Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

I’m abandoning y’all to attend an early matinee of Atomic Blonde this afternoon. Anyone else planning to see it opening weekend?

157 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    It's been a rough week. Got tickets for the 1:15 matinee of Atomic Blonde today because I was worried I wouldn't be able to stay awake for the 4:15 show.

    Still hampered by this pinky finger injury (which continues to bleed just a little bit so I put some New-Skin on it and am continuing to wear the brace) although I'm able to sort-of two-hand typing around it. The brain meds haven't done anything to boost my mood yet, and I'm still having stomach ick. Not the nausea of that first day (thank goodness) but a general sour-stomach feeling and it's an exercise in will to get food down. Even when I bargain with myself (Eat an entire loaf of banana bread for lunch! Fuck vegetables!) eating is just…super unappealing and I know I'm not doing it enough.

    Fatigue levels are obnoxiously high. I went to another going away party on Wednesday (one of the students I'm closest to–she's a due South fangirl, too) and made sure to leave by 10, but was still completely wiped out yesterday. Couldn't even hold a conversation with the Burgomaster.

    I don't know if it's a product of the fatigue coupled with lack of calories or what, but I'm also super anti-social. Like, don't even want to interact on the internet levels of withdrawal. Social engagement seems overwhelmingly taxing right now.

    Trying not to panic over the fact that next week is my last week of leave and I'm honestly feeling worse than I did in May.
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  2. faintlymacabre says:

    The fiance will be out of town for three days next week, and I can't wait. Blissful alone time! Pizza without mushrooms, here I come!

  3. littleinfinity says:

    Personal growth (shrinkage) report: I have officially lost 10 lbs from my highest weight and I can alllllmost run 2 miles straight through. Almost. 🙂 So I still have a ways to go but I'm happy about this milestone!

    Talked to my mom a couple weeks ago (before hitting 10 lb milestone) and told her about my new running adventures, like "hey I can do a thing better now!" Her reply was "oh wow and I bet your body has really changed!" I said yeah but not, like, dramatically… and she was all disappointed… "Oh. OK." WTF… just be happy for once, goddammit. #MOMS #notallmoms Just for that I am refusing to fill her in on anything about my weight until I have to or she sees me in person. Self-defeating and petty? Yes. Gratifying? Also yes!

    In other news, the health care repeal debacle drifts closer and closer to the unmarked grave it deserves. WOOOO. Happy Friday 🙂

  4. jenavira says:

    I stayed up until 2am watching the healthcare vote. I still kind of want to punch John McCain in the throat, because I did not need that stress last night and he clearly was doing it all for Teh Drama, but at the same time I really, really wanna know what McConnell said on the phone to Trump right before they called the vote. I finally understand the purpose of tell-all political memoirs.

    This is a weird, weird time to be not-cis but not-trans,* to be queer but not gay, to be mentally ill but not disabled. I can pass if I have to, I've done it for years. Now I'm just trying to figure out how hard I should be trying. (Fortunately my therapist agrees that Trump Stress is a real thing.)

    *totally not telling anyone else how to identify, just that I don't feel like I can call myself trans right now

    I feel weirdly better today, as though last night's stress did a hard reset on my body and brain. I'm gonna try to carry that through the weekend with Better Life Choices and more sleep.

    • CleverManka says:

      So glad you got a good night's sleep. Hooray for resets!

    • littleinfinity says:

      Trump stress is totally a real thing, especially when your identity and your rights are up for public debate!

      I told my coworker that John McCain gets exactly one clap for FINALLY stepping in to do the right thing at the last minute. One. Clap. Of the hands. None of this "omg our savior" bs. Murkowski and Collins, on the other hand, deserve a standing ovation (for their votes on healthcare at least).

      • jenavira says:

        Yeah, McCain deserves the bare minimum of gratitude for doing the right thing at the last possible moment. Murkowski and Collins were getting threats – from the federal government, no less! – and held firm the whole time. And Every Single Democrat voted against it, and all those protesters — there are so many people who deserve so much more praise than McCain.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      May all the healthcare bullshit die the death it deserves. What a shitshow. Trump stress is a real thing and I'm sorry it's being forced on you.

      If you feel like answering, would you be willing to talk about how your are approaching not-cis but not-trans? I have used agender for longer than trans and only started using trans (non-binary trans) recently.

      • jenavira says:

        I am approaching it…very much sideways and cautiously, like a wild animal. It's only very recently that I've realized that I'm even allowed to identify as not-cis, and I'm still figuring out what terms work best for me. (Agender? Demigender? Genderqueer? Nonbinary?) I don't feel like I can call myself trans because I haven't done anything about my presentation – I know that's not the standard, but there it is. I'm thinking about cutting my hair (it's longer than waist-length right now, I always wear it up) and buying a binder, but who knows how long that will take. I am basically a mass of Conflicting Gender Emotions right now.

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          *all the camaraderie feels*

          I'm still figuring it out too. Media makes it look so straight forward. So far, of the people I know, I've only found one person who knew exactly how they wanted it to go and made it happen and is unequivocally happy about it.

          I know I'm having social gender dysphoria, but I think I could actually get along with my body okay if I could get rid of all the tar and meathooks of other people's expectations.

          What size binder do you need? I bought a binder that didn't work for me. You can have it if you want. It's an underworks, Tri-top Chest Binder (Black, Large).

          • jenavira says:

            *gender confusion fistbump*

            I've been thinking I ought to be writing about this, because I see so little about the actual process of figuring things out. Conversations here and there, but all the resources seem to be – well, more sure of themselves. That's probably an artifact of people waiting until they're sure to write about it, so.

            Other people's expectations are the thing that gets me, too, the thing that makes me want to change my presentation but also be nervous about it. (Tar and meathooks is such a great expression for it, too.)

            I have no idea what size binder I need; I will do some looking and get back to you!

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            I've attempted to write about my gender journey but the topic is too big (and sometimes I get too angry) to tackle it as a whole. Smaller parts would be more manageable.

            I'd love to be able to signal effectively and get the response I want without having to *explain*. At the same time, dressing for the performance is… icky… and what does an agender person look like anyway?

          • jenavira says:

            I'd love to be able to signal effectively and get the response I want without having to *explain*

            This! This is the goal! It's…well, unfortunately it's so foreign to most people's experiences that you kind of have to carefully curate the communities where you can even begin to expect it, but that is exactly what I want.

            If you figure out what an agender person looks like, let me know. At this point I'm thinking of finding a good hairdresser and asking them to make me look 500% More Queer.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            That's the holy grail, IMO. To be able to be read properly, without having to mangle one's self.

            Many many years ago I read "This Alien Shore" (C.S.Friedman) and the concept of kaja stuck with me like a bright glowing gem. One of the alien cultures had a structured cultural protocol based on symbols that they painted on their faces (kaja). I've wanted that ever since.

            I've found that unusually coloured hair signals queer here (while still being reasonably mainstream). It has the added bonus (for me) of giving people something in my appearance that they can acceptably comment on and small talk about.

          • jenavira says:

            Oh, I loved the kaja in "This Alien Shore." Also the earring-system of sexual availability on Beta Colony in the Bujold's Vorkosiverse. We need more commonly-understood codes for these things.

            I do have a batch of temporary purple hair dye I've been meaning to play with. (I have very long hair, and I've put a lot of work into keeping it healthy, so I've been reluctant to do much of anything with it. But right now my hair reads as either Rennie or ultra-conservative. Color would help push it further toward the Rennie side, at least.)

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Ha! You are the first person I've mentioned it to that recognized kaja. 😀 😀

            Have fun! I really love dying my hair.

    • vladazhael says:

      I didn't even know the vote was going down last night, but I woke up to SUCH GOOD NEWS this morning. I called and left thank you messages for Collins and Murkowski and also sent them happy postcards. I did not do the same for McCain, because even though I'm glad he did what he did, it came with a bunch of performative nonsense and he's getting way too much credit for it already, so I'm just going to stop actively wishing him harm and call it even.

      • jenavira says:

        I was absolutely glued to Twitter from about Tuesday. It was not fun, but oh what a relief! I'm in the same place with McCain right now. (And good idea on the postcards! I may do that tonight…)

      • littleinfinity says:

        COSIGNED. Great idea about postcards/ calling, I should do that too!

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I'm glad you're feeling a bit better today and totally get the stress; as soon as I think about anything that's been going on just in the past week I start to rant and my thoughts start running in all different directions. My mom likes to give me news but I keep telling her that, aside from the briefings I already get from the NYTimes (and stuff I come across on social media) so that I can write in coherently to my reps, I really can't hear any more. I hope you have a really nice, soothing weekend and get as much sleep as you need.

      • jenavira says:

        The tweet that kept going around last night was "What a month today has been," and, yeah. (I have the kind of anxiety where the more anxious I am the more I want to know about a thing, which leads to…staying up until 2am watching CSPAN. I'm looking forward to a break, for a while.)

    • Lee Thomson says:

      That whole flirting with both sides seriously pissed me off, but I am grateful to him for making McConnell cry.

  5. CleverManka says:

    Hey, y'all, quick question–a rep from Rewire News contacted me about including a link to their documentary "which explores the problem of anti-choice intimidation and harassment outside clinics, and what law enforcement is (or is not) doing to address it." I just watched it and it's pretty stressful with no real resolution. Do you want me to include that sort of thing in the Thursday Dump or do you prefer to keep those less grim? Lemme know.

  6. Lee Thomson says:

    hi hi – I have epoxying to do bc the sun is up and the rain is not coming down. Also I lost an entire day yesterday to a puking migraine and the ensuing hangover, but! today is better! I'll take it!

    I'll check back later, in the meantime, have this amazing thing:

    I got it off Jenny Crusie's Argh Ink blog (

    • Flitworth says:

      That article on first fandom loves was awesome!!!

      • Lee Thomson says:

        Wasn't it? It ties into all the feels I've been having about what people like and how they like it, and how other people don't like things as taste signifiers.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I haven't read the article yet (but will, it looks great), but I want to say as someone who has v. little interest in reading romance novels, generally (or, I do, but in fic- reading romance in fic is something I could do like all day, IDK why/what the difference is, aside from the way there tends to be more diversity in fic generally), I love Jenny Crusie. I've listened to her on podcasts and have read her blog on and off and she's just amazing, and she's the fave author of my friend who DOES read a lot of [published, printed] romance novels.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        I love Jenny Crusie with the passion of ten thousand suns. She can write, she can teach, she can talk about pretty much everything, and it is all good. She is one of two authors I recommend to everyone regardless of how they feel about Romance, just on the basis of their writing. The other is Courtney Milan.

    • CleverManka says:

      Booo for puking migraines. *gentle pat*

      I'm thrilled to see that 1D article getting so much traction!!! Thank you for posting the link to the story.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        boo for puking migraines, yay for the modern medicines! with the application of several miracle drugs I could walk and talk for the afternoon – a huge win over life before them

  7. pseudonymica says:

    Hello my dears! I feel like I haven't been around here for a while but I'm not sure because my perception of time seems to be skewed in every direction.

    I just wrote a post and it got eaten by intense debate – I knew I should have copied it when I realized I wasn't logged in. Oh well! Rather than re-write I'll just wave. Maybe blow a kiss.

  8. Doc_Paradise says:

    I woke up depressed today and have gone back to bed twice. The second time I had bad dreams so I'm up now. It feels like I tried to climb a mountain and just slid face first back down and I'm laying in a pile of pebbles asking myself "WTF was I thinking?" I really hate the gut feeling of aloneness and hopelessness and being a burden that comes with it.

    I'm starting to find a bit of energy now (finally) and the mood is not sitting on my shoulders quite as hard right now. I'll probably go outside and see if the sun helps. Then maybe have some tea and finish writing a review. Ironically, the book I'm reviewing is about this.

    [Edit] I want to see Atomic Blonde but I'm not sure if I'm going to wait until Dr. TBD gets back or not. Maybe not… I need to get out of the house.

  9. Flitworth says:

    I'm reading Andi Zeisler's We Were Feminists Once and really liking it so far! Only on chapter two but she has been good about highlighting whiteness as an issue where appropriate and spoke of female-identifying as a group at one point so I'm pumped.

  10. vladazhael says:

    I just go to the office for the day because I worked from home for the morning before my second PT appointment, and it went QUITE well. The therapist I saw today, who I will usually be seeing because she is the resident Nerve Wizard, took a look at my neck hump and pronounced me much too young for it and vowed that we would "pound that out". So YAY. Of course I still need to do my part and watch my posture and all that, but it was good to have somebody on the same "fuck this hunchback nonsense" page as me. Plus she liked my tattoos and she trains puppies to be future helper dogs and she performed a series of miracles to loosen place in my neck I didn't even know *could* be all bunched up. I think we will get along well.

  11. Räven says:

    On Sunday this week, I had lined up a short term tenant (spare BR) for the first third of August and part time work for about three weeks and I was like, this is the turnaround: the tenant will yield another tenant, work brings in more work, this is how it begins. By Tuesday the client had reduced the scope of the project, Thursday the tenant dropped out, and today I'm not sure the work will materialize at all.
    <exhausted already>

    Mornings this week I did this glove puppetry class that I have to say was really hard for me. Despite having read all the Dweck & co research, I still like doing things I am naturally good at – I'll work at them to get even better, but I really value inherent *aptitude*. And I wasn't especially good at this class. I was kind of slow to pick up the concepts, watching the master I had trouble seeing what he was doing, I don't have a consistent technique, I was Absolutely not the star student and in a way it really sucked. Still, I kept showing up and I got better – a little better – and my hands and arms don't hurt as much as they did on Tuesday (two hours a day of practice is ouch) and I bought a practice puppet at great expense to keep working on it but sheesh.

    Tonight I'm seeing a Liam Gallagher concert. I don't really know who he is and didn't like what I listened to, but a friend has comps so here we go. Show is at midnight so I guess it's good I stayed up til two watching c-span for practice?
    Why is life so wearying.

    • Heathered says:

      That is a lot of "oof" to contend with, but kudos to you for noting your puppetry progress. I hate not being good at things too, and it's incredibly brave to toss yourself out there when you know your first efforts can't possibly your best, but I'll bet it has a good and expansive effect over time. Tonight just keep screaming "Play Wonderwall!" over and over and see if he runs offstage in a huff and you'll be doing the Lord's work.

      • littleinfinity says:

        anyway here's wonderwall

      • Räven says:

        TBH watching someone *else* be the star student turned me into every villain in every school story ever. I could feel my heart turn to cold cold ice. That quick-to-learn puppeteer is lucky they still have the use of their hands.

        The teacher had his translator tell me I was thinking too much. Basically that's what I DO, but maybe it disqualifies me from glove puppetry as a métier.

        • Lee Thomson says:

          yes, watching someone else be the star student made me absurdly villainous, at least in my thoughts!

          I looked for some videos for glove puppets – they look an order magnitude more complex than any puppetry I've ever done! They're so tiny! and fiddly! and they have extra twiddly bits to help them spin their hands and things –

          As for over-thinking, I was talking about this with the younger crow and explained I've never really gotten bad results from thinking too hard, and I have been severely bashed about by karma or circumstance when I have failed to think sufficiently…

          • Räven says:

            Oh gosh I should have posted some links! Yeah, they're a very simple basic build, your hand is in a bag with your index finger in a wooden head – but the movements are super difficult and the detailed character work is incredibly hard on your fingers! I can just make one walk and run and prepare to fight, and spin and flip – but all of those I do okay (ish) with my dominant hand, less well with my other hand, and only with difficulty with both at once. It's so hard.

            It's this sort of thing

  12. Kazoogrrl says:

    Weather is supposed to be rainy all weekend, so I'm still trying to devise indoor dog activities while crossing all my parts that J's shows aren't rained out. I may actually leave the house to go see a movie, since I haven't seen WW or Spiderman. Also I made a list of "things I'd like to do around the house/projects I'm working on, but eh, we'll see".

    Nom Nom Paleo posted a paleo char siu recipe recently and I WANT, as well as wanting to make her "ramen" recipe using said BBQ pork (I like paleo recipes for maximizing my veggie intake). I also discovered adding chopped hardboiled egg to extend tuna salad, which resulted in several delicious lunches this week.

  13. damngoodcoffee says:

    Goodness, I feel like I haven't been on here in so long because work's been so busy recently. Yesterday I was at an all day event that I was largely in charge of coordinating, and I was SO stressed, even though everything eventually ended up being fine. But OMG event planning is nerve-wracking, esp. if it's the first time you're working with certain people & offices and you're not totally sure what to expect. Thank goodness it ended up being successful.

    But yes, anyway, one of the things that got me through yesterday was thinking about seeing Atomic Blonde this weekend. I plan to go tomorrow for one of the earliest showings (I go to stuff early). It's in one of those big shopping complexes that also has a Barnes & Noble with a cafe, which is nice when I want to do a little post-movie wandering/browsing.

    What else? My mom is sending me some gluten free zucchini bread she made, which I'm pretty excited about (she also used the eggplant emoji when texting me about the zucchini, b/c she just got an iPhone and is excited about emojis, and I have to wonder if anyone's ever used that emoji when actually talking about vegetables).

    Also our former TL is still trying to make life as annoying as possible for everyone else at work, which, whatever. She came up to me (in the middle of a breakfast for another employee) yesterday morning before my conference to passive-aggressively try and make me feel guilty for not going out of my way to invite her to the conference (the registration info went out on an email list she is not a part of b/c she's not interested in that topic; same as most of my other coworkers who also weren't 'invited'). I just basically said 'uh-huh' and 'yup' until she went away b/c that's how I've learned to deal with that, and it seemed to work pretty well.

    Also also I'm reading my second Margaret Atwood book in the past 2 weeks – I got them at a pretty amazing used bookstore last weekend. The last one was 'Surfacing' and this one is called 'The Edible Woman,' and I'm enjoying them a lot, even though I'm consciously holding off on 'The Handmaid's Tale.'

    Alright, off to read other people's updates now b/c I'm so done with work rn.

    • CleverManka says:

      Forgive me for not remembering this…does TL have an exit date? Or did that get revised? Event planning is so stressful and I am in awe of people who do that as their main job. I'm glad everything wrapped up well!

      My thoughts on Atomic Blonde in a reply to my first post/comment…

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Oh, TL is no longer in that position and has moved offices to a different floor (not a promotion; lateral move), but since her new job description isn't well defined (b/c they largely moved her to get her away from the rest of us, even if they couldn't outright say that), it means she's still trying to cling to her old job; also I'm on a search committee with her for a new senior position we're both going to report to, and she's been causing all kinds of problems there too, so that's been fun.

        Looking forward to hearing what you thought of the movie- maybe I'll end up seeing something else instead, depending on the good/bad points.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I loved the Margaret Atwood I read that wasn't Handmaid's Tale.

      Event planning is hard, congrats on making that work!

  14. Kemnitiri says:

    I have had a challenging week mentally and emotionally. I was asked to house sit for a friend in TX for 8 weeks. Texas is on my shit list, for weather and human progress. Everyone there was SO friendly, but then you get updates bi weekly of all the BS they try to make law. Not a fan. But it IS my best friend asking and I haven't seen them in years since they moved back there. I decided to take their very generous offer, the flights, food, car use(not that I will leave the house) all part of the inticement, but getting to see them for a week is the payoff. Miss them a lot.

    So as the date gets closer (Aug 16), the dread of being there alone with 3 dogs for 7 weeks, in a top 3 states to not visit if you're trans, is starting to seap in. Trouble sleeping all week(more than normal), eating feel-good foods, gaming isn't even helping (which is my go-to coping mechanism). My wife and I haven't been apart more than a week in 21 years. Life without her for 8 weeks ::(

    What have I done…

    Oh, forgot the Atomic Blonde. I am a huge fan of Charlize but I am very worried about this film after all the trailers. So going to wait for it to hit DVD.

    • Flitworth says:

      Where in TX? It's a big state and there is a lot of variation. That said, really hope that your fears are unfounded and you find a comfortable routine while house-sitting. Maybe someone here knows of trans-friendly resources near where you will be?

      Also: Tex-Mex food is the best.

      • Kemnitiri says:

        McKinney, outside Dallas. I know a large community is in Huston, where one of my fav musicians is(Doomstress). But I really have no interest in going out and about in TX. The only other time I was there, they showed me all the things to see in Dallas. They have friends who are gay and in a local church community for L/G but that's not trans and also… church(shivers). I'll take AC and a locked house.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ooof. Good luck being away from your wife for that long. That would be super stressful, but I hope the week with your friend makes up for it and you find a way to enjoy the solitude!

    • faintlymacabre says:

      I hope you get a lot of good doggy snuggles to make up for all the downsides. That sounds really rough (ruff?).

    • Lee Thomson says:

      8 weeks is a long time, I completely sympathize with being worried about being gone for that long. And I am also right with you with a strong antipathy towards Texas.

      Someone explained to me that in TX you have to treat heat the way New Englanders treat deep cold – with respect and counter-measures. So whatever you might do to make cold more tolerable, like starting the car and letting it warm up a little, or staying inside during the worst part of the day or whatever, it is the same except backwards for combating heat.

      I hope you can find a rhythm for the time you are there alone – it sounds like it could be a gift as well as a burden. Lots of room for reading and thinking and (if it was me) making things.

  15. LaxMom says:

    Hello Mankanauts, I am in Canada! (Specifically, burlington, ontario, for the weekend).

    visiting an old friend who I first met on an online mom's group 17 years ago. No, I didn't feel old at all explaining that bit to the border officer…

    I wish I could visit you all. To add hope to us here, I will say that the friend I am with met me for the first time in person when she and her 4 kids crossed the border to bring me a baby present the week before Teengirl was born and we've been IRL friends ever since. Here is to eventually meeting as many of you in person as I can, and to 16 more years of friendship with all of you online and otherwise.

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