitely feel more isolating if you don't feel like you fit in; do you have access to counseling svcs on campus? I know that has helped me in the past, just talking it out to someone who knows what they're doing.

      • Onymous says:

        I've had a regular appointment with a counselor since July, and it's done me good –it has– but she seems to… i don't know skip over it? when I mention body image problems. I think she assumes it will sort of take care of itself if feel better about the rest of my life?

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I mean I'm by no means well-versed in helping someone through counseling, but from what I can remember mine at the time used CBT techniques to help me work through some tangentially related stuff.

          I'm sorry you're feeling this way/feeling isolated in general. If there are other ways to reach out to others, like LaxMom mentioned, that might help too. I felt similarly left out at work for about a year before our most recent coworker was hired, so sometimes it just takes one other person to help.

    • LaxMom says:

      Does your college have a non-traditional students lounge, or meetup? It might be nice to find the other non-beautiful-young-things, as it were.

      I am right there with you. I am the same age or older than many of my profs. Thankfully I can hide in my cubicle most of the time so I only get stuck with the skinny undergrad girls when I venture to starbucks.

    • Onymous says:

      I mean do they all have to have so much more hair than me?

  16. LaxMom says:

    Ok, so I'm pretty numb right now.

    I spent several hours processing MODIS data but im not sure how ro use it. I should knit or work out or do something if I'm not doing schoolwork but I'm just wasting time on my phone. Technically I am downloading USGS files.
    I need to get my head together tomorrow.

    • Crivens_the_hag says:

      You and me both! Three more week of my general toxicology class and I have to get a ton of work done this weekend because next weekend is rather hosed. my brain is tired.

  17. Räven says:

    You'll probably see this in your newspaper but Mike Pence went to see Hamilton and after the show, the cast read him a statement that I found very moving. (He was already being taken outside by the secret service, but a theater spokesman says he did stop outside the door and listen to it.)

  18. Rillquiet says:

    Hallo, lovies,
    The Go Fug Yourself Girls point out that a costumer from Sleepy Hollow is curating Amazon wishlists for Syrian refugees in the U.S. If you really want to stretch your dollars in terms of helping individuals while also giving the incoming administration the bird, this is a twofer! Pick a family. Welcome them home.