Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

The bio light fan didn’t work, it took forever, fought the whole way down. Asshole turnip.”

Doc Paradise and helpful minions burned a second turnip. According to reports, it fought the whole way and smelled bad. Appropriate. What are you doing to see out this horrible, terrible, no good, very bad year?

138 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    December 31 is our official deadline for applications to our graduate program so I'm pretty slammed at work today even though I won't actually close the files until next week sometime.

    Tomorrow I'm giving Robin a deep tissue/myofascial massage to help rub 2016 out of her body and also talk to her about doing that sort of body work at the women's retreats she's starting to organize. I've never been officially trained in this stuff and with no certification I can't really call it "massage" so we're going to talk about how to market it in a more…spiritual…way which let me tell you cracks my shit up because what with this and the yoga shit I feel like I'm becoming a hippie.
    <img src=""&gt;
    Tonight, though, I'm indulging in intoxicants and poor food choices with the Burgomaster.

  2. Merripat says:

    I'm back in Berlin, but leaving tomorrow morning again to visit a very good friend who's currently studying in Poland. It will be either just the two of us at home or we and maybe some random Polish people in a bar. I'm really looking forward to it – she's one of my best friends, and I'm not a big fan of parties on NYE, so I'm really glad this worked out.

  3. Kazoogrrl says:

    Hopefully I'm going to see Arrival tonight, and Rogue One this weekend. I went to see Moonlight last night (so good, some of the best non-verbal acting I've seen in ages) and between that and this NPR story from yesterday, I wanted to stand on a street corner shouting about race and class issues, and toxic masculinity.

    Other than that, snacks, drinks, and board games with friends tomorrow. Just the kind of quiet night I need. NYD I like to "start as I mean to go on", which means I hope to do a little cooking, reading, hiking, and knitting Sunday. Then I have a wedding Sat evening, and Tuesday I took off b/ I'm one of two people in the office this week, and it's my birthday, so eff working.

  4. Rillquiet says:

    I will be conducting an unscientific investigation into whether caloric overindulgence improves the transition from one year to another: NYE is a three-course dinner out with friends, then January 1 will involve a gentle hair-of-the-dog party and a road trip for cheesesteaks and an osechi meal with friends' parents (probably not this one, sadly). My black-eyed peas for hoppin' john will just have to wait for January 2 this time.

    Manka, thanks for keeping this site going. May the new year be good to you and all the folks enjoying the legacy of the Good Ship Toast here.

    • CleverManka says:

      God that all sounds DELIGHTFUL. Think of me while you're enjoying a bite of that cheesesteak please?

      • Rillquiet says:

        I will do my damnedest but cannot promise that a sudden surge of Whiz-related cholesterol won't shut down bloodflow to my brain. (In past years, I've followed Kazoogrrl's wise example and tried to spend NYD as I would like the year to go: productively, healthfully, peacefully. This year, nutritionally at least, I am trying the opposite.)

    • ru_ri says:

      This is important unscientific research, bless you for undertaking it!

      • Rillquiet says:

        I specify unscientific because a friend and I have standardized protocols for our martini research; it involves ordering and rating the drinks consistently from venue to venue. We are cautiously optimistic about our chances of getting published in J Martiniol, although we never got around to requesting IRB clearance.

  5. flitworth says:

    I have been coughing like a Bronte all week and recovering from a week of family visiting for the holidays[1]. We had hoped to do nothing at all but now getting pressure for a NYE playdate for the tiny human, who would probably benefit – even if her parents just want to re-watch Ms. Fisher's Murder Mysteries and Qi in peace.

    If any of you appreciate British humor, I recommend you seek out both Qi and Big Fat Quiz of the Year as I have rarely laughed to tears so much as when watching these. Both shows are simultaneously (over time at least) more diverse than comparable American TV and more overt in some inappropriateness but I contend it's worth the odd wince.

    I am working on setting personal quarterly goals to recover from child acquisition/winter/the election to get in shape physically and mentally. The road to hell is paved with pizza rolls.

    [1]Despite many people's efforts and self-awareness on my part, there are these repeating cycles of holiday stress that started with my mother's mother and continue to this day, although it can't be addressed directly because noone wants to admit to being like said matriarch. I keep meaning to make a list of things I will not do in this regard.

  6. RΓ€ven says:

    Big party party tonight, small dinner party tomorrow night, noodles in Chinatown on Sunday. Some movies, some tidying, some salmon and Brussels sprouts. I think it will be a good weekend.

  7. jenavira says:

    I went to the liquor store before work today and got two bottles of sake (one cucumber, one plum), a bottle of Angry Orchard's special cider (you know, the big bottles), and a six-pack of Ale Asylum's Madtown Nut Brown, my favorite beer in all the world (which is allll for meeee because my New Year's guests don't like beer). Plus my friend coming tonight will bring a bottle of fruit wine and a bottle of mead, my friend coming tomorrow will bring a bottle of red wine, and I just bought a brand new bottle of the good rum.

    Plans for the weekend involve Arkham Horror with custom characters, a trip to Women & Children First in Chicago, and plenty of takeout food to help soak up all the booze. Like I told everyone when we were making plans, I intend to get drunk to watch 2016 die.

  8. vladazhael says:

    I am attending a small, chill New Year's Eve party with friends, including the ones from just slightly out of town who rarely get to do weekend stuff now because of work. We did the same last year and it was great, and it suits me now very well because I lack entirely the mental, emotional, physical, and social energy to "go out" for a massive shitshow of humanity and would much rather spend some quality time with some booze and my squad. Also it will probably mostly be a wake for Carrie Fisher at this point.

    New Girlfriend Week was successful but exhausting and also Awakened Emotions, then I went straight from that to travel, still with emotions and exhaustion, and also the holidays and lots of meeting new people (who were lovely, but still), and I have basically been a fluctuating but functional hot mess for… going on 2 weeks? ish? I don't know. It's stabilizing a bit now and I am still not back in my initial crisis state, but I got closer to it than I expected with all the stuff going on at once. So even if I'm fine on days where nothing strange and different is happening, I think I need to acknowledge my whole breakup scenario as a long-term, nonlinear grieving process and treat it as such, and get better prepared for the inevitable stress and changes that will come. Which essentially means I'm likely to start up a new SSRI after I get in one last solid drinking session on New Year's Eve. I've been resistant to taking maintenance meds for a situational thing, especially since my last trial run was terrible, and I'm wary of shielding myself from real pain instead of learning coping skills, but my therapist has pointed out that learning those coping skills takes a long time, and also a whole bunch of effort that I may not have the resources for if I'm stuck in survival mode. Between that and talking to some wise friends, I'm getting the vibe that perhaps I'm making it unnecessarily difficult for myself by resisting the call of modern chemistry. We shall see what the next few days bring…

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm likely to start up a new SSRI after I get in one last solid drinking session on New Year's Eve

      Hearing people say things like this, casually, with no excuses or self-recrimination is such a comfort. I AM NOT ALONE in my refusal to relinquish vices.
      <img src=""&gt;

      • vladazhael says:

        Well, full disclosure: I am planning on cutting back significantly on the booze next year. But that's purely for the sake of my physical health and not at all from a misplaced sense of shame. If not for the wear and tear on my organs, I'd happily be soused whenever I don't have to be at work or behind the wheel.

    • flitworth says:

      Don't deny yourself helpful tools like responsibly prescribed medication because you hold yourself to a high standard of self-sufficiency/responsibility. You sound a lot like I have in the past about taking anti-depressants but if you found/find something that works there's no dishonor in making life easier for yourself.
      I hope you have a really positive and reviving New Year Weekend.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Whichever way you choose to go on the medication question, just go easy on yourself. Your last few weeks sound I N T E N S E, and if it was me, I would absolutely need to spend a little while in an introvert coma to process all the feelings and recover from all the people time. The coping skills project can go on the backburner for awhile (your therapist sounds lovely and wise).

    • jenavira says:

      Continued strength to you; you sound like you are doing the best you possibly can in difficult straits. Be aware, if you do go the medication route, that it can take a month or two to find something that works. That doesn't mean it's not a good idea, just that the process takes time and spoons. Be well, and take good care of yourself.

      • vladazhael says:

        Yeah, the trying and refining process is one of the things that makes me wary of jumping right in. The last SSRI I tried, which was one that treated me well years ago, ended up making me tense and fidgety all the time and unable to sleep without even more chemical assistance. It was not fun and I only stayed on it for two weeks, but this time if I do go for a different one, I would like to be able to commit to it for at least a solid month to see if the side effects calm down at all.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      "making it unnecessarily difficult for myself by resisting the call of modern chemistry"

      Um, yes. You deserve all good things. Including assistance to shorten time required for *learning coping skills*. It's a tool, not a crutch, especially is it's for learning necessary skills, ffs. You are a stellar human. I want the best for you.

    • sherwood21 says:

      I've been off my meds for the last 9-10 months, and I'm not sure when I'll get to go back on them. The biggest thing for me was that they evened things out enough that I could spend my time and mental energy working on achieving things and using coping skills, rather than fighting my own brain every day to get to the point where I could effectively use those coping skills.

  9. flitworth says:

    I'm very much digging on the passive-aggressive approach to all Trump publicity/attention events for the next four years…
    Like this:
    If 2017-2020 brings us no other joy but petty celebrity subevents in this Trumpocalypse, I’ll be here for it. Oh Trump is having a press conference? Get Diddy to have a press conference outside Trump Tower, and him and Mary would just diddy bop for an hour. He’s signing a bill into law? Madonna and Katy Perry can get on CNN and hold up a paper that says “sign deez.”

  10. ru_ri says:

    Doc Paradise, you are a hero! Thank you for burning the ungracious turnip that has been this troubled year (which was an incredible one for me personally but a complete shitshow for the World At Large). I hope 2017 confounds all expectations and is easier on us all.

    As I have for most of the past 20 years (good gods, but yes, it really has been that long), I will be doing etsunengeiko New Year's practice, ending the old year and starting the new one with Aikido training. We'll start around 11 pm with some breathing practice and zazen, then do Aikido from 11:45 to 12:30 or so. Then we'll have a party afterward to celebrate. I'm making Japanese-style curry and rice and buying a bottle of good Scotch (but only drinking a little of it, hopefully). New Year's Day will be very low-key; Gentleman Friend has family obligations but we may be able to get together for a couple of hours. I head back to the land of snow and cold on Thursday.

    In other news, I'm in the process of applying for a job that I believe I am well suited to but would constitute a major (very major) life change. I'm going to keep quiet about it until I hear yea or nay, but if y'all could cross your fingers for me, I would be really grateful.

  11. sherwood21 says:

    I'll be working tonight and tomorrow – and I've got my little trainee with me, so we get to see how well she handles the shitshow that is New Year's Eve in Dispatch.

    My mom gave me a birthing book, which was really thoughtful, and I was super stoked until I got about two pages in, and got to this part:

    Today we see epidurals used almost routinely, labor induced (started artificially) at epidemic rates, women still confined to their beds in labor and on their backs during birth (the worst position for birthing a baby), and record-breaking numbers of cesarean surgeries performed.

    Since the previous edition of this book was published, things have gotten even worse. The cesarean rate has continued to rise. Now almost one third of women in the United States give birth by cesarean. There has been a shocking rise in the maternal mortality rate. More babies are being admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), and there has been an alarming increase in postpartum depression and post traumatic stress disorder related to childbirth. …

    In spite of what women may hear – from their doctors, their hospitals, the media, or the books they read – women do know how to give birth simply. And doctors, hospitals, and technology have not made birth safer for mothers or babies.


  12. Fancy_Pants says:

    NYE will be a low-key gathering with a few friends and a bit of champagne. I'm aiming for a kazoogrrl-style NYD, with an early start to the day, some exercise and getting some work done.

    You guys, did y'all know that letting wine breathe is a For Real thing? We left half a bottle of decent wine to just hang out for a couple of days and it turned itself into a Very Good bottle of wine. Like magic! A $14 bottle became like unto a $20 bottle. I can't believe I just learned this now. I guess I've just… never left an open bottle of wine alone before?

  13. CheddarBiscuit says:

    I donated blood earlier today and am using it as an excuse to sit on the couch and eat snacks for much of the afternoon (it's an important part of the recovery process, right?).

    NYE looks like it will be a quiet night of gluttony. My husband and I are planning on making fondue, and I'll probably make some fancy salad to go with it to balance out the giant pot of cheese, plus an apple snackin' cake. I never really enjoy the NYE fanfare, so this sounds like a good plan to me.

    • CleverManka says:

      it's an important part of the recovery process, right?

      IT IS! Seriously! And thank you for donating!

      And that sounds like a GREAT plan. God Damn I love me some gluttony. And lust. Gluttony and Lust are two of my favoritest things ever. Gonna see if I can get some to go with this current bit of Wrath I've got going on this afternoon.

    • sherwood21 says:

      Thank you for donating blood! I'm the only person in my immediate family that is even physically able to donate blood, but they closed the donation center in our town several years ago. (Also, I tend to pass out when getting blood drawn, which has gotten much worse over the past few years, meaning I'm not really able to do it anymore either, even for blood drives, etc.) You deserve all the snacks!

      • CheddarBiscuit says:

        This is part of why I'm a frequent donor — since I'm eligible and it's really easy for me, I figure I should pitch in. I've managed three donations this year! Also, I'm not really in a position to donate much money to causes I support, but my blood is free…

    • Heathered says:

      I'm pretty ungenerous overall, and my whole interest in ever giving blood has been based on a rumor that they give you cookies after. You're doing the right thing!

  14. Heathered says:

    After totally screwing up my holidays by overscheduling work in order to not feel alone at Christmas, I met with a friend yesterday while still way too overloaded and spent the whole time weeping and feeling like she had kind intentions but was really patronizing about it. It's hard to hear people complaining about a surplus of friend and family time when I can count the sociable hours I've spent this whole year on one hand. So I came home and worked my ass off and rescheduled some things and am just hoping to relax and take naps and cook and maybe have some wine as we lean into the headwinds of 2017. Really grateful to all of you and especially you, Manka, for this space.

    • ru_ri says:

      Well, shoot, I'm sorry your friend couldn't be a little more understanding about your circumstances. But your new and improved Revised Holiday Plan sounds excellent (yay for naps)! Please let us know how the cooking turns out (somehow one of my favorite things is enjoying other people's amazing food vicariously). I hope 2017 has many (or much) more naps and meals and wine and also good companionship in store for you. Cheers!

      • Heathered says:

        I made tofu noodle soup with squash and kale, and some raw vegan "taco meat" (basically walnuts, sundried tomatoes and chili powder) to eat on romaine leaves, just to try something new. Both pretty good, and I didn't want to make blackeyed peas because I feel like this year calls for more vigilance and less superstition, though I'm totally going to make some soon bc I am 90% made of beans.

    • dancingcorvid says:

      the headwinds of 2017 is kind of perfect, thank you for that image

  15. jenavira says:

    Naps and cooking and wine actually sound ideal, go you.

  16. Crivens_the_hag says:

    Happy New Year! My bff is here for the weekend. We will have all the wine. Yay!

  17. aqueousmedium says:

    This week I've had an excellent balance of sleeping in late then lolling about reading and actually being sort of productive (baking, swimming, decluttering) while not putting any pressure on myself to be. Tomorrow night is drinks and snacks and games with a few friends; similar to Kazoogrrl, I'd like to start NYD the way I mean to go on so will be trying not to overindulge tomorrow night. I don't go back to work until Tuesday though, so if I don't stay on target I'll still have a day to lie on the couch faintly.

    Happy New Year, delightful Mankaites! May 2017 bring you everything you need.

  18. Trixr says:

    Finally made it over here after being reminded on Reddit that the lovely Manka made this thing – so thanks, I've been reading the archives.

    It's already nearly 2am in NZ, so my friends there have been revelling in their various ways. It's going to tick over here in Oz in 20 minutes, so I'll break out some Balvenie. Just me tonight.

    Wishing all of you a good new year, and a better 2017 if your 2016 was as tough as it was for many of us.

  19. RoseCamelia says:

    2016 can die in a fire. I'm at the vet hospital. One of my dogs had a seizure. Cuddleboy is recovering well; I'm not worried. But that wasn't true 30 min ago. Drove even more aggressively than usual with Mr Rose holding trembling Cuddleboy in the passenger seat.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Just talked with the vet. Maybe not a seizure. We have to test for a heart problem or cancer. I remembered losing my LittleBoyDog last year to cancer and started crying. Left the exam room to cry without an audience; left Mr Rose to explain to the vet.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Xrays are normal. No obvious problems. CuddleBoy is now home and happy, playing with LittleGirlDog like nothing's wrong. He put his head out the car window on the way home, the closest he can get to nirvana, short of bacon.

        • ru_ri says:

          Oh, my goodness, I am so sorry you had to go through such an upsetting scare and so glad CuddleBoy is all right!

          Here is wishing all our beloved two-legs and four-legs sail into, through, and beyond 2017 in the best of health and cuddle-dom. We've had enough scary shit to last us for a good long time.

    • LaxMom says:

      I'm glad he's better! I hope it was a one-off, never happen again thing. Could he have eaten something stupid? (I mean, he is a dog, I know that's pretty much a given, but..)

      Here's hoping he keeps improving.
      Oh no, we cross posted, I'm so sorry.

    • Heathered says:

      Oh, no no no. I insist that your sweet pup make a full recovery. You pass that message on and tell him I'm not screwing around: Full. Recovery. So sorry that you were subjected to this stress.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        We were cuddling and I raised his head to face me. He was attentive as I told him your message. He waited to be sure I was done talking. Then he moved in slowly, carefully, to gently kiss my eyelid. Then my other eye. Just a small touch with the tip of a barely damp tongue. Oh my heart.

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh oh oh no! I'm so sorry to hear this! I'm glad to hear things are somewhat stable. I'm so glad he heard Heathered's message!

  20. LaxMom says:

    I AM DONE.

    I want to run around cleaning ALL THE THINGS.

    I would also like to DRINK ALL THE ALCOHOL *but* I have the kids AND I just spent a week going low-carb, soooo, am going to try to stay low-carb and not ruin it.

    Kids are semi-sick. House is semi-a-mess. No coursework has been done for 2 weeks (spent 2 days this week trying and every.fucking.step failed. Every one. For hours. Even the brand new mouse/keyboard from last month has completely failed to work on my laptop, nothing fixes it. Well, burn it all then.)

    I am SO fucking over the whiny, too much contact, no down time, ruin everything and keep me from healing, ex. I really liked being low low low contact with him and this month has been the opposite of that and OMG he needs to go die.

    I am very very burnt out. The need to knit and clean and recover and provide myself a refuge and calming home is A. Competing with my need to actually, you know, keep working and writing and shit and B. Completely losing out to the realities of being a single mom of two troubled teenagers.

    Girl is making noise about "not doing lacrosse". I don't want much, but I've coached for 2 years, I"m committed to two more years of board presidency, I spent LOTs of money on new equipment for her over the summer, I really want to guilt her into one.last.season. I might insist–it's not like all three of the other girls on the team quit, they are all committed to re-up.
    Also we have no coaches, the school is billing me personally for use of the field last year, and practices start Feb 22nd. I don't have time or energy to coach this year, much less coach and manage the board, I need to hire 2 good coaches like, yesterday. Help.
    I get the feeling that no matter how many layers of overwhelm I peel off, there is just more underneath. WTF. I think I prefer when I have no time to actually think about stuff.
    Teenboy's blossoming romance led to grandma noticing a hickey on his neck at dinner yesterday. πŸ™‚

    I bought a keurig in August for convenience and haven't made it through the day without a nap in months. On vacation this week, went back to french press, three days no nap. Ummmm I might need more caffiene than even 3 Kcups can provide.

    Fell asleep smiling, despite the mess. Why? Teenboy and girl were giggling their heads off, sitting on the floor in her room, no phones, computers, music, tv, having a blast, doing CROSSSTITCH at 1 am. Like, so into it, that earlier in the evening teenboy almost missed a date because he was counting stitches.
    (for the record, I can't crossstitch without many perforations of my fingers, much swearing, and thread tangling everywhere. They were busy comparing the directions of their perfectly-neat backs of their work). Ok, whatever, they are actually being nice and interacting with each other, who knew??

    I may end up at a kid rollerskating NYE party tonight.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      You know what's best for your family. But this internet stranger wants you to consider dropping Lacrosse. You've typed here about too much to do, too many balls in the air. Maybe your girl's current desire to drop this portion of your burdens is a hint from the universe, or permission to schedule routine downtime for you and your girl. I trust your judgment.

      • LaxMom says:

        I know. This is the third year that without me, the program DIES. For real and for true, the high school program will not have any athletes feeding into it, the middles school won't have a team, this is it.
        It's taken 9 years for us to be allowed to apply to the school board for sanctions. We applied in October. We also had 2 coaches in October.
        Pros of being a school sport include: Actual in-the-school-gym practices. After school, so kids don't need rides. And teacher (instead of independently hired) coaches. And kids don't have to pay and extra $200 to play. All of which will probably double our team if they go through.
        Damn school board hasn't let us know yet. School starts up again Tuesday, I'm calling them Tuesday afternoon.

        If that happens, i'm no longer in charge of scheduling, hiring, practices, games, only fundraising and stats.

        If it doesn't…yeah, I may have to bow out.

    • CleverManka says:

      That's awesome about the cross stitch! I hope you find a solution to the lacrosse situation that nourishes and supports you and your daughter.

  21. dancingcorvid says:

    It looks like NYE fireworks at 6:15 (my town y'all! so freaking civilized! they wanted the kids to be able to see them, and so many of the adults agreed that "just before dinner" was a perfect time that it is now ingrained tradition) and then some people and food, and then possibly staying up to make sure 2016 actually removes is sorry self from my time zone, and then the possibility of more peeps tomorrow for brunch. I just braved the headwinds of the local grocery store along with what felt like a solid 50% of the town population, and have all the finger foods, plus and also things to lay or spread onto bagels.

    So I'm done, and going back to trying to find Leverage fic that is 1) OT3 2) not entirely smut or angst and 3) might have narrative, mystery, or heist happening. Any two are easy enough, but all three are hard to find.

    • Heathered says:

      Fireworks at 6:15 is such a great idea! I would actually go to something like that! Instead I'll likely be in bed at 8 pm and awakened by people either firing guns or setting off fireworks, or if not that then my neighbor drunk dialing people in the middle of the night and shouting at them (see: 2:30 this morning). Have all the fun!

    • CleverManka says:

      We had only a few idiots with firecrackers in our neighborhood and I didn't hear any after 1am. I hope your evening passed in similar peace.

  22. Flitworth says:

    Watching Ms. Fisher's Murder Mysteries and going to bed by 10. #NoRegrets #CoughLikeABronte #AllTheWhiskey #NotAWolf

    Happy New Year Mankanites!

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