Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

Thanks, Jenavira, for reminding that we had a Friday the 13th this October! Is anyone indulging in spooky too-witches stuff this weekend?

144 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. CleverManka says:

    Oh, beloveds. Things are not good. I am going to be spending my weekend on the couch, drugged out of my mind. In a comment because long and depressing.

  2. RoseCamelia says:

    Y'all, I finally heard from my uncles in California wine country this morning. They had left me vmail Monday that the fires were all around them, but they were ok. I left a message Wednesday, but I didn't hear anything until just now. Phone and internet are spotty-to-failing.

    They're still in their home. Sky all around alternates orange flames or gray smoke, shifting with the wind. But they have one tiny patch of blue sky directly overhead. Winds are swirling and somehow keeping fire away from their neighborhood.

    One uncle said, "the forest fairies" are good. I said we no longer use that word to refer to gay men. He laughed. He meant the forest fairies are good *to them*, are protecting my gay uncles.

  3. RoseCamelia says:

    Heathered, are you here? The news reports say your city is fire-free, but I'd rather hear that from you.

    • Heathered says:

      Yep, still here and not on fire at present. We're expecting winds like those that kicked this whole party off again this weekemd, but have since managed to get a lot more firefighters into the area, so hopefully and prayerfully and if it comes down to it bribing the gods-ably if shit goes haywire there are more folks ready to intervene. Really glad to hear your uncles are okay. It's a multi-county shit extravaganza out here.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Glad to hear you're ok. For now. Please check in here again on Sunday? I'm gonna worry about you. ::Mankanaut hugs::

        • Heathered says:

          I'll be around and in touch barring something fully bonkers going down. Ukiah's not even under evacuation alert at this time, so just hoping things remain calm and the wind decides not to bother. We had a 4.0 quake today just for funsies, too. If I go outside and lava is flowing down my street it wont seem weird. Welcome to 2017.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            FFS, an earthquake? Enough already, California. How do we convince the natural forces to settle down?

          • Heathered says:

            Sunday check-in. News here is largely good–the winds were not as bad as feared, and we went from having 350 to 2200 firefighters on hand. Still astonishingly bad for friends and community a mere 10 minute drive from me though, and my understanding is that Sonoma County continues to struggle and increasing numbers of folks are being evacuated. Relief and heartbreak in equal measure.

      • mowinda says:

        Glad you're okay! Was almost going to shake my fists to the sky and yell HEATHEREEEEED in the hopes you would hear me from NY

  4. meat_lord says:

    Work clusterfuck continues. I am still at least partially responsible, but for the love of god, it would really help if people around here would double-check the fucking documents when I ask them to. Sigh. Must change up my process for projects to include a "corner supervisor and force them to confirm the key details with me" step.

  5. Rillquiet says:

    As the cold and dark close in, I'm revisiting episodes of A Podcast to the Curious, an intermittent show about the ghost stories of M.R. James (and, when they ran out of those, other Victorian and earlier stories). It's hosted by two self-described James fanboys and features dramatic readings, inquiries into the text, notes on the author's life and possible influences, and whatever else the hosts find amusing. It is only gently creepy, and the hosts' affection toward "Monty" comes through clearly, although they're not uncritical in their praise and sometimes disagree with one another. It's training-wheels witchfingers at best, but none the worse for that. (I know that ghost stories are a Christmas thing for Brits, but for States people this is good October listening.)

    Pet the black cats that cross your path; they need love too!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Yes, small furry black mammals are the best.

    • CleverManka says:

      That's a wonderful way to welcome the cold and dark season! "Gently Creepy" is one of my faves.

    • Heathered says:

      I might want to steal the British notion of Christmas ghosty reading now.

    • jenavira says:

      WHAT there is a whole podcast about M.R. James and I never knew?!? Amazeballs!

      (If you like M.R. James I am obligated to tell you about The Magnus Archives, a horror podcast currently in hiatus after its second season, heavily influenced by M.R. James and with unreliable narrators out the wazoo. Also the host has the most incredibly enjoyable voice. Even if he is also the writer and therefore an utter bastard (if bad things happen to Martin I am coming after him).)

  6. Fancy_Pants says:

    Today I'm road tripping to my very dear friend's wedding, which is maybe the LEAST spooky thing possible. But thanks for reminding me to download some Spooked podcasts for me and Partner to listen to on the drive over this evening!

  7. Doc_Paradise says:

    I'm drinking Caesars and listening to Laura Mvula. Is that witchy?

    I'm probalby going to clean after I'm done drinking.

  8. littleinfinity says:

    Attending a Witches and Wines early Halloween/ belated bday party tonight! There will be wine and red velvet cupcakes and spooky movies.

    Also, first wedding dress shopping appointment this afternoon! No idea how to do this sort of thing, I feel a little like I am about to transmogrify into a barbie doll?

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Mr Rose wanted me to wear something at least referencing bridal tradition. I was unenthusiastic. Good compromises were found in Mother of The Bride dresses. More elegant, less princess fantasy. And they came in ivory.

      Good luck. I hated the dress shopping. It was so much better after I learned to ask for MotB fashions.

      • littleinfinity says:

        I definitely don't want anything too poofy or sparkly. I'm thinking more subdued, lace, fitted but not overly sexy… more elegant and less princess, like you say. I'm treating today like a bit of a dry run (just going on my own, and it's a sample sale so hopefully low pressure to buy/ not super expensive). So best case scenario, I end up with a dress, and worst case, I didn't waste too much time because it's right down the street from my work.

    • CleverManka says:

      Happy shopping! Good luck! Sounds terrifying!

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Hah. The idea of dress shopping was so fraught for me I just decided, unilaterally, to make my dress and went pattern shopping instead because fabric stores are my happy place. Also because ANY dress is a wedding dress especially once you make it in some drapey white fabric. Actually, any dress can be a wedding dress, full stop.

      • redheadfae says:

        Oh my dogs, same here! My first one I made with yards of gorgeous lace trim on a simple dress.
        Second time around I was on a motorcycle to the Silver Dollar Queen Saloon in Virginia City, NV, so it was leathers and jeans.
        Third, I found a lovely vintage wiggle dress that fit me like a dream and looked as though it had been sewn for someone from a Vogue pattern.
        So, I suppose I've run the gamut. (and now you know another of my shady past lives secrets).

  9. Heathered says:

    Less witchy and more doing laundry, but I am wearing purple jeans. Still planning to NaNoWriMo, though if I get an abundance of paying work or am forced to evacuate I will drop it with no regrets. Made a pretty good soup yesterday–it was supposed to be simple tomato/pasta but I kept adding stuff and I think it's a minestrone now. Therapy is cancelled for the next two weeks to enable all hands to pitch in and help with fire victims, which is super okay with me. I wish there was more I could do to help. Oh, and I'm reading Terry Pratchett's "Making Movies" and it's excellent but I'm worried about Harvey Weinstein-ish content springing up at me out of nowhere. Men ruin everything, including the wonderful things made by other, better men.

  10. Kazoogrrl says:

    Tonight I'm getting together with some troupe mates for low key dance practice. Tomorrow I'll be eating in Hobbit-style at a winery that looks like the Shire (see link for pics). Other than that, trying to pretend my job doesn't exist.

  11. Absotively says:

    I have a new fridge. πŸ˜€

    Am now at work. Finalized my grocery delivery order at lunch, so that tomorrow I will have milk & eggs & butter & frozen foods & condiments & so on all brought to me.

  12. Flitworth says:

    Some way, some how, the goats know when the humans are on conf. calls for work and start making maximum bleat. Fortunately, I was barely audible on this one so nobody caught it but me. It made me think that a good sketch would be some sort of VC meeting where someone just presents a goat because VC is all about 'disruption', just like goats.

    Speaking of men ruining things (above), this is one of the reasons I never understood getting tattoos of living people on ones body. This just seems a risky use of tapestry space given humanity's unplumbable depths of fuckery. Also, I was trying to think of whether I have ever enabled a male friend/associate's inappropriate sexual behavior and suddenly realized that if you told me that this one particular ex-friend pulled a Lannister with his sister, I would not be surprised. And that's weird. Not that I ever saw anything that hinted at that but, like, you know how you just know some guys and realize that whatever their personal behavior nadir is, it's far deeper than you ever want to go?

  13. mowinda says:

    I'm committing my weekend to reading the entirety of the Jezebel scary stories thread and scaring the bejesus out of myself (I am very easily scared)

    • mowinda says:

      aaaaaand a man just stopped in my office while walking by to tell me I looked bummed out and to make sure that I know that the day is going to get better. THANKS STRANGE MAN

    • CleverManka says:

      Those sorts of stories scare me so much more than any horror movie. Reading about (comparatively) innocuous things are worlds more intense when they're related first-hand by people. I mean, there's always the chance that they're lying, but all of them?

  14. pseudonymica says:

    I was just feeling sorry for myself while laughing about the absurd layers of symbolism I'm wrapping myself up in. I'm so happy I came here to share because I didn't know it was Friday the 13th. If there's a cure for melodramatic despair dripping with Light and Dark, it's (Too) Witchcraft!

    Darkness 1. My night vision is bad since my accident. I recently realized that there is actually a pall of darkness over my right eye in the dark – if I cover my left eye all the light gray bits turn murky and indistinguishable from the darkness.

    Darkness 2. The path from my bedroom to bathroom is a wasteland where no nightlight can be plugged in, no light switches exist, no battery powered LED lights last, no flashlights remain, and I have to swim through the blackness with my arms in front of me to feel where I am. Unless the bathroom light is left on, which is VERY SIMPLE. Pseudostepson turns it off every time despite my constant reminders. (He's 22, autism spectrum, teenage attitude, complicated).

    Lightness! My mom and my nephew gave me a cunning green mercury glass globe decorated with witches and lit from within with very powerful LEDs! It lights my path in every way possible!

    Darkness 3. Electrical problems with flickering lights. Kitchen light stopped working, now office light is flickering. We were trying to figure out which breaker they shared. PseudoMr stood outside flipping switches while I ran back and forth from my office to try the light to the kitchen window to communicate with PseudoMr. Pseudostepson WATCHED ME FROM MY OFFICE. I told him to do the light switch part a few times, but I gave up. I don't have any extra cognitive power or emotional labor to spare to guide him with simple things when I have my own tbi issues to fight through and he won't even admit he has a disability.

    Darkness 4. HE BROKE MY GREEN WITCH LIGHT. While he wasn't helping me with the one problem, he broke my light and didn't say anything. It was an accident, but it was predictable – I knew I should have put it somewhere less accessible but then I thought I was underestimating him – which makes it more aggravating. Darkness everywhere! Woe is me!

    I need some Too Witches power.

    • pseudonymica says:

      But I do have better news! I started occupational therapy and it's wonderful and I'm going to start physical therapy next week. It turns out my body is a tight, huddled post-trauma mess. I had no idea. And the therapist said I'm really strong, which is a beautiful thing to hear from someone who works with athletes and knows I spend most of my time in bed.

    • jenavira says:

      *sending you witchy vibes*

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh, that is some annoying darkness indeed. What a tragedy about the witchy light! Is it replaceable?

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I use these:

      I'm sorry you lost the green witch light. That sucks. I'd be really upset to lose such a cool item.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I am so sorry your excellent light broke – that is distressing, no matter the circumstances.

      re: darkness 1 – I have found that when my night vision starts to go I don't necessarily notice it but I do get a lot more concerned about driving in the dark. I turned myself in for an eye check-up on Thursday and my right eye had changed a LOT, and I am anticipating new glasses and an improvement in night vision as well. It sounds like you have noticed something solidly wrong, and I hope you can get it looked at, because sometimes they can do something about it.

    • Absotively says:

      This may be too simple to actually work, but have you tried using painter's masking tape on the bathroom light switch at night? It would be a bit of a nuisance, but maybe you would only need it until Pseudostepson gets used to the change, or until you can obtain a new witchy light.

  15. LaxMom says:

    nothing good is happening, health-wise–I may have finally found a decent practice that accepts my insurance but now they can't see me until DECEMEBER. I am going to have to go back and deal with bitchy np until then and make her re-test me for real thyroid numbers since nobody told me not to take biotin before.
    I am DONE with my body betraying me, Manka I hate that we have that in common. I cannot take a leave, I need to be more productive so that I can pay my water and electric bills, not less. ugh.

    Today was beautiful and the kids had the day off and I was going to go apple picking with them, but Teenboy had a horror film marathon and Teengirl was crabby due to a last-minute birthday sleepover, and so I mowed the lawn (because it has rained all week, it needed it, and I don't own a leaf blower so it's the easiest way to get rid of an acre of fall leaves) and put my garden to bed/started prepping new beds for next year. I will take Teengirl to the marching band report and then I am going to putz around making pesto and playing with yarn.

    I have a somewhat disturbing (child and animal issues) question in the comments.

    • LaxMom says:

      Ok, so quandary: Teengirl's friend is a church (UU) friend. I know the mom had a rough divorce when I did and an accident about when I did that involves chronic pain and walks with a cane. I should be sympathetic but I have never felt quite ok with that mom and I think there may have been painkiller/alcohol issues in the past? I don't think there are now?
      The problem is I think she has three kids, oldest is 14. When I went to pick up Teengirl today I needed to use her bathroom and –the house was BAD. the floor was picked up but the ENTIRE house smelled like feces. The bathroom was empty but disgusting. I know about kids, I know about messy houses, I know that with dogs mud gets on walls, floors, etc but I had to hold my breath just to pee. I couldn't even make small talk because of the overwhelming smell. There are 5 cats and a dog living in the house, and when the dog came over to me its nails were clicking on the floor and when I looked they were overgrown by over an inch and bending sideways. I know houses can smell (my last house smelled like mildewy basement always), I know dogs stink, I know that you can get used to smells and not notice. But Teengirl wouldn't even put her shoes back on (they had dog poop on them), and I couldn't even stand how she smelled after being there 12 hours, I had to open the windows in the car for the drive home.
      The worst part is they are homeschooled, and I just can't deal with knowing those kids are living in that smell. I dont like that the dog is not taken care of. I don't go to church regularly anymore so I don't know what her situation is like, but I doubt they even notice the smell anymore? And it could just be a dog issue, right, but even then the dog should see a groomer and a vet and about 8 loads of couch blanket laundry should get done and the walls/floors need scrubbed and…I don't know what to do. I can't go clean her house for her. I can barely handle my own. And the kids, and the homeschooling, ugh.

      • meat_lord says:

        Oh, man. I'm not sure what to do in this situation either–that family clearly needs help, but I don't know that you're in a position to provide it. Maybe some other Mankanaut knows some resource that you can send her way? Or is this a CPS-level situation, since kids? Animal Control or something since the dog is being neglected? (I ask in complete ignorance about these sorts of things.)

      • Absotively says:

        If she still goes to church, could you contact the minister (if they have one)? They might have a better idea of what challenges she's currently facing, and they'll know if there are resources available through the congregation that might be helpful.

        On the other hand, they might be a mandated reporter. But on the other other hand, if they are, then presumably they will have more training and experience in deciding when a situation has reached a point where it's necessary to call CPS.

        • jenavira says:

          I second this. If you know she's embedded in a community, even if you're not in it any more, there are people in that community who can pool resources to help.

        • LaxMom says:

          so I started by emailing a close friend, who is out of the kid loop but very involved in church. She isn't a minister or religious ed instructor, though, so she isn't a mandated reporter. I just told her what I told you guys and asked her to discreetly find out of things are ok, and if maybe they could give her a dog grooming gift certificate or something, as a start.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm sorry you are suffering, too. Ugh, fuck this for real.

  16. jenavira says:

    I had every intention of getting up and doing something Too Witches today, but instead I accidentally overslept and spent the afternoon watching horror movies. I kind of regretted it when I first got up (I hate accidentally oversleeping) but now I do not, it was highly enjoyable. Except for the part where I must have been sitting funny on the couch, because my lower back is killing me. Now I am at work for three hours, because I have to work the half-day shift on Sunday. Here's hoping it's relatively chill.

  17. Lee Thomson says:

    I missed you people because I was having a full but happy week.

    I am getting new glasses and they are excellent and hilarious and I will post photos of them when they arrive because I love having glasses!

    A friend and I met up at Fruitlands museum, which many of you will remember as the failed utopian experiment of Bronson Alcott. It lasted six months – that is ALL!! Six miserable Septermber to January months!! – and it was turned into a museum because this fancy rich lady from Boston wanted to build a summer house on the land but then realized it was once Fruitlands and made it into a museum instead of tearing it down. And then she got interested in Shakers, and Indians/Native Americans in turn and made small detailed museums for each of them as well. I was so enraged by Bronson I hardly had any energy left over for thinking about being a Shaker, but I would still do that if I could scrounge up any belief in a higher power.

    And then family and food and good things, and a migraine this morning that took extra meds to beat into submission. I realized we've been expanding this Saturday dinner thing a lot because we were 11 and it felt intimate and quiet. And I did not have to put an extra leaf in the table. There have been 16 or 18, and it was crowded and full and happy, but I think I like about 10 best of all.

    • LaxMom says:

      You have a table where 10 people can eat and you didn't have to put in an extra leaf? you are totally living your best life.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        I have a table with 2 leaves! no leaves seats roughly 8, 1 leaf goes to 12, and for the full roster we have both leaves and a children's table. AND Mr Crow's desk chair is banished to the back porch!but yes, best life = table that is big enough

    • redheadfae says:

      Having only 10 people over for a meal is totally terrifying to me!
      I can't wait to see your new glasses. I have a thing for frames as well.

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