Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

This is exactly how a balloon drop for me would go

We made it to Friday! I have grand plans to touch up my roots this weekend. Anybody else got something exciting on your dance card?

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206 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. RoseCamelia says:

    On my dance card this weekend: 12 more items on the To-Do list that must be completed before movers arrive Monday morning. There are another 56 items requiring completion before I can list the house for sale.

    I don't know what to ask you all for. This is just the only thing I can think about.

    I hope you are all well. I do have fleeting thoughts for others' well-being every few hours.

  2. sherwood21 says:

    I'm taking the mini-Brit to get his first round of vaccinations this morning, so that he won't be a tiny plague monkey. Brit & I are going to try and hit the gym this weekend also.

    I want to get one of these for the mini-Brit: https://otteroo.com/learn/ Babies can be quite little and still be taught how to flip themselves over on their backs and float, which dramatically reduces their risk of drowning. Mini-Brit also flipped himself from his front to his back yesterday – accidentally – but he's desperately trying to figure out how to do it on purpose. This is, frankly, terrifying.

    • CleverManka says:

      Go, Mini-Brit! Already a self-starter!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Thank you for vaccinating. A member of my extended family is coming to help me prep my house for sale/move. She's bringing 2 of her children to help. They are unvaccinated, so I'm calculating how to limit my octogenarian MIL's exposure to the young potential disease vectors.

      • sherwood21 says:

        I would vaccinate anyway, but the Brit has a compromised immune system from a thyroid condition, so that's an extra incentive.

        Lots of hand sanitizer and facemasks?

    • littleinfinity says:

      That otteroo site is far too cute! Good luck on the vaccinations (and high five because THANK YOU), and hugs to the tiny rolling non-plague monkey 🙂

      • sherwood21 says:

        The cute factor is pretty high!

        Mini-Brit had a little bit of tylenol and is sleeping now. Hopefully he won't have any significant discomfort from it.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Thank you for vaccinating!

      That rolling trick is a good one, and makes them far more mobile than I expected – I knew one child who eschewed crawling for rolling (choosing to hone a known skill?) and was known around the neighborhood and the holy rolling terror.

      • jenavira says:

        As a person who frequently walks past hills and wishes I could just fling myself at them and roll down: #lifegoals

  3. CleverManka says:

    Extra glad I didn't make any plans for this weekend (when do I ever, though), because I feel weird today. Disconnected. This is sorta long, so the rest is in a reply.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm not feeling depressed so much as ambiguously sad with a side of anxiety. It's been a while since I had that "could cry at the drop of a hat" feeling (like I did for weeks/months after the election) and wow is it back today in spades. Rationally, I know it's only brain chemicals (thank you, Vulcan nature) so I can at least deal with it while it lasts, but I'll be relieved when it passes.

      Pretty sure it was brought on last night when I was mending the Burgomaster's favorite hat (which I can't find a picture of but I spent five minutes looking at google image results on a search of his name because seriously the dude is fucking adorable). Anyway, I was whip-stitching the edges of the brim back to the cap and realized that the reason the brim was pulling away (it's a British driving cap) was the twill tape lining the rim had pulled away in the front and was just hanging loose all around the front of the cap. I was trying to figure out if the stitching had dissolved (there were no loose threads) or if it had been some sort of adhesive that had disintegrated due to years and sweat when I realized I couldn't focus that closely on edge of the twill tape. I'm having a hard time focusing on my computer monitor today, tbh.

      Naturally, that brought on an avalanche of feelings about how much I've lost in the years since he bought that hat (during a visit to Italy, ten years ago this summer). It's hard to realize that despite so much effort, I'm only getting sicker. Living less.

      And maybe that's gonna change, but maybe not. I have to be okay with either option. But sometimes it's harder than others to be okay and today is one of the harder days.

      (If you want to check out my pics of our Italy trip–and see what I looked like when I was only mildly sick and also had my modified chelsea cut–they're on my flickr account.)

      • Heathered says:

        So many hugs to you, Manka. That's really hard. I don't know if you've read anything by Tara Brach, but she went through something similar and talks about it a bit in Radical Acceptance. (And I'll add that I read that book because a therapy guidebook suggested the practice was just saying "I have to accept this!" when shitty things happen, and that's not what she's talking about AT ALL.) OK, one bonus hug.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        I'm sorry for your feelings of loss. They will pass, but we give them their due as real and worthy of respect. Meanwhile, look at what you've gained in 10 years. You and the Burgomaster are still together. More than 10 years of commitment, love, support, fill-in-the-blank.

      • vladazhael says:

        Rationally, I know it's only brain chemicals (thank you, Vulcan nature)

        Vulcan nature is GREAT, though. I mean yeah, the feelings suck even when you know better, but we're lucky to at least have that rational knowledge of what drives it, which I get the impression most people don't really have. Hang onto your inner Spock; the ick can't survive long in front of that impassive eyebrow stare.

      • silverandsnow says:

        Oof, the unexpected feelings avalanches. It is hard sometimes to reconcile the life you want to live with the life your circumstances will let you live. I'm so sorry you're hurting.

        • CleverManka says:

          Yes, that's it exactly. Thank you. I've spent a decade of my life having to let go of things and sure I've gained a lot of emotional experience but I can't say it's been an even trade. My 40s have pretty much been a slow bleed of aspects of myself and that's just…kinda grim.

          Welp, when you're going through hell… *plod*plod*

      • LaxMom says:

        If it makes you feel any better, I don't know what's up but I had a big wave of those same feels and almost posted on the link round up around 2 am. a huge, god I hate being so old and wth happened to my body and great, now I have perimenopause to deal with…so, misery loves company?

        Also, I think you might be the same ish age as me and if so, the eye thing isn't being sick, it's being over 40. Still doesn't help the self esteem any, but reading glasses or bifocals or bifocal contacts can help a lot with seeing small things.

        • CleverManka says:

          I'm sorry you're having Misery Feels right now, too. I hope you find a way to soothe yourself through them. Myself, I am indulging by watching bootleg videos of Raul Esparza performances on YouTube (or at least I was until high-bandwidth stuff stopped working on my computer about ten minutes ago).

          I know part of my vision changes are age, but the fact that they've gotten so much worse over just the past month is worrying. My eye doctor doesn't seem overly concerned, but I still have an appointment next month just to make sure. Leave it to me to develop the family tendency toward glaucoma early, you know?

          • LaxMom says:

            From what I hear, that's how it happens. That's how (bifocals) happened for me–feb 22 I started coaching the kids, March 12 the weather improved enough to go outside. All of a sudden that week I couldn't catch a ball to save my life–even the kids noticed that I had gotten dramatically worse at lacrosse practically overnight. Bifocal contacts saved me. Nobody has to know but us and the eye doctor.

          • CleverManka says:

            That's actually really encouraging. Thank you! Normal aging I can deal with. An additional disease right now…well, obviously I could deal with it, but not very gracefully.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            Mine went really fast too – I have always worn glasses, and suddenly NOTHING was in focus, and I was convinced I was dying. It was astonishing to have it fixed so easily. Plus for me the progressive lenses do not make seasick, so I feel smug about everything.

          • CleverManka says:

            I'm a little worried about progressive lenses because even turning my head too fast makes me motion sick. Sheesh. Aging.

          • LaxMom says:

            I made myself motion sick when I was mapping over the summer, by zooming in and out too quickly in Google Earth. The lenses affected me if I used them for about 4 hours, but seriously I shouldn't have been trying to do 4 hours of mapping 1970's satellite imagery anyway.
            That is the ONLY time they have bothered me any more than any other pair of glasses. I went to Walmart and got the NIKON lenses with the largest field of view and they are awesome. And I have simply no effects from the bifocal contacts at all, other than needing the teenboy to read the tiny print on my eyeliner so I know which brand to replace it with!

      • littleinfinity says:

        <img src="https://media.giphy.com/media/Ul16jlcdV1B04/giphy.gif"&gt;

        Hugs and head pets to you. Looking back at past selves can always be a little rough (for me at least), but I can imagine it being even harder when you feel like so many of the changes in the past ten years are unwanted. You guys are both fucking adorable, then and now. <3

        • CleverManka says:

          OMG THAT BUN.

          Yeah, like…none of the changes I've made in my life (eta: in the past ten years) have been things I wanted to change. The vast majority of them have been things I've had to eliminate because of health problems. And that's just shitty to deal with.

          That bun, though…oh wow that's comforting to watch. Maybe I should go visit my local pet store this weekend to pet the buns and rodents (they keep them in open-top cages for handling–it's pretty adorable). It used to be one of my standard pick-me-ups and I haven't done it in ages. Thank you for the idea!

          • littleinfinity says:

            Aww, glad you like the little bun!!  That gif is so soothing to me as well.  Contact with small mammals is a wonderful healing mechanism (I know those open-top cages and I love them).  Go pet some buns and give them a nuzzle for me!

          • CleverManka says:

            Will do! Yay! Now I have plans other than grocery shopping to get me out of the house tomorrow morning!

      • meat_lord says:

        Many digital hugs to you, Manka. That's really tough. Just…really friggin' tough.

        That picture of you from the Italy trip is great, by the way. You looked super cute!

        • CleverManka says:

          Thank you, it is tough! =D Sometimes it's just nice to be agreed with that things are really really shitty.

          I have so much fondness for that Italy trip. We'd only been together a couple years at that point and (in hindsight) it was kind of a combination honeymoon/trial by fire experiment to see how well we could work together in both happy and stressful situations. (this is my favorite picture of us from the whole vacation)

  4. Heathered says:

    I am RAINED OUT today. Stuck at home yesterday waiting for laptop delivery, which didn't happen until 2 pm. Running out of groceries, but it's supposed to be decent tomorrow. So today I'm going to make some pea soup, try to get to know the new computer a bit and I guess go back to my mystery. Is anyone here a Kate Atkinson fan? This is my first and I'm liking it, though I know it's in the middle of a series. I never made it to the shower yesterday, so that has to happen, too, as I have hair like the Trump sons right now.

    • CleverManka says:

      Mmmm split pea soup! But seriously, don't talk about yourself like that, bb.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I read Atkinson's Started Early, Took My Dog, and it's weird b/c I felt like I liked her writing style and her characters, but I just couldn't really get into the plot. I'm forever searching for an author who will live up to Tana French for me, but I haven't found anyone yet who strikes quite that chord.

      • Heathered says:

        That's the one I'm reading! And it feels like I'm about five books out of the loop, or like the characters all know a lot that I don't, but I figure it might be worth it to go back to her earlier stuff. I've only read In The Woods (if that's the right title, I keep calling it either a Sleater-Kinney album or Sondheim thing), but I should go back and try Tana French again. I liked it a lot, so it's weird that I never went beyond that one.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I did the same thing with ItW (including never being sure of the exact title). I read that, and for whatever reason I just didn't continue straight away. But she has steadily grown to be my favorite author out there.

      • Alluvial_Fan says:

        Tana French is my favorite. If you ever find someone who lives up to her, lmk.

        • littleinfinity says:

          I read In The Woods and loved it too! Which of her other books would you recommend?

          • Alluvial_Fan says:

            I love them all–The Likeness is an especial favorite, because Cassie is one of my favorite characters. Each book takes a minor character from a previous novel and builds on that.

          • littleinfinity says:

            Cassie is great!! Ok, that will be next on my Tana French reading list 😀

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          Late to reply here, but I definitely will, if I do. 🙂

  5. vladazhael says:

    I should probably spend some time figuring out where and how the Nova is losing brake fluid. I got it out of the garage earlier this week to head to work and a dash light came on that said BRAKES and I thought, "Holy shit, those lights work! …Shit, that means something else is broken." I just hope it's something I can figure out pretty easily. *fingers crossed*

    But I am just too witches to worry about it today. My hair is unruly, my eyeliner is excessive, I found the perfect lip stain, and I have this gothy Stevie Nicks cape wrap caftan thing going on.

  6. Absotively says:

    I am off to a board games & potluck party tonight. Which is good, but it does mean that I am once again missing the introvert's reading night that I keep meaning to check out.

    I have two new games that I'm kind of hoping to play: Mint Works is a tiny, short, lightweight worker placement game, so I'm pretty sure I can get some people to try it. New Angeles is a semi-coop where each player is a giant corporation, which forces you to work together but is still quite vicious. It's three hours long, so I delayed buying it because I figured I wouldn't play it often, but I finally convinced myself to get it on Wednesday. I will probably invite people over specifically to play it, so it's not a big deal if it doesn't get played at this particular thing.

    • CleverManka says:

      Oooh! Have fun at your games night! Games aren't my thing, but the Burgomaster used to have game days pretty regularly. "Working together but still quite vicious" sounds like something he'd appreciate. If/When you play it, please let us know what you thought?

      • Absotively says:

        I've actually played it once already! I quite liked it. It's very focused on negotiation, so every player is involved in every turn, and it didn't feel like it dragged despite being quite long.

        The vicious part is that every player has things they're secretly trying to do, and it's set up so that players frequently have opportunities to advance their secret goals by neglecting or sabotaging the group goal. But you lose if the group goal fails (unless you're the secret traitor), so you can't neglect it all the time. And the negotiation is set up so that you can't do much of anything without convincing the other players to let you, so you always have to at least look like you're trying to advance the group goal.

        It gets compared to the Battlestar Galactica board game a lot, but I haven't played BSG, so I can't tell you how well the comparison works.

        • Absotively says:

          Oh, also: It's a cyberpunk setting. So you're a giant cyberpunk corporation, which means you perpetuate a level of corporate evil that might be implausible in other settings.

          • CleverManka says:

            Oh my god this sounds amazing. I might actually be convinced to play this with the right group of people. I'll definitely recommend it to the Burgomaster if we're ever in a place that we can host gatherings again!

          • Absotively says:

            It is pretty great!

            Though now I'm hoping I haven't oversold it. On the other hand, if I can make it sound amazing, that does increase my chances of getting people to play it tonight.

          • CleverManka says:

            TBH you had me at "secret traitor." The cyberpunk setting was icing on the cake.

          • Absotively says:

            So the intersection of those two things is pretty fun, I think: the basic setup is that the city you're all based in is a "special economic zone" of the US, which means there are virtually no regulations and corporations openly run everything.

            The group goal is to keep the city from falling so far into chaos that the US government steps in and actually does something. You can let things get pretty bad before this happens.

            The traitor, then, is a corporation that secretly wants the government to step in and regulate things. I assume they've quietly secured some lucrative government contracts. And of course, they try to bring about government intervention by making things even worse for the residents of the city. So they're opposed to the current state of things, but in a way that is unlikely to help the people that the status quo harms.

          • CleverManka says:

            This sounds creepily close to How Things Actually Are Right Now.

          • CleverManka says:

            I look forward to the day when I can write my essay on how movies like Red Dawn and growing up in the nuclear age of the Cold War prepared me psychologically for The Coming Age. I mean, I'm not happy about it, but I'm not suffering the same existential despair that many of my younger friends are experiencing.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            Writing that essay will wait for a more energetic day. But I would *love* to read it.

          • CleverManka says:

            You'll see it here first!

    • jenavira says:

      Oh man, New Angeles sounds amazing, but playing it with my primary game group would be murder. We'd never talk to each other again.

      I'm hoping to get a few more rounds of Elder Sign down this weekend, and then I'm considering taking it to WisCon, either formally as part of the game program or just to bring along and play in the lobby.

  7. damngoodcoffee says:

    My weekend of blissful laziness starts at 5pm. The only thing I have all weekend is yoga, which will be annoying to talk myself into (b/c it's early and I have to walk there), but it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow than it has been, so I'm not to worried about it.

    I stayed 'til 7:30 at work last night after another busy day, and I think my brain has been off for a while.

    Other stuff that happened this week: A grad student asked me out (over email), which made me feel as awkward as any other date-type invite I've ever received (though at least now I know I'm ace/aro so the confused guilt on my part isn't there anymore). I managed to respond appropriately after talking about it with my coworkers, who all were sympathetic to the awkwardness of a student asking a staff member out. But then I made the mistake of mentioning it to my mom whose only response was 'oh, well that's nice/flattering!' Yes mom, why on earth would I conceive of male interest being anything other than flattering, ever? Never mind that this person barely knows me. I should be flattered because positive attention is always flattering, no matter the context/what it's for, right? Grrr.

    This is why my mom and I don't talk about certain things. But whatever; the weekend's almost here and I have a whole lot of nothing productive to do.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Right? He was literally asking me out because I had answered his research questions promptly and kindly (you know, like you… might do in a customer service-type job) and he thought that meant I was interested in him. And like, he took the let-down really well, and hasn't contacted me about it at all since, but that gif was basically mine & my coworkers' reactions, and my mom was all, well that's nice of him.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          Did your mom, maybe, marry young? Otherwise miss out on a robust dating life? Scarcity might explain her attitude, other than the obvious patriarchal teaching that was more common in her childhood than in yours.

          • damngoodcoffee says:

            Oh, I think it's a lot of things; she didn't date overly much, and there's just a lot of assumptions she has about what ended up making her happy (falling in love/getting married) and how that kind of thing should make me happy. It should be painfully obvious to her now that I'm just not interested in dating anyone and never have been, but I feel like some part of her still thinks I'm either a 'late bloomer' or just wildly insecure.

            And the whole patriarchal teaching thing I think is steeped into her thinking about this at a pretty deep level, too, definitely.

        • meat_lord says:

          Jesus, what? What is wrong with men?

    • sherwood21 says:

      YES for a weekend of blissful laziness!!

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I have actually developed an eye twitch at some point over the past week and I'm determined to get rid of it over the next couple of days with sleep and Netflix.

    • jenavira says:

      Eeew. I had a similar thing last year – a delivery guy asked me out while I was at work, and I told my coworkers expecting a "wow, weird" reaction and instead got three people asking me if I had a date. Um. What??

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I so don't get this notion of romantic interest/attraction as an unequivocal good. Like no matter the context. I didn't want to get into an argument w/my mom, but part of me really wanted to be like 'no, I don't have to be flattered by that at all.'

        • jenavira says:

          Yeah. I mean, I know that, as a female-presenting person, my fuckability is supposed to be the ultimate measure of my worth in society, but I would really just not, if that's okay with everyone. (It is not.)

  8. Doc_Paradise says:

    I think I'm going to have some close personal time with my bed and my cat. I think I'm having a flare up of whatever this yet undiagnosed illness is. Dopy as fuck.

    BTW… Advice needed: How do you respond to someone you like saying something that they probably see as helpful and meaning well, but which kinda looks like *their* shit AND which punches your triggers?

  9. meat_lord says:

    Let's see…. Drag show tonight, which Datefriend is stage managing. I'll be going with a friend, so I'll have company in the audience. Saturday and Sunday will mostly be cleaning, laundry, and packing for next week's trip.

  10. jenavira says:

    Plans with one set of friends have been cancelled again, so I made plans with another friend to cook, play board games, watch old-school Doctor Who, and experiment with cocktails. I'm super excited.

    I've been really struggling this week, worst when I'm at home alone and there's no compelling reason to do anything other than stare at Twitter and freak myself out over the impending healthcare apocalypse. I am an introvert; I am not used to suffering from being alone too much! But I'm hoping that friend plans will help, and if all else fails, I will spend Monday out of the house somewhere, even if it means camping out in the library.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm sorry you're struggling! I understand that "how can I be lonely?" feeling. I get it once in a while, too, and it's rarely due to how long I've actually been out of the company of other human beings. I'm glad you were able to make replacement plans with someone. The cocktail experimentation sounds especially promising!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I'm sorry. I know those feels. I am also worried about healthcare. But distraction is a useful tool. Selling a house, building another, moving — excellent for distraction because it demands all available energy, time, effort. Nothing left for worry. For now.

      It's good you recognize your need for companionship. And it's good you did something about it. Not only plans with friends, but also alternate plans. And cocktail experiments planned as well. You are responding very well. I'm impressed.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I've definitely had that feeling before, even as an (extreme) introvert. Those are the times I try and skype w/my friend from grad school b/c we usually have super long conversations and I really don't chat w/her enough. Especially when it's too cold out for me to travel to Boston to go to a meetup or something. Lately I've been too busy w/work to feel anything but combined relief/stress on the weekends, but I'm sure that feeling will crop up again at some point.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Healthcare apocalypse is postponed! Paul Ryan looks sad and pouty! HAPPY FRIDAY TO AMERICA.

  11. LaxMom says:

    So after having a big wave of oh god now I get to deal with perimenopause and I've gained weight and I still have no time and I"m just a big unattractive middle aged lady–that was 2 am–then I had a moderately productive morning on 2 hours of sleep. Trying hard not to feel like nobody will ever like me ever. Then Teenboys counselor called unexpectedly to fix a scheduling snafu. He..has been not getting off the phone until talking to me about what's been going on with me and how I'm doing? Which is sort of his job but not really because he's boy's counselor, and it's not counselor-type talk. Well, anyway, I'm doomed to crushville any time I hear his voice on the phone so, well, at least it got me out of my funk.
    I have SO SO SO much to do this weekend to get ready for my conference in Boston from the 5-8th. Anybody there want to meet up? Send me easy grading and geological modeling mojo because I need it for sure.
    Teen girl is really getting a boost in her self-esteem from lacrosse lately, it's nice to know she's not just doing it because mom was coach.

    Found out I can't move offices, I am going to die from opium (the perfume) poisoning, I swear. Eyes burning, stomach churning levels of perfume. Ugh.

  12. Flitworth says:

    Sheep shearing this weekend. Even in these modern times it is very traditional with family/friends/community getting together to help. There are different jobs. I usually try to get a position sheep wrangling but it often goes to the taller, bulkier menfolk. Because one farm has dissolved (sidebar, it was run by someone who taught writing to Gregory Maguire!) and another downsized it will be a different affair. There is a collective meal (which we'll miss because it's at another farm that is breeding mini-sheep).

    I am in a mood as well but it's largely b/c we are 2 people down and a bunch of cases coming in. I have been working hard to hide my disdain for stupidity but I was driven to tell someone that it was literally 'not my problem if [guy] doesn't know what he's doing'.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Oh my dogs, I would love to be part of sheep shearing. I love that kind of work. I'm among the bulkier womenfolk and I have a tall personality. May I wrangle sheep?

      "Yes, it's too bad he doesn't seem to know what he's doing. Was there something else?"

      I am suffering in proximity to Stupid as well. ::solidarity fistbump::

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh my gosh SHEEP SHEARING that sound amaaaaazing. So many varied experiences of people here. I love it. Perhaps your mood will carry over to the weekend and you can use it to overwhelm the menfolk into letting you be a sheep wrangler.

      • Flitworth says:

        If you like sheep, it really is! I love it. I love working hard, I love smelling like lanolin (& lets be honest, poop) at the end of the day.

      • Flitworth says:

        Shearing update: So many lambs! Shearing was late this year, usually it's timed to be done 1-2 weeks before lambing but there were something like 5 white lambs and 7 black and I got to handle them all during wrangling for shearing.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      mini-sheep might enable me to actually keep sheep in my living room. well, I mean, more like my back yard, but the idea of letting them into the kitchen for a nibble is just enchanting.

  13. pseudonymica says:

    I'm going to spend the weekend evading people! I told a friend we should get together soon and she sent me a Facebook message that said, "I'll go to your house on Saturday." I told her I wasn't ready – there literally is not a square foot of space for a visitor to sit in my exploded museum/art studio of a house and I don't feel well enough to clean. So she wants to come today instead. Her logic is baffling, unless she's hunting me and decided to pounce before I can escape.

    Meanwhile, I learned about covert narcissism and it explains everything about my ex/best friend and why we could relate so well up to a certain point, beyond which our differences were unfathomable.

    HE THINKS I'M FAKING MY NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS. There is no better way to invoke my wrath. So I'm cutting him off completely this time. I changed his picture on my phone to a vacuum cleaner to remind myself not to get sucked in and treated like dirt again. I changed his ringtone to Amanda Palmer's cover of Ashes to Ashes for several reasons: this guy is a heroin junkie; "I've loved [him] all I've needed" and I'm ready to let him go entirely; I love the song, so listening to it play will be more pleasurable than answering the phone; and Amanda Palmer is good for periodic girl power infusions. I think this strategy will be more effective than blocking his number or seeing my phone to not ring when he calls, because I'll need to keep reminding myself what I'm doing. I've been ensnared in this mess for seven and a half years.

  14. Lee Thomson says:

    (this is dancingcorvid – I've given up on anonymity, too many handles) I'm going on vacation, me and Mr Crow (because that is still a fine name for him) without offspring, with friends of old (we were respective best people at each other's weddings) to St. Martin, and I CANNOT WAIT.

    My dad is doing well enough, he still can't quite believe he required a pacemaker, and is convinced he was having a heart murmur. I talk him around each time, but that is going to be exhausting long term, I can tell.

    And!! And ! I was invited to start a art crit/support group, by an established artist with a body of work and a solid background! And we spent an hour Wednesday choosing people to join us, and they are fucking AMAZING which means I must be too, by association. So that is something exciting to look forward to after a week of sunshine and indolence.

    And lastly I've managed most of a week of my daily project by just making them little journal pieces. Toast. Sewing machine. Sewing machine and a beer. I am feeling encouraged that maybe I am not a complete slacker when it comes to the kind of daily effort I did before with (what felt at the time) more grace. or something.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm so excited for your trip to St. Martin! Happy travels!

      Looking forward to hearing about your art group–that sounds fantastic.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      "we were respective best people at each other's weddings"

      You *are* the best people, to this day, and not just for weddings. Amazing, even. I have enough exposure to your witchy self to be certain you are, and I assume Mr Crow is by association.

      Hooray for the new art group!

    • meat_lord says:

      I'm really excited for you–you have some great things coming down the pike!

    • LaxMom says:

      Yay! It's nice to have the "I'm not a complete slacker, and hey, some people even think I"m pretty good at stuff" message! We knew you were amazing already!

      I can't wait to see you next week!

  15. Flitworth says:

    Fuck you, Paul Ryan

    Muahahahaha!!!!!!!

  16. Rillquiet says:

    Hurrah, we did it!

    Aaand because the work is never done, how 'bout calling your reps to get them to stop a bill that would suspend rules against ISPs selling your browsing history? It's already through the Senate (on 50 R votes), so we gotta stop it in the House.

    International readers, please have a nice day/evening or send us Tim Tams.

  17. Heathered says:

    Late in the day to come back with a question, BUT: Any suggestions for how to laptop shop constructively? I'm returning the one I just got & realize I am terrible at this.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ooof, good luck. I'm terrible at it, too.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I start at the venerable PCworld.com for reviews. Then I spend some time in person with Best Buy salespeople (who are *not* on commission). They know which questions to ask.

      I always say I do only 3 things on a laptop. I type a lot, fast, by touch, so the keyboard has to feel right. I read a lot online. And I make involved spreadsheets, so don't sell me any scaled down version of Excel.

      Then the blue shirts tell me 2 or 3 models they recommend. After asking over and over, Are you *sure* you don't do any online gaming? The fact that I do not allows me to buy less than the fastest unit, thereby saving $

      • Heathered says:

        It's so funny that you both mentioned Best Buy, which of course does not exist here in the outback, but thank you! This does help. My needs are so simple, but I'm so easily confused and misdirected. A replacement Chromebook will probably be fine.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          "Best Buy" is a placeholder for "your biggest laptop retailer". Get a salesperson to help you. They see people like you every day. That is, people not sure how to shop for a laptop. Otherwise, you are unique, witchy and glorious.

    • jenavira says:

      okay, this is my JAM, let me know if any of this is too much/unhelpful

      (0. Are you a Mac person? If so, I cannot help you.)

      1. Figure out what you really use a laptop for, and what your priorities are. Do you carry it with you everywhere, or do you leave it plugged in? Do you always have access to power? Do you need fine mouse control or touchscreen or a keyboard of a certain size? Is there any software you ABSOLUTELY MUST have access to, no exceptions or replacements? Then rank all those features by priority. (frex: I need a 90% size keyboard or greater, I'm usually using it at home, touchscreen would be nice but not if it breaks the bank, etc.)

      2. Start your search by googling BEST LAPTOPS [MY #1 PRIORITY]. "best laptops battery life," "best laptops keyboard," "best laptops low weight," whatever it is you've decided you must have. You'll find a lot of variation and usually a few you would never buy for any money, but most review sites will suggest a high-price, midrange, and low-price laptop focusing on those features. Frequently a consensus on "best" will emerge at this point, after looking at 3-4 review sites.

      3. Go to a Best Buy or something and try them out. They will probably not have the exact model you're looking at, but they'll probably have a similar one from the same manufacturer. If you're leaning toward one in particular, make sure to check out multiple models from that manufacturer, especially if you've never had a computer from that manufacturer before. They all have their little quirks, and it's good to know what they are.

      DO NOT BUY YOUR LAPTOP FROM BEST BUY, they have the worst return policy in the known universe. Besides, you're not done. But you should have a good sense by now of where you're leaning.

      4. Google your top 1-2 choices and read all the bad reviews. Look for any patterns that emerge, and decide if you're willing to put up with those problems. Make sure they have all the features that are musts for you. Double-check things like cables (do they require special charging cables or adapters) and jacks (if your wifi is unreliable, do they have ethernet ports).

      5. Order from a specialty electronics store online – TigerDirect and NewEgg are my go-tos, they usually have good deals and warrantied refurbs. Pay with a credit card: most major credit cards have warranty protection for major purchases that might be better than what the manufacturer offers. Don't buy an extended warranty unless you're really accident-prone; they're usually a ripoff.

      • Heathered says:

        Super helpful, thank you! I got both screwed and then horribly mistreated by Tiger Direct but I like NewEgg a lot, so they may be the place to check. And I may just stick with Chromebooks for the time being. I tried a cheap Dell thing in hopes that I could use FireFox occasionally (every time Chrome updates it cancels access to something or other that I need, like USB downloads to the Kindle), but Windows 10 made me feel physically ill and everything was so small I felt quasi-blind. I kind of hate needing to be online all the time just to function, too, but if I'm paying for it I might as well use it. Thanks again! This was very clarifying.

        • jenavira says:

          Yeah, Windows 10 on a small laptop is not the greatest. Good luck with your Chromebook! (I almost bought one last time around but I cannot live without Scrivener.)

        • RoseCamelia says:

          Have not tried it myself, but techie people I respect are uniformly happy with NewEgg.

  18. Onymous says:

    Oh, because I have no particular stake in the idea of waiting for a milestone date like New Years or Tuesdays to make changes in my life a couple weeks back I decided to stop eating meat on weekdays (and I'm not going out of my way to eat it on weekends either). Partly it's a response to Trumpism and partly it's just a slight formalization of the realization that out side of grocery-store-deli fried chicken and pizza I hadn't really been eating much meat this year anyway. Full time vegetarianism is probably a long way off–if ever– and this isn't exactly an change due to ethics so I'm not too concerned if this lasts all of another week before I give it up; for now it's a going to be a thing though.

  19. beaucoup1314 says:

    Well, all of you are beautiful women living your life. Sometimes I am not sure about whether I can live anymore. All of you are beautiful. I worry about running out of money in my simple accounts.

    • jenavira says:

      *hugs and financially solvent vibes*

    • LaxMom says:

      I have charged groceries before and getting to that point sucks, you have my sympathy.

      One thing people always told me was to go to the food bank so that the money I would have spent on groceries went to the other necessities like meds, gas for the car, etc. I don't know if that will work for you, but I'll pass that along.

      Also around here many churches have a free dinner or lunch for the community, if you can get to one of those and don't mind the side helping of religion that might help, too.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm so sorry I didn't see your messages earlier. Please call one of the help lines mentioned in the other thread.

  20. jenavira says:

    There is a regular patron at my library who is basically Donald Trump if Donald Trump was not born into money. He is not OK mentally. He has an overinflated sense of importance, for himself and everything he touches. He will not take no for an answer. I usually try to avoid him but tonight he kept asking questions and I kept trying to talk some sense into him. (He wants to know why the historical society director won't return his calls. There is…no answer I can give him that he will hear.) It's a Sisyphean task, but I feel better for having tried.

    • LibLemon says:

      Oh god I think we all have at least one of these in our libraries, if not several. They take an amazing amount of emotional energy out of me. Props to you for trying to talk sense – I can't do it anymore.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I think every library has a patron or two like this.

      I'm a library volunteer, so I can get away with this: I like to answer, I don't know. Then just stare at them with a grin. They'll ask another whiny, entitled question. Again I say, I don't know. Then the silent grin. I let the silence get awkward. No one has persisted past the third I-don't-know.

  21. beaucoup1314 says:

    Well, all of you are beautiful women living your life. I am a lot older than most of you are. Sometimes I am not sure about whether I can live anymore. All of you are beautiful. I worry about running out of money in my simple accounts. I make jokes about living in a cardboard box – I would rather be dead. You guys have years ahead of you. I wish all of you good wishes.

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