Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

I’ve got nothing for content this week. I’d planned to write up a year-end sort of thing, but no time no energy, and if I had the energy to write it, I wouldn’t post it because the only good thing I could think of is I got to see Hamilton with the original cast and meet some NYC Toasties and you all are wonderful, but that absolutely does not make up for the rest of 2016’s shitshow.

So instead of content, I’m posting mid-week check-in early to give everyone extra time to grieve, complain, scream, mourn our dead, and do our best to get the tire fire of this year somewhat out of our systems so we can face the coming year with something resembling hope.

73 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Frumiosa says:

    What is there even to say. Throwing myself into activism since the election and constantly vacillating between anger and dogged optimism and just fear and anxiety that I can never turn off. I'm inspired by the great action groups I'm starting to become a part of and the short and long-term acts of resistance and organizing going on. But I'm also afraid that we'll keep losing the fight, because a. for some reason evil seems easier to perpetrate than good, b. we're already fragmenting into so many subgroups, will we be able to unite? and c. people are going to start dropping off exponentially as time goes on, due to numbness and fatigue and also completely justifiable self-care and the need to focus elsewhere. How do you all stay active and motivated in your fight, whatever it is?

    • CleverManka says:

      Yeah, your point B is the one I'm most worried about, too. Liberals/progressives are terrible at keeping their shit together. It's like humans need hatred and fear to form lasting coalitions? IDEK. It's incredibly discouraging.

      I am staying active and motivated by focusing on the small, local stuff. I don't have the psychological fortitude to fight on a larger scale. Very grateful for those who do, because if I even think about it I become overwhelmed with despair.

      I am starting small. First by supporting myself and my intimates/local tribe. I did what I needed to do (for myself) at the electoral collage protest, and now my focus must be on getting myself to a point where I can actually, literally, survive what's coming and making sure those I depend on for my immediate physical and emotional needs are cared for, too. Once I feel like I have my own self at a point of health, I'll start reaching out to community projects–like the Girls Rock! organization.

      Small things done in baby steps. Frustrating as hell, but I suppose I can think of this as some sort of fucking lesson or something. God damn it.

    • meat_lord says:

      My plan is to keep at least some of my activism automatic. I'm going to sign up for monthly donations to the ACLU, the SPLC, etc, so that whether or not I have the energy or motivation to act, at least I'm doing something.

      I'm not really sure what I'm going to do in order to keep myself focused on other forms of activism, but….hey, we can figure something out together here, right?

    • Rillquiet says:

      It may be helpful to go back through some of the HIV/AIDS documentaries to see footage of ACT UP meetings: People could be incredibly divided, disagreeing at top volume, and yet out of that, eventually and painfully, came progress. (This is what I kept reminding myself when a youngling at a bystander intervention training I went to decided that it was more important to Interrogate The Discourse than to listen to the trainer.)

      I'm trying to log a small act every day, although there are times when I have to just throw up my hands and Louis XVI in a "rien" and a promise to do better the next day.

  2. LaxMom says:

    weird, just weird.
    I am so drained of energy and I can't tell what to blame it on. Too many choices.

    Good?news? "college" boy is facing his GF going to LA in a few months. Quit his job Monday, wants to go to vocational college. I can probably get him applied and in school by the beginning of this semester (in 2 weeks), and he wants to, so there is that. I'm not thrilled my boy wants to be an auto mechanic, but, whatever.

    Teenboy has a new girl interest…which is odd because it's one of his sister's older friends from lacrosse. But her (very overprotective) parents seem to like him so its nice he has something positive happening. The kids don't know that both sets of parents know that both of them individually have suicidal issues, though, so we are just, trepidatious? Is that a word? It seems to be still a puppy-love thing so it's pretty cute.
    Rabies bills are coming in holy shit. That's all I have to say about that.
    Waiting for the other (legal/cops) shoe to drop so we can wrap up the expelled-kid drama. If College boy gets it together they will both be going to the same school. Should repair some fences between them.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm not thrilled my boy wants to be an auto mechanic, but, whatever.
      May I ask why not? I'm just curious because damn let me tell you how much easier my life got once I had someone in my "family" who knew their way around cars. Also, I regret nobody recommending vocational schools to me when I was thinking about college. I could be retired by now if I'd gone to school to be an electrician. sigh

      • LaxMom says:

        well, because it feels like a choice he's making because he did poorly at engineering? Which is ok, but he was kindof dealing with a health issue while trying to do engineering, and I don't want him to think he's "not good enough" for engineering based on that? If what he really wants is to be a mechanic, well, ok. But I don't want him to think he's incapable of other things. It's a balance (which I don't really get a vote on anyway, realistically, it's just my job to support him either way).

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          If he enjoys it, more power to him! Or maybe it'll light a fire under his butt and he'll redirect back to college. I went to college because I thought it's what I wanted and because that was what was expected, going to college so you didn't have to do manual jobs (my dad's a foreman for an excavating company, my mom's a nurse). Now that I'm older I realized that first, it's a damn gift to love what you do, do it well, and be recognized for it (my dad), and secondly, that the stigma around blue collar jobs is bullshit. Though I loved a lot of my college classes (English/Women's Lit major) it's really doing nothing for me, and I think I'd be a lot happier doing a skilled trade.

          Either way, I hope it works out for your boy!

          • LaxMom says:

            Thanks! If you read my reply to Merripat you can see why I wanted so much for my kids not to have to go through the crap I went through with college. But I think that's a parenting dilemma, having to watch them make their own way and keeping it about them and not about me. And I think he's doing pretty well, all in all. In all the important metrics, of which college really isn't one.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I sometimes amazed we (meaning, society) expect kids to get out of high school and know what they want to do. Heck, now they need to do that when they are IN high school, and I personally feel that it can take a while to figure that out. I still am!

    • sherwood21 says:

      Auto mechanic school can definitely help with real world skills, and relatively quickly. It may also help with the engineering though, because that hands-on working with engineered technology may make things easier for him to learn if/when he goes to engineering school.

  3. Merripat says:

    Fucking 2016. Good riddance, just piss off already.

    CW: emotional abuse
    I had to retrieve a package from customs yesterday and since I don't have a licence, my father drove me there and chose to have a talk on the way back.
    He accused me of not caring for this family (oh hey remember when I declined a scholarship to an elite university to be closer to my family again? Yes I know that was the worst decision of my life) because I never ask how he is and such and I tried to explain that I tend to take myself out of family things because the dynamic is so unhealthy and I can't endure it otherwise. He thought I meant 'my problems' that he now knows of (ok, the last four and a half years obviously didn't happen for him).
    I then more than once said that it's not my responsibility to anticipate other people's feelings because he thinks since I know how aggressive he sometimes/often reacts I should just control what I'm saying.

    I then said that one of the reasons I don't show much interest in him is that he used to say to me when I was a child and watching TV when he came home from work that "Nothing will become of you." and that hurt me deeply and he never apologised. He still didn't do it, he just said "I can ask you for forgiveness."
    (This has also led me to the realisation that this might be one of the reasons I hold myself to such impossibly high standards as an adult – everything to not make this come true.)

    I'm leaving tomorrow but of couse then I'll be back in Berlin, with my brothers in vicinity, and I just feel all over again the pain of having made the wrong decision.
    Fucking 2016.

    • meat_lord says:

      Arghhhhh. I'm so sorry, Merripat.

    • flitworth says:

      it's not my responsibility to anticipate other people's feelings

      So true. Your dad is an adult and needs to be responsible for shit he has said and done.

      You don't owe anyone playing defense on family interactions.

    • LaxMom says:

      ETA: This came off as really critical and harsh, I don't mean it like that?
      I have a fixit problem. If you just wanted to vent please ignore this. If you were with me in person, this would be a sitting-at-the-coffeeshop, regrouping for the future sort of conversation. So ignore if I'm overstepping, please. And accept my internet hugs and empathy.

      So reapply? I'm sorry he's such an asshole but it's only been 4 years. If they liked you then they will accept you now–you just have to figure out how to make it work. Don't think decisions are permanent–hell, if I let myself think that, I'd have never finished undergrad, let alone gotten any farther.
      You *made* bad choices? Well, putting aside whether that is true or whether you are just being hard on your past self, nothing says you have to stick by those choices. What can you do to get out of those bad choices now, and get back on the path to what you want?

      I am sorry, I don't mean this to be harsh, I just know my path was extremely convoluted and I didn't end up where I thought I wanted to be, but it was the trying over and over (6 college applications and 4 enrollment at 4 different colleges over 10 years) that helped me (if only by process of elimination) to find out what I didn't want and get to the other side. I don't want you to think you are stuck based on a past choice. You may not be in the ideal position to go back and reverse that particular choice, but what did you want when you made the "wrong" choice away from it? Do you still want that? What can you do to work towards that, now?

      • Merripat says:

        No worries, I don't think you're being harsh! That is solid advice, thank you. I know that I can work towards making this choice better, and that I could reapply, it's just hard to actually do it – overcoming pride and also inertia and battling the depression at the same time…

        (The fours years meant how long I've been having mental health problems though, that wasn't uni related – I'm angry my father acts like this summer was the first time he heard of that…)

        I'd love to sit in a coffeeshop with you and regroup, but alas, continents etc.

  4. meat_lord says:

    Howdy, Manka-ites. I made it through the holidays (my trip to see my family was quite nice, actually) and now I'm ready to bid farewell to this utter shitshow of a year. I don't have very high hopes for 2017, but hey, at least it will be a different kind of suck, right…?

    2016 has been great for me in terms of personal growth, but has been awful in every other conceivable way. I'm gonna skip the awfulness and tell you guys what I managed to do this year.
    1. I got back into therapy, which has been really useful.
    2. I moved out of a draining and unpleasant living situation into my own apartment which I do not have to share with anyone.
    3. I officially began dating the datefriend đŸ˜€
    4. I ended a long, meaningful, and toxic friendship and noticed that hey, I am allowed to have feelings and needs and stuff, and I am not required to sacrifice those on the altar of other people's unhappiness.

    • CleverManka says:

      Those are great things, YAY! Also isn't living on your own just the best? I know it's not for everyone but even when I was single-not-by-choice I loved living by myself.

      • meat_lord says:

        Thanks! You know, making this list has really made me feel as though I've accomplished some stuff. Feels good, man.

        Living on my own truly is the best! I love having my own home that I can shut everyone else out of–I love having real solitude–and I also love not upsetting anyone with my choices regarding cleaning or not cleaning.

    • Merripat says:

      Congratulations on these things! It's great that you achieved/realised all this stuff. May 2017 continue like that!

    • LaxMom says:

      Seconding the living-alone affirmation!
      I joked with a friend that I'd have to choose between a boyfriend or all the books on the other side of the bed. He asked me what I was reading, at the time I was rereading some Chaucer. His reply was, "ooh, boyfriend, or father of the english language? Tough call!"
      I stand by Chaucer.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      *pops champagne and hands you a glass*

      That is a fantastic list. Go you.

  5. Lynn says:

    Yeah, so we had our tickets to Rogue One purchased weeks ago and of course it turned out to be half an hour after the Carrie Fisher news broke yesterday. (Those of you who have seen it will know the points that broke me.) At least we had paid for the fancy theater with alcohol table service. I think I liked the movie but it's going to take a while to separate my feelings about the movie alone out from the rest.

    We had a pretty good New Orleans trip otherwise (at the airport now) . At least I got a little warm weather to get me through the winter.

    Best of all I don't go back to work until next Tuesday. Which will maybe give me time to emotionally prepare for 2017.

  6. Heathered says:

    Rough last five days were a perfect topper to a rough year overall, but speaking broadly I have a shit-ton to be thankful for: I moved into a safe apartment and have been able to buy good food and am once again trying to build community. So I'm pointing my focus there. As for the political world to come, the book Necessary Trouble by Sarah Jaffe is a deeply reported account of multiple movements (Occupy, BLM, Fight for 15) and the ways they interacted and helped one another, stories you generally don't get from media that would prefer to subdivide us. I highly recommend it as both a useful education and strategy guide, because we need to work across a lot of barriers, boundaries and hurts to be truly intersectional, and it's really inspiring to see that it has actually been happening all this time. Hoping to reread soon and better determine where I can be of help–I still want to write for the Dems, but our local group seems like a no-go for that.

  7. Kazoogrrl says:

    Well, I tend not to do the "next year will be better" thing because it's always something, but I am hoping that 2017 IS better for people, and that rolling over the calendar can give a sense of hope and a new start. I am sad over Carrie Fisher, but she was never a heroine or icon for me, so I think a lot of that is sadness at a person gone and the grief of her friends, family, and fans.

    Personally, I'm ending my year feeling a bit worn out and exhausted. Christmas was low key and nice, then the next day we went with my parents to see the (literal) cabin in the woods they are moving to. Pluses: about 6 miles from Harper's Ferry, MD, lots of history and nature about, plus some family is close. Minus: about 1.25 hours from my house and I worry.

    This week I desperately need some down time, wish I could have taken off this week, work is a shitshow. Did not get any knitting done this weekend, did get awesome yarn gift (two skeins of Brooklyn Tweed's Quarry in Serpentine). Did not go out to movies, did watch a TERRIBLE cheesy holiday film on Netflix while emotional eating (The Spirit of Christmas, the lead guy is hot but that's about it). And thank the gods for holiday leftovers so I don't have to cook.

    But, to top off the year, our old cat man Fatty has been declining and I took him in to get bloodwork. Waiting on that, but they confirmed his vaccine site sarcoma is back with a vengeance, and since we amputated his leg last time there is nothing to do but keep him comfortable. J's a mess, he's had Fatty since the day he was born. I tend to be stoic, until I'm not. Both of us are pretty angry at the world.

    A friend is asking on her FB what people are setting for intentions for the new year. I said, "Defy the patriarchy at every turn".

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    Oh, our local Fox affiliate station showed up at a local bookstore (Atomic Books, incredibly awesome) to talk to people about their reactions to Fisher's death, and no one would agree to be on camera. To quote one of the owners: 'one customer said "so you want me to talk to the empire about princess leia?"'

    Your gif up top makes me think, I want that cat in a pocket giving the finger t-shirt to be reinvented with Carrie Fisher.

    • Frumiosa says:

      Atomic Books! Baltimore! Hamden! I grew up there and that was my jammmmm.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        Yes! I started going to their original location when I was in high school, then when they reopened in Hampden, where I lived for 9 years. Still in Baltimore, but across town now.

  9. littleinfinity says:

    Hello friends! I have been spending my 2016 Christmas vacation in an insulated cocoon made of books and ham and pillows and bourbon eggnog. But I do have some good news to end the year on: I got engaged! đŸ˜€ We live together and we've been dating for 6 years, but I'm super happy that we're going to make it "official", and while this year has been a political and cultural hellscape, at least we can reclaim these last few days. Here's to a new hope in 2017.

  10. Doc_Paradise says:

    I'm actually having a series of extremely useful and enlightening breakthroughs in personal and household stuff that is having immediate good effects. … My ability to write about it is a bit wonky though because I have WAY too many things on my plate right now. I intend to write about it.

    BTW, I'm now at DW at: https://doc-paradise.dreamwidth.org/

  11. RoseCamelia says:

    The Bloggess' thoughts are similar to mine: "Carrie Fisher wrote honestly about her battles with mental illness and inspired me . . . . She was strange and funny and kookie and weird and broken and fascinating . . . ."

    The Bloggess asked more than 100 drivers to talk about their best and worst passengers. Only Carrie Fisher has been mentioned more than once . . . as Best.

    "Some found themselves revealing personal and difficult stories to her because she really wanted to know and didn’t have a filter when it came to asking questions."

    • CleverManka says:

      Thank you for the link! I hadn't checked out the Bloggess' site in ages.
      That phrase. “Blazing a trail.” In real life it referred to pioneers marking paths with “blazes”, notches and arrows carved on trees to point the way. But in my head it’s different. Carrie Fisher blazed a trail by setting fire to everything blocking her path, to all the debris and overgrowth that stood in her way, leaving open ground behind her that made those of us following behind her so much easier. She blazed and burned and lit the way for others.
      <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/158131/158131_600.gif"&gt;

  12. LaxMom says:

    My Carrie Fisher sadness is remembering my girl–ten years ago my daughter and her two best friends were an unseparable trio. And not a single one of the dress up princess dresses (they were 3 year olds) got put on until after each one of them had their turn in the "princess Leia dress" (really, a sidewalk sale adult fancy tank top that closely approximated a gown on their teeny selves). So I keep flashing back to these three little girls running around my farmhouse with light sabers. Wish I had pictures!

  13. Räven says:

    Oh, man, THIS YEAR. I thought we just had to wait it out til the election stopped thumping us over the head, now I'm scrambling to assemble my forces for a FOUR YEAR FIGHT – but starting immediately, like it's going to be so bad right out of the gate. I really hate joining groups and organizing organizations but I'm doing it. But f#ck this year, I'm just mad.

    • Räven says:

      And Christmas is hard, it's a hard time for my family, a time of of losses not spoken of and anger unresolved, and I wish I were a nicer person and not so impatient with them, and I'm relieved to be home now, and sad alone instead of in a crowded house.

    • flitworth says:

      I hope you'll share some of what you are doing to battle the forces of evil in the coming years with us here.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm with you, I'm all, "I don't want to do even more WORK" but I'm putting on my big kid pants and preparing for it.

    • CleverManka says:

      Thank you thank you thank you for joining and organizing! Four years. It seems unimaginable but we can do this.

  14. dancingcorvid says:

    A day late, several spoons short –

    We've had a peaceful time of it, and actually accomplished some house stuff. The sink I hated when we moved in (16 years ago) that hasn't had hot water working for more than a decade has been replaced with a new sink, a cabinet (a new twist for this house) and faucets that work and will be easy to replace when they stop working, and then I took out the ancient and broken medicine chest and now we have a new one with an uncracked mirror and shelves that don't fall out.

    After the (fucking) election, I think Carrie Fisher is the hardest loss for me in 2016 – she is/was only a couple years older than me, and I leaned on her competence in movies, and her completely off the hook writing, more than I can say. I love the Bloggess' description of her blazing her way – on fire and clearing a path.

    I'm in the middle of a giant mental flail – 2017 is the 10 year anniversary of a year long project I did making art every day, and the 5 year anniversary of the second daily thing for a year, and I want to do/make something every day for 2017 but I need a slightly clearer idea of what shape to start with. It seems like a small thing, but it is my hang-up and I am having it. I made fabric postcards the first time; 4×6", all the techniques, and 3" circles the second time (cut to fit into the Trader Joe's round chocolate tins) and I am toying with the idea of a shape that tessellates, so I can put them together somehow, or with shapes that make up 3-d solids when put together…. It seems to be triangles at the moment. But if anyone has opinions, tell me!

    • CleverManka says:

      TEN YEARS A FAUCET WITH NO HOT WATER WHAT. Ugh. I am so glad that got fixed.

      I hope you find a great project for 2017! I've been thinking of something along the same lines. Not an art project, alas–I just don't have time-energy right now. I'm thinking of something movement-based because I need that right now. Best wishes with your own project, whatever you choose! I look forward to seeing/hearing about it!

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