Friday Open Thread

Clever Manka, · Categories: Open Thread

I’m taking this week off from the OT. Doc Paradise and Fancy Pants are generously serving as your hosts. I hope everyone has a chance to feel half as good as Oprah at some point before Monday.

Small note: I don’t have anything queued for Monday, so if you have a short piece you’d like to send me over the weekend, feel free!

178 Responses to “Friday Open Thread”

  1. Doc_Paradise says:

    Hey Mankanauts *waves*

    A cold and antibiotics are really slowing me down today. How about we have a good news thread for stuff that makes us feel as good as Oprah looks like she feels?

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Also hi Mankanauts, and lovely co-host!

      What's making me feel good is the stack of unread books that I picked up from the library yesterday. Thank you all for your suggestions last OT. I got my first library card about two years ago (I KNOW, guys, I KNOW), so the novelty of free books (!) has not even started to wear off. I have three fresh, exciting unread books sitting on my bookshelf and one that I'm working on sitting on my coffee table, and it's occuring to me that I've never had MULTIPLE new-to-me books in my house before. When I used to buy books like a chump, I would buy one at a time and immediately devour it like a starving person, so this feels like a bubble bath full of luxury.

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        Libraries are the buffet of the book world.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I LOVE that feeling! Yesterday I used Marina to ILL request one of Tessa's (Manka's friend) books, and the idea of almost unlimited borrowing and reading potential is amazing. What did you get?

        • Fancy_Pants says:

          Hild, Walking the Kiso Road (both recs from last week), a Jared Diamond, and The Last Unicorn.

          I think I also put in a Tessa request as well! Haha it was all a bit of a blur…

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            Book frenzy!

          • jenavira says:

            I hate to be That Person, but if you're gonna read Jared Diamond and his weird materialist determinism, can I also recommend the work of David Graeber, anarchist anthropologist? His book on debt (Debt: The First 5000 years) was mind-bending in the best way and introduced me to my favorite historical fact, that the Inca Empire fell because of inflation in China.

          • littleinfinity says:

            Yes definitely recommend David Graeber! "Mind-bending in the best way" is a good description for Debt.

          • Fancy_Pants says:

            Oh, be That Person to your heart's content. I'm such a history/anthropology/economics n00b that I'm not up on all the various scholarly beefs in those fields. "Weird materialist determinism" is right up my alley, so an anarchist chaser is probably a good idea.

            I'll have to check my request list–someone (maybe you?) recommended the Graeber to me last week, so it's on my radar already at the very least.

          • jenavira says:

            Ha, yes, that might well have been me. As an anthropology undergrad (…more than ten years ago, so I'm not fully up on current issues either) I am eternally frustrated that Jared Diamond is basically the public face of anthropology right now, given that most anthropologists think he's full of shit. Unfortunately anthropologists are not well known for their eloquent writing. (Another exception: Clifford Geertz, who managed to write a downright poetic essay about the culture of cockfighting in Bali. But, er, that's not the kind of "explain the world" thing that most casual readers are looking for.)

          • Lee Thomson says:

            I read Debt, and now when people talk about paying back loans I always ask "but why?" so that is a useful thing I think

      • damngoodcoffee says:

        Same! I have a long weekend and one of the things I will be doing is reading all the things!

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Thanks to the Friday hosts, and Manka I hope you are getting a chance to relax today!

      Have a feast for your eyes and your sense of humour, this Twitter thread about the BALMAIN fashion show. To start:

      "I mean, look at this Jester for the King of the Cyberpunk Wood-Elves here. Look at it.
      Look."

      VALKYRIE INCOMING was another fav. Also, I'd wear most of these. And there is a "War for the Oaks" reference, which pleased me to no end (it's my all-time favorite urban fantasy novel).

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        Niiiiiiice. I think I could actually wear some of those jackets.

      • vladazhael says:

        Atlantean Miami Vice.

      • Absotively says:

        I do like that Twitter thread. I would wear, like, 90% of the things that aren't mesh mini-dresses.

      • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

        "A pirate who only steals books and flirts with everyone" is what I hope I could be in an alternate fantasy universe where I am a lot more self-confident.

      • Lee Thomson says:

        He was hilarious, and on POINT – thank you!

        Also was that …actual chain mail???

      • Rillquiet says:

        Did you also have that "wait, there were TWO Sidhe in the band" moment of confusion?

      • Heathered says:

        Had to look to confirm WFTO was by Emma Bull. I'm sure I read it, but so long ago that I can't remember a thing about it. Time to revisit!

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          I reread it yearly. Sure, the fashion and music choices are dated, but they are also so of a time that they are delightful, and the romance still makes me feel a little rush.

          As a teen I read the Borderlands series and basically spoiled myself for ever being content to live in the "real world" for pining about wanting to live there instead. Bull's "Finder" can still make me cry. Damn, I think I may need to reread that, some early DeLint, and Windling's "Wood Wife" soon.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            I finally had to stop with all the modren urban fairies because the authors always always ALWAYS say something like "most people don't notice" and I DO notice, I was taught to notice by my mother, I can see all kinds of great things and even with all my world class noticing there are NO fae in my world. Humph.

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            None here, sadly. I don't much in this genre that's current, and tend to dip into the older stuff nostalgically.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Forget about fae, it is MUCH more interesting what people ignore about people. Douglas Adams was right on with the concept of a SEP field.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            I do know it is criminally easy to underestimate people… and something I try to guard against.

      • littleinfinity says:

        I actually really love the cyberpunk wood elf vibe in the first half of the thread! Delightful and fantastical, yet not so far over the top that it is No Longer Clothes. The second half seems more regular punk/ electronica/ rockstar, less wood elf or dwarf-adjacent.

        • Kazoogrrl says:

          Hah, I should describe my personal style as dwarf-adjacent from now on! I usually say unemployed biker-elf yoga instructor.

      • littleinfinity says:

        Oh I also really love "if the Globe Theatre staged the Matrix" 😀 😀

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      I've put youtube on "my mix" and let it decide what I'm listening to… it has decided that swing music is what I need. It's not wrong.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      You know what felt as good as Oprah looks like she feels? San Francisco sourdough bread. I had two hours to kill at SFO yesterday morning. I bought and ate 8 ounces of sourdough. All by myself. I do not need so many carbs. But it was a rare treat and I have no regrets.

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        *high five* Sounds lovely.

        I barely eat bread, but fresh stuff is wonderful. Potato bread and rye or pumpernickel are my go tos when I do. I've considered learning how to make bread so that I can just make what I want… but so far, it's a bit intimidating to learn entirely from a book.

        • Lee Thomson says:

          Bread thrives on your amateur status and benign neglect – anyone working too hard to figure out metrics for bread is doomed, whereas if you just …start, it generally goes fine. There is always a panicky moment in the middle where you are sure the dough will never come off your fingers/hands/wrists/countertop/bowl, and then it does, and it is magic!

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            That sounds workable… what is a good recipe to start with?

          • littleinfinity says:

            I've never tried this recipe but I've seen it floating around for a while and it seems like a great beginner's bread! http://alexandracooks.com/2012/11/07/my-mothers-p

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            That looks simple enough. Hmmm

          • jenavira says:

            I've been making this oat and wheat sandwich bread from smitten kitchen, which is the epitome of benign neglect bread. (I recommend kneading it a little more than the recipe calls for, my first loaves came out very crumbly.)

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            That also looks potentially manageable. Thanks.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            2 cups warm-not-hot waterhandful of sugar or glump of honey or molassesgenerous pinch of saltpacket of yeastlet sit till the yeast bubblesstart adding cups of flour and stirring – it'll take between 4 and 6 before you can't move the spoontip the whole thing onto a well floured counter, and knead it until it gets springy, and sticks more to itself than you or the counterlet rise til doubledpunch down and knead againput in pans, let risebake 350F a little under an hour til golden brown and bread pops out of pans and sounds hollow when thumped with a thumb.ALternatively, start in an oven proof pot: 2 cups warm-not-hot waterhandful of sugar or glump of honey or molassesgenerous pinch of saltpacket of yeastlet sit till the yeast bubblesstir in flour but stop while you can still move the spoonwhen it is well mixed but pulling away from the sides of the pot, add a dollop of olive oil over the toplet sit, in the pot, til it doublesstir it again, it should be springy, alive, and smell deliciouslet it double, bake it until it is golden brown, and sounds hollow when tappedfor either of these you can stop at the first punch-down and let it do the second rise in the fridge overnight, and bake first thing the next morning – this gives a more open, bubbly interior, and a deep bread/yeast flavor

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Okay. Now I have no excuses for not trying to make bread.

          • Lee Thomson says:

            once you make this work, you start adding things that make you happy – potatoes, olives, grated cheese, caraway seeds and orange zest, etc. Bread is dead easy, it is just isn't repeatable

          • jenavira says:

            I like to cover the top of the oven proof pot variation with dried rosemary and thyme, and then eat it hot out of the oven with lots of butter. Mmmm, bread.

      • Heathered says:

        It's so good. The one time I got a bread bowl of clam chowder while playing tourist, it took so much willpower not to just eat the entire bowl. (I did eat most of it.)

        • littleinfinity says:

          Clam chowder in a bread bowl is heaven. If I had room in my stomach I would absolutely eat the entire bowl… I think I've only ever made it through 75% though. #goals

    • Heathered says:

      I took this question with me on my errand run (being overcharged for refried beans does NOT make me happy, but getting stuff done does), and I think soap bubbles come *really* close. Rainbow-y, inexpensive, temporary but reproducible. I like them a lot.

    • jenavira says:

      Good Things: I picked up two skeins of Neighborhood Fiber Company's Cobblestone DK for the color (and the fact that it was in the yarn store's end-of-year clearance sale), but it turns out it is not wool, but wool and cashmere and silk. I will have someone to help me wind it this weekend, and then I will get to knit the softest shawl. (I'm thinking this one.)

    • ru_ri says:

      i am slaying deadlines like they are cabinet members of the current presidential administration. also i have played my bass almost every night this week despite flu. not sure i feel as good as oprah but that is the best i got.

      hope your cold improves quickly!

  2. vladazhael says:

    My local liquor store has 3 or 4 different kinds of rye on sale through the end of February and I intend to try them all. I'm on the second one as of last night. Whiskey and good books and Manfriend make me feel Oprah Good.

    Speaking of Manfriend, his current landlord is being a turd and holding things up with the apartment application by not getting back to them in a timely fashion… but honestly I'm pretty miffed at the management company processing the application, because if they wanted to they could overlook that and easily approve us with no trouble based on everything else about us, including Manfriend's good rental and payment record and the number of recorded legal judgments against said landlord. At this point I'm more than ready to see if we can work with the just-a-person renting out the house we both like even better and see if we can make that a thing instead, even if it means starting a lease sooner and a couple extra months of rent (which we are lucky enough have the budget to cover if it comes to that). But that depends on Manfriend having the time and brainspace today to call about it, which has been Not A Thing so far this week, so fingers crossed. The poor man is stressed as hell and doesn't deserve to have to deal with more, but also this is a thing that I can't really do myself, having already called, and he did volunteer to (if possible) give it a shot.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Mmmm whiskey. What are you reading?

      May you get the better of the two situations, whatever that may turn out to be.

      • vladazhael says:

        I finished Terry Pratchett's Night Watch earlier this week, which was SO GOOD and made me extra pleased with the Rise Up tattoo on my wrist. Now I'm taking a moment to address some candidates for the donation pile, so I'm about 100 pages into Angela's Ashes, which I am also enjoying in the unique way one can enjoy something that's heavy and dark as fuck but also oddly funny in places. Also I'm just a sucker for a good memoir.

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          Terry Pratchett <3 Night Watch is one of my favourites of his. I think I've heard of Angela's Ashes… that's a murder mystery from the point of view of the corpse right?

          • vladazhael says:

            Haha nope, must be different one, though that sounds intriguing as well. This is a memoir of a particularly difficult childhood (and presumably adulthood later) mostly in Ireland.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            *blilnk* Welp, I was way off on that guess.

            *quick internet search*

            I think I was vaguely remembering ads for "The Lovely Bones".

          • vladazhael says:

            Ahhhh, that makes sense. That was a good one as well. I still need to watch the movie version, but carving out more than 2 hours of me paying attention lately is quite the challenge.

          • exitpursuedbyaclaire says:

            Oh weird. Years ago, when I first heard about Angela's Ashes, I always confused it with The Lovely Bones too. Wonder why that is.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            Title? Timing? Synchronized brain farts?

          • Kazoogrrl says:

            The Lovely Bones was really hard for me to read, and I won't touch the film. Well done, but hard.

        • littleinfinity says:

          Oooh yeah, Angela's Ashes is funny and terribly sad. And Frank McCourt is an amazing writer.

          • vladazhael says:

            It took me ages to realize he was switching tense all over the place, and I didn't even care. That's a sign of some immense talent with words.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Oooh gods that is SO frustrating. Fingers crossed for you guys ending up with the superior house at the end of this (or at least having this resolved and DONE soon).

      In the meantime, enjoy the whisky! I'm going to a Scotch tasting party tonight, so *clink!*

      • Doc_Paradise says:

        *quietly over in the corner envying your scotch tasting party*

      • vladazhael says:

        I am trying not to obsess over the alternate (e.g. PERFECT) house and whether we can just pull the trigger on that right the fuck now make things happen solve problems throw money at it get it done do ALL THE THINGS.

        …I am failing, but I am trying.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Yes, what whiskey? We are still mourning the loss of Pikesville Supreme (the cheap version), and usually drink Bulleit's rye, which is perfectly good but we're still grumpy about it.

      I wish landlords would stop fulfilling the stereotype, because a lot of them could make everyone's lives so much easier.

    • Räven says:

      I actually love Rittenhouse, which is like your grandfather's rye and not even glamorous enough for a lot of bars here to stock. Please post reviews here as you go or afterwards!

      • vladazhael says:

        Will do! Old Overholt has been my go-to non-glamorous standard for a while, but I'm trying fancier versions as well because why not?

      • jenavira says:

        I bought a bottle of Rittenhouse specifically for cocktails and it is Delightful (but I am not really a whiskey drinker in any normal sense of the word).

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        We have some at the house right now, I drank it with a black cherry Shasta last night. Desperate times.

    • Räven says:

      There was also a really fascinating article a few years ago that the bulk (?) of rye sold in the USA comes from one giant distiller, and most brands are just bottling it themselves. (They can barrel it for x amount of time to influence the flavor but the mash is literally the same.) So a lot of our midlevel fancy ryes have a VERY SIMILAR CHARACTER. 😉 And afaik Bulleit is one of them, so you should be able to find something to your taste without too much exotic adventuring.

      If you consult the labels on your rye bottles you will probably be able to identify the common distillery or at least its location.

  3. Xolandra says:

    O my kittens, I forgot to tell you about my Saturday night on Wednesday. Which is ok, because it turns out my Saturday night made me feel as good as Oprah looks like she is feeling _and then some_.

    So Saturday I headed out to a new venue that an acquaintance of mine from the hOttawa music scene has started. It's called Triple 7 and it is an anarcho-commune dedicated to bringing together like minded folks to make … art. You can purhcase a membership and show up to all of their stuff for free or reduced prices, and when there aren't events you can use the space as a workshop space! So last night, for example, my friend hosted a mask-making workshop for the dance party she's planning for next month, where you come disguised as your "other self", the one that doesn't get much play because you are busy presenting your "acceptable self" to the world. They do regular potlucks and there are drum circles and they set up dj decks and beat machines for folks to play around with and also VJ equipment… It's just _really my jam_ is all I'm saying.

    But it is also on the other side of the river. Which, like, it's still really close to my house, just in a different direction than I usually go, so I haven't been prioritizing getting there. But last Saturday, they did an event called "Freedom of Assembly", which is a monthly dance party that they host that's all about … you know what, just have the description of the event from facebook: Freedom of Assembly may be the most fundamental and important democratic right. Federal land is public land, and the public has a RIGHT to assemble there peacefully. So tonight we will gather and we will dance, celebrate and enjoy our Freedom of Assembly. Triple7's new monthly is more than just another party, it is the forefront of a new movement of change that will unite the creative underground to become a true PLUR community celebrating the ART of the party.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Ohhh… that sounds like a very interesting place. Where is it? Gatineau? Link?

      *google fu*

      This? http://ottawabeat.com/listings/venues/triple-seve

      • Xolandra says:

        That's the one! This is their website: https://www.triple7.ca/

        And this is the next edition of that particular dance party (if you have the facebooks): https://www.facebook.com/events/147159775994058/

        • Doc_Paradise says:

          I have facebooks. Thanks.

          It looks fascinating… and scary for me. I'm a terrible dancer and an introvert and have absolutely NO experience with that type of thing. I missed that part of growing up for reasons.

          • RoseCamelia says:

            I'd have difficult feelings there, too, but I wish I could go anyway. I'd stand in a corner with you and enjoy watching everyone else dance.

          • Xolandra says:

            _also legit choice of how to spend your time_.

          • Xolandra says:

            Not everything they do is a dance party! I am, for example, also looking forward to a clothing swap and an art jam on Feb 11 that looks super cool. And a lot of the time you can just… show up.

            Be forewarned, tho, these are the hippiest of folks, and they. are. huggers. Like one of the collective was bragging about "chasing away" folks that don't fit the vibe – she meant negative folks don't tend to like it, because the collective is all "take your drama elsewhere", but it was p clear to me that if you don't like being hugged/touched this probably wouldn't be the group for you. OTOH, if one explained WHY (even if is as little as "I just don't really like it"), I feel like this group would also be very respectful of that.

            And hey! If you ever want to check their stuff out and want a buddy, I will happily take my knitting and sit near you, or even keep you company on the dance floor. I have juuuuuuuuuust enough training and spirit to make (almost) anyone look like they're having a good time 😉

          • RoseCamelia says:

            I found a role for myself! I can go and be the guard for touch avoiders. I can intercept huggers with my own hug if I'm feeling up to it, or block with a forearm and a smiling reminder "some of us are avoiding hugs tonight, but we're very happy to see you".

          • Xolandra says:

            Honestly, I think these people need it. It is important to push boundaries, yes, but also to respect them.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            I like it when people *ask* and respect the answer before hugging. I've run into too many bad situations where people act like they are entitled to non-sexual touch or that there is something wrong with the person who doesn't want it.

            I might take you up on that offer after I recover from this bloody cold. Thanks.

    • Xolandra says:

      So I manage to convince one of my friends that this will be a valuable way to spend our time, we ditch our boyfriends (narrow-minded punk rockers both, her boyfriend was told to stay home because he wouldn't like it, to which he responded "o, it's one of your weirdo art things, isn't it?", while GentlemanX is In The Bush) and head over the river.

      The venue (which coincidentally was where I met the friend now involved in this incarnation of the venue, but before it was this incarnation) has two rooms; it opens into a space that had been set up as a vendor space, with someone selling semi-precious stones, another person selling vintage fashion, and another booth with beer and wine and tomato soup and bread and also a big ol jug of water for the dancers. This room was where I re-found the noise/sound/ambient dj that I found a month ago and decided to stalk, which was SUPER CONVENIENT because he has no Internet Presence and I had failed at finding him online (first name =/= facebook name, harrumph!), and it was decorated with pretty art and weird lights and teal paint on the walls and a television that had a # symbol on top of static all night long… It was really great, is what I'm saying.

      And then? Then we walked into the dance-party room. It was bathed in blue light, and there were about… 8-ish dancers on the floor? Some humans were lining the walls, chatting, some chatting up the vj who was projecting lava lamp-esque images onto a frame that had been constructed around the dj booth, that consisted of a diamond shape in the middle, and otherwise mostly triangles… think She-ra's tiara. It looked kinda like that, except with lava bubbling away instead of gold. There was a single gogo dancer on a speaker, and as we got our bearings we heard the sweet strains of a jazzy trumpet over some HEAVY bass beats. There was an MC as well, and a djembe circle, and art, again, on the walls and hanging from the rafters… I leaned over to my friend and hollered "THIS IS AMAZING".

      Later, describing to friend and colleague, he said "it sounds like something out of a dream sequence" and I was like FUNNY YOU SHOULD MENTION THAT, it turns out that when I described the event the GentlemanX I literally used the phrase "It was like something out of my girlhood dreams". Y'all. I found my happyplace, it is 20 years later and in Quebec, but teenage Xolandra _finally_ found her happy place, and adult me is SUPER STOKED that I am still into it ^_^

      • Xolandra says:

        O MY GODS, and I forgot about the dude that showed up at like 1 in the morning with hummus, bread and cucumber and started making folks sammiches. I am _definitely_ gonna bring snacks to the next edition ^_^

      • Fancy_Pants says:

        OH MY GOD. I am so happy this happened and that this exists in the world. I have really got to visit Ottawa again soon.

      • littleinfinity says:

        Wow!! That does sound dreamlike. If I ever visit Canada…

        • Xolandra says:

          Make sure to come to the right parts. Canada is a large country 😉

          • littleinfinity says:

            I will definitely ask you for recommendations!! So far I haven't been up that way, but I've heard good things about Vancouver and Toronto!

          • Xolandra says:

            Hahahaha, yep, pick one of those two, as they are about a 4 day drive apart, hahahaha.

            Actually, don't pick Toronto, not unless you want to see a city that desperately wants to be NYC but really isn't.

            Go to Montreal instead. You'll be able to get around as an anglo, there's a million interesting things to see and do, the locals are for the most part on board with flanage (loitering) , and it's the closest thing Canada has to A Great City. My friend with the itchy feet from my travel post routinely declares that Montreal is the only Canadian city he'd even CONSIDER moving to and even then… AND Montreal is close enough to hOttawa that you can come visit me, too ^_^

          • littleinfinity says:

            Ooh I forgot about Montreal! That's on the list as well. My dad and sister went on a trip there and returned with fabulous stories of hot chocolate and cafes. Yeah, I guess saying “Vancouver and Toronto” is kind of like saying “Los Angeles and NYC”, huh? 😀  

          • Xolandra says:

            Hahaha, a little, yep. It'd be more like saying "Hollywood and Orlando", since Van and Toronto are both fairly far south, as far as Canada goes. LA – NYC would be more like Toronto – Whitehorse. Or Vancouver – PEI ^_^

          • Absotively says:

            Toronto is very nice! I lived there for five years and really liked it. I've never been to New York, though, so maybe that keeps me from seeing it too much in a wants-to-be-New-York light.

            Montreal is pretty great as a tourist destination, though, I can't argue with that.

          • Doc_Paradise says:

            I like both Montreal and Toronto too.

          • SquirrelGirl says:

            I love Montreal and Vancouver equally. I'm an east coaster, but if Canada would have me, I'd happily live in either place (though Vancouver is looking extra-unaffordable). The winters in Montreal though! I took my husband for a long weekend 40th bday celebration a few years ago. His birthday is in early March. It was crazy cold and it took us some time to figure out where everyone was hiding (underground).

      • vladazhael says:

        I'm glad adult you is still into it. Teenage vlad would find it fascinating (if entirely out of reach), but adult vlad has developed an allergy to any that might be considered a "scene" and will happily step aside for more gregarious humans to enjoy each other.

        • Xolandra says:

          You know, part of why I love this so much is because I can add it to my list of scenes to which I am "adjacent". I have a bead on the punk/live music scene, the club scene and now the art-weirdo scene. Some of these scenes overlap, so if you imagine a Venn diagram, I am not at the centre, but, like, flitting around the outsides.

          NGL, I am very carefully maintaining my status as "enthusiastic supporter" without crossing into "organizer" or "known entity". Because I have a rich, full life, I don't need scene drama added to it, and boy howdy, is there ever drama to be had.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      Wow, I have not seen PLUR used in, oh, twenty years?

  4. Lee Thomson says:

    It turns out that when I am slightly sick I can write, like, a lot. I have finished one and a half submissions to artist residencies, and worked on two different writing projects. When life gets too overwhelmed with phlegm, I go stand in the show til the hot water runs out, and regain momentum. Also I have completely used up a pound of honey two tablespoons at a time in hot honey and lime (because I cannot find lemon) to slow the coughing.

    Would anyone here be interested in an editing gig? A Tarot editing gig? I need help beating the lwb into submission, and you peeps are my favorite starting point.

  5. jenavira says:

    This week has been a rollercoaster. Most recently: yesterday I was in such a hurry to get to my therapy appointment that I forgot to take my meds, spent all day crying about capitalism and unsustainable expectations, and freaked out most of my coworkers. This morning I woke up from an incredibly vivid dream about the end of the world (a very quiet, laid-back end of the world, nevertheless suffused with an overwhelming sense of doom) and apparently taking my meds today has given me all the side effects at once, so now I feel Deeply Unwell but I am also the only person from my department at work today (my boss is nowhere to be found) so I don't even know what would happen if I tried to tell them I was too sick to stay here. (As if I could, anyway. Protestant Work Ethic insists that if it's my own damn fault I need to suck it up and deal.) Hoping that sitting still in one place for an hour or two will make the dizziness go away.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Oh gosh. It's not your fault that you forgot to take your meds, and it's super not your fault that you're freaking out about capitalism and unsustainable expectations and the apocalypse, because that's all SUPER legit ( I've been having a recurring anxiety dream about building a fallout shelter in my parents' basement. So.)

      Just do whatever you need to do to get through the day, and then you'll have a weekend to recover, and then your mood and med side effects will hopefully level out. It's gonna be okay.

      • vladazhael says:

        One of my friends got fired yesterday and my reaction was FUCK THE MAN! SEIZE THE MEANS OF PRODUCTION! VIVA LA REVOLUCION! because I made my coffee a wee bit strong.

      • jenavira says:

        Aaaaa, but I have a program to give tomorrow morning, and then because capitalism, I have to be at work until five! Did I ever tell you all about how my full-time job is apparently contingent on me working every single Saturday, which no one told me when I accepted it?

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Shit. Can you nest under a desk? If you are the only one there, maybe nobody will notice?

    • littleinfinity says:

      I'm sorry you're dealing with mental and physical bleh. Capitalism and unsustainable expectations are worth crying about, for sure, but that's also no fun. It is not your fault that you're feeling sick, you are doing the best you can! If you need to go home… go home. Capitalism and your boss will both survive if you take the afternoon off.

    • jenavira says:

      Post-lunch update: I no longer feel like if I move too fast parts of my body will fall off. (Now I feel like if I move too fast I might be sick, but it feels like an improvement.) Still. Tonight's furniture-moving plans have been cancelled, I think.

      Non-illness-related news: The one male supervisor at my library – the one who has staffed his department almost entirely with young, single, attractive women with limited qualifications – is in Thailand getting married. When he started here three years ago he was married to a delightful fat American librarian, and I do not know when that changed. They want us to sign a congratulations card. I am…skeptical.

  6. Kazoogrrl says:

    This weekend, I'm going to try to socialize with beings other than J, the cats, and the dog. There is a "string thing" crafting get together at a cafe up the street, so I plan on walking up to check it out. I'm also going to put away a mountain of laundry and start to make a packing list for my trip. And I started The Expanse last night, so I'm going to try to make a dent in that and finish S2 Black Sails. Mainly, resetting from all the work week crap.

    ETA: And there's a new, long Harry Potter advent fic to dive into! http://archiveofourown.org/works/13472379

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Ooh, a community crafting event in your neighborhood sounds DREAMY! I hope it goes well and you get to meet some lovely people.

      The rest of your weekend plans sound great too–let me know what you think of the Expanse. It sounds like exactly my kind of show, but I haven't tracked down a way to watch it yet.

      • Kazoogrrl says:

        I'm looking forward to hanging out with neighborhood people, because most of my friends live out of the city to I tend to socialize away from home, which sometimes just feels dumb. I do need to look at the knitting project I set down so I'm not trying to remember it and socialize at the same time.

        I'm watching it on Prime in the US, not sure if that works for you or not?

  7. Heathered says:

    This week has been really great, but I am kind of governed by apathy and thus unable to feel how great it has been. Trying to document it so I don't forget, though.

    Best thing I've made by way of cleaning my cabinets has been a nuked potato covered with canned salmon and salsa. I should eat them for lunch, though, because they almost give me too much energy to sleep after dinner.

    • Fancy_Pants says:

      Ooh, that sounds tasty, and like a nutritional powerhouse. It's always so great to come up with a new staple meal.

      I'm glad you've had a good week. Sometimes it can be a little hard to process/accept when things start looking up after a long period of blah.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Apathy… it's terrible when that happens. "I cognizently know this is great, but I'm not feeling it." Hopefully, your meds change will help with that.

      Sounds yummy.

    • Absotively says:

      My last vacation was like that, with the greatness and apathy. I'm pretty sure in my case it was mostly anemia. I hope that whatever it is in your case, it passes quickly.

  8. Absotively says:

    I think it's about time for another potential Toast Commune location. This week's suggestion is inspired by this article on the theme of "why don't you move to Saint John?" I'm particularly taken with this "contemporary condo conversion." There are four units in the building for sale, and they are numbered one through four, so if four of us each bought one I suspect we'd have basically the whole building without having figured out how to actually form a commune or co-op. We would have to deal with whoever owns the retail space on the first floor, though.

    It appears to be walking distance from a nice looking market, multiple parks, the harbour, at least one used book shop, at least one comics shop, the library, a Giant Tiger (I think they carry groceries?), and a variety of restaurants.

  9. Flitworth says:

    We got up at 5:30am (although hubs and I were awake before this, laying in bed, not sleeping, unaware the other person was also not asleep) to pack up 16 of our chickens to send to the butcher. It was hard emotionally. The decision was easier before they finished molting and as soon as we made arrangements their feathers started looking fabulous and they started laying again.

    Originally we were going to send all 28 but we (hah) chickened out. We thought closing the chicken concern for a year or two would help lower our stress/responsibility levels….I don't know what that means for now having 12 chooks instead of 28. A neighbor was taking her chooks and turkeys to a butcher and needed at least 12 to make their quota (there is so much complication around butchering in MA) so were happy to take ours.

    The highlight of my week was when An Dude Who Regularly Gives Me Attitude got sassy w/ me over a case and then proceeded to perform "analysis" on completely the wrong system, a detail which I noticed immediately and chucked back over the wall.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Second thoughts are normal for all sorts of things… i imagine they are normal for chicken decisions too. May your feels settle out after it is all done and done.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      I have an amazing friend locally who breeds chickens, turkeys and ducks (she is working on an India Runner Duck morph that is black with a white chest because she says it is as close as she'll get to raising penguins) and she said she definitely has favorites and nemesises (what IS the plural of nemesis?) among her flock. The favorites are spared each round, and the rest go to freezer camp. On the other hand, I have a vegan friend down the road who is basically a retirement home for chickens. She takes old ones, and loves them til they die. There's no moral to this story, but I sympathize with having to send some of your chickens to freezer camp.

    • Kazoogrrl says:

      I'm sorry but also glad it's a tough decision, I feel like that is how I want to approach my relationship with eating animals. I don't think it's morally wrong, but I should be aware of what I'm doing. Thank you for raising these ladies and being considerate of their lives!

  10. SquirrelGirl says:

    So…I haven't been posting. I had some health issues arise suddenly in December–count me among the many here that were having gastrointestinal strangeness. I was diagnosed with one condition (painful, but not horrible) but then they spotted something else in the scans (the accidental discovery is ALWAYS the problematic one). So, the vacation I'd saved up for all year turned into recovering from the first complaint and worrying about the second (all while checking into work for various time sensitive projects).

    I just had surgery last week so I'm down one non-essential organ and waiting to get the reports back. I had to call the doctor and after getting batted about and delayed I finally got the response today from the nurse: "Dr. says you should be 'all set' but continue to observe." I'm not entirely sure what that means. But I guess I have to wait until my follow up visit the first week of February. Hopefully I won't lose my mind before then.

    Oh–and in all this madness, the manager I report to and then the VP of my department, decided to quit and go to other jobs. So, the big project I'm working on (which suddenly became due this month) and which I normally could've passed off to them b/c of surgery and stuff–I wound up working on all this month.

    I also wanted to say here that my husband is working through some stuff, and I've said this before, but I often rely on what I've read here to not be a horrible unsupportive partner. One other thing–and not sure if anyone else has noticed this–emotional support guides, etc. seem in short supply for men. If a man wants to unlearn toxic masculinity or develop better self care, there are definitely not a lot of resources out there.

    You guys are awesome–I dip in often and learn a lot. But in the midst of all the health issues I just didn't feel up to posting. I do get lured out of my burrow when a arts/craft-themed post is featured. I just can't resist and I'm looking forward to February's challenge.

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      Accidental findings are better than not finding it but having it affect you. My kidney ultrascan accidentally found a golf-ball sized gallstone. I got it out and it made a lot of things better (as well as avoiding a potential cancer risk).

      Shit… that's more than a bit overwhelming. May you get a very much needed vacation soon.

      I have a shelf of self-help books on men's issues. I haven't finished reading them all but you are welcome to the list if you want. Are there any particular topics he's interested in? My entire household loved bell hooks' "The Will to Change" and I reviewed "When Good Men Behave Badly" by Wexler ( https://doc-paradise.dreamwidth.org/11438.html ). There are others of various degrees of read, but if you want that list I can give it with a YMMV warning. It's all stuff I picked off a family therapist friend's reading list.

    • Kudzu_Of_Joy says:

      Hewwo,

      On the unlearning toxic masculinity thing, I also highly recommend Bell Hooks in general and 'Will to Change' in particular. It's going to hit a lot a moving pieces and freeze it for him to look at properly.

      For dealing with emotional stuff, as he's going through the unlearning, Brene Brown's 'Daring Greatly' is kinda indispensable. It helps to have a framework of what shame is and how to cope with a crushing weight of it as he comes to understand that he's lived a lie for little benefit all this time while harming the world and people around him.

      Anything by Gabor Mate is a good time; 'When the Body Says No' and 'In The Realm Of Hungry Ghosts' are recommended reads. Coming to terms with various compensatory systems of coping and how to recognise what they're doing are kinda important.

      As well, for destabilizing the general mythology that supports toxic masculine culture and the poison it spreads, there's a youtube series that I highly recommend if he can get into university lectures. 'Behavioural Biology' by Professor Robert Sapolsky has been very good for knocking out the cognitive underpinnings of toxic masculinity.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      Hooray! Another February maker!

      That is a lot of stuff to get handed all at once, I'm sorry you're overwhelmed. I don't actually know of any useful books or reading aside from the Emotional Labor thread that was consolidated off MetaFilter a couple years ago. It is a lonng read… https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&amp;…

      It also sounds like Doc has some suggestions as well. Good luck with that, fine tuning relationships is forever!

    • Flitworth says:

      Thank you for dropping by and updating us. I hope that things get better from here. Health sh*t is never fun and very emotionally taxing in ways that can be hard to identify.

  11. Flitworth says:

    Gah!!! So my husband was in a car accident (nobody hurt except the car) at this shit rotary in the neighboring town that we have to use all the damn time. The car is still in the shop. Welp. Tonight, on the way to pick up tiny human, some duder didn't see my car, which was already IN the rotary and had right of way and hit me. The car is driveable but ever-loving-fuck this rotary is a hazard and I do not need any more shit to deal with between being down to one car, tiny human custody battle, and everything else. /rant

    I'm going to work on my resignation letter from adulthood.

    • LaxMom says:

      Gah, that's beyond infuriating. I am sorry for the extra hassle and money down the drain and stress.

    • RoseCamelia says:

      Oh thank dogs Tiny Human wasn't in the car at the time. Are you injured? I'm sorry that fool hit your car. You deserve a break, to say the least. ::all the hugs for you while I shake my fist at the universe::

    • Doc_Paradise says:

      May you catch a damn break soon.

    • Lee Thomson says:

      rotaries, such a crap shoot – a friend's car was totalled when someone hit her head on going the WRoNG WAY around a north-eastern MA rotary. Admittedly, in a snowstorm, but still, dude, WRONG WAY – like, how did they even???

      I'm particularly sympathetic if there's no alternative, because then you feel paranoid and foolish and get hit anyway…

  12. LaxMom says:

    I lost my password and have been pretty damn pissy lately. I'm pretty fed up. I am done done done with the f'ing new lacrosse coach. I am fried with my writing. and I am really fucking sick of being broke–university still hasn't gotten my pay through. Bah humbug.
    Tomorrow I go sit with band people and get to be in the room while the kids have solo competition. It will probably be my last one since Teengirl isn't into competitions.
    I need a social life, but I have no time or money. Or motivation to actually be in the same room with anyone who owns a penis and not correct that condition. I think I lack patience.

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