Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

I asked Kermit to bring some enthusiasm to this week’s Open Thread

Hey, at least it’s payday for me this week! What’s helping motivate you to get through these last few hours until the weekend?

178 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. RoseCamelia says:

    I got nuthin. But I'm here.

  2. vladazhael says:

    AAAAAAAAAGGGGHH! *Kermit flail* So the apartment thing? The two original ones were, sure enough, snatched up by the waitlist people. They just listed another of the same model this morning at a slightly higher price, but on the top floor and still within a reasonable price range, and it was listed as available 3/22. I called hoping they'd say they could give me the same price at a slightly later date… and turns out it's not even available until early May, which COULD NOT BE MORE PERFECT in terms of timing! Holy shit, guys! I found one! It's a bit of a splurge price-wise, but has literally everything else I could possibly want, including covered parking for two cars at no extra cost, meaning I don't have to sell the Nova unless/until I damn well feel like it. And with two bedrooms, the cats will be much happier and I will have NO trouble fitting all my stuff in there. Holy shit. HOLY SHIT! It's scary because it's real, but the scary is outweighed by excitement! I'm going to go fill out the application while I'm fired up, just in case the angst creeps back in, but I'm feeling pretty good today so far, despite waking up with a flutter of anxiety.

    The Rose Shield is mighty indeed! RoseCamelia, you may retake possession of it whenever you need, for it has done its work well these past couple days and is all polished up for its next bearer.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Go vladazhael! Get that application done. Anxiety flutters be damned. So happy the Rose Shield confidence booster did its job.

      • vladazhael says:

        Application is done, pay stubs are sent, now I just wait (and low-key freak out a little). And it has been an EVENTFUL 24 hours. There was the Hamlet news yesterday, the apartment thing this morning, and then as soon as I was done with all that, my state house representative called ME in response to a letter I sent! We talked for 40 minutes! He's a 66-year-old southern conservative white dude, so… we clearly disagree on a whole lot of shit. But he's also nice and well-intentioned and willing to not just listen, but reach out personally to a 30-something liberal chick and keep in contact and work on stuff. Political engagement win, y'all!

        • RoseCamelia says:

          You are awesome! No time wasted on the amazing apartment process. 40 minutes of direct political engagement. Damn fine work, valdazhael.

        • CleverManka says:

          my state house representative called ME in response to a letter I sent! We talked for 40 minutes!
          <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/357043/357043_600.gif"&gt;

        • pseudonymica says:

          Yay!!!! I'm so very, very happy for you!!!!!! I was too angry to comment about your ex bringing up your future residence recently. I didn't want you to feel like you had to defend him, or I didn't want to be too dramatic if keeping an even keel was important to your well-being, so I just didn't say anything. But I was thinking about you with sympathy and concern (as well as well-founded pride in KNOWING that you'd find a place to settle).

          And I'm impressed about your state house representative. I've been trying to reach out to my conservative representatives because this whole mess is giving me new respect for the republicans who are speaking out. So far they've been unresponsive, but I had a major victory yesterday. One of my senators has been evading his constituents and accusing us of being paid protesters. Yesterday I spoke at a rally and it made the local *Fox* news, which must have gotten his guard down because they managed to corner him and force a response to my ACA concerns. His answer was a weak nonsensical platitude, of course, but at least he was forced to acknowledge my existence. I should look more into my state reps.

          • vladazhael says:

            Good on you for making him acknowledge you! That's an uphill battle for so many of us; it's always good to see it work out in some way.

            And the sympathy and concern is very much appreciated. Yes, an even keel is important to me, so I also appreciate the avoidance of drama. 😉 Lately things with the ex have been pretty good, though, and one of the biggest struggles of moving is that I'm honestly really going to miss him as a roommate. We do work very well together in that respect.

    • Lynn says:

      YAY! I always dream of finding an apartment way in advance that's not available until my desired move date but it rarely happens. For me moving is so much easier when I have plenty of time to plan everything out in stages.

      • vladazhael says:

        OMG YES. Like, it's scary and sad because it's really happening, I'm really moving out – but also what more could I ask in terms of physical, logistical, mental, and emotional prep time?

        • LaxMom says:

          I'm finding that I've definitely warmed up to the idea of moving. Congrats! Sending you all of the efficient moving prep vibes I have (you can store them up for when you need them)

    • Heathered says:

      So glad to hear this! You threaded the needle! Dang. Congratulations!

    • Xolandra says:

      Congrats! I hate being theoretically homeless, this must be SUCH an enormous relief!

      • vladazhael says:

        Aside from the part where Change Is Hard, especially the kind I Did Not Ask For – hell yes. Even if it's hard, I suspect dealing with this as a certain reality rather than an uncertain one will be an improvement, even during the dark times.

    • jenavira says:

      YAY! Oh my god, that is the best possible news. Congratulations!

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      This is awesome news! Hooray!

    • littleinfinity says:

      yayayayayayyayayayayay!!!! 😀 😀 😀

    • silverandsnow says:

      Kermit flail indeed! As a perpetual renter I sure do know that feeling of relief when the housing you find matches your needs. Congratulations!

  3. CleverManka says:

    I'm scheduled to hang out with my BFFs tonight after they've been out of town for a couple weeks. So that gives me something to look forward to even though right now I'm having a difficult time getting excited about it. We were considering joining the ranks of people doing The Spell bc let's be honest that looks like fun and we're all of us (except the Burgomaster) Former Teenage Witches but my energy is super low today and I think instead I'm just gonna get drunk and make unhealthy eating choices.

    I think I'm becoming more depressed? Maybe? IDK. I've reached a stage where I don't care that I'm spending 12 hours a day in bed and in fact I'd like to go back to bed right fucking now and shoot for 18. I'm not sure if that's acceptance or defeat. Maybe a little bit of both? Well, whatever it is, I'm really getting the hang of this non-attachment stuff!

    Development of possible interest on the work-related stuff, though. The Dean responded within half an hour of my email to him by asking if I'd like to discuss things in person and we already have a meeting scheduled for next week. The faculty/student issue might have to wait for next week, though, since I think my boss isn't gonna be in today, and that's definitely a conversation that doesn't need to happen in email.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      The BFFs you'll see tonight, are they people you can tell you think you're becoming more depressed? If so, please do.

      And I want to help. How may I distract you? Shall I send you silly emails at staggered intervals? Should I challenge you to respond to a phone call from me? I'll drive to Kansas and make ridiculous faces at you if that's what it takes. You know I'm serious.

      • Xolandra says:

        IT ME.

        It might take a week or more to get to Kansas, tho.

      • CleverManka says:

        The BFFs are super busy so I only see them once every other month or so. I think it'd be hard for them to tell, especially seeing me at the end of a week when my energy is lowest anyway.

        Aw, the offers of distractions are so thoughtful, thank you! But I think honestly those would just keep me from being able to focus–which is my largest problem and (possibly/probably) contributing to the possible depression. I've always been able to focus-break-focus-break but I'm finding with my ever-diminishing mental faculties (such a fun thing to witness! this morning I couldn't remember where the TAB key was on my keyboard!) it's better for me to decrease those breaks. It's why sometimes comments go unanswered or unapproved for longer than they used to (sorry, y'all). I used to keep my eye on the clock and check for stuff every fifteen minutes, then easily return to my task. Now it's like pulling teeth to get back on track. I'm also having a hard time working through environmental noises which has never ever been a problem for me. I used to be The Queen of tuning shit out and I'm finding I have to wear earplugs or have one of my white noise generators running all the time at work.

    • Heathered says:

      I'm holding out continual hope that you will get your mojo back, albeit over time. If you vengefully eat a baby carrot tonight I think it counts toward the spell–that may be as much as I do. And fingers still crossed for your sitch at work to end favorably. That sounds really hairy.

      • CleverManka says:

        Thank you! That is my hope, too. And you know, perhaps this isn't depression! Perhaps this is what patience is like! In which case, my god, patience is terrible, ugh. I feel like I'm losing a part of myself with my need for Immediate and Instant Change and wow, you know, if I was feeling better, that would make a really great essay, wouldn't it?

        I can totally eat a carrot in a vengeful manner. That sounds delightful! I even have carrots in the fridge. Perhaps I shall even make myself another batch of ranch dressing and drown it before devouring.

        The work situation is only hairy because I chose to involve myself. That makes it easier to deal with, emotionally at least! And it's not like I'm honestly fearing for my immediate job security, although in the long run I could be placing myself higher on the list for removal if we get another bad round of budget cuts…

      • littleinfinity says:

        I am now adding this to my plans for tonight. <vengeful crunching>

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Sometimes I think we have to let ourselves do way down, to just give in for a bit (within reason, obviously) to get back out, but this has me very concerned. I don't know the extent of your current mental health treatment, but is it something you may need to boost, even though the physical health stuff is the catalyst?

      I have a friend who we've learned we can say, "Hey, this talk, this is time-to-adjust-the-meds talk" and she's learned that it's out of concern and that we're usually correct. You mentioned the BFFs don't get to see you that often, but if anyone can give you a check-in like that it might be helpful? I don't want to overstep my boundaries, but I'm worried for you.

      I hope the BFF time and a (please be good) work meeting can help things.

      • CleverManka says:

        Thank you, bb. I am concerned for me, too! Luckily, I am very good at compartmentalization and I think once I have a handle on this new feeling (no matter how shitty the feeling might be), I'll be in a better place to analyze and understand it. It's better than being upset about all the time spent in bed, I suppose. Keep those cortisol levels low, right?

        Dr. Sexy has said he's more than happy to prescribe mood drugs to help me over the hump if I need them, and I'm absolutely not opposed to trying that if I get to the point where I can't pull myself out of the hole. Which might be next time I see him, TBH (end of next month).

        Thank you for your concern! I really appreciate it.

    • Rillquiet says:

      Regardless of how you feel or how productive you think you should be, you are valued and appreciated. We got yer six.

    • jenavira says:

      I hate that stage where you can't tell whether it's Depression or Justifable Exhaustion. In your case it might be both? Regardless, I hope you have an excellent (and restful) weekend and a good time with the BFFs.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Maybe giving your body all the rest it can handle is a good idea? Sometimes when I feel apathetic and lethargic I literally stare at the wall until I eventually get bored and have to go do SOMETHING. Is it possible that self-enforced bed rest would work the same way? Either way, I would definitely check in with friends/ Dr. Sexy and let them know how you're feeling.

      I hope the hang with your BFFs is restorative rather than draining!! <3 Except for draining glasses of whiskey, of course.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      >I'm not sure if that's acceptance or defeat.

      Rest and self-care.

    • pseudonymica says:

      I'm totally doing The Spell (Former Teenage Witch, gave up when best friend and I were trying to do a ritual involving holy bread, I guess, and my dog kept deliberately mocking us by running off with the bread and then dropping it – not even eating it! – and daring is to try again by looking over her shoulder and panting in a distinctly laughter-esque way.)

      Anyway, I'll light my candle partly in honor of you, Manka, and others who don't have the energy to contribute to this arm of the resistance. It's going to be magnificent. I have a neighborhood santeria store because my neighborhood isn't entirely ruined by gentrification yet, and I got a white candle in the shape of a man. I'm going to paint it orange, carve "[name I will refrain from using here] do no harm," wrap it in red threads, and put it in a glass lantern I have that just happens to be the perfect size. It's like a cage, but glass so we can see everything he does. If nothing else it will be an immensely satisfying art project.

    • silverandsnow says:

      I'm a day late – I hope the BFF hangout was a good time! With all the challenges you've been facing with your physical health it is utterly unsurprising that your mental health is suffering as well, and I hope that some combination of time/rest/Dr. Sexy's advice/meds/whatever will soon be found to help.

      • CleverManka says:

        Thank you, bb! Alas, I had to cancel the hang-out date bc I was just too tired, but I'll have a chance to chat here soon with my friend coming by for anger management counseling. =D

  4. mckitterick says:

    Just read an article that both makes me weep for the human species – but which also gives me hope. A tiny sliver, at least. If people want a future for our children. If they're willing to let go of irrational beliefs. And if they're willing to work for it:

    http://mckitterick.tumblr.com/post/157655060880

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh, hi there, bb. Everybody say hello to the Burgomaster!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Hello, Burgomaster! I'm in the market for a little hope. Thanks for contributing.

      • Chris McKitterick says:

        I can't guarantee you'll feel hopeful after reading. My own hopeful conclusion relies upon humans wanting to create a better future….

    • jenavira says:

      Oh man, I've been avoiding reading that article because I'm not sure I can cope with it right now. But I've started re-reading When Prophecy Fails for a project I'm working on and it hit me with (what I strongly suspect is) the same thing – cognitive dissonance is a dangerous thing.

    • Onymous says:

      The older I get the more I look on "Don't trust anyone over thirty" and "Science advance one funeral at a time" as comforting thoughts.

      • Xolandra says:

        As a 37 year old, can I please ask that we adjust "don't trust anyone over 30" to "don't automatically trust anyone over 30?" 😉

        • Onymous says:

          Can't automatically trust anyone under 30.

          It's like… I'm a guy, sometimes I'll be right on about feminists issues, I try to be a good ally… but it's a belief and a knowledge for me, it's never the deep rooted instinct that comes from growing up inside. I can't be trusted.

          Ditto with being old, at some point the world has moved on so much that you have un-rootable instincts about the world that just don't hold.

          N.B. I'm 30 right now which, by my accounting means I'll be 40 by 2020 and 50 by 2021, it sucks, but don't worry the Kids Are Alright.

          • Xolandra says:

            yeah, true, automatically trust no one.

            I AM INTERESTED TO TEST YOUR HYPOTHESIS. And wonder if the rapidity of change is a boon (boy howdy have Things Changed in my lifetime! And I have had to change to keep up! For example – gender neutral pronouns! 20 yo me would have been a douche about it, 35 year old me was like NEW BRAIN CHALLENGE ACCEPTED) or a burden (I literally have no idea how to watch movies at home anymore because I don't download things and I don't Netflix so… ??? I try to catch things in the theatre or resign myself to Never Seeing Them)

            Let's reconvene in 20 years and discuss 😉

    • Xolandra says:

      Greetings legendary Butgomaster! I thoroughly enjoyed your post, and the linked article, tyvm!

      Of _course_ i have thoughts on this – they are many and varied and of the "this is what happens when we value reason over emotion" (both have roles, friends!) and the "CRITICAL THINKING IS SO IMPORTANT" variety and not particularly sparkling, so I shall let them lie.

      I will note, instead, that this article v much reinforces that, when a French cousin told me that I could be from Normandy because i always saw both sides of an issue (he asked how I liked my work and I was like "AMBIVALENT"), I was paid an extremely high compliment.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Hi Burgomaster! We've heard good things 🙂

  5. Xolandra says:

    I have _two_ dance parties this weekend, one of which is hosted by an old neighbour and is called homophono and I have always wanted to go but have never done so because I am v cognisant that I am a cis white (not entirely)het lady and that Some Spaces Are Not For Me, but then a friend needed a date and was like "they're not gonna check your queer card at the door" and so NOW I AM GOING. Interspersed with the dance parties are long periods of rainy solitude during which I will cook, clean, craft, write and read. And sleep. Gods willing, long, uninterrupted, HUGE SWATHS OF SLEEP. *gives asshole cat the stink eye

    • meat_lord says:

      This sounds great! I want to go to Homophono!

      • Xolandra says:

        Come visit! I will feed you poutine and schwarma and beavertails, take you to queer dance parties (the queer mafia puts on excellent dance parties on the regular here), and take you to the store that fulfilled a man's dream by selling him an Extremely Large Cheese: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/connecti… (NB they also sell Extremely Large Vats of Nutella).

        I will _also_ take you to all of my favourite dive bars, including the one that sells $6 quarts AND the one that has pinball tables, pierogi and live music (we can go when there is not live music if this latter is not your thing). And and AND I just remembered about a party boat that roams the Outaouais in the summer, and am trying to convince Taostie dirtbags to have a meetup and party for days on end, including this riverpartyboat tour.

        • CleverManka says:

          Why aren't we having Space Witch Camp at your house?

          • Xolandra says:

            hahahaha, I think because largely Toasties are comprised of the "sit quietly and read with each other" demographic and not the "fukkit, let`s get wasted and yell" demographic 😉

            But, like, if ever you find yourself in hOttawa, you are DEFINITELY staying with me n GentlemanX. ♥

          • CleverManka says:

            I'll split the time between you and Doc_Paradise! That is, if I ever attempt to travel internationally again. Things…did not go well when I did it a decade ago and I'm super gun-shy about it now.

            ETA: I wonder how the sit quiet and read vs. get wasted and yell demographic shakes out around here…

          • Xolandra says:

            Idk, but i fall into both categories, so… rich tapestry, etc etc.

            I traveled through the States once post 9/11. It was terrible enough that I almost didn't take a trip to Hawaii when my mom offered it. I feel you, Manka.

          • CleverManka says:

            My nature is Get Drunk and Riot. I am nurturing my Sit in Stillness. Rich tapestry, indeed.

            When the Burgomaster and I traveled to Italy in 2007, I got detained on the trip home in Munich. They confiscated my passport (claiming it was invalid), separated us, and left me in a room alone for a long time. They released me with no explanation, barely in time for us to make our flight so conveniently I couldn't raise a ruckus. I still don't know what that was about.

          • Xolandra says:

            I… also do not know. But yeah, tales of border guards in the States are legendary. A good friend of mine went to visit her friend and got detained and the guard was all "what is your friend's phone number?" and my friend was like "????? idk?" and guard was all "WHAT IF HE DOESN'T COME TO GET YOU?" and my friend was like "i would text him? But, like, you have my phone so I cannot look up his number?"

            Big fish, small pond, yeah? I am so sorry you had to go through that.

          • CleverManka says:

            Ugh, that's terrifying. I mean, if the border patrol in fucking Switzerland was horrible, I can't imagine dealing with the US version. Well, I guess I can imagine, but I choose not to.

            Also, I just realized I mis-remembered, it was Zürich, not Munich. Munich was lovely and the airport was very hospitable and well-designed for non-German-speaking travelers. FUCK SWITZERLAND THO FOR REAL.

          • jenavira says:

            Same. Get wasted and yell a few times a year; sit quiet and read most of the rest of the time. I have not had an opportunity to get wasted and yell in a while, and I'm missing it.

          • Xolandra says:

            Coooooooooooome paaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrttttyyyyyyyyyyy

  6. Heathered says:

    Well, therapy was rescheduled from Wednesday to today, so I am at least motivated to wash my face. Have felt like garbage all week and things shifted a little last night, so maybe I can get back on finding some work soon. *nervous laughter*

    • RoseCamelia says:

      It's going to be OK. You are brilliant. I'm sorry you aren't feeling your brilliance just now. That will improve. Soon. It will. I'm certain.

      • Heathered says:

        I committed to slow down, and ten minutes ago a potentially low-stress gig came through! Thank you for your multi-floral wisdom and kindness. (I wish I had room for roses here, but I put some nasturtium seeds in the ground over the last two days).

        • RoseCamelia says:

          I love nasturtiums! When I lived in Massachusetts I liked to go to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for my birthday each spring. The atrium has cascades of nasturtiums that week. And the blossoms are served on salad. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

          Slowing down is a good commitment. Be kind to our Heathered. You are unique and we need your creative turns of phrase here.

      • Heathered says:

        We talked a lot about bootstraps and she told me (not kidding) to watch more Netflix comedy and just calm the fuck down about things for a while. Unexpected prescription, but I'm gonna try to take it. 🙂

    • pseudonymica says:

      Be kind to yourself. Someday it will be easy to wash your face and do those other daunting things and you'll realize that it wasn't your fault it was so hard before. (I've washed my face and brushed my hair and put on clean clothes every day this week after a medication change and it's…impossible to put into words.)

      • Heathered says:

        I was so happy to read about your interest in dressing up returning! I usually feel like a walking bag of unwashed laundry but was literally told today, "You always come in looking so cute and matchy-matchy and like you ironed your jeans!" So it's possible I'm succeeding in spite of myself.

  7. damngoodcoffee says:

    So I am working this weekend but that means I get to take swap time today and leave at noon, and tomorrow it'll be quiet anyway, so yay!

    This week was so busy w/performance appraisals and self-evaluations and hr compliance training and dealing w/students' end-of-term questions, but that's all done now. My immediate plans involve going home for lunch and listening to podcasts/reading fic/watching Netflix.

    • Xolandra says:

      Stupid HR and their stupid makework bullshit. I _hate_ performance self-evaluations with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Like, what are they expecting from me? "I slack off at work a lot because this job is not really v challenging and so i use my spare time to smash the patriarchy and look at cute .gifs"?

      And now, sudnnely, I am terrified that there is a keystroke logger on my computer, hahaha.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        My office mate said she was going to fill hers out with just Trump quotes and see if anyone noticed.

        • Xolandra says:

          I… O gods, I kinda want to do that now, but am too far out of the loop and i'd have to do a lot of googling and i don't think my psyche could take it.

          • damngoodcoffee says:

            I totally understand. It might have been on here that I read it, I can't remember, but apparently there's an extension that replaces his face with pictures of kittens? I think it's called 'make America kittens again.'

          • LaxMom says:

            there is one, it is WONDERFUL. I use one called "DeTrumpify". You can set it to substitute for the name or for his advisors' names too. The list of substititute names was pulled from a reddit or metafilter thread, I think? You can also set it to g-rated or swears-on. I turn it on every now and then for a break. It's much easier to keep up on the news when the T-word is replaced with "Marmalade Mussolini" and "regurgitated wombat".

        • jenavira says:

          "How do you rate your own performance this past year?"

          "I have the best performance, the greatest performance, everybody knows. No one has better performance than me."

    • CleverManka says:

      Congratulations on getting the self-eval out of the way! God, those are terrible.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Ours is an acronym with several questions under each. It takes my boss a few days to go over just one staff member's evaluation. I feel so sorry for the hr person who has to do the trainings on it, b/c you know she didn't pick out the system, but she's the face of it, so everyone's questions go right to her.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Of course I was looking forward to a nice relaxing afternoon, and 10 minutes after I get home a note gets slipped under my door from my apartment mgr reminding me I need to get renter's insurance (which I didn't realize had expired, so I had a minor freakout about that before I dealt with it and got it a new policy), and since then the fire alarm in the building has started going off at random intervals, so I'm due to have some kind of anxiety attack any minute now.

  8. Rillquiet says:

    I have a Blue Apron delivery waiting for me for the first time in a while, so tonight I'm going to honor my introvert nature by staying home, cooking, and going to bed fairly early. Living at a higher level of social activity than my baseline (in part to keep The Fear at bay, because it's been a constant companion since November) is helpful but tiring, and I'm still working out where the best balance is.

    Hugs to everybody who wants and/or needs them. To quote Le Vostre GC, "Ye are awesome. Ye have got thys. Ye kan get thurgh thys. Ye have powers ye have nat yet discoverid. And more love ys on the way. Go yow!"

    • CleverManka says:

      Best wishes finding your balance, bb. I haven't been nearly as social as I usually am, and I'm finding an odd comfort in extreme hermitting lately. But, like you, I know that's not necessarily the most helpful thing. I hope your dinner tonight is delicious!

    • Lynn says:

      Oo can I ask you about your Blue Apron experience? Boyfriend and I have been kicking around the idea of trying it for awhile to get us out of our dinner rut but we're both not sure we're up for cooking even their minimum level of meals most weeks. How easy is it to postpone/restart?

      • Rillquiet says:

        Very! I skip probably 90% of the weeks, mostly for lack of time, but I still have access to the recipes and keep an eye out for stuff that looks appealing. Using the service did get me more interested in cooking, and the commenters usually flag the (rare) issues with errors or problems with cook times. The quality and variety are good, you get a choice of six options per week (though some combinations of meals aren't available), time from start to table is usually around half an hour even if you are not an expert chef, and the portion sizes are reasonable, around 600 to 700 calories per person per meal.

        The things I don't like include the amount of packaging–the cold packs are essential, I just wish it were easier to recycle them–the fact that sometimes they seem to include unusual ingredients specifically so it's harder to incorporate a menu into your own roster at home, and the fact that using local produce can lead to things like the Season of Endless Squash. The servings are a bit large for me; when I do a recipe a second time, I cut the rice/farro/millet/other grain option down by at least half. It's also not ideal for people with dietary restrictions.

        On balance, I'd say it's like taking an expensive exercise class or three: You might not want to do it forever, but trying it out doesn't hurt and it can give you new ideas.

        Does that help? More questions I could answer?

        • Lynn says:

          That's super helpful, thanks! Boyfriend is somewhat picky — he's willing to try things occasionally, but I think he was worried he'd be signing up for too many meals he might not like. And I'm less picky but worried we'd both wind up lacking time/spoons for cooking by the end of the first month. If we can just order one week a month or so I think we could manage.

  9. FriendOfDaja says:

    It's my bday weekend, so I'll be taking a mini-vacation with my dad. He's updating me via text on birthday surprises. Most recent one: "Don't forget your swimsuit! Also I bought PBR [beer emoji]"

    So that's definitely incentive to get through the day 🙂

  10. Kazoogrrl says:

    So. In a fit of fan squee I purchased a ticket to go to Red Dragon Con 4/Hannibal Con in London in Feb 2014. No guests announced yet. My podcast partner is in too, and we're going to make a proper vacation of it.

    But, I'm also wrestling with my thoughts about cons. This one is not ideal, to me. I would like a con where there are fan led panels and talks in addition to the guest panels. Some people are trying to Kickstarter one in Toronto that is based on the Otakon model, and would include academic panels too. The organizer of the UK one seems to run them as money making, which is fine, but there are almost no other activities (except nightly parties) and no artists alley or anything like that, though fans so bring tons of give aways they've created.

    It also taps into my squirmy-ness about the transactional nature of cons, especially when it comes to the guests. I'm not into meeting my idols, I'd rather be Doing A Thing, though I don't fault them for including them in their business dealings. I used to go to cons in the late 80s/early 90s to just Be With My People, and it was sci fi geekery all weekend (and partying). Then I went to AwesomeCon DC a few years ago, and it's huge, but it felt like a little but of the soul was not there? I'm not into paying for photos or autographs, and I try not to buy too much stuff, and I like some of the panels but it's all a bit much for me.

    Anyway, it's been a lot of thoughts about doing and going to a thing, celebrity, my relationship to both, etc. But the ticket is bought, I need to get my passport because this will be my first time out of North America, I'm working on a savings plan, and we'll see how it goes.

    • jenavira says:

      *whispers* come to wiscon, it is all those things and more

      I know what you mean about Big Media Cons. I'm going to C2E2 in April, and I'm…eh? Moderately interested? I'm mostly going for the excuse to hang out with my friends who are also going, but the whole signatures/big-name media people/HORDES OF COMIC BROS is really not my jam. (Camping out at the Archaia booth all weekend is my jam, though, it's not like it's all bad.)

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I've always wanted to go to WisCon, a MD friend and a WI/UT/NY (grad school) friend both go.

        I loved hearing Manka's SDCC stories but it sounds like my version of hell. I might hit NYCC eventually, though.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hope you have a great time at the con, even though it's not necessarily your thing.

      Maybe in a couple years we can all meet up at a WisCon! That would be fantastic!

  11. LaxMom says:

    typical "can post once (maybe) and school network will kick me of until further notice" post.

    I NEED TO SCREAM. It's 70 out in February. That has nothing to do with anything. What does is that the fucking construction workers have blocked the ENTIRE DRIVEWAY TO THE PARKING AREA BEHIND MY BUILDING. ALL the parking spaces. Including ALL THE HANDICAPPED SPOTS.
    I had to park a quarter mile down the hill on the front of the building on the "picturesque" part of campus and walk up the hill to my building. It's part ramp and part stairs. Just to get TO the building is 70-some stone steps. Then I'm on the 4th floor. IN A FUCKING WALKING BOOT. I am fucking LIVID but I can't even go scream at those assholes because dammit, three more flights of stairs….
    My fucking foot hurts. Everybody else is out walking in the sunshine and I'm stuck in my office with perfume girl.

    Edit: yes we have an elevator but it is glacially slow and on the other end of the building from the door I came in. Also, no I can't just ask them to move their machines, they dug up the driveway. I'm waiting to hear what happens when the professors try to leave and can't.

    • jenavira says:

      oh my goddd campus "handicapped accommodations" are the actual worst. Strength and energy to you. Can you drink with whatever meds you might be on right now? Because you deserve a drink at the end of today.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh, we got up to 80F here in Kansas this week. WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE.

      Sorry things are so spectacularly shitty for you today. Ugh.

      • Xolandra says:

        We are having Smarch weather for the last half of February in Ottawa rn. THIS IS CLIMATE CHANGE, FOLKS.

      • LaxMom says:

        77 on Friday, still above 60 after midnight. Today it's 24 and snowing, and I wish I didn't have my foot in a boot and could x-country ski, because quiet sunday morning skiing is SOOO nice. sigh. Maybe next year. Or when we get 5 feet of snow in April–it's been several years since that happened, so we're overdue.

  12. jenavira says:

    So I think I am actually going to make a podcast? I've been wanting to do one for a while and kind of flailing around the idea of it since last summer, but I think I am going to make a podcast. About apocalyptic cults. Because, well, why not? (Now the biggest question in front of me is whether to call it The End is Nigh or The End is Extremely Fucking Nigh. Well, that and figuring out how long it's going to take me to write scripts.)

    I have a presentation to give tomorrow morning for the library, and even though I've done this exact presentation (with minor tweaks) four times now, I still have The Anxiety about it. On the plus side, even though I work until five and the program will be over by noon, I get to spend the afternoon sitting in the dark cave of my office decompressing from the program, so that's nice. And after that, I have a bottle of Two Buck Chuck waiting for me in the fridge.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Yay podcasting! If you have any questions feel free to ask me or I can put you in touch with my SO who produces ours and is happy to offer some basic tech help. Since he now has three under his belt I think he needs to start a network.

      • jenavira says:

        Awesome! I will probably take you up on that, but it'll be a while; I want to get a good chunk of writing done before I dive into the stuff I know nothing about.

        Fortunately there are at least two library recording studios near me that I can use if I need to, so I'm not looking at investing a whole lot in equipment just yet.

    • CleverManka says:

      If you called it The End is Fucking Nigh you could call yourself TEFN which is very close to TTFN.

      Break a leg at your presentation! Enjoy the decompression and booze!

    • Xolandra says:

      I thought about making a podcast about my musical collection and then decided it was too much effort. You should totally make a podcast, tho!

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Do it! That sounds super awesome. I'll be a loyal fan right out of the gate.

    • littleinfinity says:

      …voting for the second title because yes, yes it fucking is. Good luck with the presentation, I feel you on the presentation anxiety but you will rock it 🙂 Once you get up there I'm sure you'll snap right into the Presenter Mode.

  13. Kazoogrrl says:

    Side note, I am very much looking forward to Sunday, sleeping in, and going to a local cafe to sit and knit and drink coffee and not plan for a project for one damn day.

  14. Xolandra says:

    O yes plus also i had a glass of wine with lunch and am now avoiding working because ~compromised judgement~

  15. Doc_Paradise says:

    Welp. Today was like opening the wardrobe to get a pair of socks and being hit by a train.

    I'm making origami lucky stars and chicken stock. Because… that's about all I got left.

  16. LaxMom says:

    I left early, barely avoided crying in the hall, of course mansplainer was there trying to tell me I was doing things (parking) wrong, even though "nice guy drunk texter" was telling him HE was wrong…then I just said I was in a bad mood an left. I stopped at the library to vent to my TA..who made me laugh..which was right when mansplainer walked in. Ugh.
    I have "drove with the windows open" hair. In february. I put on sunscreen.
    I fed the bunnies outside and now I'm settling in to do the work that I would have been finished with by now if I'd been able to stand the smell of my office. I'm such a chickenshit.

    Anyway. I made all my meetings, now to end the week on a positive note. Also, eating some protein. Teenboy left some hardboiled eggs in the fridge. Very considerate.

  17. Pantechnicon says:

    I am spending today thinking about the packing I am going to do tomorrow in preparation for our trip to the CA desert next week. God knows I need to see the sun and sit by the pool with an umbrella drink after surviving the wettest February on record. We are going to celebrate, ahem, our 25th wedding anniversary — which given our history over the past 2+ years is complicated but I am going to take the win.

  18. MLISCostFan says:

    Hi! long term lurker, first time caller.

  19. redheadfae says:

    I am so tired of being sick and tired.
    And I'm not sure I'm going to be commenting much here, although I'm enjoying reading, it's just being too much of a PiTA for me to both log in, post and figure out the threads. It's me. Or me being sick and lacking whatever it's taking to do this today.
    Off to go souse my innards with biotics cos you know what the answer to having fucking whooping cough is for the medical profession. Yep. That.
    I am in a foul one, aren't I?
    I love you honey, and I hope that whatever is going on with you comes to a good conclusion. I'm humored and happy to see that you're surrounded with lots of support. That's so important.
    FWIW, I'm taking a mood elevator now, one that also works on my pain issues as well as depressive and bipolar disorders, so here's hoping, eh?
    I'm sucking down orange toned soup, if that supports the spellwork, LOL. with.. gluten free Matzo WHITE CRACKERS, oh, I kill myself!

  20. Lynn says:

    You are not going to fucking believe this. I am standing outside my building, where I have been for the last two hours because I got home to find the building next door on FIRE. 4 alarm fire, and I got home right as they evacuated our building so they would not let me go get the cat. We don't think our apartment was actually damaged but the fire apparently started on the same floor as ours (we are on the far side from the other building so there's that) but we have no idea when we'll be allowed in or if we'll be allowed to sleep there tonight.

    I'm okay as I can be, I guess. Sort of screaming into the Internet out of nerves /boredom. Will update when I know more.

    • meat_lord says:

      D: Oh, hell. I hope your apartment is ok!

    • LaxMom says:

      Did you get inside? Do you have a lot of smoke damage? Is the cat ok?

      Here's hoping that it was over quickly and didn't affect you much, and all animals are unscathed.

    • CleverManka says:

      I approved this RIGHT before I fell asleep last night so didn't have the opportunity to comment but OH MY GOD BB did you get back in your home?????

    • jenavira says:

      OMG I hope you and the kitty are okay, and there isn't too much smoke damage and that everyone next door is all right.

    • Lynn says:

      Hi all,
      So it's been an interesting weekend. First and foremost, the cat is fine. We had a terrible anxious Friday night because after the fire was out the firefighters checked our apartment at least 3 times without finding him, but as soon as we were allowed back in Saturday morning to grab clothes and things there he was, hungry and a little cranky (he had been accidentally shut in the bedroom) but otherwise fine. We dropped him at the vet for boarding until Monday because the only hotel room I could find at 10 pm on Friday doesn't allow pets.

      We were really really lucky in that our apartment took very little damage, especially as it is currently believed that our next door neighbors apartment was where the fire started. A few people in our building basically lost everything and several others have significant water damage. (Funny story – I picked up two wet pairs of pants off the bedroom floor that I assumed the fire department had sprayed (they were near the radiator) – we realized later it was cat pee because kitty was stuck in the bedroom). They seem to think we will get back in eventually but aren't sure when. So Monday we're moving to a pretty nice cat-friendly hotel (yay my boyfriend's Amex benefits) and we'll see then what our insurance and the city department that handles temporary housing have to say.

      Sorry to just drop off the face of the earth – yesterday was pretty busy. But we're all okay even if we are functionally homeless at the moment.

  21. jenavira says:

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I stayed up last night to do The Spell and it was delightful, A+ will cast again

    tonight I am going on a walk and dumping my tiny orange candle stub into the river

  22. Flitworth says:

    I may bring this up again in future open thread : anybody have recommendations for security cameras that can reliable record only when there is motion. Specifically we are looking to record with a time stamp any cars that park on our lawn or pull into our driveway.

    While I was away dealing with my mom's death my husband met the woman doing the bonding assessment b/t tiny human and biogramma and we agreed that we could not trust the woman not to share our personal information (obv. once they get a legal name the internet will betray us, I have no idea if it is possible to get removed from the dozens of sites that connect names and addresses without consent) with the biofam given that she clearly cared more about TH being raised Catholic than she did professional boundaries. So now we want to know if anyone comes by who shouldn't. I would relish getting this woman's credentials revoked. Relish.

    Relish. For serious.

    I am escaping with Oliver Sacks' On the Move, A Life and have been lent a copy of Hidden Figures (book). I also found that Katherine Ryan has a Netflix comedy special (In Trouble), which you should all watch(if you like her then you can look for her appearances on Qi or Eight out of Ten Cats, whatever other British panel shows). I am super picky about standup and this made me laugh.

    I go back to work for the first time tomorrow. I am anxious about it. I keep wanting to call my mom.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Oh Flitworth, I'm sorry you're anxious. It's natural to want to call your mom. I feel such sadness about that, on your behalf. I hope today at work is absorbing and distracting for you. And I hope you can get some time alone here and there, whenever you need it, to have a little chat with the memory of your mom.

    • CleverManka says:

      Just now seeing this! How stressful, UGH.

      For the camera, maybe look into a wildlife camera?

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