Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

This is the weekly post for those of us who are traversing together this hellscape called Personal Growth. Brag about this week’s accomplishments, ask for support, talk about what worked, what didn’t. Tell us how things are going for you.

248 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. CleverManka says:

    This week's Link Dump is pretty skimpy so far. If you have suggestions, please email them to me (manka at this domain)? I'm having a difficult time finding things that aren't depressing, discouraging, or overwhelmingly enraging.

    I woke up this morning with a killer headache. Weather change? Allergies? Sunspots? Whatever the cause, I did not do my sitting this morning. Maybe this afternoon if I'm feeling less ~delicate~. Dr. Sexy gave me suggestions for some guided meditations and if I think they're worth sharing, I'll include them in the Dump.

    Dr. Sexy also said the last blood test numbers looked mostly great. We moving the focus to gut health stuff now that my energy levels look to be improving. I suppose that means I need to stop eating like crap, which I have a tendency to do when the Burgomaster isn't home. I'm gonna make a batch of these grain-free blondies today, though. Gotta dirty the food processor to make mayonnaise anyway. Not that I'll be doing either of those things until this headache goes away…

  2. vladazhael says:

    As per LaxMom's suggestion, I have incorporated a few key yoga stretches into my morning routine, and I do think it helps. If nothing else, it gets rid of some of the morning stiffness I had never really noticed since I previously did all my exercising (such as it is) in the evening. In the past week or so I have only missed part of yesterday's allotment (I was interrupted by a vomiting cat), and I made up for it by adding some extra today.

    I also got the pages Manka sent (thank you!) and have partially read through what is turning out to be a very impressive physical therapy treatise. I've started incorporating some of the posture correction drills from that and some of the exercises posted last week into my day as well.

    My foam roller arrived last night and it is… odd. I think I need to learn how to use it properly, but I still have high hopes.

    And I just FINALLY was able to check my insurance deductible and it is indeed more than half met, so while physical therapy will still come at some cost (assuming I'm even able to find a therapist willing and able to help me with my goals), it's probably worth it and will be cheaper than it could otherwise be and I'm at least in a financial position to cover it.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      In addition to a foam roller, a tennis ball can work great to target spots. I use it on the stress knots on my back. Glad to hear PT is a financial possibility!

      • vladazhael says:

        My problem is that my worst spot is a buildup of fibrous tissue at the base of my neck rather than standard muscle knots, and that spot doesn't feel so great when squished). I'm assuming there's some way to address it without using the roller right at that spot; I just haven't researched it yet.

        • littleinfinity says:

          The neck is difficult! As your friendly neighborhood foam roller enthusiast, let me see if I can describe what I do sometimes (ease into all this, obviously): I roll out the muscles in my lower back by lying face-up on the roller, bending my knees, and using my feet to pull my torso up and down perpendicular to the roller (i.e. the roller is rolling up and down my back). After a couple minutes of that, I raise one arm and scoot down so that the roller is on the shoulder blade area of the raised arm, and carefully roll up and down in that area, then repeat with other arm. THEN, once everything below the neck is loosened up, I lower my (left) arm to my side, turn my head to the left, and gently ease the roller above my left shoulder blade into my neck/ top of shoulder region. I don't really apply much pressure here, just let the roller hang out and use the separation it provides to gently pull the shoulder away from the base of the neck, and maybe move/ adjust my head position in whatever way feels good at the time. Then, repeat with other side of head/ arm/ body.

          Not sure if this is at all useful without pictures but it might give you a place to start… play around with the roller and see what feels good to your muscles!

    • ru_ri says:

      So glad morning yoga is helping and that you're able to do it on the regular in spite of cat barf!

  3. Absotively says:

    It is my birthday today!

    In other news, I got my freezer partially cleaned out and then made freezer meals. I made two bags of each of three things and have since eaten one bag of each. The roast chicken and veggies could work with changes, but the changes would make it more work to get ready to freeze, so it's likely off my candidate list. The pasta went pretty well, there are things I will tweak but I would happily eat it regularly as-is. The sweet and sour meatballs need an entirely different sauce recipe, because the one I used is weirdly bland, and smaller meatballs so they reheat faster. I've now dug out a sweet & sour sauce recipe that I used once before and liked well enough to save, but I don't actually remember how it tastes, so I'll have to try it next time and see.

    My goal is to have a seven day meal plan that repeats. I've been inspired by my dad's claim that in his parents' house, you could tell what day of the week it was by what was for dinner. For various reasons this now sounds to me less like a weird way to plan meals and more like a really good idea.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Happy birthday!!! Yes, meal planning/having things in the freezer is the way to go, I think, though I never tried for specific days of the week things- it actually sounds pretty tempting, though.

      • Absotively says:

        Thank you!

        I am always slow at new recipes, but I can cook things I'm familiar with at a reasonable speed, so I figure that if I can make the same seven things once a month then it will eventually not take much time.

    • CleverManka says:

      Happy birthday!
      <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/199881/199881_900.gif"&gt;
      Prep-cooking is the best! Are you using any specific websites/sources for your recipes?

      • Absotively says:

        Thank you!

        Mostly whatever comes up when I google "freezer meals". Sometimes looking for recipes for specific things. The pasta that worked was a non-freezer recipe that I like (Eenie Meenie Fettuccine) with a whole bunch of changes (more veg, thicken with tapioca flour, leave out butter because no roux then, use more sour cream and use full fat because no butter, salmon instead of tuna).

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          The last batch of pasta I made (flour+eggs+pasta machine) froze well and cooked well straight from frozen. I froze the uncooked pasta after flouring it so that it didn't stick to itself. Then straight from the freezer into the boiling water. It took a bit longer to cook than fresh pasta but not much.

          • Absotively says:

            That does sound good! I actually just made pasta sauce, and used boughten dried pasta, as I am more motivated by laziness here than by a desire to have great food. But if I ever get ambitious I will definitely keep this in mind!

    • Absotively says:

      Oh, I also made these granola bars, but with brown sugar & water instead of apple juice & maple syrup because sugar is sugar and maple syrup is expensive and not actually a flavour I want in absolutely everything and I don't usually have apple juice around.

      …sorry, bit of a rant there. Anyways, I put in cashew pieces and chopped up dried apricots and dried cranberries and cinnamon and a bit of cloves, and I'm very happy with the result. I like this recipe because it's way, way less sweet than most granola bars, so it's nice when I want a less-sugary snack. I've been eating them at bedtime with milk.

      • CleverManka says:

        That recipe looks fantastic! I've been incorporating occasional oats into my diet (on Dr. Sexy's suggestion) and might give these a spin. Can you tell me, though–this seems like a lot of ingredients for an 8×8 pan. How thick are the bars, and are they soft or crisp?

        • Absotively says:

          A little thicker than standard granola bars, but not super thick. There's not much liquid, so they compact into the pan pretty well. They're definitely more soft than crisp.

          For the sugar – the internet says the apple juice & maple syrup would come to about 60 g sugars between them, so I used 60 g brown sugar with enough water added to it to make half a cup. It worked fine.

    • jenavira says:

      Happy birthday!

      I am 100% with you on meal planning, that sounds ideal. Would you be able/willing to share freezer recipes when you have things you know work? I really need to get back to doing that; it would improve my diet to no end.

      • Absotively says:

        Thank you!

        I am definitely willing to share freezer recipes. Probably the pasta will be first, once I confirm that the sauce reheats better if I don't add water.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Happy birthday, Absotively! I wish you perfect weather and serenity.

      • Absotively says:

        Thank you!

        It's cloudy with showers and I'm worried about half a dozen things, but I very much appreciate the wish!

    • vladazhael says:

      Happy birthday! I admire your meal planning ambition. Mine is usually down to "…I should eat a vegetable maybe."

      • RoseCamelia says:

        "…I should eat a vegetable maybe."

        That's all I can do most of the time. I'm so relieved. I'm not alone.

      • Absotively says:

        That's more my usual level, but this seems to be working better for actually getting vegetables onto my plate.

    • meat_lord says:

      Happy birthday! I hope you have something nice planned, or some luxurious downtime in the works 🙂

      • Absotively says:

        Thank you!

        I'm going to do all my usual Wednesday things, except probably eating dinner somewhere slightly nicer than a food court, and I am quite certain my coworkers plan to "surprise" me with cake. I have a few things I've been considering buying that I might take the plunge on and call them birthday presents to myself, but probably not until the weekend.

        Usual Wednesday things include Netrunner, which has had a slight uptick in attendance lately, so I am looking forward to that.

        And all the talk here about meditating has reminded me that it's been a while since I last walked my local outdoor public labyrinth, so I'm thinking I'll make time for that sometime this week.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Happy birthday!

      Now I suddenly want those crockpot meatballs that involve grape jelly and are crazy delicious even though they should be horrible.

      Oh, we do meatloaf at least once a week. I add the onion mix packet because damn it's yummy, but sometimes I'll change that up with different spices, or do honey mustard on top. I also like to do lamb and beef meatloaf or meatballs with Penzy's Tsardust Memories seasoning.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Oh, if you like coleslaw, this is yummy and can be dressed later so it doesn't get soggy.
      http://www.gaylesbakery.com/about-us/recipe-box/c

    • SquirrelGirl says:

      Happy birthday!!
      I love meal planning and stowing away meals in the future–but now that my husband's doing the cooking, 'planning' is not really part of the picture. When I was in charge of meals, one of my favorite things to do was make a roast chicken on the weekend, and then stock from the bones. I used to strip the hell out of that chicken and make pot pies (and freeze them). A soup made on a Monday in a slowcooker could last all week or be frozen for later. That way soup and salad during the week was an easy fix (and ensured veggies were in the picture). After a few weeks of Monday soup making I'd have a variety of frozen soups put away in the freezer. Turkey meatloaf was also a favorite to make and freeze.

      • Absotively says:

        Thank you!

        All of those meals sound delicious.

      • CleverManka says:

        We have very similar squirrel tendencies. I always feel so wealthy when I have a bunch of food prepped and in the freezer. I look forward to the day when I can again devote an entire day in the kitchen. So rewarding!

    • Xolandra says:

      Happy birthday! May it be everything you desire, nothing more, and nothing less. ♥

    • littleinfinity says:

      Happy happy birthday!!

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Happy heppy hippy hoppy hooray birthday!!!

    • ru_ri says:

      As Pooh Bear would say,
      HIPY PAPY BTHUTHDTH THUTHDA BTHUTHDY!

      Late, but I hope it has been wonderful!

      • Absotively says:

        Happy birthday!

        It was quite nice. I took myself out for dinner to the hipster fish & chips place, and I had a beer with dinner and another at Netrunner, and I finished playing the Netrunner campaign game. I lost, but I kind of expected that, and I'm glad to have it done with.

  4. damngoodcoffee says:

    So firstly, I've spent a lot of time catching up at work recently after my conferences/vacation time, so I somehow missed the Joss Whedon Wonder Woman script debacle and OMG that made my entire day yesterday, reading all the criticism (some of which I found linked from last week's roundup here when I went looking, so thank you for that!). It was delicious, and that script was beyond awful in all the ways I've seen Joss Whedon write awful things before. Like, I was surprised by how bad it was, but I wasn't surprised by the ways in which it was bad (ridiculous offensive stereotypes, repeated verbal abuse of women/gendered slurs, the self-insert male character, etc., etc.). I just don't think I've ever seen it coalesce in one movie like that before to such an offensive degree. It makes me even more thankful we got the movie we did, and extremely glad that more people actually call him out on his shit now.

    In other news, my summer insomnia is back in full swing, so I'm working on dealing with that now. Thanks to the storms/cooling down yesterday, at least, I was able to get some solid sleep last night.

    • CleverManka says:

      more people actually call him out on his shit now
      Now if only the actual media producers would wake up. I can't believe they're giving him the reins to finish up Justice League. He's skipping ComicCon, which I think is so incredibly telling. I'm sure he doesn't want to deal with people actually calling him on his shit. God, he's so awful. I could go on for days.

      Boo for insomnia. Hope the weather allows you a few more days of rest.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Right? If you ever need an ear for Joss Whedon ranting, I am here for it. His script really made me realize how wrong that movie could have gone, and what a bullet we dodged. Like, in his version the Amazons were all supposedly praying for a man to show up one day? I totally took for granted that none of that shit popped up the WW we actually got. And all his descriptions of Diana's 'elemental' barefoot beauty… euggghh.

        • CleverManka says:

          I would say I have an unreasonable hate for Whedon, but let's face it, it's not unreasonable in the slightest. I have a Tumblr tag "my hate-on for joss whedon never diminishes" but alas, it's not a searchable tag.

    • Räven says:

      Man, I just realized that I've been conflating Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin into a single regrettable man, but there are two of them! I really liked the early seasons of both Buffy and West Wing (and I don't get them confused at all) but wow, that didn't last.

      • CleverManka says:

        If only we could conflate all of them into one single regrettable man. And then fire him into the sun.

      • meat_lord says:

        LOLOLOLOLOL

      • Lynn says:

        There is a whole group of Noted White Men who first came to fame in the mid/late 90s and were lauded for their progressive politics (which at the time, they were for the general public) only their politics calcified and mainstream (at least the mainstream left) passed them by, and now they can't understand why everyone calls them out on this, and why they, as Noted White Men, are no longer allowed to have the last word. Sorkin was my first case study of this phenomenon but Joss is totally in there, too.

        This group also includes Bill Maher, and I am beginning to think Neil Gaiman.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          I think you're right.

        • Räven says:

          Social media has completely ruined Neil Gaiman for me, which is sad as I loved Sandman and American Gods very much. He is absolutely also that man.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          Neil Gaiman I think I would very much like one on one, but I have a hard time separating him from Amanda Palmer now (who wrote another annoying "this sounds helpful and has some kernels of truth but ends up being all about me and is 10x too long" screed on her Patreon page).

          • CleverManka says:

            Oh god, I can't even get started with AFP or I won't be able to stop. And yeah, NG is very much in my Trash Pile these days, too. He probably would've gotten there on his own, but his relationship with her certainly hastened the transition.

          • Räven says:

            She reminds me of a type of person I've never handled well, from childhood onward – jolly, loud, not the brightest, and not nearly as nice as she believes herself to be – and I have trouble separating that from my dislike of her for so many other excellent reasons. But I think she and Gaiman are both drunk on their exalted status as Voices With Followers and they do not come out of this looking good. (And by "this" I mean "the Internet.") I do love her voice though, I know I've said that before.

          • CleverManka says:

            Yes to all of this. Also, I definitely don't judge people by the music they like. I still listen to 30 Seconds to Mars, after all.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I like her voice but her artistic output falls into the "middle class white girl, why should I care about you?", while at the same time it sometimes hits very home because of that. It's a RIDICULOUS but knee jerk reaction I have to certain performers. Maybe because I grew up as a middle class-ish white girl? Tori Amos does the same to me.

            An acquaintance-y friend of ours introduced NG and AP, and I always want to ask, "Why did you do that!?!?!?!".

          • Räven says:

            Haha, didn't Gaiman also have some collaboration/special friendship with Tori Amos? It seems he has a Type. Yah I'll clarify that I like AFP' s voice but not particularly her songs, her bands, or her general endealment.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            A friend of ours did a project with Brian Viglione and he seems like a nice guy, and my partner was a part of the "crowd funded" players, that thing that caused a huge stink on her Kickstarter album's tour (just the D.C. show and we talked about whether or not it was taking jobs from pro musicians, and if she was getting something for nothing, and so on and so forth). So basically we've been one step removed from AP for some time and I'm kind of curious to meet her because I can't tell what I dislike more: her or the AP Brand.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I saw Gaiman talk a few months ago and he seems like a really nice person, but there is a "look at me!"ness from AP that has rubbed off on him. Something I think about is, I wonder if Terry Pratchett was still around and healthy if he would have told NG to wise the hell up.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I watched Religulous and was like wait, why do people like Bill Maher? He's just finding the people with the most extreme religious views he can find and claiming they represent the majority of religious people and yelling at them so that they can't get a word in edgewise. Like, that could have been an actual examination of an important topic and tensions, and it was just like an hour and a half of pontificating. I think you're right about Neil Gaiman too.

        • ru_ri says:

          Yup, this is completely accurate and should definitely be included in the grant application for the Space Laser.

        • redheadfae says:

          I think I love you.
          This sounds like a good many used-to-be-considered-very-progressive but are now bewildered middle-aged not notable men.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I feel like I originally had more a a soft spot for Whedon b/c I came to BtVS first, as a tween, and didn't see TWW until I was in my mid-20s and already unwilling to deal w/that level of talking at women on my TV. But both of them seem to be on this regressive trajectory that is just disappointing. The similarities are definitely there.

  5. jenavira says:

    I have not been doing well lately. The world is terrifying, and I can't tell how much of that is genuine and how much of it is a side-effect of the depression and anxiety. I'm currently in High-Functioning Depression mode: I go to work and no one notices anything wrong, I go home and sleep and eat and basically don't do anything else, and I'm anxious and sad all the time. I figure I've got a couple of months to find a therapist before I start losing function.

    But putting on a good face for the sake of work tends to lead to me being in denial about how badly I'm feeling, so I've been practicing taking a beat after the incessant "How are you?/Good, how are you?" exchange to remind myself that I'm lying. It sucks, to be honest, but I don't want the bottom of my world to fall out without me noticing.

    Thank you, Manka, for hosting this space; thank you, everyone, for being here to listen. I don't really want anything from other people right now other than sympathy and support, but it's so good to know this community is here.

    • Lynn says:

      Ugh, I'm so sorry you are having a hard time. Please be gentle with yourself and don't feel like you "have" to do anything.

      I don't know why, but since my run of calamity started, I've found it easier to reply to "How are you?" with "OK." or "Fine." Which for me basically means "I am functioning in this moment and able to have this conversation,that is all I am capable of right now." YMMV.

    • CleverManka says:

      <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/365519/365519_900.gif"&gt;
      I've been having difficulty with reality, too. It's pretty shitty right now, no doubt. I'm glad to provide this space for you (and everyone).

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Oh I know your situation very well, or my own version thereof. It's hellish, isn't it?

      jenavira, you are valuable and important. Please don't believe depression's lies. You deserve to feel better. Please try each day to move a tiny step closer to getting a therapist. Is there a way we Mankans can help you do that?

      Regardless of what you or we can or cannot do, keep posting here. Even if all you can type is "I'm here."

      ::Toasthugs::

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      The world is a terrifying place for a lot of people right now, but it's probably a bit of depression too. It won't always feel this bad, I promise.

      You're brilliant and funny and bursting with creative energy (I'm using the amazing silmarillion rewrite as proof of this), and you're going to feel that way again.

    • meat_lord says:

      I'm currently in High-Functioning Depression mode: I go to work and no one notices anything wrong, I go home and sleep and eat and basically don't do anything else, and I'm anxious and sad all the time.

      …oh. WOW, FAMILIAR. I have the greatest of sympathies for your current situation. Many hugs to you, jenavira. Let's go find therapists.

    • vladazhael says:

      You are wonderful and I am always glad to see you here and I applaud your self-care consciousness even in the midst of the funk. Consider sympathy and support very much forthcoming, and if there's anything else I or we can do, consider that available as well.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm sorry you're having a bad time of it lately. I totally understand as I took have been walking around with this simmering pool of anger, worry, depression, anxiety, etc., and it takes a TOLL on you. I wish you the best of luck finding a therapist when you're ready. <3

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I'm so sorry you're currently having a rough time. The world is indeed terrifying in many ways, and I hope you can find comfort/healing in any ways that are available to you, including being on here, if it helps.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      all the hugs, and all the sympathy

    • ru_ri says:

      I'm so sorry things are tough. Please take care of yourself as much as you can. Your contributions here are really wonderful and make me wish I knew you in real life. I am glad you're here with us! Sending all possible hugs and sympathy.

  6. Lynn says:

    I am not going to talk about my health. I am bored with my health and looking forward to being able to talk in terms of recovery by next week.

    I am about to hire somebody at work. I have never hired a real employee before — I've hired student workers, but not someone where I had to make a salary offer. The candidate we want to hire seems like she's going to be a really great fit, too (we actually moved up our timeline to pre-surgery for making an offer because she's so great we're worried we'll lose her to someone else). And then when I get back from surgery I will hopefully have a full-time direct report to help me out.

    Also the NYPL has a new open source e-reader so I have been doing a lot of checking e-books out from the library. So far I have read the first two books of the Crazy Rich Asians series, the first book of the Kingkiller Chronicles and all of the Golden Compass series. (I don't know how I missed the Golden Compass as a child, except that I suspect perhaps my Bible Belt public library system may have not had that many (if any) copies to avoid any "concerned citizen" objections.)

    I would greatly appreciate more recommendations in the light summer reading, mystery and/or fantasy vein as at the moment I am still waiting on the second book in the Kingkiller Chronicles to come off the hold list.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Those are all great books! That reminds me that I need to get on the waitlist for the 3rd crazy rich asians book.

      For light fantasy-ish books that are slightly off the beaten path, I recommend All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders and Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore.

    • CleverManka says:

      I completely understand the need to stop talking about one's (un)health and I look forward to reading about your recovery! I'm glad to hear your workplace is supporting you.

      May I please recommend my BFF's United States of Asgard fantasy/alternate universe series? Her world-building is amazing.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Golden Compass: Loved book 1, but I felt like he had a huge agenda and he was more about fulfilling that then writing a coherent story. Still enjoyable, I just wanted to tell him to simmer down by the end.

    • Räven says:

      You're so lucky to get to read the golden compass for the first time! So jealous.

      I'm not sure if they qualify for light… both in the vein of a family-puzzle mystery: I loved the Unseen World by Liz Moore. And very flawed but I'm glad I read it, Aislinn Hunter the World Before us. Not sure if enypl has them.

    • jenavira says:

      Light summer reading… I love Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, they're so delightfully frothy. Stick to ones published after 1940 for less egregious sexism (which is most of them, but those early ones are rough sometimes).

      Naomi Novik's Temeraire series (starting with His Majesty's Dragon) is Napoleonic War-era historical fantasy where dragons also exist. The first couple are on the fluffy side; they get more serious as they go along (with Lawrence and Temeraire visiting more and more different countries, where dragons are treated differently, and Lawrence coming to understand that the way England treats dragons, who are intelligent creatures, is unsupportable) but they're never heavy.

      Tad Williams is coming out with a new Osten Ard novel, so if you've ever read The Dragonbone Chair this might be a good time to revisit it (if you haven't, it's probably not good enough to wade through at this time of your life, I haven't read it since I was about thirteen but I remember it being pretty much Standard Fantasy Tome)

    • meat_lord says:

      If a swashbuckling fantasy heist flick novel sounds good, you might try The Lies of Locke Lamora and the rest of the Gentleman Bastard series. If you like conmen, trickster-types, or characters who just cannot manage to stay out of trouble, it will probably be your cup of tea.

      However, uh, it's my idea of light reading, so amid all the wit and shenanigans, there's a lot of blood and gore and unspeakable crimes. (Yes on child abuse, no on sexual assault… as far as I recall.) (And I have AGGRESSIVELY MIXED FEELINGS on the twist in the third book, but that's neither here nor there…)

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I love Martha Wells and I desperately want more people to love her stuff so I have company! She wrote a series about shape shifting, colony dwelling lizardy people with wings called Raksura starting with The Cloud Roads and going on through two more books and some short stories. She wrote a series of books called, in aggregate, The Fall of Ile Rein, starting with The Wizard Hunters and proceeding through the most spectacular landscapes I have ever read about – she has a cinematic voice, if that makes sense? She's got some stand alone books, including a prequel to The Fall of Ile Rein, some YA books about Emelie (in the Hollow World and in the Sky World) and most recently she published a novella about Murderbot called "All Systems Red". So you have many different things to chose from!

  7. Heather says:

    Hey, it's me, heathered! Around midday Friday the Chromebook started what surely must be its final death throes, so I couldn't connect to any websites but for some reason my email was still coming through?! I've ordered a replacement, but in the meantime I "powerwash"ed this thing back to original specs, and now I no longer have 2nd screen Netflix privileges, AND I can't remember how to log back in to IntenseDebate! Good times! (I will try to figure it out when the new thing comes.)

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Here, have some pixie dust. ,,…",",,"":;;…""""',.,;'

      It's my never-fails solution to persistent tech trouble. And if you need to know why the troubles began, just blame it on gremlins.

      No, I'm no longer in tech support. Why do you ask?

    • CleverManka says:

      What. A. Nightmare. Ugh. I hate hate hate having to upgrade/replace tech. I hope the replacement arrives in good time and you're able to access everything again soon.

    • mowinda says:

      That sucks! We'll all have to decide not to Internet too much in the interim so you don't miss anything

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Gah!! I hate having to remember passwords and I make ones that don't pass muster and then they don't work and then and then and then…. ick. Also all my sympathies.

    • ru_ri says:

      Great to see you here in spite of technical fuckery! I hope it gets sorted soon–those kinds of things are so endlessly frustrating. Fortitude!

  8. RoseCamelia says:

    Project Move is settling down. I have a new library card. Next, I find a PO box. But I can't leave the house right now; Mr Rose is at work and there are vendors here programming the security and automation.

    CuddleBoy has been on a leash at my side since they arrived. He stopped growling at them after an hour. I tell vendors the dog will not try to hurt them unless they try to touch him. It goes without saying "or unless they try to touch his Rose". I like being able to have strangers in the house in perfect security.

    LittleGirlDog, who is never aggressive, is asleep on the floor in the middle of a passageway. You know how dogs choose a spot where they can monitor coming and going. Except she's lost enough of her hearing that she never wakes, even when strange men step over her while testing light switches. So much for her chosen vantage point.

    Only one more vendor to deal with (pest control) and I can focus fully on unpacking. Boxes everywhere! I typically succumb to Overwhelm at this stage. Had a hint of it yesterday, but fluoxetine is keeping me stable.

    Thanks, all of you, for your support. I feel less isolated just thinking about this community.

  9. Fancy_Pants says:

    I organized a cottage weekend for 12 of my favorite people (and one dog), and it was last weekend and it went perfectly. All I want is to have all my people under one roof making breakfast together. My heart is so full.

    Also I had forgotten about LAKES! You can swim in them in June! I've gotten so used to my body going numb in the freezing ocean all the way through July and August. But small lakes are a pleasant temperature and swimming is so lovely. Also I walzed around in my bikini like it's NBD that I'm still at my highest weight ever. No one cares, I don't care.

  10. Doc_Paradise says:

    I have good news.

    My kidney doc called with my biopsy results. I don't have an active autoimmune disease. That's really good news and wasn't anywhere close to a certainty. My kidneys are more damaged than expected BUT the damage and inflammation is due to the Lithium and I'm off that and won't be taking that again ever. So… the damage is done and not ongoing. This is actually recovery.

  11. meat_lord says:

    I have been at work for two hours and in that time, galaxies have been birthed, civilizations have risen and fallen, and our sun has dwindled to a white dwarf. OY. I am still juggling too much work, and I have too many projects with all sorts of fiddly little bits that have to be remembered and followed up on. And no one reads the actual content of emails that I send!

    I've been struggling with mental health stuff and not getting enough sleep, so my ability to stay above water at work is diminishing. Everything happens so much!

  12. mowinda says:

    I am here to announce that I haphazardly applied to a VA job literally across the country 2-3 months ago and today I had a phone interview with them. AHHHHH I CAN'T MOVE TO CALIFORNIA I'VE NEVER EVEN BEEN THERE (In no way have I been offered a job yet but that's not gonna stop me from freaking out)

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh my gosh! Best of luck with the interview, at least! Even if you don't get (or accept!) the job, it's a nice feeling that they want to interview you!

    • vladazhael says:

      I moved to Alabama never having been there; I am POSITIVE you will be able to handle California under the same circumstances. 🙂

    • meat_lord says:

      Good luck! 😀

      You can ask me all the questions you like about CA, if that helps? I grew up in NorCal.

      • mowinda says:

        Thanks! It's in Oakland, but I'm trying not to get ahead of myself by looking up anything about Oakland yet , ha

    • littleinfinity says:

      <waves from left coast> California says hi and it's okay if you've never been here! We love indoctrinating outsiders into our kale smoothie cult! (Moved to CA in 2002 from Virginia, AMA)

  13. Kazoogrrl says:

    It's been a week. My mom is home (yay!) but she's ignoring all advice about her care (boo!) and my dad is beyond done. And actually, the rest of us are not far behind. I definitely think there are mental health issues, but I really don't know what to do for someone who won't even do the PT to keep herself mobile. I love my mom, but I think I have to divorce myself emotionally from what's going on because it's negatively effecting my own mental health. I need to be actively planning my trip for Feb and I just can't even.

    Work has also been a shit show and I've spent large portions of every day on the phone chasing massive shipments. We're supposed to be open Monday but I told my office I'm taking off, I need a break before I lose my cool all over everyone (and I've already been very snappy).

    Big thing though! We're thinking about getting a dog, a very cat-like/friendly grey mid-sized terrier scruff mutt. What's throwing me for a loop is the idea of changing my lifestyle to have a dog, and I think it's mostly admitting that I am at a place in my life where I'm not going to (insert impulsive fantasy here) at the drop of a hat. Not that I do that stuff anyway. I told myself, if other people can have kids, at 42 I can make the changes to get a dog since I've been dreaming about it for years.

    • CleverManka says:

      I love my mom, but I think I have to divorce myself emotionally from what's going on because it's negatively effecting my own mental health.
      Good for you, recognizing that and allowing yourself to do so. That's a hard thing to do, and it's a really big deal. *hugs*

      DOGGIE! I had my One True Cat and am incredibly disinclined to ever have another indoor pet of any sort (I'm happy with my back yard squirrels) but I love hearing about other people's animal companions. Keep us posted and pictures are always encouraged!

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I love my mom, and we have a pretty good relationship, but if she's going to take her own self down I am not going to sit by and let it happen.

        If you were up for another cat I would offer to deliver the fucking amazing one I'm fostering right now. I envy whomever gets him, he's 15 lbs of former street cat and love.

    • meat_lord says:

      Oh, my heart goes out to you WRT your mom. It's so hard to be taking care of and worrying about someone who won't take care of themselves! Especially since one can't extrinsically supply the motivation to do so. Sigh.

      I love my mom, but I think I have to divorce myself emotionally from what's going on because it's negatively effecting my own mental health.

      You're totally right, and really wise to notice that before you just up and snap. Of course, it's easier said than done, but this is a time to put on your own oxygen mask first.

      Also, DOG? 😀 Your proposed pupper sounds absolutely lovely. Will there be pictures?

    • vladazhael says:

      Get the dog and let it force you to go out for walks and enjoy the world! It is wonderful! (Of course I'm speaking from a place of having just recently experienced this with my new man and his dog, and I am missing it very much, so I am biased.) Also, I wouldn't worry too much over lifestyle changes. There will be some, sure, but most dogs are pretty adaptable when it comes to things like having to stay elsewhere while you're out of town. (Or at least more adaptable than my persnickety cats.)

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        Thankfully betwen friends, parents, and his foster home (who is a neighbor), finding him a place to land for trips is pretty good! I am also looking forward to walks and weekend hikes with a companion that does not talk.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Dog dog dog!!!!

      My younger daughter is basically waiting to be out of the house to have a dog, she has wanted one forever, and we can't here because allergies. Whenever we are driving together, or walking together, any dog that goes by she points out to me, and says "dog dog dog – good dog!" and now I'm doing it too.

      • LaxMom says:

        I am missing my dog so badly. Especially now since we have no indoor pets. I actually caught myself saying that we could look at dogs when we are down by 3 rabbits (we currently have 7 and only 4 winter-proof hutches).
        Yesterday I was driving my mom's van back to her house and there was a runaway black lab who had obviously gone creekwalking in the middle of the road. It took all my willpower not to pick it up and take it home.
        (there were vans behind me, we live semi-rural, and the dog was probably not far from home, so I'm sure it was safe, or I wouldn't have left it).

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          We've found 4 dogs in the 7 years we've lived in our house, thankfully all of them returned to homes eventually.

          We're on a no-more-cats memorandum, fosters only. It's hard, I miss having a big squishy loving boycat around.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        We're like that with dogs (and all cats not our own, to be honest, as well as random farm animals and such). J is actually mildly allergic but he let the dog lick him and put his face in his fur and it went well. Some dogs set him off worse, as well as some cats. We will definitely be a No Dog In The Bed house, and I stand firm on that one.

  14. vladazhael says:

    I should have posted this in my original comment, but brainfart.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for yoga videos on YouTube or otherwise free, accessible sources? Yes, I know, taking reputable classes is better, but I'm looking to ease back into this sort of thing in a way that makes it as inviting as possible, and being able to use my own space on my own schedule is key for that. I'm doing this mainly for the physical side of things, not as much the spiritual discipline, so anything that offers a general full-body stretch would be great.

    • CleverManka says:

      YogaJournal has some fantastic free resources! Sequences, tutorials, etc. I've always been impressed with how much information they put on their website for free.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      I realize this is not what you're looking for, but I've managed to cobble together a semi-decent yoga education on the cheap by bouncing around to PWYC/karma drop-in classes or the odd free class. There are a bunch of free/cheap outdoor classes in local parks in the summer in my area–might be worth checking out what's available near you once you feel ambitious enough to do it in outside of your living room.

      I hope other folks have good youtube-type recs for you! I think that's a great place to start. Yoga is the perfect thing to do on your own at home for, like, 5 minutes at a time even. Getting a quick stretch in the morning reliably makes my day about 10% better.

      • vladazhael says:

        No, that's perfect! I hadn't thought of free classes. I still want to concentrate on at home stuff because getting out to scheduled things like that is not my strong point, but that gives me a next step. Thanks!

    • jenavira says:

      I love Yoga With Adriene, she's very gentle and relaxing and does a good job of describing all the possible levels of more challenging poses (do this if you're just starting, this if that feels easy, etc.) She has a good Yoga for Beginners and Foundations of Yoga series, and every January she does a 30-day challenge with a new (usually half-hour) video every day. I try not to evangelize too much, I don't want to be That Yoga Person, but her videos have been so good for me I want to share the love. <3

    • Xolandra says:

      This is not yoga specific and it is in no way youtube, but I will at every single opportunity always plug the delightful blogblur (tumblog? Kids, idek how you talk anymore) The Exercist: http://the-exercist.tumblr.com/

      She does really great: deconstruction of fitspo; tasty healthful recipes, she is all about MIDDLE PATH, SOD OFF H8RS, you can eat a cheeseburger if you want to, it does not make you a bad person; exercises, including yoga. All sorted, for your convenience, with tags.

    • LaxMom says:

      doyouyoga dot com often has free challenges where they send you links to a week or a month's worth of small yoga online sessions. They have a lot of free mini classes online.

      I used to do namaste yoga tv, it was only a 30 minute tv slot with commercials but it was just enough to get the day started, and was usually a nice flow progression.

    • faintlymacabre says:

      "Do Yoga With Me" has a mix of free and pay videos, with varied lengths and intensities and some target specific areas. I personally really like the ones that are filmed outside, even though I'm not totally sure why.

  15. Xolandra says:

    Greetings friends! LOTS of changes around here, more in comments, cw for pet loss.

    • Xolandra says:

      I put my beloved wesel-face cat down Sunday. The one in my pic for the article that I wrote for Manka? That one. She was so sad, so tired, so old, we finally did it. We are still reeling. I have been wearing widow's weeds (read: all black) all week, and am planning on continuing to do so until the end of the workweek.

      I am ~graudally~ returning to work full time. I am not working every other Friday. Whee.

      I hate hate hate Canada Day (think America's 4th of July) and this year is particularly terrible because sesquicentennial. I live in the capital, and there will be/have been hordes of tourists descending. As an unexpected bonus, one of those tourists is a Toastie, so I get to have a meal with like minded individuals tonight ^_^

      I found the BEST flamingos ever yesterday while walking to my Balinese percussion orchestra: &lt;blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned data-instgrm-version="7" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% – 2px); width:calc(100% – 2px);"&gt;&lt;div style="padding:8px;"&gt; &lt;div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50.0% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"&gt; &lt;div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAABGdBTUEAALGPC/xhBQAAAAFzUkdCAK7OHOkAAAAMUExURczMzPf399fX1+bm5mzY9AMAAADiSURBVDjLvZXbEsMgCES5/P8/t9FuRVCRmU73JWlzosgSIIZURCjo/ad+EQJJB4Hv8BFt+IDpQoCx1wjOSBFhh2XssxEIYn3ulI/6MNReE07UIWJEv8UEOWDS88LY97kqyTliJKKtuYBbruAyVh5wOHiXmpi5we58Ek028czwyuQdLKPG1Bkb4NnM+VeAnfHqn1k4+GPT6uGQcvu2h2OVuIf/gWUFyy8OWEpdyZSa3aVCqpVoVvzZZ2VTnn2wU8qzVjDDetO90GSy9mVLqtgYSy231MxrY6I2gGqjrTY0L8fxCxfCBbhWrsYYAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;"&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;/div&gt; &lt;p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"&gt; Best flamingos ever? Best. Flamingos. Ever. #ottawa #yow #hintonburg #skeletons #summerwalks #summertime #flamingos #macabre &lt;p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;"&gt;A post shared by Renee (@xolandra) on &lt;time style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;" datetime="2017-06-28T12:08:50+00:00"&gt;Jun 28, 2017 at 5:08am PDT&lt;/time&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
      &lt;script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;

      There is more, so much more, but if anyone wants to talk about the entirely salacious pleasure that I get from dressing prettily and COMPLETELY STONEWALLING the cis white dudes that smile at me in response, I am here for that conversation, haha.

  16. LaxMom says:

    I have not been doing the yoga, I have been using the roller on my shoulders and neck, though.

    Kid update: In the first 24 hours the teens were home, they started conversations with me about:
    different types of psychotherapy
    Freud's interpretation of dreams
    solitary confinement and sensory deprivation
    the thickness of the atmosphere
    lucid dreaming (not the same kid as above)
    college tours
    astronaut training
    travel to Mars.

    Since then we've had a sleepover, and Teenboy spent all day at home on the couch *talking* to his grandmother and today *talking* to me.
    I strongly suspect he is applying for a job at this immediate moment.

    I'm broke as heck and haven't heard anything from the lawyer. We've had a bit of a lazy week but tomorrow starts marching band for the 4th of July, bright and early at 8 am. Today I gave myself a "get stuff done at home" day but didn't get much done between kid and car appointments.
    I hate that the idiot is trying to make me feel guilty for leaving them alone. FFS, I finally shut that voice up and summer/the idiot start it right back again.

    The shoulds are taking over a bit but that is where the yoga might help, right??

    • CleverManka says:

      Well, the yoga wouldn't hurt

      Those sound like very interesting conversational topics, I gotta say!

    • Lee Thomson says:

      what an excellent set of conversations! Sounds like they don't get enough intellectual exercise when they aren't with you?

      It sounds like you have sane, solid kids who are fine alone – that is a skill more people need – if it is any help to be told so by an internet friend.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      These conversations sound like the counterbalance to the "Why?" toddler years.

      • LaxMom says:

        That's how it felt, too! You guys are the only ones who would really appreciate the phenomenon, I think.
        Teenboy loves that I got amazon prime, and has been watching scientific youtube videos every time I see him. It's nice to actually see him out of his room, and even better? Sometimes he stops them to talk about it. And he's even been turning on music and reading a book, on the couch. And yesterday he tried to give me a pep talk to go exercise.
        It won't last, but, wow.

        Today they were actually nice to each other at 7 am. I wish I could bottle this!!!!

        ETA: I'm midwestern, sorry, "guys" is gender neutral here.

  17. Flitworth says:

    Today, tiny human has officially been with us a year. A third bonding assessor (now every lawyer has requested one) came today so of course we had to rearrange work schedules so she could be here an hour. One hour and this person can influence whether TH stays with us. I will probably have a meltdown shortly.

  18. Lee Thomson says:

    I am stupid busy but cheerful, so far.

    We're rehearsing The Wizard of Oz, shortened to under an hour and with a ton of slapstick inserted, including people swapping costumes and characters. I get to play the Lion. I sound like Burt Lahr. I love working for this group because I can indulge in my absurd affection for cardboard, markers and glitter. The medal I made for Courage is a thing of ART I tell you.

    Progress on the boat is slowed, but I got seams filled with the first dose of epoxy, and it will have to cure for 2 days because of temperature swings over night. Cool nights are so excellent for sleeping I do not begrudge the time at all.

    For no obvious reason, Mr. Crow is having a dreadful time sleeping, so I am camping in the elder daughter's room while she is working in Boston. We are both looking forward to fixing this somehow. He's working his way up the pharmacopia, starting with children's antihistamines, and increasing severity every couple of days. Any anecdotal remedies are welcome.

    • LaxMom says:

      After a few weeks, much as I hate the dosage method, I stand by flonase. Holy cow, I haven't slept so well in years. I wake up and don't need 6 kleenex to go along with my coffee. This has never been the case as long as I can remember.

      The Dr. said that it's because each of the oral antihistamines block only one receptor, but that flonase blocks 6? or 8? different ones, which is why it is such an improvement.

      cardboard, markers, and glitter…people come to my house through the (still very full of boxes) garage, see "kids' craft stuff" and think, can't you just get rid of all that now? They just don't know how a big gluey glittery mess can feed the soul, sometimes. High impact low risk creative reward.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      You're boat update reminds me of the book "Dicey's Song".

      • Lee Thomson says:

        thank you! That is a spectacular compliment, even if I am doing a very different process than she did. When we were in Annapolis I was thinking of those books, and thinking about Dicey, who felt roughly as old as me. The things Voight describes and when the books came out made it feel like Dicey was part of my cohort. And oh her friend! I LOVED her fierce friend who did ballet and was a token black kid in some things.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          You're welcome! I remember reading it in middle school and not really liking it, then going back and reading the entire series straight through as an adult and being floored at the level of the writing and content for YA readers. There's some deep, heavy stuff in those books, as well as great characters and vivid descriptions. I think I may need to read them again.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Melatonin & Z-Quil are working for me, sleeping in a new house. 5 nights here and I still wake up and wonder where I am.

      A shot of bourbon is a pleasure and helps me get to sleep. Some people find alcohol at bedtime wakes them after a couple of hours. Not me.

      Wishing Mr Crow effortless, sweet sleep.

    • CleverManka says:

      The Wizard of Oz, shortened to under an hour and with a ton of slapstick inserted, including people swapping costumes and characters
      <img src="http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/290907/290907_900.gif"&gt;

  19. ru_ri says:

    Thanks to the Collective Manka Mojo, I have managed to sit for the past three mornings. This morning I had to cut it short because I slept late and had to start working early, but I figure some is better than none. My head is feeling better and my center is more alive. Thanks to you all for your sitting thoughts and intentions! I'll keep sitting for / with y'all on as regular a basis as I can.

    I spent money I didn't have when I found a fretless solid-body microbass on sale, because my room is so small I kept nearly hitting the headstock of Sheela-P against the loft bed. It's taken a bit of adjusting because of the short scale and also it has rubber strings, but holy fuck am I having fun with it. I have put together an hour-long set including several new covers and a song about Mitch McConnell / the current national shitshow. I'm going to start playing for friends and if the response is good I want to try busking…I have a battery powered amp so why not?! (Other than it's kind of terrifying, but I am a firm believer in Doing Things That Terrify Me, so…)

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I want to join your fan club.

      • ru_ri says:

        Thank you! That would be a great honor (and fair turnabout, since I'm already in YOUR fan club). I will work on getting good enough to merit a fan club!

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm so excited about your new instrument! If you ever post another performance, let us know! Buskers are an amazing bunch of people. I would definitely drop a couple dollars in your hat.

      I missed my sitting again because of insomnia + morning dr appointment but I hope to be back on track tomorrow! I still gotta check out some of those guided meditations Dr. Sexy recommended.

      • ru_ri says:

        I missed this morning too because I had to drive north at oh god o'clock in the morning. But I will try to sit for a little bit tomorrow morning. Anyway it's all good, as we are Wayward Sitters and that is how we roll. I'd love it if you could share the guided meditations–at least if you find them useful–I'm ready to try new strategies for redirecting the squirrel brain.

        Busking will require me to Adopt a Persona, I think. Not in a weird way but maybe just the LARPing strategy of pretending to be a Person Who Engages Others. I can be a pretty big ham if I am in the mood, so I feel it won't be an insurmountable challenge.

        Step 1, though: Find a top hat.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I also want to join your fan club, and please would you record some of these and put them on Youtube?

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