I have some thoughts:
1. Marine biology is low risk of misuse by supervillains? Come on! Sharks!
3. I wouldn't put linguistics that low for supervillain risk, assuming the validity of the strong Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. (Yes, everything I knew about Sapir-Whorf did come from that one Delany book.)
4. But then, he put palaeontology low as well, and. Well. Do that right/wrong enough and you get both microbiology (bubonic plague! anthrax!) AND ornithology (dinosaurs!)
5. HE LEFT OUT ECONOMICS. And poli-sci (between history and sociology?) but imo economics is WAY scarier from both a supervillain and accidental escape perspective.
6. Really, isn't any discipline high supervillain risk if the supervillain has the right mental attitude?
7. If prosthetics is high supervillain risk/low escape risk, and dentistry is low supervillain risk/low escape risk, are dentures high or low supervillain risk?
Beatrice, being pounced on, responded to this by playing soccer.
Dear Captain Awkward,
Over the years, my smart, funny, fun friend Elizabeth has become ruled by her insecurity, anxiety, and grievances. She’s close with my friends from a couple of overlapping friend groups — I met my boyfriend through her — and somehow, her emotional needs have become the center of our lives. We are constantly trying to manage around Elizabeth’s irrational reactions.
Any time she isn’t invited to anything I’m doing, I’ll hear about it directly and again passive-aggressively. It doesn’t matter the reason. Every low-key hangout becomes a dilemma: do I invite Elizabeth, do I lie about my plans, do I just endure the confrontation. If I invite her when I don’t feel like it, she claims I wasn’t happy to see her. If she’s busy when we make plans, she’ll still say how left out she feels. Any time anyone has big news — they’re engaged, moving, pregnant — telling Elizabeth is a whole thing that has to be strategized around.
It’s not hard to tell this is the result of some deep and miserable insecurity and loneliness. I feel terrible that she feels that way. But she is using her anxieties to control everyone around her, and I’ve realized it’s a fucked-up game that I can’t win.
If she weren’t friends with all my friends, I would cut her out of my life entirely. Given the overlap, though, that would be difficult and dramatic (and maybe end up ruining her relationships with people who are frustrated but not yet totally fed up. She does need friends. I just can’t be one anymore). I am trying instead to see her as a friend-of-friends who I don’t care for. I don’t feel guilty about ways I inadvertently hurt those people. I don’t vent for hours about them to mutual friends. I don’t go to parties we’re both invited to and leave frustrated by all the ways they are disappointing me.
But I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to react the next time she tries to make me feel guilty or make something about her. I don’t know what to say that doesn’t turn into a big, involved, emotional conversation that I do not want. She always wants more from me. I want to give her less. I know what my boundaries are. How do I make them clear to her?
Hello! I think your question is going to resonate with a lot of people.
Story Time: Once upon a time a group of friends and I were trying to decide where to eat dinner. One of the group members had her sister in town, and Sister is apparently a VERY picky eater. Not medical-issues or food-allergies-picky, more like: Most restaurant food is gonna be too weird/too spicy/too ethnic/contain too many foods, like, the “rocks” and the “trees” might touch each other on the plate, so we had to find someplace that would have something she could eat. Great! A challenge! Chicago is a restaurant-rich environment. Surely there would be something.
I tell this story not because picky eaters are bad and shouldn’t be accommodated as much as possible (seriously, do not fill the comments with details about you don’t & can’t eat, I don’t care and it’s not the topic of this column). I tell it because the conversation went on for almost two hours with people raising suggestions and others shooting them down and because during all of this the Sister never said a word. She never said “Ok, Mexican or Thai is cool, I can eat some rice there” or “The diner is fine, I can get a grilled cheese probably and they’ll put everything on the side for me” or “actually Italian doesn’t work for me, sorry” or “Listen, why don’t I make some Kraft dinner here so I’m not starving and then come keep you company later at the bar” or “Hey, I know this is kinda weird, thanks for trying to help find something that will work for me” or “Can we pull up the menu online and see if there’s anything I can eat?” She just sat there quietly making frowny faces and grimaces for almost two hours while 6 people (most of whom she’d just met for the first time) tried to find something she could eat and auditioned options for her while her sister tried to interpret her face and mediate between everyone else.
It was so weird. It was one of the most amazingly dysfunctional things I have ever seen. I say “amazingly” partly because of the way that the visiting Sister had trained her sibling to anticipate and worry about her around eating and to fear her negative reactions to the point that she didn’t even have to say or do anything at this point. The mere prospect of her being sad or upset or unsatisfied was enough to have everyone strategizing around it. It was amazing how quickly we were all trained, by proxy, to react the same way. Also notable was the amount of effort it took to break out of the pattern that was instantly established among us, the amount of energy that it took to be able to say “Listen, I’m starving, we gotta goooooooo.” (We ate Mexican food. There were plain quesadillas. It was fine. Also, this dynamic played out before every single meal of her visit, three meals a day).
I tell this story because your story about your friend is partly about habits and group dynamics and the way they calcify. Elizabeth has trained you all to strategize around her and dread her reactions to things. She has to an extent trained herself to be let down over and over again. It has become a self-perpetuating cycle – the more negatively she reacts, the more she’s left out, which makes her react negatively, which makes people want to be around her less. Stir in some Geek Social Fallacies and it sucks for everyone, Elizabeth most of all. Since you can’t change what Elizabeth will do or how she’ll feel, so can you change the way you react to it so that the relationship works better for you? And can your example help steer the group to help break the pattern?
Relationships where one person is always apologizing and the other person always needs an apology are pretty unbalanced, yes? Relationships where you have to strategize around the possibility of them blowing up at you over pretty minor things are also unbalanced and exhausting. Whatever you’ve shared in the past, that’s where you are now. So, since you do have a lot of social overlap and history with Elizabeth and don’t want to ostracize her from the larger group, figure out your threshold for inviting her to stuff (it sounds like big group hangs are where it’s at) and do that. When you want to invite different people, hang out in smaller groups, make plans without her, or announce good news, do that. When you don’t want to go to something she’s organizing say “No thanks, can’t make it” without giving a reason or apologizing. Then, the hard part: Let her feelings be her feelings and don’t work so hard to fix them or manage them. Be kind and polite without being effusive or engaging deeply and otherwise withdraw to the place that you are comfortable and that feels sustainable for you.
Part of setting and maintaining boundaries with others is internal. It’s making & owning the decision that hey, my line is here, and if someone crosses it, I will withdraw from interacting with them, and if that upsets them, that’s sad, but it doesn’t automatically make the feelings my problem or my fault. Once you decide that you can deal with Elizabeth’s negative feelings without making them your problem, you’ll feel a lot more free and relaxed.
If you end up talking about things with her, say, when Elizabeth inevitably notices your withdrawal and pushes you about it, the script you are looking for might be some version of this:
“I definitely don’t want to upset you or hurt your feelings, but I also don’t want to apologize for something that isn’t actually wrong.
For example, if we’re going to stay in each other’s lives, it has to be okay for me to hang out with other people without consulting you first. It has to be okay for me to do social stuff when you aren’t available. It has to be okay for me to tell you good news about my life and hear ‘congratulations, that’s so great!’ instead of comforting you about the things in your life that you are unhappy about.
I’m not doing those things AT you or in order to hurt you or exclude you, and it’s not okay when you expect me to take care of your feelings when I do them. I find these conversations really exhausting and I don’t want to have them anymore.”
For another example, when Elizabeth starts venting about people who have wronged her after parties, what if you said “Hey, let me stop you there. I don’t actually want to listen to this”? Or what if you redirected her away from venting about people and toward talking to them? “You sound really upset with ______, why don’t you talk to them directly about it?” It sounds like there’s a dynamic here where Elizabeth is expecting you and other friends to expend a lot of energy listening to her grievances with others but won’t take the actual steps that might fix the situation. What if you removed yourself as that outlet and put the work of fixing whatever it is back on her? You can’t control whether she actually talks to the person but you can actually control how much energy you’ll expend on the problem.
- “Listen, every time I hang out with someone who isn’t you, it can’t become A Thing Where We Have To Have A Giant Talk. I really don’t want to.”
- “Where is this coming from?”
- “What is this really about?”
- “What would make you feel better about this?”
- “You’re right, we’re not as close as we used to be. I feel like I have to walk on eggshells around you, and I don’t love it.”
- “You’re right, we’re not as close as we used to be. Sometimes it makes me sad to think about, but also I think it’s okay if friendships evolve over time.“
- “You seem really unhappy in general lately, what’s going on with you?”
- “But friends don’t have to do everything together.”
- “This is really weighing on you, and you seem so unhappy lately, do you think it would help to talk to someone about it?”
- “I feel like this comes up every single time I do something without you. Do you really think friends need to do everything together?”
- “Wait, I just told you good news. Can I get a ‘congratulations’ for a second before we talk about you?”
- “Can you not?”
- “Hmmm interesting“
- “Not cool!“
- “Okay so we’re going with worst case scenarios then?”
- “I can’t talk about this anymore today.”
- “Have you told ____ what you just told me?“
- “What are you going to do about that?“
- “If we all suck so much, why are you friends with us?”
- “It’s a giant bummer when every party or brunch needs this giant post-mortem with you. Can we not?”
There’s a pretty wide variety there, so, find that script or scripts that lets you engage constructively with her behavior and disengage from a performance of feelings. It might be really valuable to have this out once and for all and really argue with her, like, “Hey! You are stressing me out a lot and making it hard to be friends with you! Knock it off!” It might be better to quietly withdraw. Don’t (for example) ask a lot of questions and dig deeper into what’s going on if you’re ready to be done with the friendship.
I think that given your long friendship it’s worth addressing head on and in depth at least one time. If you’ve never actually said any version of “Hey, this is an unreasonable question, you’re not the boss of my social calendar, knock it off!” before – for example, if you’ve defaulted to mollifying her in the moment (and then resenting the hell out of it later) – remember to start gently and give everyone a couple of chances to reset the relationship. It’s a longstanding problem for you, but it may not read that way for her if this is the first time you’ve pushed back. Does that make sense? Maybe give her a little room to have a less-than-ideal initial reaction and a little bit of time to self-correct things before you tap out forever and ever.
Also, never, ever invoke the wider feelings of the group when you talk to her. Own your own annoyance – “It bothers me,” “I’ve noticed,” “I am annoyed by…” etc. Other people may well have these same issues but appealing to the the group will not lend you authority. It will only justify Elizabeth’s paranoia about being left out and distract from the conversation, like, “Wait, everyone feels this way about me? Who exactly? What exactly did they say?” She already worries that she’s being ostracized and/or bullied, do not feed that worry. Keep it focused on you: “I can’t speak for anyone else, but it bothers me when you hear about me having brunch with other friends and take it as a slight.”
Speaking of “the wider social group” and “things that you can control,” try to stop talking about & complaining about about Elizabeth with the larger friend group as much as you possibly can. There is power and freedom in venting, but sometimes venting also feeds on itself and it becomes a habit unto itself at the expense of action. While you try to break Elizabeth and yourself of bad habits, what if you also tried to redirect the group’s habits, too? When her “b-eating-crackers” behavior comes up in the group (and it will), what if you channeled the complainstorm into “Yep, that is pretty annoying. Have you tried talking to her directly about it?”
- “I know we all try to strategize about how Elizabeth will react to news like this, but what if you just told her ‘I’m engaged!’ and let her feelings be her feelings?“
- “Yeah, she can be like that sometimes. I’ve been trying to set boundaries and just talk to her directly when it comes up instead of spending so much energy talking about her.”
- “I think we have this weird pattern, where Elizabeth overreacts to stuff and then we all overreact to her overreaction. I’m trying to break myself of the habit and just take her as she comes without too much angst about it. I wish nothing but good things for her, and I wish she could be happier but I don’t have the energy to dissect all this every time we see her.”
- “Elizabeth’s gonna Elizabeth, let’s not feed the fire. How is [new topic]?”
People may or may not follow your lead. Set the boundaries anyway, and then enforce them by changing the subject or walking way from Elizabeth-centered conversations. Go talk to anyone else about anything else (the way you wish Elizabeth would do!).
It will take time and probably a few tries to disengage. Be gentle with everyone, especially yourself.
Finally, if you read this and thought “Shit, I’m ‘Elizabeth,'” here’s some stuff you can do to feel better:
A. First and foremost, if anxiety about your friendships and whether people like you is seriously messing with your life, take the problem seriously and investigate solutions. Here’s a website (with forums) devoted to helping people with social anxiety. There are tons and tons of people dealing with this in the world, you are not alone, there are tons of strategies for managing it, everything from therapy & medication to improv classes. Chances are that you don’t have to feel this awful forever.
B. It’s okay to need reassurance from friends sometimes. If your current ways of reaching out aren’t getting the results you want, can you try out a strategy of asking for some specific action the other person can do that might make you feel better? “I miss you, it feels like we never hang out anymore” or “I feel like everyone is too busy to spend time with me” might be true, real, awful, overwhelming feelings. Sadly, expressed out loud or in text form they read like accusations that require a lot of emotional work on the other person to figure out what to do next. What if you translated those feelings into more actionable requests like “I really miss you, friend, can we have lunch soon? Tuesdays are generally good for me.” See also “I’m feeling really sad today, it feels like no one likes me” vs. “I’m really feeling sad today, what’s your favorite song that really cheers you up?” or “I’m feeling really down today, please send compliments & animal .gifs.” I don’t necessarily know what to do with “I’m so lonely and I feel like everyone hates me” but I do know what to do with “Everything sucks today, can you tell me something nice?” or “I could really use a friend to come over and sit with me and color and watch TV later, do you have a little time?” It takes time and practice to reshape this pattern, so, go slow and be nice to yourself, but try it.
C. If it feels like everyone is always hanging out without you, or like your friend group has calcified into a pattern that doesn’t feel good for you, what can you do to change it up? What can you control?
For example, I get a lot of letters & comments about people who wish they were invited to more stuff. UNDERSTANDABLE. But more often than not, when I scratch the surface and gently ask “Hey, what happens when you plan things for friends to do?” the person says some version of “No + Nobody would come anyway” or “I invited some people once but they didn’t want to come so I stopped” or “Here are 1,000 reasons that this advice is stupid and will never work.” And yeah, okay, maybe so. It sucks, I’m sorry. But you can’t control what other people will do, you can only control what you will do. If the situation is going to change, you’re going to change it, by either changing up how you interact or finding different friends.
Additionally, planning and hosting social events is work. The people in your group who are good at it and confident about it or just defaulted into being in charge of it because no one else wanted to do it also have worries and anxieties: That no one will show up, no one will have a good time. They worry about accidentally hurting people’s feelings by excluding them, or accidentally inviting awkward exes or mortal enemies, or running out of food or ice, or that they’ll make a ton of food and no one will eat it, or that they’ll suggest a bad movie or a board game that is not fun, or that everyone expects them to do the work and nobody ever helps or even thanks them (I get those letters, too). It’s easy, when you are self-conscious, to forget that literally everyone else is also a giant self-conscious weirdo too.
Mostly, and I swear this is true once we get past high school, most people who like hosting events want people to feel welcome and to have a good time. They do not enjoy excluding people or making them feel bad. With this in mind, maybe you can approach the person in your friend group who does most of the scheduling and inviting and say, “Hey, I really appreciate the work you do hosting trivia night every month, what can I do to help?” “Can I plan something for the two of us where the only work you have to do is showing up?”
- RSVP promptly when you’re invited to something.
- If the culture of your friend group is “people bring stuff to parties even when it’s not explicitly a BYOB situation” then be a person who brings baked goods or something to drink. Contribute.
- Set up chairs, offer to wash dishes, and do other tasks that keep your hands busy.
- Say thank you to the organizers afterwards.
- Pay attention to whether other people are having a good time. Is someone new here, do they seem shy? Could they use an introduction to someone else?
- It’s okay to hide out in the bathroom or on the porch or with the host’s pets for a little while if you get overwhelmed. The person who hosts the best parties I know of in Chicago is a bit socially anxious and take breaks from her own parties.
- If you don’t really gel with someone, give them space. Find someone else to talk to at the party. You don’t have to have the same level of intimacy with everyone in a social group.
- Invite people to do smaller stuff, one-on-one. Stop thinking of it as The Whole Group vs. You and think of it as a bunch of people you mostly like and some you like more than others.
- Try to approach events you’re invited to with the mindset of “People want to be kind and want me to have a good time here.”
- When you’re not invited to something, try (I know, but try) to cultivate the mindset of “Hey, not everyone has to hang out together all the time. I’ll probably catch them another time.“
D. All that said, it’s 100% okay for you, Relatively Lonely Person, to back off from friendships that feel like too much work. If people make you feel like you have to chase them all the time, if people make you feel insecure, if people judge you when you need a little reassurance or cheering up, if people never make you a priority, it’s okay to disengage. You don’t have to make all the effort or have to subsist on crumbs or leftovers to deserve friends.
To be totally honest, I am a recovering ‘Elizabeth.’ I spent my teens and 20s as a needy and socially confused bull in ye olde emotional china shoppe. I had undiagnosed depression and anxiety. I over-relied on friends to process endless streams of complaints and obsessions. I got rejected a lot socially and romantically and received a lot of negative and painful feedback from groups I wanted to be part of. I *often* experienced that moment of saying something and feeling a group of people go kind of silent and limp around my awkwardness, exchanging awkward eye messages with each other, and then changing the subject (“So…anyway…“) while my conversational turd sat there, unacknowledged.
Things that helped: Therapy. Getting older. Reality checks and boundary-setting from friends who were like “I love you but you are too intense sometimes, please knock this off so I can keep liking you” or “Look I know you’re sad but I am done talking about this” or “Do you realize you start every phone call by immediately just talking about yourself and how sad you are and don’t even ask me how I’m doing?” Losing friendships where I didn’t listen to these boundaries and learning from those mistakes. Painful self-awareness and trying to do better. Making the effort to reframe situations where I felt rejected and not automatically default to the explanations that most dovetailed with my poor self-image. Realizing that the “So…anyway…” moments were an attempt to let me save face, and that it’s okay for people to have limits about how much complaining they can absorb. Learning to read the room better and to ask questions before launching in.
It took a long time and it was hard and I still fuck up sometimes. In some cases I let go of friendships that didn’t work anymore and sought less rocky ground. In others I changed my behavior. In all cases trying was better than not trying. In all cases the only person who could really change the dynamic was me.
I hope things get better all around for you and Elizabeth(s). You can’t fix her feelings, so, take care of yourself and be as gentle as you can.
I plan to have cover art by Ron Miller again, of which I will post a sneak peek in due course.
Still the final revision pass to go, plus waiting on comments from two test readers -- I really should wait for the latter before doing the former. I can occupy myself devising vendor-page copy while I wait, I suppose.
This e-publication thing is getting frighteningly fast, in part because a lot of little things which were baffling decisions or upward learning curves first round are now set templates which only need replicated.
I'm thinking e-pub in November, but we'll see. I had originally planned this as my winter project, but it got its legs under it in August and hardly stopped till FIN on Monday.
posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on October, 18
I installed the wall mounted rails for the ALGOT shelf system and something has gone wrong. We were careful to measure properly but the shelves will not connect properly to the brackets. Instead, three of the four edges click into the bracket but then there is a gaping hole not allowing for the fourth edge to connect. (See pictures.)
PLEASE HELP! Has this happened to anyone else? I have so many holes in my wall that I’m on the verge of a breakdown.
Firstly, you’re not alone. Many have gone bonkers installing the ALGOT system.
And we’ve had a few posts on ALGOT installation problems: See here and here. Though the problems they had were with the ALGOT wire mesh baskets, they may give you a few clues on installing the shelves.
Also do try these steps (from the assembly manual) in adjusting the width of the ALGOT uprights. It looks like you may need to inch the left upright towards to right.
Let us know how it went.
Autumn leaves!!! The red-violets, the scarlets, the golden yellows, the lemon-lime yellow-greens, the rich bronzes, the purples and olive-greens! The chiaroscuro of wind movement, the ombre effect of different amounts of light on different heights, the subtle changes day to day!
Talked to my sibling B last weekend. They are doing well, being absurdly domestic with their adorkable partner, and in touch with our parents.
Noticed feeling unusually upbeat in car on the way home, compared to usual after-work blahs.
( Read more... )
If this is not you, but you think you might know someone who knows someone, please boost the signal! You might save someone's life.
I mentioned a friend looking for roommates in California earlier this month. She's still looking, and it's getting bad -- the end of this month means basically be homeless in LA or come back to Florida, and both of those are gonna be really hard on her mental health. So I'm putting out the word again and hoping some kind of miracle comes through.
If anybody is looking for a roommate in the downtown LA/Hollywood/Wilshire area -- or knows somebody looking for, or knows someone who might be looking for, or knows someone who might know someone, or any kind of lead at all -- please, please hit me up and I can get people in touch with her. Or honestly, at this point, if anyone knows somebody in other areas of California willing to house a couch surfer for a month to give her a little more time to look, I can send that to her and maybe she can work things out. She's not good with dogs or cats but other pets are not a problem, and ideally looking to pay around $600/month.
EDIT: After some discussion, if there's anyone in the area of San Diego -- or possibly anything else within about that far from LA (so 2-3 hours, so not all the way up the state but a much larger range than before) -- that might be able to put somebody up for a couple of weeks to a month, that would be really appreciated as well, as it would give her more time to try and look.
Help seriously, greatly appreciated. I'm really worried about how this is going to end up.
Ask balsamandash for more details.
- Dignitet wire curtain rod from IKEA, 4 sets
- Lattjo 100% curtains from IKEA, 3 sets
- a drill (with a small drill bit for the wood screws and a 1/2″ drill bit for the drywall) and
- screws for your particular walls and bed frame (for me that was 12 screws and anchors for drywall and 12 screws for the bunkbed’s wood frame)
- wire cutter
- iron (to hem the Lattjo curtains) and/or a sewing machine (which will give you a stronger hem)
I have 5 year old twins that share a room. I noticed that they kept putting up blankets and sheets around their bed – they wanted their own “space”; and since they share a room, I totally understood that desire. So I put up narrow shelves for them to put up their things (they have a little ledge to keep photo frames – and in our case toys and books, from falling onto their bed. They are also from IKEA: Mosslanda.) And began my plan to make the bunk bed curtains.
I wanted the bunk bed curtains to be lightweight and breathable. I wanted them to move noiselessly (so they would not wake one another up when opening or closing the curtain). It had to be simple enough for me to install. They had to be easily removed for washing. And they had to be simple and plain (I didn’t want a big curtain rod that would take up a lot of visual space).
I did the curtains for the lower bunk first (because the placement on the lower bunk would control where I placed them on the upper bunk). I placed the rods, for the longer section, in the rails holding up the mattress; and the shorter section was on the inside of the foot panel (see photos). After marking the hole placement with a pencil, I drilled small holes and then used the screwdriver bit to place the screws in the bracket.
Keep in mind there is a “R” and a “L” for the rods’ brackets. This is important. And when you are screwing in the wire holder, you will screw the two parts oppositely for the “L” set. If you think that the parts are not made correctly (and are miss-threaded) it is because you need to screw them in the opposite direction!
I then lined up the top brackets with the bottom, and used the drywall anchors for my particular ceiling. I hoped I would drill into a wood beam, but I was not that lucky — so drywall it was.
I then hung the curtains on the wire to see the length I preferred. For me, I wanted them an inch above the comforter so that they would swing freely (and there will be more air circulation). I had a sewing machine so I washed and ironed the drapes (they shrink) and then did a big hem (I figured the hem would last longer with sewing compared to the ironing strips provided by IKEA.) I also added a top “hem” (for lack of a better word) so that the material gathered nicely). I did that top “hem” on all panels except for the lower bunk foot panel because the wire is right next to the mattress of the upper bunk – so there isn’t room for that decorative hem.
It all took a bit longer than anticipated, but my kids are THRILLED with the finished product! I purposely wanted a light, breathable curtain fabric, but you can obviously use any fabric or curtain. Just make sure that you don’t need hooks or anything that is metal – because it will make noise when you open and close the wire.
In sum, my kids say that their beds are now “cozy” and it keeps the monsters out!
~ by Karin
Please please ask yourself whether, knowing that, you really want to read the rest of this entry (which will contain mostly snark). Also know: if this entry isn't for you, I still love you and would never judge you (or anyone) for a single second for liking the things you like.
( General thoughts on Star Trek )
( Star Trek: Discovery 1x05 - Choose Your Pain )
I don't remember the imagery from the dream -- something about coming home after a war, something about the I-character being a prince -- but it's not the imagery I care about. It's the emotion. I can't remember. It was partly like -- oh, I don't know, like a newly crowned (and mostly still school aged) King Peter coming howm to Narnia after his first battle as king; it had elements of Harry returning to Hogwaets after winning some external tournament for Gryffindor (why Gryff in particular and not Hogwarta as a whole I don't know, and the not that sticks out was people back at the castle waiting, like in a Greek myth, to see which color sails adorn the ship, so someone could run back with news of the winner, which makes no sense in a world with magic, but again the visuals don't matter.
And I can't quite remember the emotion.
I think -- in the way you can sometimes remember the shape of a word without remembering the word itself -- it had the shape of a sort of nostalgia, like coming back as an adult to places you frequented as a kid (and things are so much more small and ordinary when you see them with adult eyes). But also a bit of ... deliberate loss? Of having gone to do the thing knowing you'd be changed by it and knowing that you'd never get innocence back, watching kids be kids and being unable to join in because you know too much. And some element of disconnect, like you've been off fighting a battle in Faerie and return triumphant to find that a hundred years have passed overnight and they're really quite happy that you won but you don't know them because they're the great-grandchildren of your baby brother or whatever, and you can't get the missing years back.
Those are the pieces I can remember, but ... echoes, not the source. It's more than that and *I don't remember*. And the more I try, the less I grasp.
He's doing well. He likes the new food, he's acting totally normal.
We got the imaging I wanted to get done. The vet found some bladder stones, which is worrisome, so we'll be keeping an eye on that. He also found some sort of soft mass north of his kidneys, which the radiologist said not to worry about. I'll still be discussing that with him when we go back in but for now "not a tumor, harmless" is good enough for me. Plus it lets me make Arnold Schwarzenegger jokes.
Mostly what we found in imaging was poop and farts.
He's digesting pretty slowly, which is not yet concerning, but is worthy of note.
His kidneys look good. (See the :) above!) His heart is beautiful. Look at it in there, so pretty. Cat hearts are so small on X-rays but as cat lovers know, they are actually quite large. Just . . . like . . . Smooch's isn't, really. He's kind of a tool.
I'm worried about the bladder stones, but the vet said they may be cystic, meaning they're maybe enclosed and not loose. So that's . . . less bad. Although it could get bad very quickly. I don't know, I'm really worried about it but he said surgery wasn't something he'd recommend right away. I'll address it with him again later, get a price quote for removal surgery, and maybe have more imaging done to see if they are embedded in the bladder wall or are loose. And the food he is on can also help dissolve stones, so there's that.
I really love Smooch's vet. He's a sweet guy, and good with cats. Actually, everyone at that Banfield is great. They've made this so easy to handle.
The fundraiser is only $25 from its second goal, and I expect it to tip over at any moment. I'll probably leave it up in case anyone wants to keep donating, because frankly Raleigh needs to see an eye specialist for a recurring infection and between this new kidney thing and his perpetual eye issues Smooch is moderately high-maintenance at this point. All the proceeds are going from Paypal to my bank and then straight into an envelope in the form of cash, where I won't touch it for any reason besides vet care. (I always pay with plastic.)
You can see more updates at the fundraiser homepage.
Thank you, everyone, for boosting, for donating, for offering advice and kind words. I have a lot of hope he will be with us for a good long time to come. My stinky yeti boy. My garbage boy stink man. My stinky pinky. My one and only Smooch.
"Rippers is the high-action horror campaign of Victorian-era monster-hunting for the Savage Worlds rules system from Pinnacle Entertainment. In the First Edition Rippers setting, an evil Cabal led by the monstrous Jack the Ripper brought the Victorian world of 1895 to its knees, until a team of heroes led by Johann Van Helsing fought back using implanted Rippertech torn from the creatures of hell. Ultimately that storyline revealed that the use of Rippertech damned the hero's soul to eternal torment, and even strengthened the enemy. But the new Second Edition, Rippers Resurrected, removes that unfortunate drawback. Now, with the Cabal in retreat, the Rippers hunt supernatural horrors across the globe in a struggle to take back the night.
Fog-filled horror in the gothic style the Penny Dreadful TV series and the 2004 film Van Helsing, Rippers Resurrected emerged into the gaslight in a triumphant October 2015 Kickstarter campaign. Now this offer, part of the Bundle site's annual "October Horrors" sequence, presents almost the entire Rippers and Rippers Resurrected lines, plus the complete Savage Worlds Deluxe rulebook AND the Horror Companion, cheaper than a few silver bullets for a Gatling pistol. It's everything you need for a complete campaign of abomination-stomping across the Earth.
We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their ereaders.
Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to this offer's designated charity, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The total retail value of the titles in this offer at launch is US$93. Customers who pay just US$7.95 get all five titles in our Player's Collection (retail value $37) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the Rippers Resurrected Player's Guide, Archetypes, and the Deluxe Character and Campaign Journal, plus the complete Savage Worlds Deluxe Edition rulebook and its Horror Companion (both presented in several past offers).
Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $17.95 to start, also get our entire Game Master's Collection with nine more titles worth an additional $56, , including the Game Master's Handbook and the Frightful Expeditions worldbook; the Plot Point campaign Lord of the Underworld; five Combat Maps of tombs, castles, and other spooky battlegrounds; and The Lost Library, a huge archive of the entire First Edition Rippers line (2005-2008), with adventures, characters, Figure Flats, and the Horror Wars miniatures game.
At least one more title will be added after launch. When a title is added after launch, ALL customers who previously purchased the bundle automatically receive the newly added title, REGARDLESS of whether or not they paid more than average. This is their reward for buying early.
OK, I might as well admit that I'm not a huge fan of the Savage Worlds system, it doesn't seem to offer much that other games don't. This particular iteration has a problem I've seen in other Victorian horror RPGs - it tries to simplify and Americanise everything, while piling in steampunk-style gadgets and general "everything but the kitchen sink" Victorian-ish fictional archetypes. We get Dracula and Van Helsing and Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes and... well, you get the idea. There's also the "everything is connected to everything else in a horrible conspiracy" trope in full flower.
Having said that, if you get in early enough it's pretty cheap, and you get quite a lot for your money. It isn't actively offensive, but I'd STRONGLY recommend that GMs who want to use it take on some additional sources for Victorian everyday life and real-world events, since politics, historical events, social issues etc. etc. get very little attention.
A Nikon e-series 50mm f1.8 - for a fiver! And a Nikon EM body with 28mm f2.8 Sigma and some sort of small flash for a tenner - haven't tested the camera yet because I don't have the right
And something I arranged to buy last week and collected today - a Holga 60mm f8 Lomography lens in Nikon fitting. It's crap, but I didn't pay much for it and I want to have a play with it and see just how bad it is before I sell it on. Except that with the stormy weather that's coming in it was too dark to try it today, and I suspect tomorrow won't be much better...
My question is not exactly high-stakes, but I’m having some anxiety about this situation all the same, and not sure what to do.
I (she/her) started using OkCupid recently, and a couple days ago, my coworker (he/him) who I don’t know well but see around often (we work at a very small company) sent me a message. I know it can be fun to send a couple silly messages back and forth when you see your friends on these sites without making it weird, but I don’t think this is that.
Anyway, if I see coworkers on dating sites, I think the polite thing to do is just ignore it and move along, so I was not super into the fact that this guy messaged me but I figured he was just being kind of socially obtuse. His message implied that he was going to ask me out “until he realized who I was,” which made me immediately uncomfortable. Dude, if you realized that, why did you message me anyway and tell me that?
I felt like ignoring him might make things weird at work, so I just messaged back noncommittally (like, “Ha, look who it is”), hoping I could move the conversation to peter out without making it awkward. However, things got awkward anyway, because coworker continued sending messages despite my polite attempts to disengage (“[Cool, unsolicited weekend plan you shared] sounds fun. Anyway, see you Monday!” …and then he’d send another message trying to continue the conversation.) I read and did not respond to the last message.
I’m sure I should communicate that I feel uncomfortable chatting with a coworker on a dating site, so do you have any scripts for that? Or would it be better to just block him and pretend it never happened? In hindsight, I feel like there are other things I could have said or done to end the conversation sooner, but that’s only now that I know I wasn’t able to end it without confrontation. It might be useful in general to know how to stop an inappropriate interaction like this in the future, so what would you have done?
It’s not inherently weird to be on the same dating site as other people you know in other contexts. It feels weird because the illusion of privacy has been punctured for a moment, but it’s not actually that strange. The awkwardness is in what people do about it.
I believe I have shared the story of the Shadowy Dating Juggernaut where Commander Logic and I and both of her roommates and a few other friends in the Bespectacled Bookish Brunettes of Chicago Knitting Circle And Culinary Society were on OkCupid at the same time, right? It was inevitable that streams would cross and one of us would bring a dude we were dating to a party and watch him slowly figure out where he knew the rest of us from…because if you liked one of us enough to write to you probably liked all of us…and that we all knew each other….and that we had definitely had been trading notes about him behind the scenes in the name of safety, solidarity, and hilarity.
When seeking romance (etc.) on the great wide Internet it is inevitable that we will run across people we know in other contexts. Like you, my strategy has been either to totally ignore it or to be like “Oh, ha, look who it is. See you at work, Work Person!” and then drop the conversation completely. Whether I ignored or said something depended a lot on context and the vulnerability of what was on display in their ad. “My mom and my friends say I’m funny and I like long walks on the beach and living life to the fullest” guy got a “hey, hilarious that we’re both here, good luck bro!” Someone revealing kinks or more explicit sexual content or desires just got ignored and in some cases insta-blocked more so that I wouldn’t make THEM uncomfortable or feel like they were being monitored. Mostly my attitude was “No shame, no foul, and no gossip unless you do something actually creepy.” And if it ever came up at work, I’d be like “Whoa, awkward, right? I won’t talk about it if you won’t, and heyyyyyyy good luck out there buddy!” #don’tcrossthestreams
Another true story: Years ago colleague who was new in town messaged me once on OK Cupid and we went for a friendly coffee before we knew we’d be working together. Then we got assigned to co-teach a class. Upon being “introduced” at work, we never mentioned or even hinted that we had met each other before in any other context. Yay professionalism!
If your coworker has got overall good intentions and is also feeling awkward about what to do next like, “aaaaahhhhh, I started this, do I have to keep emailing her now back and forth forever, ugh, so awkward?” he will gratefully take your lead. And if he’s not taking your lead, like now? Then don’t reply to anything else via the dating site, or, reply once to say “Hey, let’s wind this conversation down, I’m not interested in connecting here, see you at work” or “Hey, let’s block each other here so it’s not super-weird to have a coworker hanging out whenever we log in, ok? Good luck out there!” and then block him. Blocks are not mean. Blocks are often necessary to make a social site usable.
Then, keep work conversations only about work and wait for the awkward levels to normalize.
And, if your colleague won’t drop the subject and starts bringing it up at work, making you feel like he’s monitoring your dating and sex life, and making your life weird at work? DOCUMENT THE EVERLOVING SHIT OUT OF IT. America needs about 100,000,000 uncomfortable training sessions led by HR right now.
I recently remodeled my own home and I was working on the dining room. I got the whole thing finished except for the lights over the dining table. I looked everywhere for lights that seemed to reflect my own personality…could not find them, even expensive ones.
I happened to be at IKEA one day and was browsing the kitchen products when my eyes locked on the ORDNING stainless steel colanders…..perfect, I thought.
The ORDNING colanders come with handles on the sides, so I carefully knocked those off, using a regular hammer, and sharp blows to the handles. It takes a few hard hits but they come off pretty cleanly.
I combined the ORDNING colanders with HEMMA light cord sets, and with some other minor things from the hardware store along with a scrap of solid surface countertop, I pieced together the Colander Chandelier in the pictures.
I used some left over bead chain I had around to hang the light with. I considered IKEA light bulbs but decided on large round globes instead to finish the look.
I had to drill a slightly larger hole in the bottom of each colander and I inserted a metal lighting accessory tube threaded on the outside and nuts to hold it tight. The cord of the HEMMA light fits up through the tube. That same tube was inserted through the solid surface sheet and bolted tightly to it. I combined the cords of all three lights together and connected them to the power cord that went to the ceiling junction box.
The holes in the sides of the colanders allow light out to give the room more light.
And there you have it.
~ by Tom Robbins
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