Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

We’ve all been there

In fact, I’m feeling pretty there right now. Y’all, I still haven’t switched out my seasonal wardrobes yet.

208 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. RoseCamelia says:

    Manka, I'm sorry you feel as tired and topple-ready as this bunny. If it's any comfort, you're almost as cute. Though not quite so fluffy. But I'd hug either of you.

  2. CleverManka says:

    My department chair approved continuation of my part-time leave through March 19. Starting January 8, I'll work four hours a day in the office (same as I've been doing) with the addition of two hours work from home per day, no more than three times a week. I really really hope I'm significantly better by then.

    We have tickets to see The Last Jedi at noon-fifteen tomorrow and I'm taking care to avoid spoilers. I did one round of Tumblr early this morning and I'll probably be off it for most of the rest of the day. I'm pretty good about being able to glance-and-scroll when it comes to gifs, but the text posts tend to be a little trickier (reading along and suddenly Surprise! Unwanted Information!) and I'm not taking any chances. Who else is seeing it this weekend?

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Yay for part-time continuation! Happy holidays!

      The Kudzu of Joy got free tickets to a showing this afternoon. We are going. Dr. TBD can't get the time off work so we are taking a friend in his place.

    • meat_lord says:

      More leave and Last Jedi! All right!

    • Xolandra says:

      Yes! Part time approval!!!! Good luck with the gradual increase ♥

      • CleverManka says:

        When the ADA lawyer broached this with the outgoing and incoming chairs they were like "well we're not sure what she could do if she's not here" and also "we're very worried about her making her April deadlines" which only proved yet again that nobody in this department understands a fucking thing about what I actually do here.

        There is nothing about my actual job that requires my being present in this building (other than the "other duties as assigned" which basically means "be here to assist faculty with the copier") and also this is my busiest time of year. Not April.

        sigh Whatever. They approved it and that's all that matters.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      le sigh – when NO ONE understands what you actually do, and yet they know in some dim fashion that the department would fall apart without you, it makes me want to scream and throw things. And also go on strike for a month. And also ask for a raise and an assistant.

      All I want from the new Star Wars is team building and some good explosions. I want Kylo Ren to die in a hole somewhere and not suck all the air and plot out of the movie in a classic white boy dick move. Report back on the percentage of KR and I will think about going.

      • CleverManka says:

        I want Kylo Ren to die in a hole somewhere and not suck all the air and plot out of the movie in a classic white boy dick move

        SAME. And I'll do my best to remember and email you with my opinion about it.

    • jenavira says:

      Woohoo! That's such good news. I hope you're able to get better, too.

      I'm seeing The Last Jedi tonight at 9, which is later than I should be going to a movie on a work night, but fuck it, it's Star Wars. (My grandboss has already seen it, and is visibly restraining herself from sharing spoilers.)

    • vladazhael says:

      YES, most definitely Star Wars plans – tonight at 7:30. I am going with my two closest local friends, one of whom is my pilot partner in crime, and our friendship was kind of low-key until it took off like a TIE fighter after Episode VII (hardcore fangirl bonding!) and now we're going to see this one together and it may be the last time we do this since I'm moving, so it is a Special Moment. I had some angst this morning because very little of my Star Wars gear fits me well right now because I've gained a couple pounds and am very sensorily picky about how my clothes fit, but Carrie Fisher would not want me to beat myself up about that, so I won't.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Super yay for good leave news!

      I'm so happy that you get to see TLJ tomorrow. I have to wait for at least a week until I'm home for Christmas so I can see it with my dad. Which is a just delightful and wonderful Christmas tradition that I wouldn't relinquish for the world, but it's KILLING me that I'm basically going to have to stay off the internet for a whole week.

    • redheadfae says:

      We saw it in 3D this morning and I really enjoyed it. The 3D wasn't overdone and "in your face" so it was comfortable. I cried a little when Carrie Fisher's first scene came on.

      • CleverManka says:

        We're seeing it in 2D because 3D makes me nauseated. =/

        • redheadfae says:

          I was worried because I often get headaches from it, but I didn't this time. Probably becos wine with movie. All the 2D were sold out when we could go, so I just said fuggit, let's try 3D, I have pain meds.
          I'm so excited that you're seeing it practically as I'm writing this

    • Lee Thomson says:

      should we just send you long underwear until you have energy and inclination to change wardrobes? I can do that!

  3. Rillquiet says:

    Can we just for a minute stop and consider this situation?
    <img src=""&gt;

  4. Kazoogrrl says:

    Is this something McKitterick can help with? At least pulling out warm stuff so you don't freeze?

    I'm dragging ass on a day I took off, impending weather gave me a terrible headache. I'm about to leave the house to take a ramble, ave lunch, and look at the crazy holiday decorations at a local nursery. Knitting at a cafe later on, after I let the dog out for a bit. Slacker comfy outfit and tall boots are here

    Other than that, I am trying to manage my yuletide/solstice headcanon with reality. I want gatherings, lights, solstice events, carols, etc. Like, fantasy medieval holidays with better politics and medical care and a dash of LL Bean on top. It's not like that, though my fruitcake turned out amazing.

    Here is my favorite holiday story, fantasy with a little mystery and lots of atmosphere.

    • CleverManka says:

      Well, the reason they didn't get switched out last weekend is the Burgomaster was down with a nasty cold (still) that I suspect might be turning into a sinus infection. Sending him into the (unheated, dusty) attic to retrieve bins of clothing was not an option I was willing to take.

      I hope the headache clears up soon. Weather related headaches are so frustrating.

    • jenavira says:

      I am trying to manage my yuletide/solstice headcanon with reality.

      Hah, yes, that is exactly what I am trying to do right now. Good luck! Sometimes it all comes together just right for a few minutes, and it is surprising how close to enough that can be.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      OH WOW, "headcanon" is such a brilliant and self-aware way to describe those unattainable desires we have about our lives. I hope you at least get to light a bunch of candles and mull some wine with friends at some point.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        A friend us having a hygge yulemas ger together next Fri, so I hope so!

        The fact that work is business as usual sucks a lot of joy out too, though my boss and his wife are gone from Dec 13 to 2nd at their house in France. Not enough space lasers.

        I've been reading holiday fics to compensate, headcanons for my headcanon.

  5. Doc_Paradise says:

    Ugh, mornings. I think puttering is about all I can/want to do this morning.

    To whomever recommended the Alice B. Sheldon biography… THANK YOU! I've started reading it and it's absorbing. What an interesting person and a well written book.

    Edit: Also, my kittens have landed on the universe's biggest litterbox… Dune. The Spice will flow… er… clump.

  6. littleinfinity says:

    Re: the bunny and us all having been there:

    <img src=""&gt;

  7. Heathered says:

    It's not related to my micro-rant Wednesday, but I might be leaving therapy soon. I think it's the right thing to do, though I'm really sad about it, but it means leaving my *only* social support and managing my depression solo unless I want to go back to telepsych and try more drugs. I'm feeling a little wobbly about it all, as I'm unable to do a lot of the good advice I've been given around connecting, and am painfully aware I moved back to a town where 10 years was enough time to see it just isn't happening for me here. My imaginary friends are already cancelling on me for the holidays.

  8. Räven says:

    I had an Obamacare marketplace MELTDOWN in attempting to update my income information. I called Albany TWICE. (They were very nice but were equally unable to persuade the system to not return an error.) Half the questions are about your last three months of income and the other half are about your projected next three months, and those numbers are not the same, and the system triumphantly declared that they do not match! Indeed. It seems the solution is to upload paperwork! Paperwork… of my choosing. Whatever I think best. Up to me. &lt;system shrugs&gt; LOL.

    I have now been informed that I can hire a Navigator (to pick up on Doc_Paradise's Dune reference above) and furthermore that Navigators are… free? HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS BEFORE. I AM THE PERSON WHO NEEDS THIS. I have an appointment on Monday. Which is good, because where I live, a high deductible plan (bronze plan) costs $431 a month for basically no coverage beyond a yearly physical – which I won't go to because lab tests are not covered and I think bloodwork sounds expensive – and I need… options.

    • CleverManka says:

      where I live, a high deductible plan (bronze plan) costs $431 a month for basically no coverage beyond a yearly physical
      <img src=""&gt;

      • Räven says:

        I mean I'm sure if I am hit by a bicycle messenger and in a coma for a week, I will notice it helping when I wake up. But in daily life, I need to spend four thousand dollars cash toward my deductible before most coverage kicks in – anything like "visits" and "tests" is just cash wrested from my pockets.

        I mean I understand that's what a high-deductible plan IS, but everyone always talks like you don't have to pay five thousand in premiums to get to spend the four in deductibles.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Geeze… May this Navigator be a miracle worker.

    • LaxMom says:

      My plan is going up to 350 a month. And the obamacare website shuts you down if you are medicaid eligible–and I only got the form to fill out in the mail today.
      And we only have 2 navigators in the entire state.
      And they are trying to take away grad student healthcare, too.

      America is exceptional, alright…

    • Heathered says:

      I'm shocked by how bad this has gotten. One of those rare times I'm glad they looked at my income and laughed and just put me in the Free Box. I don't have any choices but at least I can get a flu shot once in a while.

    • redheadfae says:

      It just means that it doesn't match your last tax return. I'm sorry you had issues with the system. (It's what I've done the past 3 years). You can upload a sort of Profit and Loss spreadsheet and that ought to do it. (just be sure to put your application ID number on it).

      • Räven says:

        My last tax return was GLORIOUSLY MIDDLE CLASS so yeah, these numbers look nothing like that. Hahaha – thank you for the reassurance. Because the error message suggests that they have numbers from the current months that you are not reporting and you are probably some kind of health insurance thief, and you know that isn't true because you are looking at your literal pay stubs and have even optimistically reported invoices that nobody paid yet, but you still feel you are being accused of trying to steal your healthcare from the mouths of the rich.

        • redheadfae says:

          I know, it's such a bitch that the people who are hired for the season don't understand what the system is comparing. A couple of pay stubs works, too if they aren't on a P&L sheet. You can upload as many docs as you think will show them the numbers you reported. I've always told people to also write a short letter explaining the situation and it seems to have worked because an actual human looks at the paperwork. Every page uploaded has to have the magical ID number or it won't get attached. I hope that helps you out, let me know if you have any other questions, you can email me royaspirit at gmail. I was on the workforce team that does the pilot testing, so I have a bit more knowledge than the average Tier 1 CSR. đŸ˜‰

          • Räven says:

            Ooh a RINGER! Excellent. Thank you for this – I will definitely prepare a little letter for upload to explain it, because of course it's so much simpler than the system makes it seem. [e.g. in 2017 I had unemployment, in 2018 I will not. Or, in October I made zero dollars from self employment which you can't enter, it's not possible to make zero from a job. They have evidently never freelanced. These things are easy to explain but impossible to tell the system….]. And the system says NOTHING about attaching a number, it's really just 'eh maybe u want to upload sumthing? k…' – which is so opaque!!!!!

          • Räven says:

            My Navigator was EXTREMELY IMPRESSED with all the things I knew, at least in theory, about handling the system. I credited you, "my friend in the midwest". He fixed any number of well-intentioned mistakes I had made e.g. I had marked down the freelance income I billed for and did not receive, an AMATEUR error. He was like, '…but you didn't receive that money. It isn't income if you didn't… get it." Ah.

          • redheadfae says:

            Oh good! I didn't catch that unpaid invoices, I just assumed that you were going to get the income by the end of the year.
            no worries, did he tell you that you can change your reported estimate at any time during the year as well? I wouldn't bother if it's not over say $1K, but more than that can leave you with a tax repayment in 2019 for your 2018 credits.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          "accused of trying to steal your healthcare from the mouths of the rich"

          heh. I like that.

  9. littleinfinity says:

    Much like the Burgomaster's nose, my nose has also been assaulting me the past couple of days. It seems to be calming down this morning, which is good because we have our work holiday party this afternoon. The theme is "Red Carpet Ready" and I just know HR is going to go over the top with this and it will be overly precious and semi-awkward… but I am playing along and I have acquired a sparkly $30 dress from Forever 21 that is appropriately festive. It's gold and sequiny and dramatic. Combine that with some costume jewelry and a faux fur bolero from Ross, and I am basically Charlize Theron over here đŸ˜‰

    Tomorrow I'm going to a friend's cookie decorating party, which should be much more relaxed (she recommended wearing pajamas or onesies). Cookies and fleece and movies are about my speed right now.

  10. meat_lord says:

    Thanks to everyone who sent me mojo for cosplay crafting! I'm still not done (yikes) but my costumes are turning out better-looking than expected, so it is clearly working.

    My weekend will be madness, because it will be taken up by the con, but it should be lots of fun.

  11. Räven says:

    Oh but someone shared a Christmas story above and I must share my favorite Christmas story, from the screenwriter of "Beasts of the Southern Wild".
    Content warning for, uh, something, I'm sure, but the writing is a-ma-zing.

  12. Xolandra says:

    Oh y'all. Today is A Day. It started being such when I went to leave and… could not find my keys. Anywhere. Which is, of course, a product of Who I Am As A Person (scattered), and not entirely unexpected, which means that I was only half an hour late for work and also my friend with a spare saved my ass.

    Then I got to work and had an email from my union asking to call them. So I did and we chatted and I cried. and then I cried some more. And I still feel like crying, because it turns out that I left my last place of employ (still my substantive employers) for a reason – they hate me and go out of their way to screw me; follow the rules so that they run competitions that will guarantee the best person for the job will get it, and not the person who has been doing the work for the last 9 years. Fortunately, my UNION is not comprised entirely of sociopaths (I cannot say the same for my management), and I ran into my chief steward last week and told her that i was applying for my job (again) and she LOST IT. So now as well as applying to a competition I am hauling these managers in front of the union. Again. Best case scenario, I just get a job. Worst case scenario I have given my employers the opportunity to tell me, once again, that I am not good enough to do the job that i have been doing for NINE YEARS. And in the interim, I get to try to figure out a timeline of my employment, which will be really easy, she said, sarcastically.

    WHAT ELSE CAN GO WRONG? A lot, probably. The mind boggles. I'm gonna focus on ripping my house apart so I can, gods willing, find my keys, and that will be at least one source of stress off my plate.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Nine years. *eyes narrow* I know your employer. This isn't okay. This is why we have unions. May they grieve your employer into the fucking ground AND you get an apology.

      • Xolandra says:

        The best part is that my management likes to use the union as an excuse – can't do that, it's against the collective!

        Fortunately, the collective likes me better than my management does.

    • jenavira says:

      Sending murdervibes at your employers. (I'm so glad you have a union. I hope they can help.)

    • Heathered says:

      I can't even get my head around the wrongness here. Seconding disturbingly attractive flamethrower lady on your behalf.

      • Xolandra says:

        Nonono, y'all don't understand, it is proper stewardship of taxpayer $$$$$! _everyone*_ should have a chance at my job, because taxpayer $$$$$! Because running competitions anually? That's TOTALLY an efficient use of taxpayer $$$

        And you know, if they were actively trying to get rid of me, I don't think I'd mind it so much. What kills me is that my management honestly thinks that they are being fair, just, and equitable, and that that just happens to feel like they are buggering me with something hard and sandpapery. These are not folks who have yet learned that intention < impact.

        *everyone = university educated in the SSH, Fr/En bilingual, at least 5 years gov't experience, preferably equal experience in program management.

    • Xolandra says:

      Ugh, right, the reason I posted about this here is because I was very forcibly reminded today of the sign in my chiropractor's office that outlines recovery as a long and windy path, filled with valleys and heights. The fact that I have cried three times today does not mean that I am broken again, and the fact that I feel like I am drowning is reasonable given all that I am presently choreographing. I'm not broken again. At least, I hope not.

  13. jenavira says:

    I've spent the past three or four days in the grip of the kind of exhaustion Manka would recognize; at this point I honestly don't know if it's a continuation of everything I've been dealing with all year or if I'm getting sick. But I can't get sick, because my coworker officially submitted her resignation, the new person isn't trained enough to leave on her own, and my other coworker's dad is…in the hospital and unstable. Seriously, if I get sick in the next week, everybody's fucked. (And no, that shouldn't be my problem, but my boss tends to try to talk me into coming in to work anyway when I'm sick and there's no one to cover.)

    I am definitely burned out, I was burned out in October, that's why I took the first week of January as vacation, because that was the earliest I could find time. Still counting down. (Two weeks!)

    I'm pretty sure it's not just the depression, because I want to be able to think about other things, I want to do other things! I want to go for a walk and listen to my audiobook and work on my knitting and bake. But all I have the energy for is sleep and loathing.

    • Xolandra says:

      all I have the energy for is sleep and loathing.

      Can we have patches made? I feel like that would go v well under my "out of spoons, only knives left" patch.

    • CleverManka says:

      Ugh, I'm so sorry you're at the bottom of that pit. Agreed with Xolandra on the patch…

    • Heathered says:

      Sleep and loathing solidarity. I hope you get some little perks, or can give yourself some, to keep your head above the waterline for the next two weeks. Wishing you twinkly lights set against the night sky and some cocoa to stave off the chill.

      • jenavira says:

        I have Solstice plans next week, which should be good (I'm a little nervous about an all-night vigil when I'm already this tired, but having friends there should help). Mulled wine and a cheese board and as many cookies as I can get baked.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Burnout is no joke. I often wonder how much poor mental health and just general human misery is a direct result of job stress.

      I mean, I'm sure we've all ranted about this before, but it bears repeating that there are so many people who are unemployed or underemployed or working bullshit jobs that do not benefit society at all. There's no way there isn't enough labour to go around to keep civilization functioning without people having to choose between their job and their health. Human resources are not being utilized optimally and it makes me fucking furious that I don't know how to fix everything.

      Anyways, I'm sorry that everything is garbage, and I hope you find the time and energy to do fun things soon.

      • jenavira says:

        What kills me is I love my job, and I don't want to quit doing it, but I'm starting to see a future where I won't be able to keep doing it forever because it doesn't give me enough downtime to function well. There was a tumblr post I saw yesterday about how capitalism isn't just about who works vs who profits, it's also about how your job, the thing that you require in order to continue living, does not have to give two fucks about your ability to keep doing your job and therefore continue living. Your burnout is Not Their Problem. (And I thought of this again when my boss asked me to work a Sunday shift and I thought she meant this Sunday and my career flashed before my eyes because it doesn't matter if no one else can do it, I cannot take on any more shifts before the end of the year, or I will break down crying at someone. And I sincerely do not know how that conversation would end, and I have a good boss who generally wants people to take care of themselves.)

        Sometimes I think of the bit in The Dispossessed where Shevek thinks about the sacrifices that doctors on his world make, to work punishingly long eight-hour shifts for the sake of their patients, and I just want to cry.

        • Fancy_Pants says:

          It continues to astonish me that a system made by humans treats humans as just another resource to exploit unsustainably.

          This has been for me the year of coming to terms with my very high downtime requirements, and basically deciding that I'd rather be happy and healthy than have a shiny career or, like, any wealth. But I am so, so lucky to be in a position to make that choice, and it also means that my skills and education are going to be woefully underutilized. Oh well!

          • jenavira says:

            I mean. Humans gonna human.

            I'm still looking for the sweet spot between "understanding and catering to my own needs because nobody else is gonna do it for me" and "living in a fantasy world where I will be allowed to do that."

        • Xolandra says:

          I also yell about the system keeping us down in these exact ways! I would, however, like to add that the reason that we haven't seen any reduction in work to go along with things like telecommunications technology (for example) is that capitalism is SUPER INVESTED in keeping you too busy to overthrow it. 40 hours a week is just enough that all you have time left for is food (acquiring, preparing, consuming), the occasional entertainment (because who can cook and go to a film? gotta just pick one!), and the adulting that is involved in every day life (laundry, dealing with pet poop, shuttling other humans about, etc). By the time the weekend comes your to-do list is so long you have no TIME left to foment the revolution, you know?

          No job? No problem (for our capitalist masters)! That just means you'll spend your whole damn life hustling to keep food in your belly and a roof over your head. Who has time for the revolution when you don't know how you're gonna feed your babies?

          And when i yell about these things to my colleagues (for example), I'm all DO YOU NEED TO BE HERE 40 HOURS A WEEK? NO, WE ALL DON'T DO THAT MUCH WORK ANYWAY (latest SSH research suggests we all only work about 4 hours a day anyway), they're all "well, as long as it doesn't mean a reduction in pay, I will happily share my job". That is generally when I stop yelling, because I do not have the energy to explain that RBC (for example) could probably afford to pay their tellers a living wage and still rake in billions in profits. Or maybe they'd have to resign themselves to only one billion in profits. Because somehow "I cannot make less than I do now" is more important than the notion that we have enough resources on this planet to ensure that everyone could, for example, eat every day. More than once. And that that should not be tied to one's ability to hold down a job, because _jobs just aren't that important_.

          I just don't understand capitalists.

          • jenavira says:

            Yep! We all gotta suffer so that the .1% can buy private jets that destroy the environment and make us all suffer more! Suffer hard enough, peon, and you too might one day own a private jet! Because that's definitely how this works!

            (You know there are entire groups of "rationalists" who have dedicated their spare brain cycles to figuring out how to create the most good for the most number of people and so far they have not yet come across the solution of destroying capitalism? Nope, instead they argue a lot over whether living with a permanent disability is worth it, or if they ought to dedicate their money toward non-disabled people, because their lives are just better.)

          • Fancy_Pants says:

            "they argue a lot over whether living with a permanent disability is worth it"

            Welp, I think we've found an appropriate target for Doc_Paradise's space laser.

          • Fancy_Pants says:

            Yes, yes, yell with me! I know these are largely systemic issues, but I think it's really valuable to look at (1) opting out of busy/achiever culture and (2) living below your means (IF POSSIBLE, obviously a lot of people are struggling to get by) as top-notch political subversion at the personal level. I literally cannot imagine working a 40 hour week and also having the energy to be politically engaged, and that is a huge problem.

            For some reason I've been getting REALLY RANTY on Jenavira's posts lately.

  14. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    I saw Star Wars last night at 10:15 p.m. The lack of sleep was worth it. Looking forward to see everyone's reactions as they watch.

    My biggest accomplishment this week: Thursday morning, I accidentally hit "off" instead of "snooze," and slept in by an hour…and still got to work exactly on time. I'm very confused about the laws of time and space now, but I'm glad the universe gave me an extra hour of sleep to make up some of the sleep I lost for Star Wars.

  15. LaxMom says:

    Teengirl and I were up until the wee hours trying to get caught up (her on schoolwork and me on my proposal). Neither of us is happy with where we left off. I woke up at 6 to dig out the car and drive her to work, have been tending to Teenboy emotional health (no worries, just basics), and have to apply for a job. Anybody know what format GIS resumes should be looking like these days?
    I'm soooooooo tired. I think I must nap before anything productive can possibly happen.
    Today at lunch Teenboy drove me home and we continued our discussion on the fractal coastline problem. I really like how his math and my geography keep lining up like this, and I learned about fractal dimensions.
    But now nap.
    I am very slowly crawling out of burnout. It's not easy.

  16. Rillquiet says:

    Oyez, y'all: There is a Decemberists Hamilton song ("Do you know who the fuck I am? I am Poor-Richard’s-Almanack-writing Benjamin Fuckin’ Franklin") and Dessa has a new album (plus she's on this week's I Only Listen to the Mountain Goats). Good listening!

    Right now DC is enduring some kind of gross snow/sleet hybrid that is making everything greasy slick. Plague on the town planners who think brick sidewalks are impossibly quaint and not the invitations to wipeouts and concussions they become when it's cold and precipitous.

  17. faintlymacabre says:

    IT'S PAYDAY!!!! I worked 63 hours last week, am on path for 70 some odd hours this week, and as drained and miserable as it has been, the end is in sight and also, finally, money! Having not worked for the past ten months, any influx of cash is appreciated, but overtime makes it extra nice. I've decided to not overly worry about budget until January, so I am going to get stuff I need and want and luxuriate in not having to watch every single penny like a hawk. Oh, hurray! Hurray, hurray, hurray!

  18. Räven says:

    If anyone is feeling down this weekend (ALL OF US), I know Manka has covered this realm before on the Tumblr, but R Eric Thomas is paying homage to Idris Elba with a very nice gif collection.

  19. Xolandra says:

    O right! I have been meaning to tell you all (and it is late now, sorry), but I am running a "who's cuter? Me or Lune?" series on my Insta. It starts here, if you'd like:

  20. Heathered says:

    Late in the day, but: ru_ri, I got mail from you and it made me very happy, thank you thank you. I need to find a notebook the right size to use this postcard as a cover. And Manka, I am still casting about for DIY lotion cleansers but today I made a green tea/castile soap/cider vinegar face wash with eucalyptus and peppermint oils, and it is very reminiscent of Noxzema at least in terms of smell and tingliness! Progress of a sort.

    • CleverManka says:

      Oh my that cleanser sounds amazing! If you decide you like it, please send me a link!

      • Heathered says:

        I winged it since the recipes I found called for stuff I didn't have: 3/4 cup brewed green tea, 1/4 cup liquid castile soap (I used peppermint), 1/2 tsp. olive oil (if you have sweet almond oil it would probably be preferable), 10 or so drops essential oil and then I just threw in a splash of ACV to go full salad on my face (also because I am getting crazy ass hormonal acne). It's very low-suds, but pretty nice!

        • CleverManka says:

          It sounds amazing but I think it might be too astringent for my face which can be annoyingly sensitive. I might try it this summer, though, when I'm a little less dry in patches.

          • Heathered says:

            Chamomile tea/lavender essential oil substitution would be a lot gentler, though not Noxzema-like, and you can definitely leave out the vinegar. I'm trying to put my face through a car wash, basically.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            Careful, Heathered. Your face is not my face. But my face ramps up hormonal acne in the presence of peppermint. Most strong scents are irritants to my skin, but mints are the worst. I hope your skin is not the diva mine can be. Rinse extra well!

          • Heathered says:

            No diva face here, it's an old leathery thing. I just need to be washing it more–it's so cold in my bathroom that I hate taking the time for it! I almost bought Cetaphil today because you can just wipe it off, but I'll do that when I'm feeling treatsy.

  21. Lee Thomson says:

    Mr Crow and the younger Crow are outside testing combinations of birthday cake candles for tomorrow's Pre-Cursing of the Darkness. They have two of the ones that relight themselves and are mostly magnesium, and one that makes pretty colored flames, and they're timing it to see how long Mr Crow's homily can go. Tomorrow we take all the parts (candles, holders, road flare [plus a bucket of sand to hold it], friends and homily) to the UMass Sun Wheel (an astronomy professor laid out a stone circle that marks solstices, equinoxes and a bunch of moon things I have not ever paid attention to) and we will Curse the Darkness AND Light a Candle, and then repair to Dr Bill's house for takeout Chinese and the roasting of the ills of 2017 in the woodstove.

    I can send the text for 2017 to Manka to be posted on the actual Solstice, if you'd like. The whole process is midway between hilarious and cathartic, and I recommend it.

    I am WITH YOU ALL in the yelling about overthrowing capitalism (which in my head is pronounced cap-PIT-al-ism) and every time I say we should eat the rich Mr Crow winces, so I've been doing it more. So.

  22. Flitworth says:

    Still can't comment from work. I spent most of the day failing to properly call defined functions in a usable order! But failing to code was better than working tickets.

    You may recall we have a half scale plywood & plaster cow in our living room. It has been there longer than tiny human. It is unmissably large. This week, after hanging ornaments:

    Me: Maybe tomorrow we can decorate the cow.
    TH: What cow?

    • Räven says:

      WHAT COW
      The selfishness of a child knows no limits! I love this.

      • Räven says:

        I mean presumably TH is envisioning a real cow, and what you have is actually called goats and not cow, so okay – but I like the utter obliviousness to the elephant in the room.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      YES!! Decorate the cow!

    • RoseCamelia says:

      "What cow?" I love it. Stand TH next to the cow, point at the bovine, and ask TH "what do you call that?" I'll bet TH has an interesting way of naming it.

      Does the cow have horns? Because I'm picturing tinsel on horns.

      She does need a festive bow tied to her tail. Or taped on.

      And glitter. There must be a role for glitter somewhere.

    • CleverManka says:

      Omg TH is hilarious…I wonder if she saw it as something else or if it had been there so long and without her interacting with it, it became invisible to her.

  23. redheadfae says:

    My new surgeon is very nice and of course, my incisional hernia is in a tricky place, (always the fucking mutant, I am) BUT I am scheduled for a CT scan to find out what it is and how big and then we meet again the next day to discuss what happens next and how he's going to go about it. I expect it will be open surgery rather than laparoscopic this time. It also means that we'll be right away into our out-of-pocket for next year instead of free this year with it having been met.
    Oh, and the spouse got an unexpected bonus, so yay!

    • LaxMom says:

      Oh that really sucks, I"m so sorry about the surgery and the january deductible issue. But congrats on the bonus!!

    • Räven says:

      Yay bonus, a good treat in dark times.
      and how very inventive of you to make the hernia even more special, and I hope that isn't what the bonus will be buying. đŸ˜‰

      • redheadfae says:

        Haha.. I'm sure it will go toward it somehow, but thankfully, I am eternally grateful for a father who is doing well in retirement and helps me with medical bills. Eternally grateful.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Um, was there any discussion about the reason for the hernia? Not that you owe us any details. I just wonder if it's faulty workmanship from the first surgery. I want this hernia operation to be free of charge, covered under the warranty on the first surgery.

      And you're not a mutant. You're unique. The world needs more just like you.

      • redheadfae says:

        Unfortunately, it's not any kind of a misstep on the first surgery, it's one of those "it happens" type of things. One of the risks that they really don't discuss in depth with you. Any surgical incision in the abdomen can do it because it's now a weaker spot in the muscle wall.
        Lol, I really do have a genetic mutation in one of my genes, so I make jokes about being a mutant. It seems that anything medical I have is either "very uncommon" or a mystery to the docs. Bodies are weird that way.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      May this improve your life. Cause, jeeze… you've gone through way too much.

      • redheadfae says:

        Yes, that is my hope as well. It's not like I want to go out and do weight-lifting again, but I'd like my guts to please not try to escape my body. Perhaps I should rethink my use of the term "spilled my guts" for emotional dumping, my body seems to take it as a challenge, LOL.

    • CleverManka says:

      Small blessings but what a bummer to spend a bonus on surgery.

      • redheadfae says:

        If Daddy Dearest continues to help out, maybe we can actually use it for something for us.. like paying off a lot of that brand new spiffy washer/dryer set!

  24. LaxMom says:

    Spent all afternoon/evening applying for a great, part time, with benefits, environmental science job that ticks off all the happy boxes and is close to my school. Please send job mojo to the universe on my behalf! I'm shamelessly begging.

    OTOH, the followup to my obamacare fiasco came (the medicaid application). They want paystubs from the job I quit last year and my son who lives in his own apartment's tax info. Uff da.

  25. jenavira says:

    If you are here today looking for somewhere to yell about The Last Jedi, this is me, yelling about The Last Jedi.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Hush, y'all, until after noon today, CST. Manka has said she's avoiding spoilers and plans to see it today at 12:15.

      But at that point, I'm dying to hear what you think. I haven't yet seen it, but welcome spoilers. I get a better viewing when I have more background and know some details I want to watch for.

      • jenavira says:

        *stage whisper* Is she gone yet?

        (SPOILERS FROM HERE ON OUT, avoid if you don't want to see them)

        I loved it! I can see why some people didn't – there is a lot going on in that movie, not all of it particularly coherent – but it does everything I wanted it to do and nothing I didn't. They fake out a redemption plot for Kylo Ren, and then he continues to be the kind of White Boy Asshole we all knew he truly was inside. There is a whole sub-plot where the only heroes are POC. The Resistance is led entirely by women; Admiral Ackbar gets his ass blown up pretty much right away and from then on out it's Leia, Leia's assistant, and Leia's girlfriend. Poe gets a lesson in Listen To What The Ladies In Charge Are Telling You. Luke is still a whiny-ass Skywalker but it's perfect. Yoda shows up and he gets to be real Yoda, not Prequel Yoda. General Hux gets beaten up twice in gloriously "the enemy of my enemy is my enemy's problem" kind of scenes. The porgs are adorable.

        I mean, this could probably have been two whole movies and I would have been satisfied. I'm not entirely sure what is going to happen in the third one – especially since originally it was supposed to be very Leia-centric. (They have to be holding something in reserve that they'd originally shot for this one, because there is no resolution at all with Leia.) It very definitely pulled the rug out from under basically all the expectations I had for how The Middle Star Wars Movie was going to go, and in a delightfully spectacular way. It might be a hot mess, but I love it.

        • RoseCamelia says:

          Thank you! I want a Resistance led entirely by women. I want it so so much! And Leia has a girlfriend? I hope that means she's gay. And Yoda has a special place in my heart, ever since I first met him in the 70s.

    • redheadfae says:

      There were many things I liked about it, but it had some weird ass shit that I didn't like. But I don't want to spoil it for anyone waiting to see it yet.

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