Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

I hope everyone is feeling even half as sated and contented as Momo today. I might peek in from time to time, but I’m going to do my best to take some days off the internet. Doc Paradise and redheadfae have graciously agreed to host, so enjoy each other’s company and I’ll be back next week!

157 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. Doc_Paradise says:

    I am also the Designated Comment Approval Monkey for today.

    If you have any problems with comment approval, leave me a note here.

  2. redheadfae says:

    Good morning everybody! I'm really happy to co-host the Friday Open Thread, and I hope everyone is having a day that surpasses any recent troubles.
    As for me, the steroids appear to be doing their thing, and I can vaguely hear a bit better. Hooray for hope and modern medicine!

  3. Doc_Paradise says:

    OMG that fucking Kitten in a Catnip Forest Game … GAAAAHHHH

    Absotively… you have gotten me addicted to what looks like a spreadsheet for kittens.

  4. Absotively says:

    So it turns out that after taking iron supplements for three months, my iron levels went down.

    Which, sure, that's bad, but my doctor has me on different supplements now and has plans for what else to do, so at least things are now going in a probably-productive direction. And I think I do feel better this morning, after just two doses of the new supplement, but I thought I felt better after a while on the first one, so I may be misleading myself.

    More importantly, I have now stopped being annoyed at myself for the stuff I didn't get done over the last three months. I had thought the problems were that I am out of shape and have trouble following through on my plans to go to bed at a reasonable hour, so it's nice to know that my unproductiviity is probably not my fault after all. I am also blaming it for me possibly being a jerk, according to that article from yesterday, because apparently irritability is one symptom of anemia.

    On the downside, though: three times a day on an empty stomach, and fairly high risk that they'll upset my digestive system, and meal planning is one of the things I haven't been doing well.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Your iron went down? How does that happen?

      • Absotively says:


        It's sounds like there's likely a colonoscopy in my future, as a first step in attempting to find where my iron is going. Doc & I thought it was my period before, but the pill has helped with that a lot, so there may well be something else.

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          Gah. Hopefully it will be the least worst outcome and the easiest fixed.

          • Absotively says:


            Someone told me the other day about someone they knew who had some kind of internal bleeding for, like, years, and the doctors knew it was internal bleeding but couldn't figure out where it was? So I'm officially hoping for Not That.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Space. Laser.

            Yeah. I hope it isn't that and I hope your medical staff is more on the ball than that. Mine wasn't.

          • Absotively says:

            So far they seem to be pretty good! More frequent/soon iron level checks and follow-up visits are already planned.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Gold star. Good luck.

          • jenavira says:

            Seconding the vibes for Not That, that sounds…nightmarish, honestly.

          • Absotively says:


            I can't actually remember who told me that or when, just that it came up recently in some conversation? But I am assuming it wasn't too severe or they'd have had an easier time figuring it out. I'm also assuming it's not too common, so it probably won't be the problem.

          • jenavira says:

            One can only hope.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I'm appalled at that sentence.

          • Absotively says:

            I'm sure it's not likely to be that. But it's sort of weirdly comforting to me to know that that's an option, because it sounds awful but apparently must have been manageable, and it's nice to think that even the awful possibilities are probably manageable.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I am hoping for not that and still manageable!

          • Absotively says:

            Well, yes, that would be ideal!

          • redheadfae says:

            I can't absorb it without B12 and something called Intrinsic Factor, perhaps that's a chance of an issue?

          • Absotively says:

            Maybe? I already take B12, though I wasn't taking it at quite the same time as the iron. I'm taking vitamin C with it now, which I wasn't before, so that might help. I will bring that up if the next blood tests say bad things.

          • redheadfae says:

            Apparently for me, it was the Intrinsic Factor, which is something my body doesn't make or have or something. It's been a few years, and it was after a horrid miscarriage, so I may not be too sure of how the IF works.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Meal planning is hard enough, indeed.

      I was grateful for the iron pills post-partum because I was anemic for three months and I thought it was parenthood that was killing me and it wasn't! Which was excellent!

      • Absotively says:


        Greatly improved energy level and brain non-fuzziness seems to be continuing into the evening, so I think I may actually be, like, absorbing iron and making hemoglobin.

  5. mowinda says:

    I went to a "someone related to my brother's wife" Thanksgiving thing yesterday and arrived at around 12:30 and left at around 5:30 which was the perfect amount of time to be in a house with legitimately 35-40 people in it, some of whom were YELLING at the TV

    The food was very good and I'm glad they invited me though!

  6. Flitworth says:

    Regarding yesterday's makeup tutorial video. Do white people really do Native American "inspired" make up? I just can't wrap my mind around that.

    Tiny human is a hot mess and I am so low on patience. I am sure her behaviors all have a legitimate source and she is doing what kids her age/experience do but FFS why is every nanosecond a battle.

    Now that I go to inlaws for Thanksgiving, we don't have the piles of leftovers and I miss it even though I'm meh on turkey/meat in general.

    • littleinfinity says:

      Leftovers are the best part of Thanksgiving! There is so much prep and stress around the actual meal and it's over in a hot second. I love being able to leisurely nom some leftovers the day after. You could always go pick up some cranberry sauce/ stuffing/ whatever you're craving and have second chill Thanksgiving on your own 🙂

      • Flitworth says:

        Well, husband's parents are divorced and his mum lives in a facility so Thanksgiving isn't over. We have round 2 Sunday. I think I am going to make homemade mac n cheese because I just learned that's a legit side for the holiday and I ❤️ Cheese.
        I may pour myself a brandy and have a nap.

        • littleinfinity says:

          I just learned that this year too! I have never had mac and cheese at Thanksgiving but I love mac and cheese, so I am in full support of this development. Brandy + nap = excellent idea.

        • redheadfae says:

          I hope you make enough to keep some for yourself! I hear mac n cheese pairs well with brandy.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      So sorry to hear the tiny human is a hot mess – certainly holidays bring out a lot of the worst in everyone, plus and also all the people watching you have OPINIONS about how you are parenting and what will go wrong if you persist, and just GAH. May it get easier, and smoother, and may she sleep hard and long so you have extra time for brandy…

    • redheadfae says:

      There are some really out there makeup trends going on right now, and I'm afraid that I've seen NA "inspired" crap on the same people wearing headdresses at music festivals. *shudder*

  7. jenavira says:

    I had a glorious week off and a really lovely Thanksgiving, but it was Full Of People (not even that many people or even people I don't see all that often, but just People) and now I'm pretty drained. I hope this weekend is slow at work, because I'm working every day until Monday, when I have a dentist appointment, and then back again on Tuesday. Why do I do this to myself?

    I was talking with someone else recently who said that Zoloft killed their creativity, and between that and the fact that my baseline mood has dropped again and when I told the psychiatrist I was feeling better really what it meant was that I didn't want to die every single day, I think I'm going to be switching meds in January again. I'm not really looking forward to it, but I miss wanting to write.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I've known a few people who had a harder time writing when they were on anti-depressants… and more who had a hard time writing when they were depressed.


      • jenavira says:

        Yeah, "I can write again" has traditionally been my cue for when the depression is lifting, but on Zoloft I've frequently felt better but just…had no words. I had to take up painting last year, to fill the void. This year I thought I'd gotten over it, but my 7k-and-counting NaNoWriMo project has convinced me that it wasn't as over as I thought.

        I will gladly take tea, though. Mmm, tea.

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          In a weird way, I'm glad to know that I'm not alone in having issues writing. (Thanks for that.) I've also moved to visual media for expression lately. It seems to tickle a different part of my brain. How's it working for you?

          • jenavira says:

            It's been weirdly gratifying reading a lot of professional writers' recaps of the past year, talking about how little they've gotten done, or how hard it's been. It's crazy the general level of stress the entire country's under right now. (Probably the whole world, really. I keep thinking of Gandalf – "So do all who live to see such times," and all.)

            Painting is satisfying like writing used to be, but not as portable – I can write at work in my downtime, can't do that with paint or even drawing. But it's helping to clarify some of my artistic impulses, and I can reach flow when I'm painting or sketching, and it's about the only way I can any more.

            When I have time (in my January vacation, I think), I'm going to try poetry. I think that might work better than prose.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            BTW Did you ever read this?

            I've committed to creating with pencil crayons for the next while so I bought myself some artist ones… wow… the difference is amazing.

          • jenavira says:

            O.O I had no idea that anyone had done research in this area! Another book I will have to hunt down soonest. (You have the best book recommendations.)

            Art supplies are one of my great indulgences. Nice yarn, artist-quality paints and pencils, good paper – I figure, I don't have kids and I don't go out drinking, so I might as well spend money on things I enjoy. (I think I'll get out a coloring book tonight.)

          • Lee Thomson says:

            the Midnight Disease sounds like the nine of swords – the four o'clock in the morning all-at-onces

            also yes artist quality tools and materials make such an enormous difference. I have one sketchbook I was doing some painting in, and I finally wrote over and over and over again "USE THE NICE PAINT, the crappy paint is just frustrating" and I remember I went and Threw Away the crppy paint without even trying to use it up. And then this summer I bought cheap oils to experiment with and they were insanely frustrating… I might need to try that again?

          • RoseCamelia says:

            Just in case this helps:

            You have my permission to immediately throw out all the cheap oil paints.

            Because you deserve the very finest.

        • littleinfinity says:

          I'm not sure if it's specific to Zoloft, but I am on it and I have noticed that when I'm feeling better/ less depressed, I have less urge to write. I hope you find something that helps your mood but lets you preserve your writing and creativity!

          • jenavira says:

            More data points!

            I do think I get a little bit of logomania when I'm slightly depressed, so I'm honestly not sure whether it's a symptom or a coping mechanism. More stuff to bring to the therapist, I guess.

    • Heathered says:

      SAME re: Zoloft. I was so relieved to have the depression lifted the slightest bit that it took a while for me to realize I could no longer form thoughts that progressed from A to Z (or A to O because it nuked my sex drive, too). I would have worked with it but other side fx were even worse. I hope you find a combo that preserves your essence while keeping you afloat.

      • jenavira says:

        Clearly I should have done more research on this before, rather than just deciding I could live with it. But I was so relieved when it first started working that I couldn't have imagined trying to switch meds then anyway.

        New psychiatrist starting in January, and it seems like we're gonna have a lot to talk about.

        • Heathered says:

          I still kind of regret stopping even though it would have meant a life made up of 90% sleeping and pooping. At least I was doing those things with some determination! God, depression is bonkers.

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    Thanksgiving went well though the prep almost killed me emotionally. My brother brought his GF, her mom, and her kids; they are all Russian and brought delicious food to share, so we had a mash up meal that included meat stuffed blini and other new treats. So many leftovers, so no cooking this weekend! The dog did really well, so thank you for positive thoughts and tips.

    Today is my do nothing day. I'd had coffee and pie, and read half a book. Now I'm watching Due South and knitting. You can see what I'm working on, and pictures of exhausted pup and cat, over here .

  9. Absotively says:

    This is probably very wise.

  10. littleinfinity says:

    I have so much newfound respect for people who host Thanksgiving with a house full of people. I've made Thanksgiving dinner several times before, including turkey and everything, but it's always been hosted at someone else's house, and wow does that make a difference. We only had 5 pretty chill adults, no tiny humans or anything, but between the cleaning and houseguests and trying to play hostess… gahhh. It actually all went pretty well except for a smoky oven which meant everyone had to evacuate the house for a minute (luckily the high yesterday was 90 freaking degrees). Food was great, we played games, everyone had a good time… so no actual complaints but MAN I am so, so done. J's sister came from out of town and was staying with us (she is great), and she and J just left for the beach to have some sibling time, which means I get to sit here and drink coffee and eat leftovers and hang out on the internet and do absolutely nothing productive. my body is READY.

  11. Heathered says:

    Thanks to everyone for your kindness to me during a sucky week. By Wednesday evening I found a piece of driftwood I could cling to, then a few more, and finally enough to make a raft. Still wobbly but getting better. Because of the holiday I'm thinking a lot about how weird it is that I genuinely like my own company and definitely need alone time, but having nowhere to be and spending Thanksgiving alone kind of gutted me this year. I'm tired of being alone to the extent that I am, but keep trying to change things and hitting wall after wall, then beating myself up for being so sad when it's a rational response to an unacceptable situation. Good times! Still working on it, but good gravy is it exhausting.

    • jenavira says:

      I went through something similar a few years ago (I thought I'd really appreciate spending the holidays alone and then I had car trouble and couldn't go see anyone and had a total meltdown) and it was rough. Holidays are weird and have a lot of baggage attached to them. I'm glad you're feeling better, and I hope you continue to improve.

    • Doc_Paradise says:


      Having a choice makes a big difference in my experience.

    • Absotively says:

      I'm glad you've found some things to keep you afloat. I hope your attempts to change things start to bear fruit soon, and also become less exhausting.

    • redheadfae says:

      Keep floating, we are here, and you aren't totally alone with that.

  12. faintlymacabre says:

    Thanksgiving was fine. Cranberry lemon meringue pie was well received. I had a mini breakdown at my aunt's house, because it made me think of ex and how last year we had been newly engaged and excited and what not. But I pretended my excessive nose blowing had come from a bug I picked up babysitting my friend's kids, so yay for somewhat plausible excuses.

    Then my ex told me to watch an episode of House Hunters- one of the houses that the couple on the show looked at was one that we had put an offer on (and then nope the fuck out of there after the inspection). It was so surreal, plus like watching a horror film. I was mentally screaming, "Don't go in there!"

  13. Absotively says:

    In other news: I have been reminded that "co-living" is more or less the word for how I would want a Toast commune to be, except that the existing implementations tend to be rather expensive and tech-bro-ish.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I think we'll be ok if we ban cis-men. Sorry, Onymous.

      • Onymous says:

        completely understandable. Besides my living goals mostly involve being sufficiently alone that no one ever says "good morning" to me or tells me to put on pants when I'm on my porch.

    • redheadfae says:

      That's true, or else terribly 70s hippie commune updated to Burning Man.
      I just realized that's exactly tech-bro, isn't it?

    • Absotively says:

      Also, I guess it might be easier to find an affordable place somewhere that real estate prices aren't ridiculous. For the potential commune location of the week, here's a place in Halifax with five bedrooms, though the master bedroom is large enough it could probably be converted into two bedrooms.

      • phantom says:

        Oh I like Halifax I wouldn't have to move countries.

        • Absotively says:

          I’m not really looking to leave Canada, so if people want to daydream about a Toast commune in some other country they’re going to have to look at real estate listings themselves. 🙂

          • phantom says:

            Oh yeah totally, best to keep your daydreams realistic, but also I think emigrating seems like it would be unpleasant enough not to daydream about in some ways.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            I've been daydreaming about immigrating *to* Canada for about 15 years now. Sponsor me? At least in daydreams?

    • Lee Thomson says:

      There a couple of co-housing communities around me, and we can use that for a term – most are collected families or couples living in smallish houses or apartments, with shared great-room, common cooking and eating areas, and shared guest spaces. One has shared shop and studio spaces which I thought sounded idyllic. Once we finish setting up the requests and requirements, it should be fairly smooth. We could ahve a shared library too, unless people feel possessive about books (which is a position I respect).

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I had an older customer who was selling his hand built dome home in Baltimore to move to a co housing community, Rocky Corner in CT or Belfast in ME. I like the village style communities.

  14. Räven says:

    Terrible producer client, instead of sending an email to say what I need to revise for Tuesday, sent me an audio link to his meeting with the agency — so I have to listen to 40 minutes of realtime chat and take my own fucken notes.
    Only twenty minutes in, I have already heard treacherous client tell the agency that he hates my title design and wants to scrap it – something he has never once suggested to me in a month of it being in the roughcut. And the agency are pissed because this is the third time they've requested a color correct — but this is the first I"ve heard of it, which is why they haven't seen it yet.

    • Absotively says:


      • Räven says:

        I mean, I get it: agency sound fairly unhappy with him and he's clearly screwed up, so he's changing the narrative. They think they're unhappy? He is unhappy! Who screwed up? Graphics person who isn't on the call! Yeah!

        But really it's terribly rude. And he shouldn't be volunteering to redesign something they aren't even asking for, we've used most of my budget and it turns out we're much further from delivery than I had thought. I'm still too mad to listen to the end of the call but it's been extremely informative; if I was going to have to go through this nonsense, I wish this had happened a month ago.

        • Absotively says:

          Sure, but it seems likely that in the long term he's going to have a worse relationship with his graphics person and/or a harder time finding a graphics person.

          Also if he'd taken notes and given them to you, he could have hidden what a jerk he was being, while still getting all the advantages of his jerkitude.

          • Räven says:

            Amusingly, or amazingly, he had already asked me to work on a project with him in January. (I'd said yes because work is work, even though he has been rather high maintenance even before this revelation.) I suppose he just kind of lives in the moment and says whatever seems useful at the time, and I understand he is a snake, he's not the first snake I've worked for, but I'm sort of astonished by how transparent he is about it.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            So, a cis, het, white man, then? No need to hide self-centered behavior because they seldom/never suffer consequences for it.

    • redheadfae says:

      Holy crap, what a horrible endeavor, and not even subtly passive-aggressive and lazy. I am so sorry.

    • RoseCamelia says:


      You deserve so much better. Space laser is too good for these people.

  15. Onymous says:

    So my day sorta got better.


    Yesterday my brother calls me and says "I asked Dad for some money to you offset the travel costs and stuff to see our dying mother" and our dad, who has been giving him money on and off for several years due to periods of unemployment, decided he was tired of this and sent him a check but also said "I am never speaking to you again".

    So downside.

    Then my brother says he has decided not to cash the check out of principals… So he's going to borrow money from me.

    So downside.

    My mom is back to "getting better" status, which is again annoying to me mostly but it means it's easier to convince my brother to stay in Austin and keep going to work instead of driving back to Chattanooga for an indeterminate amount of time to maybe be there when our mom dies while spending money he doesn't have and losing yet another job.

    So upside.

    Also our little brother convinced him to cash the check because fuck principals. So I'll get the cost of his plane ticket back instead of losing several hundred more dollars.

    So upside.

    Which is to say my brother is going even more dependant on me going forward but at least I only lost the cost of my own plane ticket to this debacle.

    • LaxMom says:

      It's none of my business, but I want to give you permission to let his problems be his and not yours, and to not need to spend money on him.

    • redheadfae says:

      Aieee-yi-yi. Can we please tell the operator that it's time for the ride to be over?
      Emotional rollercoasters suck.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Good for brother asking dad for money. Dad is being hurtful to you, Onymous, and likely otherwise fucking up as a parent. So make him pay. Any way you can.

      Good for youngest brother counseling to cash the check. I think he likely understands my reasoning, above.

      Good for all brothers continuing to speak to and support each other.

      ::Mankanaut hugs:: for all y'all.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I've been on the planet long enough to live through the deaths of childhood friends, an uncle, a parent, and all grandparents, including greats and steps. Repetition has taught me what works for me.

      When death is not sudden, I spend time deciding frequency.

      I decided, for example, that I would visit my grandmother two weeks after I learned she was beginning her departure from life. Two weeks is how long it took, back then, for flight prices to be reasonable.

      Then I decided I would visit her again 2 months later, and again every 2 months while she was still living. At some point, she became unaware of my presence, but I still needed to see her. At some point I became dissatisfied with seeing her alive, but not herself. That was my last visit. I declined to travel again until her funeral.

      Frequency depends on the relationship, my budget, and geographic distance.

      This may not be the right direction for your or your brother's planning. But I hope to encourage planning of some kind. I trust your judgment.

  16. LaxMom says:

    Today was almost 50 out and sunny and that's rare in Nov. so we finished raking/blowing the leaves. 1 1/2 acres is a lot of leaves.

    I wanted to get outside plus Teenboy came home last night from shopping (which was supposed to be silly fun) practically crying, I assume it is girl related and I wanted to get him outside a bit today and distracted. He is not talking about it.

    Teengirl's plans for the evening went south, so I think the new plan may be yarny crafts and superhero tv.

    • redheadfae says:

      Yay! We had a wonderful sunny and warm (70! Kansas!? Post Tday!) day as well and took a nice ride to "blow out our mental cobwebs."
      I hope your evening plans go well for all of you.. yarny crafts and superhero tv sound relaxing and I hope Teenboy's distress is easily comforted.

  17. Lee Thomson says:

    I am still on a particularly gorgeous piece of the coast of Maine. Today we met up with my brother, his wife and their 9 year old (he calls me Aunty Gravity! I have WON the weird aunt names game for the evening!) and walked around a different gorgeous piece of the coast with very large very lumpy sculptures on a nice path. We went on to have lunch, and see his shore house (when you live on a small island, you need a toe-hold ashore) and talked and talked about parents and parenting, and growing up. It was a very good day.

    I have retreated to my BnB and am ignoring my mother's phone calls and talking to you people, and then I will turn off all the lights and admire the stunning number of stars that are visible up here, and sleep with the window open and a pile of blankets on me. Tomorrow I slouch down the coast to visit more friends (and possibly hit Halcyon yarn) and then home, and my own bed, and see Mr and the younger Crow. We are already hatching plans to do something like this again in a couple months.

    Thanksgiving dinner was amazing, but my favorite part might have been the sweet potato pie made from purple potatoes. It was really, really beautiful, and very tasty. Also excellent for breakfast. with ice cream.

  18. Lee Thomson says:

    Also these people have THE best yarn names:

  19. ru_ri says:

    Super late to this because of time differences and busy-ness, but You Guys! I had a really good time with my mom here in Japan, even though we stayed together in a room so tiny there was only room for one bed, and we did not have much time apart. I put her on a plane home yesterday, still waiting to hear that she got home OK (but I am assuming she did, since her flights were all on time). It occurred to me as I saw her going through security at Narita that my mom is one tough cookie. For a 77-year-old to do the things we did in the past two weeks is amazing. Anyway, I'll try to put a narrative of our stay together somehow if anyone is interested. And let me know if you want a postcard, I would love to send you one! HMU at roo underscore heins at yahoo dot com. (Lee, Heather, and Manka, yours are in the mail…)

  20. Räven says:

    Thanks so much to the gracious Open Thread Guest Hosts for keeping this space open, and allowing Manka a day or three days off. I really appreciated the thread on a rather frustrating and otherwise un-social day.

    • Doc_Paradise says:


      I've thought about all the jobs that are needed to keep this place going and I've come up with this list:

      — Hosting (making sure everyone gets a reply and is made to feel welcome)
      — Moderating (approving comments, cleaning spam, admin stuff)
      — Post Writing (making content)
      — Editing (editing posts, soliciting posts, layout, posting, etc)
      — Manager (decision making, organization, conflict management, community management, etc)
      — Link Submission (finding and submitting links/articles)
      — Link Editor (collecting, vetting, soliciting, collating, summarizing, laying out for links post)
      — IT (creation, matainance, repair, development)
      — Financial (paying for the site, etc)

      Manka does a lot.

  21. redheadfae says:

    I really enjoyed hosting and hope I helped everyone to feel half as welcomed and appreciated as you all have done for me, considering I'm not even a part of the original community. Thank you for that, you have been such a group of great support.

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