Mid-week check-in

Clever Manka, · Categories: Check-In

This is the weekly post for those of us who are traversing together this hellscape called Personal Growth. Brag about this weekโ€™s accomplishments, ask for support, talk about what worked, what didnโ€™t. Tell us how things are going for you.

184 Responses to “Mid-week check-in”

  1. Doc_Paradise says:

    I've been much more depressed than I've realized over the past two weeks. Which is a large part of why I haven't been here much. I'm kinda floundering a bit.

  2. Heathered says:

    This might get long, so let me try to nest it.

    • Heathered says:

      Good morning! I survived final review appointment with therapist, though I did cry a ridiculous amount. It turns out the door is open for me to come back in six weeks and get a referral to see someone new, and in the meantime I'm going to look at some of the group activities they have just to get me out and around people. I drew the Death card for January and it feels very apt. Oh, and while I was being sad and already in my pajamas at 4 pm yesterday the mail brought a card from one of you sweet wizards, so thank you.

      Despite feeling anxious about possibly having an anxiety attack (brains are such a joy), I DID go pick up trash with people on Saturday and am embarrassed by how much fun it was. Talked to the guy in charge and was asking about their nice grabbers and at the end of the cleanup he actually gave me one, saying, "If you'll use it…." I've already cleaned up my block and look forward to branching out farther soon. Sedarising.

      Someone I went to high school with spent this New Year's Eve with Joni Mitchell. I just thought you all should know, or maybe share my incredulity.

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        What does death mean in the tarot? I'm assuming it doesn't mean literal death.

        Ha. Yeah. Panic about panic attacks is so much fun.

        • Heathered says:

          The Death card is generally associated with change, sometimes painful change, and then a positive transformation on the other side. The Happy Squirrel is the card you have to watch out for.

      • Flitworth says:

        Yay grabber thing! Happy Sedarising ๐Ÿ™‚

      • RoseCamelia says:

        Activities, referral for a *better* counselor, talking with strangers while cleaning up, inspiration to clean up your own block . . . Damn, Heathered! You're adding all kinds of healthy habits to the new year. Go you!

        • Heathered says:

          The woman I saw for the past year was perfect for me and really good at her job, and I am honestly still devastated about leaving, but I was supposed to be seen for a year and it seemed like as we went beyond that a disconnect was happening. I'm not thinking in terms of "better," just that there may be things I need to work on that require a different approach. I didn't expect there to be any opportunities to be seen beyond that one year mark until I get rich and can pay, so it's good to know the opportunity is there.

      • CleverManka says:

        I just started watching The Good Place and if you've seen the first few episodes, you'll know why the trash pickup thing made me laugh.

        Definitely sharing your incredulity…wow.

        • Heathered says:

          Oh shoot, no, I haven't seen it! I spent a lot of the time fantasizing I was on a for-some-reason-unchained chain gang.

          • CleverManka says:

            If you're looking for something lighthearted and easy to watch, I recommend it. The first season is on Netflix. We watched the first six episodes last night. =D

      • Lee Thomson says:

        The Death card is such a THING to have show up, isn't it? To me it means legitimate grief over the things that you lose when change comes, as well as the new and shining things that come at the end of change. Change is fucking hard, and all the cards that deal with it (Wheel, Tower, Hanged One) are about what kind of recourse you have to the change that is coming.

        I will cheerfully share your incredulity that anyone under six removes from me might spend NYE with Joni. She is the queen of my heart, and her music has been my soundtrack since I was 14.

        • Heathered says:

          This was a reading for the year and I got the wheel of fortune and hanged man in there as well. It's gonna be change-y, apparently! Guh.

          My childhood memories of my mom singing "Ladies of the Canyon" and riding around in the car with her and one of her sisters with "Blue" on the tape deck are so central. It was nice to see her playing and wearing a badass fedora-ish hat (classmate's husband is a longtime acquaintance and fancy science author guy who was playing accompaniment on one of her guitars. Just, whoa.).

  3. Xolandra says:

    Hey y'all!!! It has come to my attention that I am v much a fair weather friend. If I'm not at work, I don't check in. I assure you that this is because lazy and also my compy doesn't work for reasons that i won't get into here, and not at all because I lack affection for yous.

    Holidays: GentlemanX and I were both laid low by illness. I had some weird stomach bug, and he got a cold AND my weird stomach bug. I always somehow manage to get sick over Christmas, but at least this year I was already home and plans were already low-key. To whit: Christmas morn, GentlemanX asked what I wanted to hear, and I somewhat plaintively mewled "can we listen to dub reggae all day please?" and LO! We did. With several records to spare, hahaha. So that when NYE came along and we both still felt like crap, it was only natural that we should invite our other dub enthusiast friend – DJ Fractured Nerves (he occasionally co-hosts a radio program, I did not make up this name) – to spend the evening with us. It was sups chill and gr8, and we had a Drunk Mess show up with Drama, and I thought it was hilarious and GentlemanX… did not.

    House: YUP, there's asbestos! And the insurance people told me i was responsible for the cost of removal, so i knew that going in. What i did NOT know was that when they demolished the wall that got wet THEY WOULD TAKE MY ENTIRE WALL, ALL OF MY CENTURIES OLD CROWN MOLDING, AND ALSO MY BEAUTIFULLY PATTERNED STUCCOED CEILING. I also did not know that they would set up an asbestos containment field that my cat could bust through (That was an eye opening meow!!!), or that they would leave an enormous pile of (securely) asbestos in my dining room for a week. Nor did I expect I would be on the hook for 3 days's labour for three humans, _because they told me they'd be done in a day_. But. The complete and total lack of walls and ceiling confirm for sure that there is, and has only ever been, knob and tube wiring in my dining room, so at least I feel pretty smug for having all of that already booked I guess? And I have booked a hotel with a whole kitchen and spare bedroom for me n my kittehs, and will have access to a pool and a hot tub for a week, because fukkit, if I'm not going to be in the house, I'm not going to be in the house _in style_.

    • Heathered says:

      I'm picturing you in a hot tub with cats on little floaties, just vacationing like the queen of the universe. Sorry it's a necessity, but way to find the luxury in it!

      • Xolandra says:

        hahahaha, my cats would LOSE THEIR TINY MINDS.

        Apparently Lune (the cat that busted through the asbestos barrier) also thought that asbestos bags made Very Comfortable Sleeping Areas, but GentlemanX did not take a picture for posterity, alas.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Oh good. You are getting out of there and pampering yourself. Two thumbs up in a shitty situation.

      Hopefully you and GentlemenX don't get the six week cough that is going around.

      • Xolandra says:

        Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

        I got that cold in September. It was terrible. GentlemanX may have it; we'll see what the future holds for him!

    • vladazhael says:

      I mostly check in at work too, even when I'm working from home. Enjoy your small luxury vacation!

    • littleinfinity says:

      I also disappeared over break <waves>. Lazy/ forgetful and poor computer performance about covers it! Your forced vacation sounds great, enjoy the *high life* at the hotel ๐Ÿ˜€ But so bummed for you that they're taking out all your cool crown molding and stuff!

      • Xolandra says:

        Wheee! Strength in numbers!

        It'll be fine. I have a replace policy, they will replace _or I will lose my shit at them_. Like, I don't even know how much the demo work will cost, because no one has provided me with an estimate. The work started a week ago.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      I don't see you as a fair weather friend. And I have a long list of those. You're not on it.

      My condolences on your crown molding and patterned ceiling. You and Gentleman X must make friends with someone who owns a miter saw. Ply them with their favorite drinks (for *after* sawing) and food to cut new crown molding. You can DIY installation.

      And my hearty endorsement of booking a hotel. With hot tub!

      • Xolandra says:

        Thank you and thank you and thank you. It's not the tools we lack, it's the skills; our moldings were made of plaster, and that is not a thing that happens anymore, I understand.

        And that's a 10-4 on the "power tools first, booze afters". It's a rule in my house. _for a reason_

        • Absotively says:

          I'm pretty sure that plaster moldings are still available. They're probably harder to find and more expensive than wood, though.

          Here, the first search result for plaster molding is a manufacturer.

          If Habitat For Humanity has a ReStore near you, you could maybe try looking for molding there? It's like a thrift store, except for bits of buildings, so someone who replaced molding similar to what you had might have donated their old molding. I don't know how well plaster molding survives being removed, though.

          • Xolandra says:

            I will look into these things!!! And fight this good fight, because my house was so pretty and I have paid insurance for nigh on a decade without ever using it, fuckers can pay for all the things they ruined.

    • CleverManka says:

      What a tragedy that you lost all the good stuff with the asbestos! Good for you, indulging in the luxury accommodations.

      I love spending days listening to themed music!

      • Xolandra says:

        I asked after redoing the plaster mouldings and the demo dude was all "well, you can ask the carpenter, but he probably won't be very eager to spend two weeks of his life here doing this"

        I DON'T CARE YOU TOOK MY ENTIRE CEILING, WHYYYYYYYYYYYY?

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I admire how you handle the stress, good call!

      I also has the weird stomach bug over Christmas, it made for a very meh weekend. Did any of your Holiday Dub Fest include Twilight Circus? I admit, that's the only dub I know.

      • Xolandra says:

        It did not! I am more of an ald skool Dubs (Augustus Pablo was large on the menu, for example) kinda human, but am eager to check Twilight Circus out. I cannot tell if their tendency to release on 10" small press EPs makes me love or hate them. Ditto that Felxidisc release I just saw *narrows eyes*

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          I don't know crap about dub, but I enjoyed his stuff when I saw him live (I'm a Legendary Pink Dots fan and when he toured with them he'd open as TC) or when friends would play is as chill background music. I should probably dip my toes in, as I could really use some chill music.

  4. meat_lord says:

    Hello all! I am in a good mood and would like to share it with you if possible.

    I just read The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley and enjoyed it far beyond my (reasonably high) expectations. I guess "brutal, visceral sci-fi with an all-female cast" is my very favorite microgenre?? (FYI–if pregnancy is particularly gross or triggering for you, do not read TSAL.) As usual, reading something good gets me really hype to write, so I hope to translate that energy into actual words.

    Am negotiating Big Upheaval at work. My job is secure, but there's so much extra stuff to do, huuuurgh.

    I argue a lot more with New Therapist than I have with any of my others, or… anyone except my sibling, actually. That doesn't feel like a bad thing. I think I'm practicing disagreeing with people in my sessions with her.

  5. vladazhael says:

    I fly back to Alabama in a mere few hours and I DON'T WANNA. I planned to take today and yesterday off with Manfriend, but it turned out he had to work all day yesterday and until noon today, so I've taken the time to do some work and buy back vacation time and also goof off a bit. Good thing I took some time off last week and we chilled for a solid 5 days.

    The trip has been overall great with (as expected) some personal growth moments for both of us and a bit of apartment scouting. I would really like to come here once without crying, but I guess given that I have a lot of healing to do over past relationship nonsense (emotional abuse, etc.), a lot of which happened here, it's not unexpected that I would maaaaaaaaaybe have some shit to work through, which Manfriend is very, very able to understand and help me deal with and get through. And at least this time I wasn't the only one going through intermittent rough patches – holidays are difficult for him and NYE in particular hit him harder than expected (as did a few drinks, and a few patches of sidewalk in slippery dog walk conditions). Not that I wish him to be in distress, but I appreciate the symmetry of being able to be the one providing support instead of just the one needing it. Anyway, long story short, we both did some solid emotional intelligence work and stellar adulting and we did it together because we are a really great team.

    Now we are each grappling in our own ways with my impending departure and all the upcoming work of arranging our respective moves, finances, etc. He described himself as "more anxiety than man" last night, which charmed me because a) he said it laughingly, indicating that he is both experiencing actual emotions and handling them appropriately, and b) oh BOY do I feel that to the depths of my soul. But it did occur to me that on previous visits I've more than once expected an interval of about 3 months until I'm here again, and I get to think that now, but at the end of that interval I'll be moving, and it'll be a tremendous relief to be here without a clock ticking down in the background to when I'm gone again.

    • meat_lord says:

      Your Manfriend updates delight me greatly. He sounds wonderful, and like he brings out the best in you. I hope time flies until you're living in the same place!

    • littleinfinity says:

      Sending you all the support on this separation, which hopefully will be the last one for quite a while! I am not great with separations so I very much feel the "more anxiety than man" situation. Manfriend sounds amazing though, and I get more and more stoked for you every time you post about your relationship and how it's developing!! Go team!! I think feeling like a team/ a unified front is such a great indicator of good things to come. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Awww you ARE a great team. Vlad + ManFriend is one of the best love stories I've read recently.

      The waiting part is going to suck, but at the same time it's a great opportunity to really relish the Intensity of Feeling that comes with a long distance relationship. Just roll around in the melodrama of it all. Buy a glorious silk bathrobe to wear while smoking a cigarette and looking at the moon wistfully. Maybe write some letters? Idk, I should have been a lot more obnoxious back when my partner and i were in different cities.

      • vladazhael says:

        What with all the moving stuff to do, I had planned to spend my time being a manic moving prep machine, but you're right – I need to take some time to be wistful and glamorous. Thank you for the reminder. Also, I don't think anything in my life has ever been anyone's favorite love story, so I am digging that. Achievement unlocked!

  6. littleinfinity says:

    Hi everyone, happy new year! I did not intend to completely disappear from the internet over break, but then I did, and I think it was for the best even though I missed all of you. I had a very chill break with no travel, eating delicious foods, a couple of hikes/ excursions, and lots of rest and cuddles and coziness. I miss it so much already. Today is my first day back at work since the 21st. ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™ ๐Ÿ™

    I need to find new coping mechanisms for 2018, given that I'm taking away some of my (preferred, less healthy) coping mechanisms to help with resolutions. Planning on giving up alcohol for January (I had one glass of wine left in the house last night so obviously I drank that), also I need to stop with the late-night sugar binges and TV. Which probably means I need to cut back on the (now recreationally legal in CA) weed as well. Also some kind of exercise routine would be a good idea? hahahah my life is a mess and I'm getting married in 3.5 months, ideas on how to be a functional adult are gladly accepted.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Re Exercise: I found that having a small amount of daily exercise to be useful. I started with incline push ups on the stairs. I increased them by one each day until I could manage 50 then I moved down a step and started again. I've also added crunches and squats, increasing them by small amounts. The whole thing generally takes me 10 minutes and it has been really helpful to my health.

      • littleinfinity says:

        Thanks for the ideas! The "increase by one" is a good sneaky way to get my body stronger. (right now psychological subterfuge is seeming like an excellent approach to my goals, since my brain is my main barrier to progress)

        • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

          Yes, seconding this. I need some way to sneak into exercise now that it's much too cold outside for walking, my preferred stealth exercise.

    • Xolandra says:

      Seconding small, daily exercise – I do three sets of 5s (so, like, 3 sets of 5 different crunches, holding 3 different planks for 5 breaths, 5 different weighted arm exercises, 3 sets of 5 reps of sqauts, 5 breaths in lunges) and it takes like 5 minutes and it makes an enormous difference in my General Wellbeing. I started as part of a challenge with a friend; whoever missed more days had to buy the other a glass of wine at the end of the predetermined period. It was an excellent habit to form, but it'll be important to find the thing that works for you ^_^

      Remember, Buddha says middle path: some small amount of exercise is better than nothing. And if you can get into running or long walks, I find the latter wonderfully meditative.

      • littleinfinity says:

        Oh, the middle path. Such a good reminder and yet I very much struggle with it. I think I tend toward all-or-nothing (both thinking and action wise). I like the challenge idea to keep yourself motivated! I also do like long walks, but that gets a little tricky this time of year since it gets dark so early after work.

        • Xolandra says:

          I, personally, tend to gravitate towards the middle path, but I need constant reminders anyway. You know, I read an article once, linked vegetarianism as a lifestyle to puritanism; the idea that a diet (or anything) could or should be all-or-nothing is a fairly new idea, and one that is informed by the false dichotomies that the Christian tradition loves so well. I feel like _lots_ of the things that I, personally, in heteropatriarchy struggle with can be boiled down to these weird dichotomies. Like, I don't have to be The Best at everything, sometimes muddling through is not only Good Enough, it is what i want.

          re: challenge – we had a shared spreadsheet, because of course we did.

          re: walks – can you incorporate a 15 minute walk into your daily commute? It's not A Lot, but it Makes A Difference, and can be achieved via getting off one stop in advance if buses are employed, or parking slightly further away if cars are your tool! I also really like screwing with my pace via music. For example, one day while walking, this song came on my iPod, and I spent the clockwork-y type bits a) matching pace and b) squaring my breath (every downbeat indicated a change – breathe in / hold / breathe out / hold / repeat) and used the lyrical in between times to allow me to catch my breath. Life – it's kind of about the in between times, for me ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Fancy_Pants says:

            Oh my god yes false dichotomies everywhere, especially when body stuff is involved. Like virginity? "Clean eating"? Exercise and vegetables good/rest and high calorie foods bad (even though ALL those things are required for a healthy body)?

          • littleinfinity says:

            The "clean eating" brigade drives me NUTS. Not the idea of eating healthy food per se, but the virtue-signaling relentless cheerfulness and *~purity~* of it all.

          • meat_lord says:

            Ugh, same. I want to take their expensively moisturized little faces in my hands and whisper to them, "No matter what you eat, you will still get old and die–the relentless, unpredictable hand of fate may still strike you down, kale and quinoa or no. Shhhh."

          • littleinfinity says:

            oooh. thank you for this and the reminder of Saul Williams' existence. <3

          • Xolandra says:

            NO PROBLEM. I love Saul Williams so much. Like, after I found out about him I emailed all of my musically inclined friends to be like YOU ARE ALL TRAITORS WHO DO NOT KNOW ME AT ALL, HOW COULD THIS GLORIOUSNESS HAVE EXISTED FOR AN ENTIRE DECADE AND NONE OF YOU ASSHOLES TOLD ME?!?!?

            And and and I followed him on Instagram and on Hallowe'en he posted that he had to explain to the folks at the DMV that he dressed like that every day and it coincided with my own struggles with people complimenting me on my Hallowe'en inspired style and me being all ????? No, this is just how I dress.

          • littleinfinity says:

            The false dichotomies and all-or-nothing "be perfect or stop trying" way of thinking are 1000% behind most of my mental/ motivational struggles. When I was younger (in school), I went with "be perfect" and, shockingly, did not achieve perfection, but was just stressed out and hard on myself. Then! I looked at myself and said, well, I will never be perfect, may as well give up <shrugs, flips hair>. And that worked ok for a time as I coasted on my former successes, but now I really need to start trying again in order to achieve some of my goals and "level up". And it's hard for me to internalize that it doesn't have to be perfection or nothing. As soon as I start focusing on goals and working toward them, I fall back into some of those same patterns of thinking where I can't seem to give myself partial credit, and then I get discouraged because I'm so far from the best version of myself. I guess on some level I feel like it's a waste of time to try if I'm never going to be The Best? But obviously that's bullshit because 1) I am rarely The Best at anything anyway, so who am I trying to convince, and 2) I don't think the same way about other people, just myself. So I tend to alternate between being super-hyper-critical of myself versus being "whatever dude just pass the nachos", and we all know which option is more appealing. I think part of the problem is establishing realistic intermediate goals, like if I'm not aiming for perfection in my body/ home/ career/ etc, then what am I aiming for? The challenge idea might work well actually, because it pokes at my competitive nature but it's also specific and achievable.

          • Fancy_Pants says:

            OH HAI. There is a "gifted kid burnout" bingo board image that's been floating around the internet lately that I would embed for you if I knew how because…It me.

            I feel like I've been talking about my ~personal journey~ maybe a bit too much lately, but I've slowly been realizing that no one is keeping score, and there is no reward or punishment at the end for being a Success or a Failure. So instead of striving for perfection or for bitter nihlist/slacker revenge on the concept of perfection, I've been aiming for joy. And maybe some kindness.

          • littleinfinity says:

            Um. I am almost all of these squares??! IT ME so very much. bitter nihilist revenge on the concept of perfection… lol yup.

            (hope this image works)

            <img src="https://scontent-lax3-1.cdninstagram.com/t51.2885-15/sh0.08/e35/p640x640/20214011_105995536742394_3032564102900744192_n.jpg"&gt;

          • Xolandra says:

            O dang. I don't have a complete blackout, but I am really close.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            What if you aimed for maintenance of a routine rather than hitting specific progress milestones? I've found I seldom reach a milestone in anything like the time I wanted, but I am completely capable of putting in time (and giving myself stars for it) and changing slowly for the better.

          • Xolandra says:

            This was a HUGE step in the correct direction for me, and one that i credit to yoga. That hour on the mat? Has bugger all to do with weight loss or flexibility or strength building or whatever the goal, and everything to do with just being there on the mat for an hour. It makes it a lot easier to actually do the thing regularly, idk why tho.

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        Oooooo, this is a good idea. Thank you!

    • CleverManka says:

      Your break sounds full of wonderful and I would be bummed about returning to work after that, too.

      I have found for munchies issues…don't get high until after you're done eating for the day and then don't start eating again. It works for me, anyway. Once I start eating under the influence, it's all over and I just. can't. stop. But if I don't start, it's fine. Something you might try now that you can legally indulge (the idea of not indulging when it's legal makes me personally sad). Now that I have exactly zero fun/comfort foods available to me for the foreseeable future, that was a nice discovery.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      I mean I am definitely not an authority on being a functional adult, but in my experience absolutely everything is easier to manage if I'm exercising regularly. My moods are better and more steady, and my body starts asking for other healthy things like good nutrition and sleep and stretching. So I would advise tackling exercise first!

      And find an exercise that you enjoy! Don't slog your way through horrible boot camp classes because they seem "virtuous" only to quit after two weeks because you hate it. For me, powerlifting is so low effort/high reward that it feels like I'm cheating the system somehow.

      What things do you enjoy doing with your body? What things do you hate? What are your mental barriers to exercise? I can talk for literally ever about exercise I guess but I'm restraining myself here…

      • littleinfinity says:

        Definitely with you on finding exercise that I enjoy. It's hard enough to get my butt off the couch without dragging myself to boot camp.

        Hmmm things that I like: being outside (hiking/ walks), dancing (used to be really into it but no longer in the "community", maybe like a barre or jazz class would be good?)… I feel like if I could get in good enough shape then I would enjoy obstacle courses (think Ninja Warrior) or similar. I like feeling like there is a reason to be exercising, I guess. Reaching the top of the mountain/ the end of the course, or reaping the enjoyment and social rewards of dancing/ frisbee/ playing on the beach.

        Things I hate include sprints, the weight room (unless I have a really good guide), and boot camp. ๐Ÿ™‚ Basically, exercise for the sake of itself seems to be harder for me to sustain than exercise as part of an activity.

        Re: mental barriers to exercise: see my long-ass reply to Xolandra above. There are several, I guess (including laziness or lack of motivation, tbh), but mainly the black-and-white thinking and perfectionism seem to get in my way a lot.

        • Fancy_Pants says:

          I hope you can find something fun! Outside stuff is tricky this time of year, but maybe dance or team sports or martial arts? Just FYI, I went to a barre class once expecting it to be cool, but it was just an hour of doing air squats and calf raises and it was…not fun. I don't know if they are all like that though.

          I don't know if it's perfectionism or social anxiety/embarrassment, but I gave up on team sports and have been avoiding taking up a martial art because I hate being bad at things in front of other people. God, I would have SO much more fun if I could get over that…

        • Lynn says:

          If you like ballet I got into a series of DVDs called Sleek technique last year – the name is horrid but it comes the closest of any "exercise ballet" program has to mimicking the feeling I get from actual class (largely because they actually paid attention to putting some musicality into the movement).There's a little pilates type stuff mixed in but it isn't too bad. And it's chopped up into 10 or 20 minute segments (depending on the video) that you can do one or more of as you like. I have a three dvd box set but I found the first one streaming on Amazon Prime if you have access to that.

  7. Absotively says:

    I had a Christmas cold, and I am mostly over it, but I am still a bit snuffly with occasional coughing.

    I signed up for a gym last month, and it should be opening later this month, and I can't decide if I'm excited or dreading it a little. It's an Orange Theory, which is kind of overpriced and based on a nonsense theory about weight loss, but I like the workout, and it's basically just cardio intervals and strength training, and I don't have to think about it, and it's intense enough that I can get some results out of going once a week. I belonged to an Orange Theory before once, and liked it, but I didn't go as often as I meant to because it wasn't super convenient. This one is kind of on the way to Wednesday Netrunner, so I'm hoping I can rearrange my Wednesdays slightly and make it routine.

    KonMari: Am still on socks. Am pretty sure I know which actual socks I want to keep, but haven't actually matched up the ones I washed, so I need to do that and organize the ones to donate. Then I have pantyhose and tights, which are obviously subcategories of socks, and then leggings, which I decided were a subcategory of socks because I only wear them under skirts so therefore they belong in the same bigger category as tights.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I like the idea of gyms but hate their membership fee set up.

      • Absotively says:

        Except for the price, this one's not terrible. They have different price levels depending on how many workouts per month you want, they handle cancellations well (though they do require 30 days notice), and they sell a punchcard sort of thing for people who prefer that.

        They also don't have initiation fees, but they do require you to have one of their heart rate monitors, so there is an initial cost. When I belonged to the other one, they lent you the monitors to use during the class/workout, but apparently they've changed that.

        • littleinfinity says:

          Hmm this is good to know. There's an Orange Theory opening on the bottom floor of my work building, and it does seem kind of expensive/ nonsense, but also intense and convenient? I will check out the punchcard thing you mentioned, thank you.

          • Absotively says:

            They also will give you a free workout to try it, and if you do think you might like the monthly plan, there's a permanent discount if you sign up before the location opens. You still get a free workout, and you can quit after that and before they bill you if you don't like it, but you have to go for the free workout in a specific time period then.

            Also, I just checked, and there are people selling the heart rate monitors used online, so that might be another way to save money. Or if you do buy a new one, you might at least be able to sell it used if you quit.

    • redheadfae says:

      Apparently, I did order that KonMari book last year (according to Amazon's completely thorough records) but .. you can laugh with me on this…
      I don't know where I put it!

      • Absotively says:

        Ha!

        If you want to read it before you find it, it was popular enough for a while that I think the vast majority of libraries have it. You could read a library copy now, and then go looking for yours again when you want to refer back to it?

        • redheadfae says:

          I like that idea.
          The last time I remember seeing it was on my bedside table when I was laid up. And my Resident Tidy-Upper moved a lot of those things. Ugh, who knows where he tucked it away, because he rarely puts things in the logical place, like oh, a bookshelf.

    • Xolandra says:

      I really enjoy your KonMari posts. Thank you.

      • Absotively says:

        I'm glad you like them! It feels like it is taking forever, but I just keep reminding myself that I am making (slow) progress, and so far that seems to be enough to keep me more-or-less on track.

    • Heathered says:

      The name Orange Theory makes your gym sound like something out of the Twilight Zone. Be careful of unexpected twist endings!

    • CleverManka says:

      I'd never heard of Orange Theory, so I googled it and it looks so fun! Kinda CrossFit-ish without all the baggage (maybe) that goes with CrossFit, and can be more tailored to beginners. Anyway, it looks super and I hope you have an easier time of sticking with this one. Convenience/routine really is key to stuff like that.

  8. Kazoogrrl says:

    Manka, with your current dietary restrictions, are you avoiding nightshades? If so, a friend who is doing so posted links to this blog's tips, though it might be too much fruit for you (I read the tomato post): https://vegetalion.blogspot.com/p/how-to.html

    Today is my birthday and I'm at work, where I am letting the snark slide in a bit more. I'm also shopping at Sock Dreams because I want more awesome socks for my trip. The Nicolo Rugby Stripe is my 100% favorite all around go-to footwear. Tonight we're going out for low key burgers at a local place, then I think next week when we're a bit further away from All The Holiday Events we'll try a new place for a fancier meal. I'm feeling ok about this birthday, it's #43 so it feels a little neither-here-nor-there.

    I worked on setting up my Hobonichi planner, and so far I really like the quality and size. I'd like a week at a glance, but I think I can adjust to a page per day. I need to make a cover for it so it doesn't fall apart, I may have some clean vinyl in my stash that would work.

    If anyone needs a distraction, fabric-store.com posted their 2017 Reenactment and Costume contest results, there is some gorgeous stuff there.

  9. Absotively says:

    Also, IntenseDebate is being weird? It seems to have silently changed my username to a username I use on some other sites, which I don't know how it got, though it has left my display name correct. And it also says that my old comments don't exist. And that my comments here need to be approved, which I assume is probably part of the same mix-up.

  10. Absotively says:

    Wait, I have fixed it! Sort of. At least for now. I logged out and then logged in with the correct username, and it now seems to understand that that is me.

    Maybe I created the new account at some point, for some reason? And it got confused because I used the same email address? I'm going to assume that's what happened.

  11. redheadfae says:

    My phone has not stopped ringing this morning! This is highly unusual and stressing me out .. because I don't use it very much since being off work.
    More in comments:

    • redheadfae says:

      Also stressful is learning over time that not only was my Mum a complete toxic narcissist, but the Daddy I love very much is also extremely self-centered, and that makes me sad. His response to anything I tell him is something like "uh huh, and I need to go out and get some milk today.."(more rambling, usually what he's eaten that day, his plans errand by errand, what he got in the mail.. repeat ad nauseum). He so very rarely responds to anything I tell him that I've given up on telling him anything about what's going on with me. ARGH.
      Fingers crossed and good mechanical mojo that the repair guy can get a motor for our 1.5 year old dishwasher covered under warranty.
      In fun and good news, I've had the crows back and a couple of them even came down to the yard to snag the peanuts. They are going to need to be quicker to beat all the Blue Jays that show up for peanuts!

      • RoseCamelia says:

        I'm sorry about the family narcissism. You're not alone.

        Worth consideration, if you crave better understanding: some older people who present as narcissists are actually on the autism spectrum. They were never diagnosed because by the time society and the medical community caught up with autism, these adults had already surrounded themselves with people who would cater to them, shield them, or benignly ignore them.

        If you don't crave understanding, that's ok. Do whatever works for interacting with your dad. I'm sorry your relationship is not reciprocal.

        • redheadfae says:

          Thank you.
          No, he's not on the spectrum at all. He's quite capable of being kind and watching out for others. He doesn't parse some types of humor well, but his interactions through 30 years of military and 30 years of federal service haven't produced anything that I can pinpoint, other than a bit larger than normal desire to be the center of attention.

      • CleverManka says:

        Ugh. That sucks that you're learning all this about your parents, and that you still have to deal with your dad's disinterest in your own stuff. Has he always been like that, and now it's just more so? It isn't a dementia thing, is it?

        • redheadfae says:

          I don't know, he seems to be okay other than searching for words at times. It's hard to say if he's always been like that, because Mum was always in between us.

  12. CleverManka says:

    Oh my GOD guess who just got done processing all the new applications that came in over the weekend. Of the 143 applications we wound up getting, forty-seven of them were submitted on Saturday and Sunday.

    I'm gonna wrap up here, go home, lie down, and catch up with y'all this afternoon.
    <img src="https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/375233/375233_900.gif"&gt;

  13. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    I've been trying out this scary new thing of "actually telling people besides my fiancé when I am anxious and fretful," and it's going well so far!

    I took the full week of Christmas off, and the resulting 10 days straight of break was amazing. I read six books in those days, and greatly enjoyed The Black Tides of Heaven (J. Y. Yang), The Rook (Daniel O'Malley), The Marrow Thieves (Cherie Dimaline), and All Systems Red (Martha Wells).

    l managed to write on New Years' Day and yesterday, so that's an auspicious start to the year.

    • meat_lord says:

      Congrats on sharing anxious feelings with more than one person! And on writing!

      Oh, The Rook is loads of fun. I've been meaning to read The Black Tides of Heaven, so I'll move it up the list, and maybe check out the other two.

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        Thank you!

        If you want pure, unadulterated fun, go with "All Systems Red." The Black Tides of Heaven and The Marrow Thieves are both great, but Black Tides definitely has its share of wrenching moments, and The Marrow Thieves put me through the wringer.

    • Absotively says:

      I tried to read the preview of The Rook, but I bounced off all the exposition. Does the protagonist spend less time reading infodump letters once it gets going?

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        The ratio of infodump letters to present-day plot gets smaller, but never reaches 0. I enjoyed the infodump letters, but if they're not your cup of tea, don't try to force your way through them.

        • Absotively says:

          Hmm. I may give the preview another try at some point, but it sounds like this may just not be the book for me.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      All Systems Red was SUCH FUN!! I am so pleased she is planning more Murderbot bc I lurve them. Have I raved about other Martha Wells books to you? Because I have many loud opinions, mostly about how everyone should read all of them…

      Also gold star for sharing hard feelings. That is hard, even when it helps.

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        Yes, Murderbot is such a perfect character and narrator. I want so many more adventures of Murderbot.

        You may have been one of the Toastfolk who raved about The Cloud Roads to me. I finally read that last year–I happened to find it in a used bookshop, which was fortuitous. It was much fun! I haven't picked up the sequels yet, though.

        And thanks!

  14. Lynn says:

    I had an actually restful and productive vacation. Yesterday it didn't really feel like it because I didn't sleep much (trying to get back on normal sleep schedule + banging steam heat + snoring boyfriend = less than three hours of quality sleep), but today I actually feel far more chill about everything. But we had a minimal amount of flight delays on our trip to see my family, did not have to see the problematic relatives/friends of family, and , most importantly, I did not get sick — which is the first time in a year I've had any time off and not spent at least half of it miserable.

    Also I got to snuggle all kinds of dogs, including a 10 week old pitbull puppy, so.

    And I used the extra long five day weekend we left ourselves after returning from home state to ease myself back into regular exercise and do some work on the apartment — my goal was to do one workout (alternating cardio and gentle yoga) and one cleaning/organizational task a day and I mostly kept to that. I hung pictures! Our place looks increasingly less like a storage unit!

    I'm glad I seem to be improving because I think boyfriend is sinking back into his mild depression of last winter (aggravated by the fact that he's frustrated with his physical state and the pace of his recovery from knee surgery) so I think it may be my turn to be caretaker again.

    • CleverManka says:

      What a relief that you're on the mend (or seem to be) just as you have to step into caretaker role. I hope things don't get terrible.
      <img src="https://ic.pics.livejournal.com/clevermanka/1047329/356472/356472_900.gif"&gt;

      • Lynn says:

        Thanks. He is thankfully much more proactive than I am about seeking medical help (he is already going to the doctor Thursday because he wants to rule out underlying medical issues) and I can't help but think we're both going to be dealing with Anniversary Effect out the wazoo for the first part of this year (and I actually think he still hasn't fully grieved for our kitty because he almost immediately after had to start taking care of me).

        I will be more worried if he continues to resist going back to /finding a new psychiatrist if the doctor can't help him and if getting back to regular exercise (which he's now cleared to do) either doesn't happen or doesn't help.

  15. Fancy_Pants says:

    AaahhHhhh I'm super late to the party today, but creativity check-in anyone? Did anyone make any creativity-based new year's resolutions?

    I'm still feeling the zing for music writing and recording, so I've still been spending a bit of time with my guitar most days. I started playing around with making some electronic music on my laptop, and it's super super satisfying. As much as I love real instruments, it's so hard to get things to sound polished in a recording when I'm…far from expert level at any of them. So THAT'S been fun, and I'm going to go play around some more right now!

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Much to my complete surprise, I wrote some fiction fragments and seem to have a writing voice for that (my previous fiction writing voice is MIA).

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        HEYYYYYY! That's super exciting!

        (Oh, having a fiction voice…maybe I will try again one day but my voice just always made me cringe so bad.)

        That is a lovely surprise. Yay!

    • littleinfinity says:

      Have you heard of the Artiphon? I'm not a music person at all but it looks SO COOL. Kind of a cross between electronic music and "real instruments".

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        YES, I've seen those before, and they do look super cool. I have it tucked in the back of my mind that I'd buy one if I ever ended up doing the digital nomad/long term travel/#vanlife type thing. Which is probably never going to happen, but it's still nice to have (incredibly logistically detailed) dreams.

    • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

      That sounds like tons of fun!

      I haven't made any creativity resolutions, apart from a vague thought of "maybe I'll write every day?" I have decided I'm going to apply to Viable Paradise this year, but don't yet have a ground plan for how to turn this resolution into reality. Thankfully I don't have to have one yet.

    • Heathered says:

      Pecking away at short nonfiction essaylets, and reading a lot of kids' books to try and figure out where my voice and story abilities fit into that world. So far I'm idea-less, but the reading is so fun.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I have dedicated January to flailing, and to using strange materials that I got for various reasons. I spent most of today fitting tiny lights into tins so they would light the artwork within. Also cackling like a loon, because I find this idea hilarious.

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        That sounds like the perfect way to recover your creative juices after finishing a major project. And also, tiny lights are always awesome.

  16. LaxMom says:

    Hi.
    I spent today moving the bunnies into the garage because the high for today was 3F. And it's getting colder tomorrow.

    I have not finished my proposal. I have not gotten the house clean, but am mostly recovered from the flooding sewer issues.

    I am mostly hibernating for this week without kids. Taking naps. Ex is getting magnanimous/bossy again and nearly baited me into replying to his email today. I need to focus on the year ahead. My deadline is Friday for the proposal, which leaves me a whole week to prep for the course I'm teaching while the kids are back in school. If they go back, because when it's under 10F the buses don't work right and when the windchill is as bad as it has been they don't have school either.

    I am a maroon. I scheduled Teenboy's wisdom teeth removal for the same week as the solo and ensemble contest. He's not worried about it but it's senior year and he's in an ensemble and they might care. I have to reschedule it for another 4 months away.

    • CleverManka says:

      I'm glad Teenboy took the scheduling whoopsie well. Hope you get in a LOT of well-deserved hibernating.

    • Onymous says:

      >>when it's under 10F the buses don't work right

      What sort of janky ass busses does your district have? 20 years ago we were going to school in -20f.

      • LaxMom says:

        I don't think they keep the diesel buses on block heaters as a matter of course, so by the time half of them aren't starting they have to cancel school.

  17. Lee Thomson says:

    I got obsessed with serbat – the drink everyone drinks for every reason in Ann Leckie's new book Provenance – that I made something that might be it by putting a palm sized chunk of ginger, and a tablespoon each of cloves, cardamom seeds, star anise and coriander, and a stalk of lemongrass into a lot of water and heating it until the entire house smelled AMAZING. It is a little harsh on its own, but nice in coffee (did not expect that) or half and half in milk or coconut milk.

    In other news, there is no other news. I have declared January the month of flailing, and my goal is to make as many weird things as I can using the (more or less) peculiar or specialized materials I have acquired. The younger Crow is home from college til half past January, so we are sewing a bunch of tiny animals out and hanging out together a lot which is gratifying.

    • CleverManka says:

      Good lord that sounds delicious. Someday if I can have coconut milk again I am definitely trying it.

      That sounds like some fun flailing! I look forward to seeing pics of what you and younger Crow come up with (you'll post them on the blog, yes, pretty please?).

      • Lee Thomson says:

        I'll definitely post things to IG, and figure out getting them more concretely onto the blog from there.

        Can you have any kind of milk analog? I think the stuff would be nice with a little sweetening and nothing else – it would certainly be as nice as lemon water. But if you have soy or almond or any of the new fancy non-milk milks you could use any of them….

    • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

      All of that post sounds amazing. I spent all of Provenance craving serbat without ever even knowing what it was, only that it was delicious. I will have to try this.

      A designated month of flailing sounds delightful, especially with family to flail with. I may need to incorporate one of those into this year.

    • Heathered says:

      Whoa! I have been into turmeric in almond milk but this is next level beveraging. Pics of tiny animals if you're inclined to share at some point.

  18. exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

    Thank you!

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