Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

Patti Lupone is fucking awesome

I hope everyone had a fantastic time last week, a million thank-yous to Doc Paradise and redheadfae for hosting. Thank you in advance to everyone who offered to host future Friday OTs. I love everyone in this bar!

In other news, holy shit y’all, it’s December. How does everyone feel about that?

281 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. RoseCamelia says:

    Fellow Mankanauts,

    You're not obliged to remember:
    1. In the spring I listed a house for sale in central Texas.
    2. In the summer I sold that house and
    3. Moved to Houston for Mr Rose's new job. Which just laid him off.
    4. We will move again when Mr Rose finds the next job. Another Houston job is unlikely, in his industry, at his level of experience, though not impossible.

    We are not surprised. We knew this employer was inexperienced, but assumed they would take advice from Mr Rose and other experienced scientists. That's why you hire them, right? Nope. They wasted money by ignoring everyone. Now they can't afford to continue, must lay off everyone.

    And this was a slam dunk. They had a super successful product. Necessary government approvals were unusually easy. Tens of thousands of sick people would have benefited. But no. Because of hubris.

    I'm not in the best mood, obviously. But I've been worse.

    I'm looking forward to my January-February travels to see my favorite uncles and our own Lee. I'm trying not to look at the next move.

  2. Doc_Paradise says:

    It's time for me to start thinking about Agnostica.

    This is an utterly made up holiday [1] that I have co-opted for my own purposes. I donate money to charities chosen by my friends. There are a few caveats: I have to be able to donate via the internet and I reserve the right to veto charities that I have moral objections to or legal limitations regarding.

    So… Mankanauts… Where would you like me to donate money to this year?

    (Link to their donation page in the comments.)

    [1] See the comic series Nukees for the origin.

    • Absotively says:

      Scarleteen! I find they kind of fell off my radar once I aged out of their demographic, but I do believe they are doing good and necessary work, and the people who are still in their demographic generally don't have a lot of spare cash to support them with. Since their big donation drive a couple years ago, they've been the only charity I support with a recurring monthly donation. (Except my UU church, which I'm never sure counts as charity, since I benefit directly from it being able to keep the lights on.)

    • CleverManka says:

      I feel like this largely depends on the results of the US tax bill that's going up for vote this morning. I wonder if anyone's going to start an assistance fund for graduate students whose taxes are going to go up like 500%….

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      This year I donated to: World Central Kitchen, Jose Andres' charity that feeds people in disaster areas. Over 3 million fed in Puerto Rico! Days End Farm Horse Rescue, here in MD (I volunteered for them). Baltimore Abortion Fund, self explanatory. And Cromwell Valley Park, here in Baltimore, my favorite outside place for wood rambles. So, lots of local stuff.

    • Onymous says:

      My charities of choice are: RAINN, PP, ACLU, SPLC, Oxfam, Doctors without Borders, AICF and my local food bank (in this case Road Runner Food Bank).

      I recommend RAINN on the grounds that they send the least amount of mail, they're happy to just take what they get and get on with their business.

    • jenavira says:

      My charity of choice is the Chicago Community Bond Fund (or the local equivalent of your choice); our justice system is incredibly, painfully broken and these funds give people who can't afford their own bail the chance to await trial (which takes way, way longer than it should) in their homes instead of in jail, where they're likely to be traumatized and mistreated. Plus, the vast majority of the money gets reused over and over again, since most people don't forfeit on their bond.

    • redheadfae says:

      I do a few charities, but this year has been a sparse one for us. I like to anonymously help out one or two friends who just need extra money for a treat because they are on disability or in a rough patch. This year I gave cash to help a former coworker whose family is still without power, clean water and food access in Puerto Rico, so she could ship basic toiletries an canned food to them.
      Unreal, isn't it?

    • littleinfinity says:

      I love this idea so much!! I may have to start doing this in some way myself. Do you set a number of friends to ask, or a number of charities/ money as a goal donation, or just see what comes your way and decide on a case-by-case basis?

      My go-to donations are Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and food banks. I've actually been trying to determine what my system of donating should be, since it's important to me to donate but I don't like having to feel guilty about not responding to every single charity request I get in the mail (I want to donate thoughtfully and to good orgs, not as a knee-jerk response to solicitation).

      • jenavira says:

        I sat down and worked out a process last year, and if I love anything I love sharing my processes, so ignore me if this isn't helpful.

        I decided that my first priority was helping people in my area, so I set up a recurring donation to the local food bank. I decided that my second priority was the increasing danger of fascism in America, so I set up a recurring donation to the ACLU. (I'm not convinced this is the most effective use of my money, but I'm pretty sure it's not a terrible one.) Then I accidentally breached some Twitter etiquette and got blocked by a bunch of people I admire but who didn't know me from Adam, so I supported all of them on Patreon, following Ursula Vernon's theory that sometimes the best way to get rid of guilt is to actually pay restitution for your mistakes. (Basically any time I accidentally wrong someone I support them on Patreon now. I'm up to $20 a month.) And then I decided that I could afford $x per month in donations, which was $y greater than my recurring donations, so the rest goes to whatever seems most pressing at the time: emergency fundraisers for people I know tangentially, the Chicago Community Bond Fund for when the police are in the news again, the SPLC when Nazis are marching. I did all the evaluating once and now I have a slate of options to choose from, and when I balance my budget every month it reminds me to make donations if I have the money.

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        For Agnostica, since it is a one-shot yearly event, I pick a total amount that works for my budget and guesstimate the amount for each donation based on how many people I'm planning on asking.

    • vladazhael says:

      My favorite charity is this one:

      They rescue and rehab wild animals, do lots of educational work with local schools (one of which I attended), and have been valiantly staying afloat for decades now in a town which used to be the home of some high-level KKK asshole.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I like your priorities.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I read Nukees with joy, and then nearly popped a gasket Gav turned up on Schlock Mercenary several stories ago, and continues to show up every once in a while.

      Can you/would you donate to Puerto Rico? They still need help, supplies, water, food, etc…

  3. CleverManka says:

    Hey so I'm on my second night in a row of awake-from-3am-to-6am so I'm feeling not great about December right now. My sleep was (mostly) going so well, too. I was even dreaming regularly. IDEK
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    I'm touching up my roots this weekend, which means Sunday is gonna be a total loss. I like my henna partners and I love the way my hair looks after, don't get me wrong but dang it's a six hours long slog and I have to wash my hair twice in a day in addition to rinsing out the henna and indigo which shouldn't be tiring but…well.

    I think this is gonna be a no-laundry weekend which means it's gonna be another week before my seasonal wardrobe switch happens–thank dogs the weather's been holding. *knocks wood*

    Doc Paradise sent me a compiled list of who is willing to help with what OTs and I'll be contacting people via email soon. I'll probably first take advantage of the people who said they could be available for this month and starting in January we'll have a regular schedule of a particular week per month where people are guest-hosting. I so much appreciate the people who've volunteered for that (and since I haven't mentioned it in a while, thanks to everyone who sends links for the Dump, too).

    This community is the best.

  4. Flitworth says:

    I've had two cries this week about how much I hate my job. I can't wait til my time off at the holidays when I will hopefully be able to buckle down and hit some goals for moving on. We had a call w/ manager (based elsewhere) about workload and adding on-call shifts for my team and a colleague argued against my proposal because it would interfere with bowling (once every 5 weeks) for him and I shot him down hard pointing out his proposal would put me in the position of choosing between work and getting the tiny human through the morning and to daycare if I were paged. Kiss my grits, jackass.

    Local manager is out next week due to nuptials, Bowling Dude is out on vaca and we've been overloaded for ~ month so this should go well! I will be de facto grown up and I'm going to have to put on my No Fucks hat and just get through it.

    We got thrilling update that someone who has been a thorn in our side about adoption has failed, in the 1.5 years they have had, to complete necessary paperwork to challenge us. It doesn't mean they won't, but I don't see how they system won't recognize that as an indication of incompetence. *dancedance*

    It's Flynn Friday!. One of the holiest of days leading up to a Mueller Monday and the Feast of Impeachment!

    Broadchurch season 3 is on Netflix. I've realized that you can tell David Tennant has kids because he has mastered the dead-eyed stare for uncooperative/lying witnesses. I see myself mirrored in his grim, unblinking face.

    • CleverManka says:

      I've been watching this video on and off all week. It helps a little.

      Oh! I found this goat tower on Tumblr and thought of you.

    • Flitworth says:

      A prayer for Flynn Friday:

      Dear Mueller, who art in DC, hallowed be thy name. Thy indictments come, thy will be done, in the courts and the halls of justice. Give us this day, our daily thinkpiece and never forgive our traitors as they are unforgiving bastards. Amen.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm sorry work is making you cry. I sent in my resume this week for one job, so I have to hit all my resources to pick another place for next week's work. Hate the applying, but hate the job even more.

      Good luck with the adoption incompetence!

    • jenavira says:

      Broadchurch! I was just wondering when that was going to make it to Netflix. Wonderful, now I have plans for the weekend. <3

    • redheadfae says:

      I'm so sorry about the job stress. That must be miserable indeed.

    • jenavira says:

      And re: Flynn: the gift that keeps on giving.

      (I'm so sorry you're having job stress. Bowling guy can go fling himself into the sun; you deserve better than all this.)

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      I did not realize Broadchurch was even having a third season. I might have to work myself up to it (I love that show but it can be rough).

      I'm so sorry work is ridiculous. I now want one of those pins that says 'no fucks given' just to wear on particularly grating days on the inside of my pocket or something.

      I would celebrate the crap out of that holy week.

      • Flitworth says:

        Yea,Broadchurch and feels. I am v. glad it wasn't a one-off though. S3 is centered around a sexual assault but so far it hasn't been quite as twisty as S2 so less stressful for me (so far). That's a matter of what ticks your boxes for discomfort tho.

        • damngoodcoffee says:

          True. And usually any discomfort is somewhat offset by the two leads, who just play off each other amazingly, IMO, and have made me laugh unexpectedly during what is usually a very tense show. I like Happy Valley for similar reasons (the lead is just unbelievably amazing).

    • littleinfinity says:

      Happy Flynn Friday! Let us feast and drink and make merry as we prepare the gallows of impeachment.

      Sorry to hear about work :/ I hope you can get out of there asap. A while ago I was debating about leaving vs staying at my job and ultimately decided to stay till I get married in April, because weddings cost money, but let me tell you I am counting the days.

      • Flitworth says:

        For multiple reasons I considered an alcoholic beverage at lunchtime. Flynn Friday Fiesta!! (sad trombone; I'm on call and cannot imbibe)

    • vladazhael says:

      If there is a Feast of Impeachment, we should all actually have a Feast of Impeachment together. Even if we have to do it remotely.

  5. Kazoogrrl says:

    I can't believe it's December. I'm still wearing a light fall jacket, and I posted pics today, where the combo of perspective, dress length, and boots makes me look very biker-hobbit. I did listen to the Charlie Brown Christmas album on the way to work, which I appreciate as an adult because of this NPR story. This weekend I might get a tree, I was going to go for a smaller one that we can put on a short table to have it out of the dog's way, but then I realized I don't think I have anything to use as a stand that small. A local nursery 2 blocks from our house has trees, so we can wander down and assess the situation.

    Other than that I'm tidying up a bit tonight, tomorrow we're recording with a guest, and the Japanese name theme to S2 Hannibal means I am seriously craving sushi. We're going to see Thor Sun, so maybe for lunch. For fans of The Witch, I think we're going to make the Poisoned Apple cocktail from this blog post, which has some great commentary about the film. The drinks for the Hannibal episode we're covering all need ingredients that are a little pricey, so we're skipping them this time (though one has a syrup made from lapsong suchong, which is not my fav tea but I'm intrigued).

    Speaking of shows, any American Gods viewers? Did you all see Fuller and Green left the show? I think it sucks, but I'm not devastated. I also don't think it necessarily means Hannibal is coming back any time soon, though I am ever hopeful.

    Last thing, I'm going to make this cowl from a skein of Brooklyn Tween in Serpentine, then make a hat out of a second skein.

    • CleverManka says:


      Also, yes, I saw that about American Gods. I'm bummed because I really liked what he was doing with the show. But seriously what is Fuller doing with his career? He's starting to look like a dilettante and whether that's true or not, we all know image is everything in that business.

      I feel like I'm the only Hannibal fan who doesn't want more seasons because I loved the way the show ended SO MUCH. I don't want a continuation of that! I'm also the weirdo who didn't hate the (supposed) finale of Farscape (and have never and will never watch Peacekeeper Wars).

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        But seriously what is Fuller doing with his career? He's starting to look like a dilettante and whether that's true or not, we all know image is everything in that business.

        I said the SAME THING! If both of them bailed it's probably for a good reason, but seriously dude. You're a genius but you're not THAT special.

        I would love Hannibal back, but if it doesn't happen I'm ok because it was a very satisfying end. Right now I'm watching Dead Like Me, and everyone reminds me, "Don't watch the movie!". Which reminds me, Ellen Muth roasts coffee and I might buy some for J because he loves her.

        • CleverManka says:

          I haven't even heard of that! We just started watching being human (the UK version) and like it so far. Weirdly, Netflix started with Season 2? But that was okay. It was easy enough to get into the story and we didn't have to deal with the weirdness of cast changes.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Is that with Aidan "Hotness" Turner? *checks* Yes it is. I need to watch that.

          • CleverManka says:

            So apparently he's not in the first season, though? Which isn't on Netfix so I didn't even know about it? And he drops out somewhere after Season 3. Sooooo I'm probably not going to be watching any of the seasons without him because ngl he's one of the main reasons I wanted to see it.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I just remembered, Fuller was almost fired/walked off Hannibal, but Hugh and Mads said if he went they'd quit too. Dude, what is UP?

          • jenavira says:

            I know he is a person who, if you tell him to stop doing a thing, will INCREASE THE FUCKING THING, and he's gotten shows cancelled for being Too Gay in the past. That seems less likely with American Gods, but it could still be a "creative control" issue.

            (It seems likely to me that, like Joe Straczynski, one of my favorite writers but undoubtedly a horrible person to work with, he just can't tolerate having someone else with veto control over his art.)

          • CleverManka says:

            Yes, this wouldn't surprise me (from what I've heard, the actors at least love working with Fuller).

    • Xolandra says:

      That outfit is so so great!!!

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Brooklyn Tweed. TWEED DAMMIT!

      • jenavira says:

        Brooklyn Tweed is so gorgeous! And that cowl looks lovely and cuddly. I bought a skein of Arranmore to make slippers but it's so soft it might need to become that cowl instead.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          A friend got a job in their shipping department, and damn I want to work there too. It would involve moving across the country, though.

          • jenavira says:

            …I could never work in a shipping department for yarn, I would just stand there and pet the yarn all day.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            Their HR department probably has a policy that screens out candidates who knit or crochet. I imagine they've had to let go many like you after just a few days.

    • redheadfae says:

      I love American Gods, and being an Ian McShane fan, I'm also seriously digging the anticipated production of the long-promised Deadwood flick!
      It would not surprise me if AG dies on the vine. My listed favorites usually do that.

      Outfit perfection!

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I loved it, and it seemed like a critical and popular hit, but it's so different I could see it needing dedicated and visionary show runners to make it happen.

        I'm going to a Hannibal convention in Feb, they are currently extending it to some AG actors too, so Ricky Whittle is supposed to be there. I want to talk to him about very mundane things.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Your outfit is wonderful!

    • Lee Thomson says:

      biker-hobbit is a perfect description and something to aspire to!

    • vladazhael says:


  6. jenavira says:

    Two years ago I decided I was going to make year-long goals, because I do well with more space to move around in. The first project was getting healthier. I made some progress, but not as much as I thought at the time. This year's project has been surviving, and as such I am feeling pretty good about still existing at the beginning of December.

    I opened my first yarn advent box package today and cast on the cowl pattern with a small ball of brown-and-white cashmere. Not my usual color choice, but it's lovely and soft and it's giving me the opportunity to figure out why it is I sometimes but not always untwist the yarn as I knit with it.

    Also I'm rereading Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children books in preparation for the third one coming out in January. I still want a magical door to open to take me to the world where I'll be at home. I've always wanted that, only now there are books specifically about that yearning. (My therapist asked me, a couple of weeks ago, why I wasn't allowed to want things, and I couldn't say "because I'm pretty sure the thing I want most isn't possible.")

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      So, I'm a casual Harry Potter fan. And I'm listening to a Witch, Please episode where Hannah goes to the HP Studio Tour, and mentions how it makes her feel like she did as a kid, where she desperately wanted to be transported to this other world. I don't have that feeling about HP, but I do get momentary flashes with other things. I'm not too fond of it, because they make me so unsatisfied with my real life in a way I can't change.

      This ties into my "I don't really want merchandise related to the thing I love" feelings. As a kid I remember crying because I didn't want an ET doll, I wanted to be friends with ET. And I told J that even though I harbor a deep love for Toothless, unless he can get me the actual dragon I don't need stuff. I do make exceptions for some fan made objects, especially art.

      • jenavira says:

        Same. I'm so happy for people for whom HP is their magical world; it didn't hit me in quite the right place.

        That's an interesting reaction (and a useful one, all things considered: Mine is that I want at least but probably not more than One Thing for a thing I love, other than the thing itself in the form of books or DVDs. Unfortunately I love a lot of things.)

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          I like things that are tangental to my fandom. Like, with Hannibal, clothing or meals or house decorations that remind me of the show. I have some pops and art, but I don't want a ton of stuff. I've thought of making myself a wand, mostly because I like making things. I actually wrote this long post about ways to engage creative in fandom beyond fanfic/art/vids.

          • jenavira says:

            Yes! The things I covet most are the things that would exist in that world. I'm not an action-figure type (with the exception of my Londo Mollari action figure, which again, appeared in an actual episode).

            And those are the things I find easiest to create, now that you mention it. Knitting patterns, embroideries, recipes…things I can see being useful to the world. (It's no wonder I like the idea of the SCA so much, is it?)

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I also like the idea of the SCA but I think a lot of the interaction would bug me. I have a friend who is into it, every hobby is related to it. She weaves, hand sews, makes glass beads, and does a LOT of research from original sources (medieval Viking, I think).

          • jenavira says:

            Oh yeah, I like the idea of the SCA a lot. The actual SCA groups I've interacted with…not so much.

            (That's harsh. A lot of the people I met through there were very nice. But there is a Small Stakes Politics thing going on there that can turn toxic very quickly, particularly in a community that lives by a lot of the Geek Social Fallacies.)

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            I may have stuck with it if I'd found a different group, but there was judgement from the Authenticity Police, and then the completely inappropriate flirting by older men that made me feel Very Adult at 15 but I now know as Completely Inappropriate. I do like the arts and crafts, though.

      • redheadfae says:

        My magical door leads into a place similar to Charles de LInt's Newford, but with telekinesis and such. Actually, my magical place is pretty dark, more like the Dark Tower landscape with those doors.

    • Xolandra says:

      I still want a magical door to open to take me to the world where I'll be at home

      This may be why I stopped reading fantasy. There were never going to be magic talking horses and pyrotelekinesis in this world, and it was just too sad.

    • CleverManka says:

      Getting healthier takes So. Much. Time. So much. So so so so much. Congratulations on surviving!

      I still want a magical door to open to take me to the world where I'll be at home.
      SAME. In fact, I have the bare bones of a someday-essay called "My Door to Elsewhere."

  7. Xolandra says:

    Work is a garbage fire of bureaucracy today, and it is in part because I failed to notice a detail. I am very very hopeful that things will work out, but I arrived at work to a pretty unpleasant email in my inbox, and it is making me anxious and therefore my tummy is roily. OTOH, I drafted an email that will be being sent to my Big Director (I have tried very much to fly under her radar because she and i will never get along for Reasons that i will not go into here) that I am actually kind of proud of? Turns out bureaucratizing is a skill, and one that I have been sinking points into, and that is starting to show, I think.

    In other work related news (I never talk about work! How is this happening), I am also feeling very chuffed about the fact that I have managed to convince my management that we should be acknowledging the indigenous territory on which we meet when we do that once a year. I asked to do this last year and was told that it was "incredibly inappropriate" because the initiative had not come from management. I went home and cried that day, and very strongly considered quitting for about two weeks. This year, I did a better job of the request and the climate around this question has altered a little, and not only did I get permission, I am spearheading putting together resources and talking points about why we are doing this so that my colleagues can offer the acknowledgement from their hearts and not just as a matter of rote. If anyone has anything they think I should read on this subject, please links!!!

    And this weekend, a night celebrating Fela Kuti with one of my favourite djs and live drummer and horn. my body is ready.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Go you, speaking up for First Nations people! I am proud to know you.

      • Xolandra says:

        Aw, thanks. There's a lot of garbage in how Indigenous folks were treated/ are treated by our government, and one of the statements that has affected me, personally, very profoundly, is that we are all treaty people. I'm just tryna hold up my end of the bargain.

    • CleverManka says:

      I wish I could loan you my brain so you could polish your skills. I am very good at bureaucracy–both adhering to it and finding loopholes for it (whichever best suits my needs).

      I asked to do this last year and was told that it was "incredibly inappropriate" because the initiative had not come from management.
      Ugh, I fucking HATE that sort of shit. If there's funds in the budget, our department always asks for purchasing suggestions for the campus video/DVD library. Our last department chair told me that it was inappropriate for me to make suggestions (as a lowly secretary) and I needed to ask a faculty member to submit those requests to her. Un. Real.

      ETA: every single one of my suggestions have been for Shakespeare productions because that is my jam–it wasn't like I was suggesting things that wouldn't be used in the curriculum.

      • Xolandra says:

        I am terrible at bureaucracy, but I am learning that cutting through red tape with a machete is just… not actually an option, and instead am learning to navigate like a snake.

        O_o your department chair! That is on the level with the director that had a back and forth with a manager about the hotel that would be appropriate for an employee (CC'd on the chain of emails) to stay at that wasn't as fancy as the director/manager fancy (which also happened to be where the meetings were being held), but that also wasn't too far away for employee to walk to the meetings.

        • CleverManka says:

          Sending you ALL my Slytherin vibes.

          And yeah, when that happened I was like "oh this is what it feels like to be smacked in the face with White Liberalism–got it, okay note to self NEVER BE THAT PERSON."

          • Xolandra says:

            Yisssssssss. i have only recently started embracing my snek-y nature, and it is _glorious_.

            And YEP. Privilege is a nefarious beast, i am often stunned at how it changes people from Radicals into Conservatives, and try to guard against it myself.

    • Heathered says:

      Kudos on your bravery in doing the right thing! Also for using the word "chuffed"! (As a lower 48-er, it took me quite a while to grasp that it's a GOOD thing to be. For some reason it sounds angry/frustrated to me.)

      • vladazhael says:

        SAME. I was so confused for a while.

      • Xolandra says:

        Thank you! the use of "chuffed" may be related to the fact that I am 1st gen Canadian; my papa came over from England on a boat at the ripe old age of 9, but very much kept his british-ish way of talking. I asked about that, once (because of the 4 kids that came over, my da is the only one with any remnant of an accent), and he said that he tried v hard to keep his accent first because he wanted to be like his papa, and then later because he worked out girls liked it, and then it was too late to change ^_^

        • Heathered says:

          It was a friend from Cape Town who kept reporting that her dad was chuffed about this or that which caught my ear. Definitely that Colonial Englishe thing at work (and, speaking as a girl in at least some capacity, I definitely like it, even when it confuses the hell out of me. Hilariously, said friend was prone to fall in love with every Tennesseean who walked into the bookstore. The grass is always greener, etc.).

  8. damngoodcoffee says:

    Alright, I've started invisalign. My teeth are sore but I am getting better (after about 3 days) of taking out and putting in the trays, and I was able to eat breakfast this morning with no pain whatsoever, so that's progress. The most annoying thing is that I have to take them out to eat, which kind of ruins all the random grazing I've been doing between meals as part of my eating habits for the past few years. It was made apparent to me during Thanksgiving (where I got so cold I legit alarmed my family) that I am not getting enough protein in my diet, so now with the invisalign in I have to be extra conscious of what I'm eating and making sure I'm getting enough.

    ANYWAY, not much else is going on with me rn though over the holiday my family and I went to see Lady Bird which was better than I thought it would be- really unexpectedly funny in places and really insightful and caring overall. Not usually my type of movie, to be honest, but it was just so thoughtful about every single character and their internal lives. Good stuff.

    • CleverManka says:

      Best wishes with the invisalign and adjusted eating habits. Adjusting eating habits ranks right up there (down there?) with personal growth. Ugh.

    • Heathered says:

      Glad to hear a good review! Something about Greta Gerwig's ear for language and her own combination of tentative delivery with a confident vision just skewers me right in the feels.

  9. redheadfae says:

    I just informed my supervisor that I didn't think I'd be returning to work at all.
    It feels weird, but it just happened that she called to check on me and I'm tired of pretending I'm going to get better enough to return. We'll see how this shakes out, but in a big way.. relief.
    New medication starts today and the tapering down of Cymbalta continues. I remain hopeful since the psych I'm seeing now believes "it all happens in the gut" and did a genetic test to find out what would work best for me. Of course, all the basic ADs are on my either "not good at all" or "possibly" but we have one generic on "best" so here goes!

    • CleverManka says:

      Oof. That's…rough. I'm glad she is a decent enough person to call you back to check on you.

      I'm becoming more and more convinced myself that yeah, it's all in the gut. Which on one hand, yay solutions but on the other I guess I'll never get to eat (real) pizza again.

      • redheadfae says:

        Oh, I know! I eat a piece anyway and then I pay. It's not the gluten that I'm afraid of, it's the recent dairy issues, and you KNOW how I love my dairy.

    • jenavira says:

      That's a big step. I'm glad you're feeling relief. I hope this gives you space to heal, as much as you can, and room to be the best version of yourself that you can be.

      Good luck with the med adjustment! <3

      • redheadfae says:

        Thank you… I'm remaining optimistic, as much as I can anyway.
        I really hate that term "new normal" but that's what it is.

    • Heathered says:

      Keeping fingers crossed for this med to help you, and cheering on your persistence. It's so much damn work just finding what works, but your wellness has to be job one. Sending you all the good gut bacteria.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      Ride that wave of relief/hopeful feeling, I say. I hope the new medication is helpful and that not feeling that particular pressure re: work will help too.

      • redheadfae says:

        Me' too, thank you.
        If this genetic thing works to find me the "best working" medication, I'll be ever so grateful. I would go back to work if I could, but it's time for me to accept my quality of life is shite if I do.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm sorry that is how it shakes out (for now) but glad that limbo state is over.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I'm sorry you are not well enough for work. But I am glad you have relief after talking with you supervisor. Here's hoping your new med turns out to bevThe One.

  10. vladazhael says:

    I feel honestly pretty fucking great about December, because a) as mentioned a couple days ago, I changed plans and will be leaving Wisconsin on Wednesday instead of tomorrow, so tonight will not be a flurry of packing and moping, and b) I just talked to my boss about work stuff, and after 3 weeks of trial run at this whole working remotely thing, I HAVE OFFICIAL APPROVAL TO DO IT FOR REAL WHEN I MOVE FOR REAL. FOR REAL!!! Needless to say, I are excite. This is one less big, crazy thing to worry about, and it frees me up to move when it is financially and logistically viable for me rather than when some company decides to hire me. Despite my crazypants instinct to do it right the hell now, I'm still planning to wait until probably April so that I don't have to lose money by breaking my lease, I can sell off some stuff (like my extra car) and generally downsize, and of course spend some quality time with the fabulous local friends who I will miss terribly once I leave.

  11. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    Final NaNo word count: 19,0009, the vast majority from the first third of the month. I'm happy with this! I fleshed out a lot of the characters that really needed it.

    I'm pleased to be in the season of constant Christmas music, but I have already had to suffer through "Christmas Shoes," when some years I don't hear it at all on the radio. Truly the worst Christmas song. Although a friend once said you could make the song bearable by imagining that the mom was alive and well in the car and this was a con they pulled as a family every year.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      That IS a great way to think about it! I will use this to arm myself against the inevitable earworm.

    • CleverManka says:

      I have never heard this song and I am not going to do anything to change that.

      Congratulations on your word count! I'm so glad you're happy with it. WIN!

    • redheadfae says:

      I am not going to listen either, but I read the lyrics… ugh.

      My favorite shitty Christmas song is Dwight Yoakam's "Santa Can't Stay" because it's funny and yet tragically real for so many kids.
      Me, I live for the lights this season. I spend hours looking at the synchronized lights/music youtubes.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      You've saved me! Now I have an alternative to gritting my teeth every time I hear that horrible song. It's all but inescapable here in the Bible Belt. Now it's giggles over the Annual Family Con.

    • Heathered says:

      Congratulations on your NaNo-ing! I only heard about Christmas Shoes when someone mentioned Patton Oswalt's riff on it on The Toast, some day I will be in a store and fully expect to die laughing when it comes on, but not yet.

  12. Rillquiet says:

    Momquiet and I are doing a lightning visit to her mother's farm the week of Christmas…but we're flying American, who just yesterday discovered that their vacation system has been allowing everyone to request the holidays off, so who knows? And it feels like that's practically tomorrow, because there's so much to get done between now and then. The trip has the potential to be somewhat fraught for all the usual family reasons, but I am going to stay at a motel that offers Texas-shaped waffles and that with luck is still giving away the best edition of the Bible I've ever seen: God's Word for the Oil Patch. You know it's quality theology when there's a drilling platform on the cover.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Honestly, that Bible sounds like gay porn.

    • Lynn says:

      We normally fly American when we go to my folks for the holidays and this year for the very first time Southwest was the best option (their flights from the NE are usually very odd times and not really that much cheaper). I am an anxious traveler at the best of times, so not having to spend the next few weeks panicking that they are about to cancel my flight is a huge relief.

      I hope your flight stays intact — someone on another site yesterday was saying they could actually get in big trouble with the FAA if they have to cancel flights for this reason (apparently there are regulations about pilot time off vs. capacity) so maybe that will motivate them to get this fixed.

      • Rillquiet says:

        If our flights were canceled it would be unfortunate but not the worst thing in the world. Like I said, there's some fraughtness potential, including a family member introducing their 30-years-younger spouse (No. 3 in this relative's spousal series), so if forces beyond our control made travel impossible, that would be only mildly too bad.

  13. LaxMom says:

    The good news is that I can get a legit job right now if I wanted to as an amazing fucking scientist.
    The bad news is that I am trapped in Ohio for the next 4 years. I am not done with my phd so any job would jeopardize that, and none of the jobs are anywhere NEAR ohio.
    I right now could get a fucking amazing job in CA, OR, HI, NC–basically anywhere but here.
    So it's slow-boat-to-bankruptcy combined with bullshit that leaves me KNOWING I will be somehow forced to pay tax fines for several different reasons in April, forced out of BOTH obamacare due to timing issues and medicaid becuase my state sucks, leaving me with no insurance which will result in yet another fine I don't have the money to pay.
    I just wanted to relax and be happy that Teenboy got his college apps done in time and Teengirl has raised her history grade to a D, possibly.
    But nope. Please tell me how to not equate personal worth with ability to actually pay bills because it's really hard to exist when everything I do means I can't pay for something else. And I'm living off my parents' retirement income because my dad doesn't have a job yet (and at 69 isn't likely to get one, and is just as depressed as me about it).

    • Absotively says:

      Two possibly-silly questions. One: if you have an amazing job, do you *really* need a PhD? I mean, obviously there are many great things about getting a PhD, but it seems to me like being able to get amazing jobs is one of the main benefits, so if you can get that one main benefit without four more years of work, is it possible that would be an ok tradeoff? Two: have you talked to your advisor about whether you could work on your PhD mostly remotely and/or whether they could help you transfer to a school close to some of these amazing jobs, in case there's a non-obvious way to make amazing job + PhD work? Perhaps the people who want to hire amazing scientists would understand if you need some extra time off and such to continue becoming even more amazing.

      Congratulations on the accomplishments of Teenboy and Teengirl, anyways!

      I can't think of any advice on the personal worth thing, though I can tell you that from my view as a fellow Mankanaut, you definitely are great regardless of your bill-paying abilities.

      • LaxMom says:

        my advisor is great, and I know that as soon as I'm ABD the department is very, very flexible. That said, leaving is still legally not an option. Which feeds into the whole depression loop.I'm not going to be able to scrape the ex/asshole off my shoes for another 4 years and I somehow have to tolerate it. My brain is just being an asshole today.

        • Absotively says:

          Right, him. Ugh. I take it there's no way to renegotiate that bit? If he keeps bothering you with wanting changes to the custody agreement, it only seems fair that you should do the same when it makes sense. Of course, lawyers cost money…

          Only advice I have left is to find one of those sites that makes countdown clocks and make it your home page at work. This one looks ok.

      • CleverManka says:

        I was gonna ask a similar question to One, above. We've had more than a few PhD students who were past coursework get a job elsewhere and finish remotely. It's not easy and they have to be Really Dedicated, but it's possible. Hard sciences might be different, though, what with needing access to certain labs, etc.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          Mr Rose did that. Moved 2500 miles away from his university when he was ABD. Finished a Biology PhD remotely. It was a small private school; that may have made a difference.

    • vladazhael says:

      Please tell me how to not equate personal worth with ability to actually pay bills because it's really hard to exist when everything I do means I can't pay for something else.

      Because the inability to pay bills is more the result of a cadre of skeezy rich dudes compulsively and systemically fucking us all over than it is about anything you're doing wrong?

    • LaxMom says:

      updating to say that I reassessed my mental health and made several (more) phone calls (most of this week has been healthcare/medicaid phone calls from hell) so I took a *second* morning this week to deal with that, then realized I needed to address the hopelessness factor (which, while realistically is sometimes situationally appropriate, isn't exactly a positive development). So the second round of phone calls was to health care providers and pharmacists. I am upping the AD's (not what I wanted, but) to deal with the PMDD that is never under control, and I dug out the birth control pill I tried and couldn't handle and started that again, because I discovered that BC can screw with thyroid, which explains the thyroid-like symptoms I had while on it, which means if I get my Endo on board with thyroid med increases it's worth trying the BC again to get the next year of my life back without monthly suicidal tendencies. I will call the endo and find and call a Gyn ASAP on monday, but given the surprise factor of today's depression it's time to make reasonable adult decisions for my brain today, and work out the medical system next week.
      I really hate that everything is so connected to everything else. It would just be so much better if my period didn't cause depression in the first place.
      I realized yesterday that I am once again going through the cycle of realizing things that are/were long standing issues weren't actually *my* issues, but attitudes and control tactics programmed there by the ex. Like refusing to let me use pills for mental health or birth control. 8 years later and I'm still unraveling his threads from my brain.
      Huh. Maybe today's depression wasn't so much a surprise after all. Anyway, I have a new type of earl grey tea with lavender and a couch full of yarn and I'm going to abdicate responsibility for anything else for the evening.

  14. Heathered says:

    Glad it's December because November was just unbearably hard. But it's getting off to a rocky start. Went to a rummage sale because I've needed rain boots for two years now (streets here flood after 15 minutes of wet), and I found a great pair of LL Bean duck boots that fit! Miracle! But the ladies running the thing overcharged me by a lot and I had to put back everything else and I'm feeling bitter about it (one of their kids was standing there, literally admonishing them: "You can get that at a dollar store, $5 is too much), etc.). The fact that I'm angry may be a sign that my depression is lifting (I'm down to using St. John's Wort at this point, so even a tiny uptick is cause to rejoice), but, you know, I'm ANGRY, goddamn it. You shouldn't keep pointing out the cost of something when it was new at a rummage sale; I don't give a fuck, I'm just tired of walking around with wet feet.

    • damngoodcoffee says:

      streets here flood after 15 minutes of wet

      Here too! It's so ridiculous. The last time I was walking on people's lawns to try and avoid getting soaked from passing cars b/c the entire right lane was flooded. Yay for the tiny uptick, but sorry for the grr argh.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I want better for you. Dry feet are a minimum. And reasonably good spirits. Every day. With enough happy every few days to tempt you toward smug.

    • CleverManka says:

      the ladies running the thing overcharged me by a lot and I had to put back everything else
      Gross, what an asshole. Bet she's a great mom, too. Ugh. I'd've been angry, too.

    • ru_ri says:

      Good for angry if it means the fog is breaking up, and I am glad you got boots that will keep your feet dry, but FUCK THOSE LADIES IN THE EAR, that is not what rummage sales are about!

      • Heathered says:

        For reals, where's the fun once you've sucked it all dry? (PS–I got your postcard yesterday! NGL, it made me cry. Just beautiful.)

  15. Lee Thomson says:

    Friends, Mankanauts, fellow travelers (which I understand was a slur at one point but I love it, tell me if I should pull it out)

    In a bout of self promotion, I am telling you I HAVE NOTECARDS FOR SALE!

    There are Puffins and there are Whales (three each of two designs for a set of six cards) for $15 (these are smaller, like, quartered letter paper)

    There are landscapes about the edge of the ocean – one each of six different designs – for $18 (these are big; 5×7" (12.5/18 cm))

    see them here:
    email me here before Wednesday next week: lee thomson art at gmail

  16. LaxMom says:

    I saw this in the nytimes this morning and had to share it here. Careful reading it though, it's like ripping the bandaid off all over again.
    Title of article : The men who cost Clinton the election

  17. Onymous says:

    So my finally kicked the bucket this morning…

    I dunno, it's giving me an excuse to unhealthily wallow in the various stresses in my life right now but I still don't think I give a shit that she's gone. And because I am a world champion at swallowing my own head now I'm wondering if I even care that I don't care or if caring about not caring is itself just performative because I know I'm "supposed" to care about the death of my mom and that in turn means I should care about not caring…

    …and I've gone cross-eyed

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Something physically exhausting. That's my recommendation. Get out of your head and wear out your body.

    • LaxMom says:

      Adding my agree to Rose. Physical exhaustion right now might be what your brain needs.
      And I'm pretty sure she's the one who's told me several times that the "shoulds" don't matter. Shoulds cause a whole lot of stress and not much else.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      If it helps, I was nothing but relieved when my parent died. Fuck "should".

      Virtual hugs for you

    • CleverManka says:

      The Burgomaster went through a crisis of conscience when his mom died, too. I've never found "should" or "supposed to" beneficial (or logical) but I know I'm kind of an alien in that regard. I hope you find some psychological peace soon.

    • Heathered says:

      I'm sorry for your loss, and for all the stress leading up to it. Take good care of yourself and just know you'll probably have a very wide range of feelings about this over time, and they're all valid (I got shoulded re: feeling relieved when my dad died, but I still missed him so it was weird).

    • Xolandra says:

      Hugs. Grief is weird and hard, not only because of loss, but also because of performative expectations, even if they are our own. ♥

    • meat_lord says:

      Sending good vibes and seconding the recommendation for physical exhaustion.

      There's no right way to feel about major life events; there's only how you actually feel. And things are different when a person has been going through a long, drawn-out process of dying and you've done some or all of your grieving before they pass, too.

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