Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

Full comic here (it finishes on a note that you might want to put off until Monday, though)

While I’ve been resting, I haven’t been exactly nurturing myself (only took me nearly half my leave time to get here). What are your resources for feeding (not necessarily the same as indulging) your spirits?

142 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. mckitterick says:

    Pat Cadigan telling my workshoppers that they don't need to go to Clarion, because they've already learned here everything they'd learn there, and they're already writing at a higher level than a lot of those alums 😀

  2. CleverManka says:

    I realized the only way I was going to turn off my brain (I was spending a lot time fucking around on the internet which is…not necessarily soothing) was to find something that made me stop thinking and allowed my mind to…kind of float? if that makes sense.

    So I'm powering through Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Enjoying them for the pretty (and the UST, good lord the UST), but they make some egregious missteps in regards to race more than once. Also the episode with the intersex person had a few moments where I physically cringed. I grew up watching all sorts of murder mystery shows with my mom, though, so I barely have to concentrate on the stories and can just enjoy the view. Brain candy, indeed.

    The PT wasn't wearing me out but it was getting boring, so next week I'm going to resume a yoga practice! After ru_ri mentioned it, I started meditating again and wow I can tell I'm out of practice. Quieting my mind is much more difficult than it used to be. Another good example of why I need to be spending a little less time absently fucking around on the internet…

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I found the absent internet wandering to be counter-productive for p.much everything.

      I made space for myself to just sit comfortably in my studio when I reorganized it – so I am not standing where I compose and iron things together, I am not sitting at my sewing machine, I am just sitting at the table, surrounded by my work in various stages of done, and thinking or breathing or moving a marker around on a page. I have found it revolutionary in terms of nurture. I can think about future project, or doodle or write questions or answers to myself. If I want to work, it is easy to find something to do, and if I want to just be there, I have that option now. I'll even do more art focused work on my computer, rather than dicking around, if I'm sitting there instead of on the couch.

      When you speak wistfully about getting back to making things, it makes me wonder what your workspace looks like, and if you might have room for sitting and thinking within it.

    • ru_ri says:

      I'm glad my comment opened a door for you! And in a fair turnabout, you're making me want to sit more! I manage once a week right now, and it's not enough. This winter (post-election), I was sitting every morning, and it really helped and I want to get back to it. Gotta make time in the day–and yes, the answer is getting off the Internet. (Except for this site! Always time for this site.)

      • CleverManka says:

        Yay! I'm so happy you still make time to swing by here. *hugs*

        What time of day works for you for sitting? Since my schedule is pretty flexible at the mo', maybe we could find a time that we can sit together? I'm an early riser, so I can do mornings, even if you're on the east coast.

        • ru_ri says:

          *Hugs back* As someone said Wednesday, this place (and everyone in it) helps me be a better person.

          Sitting together is a wonderful idea, and it's so generous of you to offer–thank you! Ideally I'd like to sit from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Is that a possibility?

          It's super ridiculous but the main thing that's been holding me back is my lack of a zafu to sit on. The "cave" under my loft bed is the perfect sitting spot, and no one else is up at that time of the morning (housemates all work 2nd or 3rd shift). But I have a perfectly good blanket I can fold up to sit on! And I will do so!

          Thank you my dear–and I forgot to say before, but I'm really excited that you're starting yoga again! Seems like steady upward progress is happening.

          • CleverManka says:

            8 to 8:30 works great! Is that CST?

            My hips are so tight right now I have to sit on a bolster with a rolled-up blanket tucked between my shins and ankles. Another thing that yoga will be good for! Yay! This will be so fun! Perhaps others will join us.

          • ru_ri says:

            Sadly, its EST…will that still work? I would love to have others join us, too!

          • vladazhael says:

            Hrrm. I am new to this sitting idea, but I have been trying to do a few chest-opening yoga poses every morning per LaxMom's suggestion (2 for 2 so far!), and I have been thinking of trying to find something for brain-quieting…

          • LaxMom says:

            I did some this morning, missed yesterday. Gold star for you!

          • vladazhael says:

            You get bonus points for suggesting it, though!

          • Räven says:

            perhaps, perhaps!

          • CleverManka says:

            I'm usually awake by 6:30 so that's no problem. I imagine anywest coast folks might want to pick their own time, though. =D

          • ru_ri says:

            Well, time is just an external construct, so we can be sitting together in spite of any differences! I'm psyched to do this. I have a seminar this weekend, so–Monday? Maybe?

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh! Something I forgot to mention with the Whed*n stuff in yesterday's Dump–did I ever mention he blocked me on Twitter (right before he flounced after the AoU fallout)? One of my proudest moments, I tell you.

    • Räven says:

      This is so timely: on my habit app, I've been doing a digital detox challenge, because I can easily spend fourteen straight hours clicking around the internet, or doing puzzle games, or whatever, and it does not leave me feeling good At All but I find it hard to stop. So I've been trying to just not start, which is easier said than done.

      Most of the alternate/substitute behaviors I've put on my detox list are fairly mentally engaging – things i want to do, but maybe not super easy? Draw! Learn a new kanji! – and I finally realized that part of it is needing a bit of OFF in my day. I've had good success with "walk to the town square and sit on a bench", but you can't do that every time you need a break. Now I wonder if scheduling meditation At a particular time (times???) of the day would fill the need.

      • CleverManka says:

        If you decide to try sitting, keep us posted! After a while ti really does start to be soothing, I promise. NGL, though, getting started can be rough. Even something as simple as counted breathing can help.

        • Räven says:

          I actually used to have a decent daily practice! I've drifted away from it, and have been thinking about going out to a place for a scheduled sitting to try to get back into it.

        • ru_ri says:

          "…as simple as counted breathing…"

          Here is where I confess that I have been sitting for some 15 years, on and off, and feel I am doing well if I make it past 5 three times in a row.

          Squirrel brain, man. It's a burden.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Yes, I am 100% with you on the "come on, self, stop wasting brain on the internet". Exception for this site, of course. But like, the mindlessly scrolling through instagram… that needs to stop. I saw a headline the other day that was something like "Our Brains Need Silence And They're Not Getting It" … didn't even read the article, but deeply identified with that statement.

      • CleverManka says:

        I saw a headline the other day that was something like "Our Brains Need Silence And They're Not Getting It" … didn't even read the article, but deeply identified with that statement.

        I love everything about this statement.

        There is some mindless internetting that I actively enjoy (my Tumblr collections and Link Dumps) but I need to be more strict with myself about only following links that have potential for inclusion and then stop reading as soon as I conclude it's not gonna make the cut.

  3. Heathered says:

    The ocean feeds my spirits, but I haven't seen it in ten years. :/ Sorry I missed y'all Wednesday, internet was down. Then I walked to therapy in a pretty gnarly heat wave and someone told me my therapist was out for the day. So I walked home, and therapist called and said, "Actually I'm here, I have no idea what the hell that woman was talking about." This is a pretty good summary of what the last two weeks have felt like. At least I get to see her today, and it's only supposed to hit 104. Small victories?

  4. Flitworth says:

    Bookstores, books & coffeeshops when you don't have to be anywhere or answer to anyone are restorative!

    I told my husband that I need a day where I don't have to do anything or answer to anyone and hopefully that is tomorrow. I'm scheduled to get together with some other mom friends and watch Bad Moms and drink wine in the evening and I may just toodle in the city before that.
    Yesterday at work I got an email saying I was pissing off someone with my 'tone'. That's because I was forced to do a reproduction to get additional logs that I knew were going to be useless and then, of course, when I got analysis back, there was no reference to the data I blew several hours producing. Now I'm fantasizing about just leaving enormous dildos on the desks of people who tick me off and keeping all my other communications sugar-sweet. If I won the lottery I suspect that at least one manufacturer of giant wangs would be seeing a big jump in sales.

  5. Lynn says:

    A lot of my simple pleasures are things I'm not capable of physically at the moment, but what I've got instead:

    Videos of kittens/cats (specifically Kitten Academy on YouTube). They currently have 8 kittens up for adoption (and they also have several adult cats that live there permanently) and it is basically my go to "everything is overwhelming and I need to find evidence joy still exists" viewing.

    When I need a vent for my anger, I watch one of those tiny house shows and snark on it mercilessly.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      My mom watches tons of HGTV shows, and now I've taken to screaming, "Fucking shiplap!" at them. My mom and I originally snarked on a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving special back in the early 1990s, and we've never really stopped.

      • Lynn says:

        Even the shows I like I enjoy looking for the producer manipulated parts. But the tiny house people are either completely clueless about what they are getting themselves in to and/or super condescending about how choosing a tiny house makes them better than other people and they also never have thought beyond what the first year or so in the house will be like (particularly if they have kids), so it pushes all my pragmatic, long-term planner buttons.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm sorry you're unable to engage in your simple pleasures right now. That sucks, I know. I hope you're able to take them up again soon.

    • vladazhael says:

      I keep threatening to throw this party:

  6. Kazoogrrl says:

    To really turn off everything I have to get outside, by myself. The pics I posted Wed are from one of my happy places, and just poking around on a nature trail, the less human interaction the better, makes me feel a lot better and able to face the world.

    • CleverManka says:

      I've been engaging in more social interactions this week than I have for a month and whew it's fucking exhausting.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        When I'm really done, even a polite hello by a person passing me on a trail is enough to irritate me. Unless they have a cute dog, I always stop for them.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          Same. I have to force myself to address the humans with the dogs. I'd rather just interact with furry quadrupeds, ignore the bipeds.

          My dogs would love you. After a brief show of standoffishness. Gotta maintain their Image & Reputation.

          They'd rub their heads and muzzles on your palm, after sniffing you. ("Have your ankles been sniffed today? No? It's important. We'll take care of that for you.")

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            They sound like most excellent dogs!

            Any cartoon of a person at a party in the corner talking to a cat or dog? That's me. J and I once spent part of a party in the hosts bedroom hanging out with their greyhound Rick.

  7. vladazhael says:

    I was just talking about mental resting and feeding of spirits with my new man-friend (I have yet to settle on the right title; boyfriend is accurate but feels a bit too juvenile and temporary), and it kind of hit me when he was talking about his restorative thing (fly fishing, which I now know is way different in nature and demographics than other types of sport fishing) that I don't really have anything in particular that I do right now to regenerate. Not that I've ever been one to dedicate my energies to just one thing or feel just one overriding passion – I'm a dilettante and okay with it – but given the nature of the world I live in (fast-paced and full of unhealthy demands) and the nature of my brain (like a relational database fused with a pinball machine), I know I would be wise to find something that allows me to calm my synapses and restore some balance. Between constraints on time and the fact that a long-distance relationship gives me very good reason to NOT put my phone down, though, I haven't been very dedicated in my search for whatever my meditative thing is. It may just be reading, or wandering through antique shops, or walking around.

    In other news, I finally decided that in addition to all my DIY methods of fixing my upper back and neck, I should really pursue physical therapy… and of course I have to see my regular MD about it first, and of course she can't see me until July 12. But at least that gives me the opportunity to talk to her about the problem and hopefully get the right sort of referral.

    • CleverManka says:

      Best wishes finding a PT that works for you! July 12 will probably arrive before any of us realize it…

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      There's a person in the Hannibal fan community who tried tying flies because fly fishing is one of the TV character's hobbies and, and the files are a plot point. She ended up loving it and now makes themed ones based on the show, I was checking out the materials while at a Bass Pro Shop and I can kind of see the allure of that part, and also the standing in the water out in nature (but not the actual fish-catching part, tried that as a kid and it's not my thing).

      • vladazhael says:

        Ohhhh, yes, this has been on my mind. There are several points of similarity between this guy and Will Graham (fly fishing, dogs, whiskey) that are Extremely Attractive To Me.

        Does this fan person perhaps sell such things on the interwebs?

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          I wasn't sure if you watched the show, thus the over explanation. And those are all Extremely Attractive Assets.

          She does, on commission! I got the Will lure when I backed her Kickstarter (it was a tier for her Rules of Disorder pins):

          • vladazhael says:

            MAGNIFICENT. Thank you.

            I do watch the show, but I actually haven't finished season 3 yet, because first I was waiting for someone else to watch it with me and now I just don't want it to be over.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            You haven't watched it, but do you know what happens? It is hard to avoid, especially if you're on Tumblr. Man, it's glorious. Either way, it's a treat, though I understand dragging it out.

            The weekend after Thanksgiving I re-watched the S2 finale with a friend and her teen daughter, who had never seen it. TD threw herself on the floor in a fit of emotion. I sat and sobbed, which I blame partially on alcohol (and partially to a post-election relief valve reaction, and partially just the show being amazing).

            That seller is in England, so I'm not sure about shipping costs. Or if they are tempting for actual fish, as opposed to metaphorical ones.

        • CleverManka says:

          There are several points of similarity between this guy and Will Graham
          <img src=""&gt;

          • vladazhael says:

            Mmmmmmmmhmm. Yeah. Yeah, that look, a lot. I mean I've never seen him fix a boat engine in his living room, but it wouldn't surprise me.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            *frantically searches her basement for a boat engine to offer up*

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Well, re-watching that gif just took a chunk out of my day.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        It's called "fishing", not "catching". I know an avid fly fisher who casts over water *un*likely to produce a fish. She just likes the fishing. Catching would require tasks she does not enjoy.

        And I'm related to a man who moonlights as a Pro Fishing Guide. His policies include "Guaranteed Good Fishing or Your Money Back. Catching Varies".

    • littleinfinity says:

      You could go with "lovah" … as in the SNL skit with the LOVahs in the hotTUB.
      Or perhaps "special gentleman" or "gentleman friend" in a nod to the Big Lebowski? ("she's not my special lady, she's my lady friend") 😀

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    So my mom is off TPN (IV) nutrition! Fingers are crossed that she might be home very soon, which is going to be a huge. freaking. relief. That right there is going to refill my well a lot.

  9. LaxMom says:

    hmmm. My advisor took me out to lunch today, she's awesome and so non-judgemental and supportive in a really respecting-me-as-the-same-age-as-her way. Even though I know I have a lot of work ahead I don't feel as overwhelmed career-wise.

    I am dreading the kids coming back on Sunday. There is definitely an attitude reeking off of Teengirl ("this is MY choice" and "I HATE YOU" were texted to me last night re: rabbits and going out with friends—why do they always decide I'm the parent to rebel against!?). It will be a week of deprogramming and I hate that week.

    I also have another laxmom coming for dinner tonight (indian take out) and oh god oh god the boxes and the tables and the cupboards are all still all over the place and I've got….3 hours and 51 minutes until she shows up, minus the trip to the wine store at the end of the street. Please send super-fast-tidying-up mojo!

    New meds fucked me up royally yesterday but seem ok today. But I missed karate.

    If I can get these new meds working and the sweating stops I will be SO HAPPY. But the sweating needs to stop.(obviously some has to happen, it's been in the 90's. but this was unliveable, and even in 40 degree weather).

    I will get a picture online and join a dating app or site or something. It's pretty much my therapy homework assignment. I have 2 weeks to work up the courage to do it.

    • Rillquiet says:

      They rebel against you because you're safe and reliable, so they know you'll stick regardless of what they do. It's a compliment that's hard to perceive in the moment!

    • Flitworth says:

      <img src=""&gt;

      Just here to state that wine &gt; cleaning. Shove everything in a corner and/or find the sheets and drop them over top and pretend you're very wealthy and just returning to your country home and the servants have failed you.

      • vladazhael says:

        Shove everything in a corner and/or find the sheets and drop them over top and pretend you're very wealthy and just returning to your country home and the servants have failed you.

        I love this and will use it at every possible opportunity.

    • vladazhael says:

      Best of luck to you on the dating venture. I was dreading that myself and had pretty much decided to opt out of the whole thing when I fell ass-backwards into what I have going on now.

      I agree with Rillquiet's assessment of the teenage rebellion – they choose you because you give them some actual competent parenting to rebel against.

      Also, if this other laxmom has any issues with your housekeeping, she is clearly a spy of some sort and not to be trusted.

    • CleverManka says:

      Hurray for awesome advisor! So great to feel you've got a ready-and-waiting peer-in-the-works, too!

      Best of luck with the return of the kids. I wish there was something more tangible that we could do. At least you know we're here to listen!

  10. Heathered says:

    I'm back with a silly question: My main manufactured summer project hit a snag when the weather got too hot for me to function, BUT: I did come up with a game concept I like, designed a board, and came up with categories for questions. Going further would just mean making a final draft of the board that looks nicer and then writing X amount of questions so the game exists as a real thing, but as I'm unlikely to ever play it due to lack of humans, I'm kind of balking at this point. My other tiny projects (food prep, daily tarot reading, trying to make my bathroom and kitchen not make me so sad I want to die every time I look at them) are gently percolating along, but I don't know if I should write some questions just so I can say I did it, try to come up with another game concept, or what. If you were just completing it to say you did a thing, how many questions would be enough (there are six categories)? Maybe I can gently push through.

  11. littleinfinity says:

    This week has been a good week for food choices and exercise so far! I've been trying to eat healthier and stick to a running routine, and I felt pretty good about my progress this week. I am not at all a runner by nature, but my friend on the East Coast is training for a 4-mile race on July 4th, so I said I would start training with her from across the country. I can currently run 1.5 miles and then alternate running and walking the rest of the way. This is a vast improvement on my previous regimen of sitting on my ass.

    I'm also currently looking for wedding photographers (we nailed down a date and a venue, woo! 4-14-18). If anyone knows of a good budget-friendly wedding photographer in the LA/ SoCal area, send your recommendations my way! By budget I mean hopefully under $2K. Much like everything else in the wedding industry, it turns out you can spend a literally unlimited amount of money on photography. #thelimitdoesnotexist

  12. Doc_Paradise says:

    I took myself out to lunch at a nice restaurant that I like. Alone. With a book. I sat at the bar and ate charcuterie, gnocchi, and baked alaska. It was lovely.

  13. CheddarBiscuit says:

    I survived the first two weeks of my new job! Other than normal new job slowness and insecurity, it has not been bad.

    Crafting is always good for my spirits, and I've had a hankering for it lately. I picked up some knitting materials after work today so that I could contribute to this cool project: It's supposed to be rainy here tomorrow and my husband is away until tomorrow night, so I'm gonna stay in, enjoy the alone time, and craft away.

  14. Lee Thomson says:

    BOAT BOAT BOAT update: all the panels are connected (seven boat parts – the bottom and three panels on each side came in two pieces each, requiring glueing together) and sanded, and the ends rasped so they'll fit together. The next step is to cut holes for water-tight hatches in the fore and aft frames, sand the hell out of them, and start wiring the boat together. The directions say "Once the first panel is wired on, you have something resembling a boat. By the time all the panels are together, even doubters will agree you are building a boat."

    Everything else is secondary.

    • CleverManka says:

      Those directions sound much more entertaining than most!

    • Räven says:

      You are building a boat!!!

    • Heathered says:

      Do you have a name picked out? Is it going to bother you when I call it "Night Boat, the crime SOLVING boat" after a Simpsons episode? Because I am definitely calling it that.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        ATM it seems to be Lark, because my coach/therapist asked if I had just gone to Annapolis on a lark and was building this boat on a lark and then it became Lark.

        My hesitation is that larks A) do not have a very distinctive silhouette and thus are not easy to abstract onto a flag or sail and 2) I am still thinking about incorporating quilting cotton fabrics in gorgeous colors along the inside of the top rail, and that makes me think maybe Patchwork Girl.

        And before it was Lark, I was pretty convinced it would be Ursa Minor. So clearly I have IDEAS but no actual conclusion. Which is OK because I really have only a theoretical boat so far!

        tl;dr: I have no objection to you calling it anything that amuses you.

  15. RoseCamelia says:

    The pressure is off.

    Yesterday I sold a house. Today I bought a house. Until my bed and the rest of my belongings arrive on Sunday, my furry family and I live in a hotel.

    Only unpacking to do now. And lots of address changing. Which I tried to start today, but found that there is *nothing* in my name.

    Mr Rose has been unusually active for this move and I'm grateful. But he opened the utility accounts. That's usually my chore so they end up in my name. Not this time. The mortgage belongs only to Mr Rose. But the state of Texas says that the house is mine as well as his because we are legally married. (Never mind that Texas refused gay marriage until Federal law forced it.) The title company left my name off the Deed. I do not exist in my new town, not on paper. I can't even get my driver license changed yet.

    My insurance agent will email me new car insurance docs showing the new address and my own fucking name. I'll also contact the title company to ask for a corrected Deed, but they're unlikely to respond. I have no leverage with them. They're done with our property and they have, on average, 35 closings per day.

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