Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

For those who didn’t quite get all their Halloween feels worked out

I’m gonna be spending the next several days recovering from the plague, so please tell me all your plans for the weekend, no matter how boring they might seem to you.

178 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. Flitworth says:

    I had an awesome Taika Waititi dream, y'all!
    I dreamed I won a contest to hang out in NZ w/ him for a day and that on my (real) visit to NZ in 2004 we went to a particular building that Taika later used for Thor: Ragnarok (I didn't go to this bldg irl). Anyways, the building and shops were all familiar and his smilling face would just show up every now and again. It was lovely. I could eat him with a spoon. Also, if you have not heard: sequel to What We Do in the Shadows planned, focusing on the werewolves (not swearwolves).

    I have to do a bunch of adulting this weekend.

    Goat Update:
    -Goats have escaped the garden several times
    -Goats are now immune to the lure of the grain bucket, have discovered they'd rather wander around and eat fallen leaves than cooperate (so there's security footage of husband and me trying to convince them to come back to their shelter, picking them up, them running back the other way, them with head in grain bucket walking blindly)
    -At least one of the goats snores – I got audio and posted on fb an only one person like it, which is just a reason to wonder more about the meaning of 'friends' because jfc – Penny the Goat SNORING
    -Today I'm going to try to put a halter on each of them and walk them to the garden

    Anyways, I've just been fantasizing about giving an exit interview and getting mad about shit at work. I'm taking two days off next week, hoping that will bring me some much needed chill.

  2. Absotively says:

    Very exciting weekend plans:

    – KonMari!
    – Wash dishes!
    – Do laundry!
    – Go to church!
    – Finally book flights for xmas!
    – Contemplate how much upgrading to business class is worth to me. I'm late enough with the flight booking that it's not unaffordable, but it's not as cheap as the last time I did it either.
    – Ooh, I could also clean the bathroom!
    – Finish the trashy vampire novel I bought at the used book shop yesterday!
    – Maybe start the non- trashy novel I also bought!
    – Catch up on Star Trek: Discovery a bit!
    – Watch more Avatar: The Last Airbender!

    As you can see, it really is a very exciting and action-packed weekend.

  3. CleverManka says:

    Heyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy guess who just got out of bed? Ugh what a week. I am feeling somewhat human today (an improvement) but stayed home sick because I'm not a fool and I refuse to risk re-succumbing to this nightmare. Whatever this virus was, it utterly killed my appetite, so at least I haven't had to worry about feeding myself. In the past three days I've ingested: three cups of beef broth, three pot-fulls of lemon-honey water, a few bites of shredded chicken left over from broth-making, and about half a cup of roasted beets (from the beets that wouldn't fit into the jar of beet kvass I was making on AtN's recommendation.

    Which, btw, everything I'd ever read about beet kvass said you were supposed to drink the liquid, but I've been instructed to eat the beets from it…just…raw beets that've sat in pickle juice and water for three days. We'll see how that goes when it's ready tomorrow.

    Broth results and the absolute cutest dick pic in the world (kinda nsfw I guess but trust me it's adorable) are in a reply.

    • CleverManka says:

      First, BROTH! Six and a half gallons of it. Yes, I have a stand-up freezer in the garage. I'm a total squirrel when it comes to food storage. The freezer is now absolutely packed full for winter. I think I might be able to squeeze another (small) chicken on one of the shelves, but that's about it. Even the door is full.
      <img src=""&gt;
      And second:
      I decided to make this a link, just in case. The Burgomaster bought me some of these after I posted them in my wishlist tag on Tumblr. Y'all, these things are so cute and soft and squishy and just….ughhhhh I love them so much. If you can't tell in the photo, it's actually kind of smiling. And it's little feets! Ugh, so so so cute. I call it the Studio Ghibli Penis.

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        I deeply admire your broth/food storage accomplishments. I have baked some things recently, but have not actually cooked anything in a while. I'm so sorry you haven't been feeling well! I hate not having an appetite. I hope you get lots of rest and continue to feel human, and end up enjoying the beets (I love beets generally but know v. little about the preparation).

        • CleverManka says:

          I mean now that I look at it, I can totally fit stuff on top of the broth, but I'm a little worried about the amount of weight those wire shelves can hold.

          I was never a huge fan of cooking with beets but only because I hate peeling things (I always worry I'm going to slip and slice my thumb). They are tasty, though.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Beet hack: put a little water in the bottom of an oven proof dish. Poke holes in beets. Put lid on or foil over the dish, roast at 400F or so until beets are done (30 to 40 min?). Put the beets in cold water or under the faucet and slip the skins. Sometimes I peel and slice them raw if I must, but from this I can usually add them to other dishes.

          • CleverManka says:

            Wow! That sounds so easy my brain is having problems believing it actually works. So, once you do that, can you chop them and put them back in the oven so they get that caramelized roasty-ness? Or will they just get squishy?

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Ok, so I tried this last night. Steamed beets for 40 min at 400F, could stick a fork in but not all the way. Slipped skins, cut into 1/2 chunks, tossed in olive oil and roasted another 45 min or so. They didn't get super caramelized or squishy, but retained some firmness without being crunchy. Next time I get beets I'm going to try cutting them into smaller chunks and see if that gets them more caramelized, or maybe cooking longer at a lower heat.

          • CleverManka says:

            Thank you for testing this for me!!!!!

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            You're welcome! Will report back on further experimentation. I'm thinking they might be good with lemon zest added to the second roasting, or if I finished them in a pan on the stove and added it at the last minute.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        that is a lot of frozen things, may they support and nourish you into substantially better health!

        Also I saw that tiny dic go by on Tumblr and laughed and laughed, I'm so pleased I know someone who has one/a half dozen

      • Absotively says:

        Are you familiar with the email cartoon? It is NSFW in a very similar way. (Which is why I didn't post this link on Friday.)

    • ru_ri says:

      I am glad you are feeling a little better! Fuck that plague, it sounds terrible.

      I recommend shredding those beets and distributing the shreds among something else like a nice salad, because eating beets straight out of pickle water, uncooked, is a one-way ticket to Sadsville. Unless you are a huge fan of raw beets…

      Hooray broth! Good broth is so magical. May it restore you to full health soon!

      • CleverManka says:

        I WAS THINKING THE SAME THING. Like…surely she's joking? That's what the recipe says, though. I'm going to ask her about it when we have our phone call appointment tomorrow.

      • redheadfae says:

        I LOVE pickled beets, and I know that the jarred ones are probably full of bad things, but I eat them like candy and drink the juice!

        • CleverManka says:

          Mmm, yes. I like pickled beets, too. Haven't eaten them in ages because of the sugar–but when I can eat normally (for me, anyway), I use canned beets, chopped up, to make a nice salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.

          • redheadfae says:

            So how are these "soaked in vinegar/without sugar" ones treating you?
            So, this is also the same diet that Delilah Flynn swore by recently. She mentioned she feels a lot better and dropped some bloat with it.

    • littleinfinity says:

      I'm so glad you're feeling a little better! This week sounds like The Worst Ever. I'm happy to hear you're at least 1% human now.

    • pseudonymica says:

      Now I have the Tried be a Normal Person Plague! But that frenzied graveyard leap dancing gives me back some life, so thank you.

  4. damngoodcoffee says:

    My weekend possibilities: See Thor; go to the local coffee shop and chill w/something I will actually enjoy reading; get groceries; clean; sleep.

    This week was rough. Work has been very draining and stressful on its own, but this week I had the added benefit of:

    1. Coming in Wednesday morning to find that my window screen had come loose on top at some point and a cardinal flew in between the screen and the glass the night before and got stuck there and died.

    2. Chasing down people from HR to try and get more money into my HSA, being scared by HR after they told me my invisalign might not even be covered by that, and playing phone tag with the company in charge of my HSA (who redirected me three times and could not find me in the system b/c my name has an apostrophe). Luckily it's all straightened out, but I was Not Handling It Well for a while there.

    So yeah, I am determined to get whatever joy/peace I can out of this weekend.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hope Ragnarok is a blast! I'm not going to make it for opening weekend (alas) so I'm glad to know some of us will make up for my absence.

      Sorry to hear about all the stress. Ugh, dead animals and insurance woes, what a combo.
      <img src=""&gt;

    • littleinfinity says:

      Oh no, the cardinal 🙁 those unpreventable animal tragedies are always sad and draining.

      It sounds like your fight with HR worked out to your advantage / at least to your breaking even? Definitely celebrate that win! Arguing with bureaucracy about money has to be the shittiest human activity that we regularly take part in. Hope you enjoy your coffee and reading and Thor!

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        The HSA covered it, thank goodness (I had already done the initial payment, so I was worried that I'd have to pay a fee and try and reallocate funds, etc.). And I absolutely agree with you re: arguing with bureaucracy about money. Doing this and rolling over a 401K have been the most unnecessarily complicated and frustrating things I've done in the past few years.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      She's right, dead animals and insurance woes can sap the will to live right out of you – I hope Ragnarok infuses additional life into you

  5. ru_ri says:

    Plans: tonight going to a Planned Parenthood benefit show at a downtown club. I have never heard of any of the bands and I am going by myself, so it could be OK or pretty much a bummer (like last Saturday, in which I dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the Northwest Lower Michigan and went to a club to see a band I like and enjoyed it but felt super sad about being alone and in a costume that made me look old). Anyway, it's a good cause at least.
    Saturday morning will be FARMER'S MARKET early, then three hours of training and then back home to continue work on the project that has eaten my life this week–writing a (science-y, not fun) chapter for a book for this company I've done contract work for over the last ten years. I hate writing for money, that's why I'm an editor! Why did I agree to this? I feel like I've lost a pint of blood with every paragraph. Anyway, that is how Saturday will be.
    Sunday I have Zen at ten, then more work. Hopefully a walk.
    I have no fun plans foodwise (other than FARMER'S MARKET) because my body has decided it only likes oatmeal, rice cakes with cashew butter, and my bacon / sweet potato / cabbage / egg Hash (along with copious quantities of black tea) and those are all good if not terribly exciting and I'm gonna keep rolling with them.
    Next week is going to be kind of crazy. I'm driving all over the state on Tuesday and Wednesday, then flying to Tokyo with my mom on Thursday. My mom and I have never really traveled together so I hope it goes OK. I need to, like, tattoo BE PATIENT on my knuckles or something.

    • CleverManka says:

      It's so frustrating when one's body just up and decides not to process wide assortments of food. I hope things settle down soon, especially since I'm not sure they have those things in Tokyo. Hope the travels with Mom go well! Safe and happy journeys!

      • ru_ri says:

        Thank you!

        I think food in Tokyo will be fine–Body is always good with rice and miso soup, and our Air BnB has a kitchen. Here's hoping, anyway…

    • Xolandra says:

      Props for going to concerts alone! It is hard, but ime rewarding. I offer a cookie and a trophy for doing the thing.

      • ru_ri says:

        <3 <3 <3 Virtual cookie! Thank you!

        I think I'm going to work on finding a show-going buddy. I am ALWAYS alone and I've always been okay with it except these days somehow I'm not.

        But seeing live music is always better than not, no matter what.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          I have similar feelings re:going to everything alone and I hope you find a fun show-going buddy! Recently I realized that there are things I'd enjoy doing with friends that I just have no interest in doing alone at this time in my life.

          I hope your Tokyo trip is wonderful!

          • ru_ri says:

            Thank you! I have a couple of possibles. I just have to get over being kind of shy and fearing rejection / social awkwardness. The last time I took a friend to see a band it was kind of a sit-down show and I danced anyway (OK I was the only person dancing! But the band appreciated it!), which apparently mortified her… :-/

          • RoseCamelia says:

            Anyone mortified by your dancing to a live band Does. Not. Deserve. You. You glorious, badass witch.

          • ru_ri says:

            Thank you! You are right and I needed that reminder.

            MORE JOY is my current motto, and I intend to pursue it…

          • damngoodcoffee says:

            Seconding RoseCamelia's sentiments. I'm not a big concert-goer, but the point is to go and have fun, which it sounds like you've got down. 🙂

          • ru_ri says:


            When there is music, I can always have fun!

    • Flitworth says:

      Tokyo! SO EXCITE FOR YOU!

      • ru_ri says:

        Thank you! I AM EXCITE. We're going to go see this Van Gogh exhibit at the Tokyo Museum that I edited the catalog for, and we're going to go to flea markets, and we're going to buy knives and garden tools in Kappabashi and we're going to do lots and lots of tea ceremony and visit Kamakura also. As long as my mom doesn't get too overwhelmed it should be OK.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I hope you and your mom have the most fun possible, and the least stress, because Tokyo!?! sounds like an amazing place to see. Are you looking to find anything in particular?

      • ru_ri says:

        Well I used to live there so it's kind of a homecoming visit. So I'll wander around all my old haunts and share some of them with my mom, and go to the dojo of course, and after my mom leaves I have 2 weeks to meet a bunch of clients and rustle up new work (a lot of my current clients are in Japan).

        Let me know your address and I will send you a postcard! roo underscore heins at yahoo dot com

        • Flitworth says:


          I have all the questions about your history w/ Japan now. If you are ever feeling chatty.

          • ru_ri says:

            Yes, ask away! I would love to answer any questions you have. I am off to dojo now but will be back online tonight or tomorrow…

          • Flitworth says:

            Do you speak Japanese? How long were you there? Where in Tokyo?

          • ru_ri says:

            I spoke very little when I went, and I spent three years learning. Now I can speak fluently, read some, and write very poorly.

            I lived there from 2004 to 2011, mainly living in the northern part of Shinjuku (near Akebonobashi Station). It's the only city I've ever lived in where I felt like it really wanted me, if you know what I mean.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            A friend of mine from college went to Shinjuku to learn Akido and teach English in the early 1990s and she's been there ever since! She said when they fill out their forms for another year or two everyone, including her, is surprised how long it has been.

          • ru_ri says:

            Whoa. Is she still doing Aikido? If so, I must know her.

            It also appears that you live not far from Valley Aikido, which is run by friends of mine.

            The Aikido world is some kinda mafia, isn't it? Good and bad…

          • Flitworth says:

            Awesome! That's a long time to live in Japan.
            I don't know about feeling wanted but I do know there's a special freedom in being far away from "home".
            When I think of Shinjuku I think of a tv show in Japan in2000 where they would intercept drunk businessmen there and give them challenges and film it – like 'call your wife and get her to say X'.
            Anyways, your life sounds amazing:)

          • ru_ri says:

            There are SO MANY drunk businessmen in Shinjuku. Very late on a weekend night in summer they're all passed out on benches and stairs and under trees like large cats with briefcases. (Usually with a puddle of vomit nearby, which removes any charm they might have had.)

          • Flitworth says:

            Oh lord yes. And on the trains.
            Did you ever stay ina capsule hotel? I imagine if traveling with your mom you won't this time.
            Oh do you ride in the ladies only carriage ever? They didn't have them when I was there and my commute involved a street with "chikan! gochui" posted on trees for a mile.
            I am so excite to think about Japan again. I am hoping society won't collapse and I will be able to take tiny human(s) someday.
            Hope you have a fabulous time!

          • ru_ri says:

            I was mostly lucky enough to be able to bike to work there, and the times I was commuting by train weren't during rush hour, so I never had to avail myself of the ladies' carriage. I never got hassled in Japan at all–never followed, groped, or approached–but I had friends who had encountered chikan. So gross!

            Never stayed in a capsule hotel either–there aren't as many for women, I think, and the one I knew about in Shinjuku forbade tattoos. My mom and I are staying in an Air BnB apartment which I think will be small but just fine. And after she leaves I'll stay at a friend's office in the suburbs. It's on the Odakyu line which is always packed like a sardine tin. 🙁

            I am very hopeful that things will remain stable enough for you and tiny human(s) to visit Japan someday and experience the wonderful weirdness and beauty there. <3 <3 <3

    • Heathered says:

      Once again someone I would go to any show, any time, anywhere with lives too damn far away. You could even make fun of me for wearing ear plugs and my feelings would not be hurt. BTW I got your postcard and was delighted! I have a statue of Kwan Yin here and am fascinated by how she gets around and wears different hats depending on who's telling her story. Happy happy low-stress travels to you!

      • ru_ri says:

        Oh man, I really wish we could be show-going buddies! I wouldn't dream of making fun of your ear plugs cause wearing ear plugs is smart! Some day we will be in the same place and we can go see music together.

        I'm glad you got the postcard! I hope I can manage Lettering some time soon but postcards are always a good stopgap. Kuan Yin certainly does get around–she's often called Kannon in Japan and she has lots of arms or eyes sometimes.

  6. jenavira says:

    My weekend plans are to settle into my couch pillow fort, try to get some writing done, play some video games, and go easy on myself. I am Very Bad at taking enough time to go easy on myself; I keep thinking it's been two weeks, surely I'm fine now, and I am not fine. Original plan was to go to an after-hours write-in at another library tonight, but right now I feel very enhhhhh about the whole idea so maybe not.

    I continue to try to focus on doing things I actually want to do rather than setting a goal and then flogging myself until I get there. Right now I think that means sleep? I'm not sure. But also probably working more on the hat I'm knitting which has been sitting around unworked-on since the second-to-last time I went to Arizona, so that would be…2013, maybe?

  7. MLISCostFan says:

    Ahem, Victorian Costuming workshop on Sunday, so I need to baste my flat lining to my lining for the back of the underskirt. And sew the back underskirt together. On Sat, so we can drape the overskirt on a Sunday. On same note, pack undergarments and scrumptious vintage lace.

    Some how, squeeze out time to clear space in craft room to make adjustments to cage crinoline pattern and rebuild budget. Lovely app crashed and syncing blew out. Back to paper for Me.

    • CleverManka says:

      Yes, yes, do not damage new glasses! What a bummer about the app. Mmmmm, vintage lace…

      Hey, do you buy any fabric on eBay, or know anyone who does? I want to get rid of some of my old stash and I'm curious if that's still a viable market (I haven't eBayed since the 90s).

  8. CleverManka says:

    Just noticed the number of today's OT.
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  9. Xolandra says:

    Weekend plans! I am meeting my friend that I wrote about in my piece about HS reunions for a drink after work and HOT DAMN i am ready for such because I have to apply for the job that i have been doing for 3 years. You know, in order to be fair to EVERYONE who wants my job. I don't even care what we get up to (usually I have Opinions) so long as there is a bottle.

    Saturday my friend who welcomed me to Montreal and came with me to see Nnamdi Ogbonaya and Vagabon is bringing her husband to see the "real" city-in-which I live, because he only knows the Business Face of my town. So we'll have lunch and then spend some time wandering about my neighbourhood and then we'll have a nap and then a light dinner and then OFF TO DANCE PARTIES because if my life is going to be a trashfire of bureaucracy that would make Kafka cringe, I might as well at least dance my fucking way through it.

    Sunday will be quiet, and filled with adulting. Maybe I'll make risotto. Maybe I'll cry into a bag of corn chips as I try, one last time, to convince my management that I Am Good Enough to do the job that I have been doing for EIGHT YEARS at this point.

    Any and all comforting .gifs are welcome. And if y'all can come up with some way for me to convince my management that I am, in fact, good enough TO DO THE JOB I HAVE BEEN DOING for eight years, I am all ears.

  10. littleinfinity says:

    Well, my office moved locations (3 blocks up the street) this week, and it has been … relatively chaotic. The new place isn't done yet even though our move in day was Wednesday, so they are still drilling and it smells like paint and the bathrooms and kitchen aren't done. The upside of this is that I get to work from home today! Woo semi-three-day weekend.

    I also had a back/ hip/ sciatica flareup this week, starting Sunday, which basically means that my left leg and my back have been super painful and stiff for the last five days. I've been doing heat pads and trying to walk, stretch gently, keep it loose, and it feels better now than it did on Sunday/ Monday, but ugh. It just takes that extra amount of emotional and physical energy to manage pain at the same time as doing Life Things. My greatest respect and sympathy to everyone in this bar who deals with chronic pain and fatigue constantly. I'm lucky that this issue only comes up every few months for me now.

    This weekend: not sure yet! Trip to Trader Joe's at some point… hopefully seeing Thor and maybe getting drinks/ dinner, if I can dig J out from under his pile of work… probably some wedding planning stuff? I did a brain dump last night in an Excel spreadsheet to write down all the wedding-related tasks that had been circling around my brain, and came up with 55 fairly broad categories of Things To Do. That is… far too many things. We're not planning a particularly large or fancy wedding! There are no horse-drawn carriages or fireworks or flash mobs! And yet, so many logistics to logistic??

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm so sorry to hear about the hip pain stuff. Ugh. If you have the $$$, CBD oil really helped me with that pinched nerve a few weeks ago…

      • littleinfinity says:

        Good to know!! I've never tried the oil method of delivery (heh) but will look into it. That's great that it helped you!

        • CleverManka says:

          As someone who maybe-more-than-a-little-frequently uses other methods of delivery myself, lemme tell ya the CBD oil did more for pain relief than anything other than smoking into oblivion has ever done.

  11. Lynn says:

    Well I haven't really slept in two days, but since new hire decided to take a half day and everyone else in my part of the office is offsite today I can have an afternoon fiddling around with spreadsheets and not being interrupted which is what I sorely need to make it through today. (I continue to love new hire, but since she is not yet trained on enough tasks to keep herself busy it's a lot of work directing both her workday and mine, even when I have slept.)

    I am finally getting that massage I have been promising myself for six months on Saturday. After my left shoulder seized up while I was washing my hair the other day, I realized I have gone from being "really tense but basically fine" to "in danger of suffering actual pain" if these kinks don't get worked out. A friend who has had a lot of massage therapy recommended this place to me so I'm hoping it helps.

    Also we are probably seeing Thor this weekend now that boyfriend is mobile enough to get to the theater.

    • CleverManka says:

      I hope the massage fixes you up! Six months is a long time to wait for a needed massage. Are you a deep-tissue sorta person?

      • Lynn says:

        I'm actually not sure, but the massage I signed up for is more or less described on their website as as combination of deep-tissue and other styles depending on your needs, so I guess we'll see.

        I was all set to go back in the summer right as I got the horrible exhaustion and awfulness that turned out to be my endometriosis and then I wanted to get through busy work period (because I always need one after). But I've also never been carrying around so much tension I'm conscious of it all the time, which is where I'm at now.

        • Rillquiet says:

          Deep tissue is uncomfortable in the moment but is often better than Swedish (IME, YMMV) for unlocking stubborn adhesions. My beloved MT recommends heating pads and Epsom salts baths, as well as the usual "drink plenty of water," to help the body cope with any post-massage soreness.

          ETA: I hope it helps! Knots are awful.

  12. LaxMom says:

    Today I shut off my phone and slept in and that was a MISTAKE. I am still nursing the "had coffee 6 hours later than usual" headache plus lethargy from the "had thyroid meds 5 hours later than usual".

    Tonight is a 20's themed bash with jazz and dancing at the art museum and I am going, if I can get my flapper dress to zip up, since I've gained so much weight.

    I have several nice messages on OKC but I"m too chicken to see how non-cute the guys that wrote them are. The last semi-interesting guy I ghosted on because he looked like a young version of my hippie uncle. I just couldn't. Also being super broke is not helpful for dating so I avoid it.

    my advisor LOVES my proposal. LOVES it. like, she said, "There is this concept I've been playing around with but I just can't explain it or figure out how to attack it and it should be addressed" and I said, well, this is my plan, and pulled out my notes, and she was literally laughing with surprise that without planning it I'd totally pulled together all her random threads, even though we hadn't talked in over a month, and not about that particular subject since before summer. AND she thinks our NSF partner will be over the moon over it.

    headache, headache, go away.

  13. mowinda says:

    My weekend plans are: gymming, laundry, real grocery shopping (and not just picking up cereal and snacks), and cleaning my apartment (and UGH I just remembered job hunting)

    I also started reading Brideshead Revisited and I am astouded at how much of British life (I guess specifically The Lives of Old Timey Rich British People) I just do not understand

    • CleverManka says:

      How is it that hours go by before a comment shows up for me, sometimes? Apologies for the late reply! I'm glad I saw this before I went upstairs for my nap.

      Best wishes with your plans and ooof, yeah, I share your feels about The Lives of Old Timey Rich British People. Someone asked me (years ago) if I watched Downton Abbey and I told her I preferred my consumption of British upper class life more along the lives of Jeeves & Wooster. Because when they're taken seriously, I just…can't?

      • mowinda says:

        Yeah I think I want to instinctively try to compare my life to theirs and recognize some shared stuff (I guess I do that with every character) and I just cannot figure out like…how much money do they have? Like is this guy rich-rich or just sorta rich? Which meals do you need formal dress for? How many meals are there in a day? What's the school situation? Who are all the people they're referring to by nicknames? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.

  14. Xolandra says:

    O yeah! New music! I found this yesterday, and I am Undecided. It reminds me of ~something~ but damned if I can work it out. St. Vincent? Kinda? Idk, YOU TELL ME.

  15. Räven says:

    Plans! All of a sudden I find I am nothing but plans, which is unfortunate because I have things to do that I want to do and that are going to take a long time to accomplish.
    Tonight I am unexpectedly going to see a band called the Shins, who (no offence meant i hope none taken) seem like not my cup of tea. It’s guys with instruments and whiny voices. But a friend got sick, other friend doesn’t want to go alone, and I felt bad and allowed myself to be cajoled. :-/
    Tomorrow I’m probably getting up early to go to the childrens theater to see a shadow puppet show from italy, which looks good but is rather expensive ($27!) for a show for babies if you don’t have a baby who needs entertainment, but here we are. I have to think hard about that one honestly. Sixty cents a minute is a lot for theater that you aren't sure about.
    Sunday *I am actually excited for this plan* I’m going to see a Noh play directed/conceived/somethinged by Hiroshi Sugimoto. I saw a noh play he did maybe fifteen years ago and it was amazing. This is a new piece, not a classic one. We'll see what that adds up to. I am really looking forward to it!
    In the middle of all that, across and around and through it, i’m building very fast a rather elaborate kinetic/shadow/ tabletop show that is a huge mess and I hate it and I need to show it next week and I’m very frustrated and unhappy. Which apparently is my *process*, which is a really lousy way to live your life, let me tell you. In theory I am very excited about this piece but I have not yet had a moment’s happiness with it.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Do you want to talk more about your tabletop show because I am fascinated? what are you trying to show/say/do? do you have pictures?

      I had an illuminating lunch with a friend where we were talking about process and results, and I mentioned trying to work bigger, and she said "you try that every six months, and you always hate it, also it doesn't work for you" and I just had not realized I was that predictable (wry face). When you say this is your process, is it the process that works for you?

      • Räven says:

        There will be photos this week. I never document anything I make, and I always mean to do process shots and then don't, but I am getting better at least at photographing things as they're done, or done-ish.

        The piece is for a casual gala for a theater company, like a new-space-opening party and it needs to be very quick setup, minimal tech, and five minutes long. And my work is usually very elaborate setup, with tech (projections is what I'm upset about losing), and not that short. So I'm frustrated at having to do everything differently all at once. I'm working on a little cityscape with small scenes you can see through the windows or on roofs – almost like an advent calendar – but it is meant to go with a read-aloud text, something about cities or about homes or etc, and I haven't found an appropriate text and it's making me enraged.

        I would not say this process works for me, tbh, for example because after every show I think, maybe I should stop and never do that again. I'd make more work if I thought it wasn't really *a terrible way to live*. But I say that it's my process because last winter when I saw a friend a few weeks before my show, she asked how I was and I said 'I'm so unhappy with this piece, I wonder if I should withdraw it, everything is terrible and disappointing and I think it was a mistake to propose it', she nodded and said, well yes, that's your process, so that sounds fine. And I was AGHAST.

        I mean, she has a point – melting down in anguish and rage with not a single thing to show, five days before the performance, is not an unfamiliar checkpoint for me? But I had never thought of accepting it as 'how this WORKS'. I want it not to be like this actually. But how do people achieve change.

        • Lee Thomson says:

          Oh dog – achieving change….

          I think part of it is detailing your current process, not right now but possibly in the aftermath of the upcoming show, and seeing what parts you can fix, one at a time. Part of it has to give you pleasure, or satisfaction, or some good feeling that you want to have again? If you can really SEE the way you currently work, and figure out what makes you most unhappy and conversely happiest (or least unhappy), you might be able to start shifting things a little.

          so – email me if you want to talk more about this, because I am deeply interested in other people's processes and interested in people creating things with less Long Dark Teatime of the Soul… I'm p.sure my email is in my avatar thingy.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ohhhhh yeah, I am not a fan of the Shins. Not my style of music. I hope you have a decent time. Good luck.

      Also, that is a pricey price for something you're not really excited about. The Noh piece sounds amazing, though.

      In theory I am very excited about this piece but I have not yet had a moment’s happiness with it.
      This sounds a lot like how most of my writer friends describe whatever is their current novel project.

      • Räven says:

        Yeah. I hope I got big friendship credits for that concert. I tried very hard to project an air of general enjoyment and my friend had a great time, so technically I"m glad I did it. But it was exhausting, too exhausting to go to kids theater today, and very loud. I don't ever want to hear more of that.

        My friend did offer the amusing detail that the lead singer apparently writes all their songs slightly higher than his register, because he likes that it sounds like he's struggling – which I find intellectually extremely charming, but I still don't want to listen to it.

        I have a lot of writer friends who hate writing, and I always think, that sounds awful. I don't hate making my things, it's really fun to be cutting and building, but I get very anxious about starting, and that is always very destructive because there is some long stretch of paralysis and misery where I feel like everything is wrong. And I'm mostly not making anything during that phase, and I would like to stop having that as a step in every project thankyouverymuch.

  16. Lee Thomson says:

    I get to make family dinner this weekend – current nose count is around 10, which is small, and will be lovely. If it gets cold again I'll roast All The Things.

    I can see a path through more of the major arcana of the tarot I'm making, and the face cards are getting clearer. Also I made a Truly Fabulous octopus for the Magician and it makes me snerk every time I look at it.

    yesterday everything sucked. today is somewhat better. miseries relegated to comments

    • Lee Thomson says:

      My spare parents – friend of my parents that I love more than I can explain – had five kids, the youngest two were my brother's and my age, the middle one was terrifying and the oldest two were twins and so far above us lowly babies they hardly noticed us. Their youngest son died last weekend, at age 55. I've seen him and his family every couple of years; he was so kind, and so easy, it is a terrible waste. I feel so hideously bad for his parents, and his siblings. And yet we were not close enough that I can legit do anything besides mail beautiful cards at the moment.

      So that is a large part of the things that suck.

      • RoseCamelia says:

        I'm so sorry, Lee. You lost an emotionally big chunk of your childhood with the loss of this chosen brother. ::all the hugs you want::

      • Xolandra says:

        ::Taosthugs:: grief is weird; it accordions the distance between us, and can make us feel weird for caring too much, or too little, when someone we knew and loved died.

        You can (and do) hold him in your memory as a kind and easy person. And when the appropriate moment comes, you can share those memories. And if it never does, that, too, is maybe ok. Do you have a particular story that you would care to share with me/us?

      • Lynn says:

        I am so sorry. I have been there far too recently. There's an extra level of awful when someone you grew up with passes.

      • ru_ri says:

        That really sucks and I am sorry. It is hard when you want to reach out but are hindered by Circumstance and Convention. I hope everything else that can improve gets better fast.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm very much enjoying the cards. They're so gorgeous, and I especially loved the incorporation of the ray on the High Priestess after recently re-watching Moana.

      Gentle hugs and condolences on your loss. I hope you're able to take good and needed comfort from your family dinner this weekend.

    • jenavira says:

      Octopus Magician! Delightful!

      Good luck with your family dinner, those can be Fraught, but roasting all the things does sound like an excellent option. (I managed to get a roast for a decent price yesterday and I'm contemplating how many veggies I can get in the pan with it for Sunday dinner.)

      • Lee Thomson says:

        Thank you for your good wishes – Sat dinners are Family of Choice (circa grad school), plus offspring (ranging in age from 19 – 23 for the core group) and any random hangers on we can scrounge up. It is WONDERFUL and an important bonding experience. I think the funniest comment is every friend of any of the offsprings comes into the house for dinner and afterwards says something like "seeing you in context makes your weirdness so much more understandable"

  17. vladazhael says:

    Weekend plans:
    – make krupnik tonight (FINALLY)
    – massage tomorrow morning (local friend is just about done studying for certification and needs to complete some hours, so it's affordable)
    – small local con in X-wing pilot gear tomorrow afternoon
    – relax tomorrow evening (forcibly if needed)
    – phone date
    – possibly Thor Sunday afternoon
    – band practice Sunday evening
    – another phone date

    And OMG YOU GUYS it's a week until I pack up my stuff to leave for my 3-week remote work trial run. AAAAAGGGHHH. I am excited but also feeling the weight of there being no true rest in sight for me for the next week… month… 6 months… All this future plotting and scheming and organizing along with the steady grind of having to conduct a new and unprecedentedly amazing relationship at an unwanted distance and essentially treating my whole life right now as one big transitional period all snuck up on me recently and built until yesterday I just sort of lost cabin pressure. Which is a thing I'm thinking might be part of the pattern of these long separation periods, so I figured, meh, it's like a having cold in that it feels shitty but it won't truly harm me and there's nothing to be done about it or worry about. And in response my manfriend did this thing where he fully respected my lack of interest in talking about my sketchy stability but also just kept talking with me about random stuff until I unclenched and let me circle back around to my mental state if and when I felt like it and then brought a shitload of emotional intelligence and compassion to help me hash it out before I even realized that's what I was doing and really made me feel better about pretty much everything and also objected to even calling it emotional labor when I thanked him for it because that has too many negative connotations and he prefers to think of it as just what you do when you love somebody and GOOD LORD I am unaccustomed to such skilled and considerate adulting in a relationship. Which is a pretty fucking awesome problem to have.

    • ru_ri says:


      (i just like saying that)

      Hooray for man-friends who can use their skill with words and feelings for good! May they multiply quickly!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      You gotta bottle what your manfriend has so it can be forced down the gullets of oblivious, self-centered manpartners. (Ahem. I may have a specific one in mind.)

      I am simultaneously happy for you, envious of you, and encouraged by evidence that that such men exist.

    • CleverManka says:

      Happy krupnik making! Also, WOW that is some massively amazing adulting by manfriend, there.

      You're the second person here to mention getting a massage and I think maybe it's a sign that I ought to give this person recommended by my chiropractor a try…maybe when I can breathe through my nose again.

    • meat_lord says:

      This guy sounds so great. I'm so happy you found him!

    • littleinfinity says:

      Krupnik! My thoughts were 1) adopting as a curse word, 2) officer krupke in west side story? 3) googles and discovers this looks delicious. Best of luck and I'm sure it will be tasty.

      Your manfriend sounds like good people. 🙂 Hopefully having him around in a week will add some legit excitement and comfort to all the scheming and plotting and organizing. It really sounds like your plotting is working out though! I'm stoked for you!!

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      How did the krupnik making go?

  18. Rillquiet says:

    My weekend includes the usual shenanigans (minus riding, because Himself is off at a local farm for a couple of weeks' vacation)–a practica, housework, a little cooking, maybe some laundry–plus an "eh, 11/4 is close enough" Guy Fawkes bonfire on Saturday and maybe a trip out to a sheepdog competition on Sunday. The herdees include sheep, cows, and ducks, so there's a lot of entertainment potential.

    Happy weekend, you crazy witches.

    • CleverManka says:

      Sheepdog competitions are amazing! Hope IT'S a great time if you make it.

      • Rillquiet says:

        Grey soggy weather meant our crew decided not to spend hours standing in a wet field, so instead I have done housework, napped, and colored my hair. (YMMV, but so far Madison Reed is doing right by me.)

        Because you've mentioned before that you're willing to hear tango blather: Yesterday my dance crush and I did about half an hour of uninterrupted work together during a practica, and oof, I wish were half the dancer with other leaders that I am with him. He's one of the few partners with whom I find it easy to relax, and by the time we stopped I genuinely felt a little stoned. More please.

        • CleverManka says:

          That sounds amazing and I know what you mean about feeling stoned after dancing with a good lead. That is the ONE thing I miss about the pre-Burgomaster ex. He was a great lead.

  19. meat_lord says:

    /rolls into open thread belatedly

    Ughghhhh. Hello friends! I don't feel so hot–hope you all are doing better than me. I got off to an extremely bad start with NaNoWriMo. I actually think I may have to call it quits and revert to a mere 750 words/day, because the prospect of a Massive Looming Project that I am already Irreparably Far Behind On is giving me conniptions.

    Will try to post pictures of Datefriend as Pyramid Head later.

    • jenavira says:

      Join me in doing I Feel Unwell But I Am Not A Quitter NaNo! My word count total is only 1010 right now and the chances of me hitting 2k tonight are…not good. But I am determined to keep working.

      Hope you are feeling better soonest, too. *offers tea*

    • CleverManka says:

      Take care of yourself! I hope the weekend is restful and healing in whatever ways you need.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      If you manage a month of 750 words it is a better start than many. I'm so sorry you have the lurgeys – especially facing a month full of both a thing you want to do and a thing you are dreading.

  20. Kazoogrrl says:

    Mankanauts: I am here late to tell you that Ragnarok not only did not suck, it was amazing! Funny, fun, even touching at times. Loved it, as did everyone in the 5-person group I saw it with.

    So this weekens I'll be doing chores, working on my resume, doing a a dog training session, and maybe going to see the movie again.

    • CleverManka says:

      OH GOOD! This is such good news, and from a good and trusted source. Thank you for reporting back. I hope I'm in good enough shape to maybe catch an afternoon matinee next week.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I do too because it was so much fun! I think it is exactly the space/hero/ridiculousness that the Thor movies needed. I also think the ending might be setting up for a possibility of working in some of the Siege storyline.

        Also, there is an obvious reference to Jeff Goldblum's LA weekly jazz show. Friends out there went to see him with the poster for Goldblum: The Water Ballet before it happened. He thought the whole thing was amazing and amusing.

  21. faintlymacabre says:

    My plans for the weekend include doing my sister's laundry, and then attempting to not blow the riches untold that I shall gain from my stint as a laundress at the nursery, which is having their end of season clearance.

    In a vague complaint about life, my libido has been kind of low lately, but is understandable given recent breakup. However, I have had a number of rather charged dreams, some involving friends that I have found unsettling. I don't get it.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Charged dreams about people you have never thought of in that context before are the. WORST. — I had one about my thesis advisor and I couldn't talk to her for most of a week because I'd blush and stammer, and A) I don't generally swing that way and 2) I have NEVER thought of her that way before or since and III) the dreams hover between you and your friends in real life and they have no idea what is up with you and you can only see them through the haze of your dream and yeah. I hate having sex dreams. I have no actual advice to offer, just infinite sympathy.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm joining you in laundry duties today. Because of concert and then illness, I've got two week's worth of dirty stuff and I don't understand how two people produce this much laundry. I just…don't. Especially when I haven't worn more than pajamas for one of those weeks. o_O

  22. Kazoogrrl says:

    I'm going to have to check that out (when I'm not at work, even though I could use some absurdity while I'm here).

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