Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

Rebloggable from Emm’s Positvity Blog on Tumblr

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.

I’m in another meeting today from 10 to 11:30 CST and I won’t be able to sneak glances at my phone so I’ll see you all after the meeting.


179 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Xolandra says:

    Good morning Mankanauts! Things sure have been up-and-down a lot around these here parts!

    1) GentlmanX: is healing, which means he can work, which means he's leaving, probably for about three weeks. I feel very ok about this. We also continued the Courntey/Kurt convo, and he suggested that he originally mis-spoke, that "the day Kurt Cobain was killed" SHOULD have equaled "the day his body was found", and then we had an interesting discussion about women in rock, misogyny, and some of the weirder aspects of the KurtxCourtney thing.

    2) drunk friend is drunk, and making further demands on me/my time. I am willing to have further discussions about this, but will save for the comments because Unpleasant. But the bad news (for me) is that all of the local al-Anon meetings are either inconveniently timed or Too Far for me to get to :S

    3) I finally couraged up and asked a friend if I could stay with her when I want to see a show and it turns out that she got let go from her job and is TOTALLY willing to come with me and we now have plans to hang out together for the weekend. STOKED because I get to see Nnamdi Ogbonnaya. I know I've linked to this here before, but whatever, maybe someone missed it the first time? https://nnamdiogbonnaya.bandcamp.com/album/drool Also music related: I just really like Tori Amos, y'all: http://pitchfork.com/tv/22-over-under/watch-tori-

    4) And then I read this: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/science/instag…. The headline is clickbaity, of course, but I really really REALLY want to know what the machine would think of my insta account. O, also, I read this: https://www.utoronto.ca/news/first-impressions-u-… and once again, I am just astounded at the capacity that humans have for cognitive dissonance. Like, they legit say that we associate looking tired with being poor, but our cultural narrative is straight up "poor people just need to work harder". I really, really _really_ want a team of humanists to get hold of this data, and also wonder what the results would be if the test population weren't so WEIRD.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      1) Thank goodness, and glad it bought about more discussion
      2) Ugh, that stinks. I did a quick search, would an online meeting work for you?
      3) Glad that worked out!
      4) Whoa, that second one is fascinating

      • Xolandra says:

        Oooooooo, online. Maybe! I should look into that! It didn't even occur to me. Thank you.

        Glad you found the links interesting!

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      All the cognitive dissonance. All over the damn place. That's fascinating.

      I got to see Tori Amos in DC once; I'm not generally a concert-going person, but she was amazing.

      Glad the Kurt Cobain discussion led somewhere good & interesting, and I'm so sorry about your friend/that whole situation.

      • Xolandra says:


        thanks for the commiseration, and I, too, am glad that the Nirvana Hole thing led to an interesting discussion, and one in which it became v clear that I was Not Impressed while not at all requiring me to straight up tell him to check himself ^_^. We may still have to have a conversation about the casual "she's a whacko who had fame to run after", but you know. One battle at a time.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm glad The Conversation with GentlemanX was productive. I have similar ones with the Burgomaster all the time. Because I am not a patient person by nature and have even less patience for stuff these days, I've stopped letting things like "what I meant" and "misspoke" fly (poor Burgomaster) because words matter and people (especially white men–sorry Burgomaster) need to own their words and learn to say "yeah that was a shitty thing to say and I am going to work on restructuring my thought patterns so I don't say things like that anymore." (I am so fun to be in a relationship with y'all.)

      All my sympathies dealing with drunk friend. I eventually had to break up with my drunk friend and I know that's super hard. It's a fine line to walk, supporting her while not opening yourself up for abuse. Hugs hugs hugs.

      Saving the other stuff for when I get home…

      • Xolandra says:

        Words matter so much. I have taken to responding to shitty words and actions with "wow, how amazing for you that this garbage does not affect, you, personally" and leaving it at that. GentlemanX groks, for the most part, I think. he is shacked up with an English major, after all 😉

        Yeah, we might have to break up eventually. But not today. I feel like I have some extra spoons to throw around, and i love her, so I will throw them at her. I'm more worried about her spouse, tbh. because, like, if my friend dies, that's on her. I feel so badly for her life partner, tho, because her poor decisions are affecting his life.

        • redheadfae says:

          Yay for progress! I have Very Pointedly explained that there are some things that my spouse needs to keep in his own head and not throw out as jokes, because they are Not Funny for Women. He's improving, at least, now he'll say "I'm not going to say it". Baby steps. Cheese and crackers, why must white men take such baby steps to learn social graces?

          I'm glad you are giving drunk friend a chance and have the spoons. The best thing you can do is be honest. I know, I have been Drunk Friend and lost some good people from my life, as well as had to leave the love of my life due to his own circle round the drain. I like to hope I've done better now.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            "Cheese and crackers, why must white men take such baby steps to learn social graces?"

            Because they seldom/never get whacked hard with any consequences for their ignorance. It's harder to learn without any pressure.

            I'm not excusing them. I still hold their feet to the fire, even if others don't. Especially because others don't. It's fucking infuriating.

          • Xolandra says:

            O gods, the "I'm not going to say it" dance. My dude, No. You do not get cookies for "not saying it" if you ARE MAKING ME THINK IT ANYWAY. Re: baby steps – exactly what Rose says below. exactly

            O, thank you for reminding me that Drunk Friend is not always forever Drunk Friend. She is a solid human whose company I enjoy thoroughly. She's also a late stage alcoholic. These two things can exist concurrently. But it is hard to remember sometimes.

          • redheadfae says:

            Yes, they can. But of course, you have to set your own boundaries in how/when you're willing to support/be around her. And it may be as hard as "not when you're drunk." I'm so sorry, it sounds very sad.

  2. vladazhael says:

    YOU GUYS. So much… costume stuff…

    I leave at 8am tomorrow. I have not packed. I still have tiny little bits of sewing left to do. I am doing a fabric store run at lunch. I was out rubbing an X-wing flight suit against my truck to weather it this morning before I even had coffee.

    I know I'm going to get everything together like I need to and I know I'm going to have fun, but right now the stress of getting ready is bringing up the stress of other life stuff like coping with the slow burning hell of a long distance relationship and plotting the logistics of moving so it's no longer long distance and stewing over the unfairness of both those things when all I want is really so simple and REALLY NO THANK YOU RIGHT NOW BRAIN.

    …Ok, so the coffee is kicking in now…

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I was out rubbing an X-wing flight suit against my truck to weather it this morning before I even had coffee.

      You are living the right kind of life!

      You are going to DragonCon, yes? My SO has a bit of a sad, his old band is playing Thur night and some other friends are playing there over the weekend, and he is missing his geek rockstar days. And I'm supposed to go camping and he'll be have a dudes weekend with the dog, where they eat new kinds of canned meats and beans he picks up at the African grocery near us. That's a different kind of rockstar adventure, maybe?

      • vladazhael says:

        Honestly, I would take that kind of rockstar adventure over the more obvious version. I love the other ladies in my band and I've found a reasonable degree of comfort with my small local scene, but I still find it socially exhausting and I suspect that when I do skip town, I won't be actively looking to find another band where I live next. Unless something with the right sort of people happens to fall into my lap, I think that itch has been scratched for the time being.

        And yes, DragonCon it is. Which band was your SO in?

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          He was a part of a band that is mainly a couple and was tired of being the third wheel. Also, being on stage and going to other countries was fun, not making any money, getting sick on tour, and leaving me to deal with homemissues were not fun. Now he goes to various Honk! events and that helps. The nice thing is, you can almost always find ways to perform if that's your thing!

      • Xolandra says:

        I was going to pick out that exact phrase for plaudits!

    • CleverManka says:

      YOU'VE GOT THIS, BB. I have a photo of me finishing a costume in the lobby of the hotel half an hour before the pre-masquerade prep stuff. I have complete confidence that you'll be able to pull yours together, too, and it'll be great.

    • redheadfae says:

      You got this… !! I used to say that if I didn't perform with at least six safety pins and an unfinished seam, it would be bad luck.

  3. Kazoogrrl says:

    I'm like the anti-goal person. I wish I could figure out why I'm so goal hostile? It probably ties into not liking long term or travel planning.

    Yesterday it was rainy and never got over 69F (in Maryland! In August!). I happily made red beans and rice and flopped on the couch to watch an episode of Preacher (it's on Hulu now) and my latest silly K-drama, and gave no fucks about needing to be "motivated" or "productive". Maybe I'll give myself through tomorrow to really slack off, then try to pick things up on the 1st.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hate goals, too, because Life Is Unpredictable and loves to shit all over plans so I've learned to develop more…nebulous goals like "practice a mindset of acceptance regarding failure" and "work on listening to your body." Or easy things like "listen to guided meditations at least twice a day."

      We all need fuck-off days and I'm glad you got to enjoy some indulgent TV!

    • Xolandra says:

      I am also an anti-goal person! I don't know when everyone started having 5 year plans, but it makes me DEEPLY suspicious of many people.

  4. Absotively says:

    This comment is mostly medical stuff, though there's some other stuff at the bottom.

    I slept better than I expected for the sleep study. I have been a bit tired since, so I don't think I slept great, but the tiredness is improving. And it could well be something else. Still waiting to hear back on whether I can sleep and breathe at the same time.

    I have started on drugs for my various issues. Iron supplements because I'm anemic, which is kind of obvious in retrospect, and the pill to make irregular things regular. I walked up my building's stairs at about a normal speed yesterday and was only a little out of breath at the top, so the iron is definitely doing its thing. Also I think I'm actually visibly pinker. The pill is so far only partially affecting what it's supposed to be affecting, and I will have to go talk to my doctor again if it doesn't do better. But my appetite improved substantially as soon as I started it, so that's making me very happy, though it's still a bit lower than normal. And I think my skin is clearing up a bit. And my eye problem, which I assumed was totally unrelated, has also improved markedly. So, hooray!

    Ye olde follow-up MRI has now been scheduled through the public system, but the appointment they gave me is in January, so I may pay to skip the line through the private system after all. Either that, or ask my doctor for the referral to the gynecologist now instead of waiting so it can include the MRI results.

    My parents were going to visit in August, and then for various reasons had to change those plans, but they have managed to reschedule. For next week. On a week's notice. So I have some housecleaning to do, and as of now, about half a week to do it in.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm glad all the medical stuff is moving along, and I hope the sleep study results help! A friend of mine did an at-home one, and he's breathing some super low amount at night, the docs did a "Book an appt to do a more thorough one at the clinic NOW", so he's waiting to get in for that.

      • Absotively says:

        This was a two night in-home one. The sleep clinic it's through only does in-home ones, and does them for free (they're not covered through Medicare). So basically, they're a little bit in it to sell CPAP machines. But the stuff they gave me says the actual assessment of the data is done by an independent respirologist, so hopefully that's sufficient to counteract any bias towards CPAP machine selling.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm so glad you're finding some relief through chemistry, even if it's not helping everything (yet?).

      Best wishes for the parental visit. eeeeeeeeeeeeek

      • Absotively says:

        Me too!

        I didn't want to go straight to drugs, because I've had previous doctors who wanted to treat my symptoms instead of figuring out and treating the cause. But now that there's a plan for dealing with the cause, I am fully on board with also treating the symptoms.

        • CleverManka says:

          I hear ya. I was pretty disappointed when the drug option didn't work for me on the first try and now I just don't have the stamina or interest in shelling out the money for an attempt at a different drug. I'll be fine, it's not like I'm a danger to myself or anyone else, just it sure would've been nice to have that little booster. I'm glad you're in a good spot to work on trying that option and I hope you find a good drug-fit soon!

          • Absotively says:

            I am still hopeful that this option will work ok for short term. I need to see the specialist before I'll know what the long term plan will be anyways.

            It sucks that the drug you tried didn't work for you. If you do find the stamina etc to explore other options at some point, I hope the next one goes better. "Not a danger" is of course good, but it's also kind of a bare minimum.

        • LaxMom says:

          This is pretty much where I went with my psych today. Yep, it may take months to a year to stabilize my thyroid dose. Until then, back on AD's, pretty please.

    • Xolandra says:

      O _hey_, I also started paying attention to my chronic anemia lately, I wonder if that is why I feel like I have so many spoons these days! Good call.

    • redheadfae says:

      I'm glad for you on the changes thus far. Damn, that's a long time to wait for a diagnostic MRI. I'd do the referral now, too, maybe the gynee can use something else or get it done sooner.
      Parental visits. ..unplanned. ugh. I finally threw in the towel on cleaning up for them. They are there to see you, not judge your housekeeping skills. Keep that in mind and leave the deeper cleaning for after, when you can shoo any leftover energy from them out the door.

      • Absotively says:

        Yeah. The thing is, it's just to confirm what the ultrasound showed, so I assume I'm pretty far down the priority list because it's unlikely to actually provide new information.

        I'm not going to have the place super clean for them, but I definitely need to clear off the sofa bed. And at least half the dining table, so we have the option of eating there.

        • redheadfae says:

          Oh I totally live like that as well! Any flat surface gathers clutter and projects. It's a good think my spouse keeps it in check.

  5. LaxMom says:

    Shit's getting weird, y'all.

    So I ran out of vitex Friday and instantly triggered a 3 day migraine (yay woohoo not) and major, massive depression and wow, that really sucked because it was my last kid-free weekend before fair and the start of the semester and …I spent it in bed, in pain, hating life and my brain AND overthinking everything I've done for the past 30 years. And then…weird, I tell you, weird. More in comments.

    • LaxMom says:

      SOOO of course negative as all hell with a migraine and disappointed that house not clean/unpacked before school year and disappointed at inability to Life or Adult in general and passive agressive shit from mom (who thinks naturally that despite the fact that I'm barely hanging on, have a ton of deadlines this week and haven't unpacked my entire house, THIS is the week to hold a garage sale and btw could you just go through all the remnants of your past life that are still in my basement so I can sell them by, you know, friday, ok? (Mom, I love you, but fuck off, I'm not doing that right now just so you can empty a few sections in your closet. YES I can get rid of those kid toys/outgrown clothes. NO NOW is NOT the time to do so, can you not see how happy I am that most of the kitchen floor is visible and I finally have a kitchen table that is usable for the first time since MAY, fucking MAY, mom!?? this is NOT the time to comment, "no you don't really have most of your tupperware unpacked because you still have more in my basement". Especially since that all ties back to when I had a farmhouse and fair and canning season and FUCK TI TOOK ME THIS LONG TO BE OK WITH SETTING REASONABLE GOALS FOR MYSELF AND YOU ARE WHY. Of course not saying this. While being flooded in ripe tomatoes, finally finding the missing sweater 12 hours before I needed to have it completed and entered in the fair, getting ambushed by a professor outside of my department literally the day before classes started who pretty much just stole all of my course design work and strongarmed me into it, and feeling like I may literally go an entire decade without being kissed. NOT so into it, mom.

      • LaxMom says:

        Also: pressure from self to keep up with karate, fear if I don't get my thyroid under control I can't karate/climb/walk/exist as an active human, not-seeing-kid-onhis-bday feels. Pretty much overwhelm.

        Also migraines trigger a lot of PTSD/especially with the divorce shit going down.
        ANd guilt over low income/living off of parents at my age/with my kids

        and THEN boom
        manage to get to the office for 2 hours and flesh out most of a dissertation proposal outline. WTH? where did that come from? Is good, yes?

        Friend needs geostatistical theory help–I can do that. Pep talk him. Do get a bit of "save the day" credit for coursework. Check in with archaeo friend who is back on campus.
        I don't care that we aren't even meeting the basic "get the bunnies in the fair" deadline today (oops, forgot I had to tattoo them, gave away tattoo kit, oh well). or cake or knitting. House a mess but also, swoosh, all of a sudden things have places to be put and can go there and is shaping up–I couldn't tell you how this happened. Really. It's like in those dreams when you wake up in a parallel life.
        Friend who needs stat help has boss that wants to hire me. Potential to pay bills again, be a grown up.

        I can't tell if not caring/not being disappointed/nervous is a sign of healthy detachment or I'm going off the deep end in terms of cynicism. In the meantime, Teenboy has physics until 11 pm tonight and will probably come home with another problem like yesterday where we have to figure out the radius of the earth from the beach sunset.

        I can't tell if life is getting manic (-er than usual), I'm getting Zen or I just DGAF. Combination of the above? But in the middle of this process I did get a huge chunk of knitting done, which in the past has been my brain-reprogramming-process-meditation of choice. I don't even care that the hunt to find the knitting that I didn't finish trashed what was left of my bedroom and an overflowing rubbermaid tub of yarn now partially blocks the shower door.

        What did I do that was so different? Not sure.
        I swear, this all sounds very mundane, but it's not my usual crazy rollercoaster, this is one of those "working up to something big even my clueless self thinks maybe some forshadowing in a good way is happening" times. Man, I feel like I need to write down my entire f'ing week–even the stupid tv show I"ve been streaming while I knit and the pagan friend I met when my date fizzled have all been feeling like little ?spiritual? nudges in the right direction?

        I'm just gonna sit here taking notes? And hang on for the ride?

        • vladazhael says:

          I swear, this all sounds very mundane, but it's not my usual crazy rollercoaster

          Honey, I'm exhausted READING all that. I think you're okay in whatever mood(s) you need to be in while juggling so much. If you're coping, you're coping, and that's fantastic.

        • redheadfae says:

          That's some ride. I wish you all the best dealing with that mom thing.

          • LaxMom says:

            I have a sister, the long distance "omg mom needs a hobby" phone call is gonna happen soon. Im sure my mom is dealing with my dad being out of work and driving her crazy, but mom pressure spreads outward exponentially and this time im not joining in.

        • Heathered says:

          I'm always struck by how clear you are in your accounting of what's going on. That doesn't make it any easier to live through, but you are sure as heck mapping all the exits and shortcuts by doing so, and I hope it enables you to continue to NGAF and keep your head above water.

          • LaxMom says:

            Thanks. I work hard to keep my sightlines. I earned this vantage point the hard way. I am so glad i dont have to explain everything here.

  6. Heathered says:

    It's supposed to hit 115 degrees here in my verdant corner of Northern California and I am not thrilled about that one bit (a whole week above 100, guh). Feeling fatalistic about either drowning or droughting to death so I bought a tin of snus and am going to revert to my hostile redneck teen years. But mostly I am hoping our Texas Toasts are all doing okay in this incomprehensible weather.

    • CleverManka says:

      revert to my hostile redneck teen years
      I am made increasingly sad/angry/uncomfortable at how my Cold War Childhood influences are helping me (ahem) weather the current political climate. I mean, I honestly thought we were done with ever-present nuclear threats but here we are. Ugh.

      • LaxMom says:

        OH, seriously, trying to explain this to Teenboy (no, really, the nuns made us think we were all DOOMED, you gotta understand, it was all nuclear fallout fear all the time (well except for the part where I grew up 1 mile from a secret nike missile silo farm, ummmm, fallout would probably not have been a problem, lol))

        • CleverManka says:

          When I tell people that my friends and I watched Red Dawn and The Day After as actual how-to guides they look at me like I'm nuts. Growing up in the Heartland in the 80s was fucked up on so many levels, especially when it came to war (nuclear and conventional).

          • Heathered says:

            I'd like to watch The Day After now. It sure scared the shit out of me as a kid, but I was also scared by a movie about roly-poly-looking bugs that set people on fire for some reason.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            Nothing ever scared me like The Birds. It can be interpreted as post apocalyptic.

          • CleverManka says:

            There was an anniversary showing of that at the local arthouse theater (a lot of the film was shot in Lawrence, after all) but I foolishly didn't attend. I hadn't seen it since the original airing and I couldn't imagine it would hold up.

            The Burgomaster and I did see the Red Dawn remake and even though we went in with low expectations, it was still surprisingly bad.

  7. Lynn says:

    Training a new person is *haaaard.* She's fine, it's just trying to dial back to level 1 of stuff I've been doing for 4 years at this employer and 15 years total is making my brain hurt, and having to spend more than half my work day interacting with a person is maxing my introvert self out. These are all reasons why I knew better than to pursue a career as a teacher, btw.

    I have gone back to taking the iron supplements prescribed for my anemia (stopped for the surgery and the recovery period on the advice of my surgeon). I think where I most notice it is that I'm actually recovering more of my energy in the evenings instead of hitting the afternoon lull and never quite climbing out. The effect this week has mostly resulted in me crankily cleaning parts of the apartment that we "temporarily" set things in during the unpacking phase that we never went back to (I had a meltdown over the trash and recycling bins yesterday).

    BUT! I have made enough progress on the craft room that I now have a nice little sitting area and enough floor space to do yoga, which has made the whole apartment feel less claustrophobic. And my college best friend, who lives outside of Houston, got in touch yesterday to let me know she's only looking at a couple of leaks and a downed fence at her house, so that was a relief.

    • CleverManka says:

      I am kind of grateful that my university has no system in place for previous job-holders to train new people (they just throw us in the deep end and hope we figure out how to swim) because I know I would be terrible at training someone for my position. I have a handbook that I've created over the 17 years I've been here, but actually doing it in person? Ugh, I would be so so so bad, for similar reasons that you mention. Good luck. How many days of training do you have to officially get through?

      • Lynn says:

        Well we don't really have an "official" program for training either, but one of her main tasks is going to be handling travel arrangements and logistics for my big grant review meeting in October, which is a pretty complex endeavor with lots of different types of attendees. Both the people who did these tasks previously had already been here for awhile when I started working with them so even the person I technically trained on the specifics of my event already knew who the various groups were and had worked with them on other events.

        She's definitely picking it up but it's a LOT to absorb so I'm sure I'll have to give her periodic guidance for awhile, although I think by next week I'll have enough tasks handed over that she can keep herself busy and only flag me down if she has a question.

        Thankfully the office manager has her this afternoon to train her on backup reception duties so I can get some of my own work done and rest my brain a bit (she says, while hanging out in this thread).

        • CleverManka says:

          My university often doesn't even post a job opening until the previous person has left, so any institutional memory for that job is just…gone. It's ridiculous. But so so so typical of academia.

          I'm so glad you had support when you started the position and (for her sake) you'll still be around for a while to help her.

    • Xolandra says:

      Training IS hard. It's why it is usually a managerial thing instead of a lateral thing. Remember to add this to your CV!

    • LaxMom says:

      I don't know if I've said this before to you personally, but my midwife told me to take chlorophyll capsules after a major blood loss and it made a HUGE difference. Be careful if you have hay fever, read the label and get ones made from blue-green algae because the other stuff is usually alfalfa and will trigger your allergies. Anyway, she said it was because the structure of chlorophyll is basically the structure of a red blood cell and all your body has to do is swap out the copper in the center of the chlorophyll for an iron and poof, a new red blood cell, instead of having to build a whole new blood cell from scratch. Whatever the science or not, it really helped me when I was super anemic (as is, the doc would have given me a transfusion but didn't want to add to my problems on the operating table, anemic).

    • LaxMom says:

      I keep coming back to this. I am so inspired by the "enough floor space to do yoga" part. I'm going to have to up my yoga game to survive this "can't drink coffee for an hour after meds in the morning" part of thyroid hell.

  8. RoseCamelia says:

    Harvey has moved away from me for good. Finally. Today is our first fully sunny day. LittleGirlDog is lying on the patio, working on her tan.

    Harvey had my county under mandatory evacuation. With an exception for my tiny portion. Mr Rose is a hell of a provider, even if he gets poor marks for partner. He bought us a house in a coastal county, in a suburb of the Bayou City. But this house is virtually *untouched* by Harvey. All I had to do was dig a ditch to drain the yard. And that problem preceded Harvey. Mr Rose found us a charmed neighborhood. Not even puddles in the streets.

    I was checking multiple web pages (NWS, NHC, drivetexas, etc.) hourly from Friday through the weekend, then every few hours until last night. I was constantly updating an escape plan, just in case.

    Mr Rose was on one of the last flights out of Houston Friday morning before Harvey shut them down. I've been alone with anxious little dogs. And they've been alone with variably anxious me. It seems my dogs no longer sleep at night, with lightning more visible, etc. That means I no longer sleep at night. I've had to try to sleep when they do. Now that Harvey is harassing Louisiana instead of Texas, I hope to shift the dogs back to sleeping at night, dammit.

    Houston natives say they've never seen anything like Harvey. The Cajun Navy came to help from Louisiana. They provided rescue after Katrina and other disasters. They say nothing compares to Harvey.

    Mankanauts, give a thought to everyone in Houston metro other than me. They're all in a bad way. And will be for weeks, if not months. There's a lot of loss and distress.

    • Rillquiet says:

      So, SO glad you and yours are okay. Now comes the next hard part.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Of course, the devastation is worse on the coast. But it's a different flavor of preparedness and population above and below poverty line.

    • beaucoup1314 says:

      I can't stop thinking about what is happening in Houston. I'd personally never want to live there. I left New Orleans the afternoon before the debacle here and did not return home for two and a half months. It's nearly the anniversary of that and all those folks are on my mind. Forget about the Red Cross, there are many other places to put your donations.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Agreed. Red Cross donations are not the best way to help.

        We never wanted to live anywhere in Texas. Still don't. But here we are.

        Without functional family anywhere, and without any inherited wealth, we don't get to live where we want. Mr Rose and I live where the work is. Right now, that's Houston. And he's got a very exciting new treatment in the works for some of the scariest kinds of cancer. It's worth the hurricanes.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I'm glad you are okay.

    • CleverManka says:

      I had forgotten that you were in Houston! So glad you and yours are okay. Thank you for letting us know.

    • Xolandra says:

      So glad you are ok ♥ I hope you weather the aftermath equally well.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Thank you. Just gotta unchain the patio furniture and rehab the landscaping to hide the ditch. My neighbor volunteered to help.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I'm so glad you're okay, and will definitely be keeping people in the Houston metro area in my thoughts.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Thank you. I had to shut off the radio. So many sad reports of people in trouble. Mixed with how privileged the dogs and I are. I couldn't keep my emotional equilibrium. Sobbing into a small dog's fur when one's home and loved ones are perfectly fine is a clear indicator to Step. Back.

    • LaxMom says:

      I am very happy that you are home and safe!!!!

    • redheadfae says:

      I'm so glad to hear that you fared well, as did my other friends down there, but the actual devastation that comes to us via media is heartbreaking.
      As always, I cried more over the animals left behind than most of the people, but I just can't fathom being in the "everything is gone" situation.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Yeah, me too. I refused to click on any story about pets and Harvey, unless the headline indicated a happy ending. I'm glad your other Houston folk are ok. For once, the media are not exaggerating. It really is that bad.

    • Heathered says:

      I knew not to worry but the further out this thing spread the harder it was not to picture you and two wiggly furballs in a canoe somewhere. I am so relieved that when you say you've got this the universe falls in line. Praying people can dig out and start over and that we might be able to have an adult conversation about climate resilience, but not holding my breath.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        The dogs would have loved the canoe. They're bred to love boats. Swimming, however, is for less dignified beings. They prefer not to get their precious selves wet.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I posted earlier and it didn't go through, but to summarize : so glad you all are ok, and sending goid thoughts and some donations to your area.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Thank you very much for helping Houstonians. And I love hearing from you.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          My dog's foster mom is driving down there with the founder of the rescue, they partner with some rescues in TX and LA. They are taking a van load of supplies and bringing back 20 dogs (that have been in rescue) so more can move into their places. I dropped off some cleaning supplies they'll need, and when I told a coworker he said, "I have two huge bags of towels and blankets in my trunk", so that went too. I can't imagine driving straight through from TX with 20 dogs in a van, they get all my kudos.

    • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

      I'm so glad you're okay! I've been thinking of you.

  9. Räven says:

    Another week, another pitch for a job I’m not getting. I do believe in lucky streaks (insofar as luck begets luck, and money begets money) but the flip side of that is of course where I apparently live now, the Gobi Desert of un-prosperity. I am weary of this, and I miss going out for expensive dinners. Definitely ready for Fortune to spin her damn’ wheel. Alternating between imbecilic optimism and OPEN TERROR but still actually kind of counting on the former.

    Since I'm home, always, all day, I have been doing well at tackling the basketsful of paperwork that have been piling up and bringing me down, which is actually a real step forward. Clutter doesn’t upset me, but this was a glimpse into what other people say about it – things like “the mail” had heaped up until they were weighing on me. It’s extremely tedious but most of this paper actually has a place it belongs, once I pick up each piece (!!!) and look at it, and it is really nice to see it going away. Yay?

    More of an OT thing but since cheering-up counts as growth, in its way… I went to the rifle range this weekend! Honestly I was not as naturally gifted at it as with handguns, and therefore on the spot I liked it less; however my friend was better than me and because I am a TERRIBLE person I am determined to practice until I surpass her. She is basically ready for us to join the club – a member can go any time and practice using their rifles. I tried a few and they were fine for learning on, I think. The range was much less…. White than we expected, which was really interesting. We thought it would be all cops and lots of Trump. But the other folks shooting with us were two black guys and an asian guy, and we felt surprisingly comfortable. The door guy slipped us an extra box of ammo to split: clearly they don't get enough ladies in there. We both agreed it was nice to spend an hour doing something that keeps your focus outside your own head. "Like figure drawing!" said my friend. So there you have it. Rifles are like figure drawing.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hope Fortune's wheel turns for you sooooooooooooon.

      Yay for fun times at the firing range! My opinion is that it's more fun to polish one's strengths before working on weaknesses, but obviously do whatever feeds your soul. =D That said, I am crap at handguns, so if we ever have to team up sometime…That's awesome about the diversity at the range, and the extra box of ammo!

      • Räven says:

        Where I live, you can't fire a handgun without a permit – not even rented or borrowed at a range. So rifles have the advantage of being a hobby where we don't have to cross state lines.

        • CleverManka says:

          Nice. I wouldn't mind living somewhere that had reasonable gun laws. =/

          • Räven says:

            Yep, I'm not complaining. I'd consider getting a permit to do target shooting for fun, but it's expensive and takes a long time and – perhaps the greatest obstacle of the three – a bunch of paperwork.

    • Heathered says:

      I hope you find an oasis in that impoverished desert and are able to send your camel to bed at a reasonable hour. Looking for work su-hucks.

      • Räven says:

        IT REALLY DOES. I'm used to getting work through word of mouth and I am rubbish at drumming it up for myself and I haaaate it. And I have endless capacity for – well not for leisure, but for keeping very very busy with non-income-generating activities, so I work on all kinds of things, and lose track of how much of an emergency this is going to become one of these days. Must lower my priorities.

  10. beaucoup1314 says:

    There is going to be years of grief and loss. I know this from 2015 with hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding. People, talk to another. People, realize that another's life is yours. Honestly, this breaks makes my heart break – no one should have to live with such devastation. I know that people all over the globe face such every day, but it doesn't mean not to care for your neighbor.

  11. Doc_Paradise says:

    Mmmm… unexplained nausea last night and this morning. The Kudzu of Joy thinks I may have overworked some small muscles in working out because free standing nausea is weird for me. I'm testing out his hypothesis because the only other thing I can think of is that I ate something my body didn't like… but I'd probably feel worse if that was the case. As a result, tired.

    I've been okay otherwise. Grief is having an interesting effect on the household. Sort of a baseline of somber, with a sweep through of "don't need to sweat the small stuff "therefore we can get through it fairly efficiently, and bouts of joy that are probably partially driven by the reminder of mortality.

    I've been watching a shit-tonne of documentaries on youtube too.

    • CleverManka says:

      Random, inexplicable nausea is so frustrating, ugh. And it's not like ab muscles are easy to manipulate like arms and legs to rub out the DOMS. Bleh. Hope it clears up soon.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      My abs send sympathy for your nausea. Turns out ditch digging uses abdominal muscles unneeded for anything else in my semi sedentary life. They don't hurt; they signal displeasure with weird sensations. Not-Quite-Nausea. Advil is helping me. Wishing you swift nausea relief.

  12. RoseCamelia says:

    Warning: details of canine tongue on human face.

    For your amusement:

    CuddleBoy is missing his primary human. Mr Rose left on a business trip Friday. So now CuddleBoy is my shadow, following me from room to room, sitting at my feet when he can't sit next to me.

    He's also giving me frequent kisses. My dogs are of a breed that don't lick. LittleGirlDog's kisses are exclusively for me or for Mr Rose and are very rare, weeks in between. They signal intimacy and feelings of insecurity.

    It's generally a weird breed, so the strange kisses we get from CuddleBoy are not surprising in their oddness. He prefers to carefully, barely touch our eyelids with his tongue. Only mine and Mr Rose's. Mostly Mr Rose's. But since I'm the dogs' only human for now, CuddleBoy has been approaching me for this gift.

    But this dog is a feminist, y'all. Every time, he 1) asks permission, and 2) waits for consent. He stretches his neck in a unique way, aiming his muzzle at my eye, but not touching. If I say "ok" and tip my head forward, he moves in slow motion then pauses, maybe checking for reversal of consent (?), before a slow-motion mostly dry tongue barely touches the inner corner of my eyelid.

    Makes me melt every time.

  13. Rillquiet says:

    Personal fun progress: I'm about 10 months into learning tango, and at the Sunday milonga one of my regular partners stopped by to say I'm starting to look like a proper dancer. That was very heartening, not to mention a compliment to the patience of various other dancers and teachers. (Also, one of my other partners, in response to my comment that I'd spent a week eating roughly 5,000 calories of fantastic ranch food a day, said cheerfully, "Not to be creepy, but it feels like it turned into back muscles." Out of curiosity, I asked what the creepy version was. He didn't miss a beat: "How you doin'." I laughed so hard I didn't even stumble on the pivots.)

    On the less recreational side, the vacation (which was so great; riding horseback through the Wyoming wilderness was exhausting and challenging, and the fast canters and descents down rocky slopes blew a lot of cobwebs out of my adrenal system) drove home that I do need some kind of therapy or meds, because I'm not reacting to even minor stress very well at the moment. The next step is doing something about that.

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh this all sounds lovely. I've been dreaming of the day when I can enroll in ballroom dance classes again. Other Dance Partner sounds fantastic. =D

      Best wishes navigating the meds/therapy stuff for stress. I'm glad that overall the vacation experience was good, if challenging!

    • LaxMom says:

      I am jealous of the dancing and the horseback riding.
      Please give yourself all the time and patience you need to get to your next step–it can be frustrating and slow finding the right therapist. Even with the right support in place. Good for you for taking steps!

      • Rillquiet says:

        Yes, fear of the blah blah involved in getting help is part of what gets in the way of asking. But nil desperandum and all that.

        I got to ride two of these lovely CMK mares, Farabbie and Melody (who is also in the pic at the top of the page, with her foal making a supremely silly face). Farabbie was a treat, but Melody had a canter unlike anything I've ever ridden in an Arabian, so elastic in her motion that she felt more like a big cat than a horse. I have long legs, so I don't often fit well on narrow-withered horses, but she was a glorious exception.

  14. damngoodcoffee says:

    I continue to be super busy, work-wise, and am trying not to let it affect me too much outside of work. I knew we would be busy right now (hiring new people + people leaving/going on leave + website migration + beginning of the academic year = total chaos), but I really need to keep up with actual sleep and meditation and journaling and the like in order to keep my head on straight for all this. When I don't do those things (especially the sleep thing) I spiral into paranoia/hypochondria/anxiety/panic and that is not a good place to be, so. Working on it.

    When I'm busy like this I feel like I shouldn't come up w/new goals b/c I can't focus that far ahead, but at the same time, busy times are when I should do that, because there are always going to be busy times, and it can help you put some things in perspective.

    ETA: on the plus side, it edges closer and closer to actual fall/Halloween season, and that always brings up my mood. I watched 'Hush' this past weekend on Netflix, and then later watched 'Teen Wolf' for the first time, b/c why not? I also got a Bonne Bell Lip Smacker that looks like Jack Skellington and smells like pumpkin spice. All the pumpkin spice. 🙂

    • CleverManka says:

      I read an article recently (did I put it in a dump? don't remember) about adding things like meditation, journaling, etc., to one's written to-do lists along with the work tasks. And yeah, the non-busy times are so rare (if they're existent at all) it's good to build habits anytime. Best wishes taking care of yourself!

  15. Kazoogrrl says:

    A house in our neighborhood put up exterior Halloween decorations two days ago. I call shenanigans.

    • CleverManka says:

      I feel like I'd rather someone leave the decorations up all year than put them up this early? Skulls and tombstones in May are wacky and fun. Before it's even September, though? ehhhhhhhhhhhhh I mean I guess if this was their only free weekend? But…

      • Räven says:

        BEFORE LABOR DAY THO. If you have no free weekend time from Labor Day to Halloween, you have become a person who can't have Halloween decorations up.

  16. Räven says:

    Oh, and as to the assigned topic, I actually am kind of a goals person, but I find it extremely embarrassing somehow? At the same time I am not a PLANNING person – no, I'm a short term planner, but absolutely not a longterm one – so my shameful secret is actually pretty safe.

    I actually do often set goals for sort of short-to-mid-term, like "this quarter" or maybe even "this year", and I'm pretty good at hitting them. Work, household, general erudition and other personal enhancements, I often have a vision of the near future. But don't tell anyone.

    • CleverManka says:

      We need all the planner types we can get in the world, IMO, and to be honest, short-term planning really seems the way to go right now. *looks nervously in the direction of Washington, DC*

  17. CleverManka says:

    Okay, wow, I'm not even getting to posting this until I got home which I guess is just as well because I'm trying to not nap today. I've had a hard time falling asleep two nights in a row (up until 11pm Monday, well after midnight last night) and that's a trend I would like to nip in the bud. I also forgot to take my thyroid pill this morning (because tired) so I hope to be able to fall asleep by 10 tonight. Fingers crossed!

    Met with Dr. Sexy yesterday and he's pretty happy with my progress (I'm glad one of us is–patience is not my virtue). We're tweaking a few of my supplements, adding some, phasing out others, and he wants to start "energy work" my next visit. We were saving that for last (hoping to resolve most of my issues with Tangible Things because I am That Sort of Person) but if having him boost/balance/whatever my chakras might help at this point, I'm down with it.

    However, because the universe doesn't believe in giving me unqualified wins, he also told me that my insurance was no longer accepting his clinic as an in-network provider and won't cover anything anymore. So my office visits will go from a $40 co-pay to $100 each visit (on top of the concierge fee), plus they won't cover any portion of my labs. So now I'm looking at buying independent health care and dropping my coverage through work. At least he could give me the names of the two insurance companies that are amenable to working with him–that'll cut down a lot of my research. Small Blessings.

    Today was the first day I had a meeting outside of my building and sat in a room with a whole bunch of non-department people while wearing my vest. Only one person commented (and she's actually in my department but was representing a smaller interdisciplinary group). I did notice the guy from Military Studies looking at me, though.

  18. Fancy_Pants says:

    Hello you lovely, lovely people. I haven't been commenting much lately but I have been reading and wishing you all the best.

    August was busy in an off-kilter schedule kind of way, and so I slipped out of my gym routine which, predictably, has not been good for my mental health. I know that exercise has to be non-negotiable and I feel silly for letting it slip, but here we are. At least I worked out today.

    Setting goals is a strange topic for me these days. I don't know what I'm capable of in terms of energy and mental health. My life goals have basically boiled down to "be happy and healthy". But I think setting a few small, bite-sized goals and actually achieving them would help me rebuild my confidence a bit. I'll be thinking about that and will report back in the next week or so.

  19. redheadfae says:

    I'm doing a little better. Keeping track of the db cat is helping. A purpose in life, however small, will keep me around.
    After talking things over with my therapist, I'm seeking out a disability attorney this next week. I need to find out if they count STD pay as "income" for SS consideration.
    Look at me, planning and shit.

  20. faintlymacabre says:

    I think I've reached the point in my relationship where I realize we are just too toxic for each other and the only way forward is to abandon ship. Today has been a weird day. My sister called early in the morning, her cat died (that cat was sister cat to the one who died earlier this month) so I had an hour long sad call with sister, then decided to walk dogs while it was cool since I was up anyway. Then encountered super sweet stray dog, who I would totally have kept at home if I lived alone and had unilateral deciding options. But I don't, so took pup to local no-kill shelter and will hope that either he has humans looking for him, or will find a good home. Get home, fiance is getting up, and before I even have breakfast, he makes tasteless joke about sister's kitty committing suicide, tasteless assumption about people who don't microchip their dogs, and says in so many words that my mom moved to another state after she retired because I am inadequate (which is a thing he knows I feel, even though I know it is not the case). It's been rough, since he was fired and I have been unemployed ever since I moved to this goddamn state, but even recognizing all the bad ways in which we relate to each other, and knowing I need to improve…. I just don't think I like this guy. But summoning up the energy to just leave feels so out of reach right now.

    • Absotively says:

      Oof. Best of luck.

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh honey, I hope you have some sort of local support network to help you? Because, yeah, it sounds to me like you really need out of that, and soon.

    • LaxMom says:

      Wow, this is post-abuse me here, saying that no matter what, you will have a shit ton more energy for the rest of your life when you are not around that vampire. Somebody who cared about you would not treat you like that. Think of all the energy you won't have to spend on defending yourself. It will actually feel like 10 times that the first time you catch his voice in your head before it can tear you down. I know its cliche, but the phrase "stop giving him free rent on the space in your brain" really helped me.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I trust your instincts. Do you? He is not being kind. There is no excuse. You deserve better. It is time to plan your departure.

      You don't have to leave today. How about making a list of preparations to leave. With no deadline yet. Just line it out so you can work on one item at a time, as you have energy. That's enough for today.

      Please prioritize finding someone to talk to. I'm not much help, but I'm available at rosecameliatoast at g mail dot com.

    • meat_lord says:

      He makes tasteless joke about sister's kitty committing suicide, tasteless assumption about people who don't microchip their dogs, and says in so many words that my mom moved to another state after she retired because I am inadequate (which is a thing he knows I feel, even though I know it is not the case).

      Ooof. With that as a sample, I would very much like to validate you in your realization that This Isn't Working. Wishing you comfort, strength, and energy.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Maybe I can vaporize him with my Atomic Side-Eye, for saying those nasty things?

    • Xolandra says:

      So, late, but chiming in with another "please trust your instincts on this". We all have brainweasels telling us that we aren't good enough. They don't need reinforcement.

      There's a lot of garbage in the above, but the thing that I see that no one has yet pointed to is which is a thing he knows I feel, even though I know it is not the case. This human is taking something that you have shared in confidence and is using it as a weapon against you.

      This is my line in every single relationship. For example, early in a friendship I confided how much I hate ze mushrooms and said friend suggested that, with this knowledge, she would be tempted to throw mushrooms at me should we ever be out grocery shopping together. I told her that if she did that, I would end our friendship. She was like "over mushrooms?!?" and I was like no. Over the fact that you took a confidence and wielded it against me. People who love do not behave in this way. This is a gross violation of trust. You don't need that from someone who should, at every turn, be helping you become your finest self, not pushing you into being a fucking neurotic mess.

      End this. Or him? Maybe both. But definitely do not take this particular shit anymore. ♥ ♥ ♥

    • redheadfae says:

      Look, regardless of anything physical, this is abuse. Emotional abuse.
      Find a local DV agency and get help. They may be able to assist you in finding other place to live and work and making a plan.
      I'm holding you in my heart because I've been there.

  21. meat_lord says:

    Hello! I am v v busy but thought I would stick my head in and say hi. I hope you all are well, hugs for anyone who would like them.

  22. mowinda says:

    Hello! Work is crazy but I just want to say I found a roommate! She paid for the whole month even though she's not moving in until mid September!

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