Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

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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.

241 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Heathered says:

    Good morning! New medication did not list "bitchy" as a side effect, but that is how I feel. May it pass quickly. Is anyone here familiar with the sex toy called The Womanizer? Is it worth the price despite the name? I'm trying to invent a knockoff with things around the house, which so far has been great comedy but not very sexy at all.

    • CleverManka says:

      Would it be a terribly bad idea to google that toy at work?

    • Absotively says:

      I'm not personally familiar with it, but Oh Joy Sex Toy (NSFW) reviewed it, if that helps. They didn't love it.

    • mowinda says:

      I love the idea of inventing a knockoff with household items. God I wish we could turn that into a reality show. Maybe for HBO?

    • Flitworth says:

      Kinda I love you for this query and your independent efforts.

      • Heathered says:

        I used to review this kind of thing in the zine world (would that I still had the connections to get a demo model!) so it's hardwired in me to think, isn't this just a cantaloupe on the end of a flashlight? Couldn't I get the same result by (fill in the blank)? It comes in handy all the time for non-sex toy problems, but this is the fanciful end of things.

    • redheadfae says:

      Reviews from women who sell sex toys? Way too expensive for the quality.
      I can tell you a secret, you can get the same function from a Chinese skin cleanser thingy, for a lot less. Don't look at the gross blackhead extraction pics, LOL
      They sell them on eBay. http://tinyurl.com/y98nsduw
      I got one as a gag gift once and discovered the other use. It would be better if it had a soft silicone head like the one I had but this is cheaper way to find out if you like vacuum stimulation.

      • Heathered says:

        Oh shit, that's amazing. Worst case scenario maybe the skin around my ears will look nice for once!

      • redheadfae says:

        If you want to get a luxury clit stim, I'd recommend the JimmyJane Form 2.
        Rechargable, water-resistant and has a great "holycrap, that's localized" vibe. https://www.jimmyjane.com/form-2-rechargeable-vib

        • Heathered says:

          Well, there's "want" and then there's "will brain meds allow this to lead to what should be an inevitable conclusion?" as well as "shit that's expensive, at least my hands are free!" But it is really pretty! Like a little bunny looking at you from over a hill.

          • redheadfae says:

            Oh, I totally understand the brain meds. Such a shitty side effect.

            I can't get over the prices of some of the really good toys..the only reason I have it is because I used to sell them and got it half off retail.

          • Heathered says:

            Ooh, jealous, but also happy for you. I ordered a $4.59 thing yesterday because it fit my budget and will be a deductible expense when my inventions start going to market, ha.

          • redheadfae says:

            Yes, do eet!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I'm sorry you have bad feels from meds that are supposed to help.

      For me, though, "bitchy" is a side effect of living in a patriarchy.

      • Heathered says:

        Fair call! Prior stuff made me sleep too much and really wrecked my stomach, but I felt genuinely chipper and was able to do a lot when not sleeping or tied to the bathroom. Now I kind of want to punch everything, and that's not ideal.

    • ru_ri says:

      Argh, IntenseDebate ate my reply to your comment! And it had a corny sex toy pun in it too that I have forgotten now.

      Bitchy is not much fun most of the time, so I hope it does pass quickly. And if you develop a workable sex toy out of household objects, perhaps you can write up a how-to…even an account of your failures would be entertaining.

      • Heathered says:

        Oh no! I hate to miss a good pun. IntenseDebate makes it so you're damned if you dil and damned if you do. (First attempt involved a dental irrigation syringe, the suction-cuppy base of a weird toothbrush and some hot glue. It *did* suck, but not enough to be noticeable, and it fell apart spectacularly. When next I have any money in my PayPal I'ma check out the blackhead removal device and just pray it's quiet.)

        • ru_ri says:

          Hot glue and a toothbrush and a dental syringe! Sweet baby jesus, I just died.

          I will donate to the kickstarter for your and Mowinda's HBO show. Or maybe we should just cut to the chase and start you a sex toy gofundme? Cause I mean $200 is a lot of money and you need at least one backup…

          • Heathered says:

            I did reach out to seven places about writing work this week after a fallow year, and upping my PayPal helped to motivate the effort. But I'm sure there's something I'm just not seeing that can get this done! I mean, not the immersion blender, but something…

          • ru_ri says:

            BACK AWAY FROM THE IMMERSION BLENDER

          • Heathered says:

            Yeah, I want an orgasm, not a frappe.

    • meat_lord says:

      I looked it up now that I'm home, and the site I found it on had the worst blurb. "Love bud" as a euphemism for clit? No thanks, also am laughing 5ever.

  2. Absotively says:

    KonMari update: I have sorted all my tops, and put them all away, and washed the dustier discards, and folded some of the discards and put them in a garbage bag. I should probably just dump the rest in unfolded, but I feel like the folding practice is helpful. Hopefully I'll finish tops before I leave on vacation.

    Avatar: The Last Airbender: Ordered the DVDs after reading so much about it here, have made it through book one, am very much enjoying it. Probably not good for my KonMari progress, though.

    Health: Still have a cough. It's still very mild, but it's been almost a week, so I'm off to the doctor this morning. It does feel a bit better, but I thought that on Monday too and then it woke me in the middle of the night. No updates on other health stuff.

    Vacation: There are three million things I should do before I leave. I have time to do, like, two of them.

    • Heathered says:

      KonMari is so easy to hate, and yet when I smoooooth my pants legs and Cinnabon my socks I really do hate my clothes less (the bar for me and clothes doesn't really go into joy-sparking territory). It's nice to hear about your progress.

    • CleverManka says:

      Eeee! A:TLA! My one complaint about it was that we watched it too fast and I regret not making it last longer. SO GOOD. I thought Legend of Korra was okay (we just finished that last week) but it didn't have the same emotional resonance for me that A:TLA did. So if that helps you pace yourself with the watching…. =D

      Remind me where you're going for vacation?

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      I just read the KonMari book and I loved it so much! I'm debating whether I should go through the process now, or wait until my partner and I move to our new apartment in a few months.

      There's a very good chance the Avatar DVDs will spark joy. I wouldn't mind having them sitting on my shelf at home.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I'm eyeing the KonMari method… and your experience with it. How is it stacking up against other methods so far?

      Any method for making group house simplification and sorting for moving easier right now. We are going to have to move residences in the next year and part of that is sorting through the results of three very different people living together and accumulating stuff by default. We're trying to figure out how to do that.

      • Absotively says:

        It makes me not completely hate the part of decluttering where I have to decide what to no longer own. But it involves deciding about literally everything you own, so it takes a long time, and I gave up part way through last time.

        I haven't tried any other methods, really. I read them and decide they sound unpleasant and never start. So KonMari wins on getting me to start, at least.

        The book is fairly short and clears up a lot of stuff that's hard to summarize, and your local library probably has it. If you think it might be for you, my advice would be to read it and see what you think.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          Yes, the method applies to literally everything you own. But you are not obligated to apply it to everything.

          Identify the categories or spaces that are your priorities for decluttering. Start with those. Then stop.

          Start again only *if* you feel the need to. Any method is only as good as its usefulness to *you* at *this* time.

          • Absotively says:

            Well, yes, this is true. But she's big on it working best if you apply it to *entire* categories, so it supposedly doesn't work as well if you do, say, the clothes in the closet but not the ones put away in a box somewhere.

            Also the thing I *really* need to deal with is paper, but clothes and books also could use trimming, and she claims that the practice deciding about clothes and books will make deciding about paper easier.

            It's definitely possible to take just some parts of it and use, but I think for me at this time the whole thing is probably the right option. I still think I can make it through the whole thing if I keep in mind that it's ok for it to take quite a while.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        As someone who anthropomorphizes my stuff, the holding/thanking items actually really worked for me. It seems like that comes from very Japanese ideas about objects, and it appeals to me. Also, it let me really look at why I've held onto things, and to work through a lot of outside ideas on "stuff". Primarily, I think we're told, "Oh, but what about when you're old and you want to remember things". Um, if letters from high school boyfriends make me feel slightly weird now, why would I want to feel like that when I'm 70?

        It also helped me put to rest some fantasies I had when I was younger, mainly that I needed to hold on to all correspondence because maybe one day I'd be Famous and people would want that to learn more about me. I'm not going to be Famous, most of my writing is now digital, and no one is going to want my kid/teen angst-letters.

        Some of her ideas are a bit over the top for me, I'm not in getting rid of stuff and thinking, "Well, I can always buy it again if I need it", and she's brutal about paperwork. It did help me weed out a lot, though, and I'm still going.

    • Absotively says:

      Cough update: probably just a viral thing and maybe some allergies. My doctor recommended some over-the-counter stuff, and then I got to the pharmacy and there were a zillion options and I got the pharmacist to help me pick some that maybe aren't exactly what my doctor recommended, but I think are more specifically the right things for my symptoms.

      Incidentally, there seems to be no such thing as Tylenol Cold & Flu, which is what he recommended. Instead there's Tylenol Cold, Tylenol Flu, Tylenol Complete Cough Cold & Flu, Tylenol Cold & Sinus, and probably more. And I ended up getting something for just the cough without any Tylenol in it at all. Plus an antihistamine.

      • Heathered says:

        Tylenol Bel, Biv & DeVoe. Tylenol Tony, Toni, Tone. Tylenol Boys II Men, ABC, BBD, Complete East Coast Family. Good lord.

        • Absotively says:

          Ha!

          They do all have different combinations of ingredients, and they do all list what specific combinations of symptoms they're for, so in theory they all have reason to exist and it should be possible to find the right one without professional help. But if you find yourself trying to pick one, I do recommend asking for the professional help, it made things much simpler.

    • Absotively says:

      Second cough update: drugs are great.

    • redheadfae says:

      Ok, what is this KonMari thing of which you all speak?

      Good luck with the doc and getting rid of that cough.. so annoying, I know!

  3. damngoodcoffee says:

    Ended up going to urgent care again on Sunday for my throat- looks like it's just a viral thing that has to run its course. It is getting a little better, bit by bit, slowly, because I've had absolutely not time to rest the damn thing. I have a lecture to 60 people in like 25 minutes (at least I have a mike, I guess).

    Other than that? Work is super frustrating right now, because of office politicking (which is my biggest office pet peeve, in general- I have a lot of trouble operating in a political environment, feeling like people are not being upfront about things and are trying to manipulate situations with fake smiles and strategically timed meetings and the like. It feels too much like high school.).

    I'm going to a conference in NH on Friday with my closest work buddy, though, so it'll be nice to get out of the office then.

    • CleverManka says:

      What a drag about your throat! Ugh, I hope it clears up soon and that you won't have to do any lectures at the conference.

      Wish I could send you some of my Slytherin-ness to deal with the office politics. I don't enjoy that, but I can deal with it well. *sending you snakey vibes*

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Thankfully my lecture went well, and we're just attending the conference, which is really only half a day, so we'll basically get to drive through parts of New England and vent about office b.s., and enjoy a short conference/network a bit. It'll be a nice way to end the week, anyway. 🙂

        And yes- I do not have the Slytherin skills needed to deal well with this kind of stuff. At this point I'm just trying to come to terms with not being able to control other people's behavior, and still encourage my own team to stay positive in the midst of this grossness.

    • Xolandra says:

      Office politics are ze worst. And also why I look blankly at people when they're like "let's be work friends!" No. I have better things to spend my energy on. Just sit at your desk and do your thing and we'll be fine.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Exactly

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I mean, I'm glad that at my current job I get to work with people who (for the most part) I genuinely get along with, which translates both personally and professionally. But I have also had experiences here with people who are incredibly passive aggressive and awful to work (and just generally interact) with who have friended me on Facebook and hearted every single one of my posts, essentially to make it seem like we're much closer than we are. And like, who does that? Why put so much effort into pretending?

    • littleinfinity says:

      I hate office politicking 🙁 That and bureaucracy are my two top office peeves. Good luck today, hang in there.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Right? There's just so much manipulation of the systems in place to pass agendas, and it feels like no one talks about the things they really want to say. Blergh.

    • redheadfae says:

      Throat virus begone!
      Work shit.. is shit.
      But yay for a paid time away… have a little fun!

  4. CleverManka says:

    Saw Dr. Sexy this morning. Took the Burgomaster so he could hear first-hand from the Authorized Health Practitioner a lot of the stuff he's been asking me about (rest, recreational drugs, mood issues). Of course Dr. Sexy simply repeated all the stuff I've been saying, but… Speaking of Health Practitioners, I have an appointment on October 5 to work with the nutritionist at Dr. Sexy's clinic. I'm going to be her very first patient! And she also has Hashimoto's so that's encouraging.

    Dr. Sexy thinks he knows now why the Duloxetine didn't work (and made me feel wretched), so we're trying Wellbutrin now. I took it a long time ago, back before I got (mis)diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and while it didn't help, it didn't cause any negative side effects, so we're starting with a fairly high dose to see what happens. He's also starting me on a teeny tiny dose of doxepin to (we hope) keep me from waking up in the wee hours. And while he couldn't prescribe it, he said he would certainly support experimenting with CBD to help with inflammation (which is exacerbating my fatigue) if I didn't want to indulge in Other Things every day. And since a CBD store just opened about a mile from our place…

    It was a helpful visit and I always feel good when I get to try something new (ever hopeful, excelsior, etc. etc.). I might even have the energy to swing by the grocery store after work since I'm already going out to pick up my new drugs. I haven't had fresh vegetables since Sunday.

    • Xolandra says:

      Appeal to authority. It's a debate no-no, but that doesn't mean that it's not A Thing, too. Big hugs, I hope you find some relief.

      • CleverManka says:

        Yes, very much a thing, especially when one's Previous Partners (his) have been Unreliable Narrators (at best). It was also helpful to have him there because I totally spaced bringing up my utter lack of sex drive and For Some Reason that's been much on the Burgomaster's mind. =D

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Inflammation is fucking awful and it makes everything else more awful. Ditto for sleep problems.

      • CleverManka says:

        Here's hoping that this cocktail of mood drugs, sleep aid, and inflammation reduction will be the final combo that gets the ball up and over the hill. I'm really tired of playing Sisyphus.

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          Ice is my friend. 10 min ice + 10 min heat + etc. Diet changes have helped some too. I hope the dietician can help you.

          But really, it was surgery that made most of the inflammation go away. I'm not sure if I wish that on you or not. It worked… but surgery.

          • CleverManka says:

            Ugh, yes, I would prefer no more surgeries, ever. OH! I did think of you this morning and forgot to mention! If the Wellbutrin doesn't help, we might try small and limited doses of lithium. NGL the ability to offhandedly comment "oh, yeah, I'm on lithium" would give me a small amount of pleasure. But of course I thought of you immediately.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            *both eyebrows hit my hairline*

            What is his reasoning on using lithium?

          • CleverManka says:

            Apparently it's good for helping a body get rid of cortisol levels when the body is unable to do that on its own (which is what he now thinks is my problem–not that my body is over-producing but rather it can't get rid of what is already there). It'd be in teensy-tiny amounts for less than a month duration.

            But we're hoping the Wellbutrin works first. =D

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Ah. Short term + low amount = unlikely to have horrible side effects.

            That said, starting and changing doses can be trippy… feel free to dig around in my journals for the entries I wrote on what dosage changes felt like. Also, be careful of your thyroid while you are doing that. My goitre was likely caused by lithium. Lithium does affect thyroid function.

            Also… wait… I didn't know that about cortisol. I think I need to look stuff up.

          • CleverManka says:

            I'll definitely refer to your stuff if it comes to that! Thanks for being a resource.

    • LaxMom says:

      Wellbutrin works well for me. Good luck!

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      I'm glad you're getting good and attentive medical care. I hope some of these new things help. Interested to hear how the nutritionist meeting goes!

      • CleverManka says:

        I'm looking forward to it! I am not looking forward to the three-day food diary because my food intake this week has been for shit and I know it. Like, it's not representative of how I used to usually eat, but will give her a good idea of how I eat when things are terrible, so….

        • Fancy_Pants says:

          Hahah yeaaaahhhh. That's why I've never managed to consistently keep a food diary. The shame.

          It seems like that's where you'd get the most value out of a nutritionist though. Maybe she can help you figure out some tweaks so that your shit food is less damaging/more nutritious while still being feasible to prepare and eat when you're having bad days.

          • CleverManka says:

            That would be an excellent thing, yes! Good point. Perhaps I'll do two diaries. A "this is what I actually ate this week when I feel like I wanted to die" and a "this is what I would eat/have eaten when I didn't feel like I wanted to die."

          • RoseCamelia says:

            I like this concept. But the data seems more significant side-by-side. Two columns? Notebook with left-of-binding list compared to right-of-binding list?

          • CleverManka says:

            It's only three days of data, and I eat pretty simply so I think just making two different documents will suffice, but it would be an interesting experiment for someone with more energy! =D

    • meat_lord says:

      Best of luck with the new meds!

    • Heathered says:

      Wishing you all the vegetables and for continual improvement even if it slides around and is non-linear. Let me know how the Wellbutrin is for you–it's what I was hoping to try though I'm a little apprehensive as well.

    • redheadfae says:

      Thank Science for affordable medications! I do hope that works out. What did he reason as the failing point of duloxetine? I'm starting to think it's not doing a damned thing for me but making me sweat buckets.
      I'm really excited about the CBD store as well!
      Poor Burgo, he's suffering the same lack as Jbird these days.

      • CleverManka says:

        Duloxetine is focused on tamping down the body's tendency to produce the stress hormones. We need something that helps my body get rid of what has been produced.

        OUR POOR LOST LIBIDOS

        • redheadfae says:

          *Interesting!* Dr. Sexy sure is a wealth of good information.
          Jbird has noticed a shift in my mood, so it *might* be working for me, or maybe I'm just relieved to know that I still have health insurance for Sept and Oct.

          • CleverManka says:

            He really is good at keeping up to date on new studies, etc. He's even admitted that he's using me as a test case for some of this stuff, based on results his colleagues are seeing in similar patients. Neat!

            I'm just relieved to know that I still have health insurance for Sept and Oct.
            FOR REAL

    • ru_ri says:

      These are all really good things! I hope the new meds have good results. Or at least bring in useful data. And I am glad the Burgomeister went with you for a firsthand perspective.

      I have not had any luck with CBD for my arthritis, which makes me sad, because I could get topical preparations easily around here. But I know other people who have found it to be super helpful for inflammation. I hope it works out for you!

    • littleinfinity says:

      CBD is a good idea to try! Seems like it would make dosage easier than Other Things, and also the topical stuff can be applied as-needed (read: liberally).

      If you haven't gone to the store yet, it is beginning to be Brussels Sprout Roasting Season. Oven-roasted brussels sprouts with a bit of balsamic, lemon, olive oil, and salt/pepper… YUM. One of the highest deliciousness-to-difficulty ratios among vegetables, imo.

      • CleverManka says:

        I have NOT been to the store, so thank you! The Burgomaster gets home in an hour and I'm going to make him drive me to the store. I still feel groggy after my nap and don't want to risk driving myself.

  5. Doc_Paradise says:

    Well… things are moving. Possibly even speeding up in a forward directions. That's something.

    I've contacted the mediation training program that I used to be involved with and I'm now on the list of potential coaches for mediation students when that part of the program starts up again. [meaningful work]

    Figure modeling for the drawing group I attend is going to happen and I've been thinking more about *why* I want to do this. I've determined it's a combo of things: 1) I want to explore how I'm perceived and how I present (so I'm looking up powerful because I like that and masculine/feminine poses to see how they differ), and 2) I want to use it as an active exercise in being present in my body (like in yoga). [creative life + body work]

    My Boston trip is moving forward and the planning is exciting. I'm actually anticipating and joyful about this … and anticipation and joy are things I have difficulty with so that's great. [friends + creative life]

    I've reached another level in my commitment to having a physical self. I'm not disassociating as much in exercise and I've managed enough physical awareness that I know when to stop and do. This is excellent because my will always triumphed over my body in the past and this was a major problem. I'd do the thing even if it hurt me. So now, since I'm on speaking terms with my body, I'm pushing it a bit with daily exercise. [body work]

    A younger friend whom Kudzu and I were helping out is doing really well and thanked us by inviting us to dinner. It was really damn nice to be thanked like that and see my advice actually working. That was cool. Usually I don't know. [meaningful work + friends]

  6. Xolandra says:

    The weekend went well, cattens! GentlemanX enjoyed the surprise (altho my mother kind of ruined it, but only in retrospect) trip out to the Hills, but instead of a hike we wound up at the beach because ~so hot~. I thought summer had missed us this year, but nooooooooooooo, turns out it just waited until the end of September.

    Friend who is maybe not really a friend but maybe a trashfire instead didn't ghost? i am honestly astonished. And probably should stop referring to him as a garbage fire. Maybe Garbage Fire In Waiting.

    The friend that I wrote about in my piece on high school reunions is looking forward to being done his one year contract in hOttawa. We see each other Sunday, for the first time in like a month. He didn't really like it here, I do not think. Is understandable; this civil servant life is not for everyone.

    Apparently I like yin yoga now? I've been struggling in my practice of late because brain weasels and I thought I needed a more intense practice but apparently what I REALLY needed was 5 minute pigeon poses. Fleshprison, you are weird, I do not understand you at all.

    Work-related: capitalism is so dumb. Yesterday I expressed my complete and total lack of confidence that anyone other than my direct-person-to-whom-I-report has any idea what my job and the program i run is about and the person I was talking to was like "well a fix is for you to be on this working group that has existed but accomplished nothing for two years" and I was like "HAHAHAHAHAHA, ARE YOU KIDDING ME, I HAVE TO NOT" and now my direct supervisor voluntold me because my knowledge-base is solid and I am an articulate advocate for our program and now i have to be in a room with a) a pile of management (I have the cog job I have FOR A REASON, why are they making me do this?) and b) the director that I literally had to go to the union about twice and whose poor people skills literally broke me before I exited stage left for greener pastures. First time in 4 years, this is a human with whom I avoid eye contact because HELLS TO THE NO, I am not being polite at her. Strategies for dealing would be welcome.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Apparently… this past week has had the hottest day of the year in it. Given that my car thermometer hit 41C when I was picking up the Kudzu of Joy from work… I believe it. It's like the entire seasonal rotation shifted by a couple of months.

      Yin yoga is hard but satisfying.

      • Xolandra says:

        It's like the entire seasonal rotation shifted by a couple of months.

        You are not the only person to have noted this. Behold: the beginning of the end. It's like the scientists who warned us about climate change 20 years ago were onto something.

      • LaxMom says:

        I said to Teengirl, "6 days of 90 temps in a row, we didn't have that all summer", and her reply was, "we didn't HAVE 6 days of 90 in the summer". She was right. That was yesterday. We hit 85 by 11 this morning.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Anti-capitalism solidarity fistbump. If you are in that mood (or just interested in hating the system more) – check out the book Debt by David Graeber. It gives a ton of historical context for how systems of money developed, why capitalism is inherently based in violence, and why people for some reason can't wrap their heads around systems outside of capitalism. I just finished reading it and my worldview will never be the same. Plus lots of fun trivia to spout at people.

      Coping strategies – DUDE LET ME KNOW IF YOU FIND ANY. I have none. Deep breaths and post-meeting treats, maybe? Can you tell your supervisor that you think this is a very very bad idea for reasons a b and c, and suggest someone else that you think should join the workgroup instead?

      • Xolandra says:

        O dear. You're talking to a human here who had to not read Emma Goldman's essays on anarchism because her posited world was TOO GOOD. It made me too sad that capitalism won. I… I do not think I can handle the book you describe, although it sounds like an excellent prezzie for GentlemanX ^_^

        O. I tried to be like "please, capitalist overlords, anyone but me". But it'll be "an invaluable experience" because it will force me to "learn to control my emotions". Like, sister. it's been 37 years. If these here emotions were controllable, I would have worked out how to do it already. I figure on just trying to not get fired. Like, I will literally have to force myself to not peer at my director from across the room and ask her if she has any concept whatsoever about the programs she is in charge of delivering. I might take knitting.

        • littleinfinity says:

          I think Graeber also has some short essays or thinkpieces if you'd like to get the gist without committing to the full book!

          "Learn to control my emotions" – jesus really??? That is so condescending and also unrealistic. As an easy crier with a terrible poker face, I very much empathize with you and these people sound like they need to get space lasered immediately. Take knitting and just try not to stab anyone with the needles. Knit like Madame Defarge, indefatigably, menacingly, until they get too scared of you and you get to leave the group 😀

          • Xolandra says:

            Neat! I am googling excitedly!

            Yeah, my Employer is on a strong "mental wellness" kick and "controlling emotions" in the workplace is a Big Goal for them. I will knit all of my rage into a pair of socks. They will be the rageist socks ever, and my brother will wear them with pride.

        • Räven says:

          <snaps for Emma Goldman>

    • CleverManka says:

      So glad you found a yoga style that works for what you need right now! When I get to start movement again I'll definitely be leaning toward yin yoga. Long, breath-focused holds are my favorite style anyway, so that's nice.

      That sucks about having to be in the group. Ugh. The only suggestion I have for dealing with Terrible Human is to just be absolutely amazeballs and show her up at every opportunity. Motivated by vengeance and spite, etc. etc. Good luck.

      • Xolandra says:

        I like breath-matching, so ashtanga is a practice that Really Speaks To Me. I haven't done it in ages (not since before I could haul my carcass up into a shoulder stand), so i am suddenly v curious as to how that would go these days.

        Re: Terrible Human – I'm not sure she's even worth the effort. I think the line I will walk will be pointing out when the decisions being made by the working group will require a redesign of my program, which no one wants.

    • Lynn says:

      I did not know yin yoga was a thing until two years ago and I love it. Having a prescribed position to hold makes my attempts at meditation much easier (it also helps that I have super flexible hip joints and pigeon pose is a really satisfying stretch for me).

      I am very sorry about the voluntold working group. I am moving into management and getting dragged into more and more meetings and it is SO HARD to not be like "can't I just write the thing myself and not have to explain to you why we can't use that phrasing for this audience"– and I actually like my coworkers for the most part.

      When dealing with people I can't stand I tend to go for being super polite — there is no way this person gets the satisfaction of seeing that I hate them because that gives them power over me. (Also it circumvents any attempts they might make to complain about me to others, if others have only ever witnessed me being flawlessly polite). I suspect this is why the teachers I hated in high school tended to be the ones who nominated me for awards.

      I actually find it easier to be polite to people I know I don't like, because I'm prepared to keep my poker face for anything they might say. Where I get in trouble is when someone who I trust/respect throws out something I really disagree with.

      • Xolandra says:

        I used to avoid the meditative aspects of yoga, but have grown to love them. This might be why my attitude towards yin has changed, for sure.

        I just avoid people I don't like, or stare stonily at them, or, if I have to, I wear a shit-eating grin and *dare* them to call me on it. Politesse is reserved for people who deserve it, because I ain't spending good coin on shit people. But I do understand the strategy, for _sure_.

    • vladazhael says:

      Coping skils… hmm…

      Space laser? That's a coping skill, right?

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Ooof that sounds brutal. The only strategy I can come up with is to pretend you're doing research for a cringe comedy (a la Office Space/The Office) about dysfunctional workplaces.

      Pigeon pose is pretty much the whole reason I do yoga because these hips, in fact, do not lie, and they are particularly candid about how tight they are at all times.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      1. Set Goals
      2. Determine measurable actions that serve your goals
      3. Reserve 10 min the morning of each meeting for rehearsing these actions
      4. Maintain a list of actions for distracting & soothing self during meetings

      Example:
      1. Goals are
      a) avoid being fired,
      b) keep my program from being fucked up,
      c) maintain appearance of professionalism & competence

      2.
      a) I am required to seem to participate in these meetings. I can look up at the speaker every 5 minutes until the speaker sees me looking. Two questions and two supportive comments per meeting should do it.
      b) "I thought my program was already meeting that goal; are you sure changes are warranted?" Must practice that question, with variations.
      c) I'll bring some serious looking binder or folder marked for this meeting, full of detailed tabs. No one needs to know it's full of paper from the recycle bin.

      3. I'm at my best in the morning, so with my coffee, if I have one of these ridiculous meetings that day, I will write out, longhand, in my serious looking binder or folder, reminders to myself: Look up every 5 min, 2 questions, 2 comments, "I thought my program was already . . ."

      4. I can use this time to keep a list of verbatim quotes that illustrate how ridiculous these meetings are, how poorly these people perform, I can make my grocery list, write longhand letters to Granny, write longhand fanfic, sketch in margins, plan my weekend, plan my next vacation, etc. This list is kept in the serious looking binder or folder.

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        BWAHAHAHA!

        *wipes tears away*

        Beautiful.

      • Flitworth says:

        IN this vein, when i'm on con calls I mainly skype quotes of insanity to colleagues. Like today, we have a tool that should be collecting specific stats related to performance of a server. Some of our best people told the development team that the stats are wrong or broken in some way. Response: "they are very close to the real numbers".

        So you could just take note of any real gems for future amusement. Or make your own bingo board.

      • Xolandra says:

        I feel like the goal of "avoid being fired" is perhaps one that I should scrawl across my Useful Binder. And maybe have tattooed on my flesh. Because these people? Irritate me to no end.

        Getting me to talk is not a problem. Getting me to not spit "how do you people purport to manage a thing that you know nothing about" is the greater challenge. I do often resort to letter writing (I love the post!), but alas, on a working group, one is required to Pay Attention and Report Back.

        This is a useful series of lists. Thank you.

    • mowinda says:

      My strategy for groups/meetings like that are to see how busy I can make myself right around the time that they're meeting so I can tell everyone I wish I could make it but I just can't right now (shakes fist at the sky in anger). That doesn't work everywhere though.

      If that fails you should go with Jenna Maroney's advice on 30 Rock which is to start the group by saying the four worst words you can say to someone you've already met "Hi, I'm (first name) (last name)."

      • Xolandra says:

        NOPE. Working groups are not Nice To's, they are Need To's. Like, my workload is designed to allow these :((((((

        NOTE TO SELF: Introduce myself to the woman who signs my letters of offer. A+++ passive aggression right there.

    • LaxMom says:

      omg, I could stay in half pigeon pose forever. It's my favorite relax forward and melt pose

  7. LaxMom says:

    Update later, but major interview in 10 minutes. Eek! Msy they totally not see my hormone breakout.

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    Looking at the possibility of grocery delivery or pick up. I actually LIKE grocery shopping, but if I can reclaim that 2 hours every 1-2 weeks it might be worth it. Polling FB friends for their experiences.

    Also, setting up dog training sessions and J is talking to his boss about working from home one day a week so I don't have to come home at lunch 5x/week.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I like using online grocery ordering/pickup and having it in my back pocket is fantastic. The downsides are substitutions and missing items (I can't just figure out something on the fly), it is mostly useless for last minute or outside of hours purchases, and the online form (LOBLAWS) can be a bit of guesswork to find items. That said, it is faster (in total time), cheaper (no impulse buying), and convenient (no crowds, low energy, scheduled). We don't use it all the time (often because we forget what we need until last minute), but it is very nice to have as an option.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        yes, this – I rediscover grocery delivery about once a year, at some point of maximum overload, and it is just magical! That said, I hadn't realized how much I depend on walking past things and remembering that we are out -I always forget things that I remember in the store, and the cost is always smaller because I don't get rando "fun" things, and there is no last minute stuff.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm very interested to hear any experiences about the grocery delivery if you go with it.

    • Räven says:

      I LOVE grocery delivery. I buy almost all my produce at the farmers' market because I enjoy that (gets me dressed and out in the morning, is sometimes my only conversational part of the day) but we actually have pretty decent delivery vegetables when I want to go that way; almost everything else I have delivered. Cheese! chickpeas! Olive oil! I add to my cart through the week as I think of things, do a final curation and the delivery arrives when I tell it to.

      I've figured out the fresh foods I care/don't care about choosing myself, too – I'll order cauliflower, wild salmon, bananas, I know or trust what I'll get; I don't order broccoli, white fishes, Romano beans, because apparently I'm really fussy about them.
      ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        We eat a lot of raw veggies with out weekday breakfast/lunch, so I'm picky about cucumbers, peppers, and lettuce. Carrots and celery and root veggies, not so much.

    • jenavira says:

      I get Peapod when I don't have the [mental/physical] ability to get to the grocery store and it is magical. $10 delivery fee/tip is well worth it, especially for Stocking Up times: there's nothing like having someone deliver ten pounds of flour, five pounds of dried beans, and a case of beer right to your door. It's easier (and frequently cheaper) if you can take delivery sometime during the day – I can get up to $5 discounted for picking an off day and giving an unusually large delivery window, which sometimes eliminates the delivery fee entirely.

  9. Fancy_Pants says:

    I got bloodwork done a short while ago to see if there's any reason why I'm tired and sad a more than normal amount, and I got my results back yesterday, and all my levels are normal and healthy. YAY!!!…..??? I mean, it's GOOD that I'm healthy, what a gift, honestly, but…

    My brain knew it was silly, but a tiny part of my heart fully believed that I could just take some iron pills or something and then everything would magically fall into place. I even talked about my issues with magical thinking last week in this very place. So I have even more confirmation now that There is Work To Do on the personal growth front.

    Certainly part of my problem is that I sort of vaguely want All The Things and have historically trapped myself in a cycle of exhausting myself by running around madly for a few days and then spending the next few days in bed recovering. So I'm taking the advice of one of you lovelies (damngoodcoffee I think?) from last week and spending some time thinking about who I am and what I want out of life. Last night I wrote out a list of 20 or so big questions for me to slowly answer in my journal over the next few weeks. I even lit a candle to make it more like an equinox ritual! I do tend to be terrible at journaling, but I'll let you all know how this attempt goes.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh, condolences on the need for personal growth. I hope the journaling helps.

      Please consider still tracking your moods and energy (especially if you're already keeping a journal) because sometimes blood tests aren't everything. My blood tests came back in the "normal" range for years (if not in the "functional" range but that's a whole different topic of conversation) before I finally got diagnosed.

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        Definitely. My super nice and awesome doctor was very clear that the cause of fatigue doesn't usually show up as something obvious in routine bloodwork and encouraged me to keep looking into it. I'm planning to take the blood results back to the naturopath and see what she says, but at the same time I can't rule out the idea that a lot of this is psychological.

        I think the mood/energy/sleep journal is going to be a permanent fixture in my life (I mean, ideally), even if just to remind me of things like "Oh, I slept 11 hours last night because I only got 7 the night before that and my body is really committed to this 9 hours a night business."

    • Rillquiet says:

      I haven't tested as low iron since I was a kid, but my desire to chew on ice, something I assumed was habit rather than pica, vanished after I started taking iron supplements. This anecdata isn't to dissuade you from doing other work but rather to suggest exploring your options and doing some experiments if you're interested.

    • Heathered says:

      Oh, Fancy_Pants, that cycle of frantic hustling followed by complete collapse is so familiar. I'm sorry you've been stuck in it, but it's so great to be on the verge of trying something new! Go as easy on yourself as possible going forward.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I hope you find useful and pleasant things that help – bc that sounds hard and tiring.

  10. Räven says:

    My work for the mysterious and difficult New Client went okay but we aren’t in love with each other. He called out of the blue on Sunday evening with a high priority need for a render I hadn’t prepared, and called back five times in the next ninety minutes to check on it. I do want work, but I don’t really work like that. (I would normally have been out to dinner on a Sunday, tbh, you can’t do that to me.) I’ll keep working for him but I would like to know about the schedule more than five seconds in advance next time.

    My habitica team has lost a couple of people lately to attrition, and it is so difficult to find new ones! I know there is a big toast party, but I really like that we are a smaller group – we’ve never topped ten – so quests start usually the same day and then take a few days to complete; I don’t like to have days without an active quest. Grr, argh. I am cautiously trying an ad in the party wanted guild and trying to sift away the middle schoolers.

    This morning I was greenmarket-shamed into buying okra (which I love but I have far, far too much food at home) – the farm guys saw me eying it and explained what it was, and I felt pressure to demonstrate that I'm not 'those white people who don't eat okra'. :eye roll:

  11. Lynn says:

    Today in progress: my boss forwarded me info on a conference and my immediate response was not instant anxiety and "how do I get out of this"? It helps that it is a subject in which I am actually very interested, is actually at a good time for my calendar, and is a train ride away rather than a flight, but still it speaks well of my improving mental state that I didn't immediately go to "ugh, NO" and then have to talk myself into it.

    Mild insomnia is still an issue but I was very careful to let myself recharge my extrovert account over the weekend (good since we have our big fundraiser tonight and a board meeting tomorrow). Now to prep for boyfriend's knee surgery next week and the arrival of my new hire two days later.

  12. meat_lord says:

    Hello all! Hugs for those that like them, etc. etc.

    Cannot focus today. Do not want to be productive. Blaaaaaargh. The weather here has taken a turn for the cold and blustery and I love it. Finally, fall!

  13. Flitworth says:

    We got updated on raises. 2.45% for me (perf review was 'consistently exceeds' for most metrics). I basically told the supervisor I was dead inside because of the known problems that are a problem for my whole team. I still need to work on my resume but I have been reaching out to people each week to let them know I'm looking. I was hoping that I'd get a raise that would over-ride my feels about the job for at least a little while, but nah. Also taking former manager out for coffee in Oct. to talk 'career' more generally. I'm sorry she's no longer my manager but maybe this means she can mentor to some extent.

    Husband and I committed to a half-marathon training schedule (except, I'm repeating beginner weeks and neither of us plans on running a half marathon). Also, cut out drinking during the week with occasional hiccups because, well, life. So far all I feel is more sore and tired from all this but I'm happy with myself for small improvements.

    • CleverManka says:

      Yay for small improvements. Baby steps!

      That blows about the lack of a decent raise. Is 2.45% even a sufficient cost of living increase? Bleh.

      • Flitworth says:

        Apparently the current inflation rate is just below 2%.
        I wonder how to balance the knowledge that I am very lucky w/r/t employment while also identifying that I could earn more and am valuable as an employee. I don't want to appear that I don't appreciate where I am (I so do, I worked at a homeless shelter on a dysfunctional team and no raise for 3 years), but I also don't want to deny myself the additional freedoms* a higher wage brings over any variation on imposter syndrome/misplace loyalty/complacency.

        *largely freedom to adopt more kids

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Your raise sounds like my raise, though no amount of money can counteract my job. A mentor sounds nice!

  14. Lee Thomson says:

    i am grateful for my birthday because I am still here. I am struck again by the arbitrariness of years and others markers of the passage of time, especially when they just seem to whirl past ever faster. Axial tilt produces seasons. The moon is tide-locked to face the earth, and the basic geometry of light makes phases of it through the night (and day) skies, but it is still visible and poetical if you feel so inclined. A year is both a reasonable concept – being in roughly the same place wrt the sun again – and still a moderately frivolous way to count the passage of time.

    In short. I am having a bad time with this birthday. Thank you for your good wishes.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      May your days have many wonderful boat trips and the arbitrariness of the years work in your favour.

      (I'd offer you a weird science device that makes time stand still, but it had some horrible side-effects that the lab is still trying to scrape off the walls.)

      Have a good day.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        Thank you! And yeah, I don't think I want time to stand still, that sounds alarming and like a very bad idea, I just wish I could change it somehow? But really I don't even wish that very hard.

    • ru_ri says:

      I am grateful for your birthday, too, because I am glad you are here! And I agree that years kind of suck as a way to mark age. My personal strategy is to just announce whatever "age" I want to be (mine is "twenty-seven") and then revise the units (currently twenty-months) as time passes.

      May lovely things happen to you today…perhaps you can take some minutes out to just watch the beauty of the sky changing.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        I hadn't thought of just counting months following the birthday that last worked! That is almost as surreal as Jack Benny being perpetually 39…

        We just celebrate unexpected birthdays. I had a HUGE celebration for turning 49 because it is a square number, and everyone brought square foods and it was glorious.

        And you are completely correct, the half moon is out and shining and quite joyous

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Birthday bad times be gone!

      Not helpful, eh? Sorry. It's ok to find a birthday less than happy. The feeling won't last, I promise. Ursa Minor would like to help. Can you load and unload her trailer by yourself? I know it's hot, but there are adjustable shade umbrellas you can attach near the oarlock. https://www.amazon.com/Sport-Brella-Versa-Brella-

      • Lee Thomson says:

        I did test the loading and unloading single handed on Monday, and I can do that, so tomorrow, weather permitting, I am headed to the river to see if I can row up-current easily. Plus and also the heat is supposed to moderate soon.

        Thank you helping me banish the birthday blues!

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm happy you're still here! Sucks that you're having a bad time with this birthday.

      Time is not a constant.

    • Heathered says:

      Very best wishes in hopes they counteract the birthday blues. I spend/waste a lot of time thinking in terms of aging forwards and backwards (like, I'm reversing in terms of my health–have probably never been as healthy as I am now–but still graying and wrinkling and struggling mightily with perimenopause). Can you lean into your art, or float into your boat, for a sense of timelessness? I hope the feels lighten soon.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        I think that is interesting thinking about aging and reversing – I think I got as fit and strong as I ever had patience to pursue in my 40s, and I am late 50s now.

        Yes, I am absolutely going to float my boat tomorrow morning on the river – a NEW ADVENTURE!!

    • LaxMom says:

      I am sorry you are having a bad birthday. How did I forget it is the same as Collegeboy's birthday?

      Does the warm weather extend to your neck of the woods? Have you taken the boat out?

      • Lee Thomson says:

        Happy Collegeboy Birthday!

        Yes, we are too fucking hot, and that also makes me miserable, but I did test whether I can deploy and retrieve my boat single handed, and I can, so the river is next! Woo! Also the heat is supposed to moderate soon.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      dear friends – thank you all, life improved substantially with migraine meds, foncy french dinner and a kid that still thinks she's a lap dog. A lap dog who is getting a degree in Geology and thinking about finishing in three years instead of the usual four. With a ferocious sense of humor.

  15. Kazoogrrl says:

    Oh, I had another thing. Despite my naysaying, I'm actually looking into bullet journaling. The elaborate layouts and such make me feel hostile, so it would be very minimalist, but I'm attracted to habit tracking options.

    • Heathered says:

      Simple bj is best bj, no lie. No washi tape, no calligraphy pens, no teeth.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I could go for a little bit, but sometimes I wonder how people get anything done other than play with their bullet journal. They're at Anais Nin levels of self-reflection.

        • Absotively says:

          I think the fanciness of the fancy ones gets exaggerated a bit – if I go looking at fancy bullet journal layouts, it always seems like a lot of them either are all stickers with a little fancy lettering, or are layouts that only need to be done once a week or once a month. I think it's a bit unfair to assume that someone who spends an hour a week on a pretty layout wouldn't have time to use it.

          I'm definitely not a fancy layout bullet journaller myself, and I'm sure there are a few people who spend more time making them fancy than using them, but I just think sometimes people are too hard on the fancy layout bullet journallers.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I saw a lot of elaborate weekly and daily pages on Instragram, which is where people who do that may want to show off their handiwork. Of course, the time they spend doing the layout may be what they count as creative time, whereas I direct mine at other things (that I'm better at, I'm not a visual artist even though I wish I was).

        • Heathered says:

          I was drawn to the idea because you can do it in any notebook and it's a very stripped-down way to organize information. My basic motto is "a place for everything, but instead I'll throw it on the floor," so keeping it super-chill gets me to eventually log what needs logging and let the rest go. I really like it for that.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Hah, I'm like "a place for everything, pile it on the stairs, ignore it, and pretend I'm organized". What every I use has to be fast and easy or else I just skip it for no process at all.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Mine has gotten progressively simpler and less pretty since I started. I find making a grid with days of the week down the side and habits/moods/sleep hours, etc, across the top makes it look "fancier" just because it's packing a lot of information into a small space. I also bought a tiny book on purpose so I wouldn't be intimidated by big blank spaces.

      Good luck! Let us know how it goes!

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        The notebook I have right now is too small. I have some grid paper at home and I was thinking of trying a very basic book binding to make my own without have to buy anything (because book binding is another thing I'd like to try), and suddenly it's WHOA, SLIPPERY SLOPE INTO A NEW HOBBY!

  16. ru_ri says:

    I have finally managed to dig myself out of the pile of work that came in just before or during the music festival two weeks ago. Two full-length translated books to edit and assorted other stuff…I have been just working nonstop. It's money, though, so it's good and I can't complain.

    The festival was mostly positive. It was also nonstop work, but I got to meet some absolutely legendary musicians and even shared a stage with a couple of them! And had to take over a stage manager shift on short notice and ended up working the set of one of my favorite bands! So that was amazing. But I came away with a lot of mixed feelings. Music is SUCH a sexist environment in some ways, or can be–or am I making it up? Where are the female rhythm sections, goddam it? Why are we always singing or playing "pretty" instruments?

    My interactions with people, though largely positive, left me really needing to take a look at how I am presenting myself and whether I need to dial things back a notch. I am pretty much a poster child for Aries, with all the good and bad that goes with that. I guess it comes down to the fact that if I am going to act like I don't give a fuck whether people agree with me or not, I'd better *really* not give a fuck, or else rethink my communication style.

    Anyway. I am really happy to see so many Mankanauts reporting forward movement, whether significant or incremental, in their journeys! Hi fives to all of y'all!

  17. mowinda says:

    Coworker A resigned last week, leaving me her office which is shared by coworker B who is retiring at the end of this week. Coworker B is also a person who has a LOT of stuff to get rid of and basically kicked me out until the end of the week.

    In the meantime a new interim helping out co-worker has taken to sitting at The Desk Which Is Rightfully Mine while doing her work and between that behavior and her aggressively taking my work and people referring to her as the new person who works here (she's not! she's just coverage!) I am having a hard time not completely bulldozing in and setting up shop and showing everyone their place. I have my feelings under control externally but internally I am VERY MAD.

  18. redheadfae says:

    I am back to work. I made it one day and pain/anxiety/fatigue flared so I stayed home on meds the second day. Third day today was better, but I left early enough to give me a bit of a rest before I go get pin-cushioned. EMG testing today to find out if my legs are really worse off than before since I'm dropping my right foot and have weird nerve ish going on my left leg.
    I don't know if I'll last out the week, but I'm giving it my best.

    My caterpillars are gone, I lost one to Tachnid fly, but I have two little green chysalides turning into Monarchs. I do hope they make it. I miss the Munch-Monsters. I plan to do this much earlier next year, before they get the parasitic attacks. Funny little fat caterpillars are so cute.

    In light news, I'm so looking forward to Empire coming back on tonight!

    • CleverManka says:

      UGH that sucks you're already suffering at the return to work. Good luck with the pin-cushioning.

      • redheadfae says:

        Thanks! Doc and the tech spent a lot of time on my right leg (ouchie) but he's going to go over the results and the MRI to see if there may be anything he's missing. We all just suspect, however, that it's the HNPP, which means I just have to find a way to live with it.

  19. Rillquiet says:

    Following up on last week's "trying to balance hobbies and other parts of life": I stayed an hour past my personal deadline at last night's dance, because every time I stopped to switch out my shoes some other tall dude invited me back out on the floor and I wanted the practice. (I don't say no to shorter partners, but it is easier to balance when both people are around the same height.) So it was tremendous fun, well worth the sweat we all worked up by dancing on a rooftop in 80-degree humidity, but I got home late and am short of sleep. Do people who dance tango not have 9-to-5 jobs, or are they just patching the holes in their circadian rhythms with disco naps and coffee?

  20. Doc_Paradise says:

    Blah… I'm trying to figure out how to make decisions about a place to stay in Boston and the matrix of cost to location to reviews to preferences is making my head spin. It's a lot of money and reviews make me nervous. I haven't travelled in ages and rarely by myself.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      This is probably the opposite of helpful, but the last time I went to Boston, I found a boat hotel? Where you can spend the night on a boat in the harbour?? But it's a hotel???

      My travel partner vetoed it, so I can't tell you if it's a good idea or not, but I just want you to know that it exists.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Pick one travel website, ignore the rest. Just be sure it's one that's well known, well established. Kayak.com, Travelocity, etc.

      First filter criterion: If your solo travel skills are a bit rusty, I recommend a hotel near a T stop. Red or Orange line. This way you guarantee convenience and ease. You can always ask anyone on the street to point the way to the nearest T station.

      2. Filter by star rating: When I travel solo to big cities, I like to spend whatever it takes for a 3 star hotel. Because that's the level of staffing that makes me feel safest in the building. I do OK with 2 stars, if the price is killing my budget.

      3. Filter by customer reviews. Ignore any hotel with fewer than 200 reviews in a city of this size. Aim for hotels that average above 80% (4 of 5 stars, frex).

      I don't recommend reading any reviews. But if you must, remember to reject negative reviews by obviously fussy or inexperienced travelers. It's not hard to read between the lines.

      4. Last filter: price

    • Lee Thomson says:

      It is going to be fun, once you get past the hurdles. It is a lot of money, but you can totally do this. PLUS! We'll get to cross paths, and visit bones and Tiktaalik and other amusing things, and eat sammiches and CAKE.

  21. jenavira says:

    I had a weird day at work yesterday so I entirely missed the discussion yesterday, but I still feel compelled to drop in and say that I'm here, I've been having a rough week but I'm still here, and it's fall now and I am working very hard on Too Witches.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Sorry about your rough week. I hope your "working hard on Too Witches" means boosting your belief in yourself. Because you are *already* Too Witches. Maybe you need practice believing that? Ignore me if I misread. ::Mankanaut-hugs::

      • jenavira says:

        That is part of it, for sure. "A witch should never be afraid of the dark because she should know she is the scariest thing there" and all that. Some of it, too, is connecting to the parts of myself I've suppressed for being "not serious enough" and "frivolous," like having a witchy aesthetic and doing magic that feels right but isn't backed up by any particular coherent cultural worldview. (Man, it sounds silly that I denigrated those things for so long, but I really, really did.)

        *hugs back* Thank you. I really appreciate you, you know that, right?

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