Speakeasy #13

Who wants a Mojito?

Welcome to the social thread at the Progressive Pub. Here at the Speakeasy, you can metaphorically put your feet up, grab a virtual beverage from your resident bartender (me), and socialize with the regulars. Gab, share recipes, share news, rage about your problems or the problems of the world, discuss impending vacations, share book recommendations, talk about your jobs and your families, your hopes and dreams, and pretty much anything else you want. Everyone is welcome, just be kind to one another (and leave bigotry at the door).

Speakeasy #13

328 thoughts on “Speakeasy #13

  1. 8

    I’ll send some more through then.

    BTW, if anyone’s interested: my orchestra is have a piece played on BBC Radio 3 on Thursday morning between 6.30 and 9. The piece is called ‘Les Halles’ from ‘Paris Sketches’ by Martin Ellerby – our patron.

  2. rq

    Will that be available on the internet, too?
    Yeh, I’m a total sucker for classical music performances by friends.

  3. 10

    rq , I think so! I’ve had a look at the website for Radio 3 and, once the show has been broadcast, they detail all the pieces played and who by etc. So by this time on Thursday it should be available. Alternatively, you can probably listen live. I think it works outside the UK, but I’m not certain.

  4. rq

    I wonder if there’s a weight restriction on chocolate when flying. I think the bulk of my luggage is going to be different kinds of chocolate.

    Also, I might get to meet Portia!
    I will be meeting CaitieCat (again). 🙂

    *hugs* and *higs* to everyone!!

  5. 22

    HI folks

    I’m holding my thumbs for you.

    Have fun and give those people some very kind hugs from me if they’re inclined to accept.

    I’m sorry abut the broken pipe

    Me? Well, the more we do the more we discover that needs to be done. But I’m making progress. Once this is finished that house will be mine in a way nothing Donald Trump owns will ever be his.

  6. 23

    Also, I has new phone.
    The good thing about being married to a technician who isn’t much good with modern technology is that he prefers hand me down phones. My old-old one is giving up the ghost so I get a new one while he gets my old one.

  7. 24

    Thanks, Giliell. I think we’ve hit a point in the life of the house where everything is breaking at once.

    So not awake this morning. I’m just going to dump some fresh hugs over here and make more tea.

  8. rq

    As Husband puts it, a house is a neverending, lifelong hobby. 🙂 But at least it’s yours!!

    Beatrice (from before)
    I will most certainly pass on your greetings!



    Early flight tomorrow morning, getting shit together today – just realized I need some paperwork done if I want to submit documents for the kids’ Canadian passports while I’m there (cheaper). Ugh. On the plus side, the chocolate is packed and I think anything I’m missing by now can be bought in Canada.

  9. 27

    Have fun, convey *hugs* and best wishes to CaitieCat and/or Portia


    Dealing with this bullshit charge from our previous landlords is not made any easier by the difficulty of actually getting in touch with anyone there, let alone anyone who actually has the documentation and such to be able to deal with our problem. I’ve finally managed the first, I’m still trying to see if I’ve got the second.

  10. 28

    rq, have a safe trip and have fun!

    Dalillama, [hugs] and I’m so sorry. I hope you can find that documentation and that the landlord folds like a cheap deck of cards (I think that’s the expression).

    Giliell, I hope you are having fun with the house. Getting to do your own thing with decorating is fun.

    I got a lot done on my current online class today. All that’s left is making and embellishing a vintage-style postcard folder. And, of course, cleaning up the massive heaps of paper ephemera and art supplies and tools currently filling my little wee room. The old camping table really works even if it takes up half the available space. I’m going to leave it up next week to do the Aged-Mum jewelry mending and epoxying on.

  11. 29

    Hello, Hello. Hello!
    Guess what I just did. If you guessed that I broke out the lil’ ol’ refractor telescope tonight and showed Landlord George and his son Henry the rings of Saturn you win some prize! Celebrate, celebrate! Dance to the music of the spheres!
    The seeing was better than normal from here on the peneplane of North Carolina and the temperature has moderated in the cool sense from night time lows in the 80s F. (Right now it is 74. Thanks to the Ice Lords!) I had some welcomed joy being outside, not sweating, and sharing a look at the queen of the Fields of Arbol. True fun.

  12. 30

    I’ve been absent from here since last November and for, I claim, good reason. Sometimes the vagaries of life, specifically when family and other dear ones are concerned, are so difficult to predict let alone give a play by play account, one must refrain from declaring anything and just sit still and listen.

    That is where I have been for the last eight months. Just sitting tight while the lives of others play out on the stage right next to me.

    There were some very close shaves. Someone almost died. Someone almost disappeared into compulsive habit. A graph of my anxiety during these months would look like a graph of global temperature — up some, down a little, up some more, not down at all, up a bunch, down a teeny bit . . .

    That kind of uncertainty lead to unpreparedness and relegates every claim of certainty, of optimism, of good will or poor will or hang dog acceptance meaningless. In other words, there was little or nothing I could say with anything like confidence. The sway of another day renders yesterday’s certainty valueless. Hence my silence.

    Update: I am now courageous enough to claim that hopes are rewarded.
    N.B. I could be wrong. It has happened before.

  13. 31

    Last comment for tonight.

    I have missed being part of you all. I have a small, yet pestering, sense of guilt for just disappearing. I have also a small hope that you will understand and I will feel forgiven.

    Your lives are all so real, so full of the stuff that makes shit worthwhile and I had been a gleeful part of that since before PZ went to ScienceBlogs. It was a wonderful trip.

    Now, after this hiatus, I hope that some joy and optimism and constructive conversation will again become a norm.

    Bless you all, dear ones.

    And double plus good thanks to Tony! for dropping an email my way. Catalyst Man. Well played. Please, pour one for yourself. It’s on me.

  14. 34

    Oh, least I forget. I haven’t been lurking so I’m not up to speed. I’ll try to be relevant in ongoing comments.

    One thing I am certain to become familiar with is bragimike’s concert. 24 hour classical music, courtesy of listener supported public radio is playing on my radio (yes; radio; over the air; broadcast; no fondleslabs needed radio) right now. Can’t wait.

  15. 35

    Great to hear from you again Crudely Wrott . I sent mp3 of our last concert to rq . I can do the same for you if you’re interested.

    rq I know you’re on your way, but enjoy Canada.

    Giliell , I agree with rq : a house is always a work in progress.

    *Hugs* to Anne, Beatrice, Dalilama, Joerg & AlexanderZ

  16. 37

    So glad to see you!

    I hope you’re enjoying your jetlag now.


    Getting to do your own thing with decorating is fun.

    Right now I’m busy demolishing. My new best friend is the crowbar (What a boring name. In German it’s a “cow’s foot”.)
    This week’s lesson: If you really don’t want to know if you have wet spots or not, put up wooden panels. Everywhere.
    Today I found a pretty wet wall behind one of the wooden panels with styrofoam in between walls. The dude who used to own it heard about insulation and thought that he could just do it. Well, what do you get when you insulate the inner walls? Right, humidity.
    But it’s not an irrepairable damage.
    I guess our house would be at the “everything breaks down” stage in a few years, but it’s getting a complete overhaul now, a 21st century update. In the end we’ll have to spend as much on renovations as we did on the house, not to mention the countless hours of work, but it will be great.
    Also, the garden. They don’t do gardens like this anymore.

  17. 38

    The plumber has been and gone. We’re currently looking at $800 for the water line repair, maybe a little less if Husband repairs the driveway apron afterwards. They can’t work on it until Monday, though. And I was going to do wash Monday so Husband and Elder Daughter would be set for their trip to La Jolla Tuesday/Wednesday. That’ll have to be moved to Sunday. I’m rapidly approaching liftoff stress. I don’t handle sudden schedule changes well anymore. Grumph.

  18. 39

    This morning there was a song called “stressed out” on the radio in which some dudes sang about how stressed out they are now and how nice everything was back when they built cardboard rocket ships and mum sang them to sleep and all I could think was “entitled brats, somebody was stressed out back then as well.”

    Speaking of entitled brats, when I unloaded our trailer full of rubbish this morning there was a father-son team next to us doing the same. The lad (18-ish) was really trying hard not to get his hands dirty (or his white track shoes…). I hope I’ll never raise such kids.

  19. 40

    Giliell, I’m sure your daughters don’t mind getting their hands dirty. If they’re like mine at that age, they probably go out of their way to.

    Husband has decided to dig up the front lawn and see if he can fix/replace the broken water pipe himself. Which, as it happens, leaves me frantically rescheduling everything I have to do the next several days, because he was going to drive Elder Daughter to her Bluebird Society meeting on Saturday. If he’s digging holes, I have to drive. It’s important to her because this may be her last meeting for a long time. So everything I was doing on Saturday gets added to Friday plus all the Friday stuff. Aged Mum just better not pull any of her guilt-tripping tricks on me, I am right on the edge as it is.

  20. 41

    Gilliel #37

    (What a boring name. In German it’s a “cow’s foot”.)

    what you’re probably using is a:
    30 inch gooseneck wrecking bar.
    not so boring, that.

    A real cow’s foot is probably the equivalent of a real crowbar which is about 5 to 6 feet long, mostly round but the business end is square about one or two inches across with a beveled end; shaped somewhat like a hoof. Hence the name cow’s foot.

    or maybe I’m just an internet cliff claven. (sigh)

  21. 43

    Acknowledging greetings in reverse order:

    chiqau, Return waaaaaaaaves!

    giliell, Reciprocal pouncehugs!

    se habla espol, Hello, again!

    bragimike Oh, yes, an mp3 of your performance will be most welcomed! See end of this comment for email.

    anne Hello! How’s ’em kiddun nun nuns?

    And a special Howdy to rq. Welcome to my continent!

    It’s so nice to find you all here and your welcomes back are deeply warming.

    bragimike, send your music file to carpentersmith2002ATyahooDOTcom. It will be the first music file sent to me via email. I suppose I just point my media player at it?

  22. 44

    Crudely, wha’? Long day, brain keeps dropping offline. Family’s good. Elder Daughter is preparing to fledge, leave the nest, and start her PhD work at UC San Diego in the fall. Younger is still on summer break until mid-month. Retired Husband is catching up on home repairs and learning how as he goes along. Cats are being cats. I’m trying to be all things to all people including my Aged Mum and still get some creative time in there.

    How’re you doing?

  23. 45

    I’m doing much better than I was last winter, Anne. The big difference (well, the only big difference) is that the kids, my daughter and SIL, have kicked their dummy dope* habit and are walking the road to recovery with reassuring intent and purposefulness. Such a major relief. It also has the side affect of raising my state of mind and my optimism to the point where I feel confident coming back on line and sharing with the good folks here.

    Also, I really want to get another cat. Not sure how Landlord George will be with that. Still, kidduns! I get along with them. I speak kiddun. No kiddin’.

    *heroin or any and all derivatives. gaaah! I tried it once; could not fathom why people would pay to feel that way. Then I got educated. My reaction was not the reaction of the kids. Also, my daughter’s younger sister died from a mixture of prescribed opioid pain killers. For a while I really thought that I was about to become totally childless. I feared that. I thought it would be a killing blow. Literally. To not have that dread constantly hovering about is like having air after suffocating.

  24. 48

    I’m so glad your kids are fighting and apparently winning. That stuff is such a life-wrecker, and not just for the addict. That’s why I don’t buy into the Libertarian “it’s nobody’s business which rugs anybody uses but theirs” crap.

    Well, whatever you call it, I use the thing you can see here on the right, but in red ;).
    Only today I get a day off and take the kids to Ikea (bookshelves are on offer). It’s also that I can’t lift my arms anymore.

  25. 50

    You are so right, giliell,. Addiction is like pebbles in ponds. It spreads out inexorably, engulfing ever more lives as the circle widens. I appeal to anyone who has a friend or loved one caught by this evil monkey. Please confront them. Tell them how they are affecting others. Beg them, if needed, to find a way out. Find out what services, programs and treatment centers are available and push them to go there. You will be thanked, I wager. I was. And love is not only restored, it rules.

    And about your arms. Do a little work with that crowbar every day or two. Don’t overdo it, but be intent. I’ll bet your arms will soon start rising on their own. ;-> I hope . . .

    Thanks a wagon load, bragimike! I’ll be playing your music tomorrow. Unfortunately, the BBC link won’t play for me here in the US but you’ve made that moot. I’ll be back to you after treating my ears.

  26. 51


    Friday was the day for my octoweekly Macular Degeneration treatment, being poked in each eye with a sharp stick (full of medication). Step one is a light eye exam: drops, pressure test for glaucoma: increased pressure is a sideeffect of the meds. My pressure normally runs just right, 14-17 of whatever the units are. The tech measuring it couldn’t get a reading for my right eye, so he fired up the Big Machine with a wider range. It read 7 units. Ooops.

    The next step is a standard ‘read the letters’ chart thing. My right eye couldn’t see the chart, much less the letters. The prior visit, it measured 20/70. The one before that, 20/25.

    Next step is a “picture” using Optical Computed Tomography. This images a cut through the retina at coupla millimeter intervals. “fix your eyes on the blue dot.” “What blue dot?” “Ooops, gotta get the experts in here for this.”

    After the pre-exam, the retinologist shows up, looks at the ‘puter screen and looks at my eye. He calls in another retinologist, who looks at the ‘puter’s records and looks in my eye.

    “We need to get you into an OR, drain your Vitreous (the gunk that keeps the retina away from the lens), reattach the retina, and fill it up with an inert gas while it heals. I’ll see if there’s an OR available for right now.” Since it was already 4:30 PM, there wasn’t a staffed OR available (nurses, anesthesiologist, and whatever), so I get to go back early Monday. Yay.

    “In a few weeks, we’ll replace the gas with a liquid. While the gas is in there, you won’t be flying or going to the mountains.” “Can I go home? I live in the mountains?” “It’s good you told me. I’ll make sure to account for that.” Whew.

  27. 52

    Hello, Crudely Wrott!
    Great to see you back! And it’s even better to hear that things have improved so much for you!

    se habla espol
    Best of luck with that operation!

    I find the 538 election forecast (warning – the script there sometimes acts up) a great relief in this day and age. At least something is not as bad as it could be.

  28. 53

    se habla espol
    Good luck with the surgery.

    Well, I’ve been training the arms for 3 weeks now. Muscle is slowly building up. Today we exposed another wet wall *sigh*
    The previous owner heard about insulation but knew shit about it.
    We’ll fix it. It will be great.

    Also, I’m a mean barbecue chef. Last three times I managed to grill the meat perfect. Tender and juicy and just perfect.
    Also, Caipiginha is nice. It’s like Caipirinha only you remember that you’re out of Cachaca and the only clear spirit you have left is Gin.

  29. 54

    Speaking of BBQ – my mother threatened the neighbors that if they won’t behave she’ll start doing BBQ on the balcony and she’s an avid meat-eater.

  30. 55

    Alexander Z
    Germany actually has regulations about how often you’re allowed to have a barbecue on your balcony or terrace.
    Of course our current rent contract sensibly says no open fire on the balcony anyway, so we’re making good use of the garden now. First thing my dad in law brought over was a Schwenker. Also, you need to have something nice at the end of a long work day. And our bodies cry for meat.

    I found a near complete mouse skeleton behind one of the wood panel walls, complete with its nest. One foreleg is missing, probably got lost when it fell to the ground.

  31. 56

    I found a complete mouse skeleton when I was a little boy helping my mother clean out some outbuildings on property her parents owned before their passing.

    A large tin box with a small hole in the lid was irresistible to this young sprout. I pulled off the lid and there, in a corner of the otherwise empty box, was the tragically small remains of a mouse, still cloaked in fur, its four paws gathered neatly, even comfortably, underneath.

    I think that was the first time I grieved for a small one. I feel sad for the poor little fellow to this day. How lonely and quiet a death; unnoticed until a small man child opened a box . . .

  32. rq

    You know what I think is ridiculous? Banning Russia from the Paralympics instead of the Olympics. That is the most ridiculous thing ever. I mean, they probably have doping issues, too, but that’s just an extra layer of disadvantage for athletes who need the exposure a lot more than those who are not disabled.

    Anyway, I’m in Canada and busy and the wedding was awesome and now I’m trying to plan the rest of this shit to make sure it goes well. 🙂

    *hugs* and *higs* to everyone!

  33. 59

    rq, hi hi! We’re on the same continent!

    Husband has been excavating the water line since Thursday, and today he replaced and repaired all of it. After waiting for the glue stuff to dry, he turned the water back on… and there was a leak on the city’s side of the meter. Of course the water department is closed today, but they had an emergency number, which I called. Turned out to be the police department. A nice lady said she’d call somebody. Who turned up, looked at the leak and laughed. Yes, it’s on their side, someone will be out sometime tomorrow. We have the water off right now, but we’ll be turning it on later, long enough for everyone to bathe, and to refill buckets and so on. Gah.

  34. rq

    I had the amazingest Egyptian food after several years of not having it last night, and I stuffed my face because Friend’s mum is the best (except one of her cousins ate all the green beans, and I will never forgive them for that). I’d also forgotten that it’s possible to be the only (or close to only) white person at a party, because #LatviaSoWhite. But that is why I love Canada.

  35. 61

    Urgh, sorry to hear. Hope you get it repaired soon and yay for husband being able to fix your side.

    Egyptian Food? I haz envy.

    Yesterday Mr’s colleague from whom we borrowed the trailer and his partner paid us a visit to see the house.
    That dude…
    He is going to construct some scaffolding to do the ceiling. Me, a bit surprised said “oh, you can rent those things for a reasonable price”. He answered that renting was for pussies and that men build. Me being me ignored all social conventions that say that I should blush and be quiet, having been put thoroughly in my place, answered that me and my pussy were quite happy with that.
    Seriously, how fragile is some guys’ masculinity? What would I do with a guy whose masculinity was so fragile I’d have to permanently make myself smaller so he wouldn’t feel threatened? I know, I know, that sort of dudes consider Mr weak, because I can do, but in reality he is so much stronger than they’ll ever be.

  36. 63

    Man from city came and fixed their side. Now there’s a new little leak on our side. It was probably there all along, but it was swamped by the larger leaks.

    We discussed the matter. The leak is small, but it’s in a very awkward spot next to the meter, and we’d have to cut out another section of pipe, again. We called the plumber. There’ll be someone out to look at it tomorrow morning, right about the time he and Elder Daughter leave for La Jolla. So I’m frantically doing laundry now. The girls will just have to keep it going after lunch, because I really really need a nap before I have to deal with my mother.

    This is the leak that doesn’t end, yes it goes on and on my friend, homeowners started fixing it not knowing where it was, and they’ll continue fixing it forever just because…

  37. 64

    Chinese tourist who lost wallet in Germany ends up in refugee shelter


    You know what I think is ridiculous? Banning Russia from the Paralympics instead of the Olympics. That is the most ridiculous thing ever.

    Yes, but as the vice head of the Olympic committee said, he “wouldn’t do anything to harm the personal friendship with Mr. Putin”. So the actual doppers got a pass since they are Putin’s favorites and since someone had to be punished in fell on the least fortunate. As usual.
    Fuck professional sports.

    Also I saw a cardinal yesterday for the first time in years. It was red!

    A Cardinal is a he and yes, their colors are spectacular 😛
    I’m happy to see you’re enjoying Canada.

    At least the worst of it is over. Did the city pay for the leak on their side?

    How did the dudebro react?

  38. 65

    Leaky update: The city just sends someone out to fix their side, no charge to us. Our plumber had a space open up this afternoon, so they came, they assessed, they bought parts, they welded copper, they tested, we paid*, and they left. I do hope this is the end of the problem for a long, long time, but I am not holding my breath.

    Tomorrow has opened up again. Maybe I’ll drop in at the fabric store after all.

    *$346, which still beats the original $800 to $3K depending on how much we wanted replaced.

  39. 66

    Alexander Z
    Well, he mumbled something about him and his Willie not being happy with that, unwittingly confirming his fragile masculinity.

  40. 67

    What is he doing to the ceiling?
    Is it some important masculine thing?
    The trivial background stuff like scaffolding sounds like womenswork to me.

  41. 68

    I just came back inside after about forty minutes of Perseid watching. Saw eight meteors!

    Two of the meteors were certainly Perseids; at least they came from the right part of the sky and were very fast and left long (30 degree and more) trails. The other six were headed in six different directions but still a delight to see.

    The seeing is not that great tonight but I have a fair look to the north and the sky was reasonable clear from zenith down to the tree line.

    Hoping for clear skies Thursday Friday and Saturday mornings. Hoping for clear skies wherever you are, too.

    Also hoping that your water woes are over, Anne.

  42. rq

    Sure, blame the person on holiday right now! 😉
    It’s funny because I just found a minute to actually sit down and comment.
    Just checking in, basically – still alive, starting the westward odyssey this evening (overnight to Windsor! Yay!) and generally enjoying the weather. It’s been hot and dry, but it looks like it just might start raining today.
    And it’s way too hot.

  43. 71

    I’ve been (a) grumpy, (b) busy, (c ) stressed, (d) all previous, at the same time. I decided to spend today between loads of laundry sorting all the beads in the box I won a couple years ago. Semiprecious and pearls, mostly, and very shiny.

    Oh, yes, and I finished the online class. It’s the last three entries on my blog, if you want a look. Poke my name, that should get you there.

  44. 72

    Me? Busy! Though we’re actually running out of things to do without the input of experts whom we haven’t hired yet.
    But we finally went and saw Ghostbusters last night. It’s a nice kiddie friendly film with a few off colour and in-jokes to keep the adults amused. But the best thing about the movie was watching my daughter watch those women kick ass.
    My favourite moment (slight spoilers): the Ghostbusters corner the villain and try to talk him out of doing evil. He says (not verbatim) “Oh, you have probably been treated with the respect and reverence you’Re due” and they go like “no, actually people treat us badly, but it’s still wrong to destroy NY over this”. Yes, that was a pure SJW moment.
    I also personally identify with Holzman.

  45. 73

    I love your projects, and yes, I love the tags especially.

    BTW, does anybody here happen to know the origin of that “witches drinking tea” image?

  46. 74

    Giliell, the back of the postcard says “Witches’ coven, Home for the Aged, Norfolk, England. Photographer unknown. Library of Congress”. The publisher is Pomegranate Press. I probably bought it from SilverCrow Creations; they’re an online store that has lots of fun eclectic things. I just love the image, and I’ll use it at the slightest excuse.

    Thank you!

  47. 76

    I haven’t really been in a chatty mood lately. Not in a bad moon either, just not feeling like I have anything to contribute.

    For the next 3 weeks starting today I’m on my summer vacation and I’ll finally go to the seaside for a week, after too many years. I’m very excited about that.

    I have entered my third decade yesterday. I don’t feel adult at all and I don’t really mind.

    I also started running and hiking and am thinking about joining an actually hiking club or whatever that kind of thing is called.

    Actually, I’m doing quite well.

  48. 79

    Beatrice, three weeks seaside sounds like a great treat for your birthday. I hope you have a wonderful time. Will you be doing some beach combing? Unexpected treasures are often found.

    I had a blast meteor watching for three nights in a row despite the sleep deficit. Saw dozens of Perseids, many that were otherwise and reentering space debris of some kind. Perhaps a Chinese booster rocket from one of two recent launches.

    The Perseids are really, really fast and mostly last just a fraction of a second so it was a bit jolting to see an orange-red nucleus with a looong trail dawdling along so slow and shedding little glowy bits. It was in sight for a full eight seconds!

    If anyone is enjoying clear skies tonight or on any summer night, an hour or so after midnight spent reclining under the Milky Way can provide some amazing eye candy. And it don’t cost nuthi’ either.

  49. 83

    Hi there.
    Had a nice time at the medieval fair yesterday and subsequent barbecue in our garden. The new fireplace is really working much better and I grilled a mean steak again. Our friend who is a professional chef was all excited about it.

  50. 84

    1. I need more Pokeballs
    2. I totally got #1 to accompany me to a walk through the woods and the celtic/Roman sites with the promise of Pokestops and Pokemons.

  51. rq

    I really enjoyed that Ancillary Justice ‘trailer’, thank you for sharing that – such a shame it’s not real!
    Also, that reminds me, I still have to read Ancillary Mercy!

  52. 86

    rq, I will say only that I loved Ancillary Mercy. Enjoy!

    I did my Aged Mum duties today; Husband and I drove up there with a very full car. I did her banking and filing, including tracking down the check she’d forgotten to write in the register, argh. Then we drove home, ate lunch, and collapsed. It’s horridly hot out there, and tomorrow’s going to be even worse. Sometimes I don’t think it’s ever going to rain here again.

    I’m leaving a shiny new basket of hugs right here on the tea cart, apply as needed.

  53. 87

    During the time that our previous landlord was jerking us around (it took over a week for uys to even contact them, because they never answer their damn phone), the shitheads at the place we were applying to rented our place out from under us, so we had to take a different unit in the same building that’s much more expensive. Also, because American policy is to fuck over poor people as hard as possible, we’re not allowed to increase our income for at least 6 months or we’ll be turfed out, because this is designated poor people housing.

  54. 88

    Today I took the electrical garden shears for a walk.
    Our daily Pokestop walk leads down a set of stairs that was almost overgrown with stinging nettles and I took the liberty to keep them from poking into the kids’ eyes.
    Renovations update: we’re now at the point where we need paid professionals. But we did a lot of work in the garden. I mentioned before that we can rent more area from the city behind our property, but the previous owner completely neglected that part of the garden so we needed to remove all kinds of things and small trees and tons of stinging nettles and wild roses (all thorns, no flowers).
    Did you know there’s a red currant bush in one corner? Neither did we before today. We also found a children’s football goal….

    So you’re not actually allowed to make enough money to pay the rent? How fucked up is that?

    Speaking of books: N.K. Jeminin’s The Obelisk Gate is out!!!

  55. 90

    Elder Daughter has put down a deposit on an apartment. I’ll have more info when they get home, but I think it’s about an hour from the campus by bus.

    I’m probably more nervous about her moving out on her own than she is.

  56. 92

    More info on Elder Daughter’s new nest: it’s a studio apartment attached to a house, small but nice. The previous tenant was transferred and left a lot of furniture with no forwarding address, so it comes with a bed, bookcases, some chairs and a few other things. There’s a tiny kitchenette, and she can use the landlord’s washer and dryer, and their pool. Within six blocks of the house, there are a nice used bookstore, a Goodwill, a Trader Joe’s and a regular supermarket. It really sounds ideal for her first time away from home.

    Also the owners have hummingbird feeders, and the husband is a teacher of foreign languages, so she already has things in common with them.

  57. 93

    That sounds wonderful. I hope the commute is OK. At least by bus she may have a chance to get some reading done.

    We’re working in the garden and today I got to take pictures of the ole tree
    And a dragonfly
    I nearly orgasmed when it sat still until I had the camera.

  58. 96

    I can report that rq has safely come and gone through my little corner of Canada. We spent a lovely day together just chatting on my couch, eating pizza, and I got to open a birthday present: a gorgeous book of poetry by Aspasia (Uguns Ledū, or The Fire in the Ice), in Latvian with translations into German, Russian, and English – all of which I can read, so though I’ll miss the original, I can at least get the sense.

    Also, there is chocolate.

    rq is lovely, as ever, both in body and mind, and I enjoyed her visit very much.

    Almost totally threadrupt otherwise; Happy late Birthday to Beatrice, who turned 30 the day before I turned 50.

    Hugs and higs all around!

  59. rq

    Sorry (Cait @96) to get around to this so late, but I would also like to thank Cait for being a very dear friend and lovely host, and for letting me chill on her couch and get some downtime between Ontario travels – I had a wonderful day catching up on random chat topics and just not stressing out about anything; the perfect way-stop on my way to Toronto.
    *hugs* to Cait!

    Well-belated Happy Birthday to Beatrice!

    I think it’s one of those ‘don’t try this at home’ things.

  60. 99


    19.78 seconds to run 200m

    They should drive a hybrid.

    I had this weird dream yesterday:
    I was a god, one of many, and my main godly power was bureaucracy. I’ve managed to convince a very small town of my divinity and I created a bureaucratic utopia. Everyone had to fill forms correctly for everything, the place was cleaner than Singapore and there even was one train station with one train that went once a day (on account of it being a very small town) from and to said station. However, it always did it on time and the people who rode it always had the correct cards and entered and exited from the correct doors (front door of every wagon for entering, back door for exiting).
    Obviously order had to be maintained and my law was that for minor infringements people would be sent to re-education and for major (like littering or jaywalking) ones they would be sent to my henchwomen. The henchewomen were demons that looked exactly like an attractive human stewardess (complete with that silly hat), but whose entire midsection (which was always concealed behind their outfit) consisted of a jumble of jaws, tentacles and mandibles. They would discretely escort the offenders to a special room where they would tear them to shreds with their monster torso-mouths.
    One time a person managed to escape the town, even managing to go beyond the railroad tracks (which marked the end of my domain). I sent one of my henchwomen after him. She found him in an old and abandoned house far beyond the tracks. In that house there was an old painting – the first work of art that she had ever seen since art was prohibited in my town for promoting disorderly thinking.
    Instead of killing or returning the escapee she decided to help him get somewhere safe. I don’t know what eventually happened to him, but she settled on a nudist beach where she didn’t have to worry about covering her monster-torso ever again and made her living by creating artwork out of natural debris.

    Lots of mixed feelings for me there.

  61. 100

    Maybe you can sell that to Hollywood?


    I had this weird dream yesterday:

    Me too, me too!
    1. Me and the family visited New York City (which is almost the weirdest part of the dream.
    2. There’s tons of whales and dolphins in the harbour. I especially liked those that have a shape like hunchbacks but also sport tiger stripes.
    3. For some fucking reason there are neither railings nor walls and the water ends at the same level as the streets/quays and of course BOTH kids fell into it and I jumped after them, though I remembered to pass my camera to a bystander the second time.
    4. Probably the saddest part: even in a dream where there’s tiger striped whales in crystal clear NYC harbour water my dream me was still glad I had excellent health insurance because of course somebody called the paramedics after I’d jumped into the harbour twice. My brain can imagine everything except decent health care in the USA.

    Caitie and rq
    I’m glad you had some wonderful time together.

  62. 101

    Also, my back hurts. And it’s the worst kind because
    A) it’s entirely my own fault because I forgot to wear my back warmer (sweating in cool weather with a wet T-shirt clinging to the lower back)
    B) it’s the kind of pain that gets much better when you get up and work and worse when you sit or lie down.

  63. 102

    I tested the sea thoroughly and I can confirm that it’s still wet and salty. It was also very clean and I can recommend the island of Rab for its beautiful, clean seaside (even on the town beaches but especially in nearby bays), very good food (I’ll have to sit down tomorrow and write a bunch of recommendations on Tripadvisor. Have you ever tried octopus burgers? That’s apparently a thing, and what an amazing thing it is) and nice and welcoming people.

    I’m especially glad I went with mom. She hadn’t been to the seaside for an even longer time than me, and this really did her good.

    I’ll be off for more vacationing soon, but this time with my laptop and without any seaside in sight. Oh well, I’ll have to settle for a river ;).

  64. 104


    Maybe you can sell that to Hollywood?

    I would, but we all know that every major part would be filled by Adam Sandler.

    My brain can imagine everything except decent health care in the USA.

    The saddest part is when RL is encroaching on a good dream.

    Also, my back hurts.

    That sounds like a job for Bengay!


    Have you ever tried octopus burgers?

    Those poor, poor octobabies! But I’m glad that you’ve had a great time!


    My back hurts, too, but on the plus side, I have conquered my fear of motorcycles.

    …go on.

  65. rq

    Motorcycles scare me, but today I rode pillion about 60 kilometres there and back. The pose wasn’t particularly kind on the lower back, though I may have simply been doing it wrong. It was good. 🙂

  66. 106

    I tested the sea thoroughly and I can confirm that it’s still wet and salty.

    Always good to re-confirm these things. 🙂

    Have you ever tried octopus burgers?

    No, but I want to!

    *hugs* to all. Reading/lurking, been a busy couple of weeks with work and several leisure activities.

  67. 107

    I’m glad you had a nice and delicious holiday.

    Yesterday I dropped my new phone into the toilet. In teh cinema. It worked allright today but now the screen is messing up…

  68. 108


    The usual advise is to pack it in rice or those silica packets for a while to draw the moisture out, but there’s a good chance it’s broken now.

  69. rq

    Funny: there were apparently 3 weeks of terrible weather while I was away. Honestly, I don’t know what anyone was complaining about – a sunny, non-humid 25 degrees seems pretty awesome to me!

    Anyway I’ve made it home safe and sound and I might even not have huge amounts of jetlag, considering yesterday’s terrible struggle with sleep and general exhaustion. Just waiting for my luggage to arrive (too short a stopover in Brussels for the large suitcase to trundle over to the new plane), but at least that’s a delivery service.
    It was a wonderful trip and journey, but it’s also good to be home.

  70. 110

    Hi hi, hugs and chocolate (or your favorite treat) to all. Been very busy here, Younger Daughter started classes again this week, and I’ve been helping Elder shop for necessary household items. Tomorrow is the day Elder Daughter is moving out. She and Husband and I will be driving the last carload down to her new place. My baby bird is leaving the nest. Rationally I know she’ll be okay, but I still worry. At least she’s in a good place; her landlady seems to have adopted her. They’re both birders, and landlady just asked if Daughter would mind maintaining their hummy feeders if landlady buys the sugar. Daughter was going to offer if it seemed appropriate, heh.

    By the way, bluebird fledglings often stick around and help their parents raise the next brood. So that’s an excuse. Not that she needs one.

    In other wildlife news, Shadow the Wonder Tortie scared away a humongous raccoon that was trying to look in the front door this evening. Well, she puffed up and yowled, and I shouted and clapped my hands. Needless to say, I did not open the screen. The raccoon went off down the path to the backyard, but Shadow is still checking all the doors just in case. She may be old, she says, but she’s fierce.

    Tomorrow is going to be quite a day. I just hope Aged Mum doesn’t get bored and decide to call while I’m gone. I told her I’d be out all day, but she tends to “forget” these things when she sees a chance to guilt trip me. As a friend once said, parents know what buttons to push because they installed them.

  71. 111

    Hello, all.
    @rq So glad that you have closed the circle and returned home all safe and sound. I trust your luggage caught up with you?
    You must have some wonderful memories and, I hope, some photos to share?
    Returning home is often an experience of novelty. Having left and gone to legendary places and climes can predispose one to see previously unnoticed qualities of the place that has been thought of as home.

    @AnneM You must be a fine mother and a faithful daughter. I’m sure that your children and your parents are heartened to have you as theirs. Oh, and your little dog! 🙂

    I was, for an as yet indeterminate reason, struck by the memory of a Norman Spinrad short story just earlier this night. So I did an Ixquick search for Carcinoma Angels and stumbled into a treasure chest.

    I have been a voracious reader of science fiction for the better part of my life and at one time had an admirable library of books. I subscribed to book clubs and combed garage sales and out of the way book stores, bought and built extra shelves and filled empty liquor cases with whatever I could get my hands on. Sheer joy. That library is gone now and my resources to replace it are puny.

    Imagine then my delight to find two wonderful on line libraries of classic sci-fi at a single stroke! For any of you who are similarly disposed, and for any of you who are not, I most enthusiastically give you the following links. It is my fond hope that those of you of the former kind will be reunited with old favorites and those of you of the latter kind will find new favorites.

    My life and my personal philosophy bear the marks of many influences. Some of them wonderful and some of them dreadful. I count among the wonderful stories of conjecture, contrariness and caprice as being the most beneficial and the most productive. Science fiction embodies those qualities and more, not the least of which is a painfully close examination of just what it means to be self aware, to be able to learn, to be able to change, to deal with having power and to be subjected to power and most importantly, how to find a way to live with the thing we call love.

    So, for your delight and edification:



    Rather than describe these sites I will simply emulate science fiction and speculative literature itself and allow you to explore and discover for yourselves. I will allow myself one liberty, though. Until you have gone into the wilderness you will not know yourself.

    As a for instance I offer this story by Poul Anderson which I just read for the second time. The first was, I think, forty five years ago. Call Me Joe is a story that has a link to the present in that its setting, Jupiter and an orbiting research installation, is in the news right now as the Juno space probe just passed a mere 2500 miles above that planet early this morning on the first of its early orbits. Expect cool pictures in about a week. Pictures of Jupiter from that close!

    Likewise, expect to experience a thrill and a chill when you read:


    Enjoy, learn, grow.

  72. 112


    Forgot to leave a link to Carcinoma Angels. It’s an audio recording. Don’t worry, the story is short and also an exemplar of short story mastery. The ending is best left till last.


    There is a short bumper audio first. When the second one starts you can either listen to all of it (which is quite entertaining in all) or FF to 37:55 for the story itself. Best listened to in a dimly lit setting, of course.

  73. 113

    So you made it There and Back Again!

    I’m sure you prepared your daughter well for living on her own. And she will always have a place to get back to when times get rough.

    Happy Birthday Grandma
    She would have turned 90 today.
    10 years ago it was horribly cold and wet and we had to move the party last minute. Mr and I also told the world that we would get married.

    Tomorrow’s the Little One’s First Day At School.
    Of course it starts in the church because we’re such a totally not religious country. But she’s totally excited, all dresses are finished and ironed and the Schultüte is packed to the brim.

  74. rq

    That is hilarious.
    Not sure if that’s a cat, though. Looks a bit like an alien. Might have to experiment a bit with my own…

  75. 119

    Giliell’s Guide to Doing Housework
    1. Take the kids’ left over banana shake.
    2. Add a generous amount of Irish cream.
    3. Fuck housework.

  76. rq

    Giliell’s Guide to Doing Housework
    1. Take the kids’ left over banana shake.
    2. Add a generous amount of Irish cream.
    3. Fuck housework.

    Looks a lot like rq’s Official Guide to Cleaning Up.

  77. 123

    Hi all!
    I’ve been quiet, I know.
    Just wanted to share the first Tony Tale of the year.
    I was speaking with a young guy at work a few days ago (call him T). T is a 19 y.o. white guy who hails from Alabama, which is not exactly a bastion of progressive values. So I got something of a shock during a conversation we had while we were cleaning at work.

    He mentioned that he was happy to move out of Alabama, and was really turned off by all the racism he saw while he lived there. Being a white guy in a state like Alabama means you’re likely to be privy to conversations between other white people that are decidedly racist as fuck. And sure enough, he said he’d heard many such conversations.

    I was able to take that opportunity to point out that white people are in a unique position to educate other white people on racism, as odds are a white person is more likely to listen to one of their own criticize racism, instead of a black person.

    I was also able to connect “having discussions with people like you about oppression of marginalized people” on other subjects as well-notably, on issues of sexism and homophobia. I told him that just as white people can reach other white people on discussions of race in ways black folks cannot, so too can men reach other men on issues related to sexism (and hetero people can reach hetero people moreso than gay people).

    It wasn’t a long talk as I we were working, and I didn’t want to push too hard, but I’m hoping he paid some amount of attention to what I said.

  78. rq

    … I also forgot to mention that, on my travels across the great province of Ontario, I did cross the border into USAlienstan (the wonderful city of Detroit, which I found quite surprisingly pleasant) to have a half-way meeting with Portia, whom some of you may remember. We had an awesome time with rather wonky weather and it is a truth often left untold that friends on the internet can indeed be great friends in real life. Portia is Proof #2 of this (CaitieCat being Proof #1, of course), and this fact should be remembered more often in this age of social networking and ‘too much time spent on electronic devices’.

  79. 127

    Good morning!

    I complained to the headteacher about that very christian school service and the fact that the kids were “blessed” with some dude laying his hands on their heads. I told her she was lucky it was the little one, who cringed a little and then stoically endured it because #1 who have screamed the roof down (and would have had every right to do so).
    Kid is so far happy in school.


    We had an awesome time with rather wonky weather and it is a truth often left untold that friends on the internet can indeed be great friends in real life.

    I met BFF1 on the internet. We live quite close to each other. First time we met was on “neutral” territory, then I would sometimes visit her (and somehow I always managed to forget something in her kitchen), then we’d meet occasionally for crafting (now with BFF2 as well, whom I met because she joined our Trading Cards Group) and then we just decided to meet once a week at least.

  80. rq

    Oh, I’ve met lovely people via online, but when I told my sister I’d be meeting Portia, whom I only knew from the internet, she asked me if I wasn’t scared. Which brought me to make abduction-and-murder jokes with Portia, but in essence, no, I wasn’t scared – I was more worried we wouldn’t like each other in real life. A lot like I worried before meeting Cait for the first time two years ago.
    And I wouldn’t ever have met either one of them if it weren’t for the internet and this age of electronic social networking, so essentially I call bullshit on anyone who thinks devices make you antisocial (in and of themselves). Friendships (as we all know, right?) can and are cultivated online, and they’re no less valuable than friendships made face-to-face. Just different, as all friendships are different.
    But anyway it’s Friday and Husband just left for the country and I’ve put the kids to bed and I’m having Campari and I’m going to stop before I go on for too long into the realm of nonsense. 🙂

    Aside: Forgetting items at someone’s house is a sure sign of return, or so the Latvian proverbalists say, usually with the meaning that a good time was had by all and more visits should be expected. 😀


  81. 129

    Well, dadburnit, it’s twenny after six in the morning and I am about to tip over.

    It was rumored that a storm was going to pass here last night, the remnants of “Hurricane” Hermine. I spent some time last evening putting the lawn chairs in the barn and securing some other stuff against predicted winds of up to 45mph. Heh. Turns out that the storm it no more energetic than I. Later today I’ll put the chairs back out and untie the stack of left over siding.

    Maybe later this season we’ll get a proper storm and I can feel as though my efforts to secure the property avoided collateral damage of some fiendish kind.

    Failing it this time, I say good morning and lay myself down to sleep and dream of heroic deeds in the face of a hurricane west wind.

    Points awarded to anyone who caught that line.

    Sweet dreams and bright days to all.

  82. 130

    When I lived in Cuba for a while there was the Hurricane Ivan. Thing about Ivan was that it wasn’t only exceptionally strong, but also very slow moving, so it was hard to predict. All models predicted a 90% probability of it passing right over where we were so we and everyone around us prepared like mad. It finally took a route that had a 5% probability and we celebrated a big bad “Iván se fue” party.


    when I told my sister I’d be meeting Portia, whom I only knew from the internet, she asked me if I wasn’t scared.

    Oh gods, don’t remind me. The first time I went to a weekend with a group of internet friends my mother Freaked. Out. Murderers, rapists, everything!
    Though, she never had a problem with letting me go to weekends with other people neither of us knew while I was much younger if the “group” had her approval*. But because she could never accept that I love fantasy and medieval faires and stuff, those people were all bad.

    *Rape culture in action: Whole groups get a “definitely not rapists” labels because they are otherwise OK. Of course I know of cases when those “totally not rapists” tried to rape their girlfriends and such…

  83. 131


    Aside: Forgetting items at someone’s house is a sure sign of return, or so the Latvian proverbalists say, usually with the meaning that a good time was had by all and more visits should be expected.

    Russians have the same proverb.
    Fairly recently a friend of my Mother stayed with us and she was adamant that she was “good with cats”. My cat had none of that and generally avoided her as much as possible. She would sleep in the living room and he wouldn’t even come out of one of the other rooms as long as she was awake or home (his food is in the living room as well).
    When it was time for her to leave she packed all of her things and then noticed the cat sitting in the living room. She came to say goodbye to him, to ask him if he had finally warmed up to her, but then she noticed that he was sitting near a pair of slippers that she forgot to pack. The cat looked at them, then back at her as if to say “please take those as well – I hear leaving them is a bad sign.”

  84. 132

    I’m having one of those “I’m fucking useless today, when is it going to be night” days…

    I feel for that woman. Do you agree with the cat, btw?

  85. 133

    OK, that was weird.
    I idly watched a “top 10” video on Youtube called “10 Geniuses who were shockingly horrible people” and #8 was Richard Dawkins with a quite good rundown of Elevatorgate…

  86. rq

    Beatrice said it. They might want to rethink the definition of ‘genius’. At least they called out the bad behaviour, though! Have you (Giliell) recovered from the shock yet?

    I like a cat with attitude. 😀

  87. 136

    Giliell you have my sympathies. I hate those kind of days.
    AlexanderZ animals can be stubborn/perceptive, depending on your point of view.

    We’ve been playing ‘Unhappy families’ for the past week. I can elaborate if anyone’s interesting, as I could probably do with someone else’s perspective.

  88. 138

    Thanks rq !

    Since we came back from our holiday our daughter’s behaviour has been terrible. It’s mainly bad at bedtime, but sometimes at other times too. She refuses to do things that we request; sometimes lashes out and when asked later she doesn’t know why she does it. We had planned to see ‘Finding Dory’ as her first cinema trip, but her behaviour was so bad we cancelled it.
    With other people around she seems fine. So I’m hoping it’s just part of the ‘pushing boundaries’ thing and will pass with time. She starts school tomorrow and we’re obviously concerned that the bad behaviour will pass over into school. I doubt it, but you never know!
    What doesn’t help is that, in the heat of the moment, my wife says things like ‘I wish I’d never had you’ etc. I don’t think that’s a healthy thing to say to a child no matter what the provocation.
    Is this just a normal phase for children that age, or should I be worried?

  89. rq

    Pushing boundaries and disobedience is pretty normal (4, right?), it’ll happen from time-to-time with varying frequency. Usually it’s a good thing (child thinking for oneself, etc.). Does anyone ever ask your daughter what she wants to do? Does she feel rushed? Does she feel your stress, which may be less (or less focussed on her) with other people around?
    Also, I figure you had a really relaxed schedule during the holiday – did she have fair warning, before the end of the holiday, that things would be going back to the old schedule? Sounds like she just doesn’t want to readjust to a more strict schedule.
    Most importantly, though:

    in the heat of the moment, my wife says things like ‘I wish I’d never had you’

    Can you speak to your wife about not saying things like that? She has to stop, right now. Even if it’s inadvertent, this is psychologically harmful (but may speak to a huge amount of your wife’s internal stress), and your daughter will probably internalize this, and is probably stressing about it (even if it’s been only once, they say kids are impressionable for a reason…); acting out about it, since she probably (a) isn’t quite capable of expressing her feelings and possibly (b) doesn’t feel like she is valued enough to try, is about the only way she’s probably capable of communicating right now. I know she may seem small, but they understand a lot more than we think (or would want them to, sometimes), even while being unable to express themselves rationally.

    That’s kind of a first-glance type of response, I would say try to be patient with her, give her fair advance warning of changes in schedule or the next day’s plan (sometimes several times throughout the previous day), and every now and then, ask her what she wants to do, because she just might be feeling a bit helpless and ignored.
    Is there any other ‘new’ stress (new since returning from your vacation) at home that might be affecting her? Did anything happen during vacation that she might just be processing right now?

  90. 140

    rq you have confirmed what I realised that I need to speak to my wife. I’m always conscious when telling my daughter off, to focus on the current problem. Not to bring up anything else. At one point my daughter said to me that she wanted to just live with me and for Mummy to go away, and given the circumstances, I had some sympathy with her.

    I’m having to remain very tactful with my wife as she’s been very affected by all this and, despite admitting that she was the prime mover in having a child, sometimes threatened to leave, but somethings need to be said.

    As to my daughter: everything is in transition for her. She left nursery before holiday. Then it was her first holiday overseas and she stayed up late etc. Then she had a few days with my wife’s parents to cover before she starts school tomorrow. I’m hoping that all this upheaval is part of the problem.

    I do ask her what she wants to do and a lot of the time that can be accommodated. But when it comes to bedtime etc, I feel I need to be more assertive as it’s not a good idea for her to stay up late when she needs to get up at a reasonable time the next day.

  91. rq

    (I may be saying things you already know.)
    I’m sure that all the upheaval is part of the problem, that’s a lot of changes.
    I know they say not to use bribery with kids, but it can work sometimes – the old time limits, plus a small reward (like an extra story once she’s all tucked into bed) can work. Also explanations about how it’s important to get some sleep for the next day, and if she’s had issues with being tired that day, just a reminder that it will be easier for her, too, if she gets her sleep. And also if you threaten consequences, of any kind, stick to them as much as possible (i.e. for immediate issues, if you say she won’t have time for a story if she doesn’t get into bed, don’t read a story and make sure she stays in bed as long as possible (I’m saying this as parent to a four-year-old who still crawls into the parental bed every night sometime around 2am); sometimes, for bigger things (like if you have a cinema outing planned), it’s better to take her general feelings into account, like it might be nice to take her to the cinema, bad behaviour notwithstanding, just because it’s a fun activity to do together and have a chance to not worry about other things for a while and get out of daily routine – just be sure to explain that it’s not a reward or a bribe, it’s an outing to spend some time together and have fun – if that makes any sense!). This is taking into account that she is four, when she’s 13, she will be more likely to understand the removal of cinema privileges.

    Also I hope you get a chance to talk to your wife, whatever her initial feelings about kids were, it’s never easy once you realize the reality, and it can be hard to deal with the daily stresses of what a child in the family means, even with (sometimes, especially with, if you’ve internalized society’s requirements of what it means to be a mother) a supportive partner (as in, she may be feeling guilty about you taking on a lot of the child-raising stuff even if it works for you two; I know it happened to me). That being said, she should still understand that some things shouldn’t be said out loud within the hearing of your child, no matter how difficult things seem. Good luck!!

  92. 143


    Do you agree with the cat, btw?

    She was nice in small doses, but her being very loud and hyperactive and always a bit tipsy was really too much after a while. And I didn’t even spend that much time with her because I was at work. Imagine how a cat would feel after being stuck with her for a longer period.
    Besides, anyone who thinks that they’re good with cats and says that they’re good with cats is not, by definition, good with cats. Because if there is one thing cats like to do is do the opposite of what the other person wants them to do. So a cat will always go for the one person that hates cats and avoid all those “good with cats” people (unless they’re really good with cats and know how to get on a cat’s good side).

    I don’t know anything about children, but I second rq‘s words regarding your wife telling hurtful things to your daughter – it’s not right.

  93. 144


    Because if there is one thing cats like to do is do the opposite of what the other person wants them to do.

    The one way to confuse a cat is to leave them in a room with one person who hates cats and one person who is allergic.

    Cat story: Many, many years ago I visited my aunt and uncle for a few days. I was out with my aunt but I was bored so she gave me the keys to the flat and I walked back. Only the door lock was a bit particular and I couldn’t get the door open, so I sat in the courtyard. The brewery cat (the were living above a brewery) came to visit me, brushing against me and of course as soon as I petted it, it scratched me. I yelled, called it a stupid beast and moved away. For the next hour, that cat was constantly trying to get back on my good side. When I finally gave in, said “it’s OK” and petted it again(no scratches this time) it left.

    I didn’t have much spoons yesterday so let me elaborate a bit more today:
    Something that works well with most kids is reward systems (only don’t slack off, as I usually do): Talk with your daughter about what behaviour you want to see and give her points every time things go well.
    As she’s rather young, these can be more elaborate like stickers she can put on a picture. If she has enough points by the end of the week, she gets a reward. Gotta be a reward, not a punishment like “no TV if you have less than 15 points”.
    And don’t just hand out the points but talk to her and ask her whether she thinks she deserves a certain point. They’re often pretty honest and it helps them to understand themselves better and get a better feeling for how they’re doing.
    Again, big big hugs. I know parenting is the hardest job out there and there’s been more than one occasion when I broke down crying. There’s no shame in that.
    Also, as rq said: do the fun thing. We’ve learned that it is something totally necessary to spend no stress all fun time together because our daily live often consists of more conflicts than anything else.

    As for your wife, I really think she needs professional help.

    Cute kids story?
    The little one is in the afternoon daycare just as her sister. They do their homework there in small groups. When they’re finished they show it to the teacher/daycare teacher and then they can leave.
    Little one, being new, just packed her stuff and started to leave when the daycare teacher stopped her. “Did you finish your homework?” Yes! “Who’s seen it?” Well, my friend L!

  94. rq


    “Did you finish your homework?” Yes! “Who’s seen it?” Well, my friend L!

    Yes, we often find the mysterious authority “my brother” running things in our household. 😀

    Giliell’s reward system idea is a lot more coherent than what I was trying to say yesterday. Plus the little conversations will help your daughter learn to communicate, as well as provide skills in self-reflection – and it’s important that she learn to recognize and identify (and thus deal with) her own emotions, and then communicate about them. This was one of the hardest things for Middle Child to learn, but it’s been worth it. We’ve found that identifying the emotions seems to be about half the battle (less confusion and stress about what’s happening to themselves).

  95. 146

    Giliell, at least she doesn’t do her homework and then hide it under her pillow instead of turning it in. Younger Daughter did that off and on from 5th grade through junior high, and we never figured out why. I don’t think even she knows.

    You’re all much better parents than I was, so I have nothing to add, except to agree.

  96. 149

    Thanks everyone for your help and comfort.

    We had another bout of bad behaviour last night. It does seem to mainly revolve around bedtime. My daughter always says she’s not tired when we put her to bed. There then ensure a protracted, and ever escalating disagreement about getting in to bed etc. Last night I mainly remained calm and tried to talk her through the whole thing, not entirely successfully. In the end I had to leave her and I went back 10 minutes later to find her asleep on the landing, so I put her to bed.

    I feel stuck in the middle over this as my wife is of the opinion that we should put daughter to bed and leave her and she should just go to sleep. So when I stay with my daughter, my wife considers me to be pandering to her and keeping her from falling asleep. I’m just trying to stop the whole thing escalating.

    To be perfectly honest, I think you’re all correct that my wife could do with some independent help. She is happy to do all the organization that is necessary with having a child. But it’s been obvious to me that my wife would rather do the washing/cleaning/ironing than actually spend time interacting with my daughter. This means that the vast majority of the playing and interacting with my daughter is done my me, when it’s just the three of us. This means that I get exhausted, and very little respite, and my daughter misses out on my wife’s time. For example: when we’re all at home it’s either me that takes my daughter to the park, or all three of us go. It’s never my wife taking my daughter alone.

    On the bright side, it was my daughter’s first day at school yesterday (albeit only a 2 hour session), and she really enjoyed and is looking forward to more!

    Sorry for the long post and thanks everyone for listening. I’m finding this difficult and having you all here helps a lot.

  97. 150

    I’m offline until Wednesday due to looking after my daughter on her half days at school. I’ll report back on Wednesday as i whether anything has improved!

    Have fun! Stay safe!

  98. 152

    Hope school goes well
    You could compromise on the bedtime thing: You (plural) will tolerate three interruptions after she’s been put to bed, no more.

    Well, #1’s the one who throws tantrums over doing her homework. She could do that shit in 15 minutes but it frequently escalates to several hours with everybody crying.

    Since we’Re in venting mood:

    My dad is discovering that just because my mother is sober doesn’t mean that she’s no longer having some serious issues.
    And frankly I will explode if she buys any more sweets

  99. rq

    And frankly I will explode if she buys any more sweets

    This seems to be an alcoholic thing. From my personal knowledge of people trying to be sober (N = 2), alcohol seems to be substituted with sweets because they simply crave them. I don’t know if it’s just replacing one addiction with another or if there’s a physiological reason for it, but it seems to be A Thing.

  100. 154

    Move is completed, almost entirely unpacked and set up. Still getting used to a different neighborhood, hubby is not happy about it; his social anxiety is worse than mine and he had established relationships with all the nearby storeclerks etc, which aren’t nearby anymore. I don’t have many meatspace connections to anyone anymore, so it wasn’t as much of a wrench for me. on the upside, the apartment is nice and I live 2 blocks from work now.

    Unfortunately as well, the fingers I injured in my last bike wreck don’t seem to be healing well, which impedes my typing, and means I should probably limit it more than I do.

  101. 156

    She can eat as many sweets as she wants to. But stuffing the kids is another thing. For start of school they got 5 packs of Haribo , 1 of assorted sweets and a packet of Oreos.

    All the best with settling in.

  102. rq

    For start of school they got 5 packs of Haribo , 1 of assorted sweets and a packet of Oreos.

    Oh. Wow.

    Good luck with the move and getting settled, also that your hubby is able to maintain some real life connections. And good luck with the injury, too!

  103. 158

    Ahhh, if you want to amuse the gods, make a plan.
    Yesterday I wanted to plaster in what is going to be the “dressing room”* and that used to be a kitchen back when it was a two family home**.
    But because it used to be a kitchen there was still a water pipe I needed to remove.
    And after I removed the pipe there was a hole in the wall***.
    So I needed to close the hole.
    For which I needed mortar.
    I sent Mr. and removed the rest of the old pipes in the bathroom.
    I closed the hole in the wall.
    The day was over.

    *If you now think we’ve become very posh: It’s a small room with doors to both kids’ rooms so the best you can do there is to put wardrobes.
    **I have no clue how that worked with only one real bath with a shower.
    ***Mansplain alert, mansplain alert. When I told Mr that I needed to close the hole he went on to tell me that “oh, but we need new pipes anyway!”
    He was very lucky that I didn’t have a heavy tool in my hand.
    There’s a hole the size of a pug in the wall. The future bathroom design is different from the old one anyway. I can’t plaster over a pug-sized hole. WTF is he trying to tell me?

  104. 159

    I had some good fortune today and struck a wonderful bargain!
    riving home from the house I noticed that somebody in the street next to ours (they connect in a kind of U shape and lead back to the same road) had put out some things for the trash collection, among them a really big plastic flower pot. I stopped and looked around if I could find someone to ask if I could have it, because it’s otherwise illegal and theft (people get some very interesting ideas about what counts as “put out for trash collection). While I was looking I noticed that the neighbour across the street, an elderly lady, was looking out from behind the curtains and thought “watchful neighbour”.
    I found someone, nicely asked, got permission and loaded my spoils into the car when the neighbour approached me.
    “Do you need some earthen flowerpots as well? They’re too heavy for me.”
    Well, if you want to get rid of them, I said and followed her into the garden to get them. Well, with some chit-chat we came to the house and she asked where exactly it was and when I told her she said “oh, next to Mrs B! That’s my sister!”
    Now I got one seriously huge plastic flowerpot and four big ( 40 cm diameter) earthen ones for the price of being friendly.

  105. 160


    I’ve been back from vacation only for a week and I’m already out of time for commenting. Work is busy and when at home I’m making preserves. I feel like I have a cold incoming (my head feels woolly and my throat hurts) so I worked all afternoon and evening, because tomorrow after work I’ll probably be in no shape for cooking.

    See you, congrats on any happy news you folks have (sorry, threadrupt)!

  106. rq

    I stopped and looked around if I could find someone to ask if I could have it, because it’s otherwise illegal and theft (people get some very interesting ideas about what counts as “put out for trash collection).

    I can understand people getting ideas about what is put out for trash collection – but at the same time, I’m entertained by the idea of my trash still belonging to me. If it’s out on the curb, it’s free to a good home or the garbage truck, whichever occurs first. At least, that’s how it worked in Canada; I was rudely dispropriated of this idea when I moved over here. So yes, cultural ideas about trash are quite different from place to place.

    Anyway, Giliell, yay on the flower pots!

    Also hello Beatrice, I hope you had an excellent vacation! *dusts off usual chair*

  107. 162

    Gods I’m exhausted. Turns out that plastering whole walls of irregular bricks is serious stuff.

    Also, this morning I called the ministry to ask about my job prospects.
    The young woman on the phone sounded like the intern. The conversation went like this: No, sorry, Mr H, who is responsible for this is on holiday. You could call Mr L, but only next week, because he’s on holiday, too!”
    It’s week three of the school year. Many schools still don’t have all the teachers they need. I’m unemployed and EVERYBODY who could remedy those two problems is on holiday….

    Get well soon.


    If it’s out on the curb, it’s free to a good home or the garbage truck, whichever occurs first

    That’s the general attitude here as well. Until about 15 years ago there were special days on which the city would collect big stuff like furniture, household goods, etc. and people would drive around the night before and take what they wanted. There was a woman in our street who made her living that way. She collected stuff and sold it on the flea market.
    But some people are assholes so the courts had to get involved ruling that until the truck came, it was yours.
    The guy last night was like “yeah sure,(unspoken)why are you asking“, but you don’t want to leave yourself open to some bullshit theft accusations.

  108. 163

    Morning, gentlebeings. The kettle is hot, would anyone like a cup of tea?

    Yesterday was a) Aged Mum Day and b) would’ve been my dad’s birthday. In addition to the usual groceries, we took her pomegranates fresh off our tree and a small succulent plant with magenta flowers. That seemed to cheer her up some; when we left, she and Caregiver M were discussing where to plant the succulent.

    So I am very tired today and will probably spend as much time as I can get away with in the pillow fort.

  109. 164

    If it’s out on the curb, it’s free to a good home or the garbage truck, whichever occurs first

    This actually came up in a legal case locally about a decade ago; I don’t recall the details but someone (a cop?) lost their job (and maybe faced charges?) because of something the police had found in their garbage. They said that was an illegal search, and the police said no, it was out on the curb, it’s garbage, and the court agreed.

    There’s also a custom in these parts of placing still-useful things by the curb in boxes ( or just there, for furniture), and barring a sign that says otherwise, or a moving truck, people will automatically assume that such things are free and take them.

  110. 165

    Hello everyone! *hugs* for all who need them!
    I’ve been out of the loop lately, so sorry if I’m thredrupting.

    On garbage:
    Over here it is customary to even leave perfectly good food (bread, preferably challah bread, which isn’t cheap) in a plastic bag near (never inside or anywhere unhygienic!) the general location of a dumpster (i.e. wrapped and hanging from a nearby post or a tree and so forth)with the hopes that if someone is desperate enough to look through garbage, then they at least could have a meal of good, unspoiled food.
    And yes, whenever anyone wanted to throw out something that can still be potentially usable or sellable then it’s customary to leave it on the sidewalk in the vicinity of the dumpster so that if anyone wants it they could take it themselves.

    I was feeling rather bad lately, but with the summer drawing to a close and work being slightly less stressful I’m getting back to my usual routine (though I’ve slightly increased my pain medication).

    I have a new friend. I like having an actual close meatspace friendship and I want it to remain a friendship, but I’m starting to develop feelings, and I think she does as well. I feel like a stupid teenager again 🙁

    Today’s titles for all WP blog notifications had scare-quotes on them for some reason (i.e. “The Progressive Pub” instead of The Progressive Pub, “Affinity” instead of Affinity). Weird.

  111. 166


    I feel like a stupid teenager again

    Oh boy do I hear that, you have my sympathy. Of course, I’m kinda going through puberty again at the moment, so it’s rather understandable. I have conceived an intense crush on a quite new acquaintance, in a fashion reminiscent of my adolescence.
    On the upside, (hopefully ), I have significant reason to believe that they may also harbour some such feeling towards me as well. And if not, a new friend is also a win.

  112. 168

    It’s hubby and my 11th anniversary today. We got a good cut of pork sirloin which has been marinating overnight in honey, tamari, garlic, and ginger. To be served with sauted apples, pears, and onions with a bourbon reduction and roasted sweet potatoes.

  113. 172

    Happy anniversary!*

    On the upside, (hopefully ), I have significant reason to believe that they may also harbour some such feeling towards me as well. And if not, a new friend is also a win.


    We got a good cut of pork sirloin which has been marinating overnight in honey, tamari, garlic, and ginger. To be served with sauted apples, pears, and onions with a bourbon reduction and roasted sweet potatoes.

    That sounds divine!

    *Originally I misspelled it as annidversary. May your anniversaries never have adversaries 🙂

  114. 174

    Happy Anniversary , Dalillama and L

    Wishing you a good outcome with your new colleague, whichever one it may be.

    Over here it is customary to even leave perfectly good food (bread, preferably challah bread, which isn’t cheap) in a plastic bag near (never inside or anywhere unhygienic!) the general location of a dumpster (i.e. wrapped and hanging from a nearby post or a tree and so forth)with the hopes that if someone is desperate enough to look through garbage, then they at least could have a meal of good, unspoiled food.

    What world are we living in where it depends on someone else having the kindness and funds so that people don’t have to eat literal garbage? Where some human being doesn’t have to hope that the person who leaves out bread isn’t sick or fell on some hard luck themselves or simply had a very busy day and couldn’t buy bread?

  115. 176

    …and I’m back in circulation.

    Congrats Dalilama , Happy Anniversary. I trust that you enjoyed your meal.

    Flowerpots Giliell; I’m sure you’ll make good use of them. Moving house sounds exciting!

    Thanks everyone for their continuing support. For the last two days I’ve been looking after my daughter for most of the day as she’s been in school for two hours each day. (It’s a staggered introduction for new starters. I understand why the school does it, but in my daughter’s case, she’s used to being at nursery all day, so the move to a full day at school would have been relatively straightforward.) I’m pleased to report that she’s been fine with me over those days.

    She’s still not getting to sleep as the time we would like, but I suspect that once she starts a full day at school (tomorrow), she’ll be more tired and go down a lot easier. I don’t stress about it at the moment as that’s been a trigger point over the last week and I’d rather avoid it. Unfortunately, my wife’s not as calm about it as I am, so it’s still problematic.

    Anyway, we saw ‘Finding Dory’ over the weekend which was fun. My daughter was a bit restless, and the tilting seats didn’t help! But I’m not scared to take her to the cinema again sometime.

  116. 177

    hours a day? Oh come on, how are parents supposed to manage this?
    Little one has had 5 hours each day from day 2 and then she’s been in the daycare until 5…
    Which leads me to this point:

    She’s still not getting to sleep as the time we would like, but I suspect that once she starts a full day at school (tomorrow), she’ll be more tired and go down a lot easier.

    Little one has been crashing on her mattress ever since she started school. I know this will change again (especially when the current late summer is over and they’ll spend more time indoors), but right now getting her to bed is a treat.
    Her sister, OTOH, often stays up until 10 o’clock. Monday the toothfairy had to re-schedule her appointment because she’d gone to bed before the kid…

  117. 178

    Giliell the four days of 2 hours a day at school has been a logistics issue. It meant that either my wife or myself have had to take a day off, as even a half day doesn’t cover it. She’s done 4 hours today, and as I mentioned, starts full time tomorrow. Including after school club.

    I sincerely hope school makes her more tired!

  118. rq

    We’ve all been saying it wrong all these years: Eldest just announced that it is the Statue of Delivery holding a torch in New York City.

  119. rq

    I’m glad you seem to be having less stress, and I also hope that with the full day of school, bedtime will also become easier. 🙂 Just remember to give her time to unwind at the end of the day, and give yourself a break every now and then, too!
    Hope you manage to have a chance to communicate with your wife a bit more, too. Maybe if she sees the new schedule with school and everything working out, she’ll start feeling a bit more settled herself.
    ♥ *hugs*

  120. 182

    *pops in from Dimension Threadrupt*

    Happy Anniversary, Dalillama!

    *disappears back to Dimension Threadrupt, leaving a scattering of hugs in his wake*

  121. 185

    Hm, you know that episode of Friends when Phoebe licked Monica’s cutlery when Monica was ill, to get sick again and get sexy broken voice?
    Oh yeah. I feel like shit but I sound great. Nope, no high tones from me any more. Too bad my throat is burning. Also, my lungs.

    /being silly because why not

  122. rq

    Can I send some hot ginger tea your way? I mean, by all means, keep the sexy voice, but rid yourself of the burning throat and lungs. I’ve heard rather unpleasant things about smoke coming out of your respiratory system and such.
    Be well soon!! *hugs*

    Also bragimike *hugs* hope the first day went well!!

    Oops, I don’t know if that last *hug* was in time to catch JimB‘s slipstream, but if not, it’ll be right here waiting for you!

  123. 187

    Good morning
    *leaves some sterile hugs and chicken broth for beatrice*

    *leaves hugs for everyone else.*

    Well, I scraped my knuckles. They hurt. But I also built a wall, about which I’d brag endlessly if it didn’t make me seem like I was endorsing some American fascist*.

    *Yes, that’s a humblebrag. How do you rate it?

  124. 189

    Oh, rq, if you’re doing stuff with the apples where you peel them:
    Dry the peel and put it into a food processor with sugar, cinnamon, cloves, whatever and make baked apples sugar. Then use some of the small jars and give away for christmas.

  125. 191

    I encountered a version of the Pink Tax this week. It’s my BFF’s birthday and each year she gets some wolf-theme embroidered clothing, so I needed to go shopping for plain items.
    I wanted to buy her a plain hoodie, and I found one in the men’s section, but while the 2XL fits me, she’s a bit bigger than me, so I got myself a hoodie and went to the women’S section where I found a plain long-sleeved shirt. It is much lighter quality than the hoodie, so it costs less in material. It’s also lacking a hood and a kangaroo pocket so it’s less work. It still cost the same.

  126. 195

    Hope your cousin’s OK. They’re good and brave people and have my sincere thanks.

    Speaking of cousins, mine’s in China for a month with a university friend who is Chinese. She, her BF and another friend tour the country with their Chinese friend. To be 20something again!

  127. 196

    On the one hand, he’s a lawyer, which should help, although not as much as it would if the bar he passed wasn’t in Canada. On the other, he’s an Indian, and that’s not a good thing to be when you’re under arrest. I haven’t heard anymore about it since then. I hope he’s ok.

  128. 198

    I hope your cousin is ok.

    Random thoughts:

    I wanted to watch Ash vs The Evil Dead so naturally it meant I had to see The Evil Dead trilogy before that. It sucks. There’s a completely unnecessary* tree rape scene in the first movie for dog’s sake. The second is supposed to be funny but I didn’t find it so. I gave up before the third.
    My enthusiasm for the series now consists solely of enthusiasm for watching Lucy Lawless being awesome.

    The X-Files. Newest season. I finally decided to try it. I’m a huge fan of the series and especially Gillian Anderson, and was afraid this would ruin my childhood memories (ha). It didn’t. At least the first three episodes that I’ve seen. Especially the third one. It was one of the “fun” episodes they regularly did and OMG it really pulled me into the show again. Now I can hardly wait for more government conspiracy stuff and Mulder seeing traitors everywhere who turn out to be on his side after all who turn out to be double-crossing him. Or triple-crossing. Or something. Also, Skinner is awesome!

    Yes, I spent the whole Saturday just doing the laundry and watching movies/series. I made a vegetable casserole and drank a nice Italian white wine. Life is good, at least for a day.

    *when is a tree rape scene ever necessary?! /rhetorical

  129. rq

    It’s actually not a rescue cat, it’s advertising for the hospitality business.

    A song I rediscovered last night. Used to be a regular on the playlist back in uni.


    Either I’ve been managing stress a lot better this year, or I’m just used to the routine, but the school year seems to be off to a relatively good start this year. I think I just actually bothered to sit down and plan shit out, rather than just doing things the way I usually do. Dunno. I hope it carries throughout the year, because last year was *tplrplrplrplrplr* I guess time will tell!
    Anyway, here’s the short update on the kids, for anyone who’s interested:
    Eldest switched from basketball extracurricular to soccer, and I have to admit – he looked awkward and uncomfortable on the basketball court, so the change seems to be a good decision. Saw him at his first practice and the football is a much better fit for his natural abilities. Plus the trainers are really good with the team, with emphasis on team play rather than star power. Also, it’s cheaper. *like* Something I *dislike* – his class time ends at 12.00 this year (starts at 8.00, go figure), followed by lunch, and then… well, he’s going to be going to a lot of theatre, folk dance and visual arts activities offered by the school, because he’s definitely not going to be coming home to bum around until everyone else gets home (yeah, they do weird day schedules here, it’s super-annoying).
    Middle Child has his first Tae Kwon Do practice on Monday, we’ll see how he likes it, but his nervous energy has to go somewhere. He’s pretty excited about it himself, too, which is a good sign. I’m a bit disappointed he won’t be starting piano this year (also something he was excited about), but I’ve got a teacher lined up for this (she just can’t do evenings at all because otherwise she doesn’t see her own kids at all), for next year when he will be in school and will have a different afternoon schedule.
    All three will go swimming, though we’ll see how much Youngest likes it once he realizes that he actually has to (learn to) swim and not play around with Mum or Dad in the water. 😀 I think he’ll be fine. It’ll be a new experience for him.

  130. 200

    Because I haven’t done a recipe thing in a while and I mentioned a vegetable casserole above:

    This one is really easy. You need:
    3 smallish/medium potatoes
    1 medium zucchini
    1 medium eggplant (you can skip this one, Giliell 🙂 )
    2 medium tomatoes
    sour cream
    salt, pepper , paprika
    2 eggs

    Mix sour cream , salt, pepper, paprika and the eggs. I also added some yoghurt, but you can do without.
    Slice all veggies into thin slices and arrange in layers in a deep baking dish. Sprinkle a bit of salt over each layer. When you’re at about half point spread half of the sour cream mixture over veggies. Layer the rest. Pour the rest of the mixture over the veggies.
    Bake in a preheated oven for about an hour and 15 minutes – depends on how thin those slices were, it could take a bit longer. You don’t want undercooked potatoes.

    The dish is going to be a bit sour thanks to the tomatoes and zucchini, but it goes really well with vernaccia. Google says I had the only “original” vernaccia – Vernaccia di San Gimigniano so that’s the one I’m going to recommend (and try to hunt down in a store again).

    As for the quantities of the dish.. .it’s really hard to say with small(ish), medium or large potato/zucchini or anything, right? I’d actually call the potatoes I used smallish, but I wasn’t sure what the reader would understand that as. And the zucchini? I never use those tiny little zucchini the length of my thumb and I’d call the one I used small. But considering people do use those tiny litlte ones, mine was medium in comparison.

    And don’t get me started on eggs. Recipes never take into consideration the size of eggs. There’s a really big difference whether I use really small or really large eggs in a cake. Two large ones can be as big as 5 small ones (talking about chicken eggs here, obviously. I don’t think anyone is going to accidentally use goose eggs).

  131. 201

    My cousin is out of jail and safe, or as safe as it’s possible for him to be at Standing Rock right now.

    yay for the year going better

    Honestly, Army of Darkness is the only one of the original three that’s even a little worth watching; it’s got that cheesy so-bad-it’s good thing going on, while the first two are just, you know, bad. It’s got time travel, snappy one-liners, and giant armies of bad special effects skeletons. It’s not so worth watching that I’d bother in your shoes, but it actually isn’t nearly as bad as the ones you did watch.

  132. 202

    I don’t watch TV or anything online for weeks or months so I binge sometimes… anyway, are US shows showing anything but Muslim terrorists blowing shit up/threatening proper Americans/etc?
    Because I just watched some new X Files – there you go. I turned on the TV for something mindless – that sucky show about that guy who reads people’s emotions impossibly well – there you go. NCIS series , all of them, Muslim terrorists all the fucking time.
    All the time. For one, it’s boring. Second, I can’t imagine how immigrants, especially new Muslim immigrants who aren’t used to it yet are seeing this? I don’t think I’d be able to turn on the TV if I were in their shoes.

  133. 203

    If you need me, don’t bother, I’m in the pillow fort and I’m not coming out again.
    I got no job, my kid probably hates me, the house seems to be a neverending story and all of this probably doesn’t matter anyway ’cause we’Re sliding into global fascism again.

  134. 204

    Giliell I’d make yourself comfortable in the pillow fort! This global fascism thing is very worrying and not going away any time soon.

    You have my sympathies with regard to your job, house and family. I hope things improve quickly.

    Beatrice I enjoyed the X-Files too, but we must be in a minority. I did enjoy the ‘played for laughs’ episode. The original series used to do that every so often, which is what made it fun.

    Dalilama I glad to hear your cousin is safe.

    rq I’m impressed that you can juggle all these extracurricular activities! Does your eldest really finish at 12.00?!

  135. rq

    Yep, 12. Then from about 12.30 onwards they have the ‘extended group’, which basically means kids sit in a classroom (or classrooms) under teacher supervision (though not necessarily their own) and… do… whatever right up until 5pm or so. We’re trying to impress on Eldest that this is a GREAT time to finish his homework, since there is a teacher to help. Most days of the week, he also has other activities (the folk dancing, visual arts, etc.) that happen right in the school, so he goes to those, but that’s usually an hour out of the whole afternoon? The football happens at school, too, plus takes up a good chunk of afternoon time MWF, an added bonus. But kids who don’t do extraclass activities or other extracurriculars? I honestly don’t know. But yes, 12.
    We were pretty O.O when we heard that, too, as up until last year they stretched it out until 13.30 or so. Which already seemed a hassle.

    Glad to hear about your cousin!!

    Beatrice (and bragimike)
    I mostly enjoyed the new X-Files, but found a few problematic things with the hibernating lizardman (even though most of it was fun) and also the Muslim terrorist episode. Oh, and the last one, I had complicated feelings about the whole motherhood aspect and stuff… But I’d have to rewatch to remember the details of what bothered me.
    But generally speaking I did enjoy the new episodes, too! 🙂

    *hugs* and *hotbrownies* if you wants ’em!
    (*applepie* later on in the evening…)

  136. 206

    I think I’ve just been to the best concert ever. I’ve never listened to this guy before, I’ve only heard about him but a colleague had had an extra ticket so I accepted to go.
    He sings traditional Bosnian sevdah.

    I’ll link to a rendition of a song I absolutely adored tonight, but this doesn’t really give justice to this last performance. There was only a guitar with him, and the arrangement was different. I’ll try to find it on youtube in a couple of days.

    It’s weird seeing people who I would usually imagine to be rather conservative and closed cheering when he dances around the stage in a dress, seductively, occasionally gently flirting with other performers.
    What he does with words, with melody, with his voice.. the way other performers added to all that. I was transfixed.

  137. 208


    My cousin is out of jail and safe, or as safe as it’s possible for him to be at Standing Rock right now.

    Great! I hope that doesn’t put him on any nasty list for entering US and the like since it could also hurt him in Canada.

    Honestly, Army of Darkness is the only one of the original three that’s even a little worth watching

    My feelings exactly. It’s a mildly fun kitsch film that’s more 80’s than 90’s, that never takes itself too seriously. The seeds for that were in the first Evil Dead, but were bogged down with the usual horror flick tropes. The second tried to explore comedy and only the third one managed to do it decently.
    That is the path that Nightmare on Elm Street also followed, but much more effectively. I’ve seen Army of Darkness after most Freddy Kruger and I always thought of it as an off-brand substitute, since Freddy had the better acting, dialogue and jokes.


    Wishing you a good outcome with your new colleague, whichever one it may be.



    Because I haven’t done a recipe thing in a while and I mentioned a vegetable casserole above

    I do the same thing, except with no eggs. Sour cream is also optional and I use it to not let it go bad. Sometimes I put tahina instead and sometimes it’s just olive oil and parsley.
    I prefer to put thick slices of zucchini and eggplant to soak in the flavor. The potatoes are a real challenge: I like big vegetables in my dishes because otherwise you usually can’t taste them, but potatoes need a different cooking time. So I try to make them as wide and thin as possible to have the best of both worlds.
    Unfortunately, that means that I rarely get my dish quite right since it’s either undercooked or overcooked :/

  138. 209

    Good morning
    We managed to arrive at school in time and without kicking, screaming or name calling, so I’ll call it a good one.

    Glad your cousin’s OK


    It’s weird seeing people who I would usually imagine to be rather conservative and closed cheering when he dances around the stage in a dress, seductively, occasionally gently flirting with other performers.

    I’m used to seeing queer art performed for the conservative cis eye. Up there on the stage, those people are “safe”. You don’t have to see them as actual people who might also like to flirt and kiss or such in your neighbourhood.
    When I grew up, Mary Morgan” was a beloved pop culture staple on German TV, with all the problematic aspects of a cis guy performing as a woman, making all those misogynistic “us girls” jokes and not having to live with the consequences of being a woman, much less with the consequences of being a trans woman, because at the end he’d always take off his make up*.
    And the audience cheered him on, and they loved him. I can only imagine what they’d have done with an actual trans woman. And they were also cheering an openly gay guy back in the early 90s.
    Sometimes I think it’s also a steam valve where they can, for a moment, let down their narrow conservative masks…
    *Drag can be incredibly subversive. #NotAllDrag, eh? There are drag performers who make incredible social commentary and who challenge the social constructions of sex and gender. He wasn’t one of them, which is probably why he got all those prime time spots…

  139. 210


    There are drag performers who make incredible social commentary and who challenge the social constructions of sex and gender.

    There are, but you would not believe the gender policing I get from the queens at work. “Oh, forgot your lipstick tonight?” “A lady crosses her legs.” etc.

    Good video; I definitely would like to hear some more of this performer.

    re: New X-Files
    This is why I’ll have nothing to do with it, although the Islamophobia mentioned above certainly doesn’t improve it on my view.

  140. rq

    *holds thumbs*
    Also I’m around, I’m just sort of trying to process “my husband was accused of picking up the kids while drunk by Youngest’s kindergarten teacher” into a ‘haha, this is too funny’ type of comment. Yes, it’s taking me three days.
    Also, can I get a ‘yea!’ on the idea that blood relatives can be really shit people, esp. when they use their blood relativeness to be total shits to other people in the family who happen to not be blood relatives?

    Other than that, this school year is still progressing rather surprisingly well. Well enough that I’m even considering going back to choir, though I may put that decision off until January. Which will be a better indicator, and unless I find the energy to maybe seek out some other group musical activity like an amateur orchestra or maybe dancing.

    *higs* and *hugs* all’round!

  141. 216

    Giliell, all appendages crossed for you!

    rq, of course blood relatives can be shits. That’s weird and not-nice of the kindergarten teacher; I hope the whole thing has blown over by now.

    Here. Very tired. Miles to go before I sleep. Why does having a retired spouse mean more work for me?

  142. 217

    Agreed rq blood relatives can be nasty, and I’ll raise you non-blood relatives.

    What an odd thing for a kindergarten teacher to suggest! Were they trying to be funny?

    Yay for possible musical extracurricular activities!

  143. rq

    The kindergarten teacher wasn’t trying to be funny, since she invoked the whole ‘child services’ and ‘municipal police’ aspect of things, but it turns out that it was a case of mistaken identity (we were tipped off by the mentioning of the summer teacher, where none of our kids were in kindergarten over the summer). :/ Which means there’s probably some kid out there whose dad is actually coming out to pick xir up under the influence. In any case, it was a stressful three days even when we were trying not to stress about it because it’s a baseless accusation.

  144. 219

    For some reason my last post is stuck in moderation?

    Ugh. That sounds unnecessarily stressful.

    Assorted digits crossed for your new job.

    The usual answer is because now he’s around the house all day, hence more chores created. This answer assumes, of course, that all such labor automatically is the duty of any female-assigned people around the place.

  145. 221

    *enters bar, muttering, looks around briefly, acknowledges current patrons*

    Good luck Giliell
    OK, I’ve fucking had enough. People suck. I suck. This year sucks.

    I’ll be curled up in a ball in the far, FAR corner of the pillow fort.

    *disappears into the far reaches of the pillow fort, still muttering*

  146. 222

    That sounds like “fun”. I’m glad it is mostly cleared up by now

    #1 is currently sleeping on the floor

    -“Kid, go to bed”
    *”Just 5 more minutes”
    -“Really, it’s time you went to bed”
    *”Gonna finish this drawing”
    -“Kid. Go. To. Bed! NOW!”
    *”I’m not tirechrrrrrrrrrrrrr….”

    Thanks. I’ll let you know how it went.

  147. 223

    Good luck with the job! All fingers crossed!

    Take care!


    There are, but you would not believe the gender policing I get from the queens at work. “Oh, forgot your lipstick tonight?” “A lady crosses her legs.” etc.

    WTF?! Who the fuck they think they are to say that to you?! I wouldn’t even expect that from a conservative asshole, let alone someone who should know better.
    People suck.


    Here. Very tired. Miles to go before I sleep. Why does having a retired spouse mean more work for me?

    That’s the question my mother asks every time with regards to my father.


    Also, can I get a ‘yea!’ on the idea that blood relatives can be really shit people

    Can? From my experience that’s the default mode for blood relatives.

    Current situation:
    In pain again. Taking double doses of pain killers. Currently on sick leave, but I have to count the days carefully because there is only so many paid I can use.

  148. 224

    Giliell, I’m so sorry you’re in pain. Here, come and nestle in the pillow fort. Hobbes is very good at gentle snuggles if you want them.

    I asked Husband to empty all the wastebaskets because tomorrow is trash day. It’s Younger Daughter’s job, but she has a morning class on Thursdays so I do it. Anyway, he took care of it while I was out running errands this morning. He’s getting better about doing chores when asked. I have got to remember to delegate more, so I don’t get so swamped.

  149. rq

    Though you’ll have to share the *warmcookies* with Anne (yes, delegate more, esp. if he’s willing!), it looks like!

    All I got is *hugs* and people suck. 🙁 I’m sorry you have to put up with that at work – and the only part of your comment I saw is the bit blockquoted by AlexanderZ (still in moderation?).

    I would protest that my siblings are pretty awesome, and I have one aunt who is pretty cool. #NotAllBloodRelatives
    But holy shite, some of them can go on and on. I mean, there’s a reason you’re not in the will, sheesh. Don’t manifest it so obviously.

  150. 226

    I got the job!
    I’ll sign the contracts next week and start in October.
    I’ll teach recent refugees, well, getting along in Germany. From language* over everyday stuff like shopping to cultural rules**.

    *Nono, we cannot officially teach German. Only the federal bureau for integration can offer the official language classes, only they have months long waiting lists. Really, that’s going to do lots for quick and easy integration if you have a bunch of young men hanging around doing nothing for months.

    **Integration, not assimilation. Yep, you gotta live with me being the boss.

    I almost never wear lipstick and I hardly ever cross my legs (they’re fat, that’s not comfortable) and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t demand those things from me so I wouldn’t call it “gender policing” as much as “trans gender policing”.

    Maybe sit together and make a plan who does which chores and is responsible for which areas? Because I know that I find “delegating” really exhausting because it means that I always have to know what needs to be done and when and how. As if I were some management or something.

    P.S. The pillow fort worked wonders for the migraine.

    Hope the pain goes away soon.

    re: blood relatives
    When you grew up, did you know which uncle was your blood relative and which aunt wasn’t? I remember that except in the cases where a single uncle/aunt suddenly had a partner I had no clue who was my “blood relative” and who wasn’t.
    When my blood relative uncle and my married into the family aunt split the whole family agreed that we’d like to keep her. Now they never got divorced but just lived separately until he died a year and a half ago.
    Last weekend I was at her birthday. We’ve known each other for 30 years now or something like that, we got a relationship of our own. We may no longer be legally anything, but we’re still family.

  151. 227

    Glad the accusation was misdirected rq. People should be more careful about identifying parents before making serious accusations.

    *confetti* *fireworks* for Giliell congrats on the job!

    AlexanderZ I hope you feel better soon.

    Anne & JimB I may join you on the pillow fort until my daughter is an adult (see below)

    Dalilama that’s a horrible way to be treated.

  152. 228

    We had another terrible evening yesterday. My daughter was throwing things at us (only soft toys, but the intent was there). It got to the stage where my wife was packing to leave and my daughter was encouraging her. I tried to explain that this was not good, but daughter obviously didn’t get it at all. I know she’s only four, but she was entirely sincere about wanting my wife to go.

    In the end she wanted both my wife and me to go. So it all became very fraught. Everyone tells me that once they go to school they become tired and are easier to get to sleep: she went to sleep at 9.20 last night! There’s got to be something wrong.

    As far as we can tell she behaves well at school and after-school club. It’s only with here parents that she turns into a manipulative cold hearted brat. My wife’s reaction is to turn to punishment as a first alternative. I always try the route of trying to talk my daughter through things, but that doesn’t work either.

    I’ve run out of ideas; dread bed times, and am getting very concerned. This better be a ‘phase’ or we’re in for some serious shit as she grows older.

    Sorry for the long whinny post.

  153. rq

    (But please know that I do not think you are a bad parent, or a bad person, since you clearly have your daughter’s interests at heart and are trying to hold together several types of family relationships, this is stressful, so have some *hugs*!)

  154. rq

    Also, kids tend to behave worse at home, for a variety reasons, but usually because (a) they know it’s a safe space and (b) they really REALLY know how to push your buttons and push All!The!Boundaries!, especially if you’ve been kind of crappy about enforcing them in the first place.

    P.S. Also, she’s going through stresses of her own what with full-day school, which is still different from daycare, which doesn’t make your stress any less, just… She’s 4, you know?

  155. 233

    rq, you are absolutely right about home behaviour vs public. Elder Daughter was the same way in kindergarten. When I asked her why she was good at school and not at home, basically, she said she had to be naughty somewhere.

    Bragimike, hugs for you and your family. Some kids get more and more frantic when they get tired. Some just fall asleep on the floor. Looks like you have one of the former, not the latter.

    Best I can manage without tea. I’m the only one up (aside from cats). At least it’s quiet.

  156. rq

    Congrats on the job!!! This is excellent and it also sounds interesting, and a place where your set of skills will be a very, very excellent fit! ♥ to you!

  157. 236

    Thanks everybody. Very minor improvement today, we’ll see if it holds. And survives me turning 50 this weekend. 🙂
    Congratulations, Giliell! Excellent news.
    Sorry to hear of the difficulties, bragimike. Sorry, don’t have any advice to offer – unless it involves trying to get more than a one-word answer out of a teenager 🙂
    Dalillama that’s a terrible way to be treated, I’m sorry. You’re more than welcome to join the “People Suck” section of the pillow fort.
    Hope you get relief from the pain.
    And I, too, can relate (ha!) to the issue with blood relatives. I don’t speak to my younger brother, didn’t really get along with my mom – so much so that she dis-inherited me (and my brother). I did get along with my dad, although not always. I do get along better with cousins, aunt & uncle and my 104-year-old grandmother. Maybe the fact that they’re halfway across the country helps. 🙂
    OK, now to deal with today’s project emergency at work. Joy.

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    My name change is official as of today. Unfortunately, the blasted judge couldn’t be bothered with showing up in person, so I’ve got to wait until next week sometime for the actual certificate to show up in the mail so I can get my ID updated.
    Yay for the new job.

    It does look like that post is still in moderation, no idea why AlexanderZ was able to see/quote it. The rest of it was saying I liked the music video Beatrice posted, and that I refuse to have anything to do with the new X-Files on account of the rampant transphobia in the “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster episode. And I just realized why that post is in moderation; the link I posted was to B**ch Media, so the URL tripped the filter. Should’ve used the Jezebel article.
    *hugs* and sympathies for the pain

    re:blood relatives
    Mine are actually pretty ok, although depressingly cis/heteronormative sometimes. The most right wing members of my family share Black Lives Matter posts on FB, for instance.

  159. 238

    re: were-monster episode of x-Files.
    Yeah, even though the overall atmosphere of that episode made it very likable to me (that’s the privilege I have, I get that), it had several transphobic parts.

  160. 240

    Sorry for the triple post, but I researched the history of sevdah music a bit (ok, it was wiki and an extensive article by a Bosnian writer I love) and it’s really interesting.

    It’s old traditional Bosnian music, but it’s also very … inclusive in a way. Singers of sevdah never really cared whether songs they were singing were “for men” or “for women”. If a song was worth singing, it didn’t matter that the male singer was singing about preparing her dowry and going off to marry the man she loved.

    Also, video 3 (starting at 00:52 ) of the above list is the rendition of the song that I linked previously. It just became my favorite song overnight after that concert.

    Giliell, congrats on the job!
    AlexanderZ, I’m sorry you’re in pain.
    *hugs* for bragimike and JimB and Anne

  161. 241

    Thanks everybody!


    Zagreb, Lisinski Božo Vrećo concert

    I was amazed that I could understand some of the comments 🙂


    It does look like that post is still in moderation, no idea why AlexanderZ was able to see/quote it.

    I usually (when my router is working) open all posts from the mail, and for some reason I got your comment, even though it went into moderation here. That used to happen before too, but sometimes it would also go the other way – I wouldn’t get a notifications but the comment would still appear here.
    BTW, you have awesome relatives.

    Happy upcoming birthday!

    and my 104-year-old grandmother

    That’s just amazing. You’ve got great genetics, and it’s very nice that you get along.

    I don’t have anything to add to the subject, but I do wish things will improve for you and your family. One question, though:

    she went to sleep at 9.20 last night!

    Is that a good or bad thing?
    My parents never really set a bed-time for me so I usually went to bed at ten or later.

    See, you didn’t have any reason to worry 😛 Are you teaching a random group of refugees or do you get a certain age group? You’ve taught refugees before, from your experience, what, if any, is the difference in integration and general attitude towards Europe between the different age groups?
    (sorry for the big question)

    When you grew up, did you know which uncle was your blood relative and which aunt wasn’t?

    Oh yes. Blood relatives were bad, none-blood relatives were actively hostile.


    I mean, there’s a reason you’re not in the will, sheesh.

    You already have a will? I knew Latvia was dangerous, but god damn 😉

    Did anybody hear from YOB lately?

    Question: Do you put mint in your lemonade, and if you do, do you just put a few leaves or do you blend them and pour the juice in?

  162. rq


    Do you put mint in your lemonade, and if you do, do you just put a few leaves or do you blend them and pour the juice in?

    Either, or, sometimes both, depending on my mood. 🙂

    You already have a will?

    I don’t, actually; it’s a great-aunt’s will that an aunt is flustering over because my mum is the only one in it but she’s not a bloooooood relatiiiiiiiive, and all the blood relatives got shunned out of the will. Apparently it’s only a big deal to this one aunt, but she was never particularly nice to the great-aunt, besides being perfunctorily polite.
    And now she’s being supremely impolite to my mum.
    That being said, a will is something Husband and I will probably put together sometime soon (we’ve been meaning to for a couple of years now) because of the double-citizenship of our kids, and we want to draw some clear lines about who should be able to get custody in case of the worst, and who definitely shouldn’t. (We’ve already determined that it’s more convenient for me to murder Husband because then I get the house in addition to the life insurance, whereas his pay-off in murdering me is relatively low.)

  163. rq

    Okay so I was at the Random Deepak Chopra Quote Generation or whatever because break at work and… I got “Mice are plants”. For some reason, that makes my day. Now I have to go find my motivation and finish with this mysterious work stuff lying around my desk.

  164. 244


    Big, big, serious hugs.
    That’s such a bad place to be in.
    Remember with kids it’s often not as important to listen to what they say but what they mean. If I ate a chocolate for every “I hate you” that I got I’d be sick puking and still have chocolate left.
    Serious question: Does she get up in the mornings? If she does, maybe she just needs little sleep and you can get another solution. #1 often draws or reads quietly in her room after I sent them off to bed because after 8 pm it’s adult time in the living room.


    Are you teaching a random group of refugees or do you get a certain age group?

    I have no idea yet.

    You’ve taught refugees before, from your experience, what, if any, is the difference in integration and general attitude towards Europe between the different age groups?

    No idea either. The kids I taught so far were kids who were integrated into the regular German school system. These are adults. From what my bosses told me there’s all kinds of people, from those who never learned to read and write to those we steer towards university. Some don’t take their obligations serious and only show up when they want to, others have lots of ambition.
    I’ll tell you more in a few weeks.

    Some people!

    Also, it reminds me that Mr and I need to make a will as well, a standard form that’s called “contract over the longest life”, or as I call it: The winner takes it all. It just means that the kids only inherit once we’re both dead because otherwise there could be trouble since the kids would automatically inherit 1/8th of the house each should either of us die, which could then lead to trouble should they need assistance otherwise (or turn into assholes and demand the surviving parent pay them)

  165. 245

    Sounds like a very challenging job. Good luck!


    “Mice are plants”

    Did it say which? I think mice look a bit like an ambulatory kiwi fruit.
    P.S. Don’t google “Mice are plants” or you’ll get a lot of pictures of mice being fed to carnivorous plants.

  166. 246


    WTF?! Who the fuck they think they are to say that to you?!

    They mostly seem to think that they’re people who have more experience being a woman than I do. I don’t begin to have the spoons to explain to them how and why they’re wrong.

  167. 247

    Autism is a spectrum, right?
    Many of the traits that are pretty obvious in #1, she got them from her dad, but with him they’re so “low” that it never stood out.

    Lack of emotional control? check! Really, the kid runs circles around him and when I mention it to him he’s like “she provokes me!” Yes I know she does, but you can choose how to react. “NO! She provokes me!”

    Lack of fine social skills? Check! He often uses phrases, words and tone that are accusatory when he only wants to state a fact.

    Lack of awareness of other’s space? Check, check, check! Our neighbour kindly lends us her wheelbarrow and lets us pass through her garden to dump the moss behind the garden. It’s two doors that are mostly held shut with sticks. He wanted to buy two padlocks and lock them so everything shuts properly and… Wait, what? You can’t go and change somebody’s system just because you think it could be better. Even if it was shit it would be none of our business!

  168. 248

    They’re assholes. I’m sorry that you have to work in such a toxic environment.


    He wanted to buy two padlocks and lock them so everything shuts properly

    So… who get to have the keys?

    My cat is very old and very cranky. He has a habit of constantly yelling in a very (very!) obnoxious way. That’s something that he taught himself fairly recently by climbing under the sink and yelling in various ways until he found the echo most (dis)pleasing.
    It’s not that he has pains, at least he doesn’t have any obvious pains. He yells for food, he yells when I leave the house, he yells when I’m not in bed when he thinks I’m supposed to be in bed, he yells when I tell him not to piss around the house and so on and so forth.
    Today his yelling even got into my dreams. I had a dream that he adopted a kitten just so she could yell when he himself is too tired to do it. Basically, I had a dream of cats yelling non-stop.
    At least the kitten was cute and fluffy.

  169. 250


    So… who get to have the keys?

    Well, us and the neighbour, of course. He’d never do anything as obviously bad as locking her out of her own garden, but he thinks putting locks on her doors without even asking is OK because to him that makes sense….

  170. 253

    Two easy shorts you can cook before work:

    1. Chard and bulgur salad
    You need:
    – fresh young chard or spinach
    – one egg
    – one can of tuna
    – feta cheese
    – bulgur wheat
    – salt, olive oil and aceto balsamico to taste

    Start cooking the egg (hard boiled), cook bulgur (about 10-15 mins should be enough) in another pot. In the meantime, clean and wash the chard. Add some feta cheese. When the egg is cooked, cool, clean and add it to the mixture. Put bulgur under cold water to cool a bit and then add to the salad. Add salt, oil and aceto.
    I added tuna at work right before the meal, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to mix everything at home.

    2. Bulgur with vegetables
    I cooked too much bulgur so I made another easy quickie for tomorrow:
    You need.
    – bulgur wheat
    – a small zucchini
    – a small eggplant
    – a couple of paprikas
    – a medium sized onion
    – olive oil
    – soy sauce and or salt to taste

    So, you cook bulgur wheat 10 to 15 mins.
    Slice the onion and zucchini thinly and put onto the heated oil. Add sliced paprika immediately. After it all softens a bit, add the sliced eggplant. Cook for a short while more , add soy sauce and/or salt.

  171. 254

    I joined a hiking group. We’ll have lectures one day during the work-week and then go hiking on Sundays.


    the way you describe your husband… it makes me sound autistic.

    He often uses phrases, words and tone that are accusatory when he only wants to state a fact.

    It took me years to understand and believe I was doing this.

  172. 256

    They’re not that bad mostly, but it is a touch aggravating.


    the way you describe your husband… it makes me sound autistic.

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if you are.

    It took me years to understand and believe I was doing this.

    Yeah, likewise.

  173. rq

    Both salads/dishes sound easy and quick, plus healthy.
    Also yay for the hiking group, that sounds not only like it will be relaxing and a fun way to pass the time, but also extremely educational! Hope you have fun and meet some cool new people.

    Also Giliell yay for the job and actually starting and everything, good luck for your first day! (Did I miss it already?)

    He often uses phrases, words and tone that are accusatory when he only wants to state a fact.

    I still do that sometimes, when my mood is off, but I do believe I’ve gotten better over the years. And after several people have constantly told me I do this. Thing is, I don’t think I’m autistic – then again, I wouldn’t know. I think I just need to work harder on my tone. And respecting other people’s spaces.


    Did I ever tell y’all about Part II of the Drunker Father saga? Haha! Not so much a Part II as the fact that a Drunker Father also turned up at the school last Friday, which led to a mass lockout of all parents from the entire school (no, no waiting in the lobby!).
    I wrote a little fun thing about it:

    Analogous to the “person walking a dog” entity (see: Anthropology, found remains), the “drunken father” figure originates in the small town of [my town], where it was discovered that either one or several fathers (there exists no official confirmation as to the actual numbers) were routinely entering the grounds of educational facilities (see: kindergarten, local school) in a state of mild inebriation to pick up their children. Interaction with this mythological figure has led to cases of mistaken identity and false accusations, as well as extremist security measures such as locking all parents out of the local school. Known to frequent places of lower education (elementary schools, daycares, etc.), the Drunken Father is easily identified by a state of belligerence, instability and a general, mild confusion.

  174. 258

    Thanks for your concern everyone. I’m still around. Just not doing too great at the moment. On top of all the struggles at home (or due to..who knows?), my mental state has taken a nose-dive, so I laid off commenting for a few days.

    I’ll be in the pillow fort with the double layered walls.

  175. 261

    For comparison, and why I tolerate my current coworkers’ periodic bs:
    I had a job interview today (my current work being part time, I’m looking for a second job), wherein I was told that my ‘situation’ wasn’t a good fit, because ‘my voice might make the customers uncomfortable’.

  176. 262

    There’s hugs and Swiss chocolate for you in the pillow fort

    I start on Tuesday and tomorrow I sign my contract. 30 hours a week, pay is OK. And I get some easing in, which is more than I ever got in the ordinary school.

    Also, WTF are the fathers doing?
    I’m not saying anybody is autistic, but in the end “autism” is a line we draw somewhere on a continuum of human behaviour. #1 exhibits some traits so strongly that it lands her in the neurodiverse category. Which in the end means “scoring higher than X” in a number of tests.

    BTW, we’ve currently fixed the writing down and doing homework problem by bribing her with a Kinderegg each day. Yes, I know, not one of the prouder moments of parenting, but desperate times ask for desperate measures and chocolate.

  177. 263

    Hugs and chocolate for all.

    Giliell, I’m glad you’ve found something to motivate your offspring. With Younger Daughter, we never did, for years – even having to make up a high school English class over the summer didn’t work. Of course, that might’ve been because the summer school teacher just let her read whatever she wanted. Whatever works for you and yours, and maybe eventually she’ll decide to work on her own.

  178. 265


    voice might make the customers uncomfortable

    I don’t know what this means, but I’ve never been made uncomfortable by a person’s voice. If it’s a good position for you, I hope you get it in spite of the interviewer’s reservations. What I do detest, though, are people who mumble (I have documentation from multi-million dollar hearing analysis facilities that my ears work just fine, thank you) and clerks, counselors, etc., who will not talk to me. They’ll talk to their computer, their cash register, their notebook, their desk, a sheaf of papers, but not to me. Badesmumlin.
    And, while I’m at it, on the phone or at a drive through, when the clerk confirms your order using different terminology than what is on the menu? (/rant)


    the Drunken Father is easily identified by a state of belligerence, instability and a general, mild confusion.

    Probably due to being constantly locked out o places and unable to pick up the kids.

  179. 267


    Let me clarify: I did not get the job. I will not get the job short of a Federal lawsuit, and then only maybe. I did not even get an interview. I got told, almost in so many words, “Fuck off, tr*nny”. That, yiu see, is the source of the ‘discomfort ‘ the interviewer claimed; my voice is too ‘incongruous ‘fir her taste.

  180. rq


    Probably due to being constantly locked out o places and unable to pick up the kids.

    … Or the inability to recognize which kids he’s supposed to take home.

    People are such shits so much of the time.
    I hope the next opportunity isn’t as stupidly bigoted and ‘phobic.


    Other than that, Husband may or may not be out of a job by the end of today, second time in six months (it’s kind of not a bad thing either way), and all this uncertainty is getting kind of boringly annoying.
    Actually, I’m having some issues about how Husband is planning on dealing with it in the immediate aftermath (dude, it’s a job you hate and you’re getting awesome severance pay and you’re totally marketable to other similar companies of your choice). But I guess I’m just going to have to suck it up and smile, as he so kindly put it. 😛 Which I probably won’t do.
    (No, not in a good place right now. Better today than two days ago, but still.)

  181. 269


    Ok, I understand now; it wasn’t about customers at all, please forgive me for being so dense.
    I don’t understand people like that. They must live in a state of perpetual heartburn. You can’t hate people and not have it affect you. How can a person really live like that?
    Anyway, I hope you’re next encounter is with a civilized person and you get a good position. From what I remember of your previous posts, you’re not one to give up in the face of adversity.

  182. 270

    *hugs and chocolate*
    I wished I could fix the world faster. Nobody deserves that shit.

    Good luck in dealing with uncertainty. Hope the severance pay is nice and a new job quick. Do you have to use the severance pay before you get assistance? In Germany nowadays you get
    -blocked from receiving unemployment assistance for several weeks
    -then the pay is deducted from your assistance.
    Because you willingly let them fire you…

    Talking of work:
    Good stuff: Today is my first day in my new job. Yes, I start my job with a paid weekend and a paid holiday. And they, too, need clearance from the police that I’m not actually a sex offender and they will reimburse me for the cost. The ministry of education wants that slip every time I apply, regardless of whether I get a job and it’s my personal expense.

    Bad: My sister’s employer fucked up big. You need to provide your employer with your tax and social security number so they can deduct your taxes and stuff correctly. Which my sister did. Which they lost.
    For the first two months they “generously” used the tax class she’d told them. Since my sister didn’t know the idiots had lost the information and they didn’t inform her that they were lacking the information, waiting for her to give them information she didn’t know they were lacking, she didn’t suspect or do anything.
    Third month they grouped her in the highest group and deducted the money not just for that month, but for the other two months as well. So she got a full 240€ for the whole fucking month and since the government won’t give back money before you file for your tax return next year that money is gone for now. Luckily she has family who can lend her some, i.e. us, so she doesn’t have to take out a payday loan.

  183. rq

    Have successfully avoided the promised 3 – 7 days of binge drinking (a time period up to one month (!!) was mentioned) because apparently that’s how you deal with being fired (seriously, this is the week before our giant Canadian Thanksgiving turkeyfest and that’s not the kind of thing I’m going to take lightly, seeing as we also have three kids and a schedule): to Husband’s great surprise, they’re keeping him on, effectively promoting him, and he’s getting a pay raise. It’s pretty clear that his convictions that he’s always The Next One To Go stem from low self-esteem in the work environment, and I think no matter how many times colleagues and superiors he respects tell him that they think he’s a valuable asset to the company, he’s not going to believe anyone. *sigh*
    Anyway. Crisis averted. For now.

    No, you don’t have to use up your severance pay, but you have to wait at least two months before signing up for unemployment benefits. Then apparently there’s this thing where you get your doctor to put you on medical leave for 6 months (deem you unfit for work for any reason at all, as long as it can stretch for 6 months) and you can also get that money on top of your severance pay and later unemployment. Why people complain about the poor bilking the system, I don’t know, but I do know there’s at least two now-former colleagues of Husband’s planning to take advantage of this.
    Good luck to your sister, I hope the company straightens out the paperwork really, really fast because that is just completely irresponsible on their behalf.
    And yay for officially starting the job! 😀

  184. 272

    Have successfully avoided the promised 3 – 7 days of binge drinking (a time period up to one month (!!) was mentioned) because apparently that’s how you deal with being fired

    We really, really, really need to change this drinking culture. I’m not a Mormon, I’ll never become a teatotaler, but this has to stop. The idea of alcohol as self-medication, especially for men instead of doing some emotional labour. The idea of getting really pissed on the slightest excuse. Drinking alcohol as the expression of “good times”. It causes so much harm to everyone.

  185. rq

    We really, really, really need to change this drinking culture.

    Don’t I know it.
    What worries me most is his family history (and self-acknowledged issue with the potential) of alcoholism, because I asked him what he would do afterward, and an answer of ‘I’ll just stop’ doesn’t exactly cut it for me. Worry #2 is the apparent necessity to do it alone (“Do it out in the country [where there are other supportive people around]!” = No; “Do it at Trusted Friend’s place [where there is a Trusted Friend around]” = No; “Have a night out with your manly friends [where there are trusted supportive people around] = No… but I just don’t want him doing it at home and around the kids and around me, you know? Is this insensitive?)
    Because I’m pretty sure it was a slow spiral for the FiL, marked by the decision to drink instead of do emotional labour or to find a healthier outlet for the drinking (in the FiL’s case, it was also enabling friends because that’s just what Men dooooo!). Husband has options, and I hate how ‘get drunk for extended period of time’ seems to be the obvious go-to solution.
    As I say, successfully averted for now, but… I mean, he was seriously upset when I said I couldn’t accept that as a valid response. So it’s something we’ll be reviewing in the future, I have no doubt.

  186. 274

    [hugs] for all.

    Too early. But by the time I feed the cats and clean my fish-oily hands, I’m awake, and there’s no point trying to go back to sleep. I’ll try for a nap later, I guess.

    Younger Daughter is (eep) 24 today. How did that happen?

  187. 275

    Preaching to the choir, eh?
    I totally understand your worries, being an alcoholic’s kid and all of that and I understand that you’re worried about the kids. I basically grew up thinking that alcohol was what grown ups drink. The nightly ritual was that my aunt would arrive, I’d be sent to the basement to get beer and then they’d have some beer. Like two half litre bottles per person per night. My aunt would smoke along and until I was 9 my mum did so as well. My aunt died of lung cancer and my mum marginally escaped death by alcohol poisoning twice. It took me so long to even realise what was wrong.
    Of course that lead to me doing some pretty stupid things as a teen. If being an adult = drinking alcohol then drinking a fucking lot of alcohol = being really grown up, right?

    Because I’m pretty sure it was a slow spiral for the FiL, marked by the decision to drink instead of do emotional labour or to find a healthier outlet for the drinking

    Yep, same with my mum. Actually, she never really grew up. Married at 18, never ever moved out of her parents’ home. She was never really her own person, which in turn led to her trying to impose this on us as well. Alcohol masked this whole “is this what I want from life” problem pretty well…
    An yeah, the whole family was pretty much enabling her to do so.

  188. rq


    Like two half litre bottles per person per night.

    Husband is slowly heading towards that kind of thing. It’s not really a regular thing yet, but he doesn’t count his drinks, and if he has the time, he’ll have another, no matter how many he’s had already.
    So I don’t really know what to do about it, because he’s totally self-aware but not really doing anything about it. And pretty much anything I say about it counts as nagging, of course. Because I can’t possibly mind that he’s only doing it to himself (ummm really?).

  189. 278


    So I don’t really know what to do about it, because he’s totally self-aware but not really doing anything about it. And pretty much anything I say about it counts as nagging, of course. Because I can’t possibly mind that he’s only doing it to himself (ummm really?).

    Serious hugs.
    This “it’s my body I’m doing it to so shut up” argument is such a lie when you have taken up other roles and responsibilities. He’s also doing it to your husband and his children’s dad.

  190. 280

    The hiking school itself is great , the instructor is a really great guy. But the hiking club… I don’t know if they are always like that or was it just because there was a bunch of us young women functioning as “fresh meat”. It’s nice that they welcomed us with lunch and cakes and congratulations, but I could have done without the cook putting his arm around me and all the sexual jokes. It was exhausting.

    No, dude, I’m not not laughing because I don’t get it, I’m not laughing because I’m getting your jokes perfectly well.

  191. 282


    Oh , I don’t doubt for a moment that he would so that wouldn’t really be any fun. *shudder*

    We already examined how his wife “was just like me”, looking “like she couldn’t count further than 3, but when got his hands on her she knew everything”… or well, “he taught her, hehe”.

  192. rq

    Honestly, that all just sounds… gross. 😛
    How feasible is it to start a group just for young women? It might be worth not putting up with the casual, dismissive sexism. :/

  193. 285

    Dalilama that’s a terrible excuse to not give you an interview.

    Beatrice I hate that you have to put up with this kind of sexism shit. It’s no wonder there are women only group! Of course, as soon as a women only group appears the men start to grumble that it’s not fair.

    Good luck with the new job Giliell . Your tax system appears an impenetrable as the UK one!

    The whole drink alcohol to excess solution to problems makes no sense to me these days rq . I can understand spending an evening with friends and drinking more than is good for you. But planning a binge is not a good answer, especially, as you say, when kids are around. What kind of message does that send?

    Things are a little better chez me. Still pulling out of a slump, but getting there.


  194. 286

    First day of work done. Today I only visited my colleagues to get a feeling for what we’re doing, tomorrow I start for real. The job is teaching German while officially not teaching German because we’Re not an official language school but an “integration” company whose usual/primary target group is young Germany based adults who are lacking all kinds of skills to get jobs/training.
    The groups are overwhelmingly male, like 5:1, young Syrian adults with diverse backgrounds from a few years of school (sometimes there are people who are illiterate as well) to people with a college degree.
    We do our best so they have a headstart once they get into the official language classes where they can get certificates.

    Also, there’s a real Indian corner shop up the street from my workplace so I’ll dig out all my cook books and finally cook all the stuff I never had the right ingredients for.

  195. 287

    I’m still alive.

    I’ve been doing physical therapy at an adaptive gym program once a week for, holy shit, like eight months now. They have me using a seated step-machine for 15 minutes. It’s… I actually want a Nu-Step of my own… not that I’ve got space for a bloody exercise machine in my tiny studio. Or, you know, the money to buy one. Between that, and the mat exercises (leg lifts, bum lifts, and some kind of hip-strengthening move that involves thera-band), I’m seeing benefits.

    No, I’m not running marathons or anything like that — and never will. But my transfers are far more stable, and faster, too. I’m also taking a few independent steps here and there, when I feel like I can do it without falling over. So yay, progress!

    Started blogging again, figure it might be therapeutic, and it gives me a way to communicate with friends and family, to tell them things that are hard to say face-to-face. Like, when I want to tell them about things I’ve been through, but I’m too scared to talk face-to-face because I just know Dad’s gonna flip his shit. Sure, he’s usually doing it in my defense, but it’s still scary as fuck, and kinda triggering, and I know it’s just the way he is, but still… you know?

    So, yeah. I’m pretty sure everyone is now silently judging me for this post. But at least now my family knows the ugly truth.

    Anywho, I’m just sort of checking in — riding out a Very Bad Choice involving caffeine, and not sure I’m going to sleep at all this morning, so I’m all rambly and shit. The crash is going to suck, and hard, but I should pass out at some point.

    Has anybody heard from Tony lately?

  196. 289

    Hi there

    I’m glad the exercise is doing you good!

    Pouncehug right back!

    Ahh, what a day already. Yesterday was my first “real” day at work and it went surprisingly well. The group was much better behaved and worked more than when I saw them with my colleague. Dunno if there are some strange dynamics at work between “small black man” vs “big white woman” or whether it is that I speak fluent teacherese, but I had to give them lots of breaks so we wouldn’t run out of things to do.

    Today I thankfully heard on the radio that there was a big traffic jam on my route so I took an alternative one. Of course I wasn’t the only person to do so, but it was still much better than the normal route would have been.
    But then there was a break in at work so I’m working from home today because the Police is investigating.
    Such idiots. They stole about 150€ in cash but caused at least 10 times the damage (some petty vandalism included) and they’ll possibly end up in prison for that? How thick can you be?

  197. 290

    Good to hear you’re seeing results from the exercises. Progress is a good thing.
    (I have preventative/strengthening exercises I *should* do to help my back, but it’s tough to get myself to do them since there’s no obvious result.)
    Good to hear the first real day at the new job went well. Sucks about the break in though. I, too, don’t understand the thought process involved (if any).
    Tomorrow should be an “interesting” day. Having recently turned 50, I have my first colonoscopy scheduled for tomorrow AM. And in the afternoon Son has his behind-the-wheel driving test to get his license. Not sure which I’m more anxious about. 🙂

  198. 291


    I’m seeing benefits.

    Great news.


    Not sure which I’m more anxious about.

    The driving test; you can sleep through the other one.

  199. 293

    General *hugs*
    Pouncehugs cicely & WMDkitty.

    Yay for results. I’m getting good results from my physical therapy for an ankle I fucked up in 3 bike wrecks over the course of the last 6 months, but it’s been interrupted for a couple weeks while my PT goes to Haiti with a medical charity of some kind; I hope he’s ok. Tony’s employed again, but he’s still around. He’s not in the path of Hurricane Matthew I don’t think.

    Yay for the job starting off well

    I’m sorry your hiking group is infested with assholes.

  200. 294

    Hey all.
    I have been in a major funk for a little while hence the no posts. It does not appear to be abating either and now I have a major financial issue that is vital that I deal with immediately but do not have $1800.

    Also, Dali is right. I am in the FL panhandle far away from the hurricane though I am sure we will get some rain.

  201. 296

    Tony, hugs offered, and I’m glad you aren’t in the path of the hurricane.

    I’ll just leave a fresh pot of tea and a pile of hugs here for anyone else interested. This is being a frantically busy week.

  202. rq

    *hugs* if you wants ’em. I hope the funk recedes in the near future. ♥ for you!

    Yay for first day! I hope future work days are less eventful. 🙂

    I’m glad the exercise is helping, here’s hoping it’ll keep helping!

    Glad to hear your physical therapy is also helping! *hugs*

    *Waves* to JimB – I’m sort of presuming that by this time, all is done and you can relax. If not, well… 🙂 Good luck to everyone!

    *hugs* and feel better soon. 🙂

  203. 300

    Heya folks
    I hope you’re having a good weekend. Mr and I had some couple going out time last night with first looting eating at the local Döner shop and then going to a theatre production of The Dinner Game. Which was funny. Since the lead is such an asshole, you can only cheer along when his perfect life built on cheating is destroyed…

  204. rq

    The weekend was hectic. Saturday’s headcount is at 34 adults and 19 children. Not bad for two turkeys and a random assortment of other foods (including a professional-level mousse torte complete with exquisite decorations; it was a pity having to cut it, but totally worth the pain). The weather didn’t co-operate, but we made space indoors and this was not an issue.
    Officially Canadian Thanksgiving is today, as is our wedding anniversary, but I’m down for a quiet evening and going to bed early.

    *higs* and *hugs* to all yāll!

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    Happy Anniversary, rq

    Results were very good for my procedure – I don’t have to deal with that again for another 10 years.

    Son’s driving test gets an incomplete, however. Both he & MrsB forgot some paperwork so he has to wait a month to try again. There was much upset and unhappiness on Fri.

  206. 304

    Happy anniversary, rq

    Yay for good results, Jim B, boo for paperwork
    Giliell update, the good, the bad, the everything:

    Good: I like my new job so far. If you leave ideas about people arriving on time behind (which is interesting: we know that in Syria school doors are locked once classes start. Maybe it’s because we don’t do that that they don’t give a fuck about arriving on time) it’s a nice and diverse group.
    And yeah, I spent the whole day in the company of around 20 young Syrian men and would you believe it, here I’m still…
    Very good: My workplace is in a very diverse neighbourhood which is doing lots for my cooking. Tonight we had sweet potatoes and sucuck stew, sucuck being a Turkish garlic sausage. And Baklava. Anybody want a piece?
    Bad: #1’s rabbit has gone missing.
    Everything: So we escaped a terrorist attack.* Guess who caught the suspect. Syrian refugees. The guy asked if he could crush on their couch, a fellow refugee out of his luck, they recognised him, bound him and called the Police.
    *Sometimes I’m wondering if German intelligence are so much better than others or whether we’Re just damn lucky. OTOH nobody seems to care about right wing terrorism, so there’s that…

  207. 305


    And yeah, I spent the whole day in the company of around 20 young Syrian men and would you believe it, here I’m still…

    Unpossible! 🙂
    (this is my not-all-that-surprised face)

    sucuck being a Turkish garlic sausage. And Baklava. Anybody want a piece?

    Me me me!

    Hope the rabbit reappears, safe and sound.

  208. 306

    Well, looks like I gotta tell the kid the rabbit is gone. There’s little hope of it turning up again after three days. The other one is in mourning. Thankfully he’s fat and won’t starve quickly.

  209. 307

    *hugs* to one and all!
    Sorry I haven’t been here lately, life keeps being shitty for shittiness sake. My cat is ill and while he’s recovering, it takes a big toll on him. Than again, he’s been sick since he was half a year old, so he got used to it over his 20 years.

    It’s great that you like your new job! It still sounds rather challenging, though. Good luck!

    Well, looks like I gotta tell the kid the rabbit is gone.

    Poor thing 🙁

    So, how about that Russian politicians are advocating nuclear war almost on a daily basis now? And the increased Russian involvement is US politics? And the fact that nearly half of the electorate doesn’t care?
    Interesting times we’re living in.

  210. rq


    And the increased Russian involvement is US politics?

    As I heard someone say recently (or read someone write), what if it’s all just a giant media spin? 😛 It’s not like Russia has any vested interest in interfering with other countries and their politics. /s

    Anyway glad you are well and best wishes to the cat.

    🙁 about the bunny. 🙁

    Congrats on the good results, JimB, and some more good luck for Son on his next driving endeavour. Paperwork…. Ugh.

  211. rq

    So Husband is taking Eldest to the hospital for potential appendicitis. I might be a little less stressed if I trusted the medical system here a little more.

  212. rq

    Incompetence and high hospital death rates across all demographics for various reasons like infections and lack of resources to respond to emergencies?
    (That’s the immediate worries I’m having in this case. Others are: the fucking quotas for how many specific types of analysis they’re allowed to perform per year, and the fact that people can’t pay the frickin’ 20 euros for an ordinary diagnosis so they just don’t go to doctors, after which they overload the system with all sorts of acute issues. I won’t talk about government subsidies for treatments and things like that, you’d probably find their lack the usual state of affairs. 🙂 )

  213. rq

    It’s not appendicitis! Could be an infection/inflammation in the peritoneum.
    Or a mild hernia.
    Either way, unpleasant but better than surgery.

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    Hugs rq .
    Great to see you around Tony
    I’m going to try and perform at my orchestra concert from inside the pillow fort. Not sure how that’s going to work out.

  215. rq

    I’ve heard bass frequencies travel for long distances; if people can’t hear them, play loud enough so that they can feel them. You’ll be fine; it’ll be ery avant garde.

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    Waves of hugs! 😛

    That’s great! I had a friend who had two dogs – one a chihuahua and one a pincher, neither entirely pure bred, so I could never understand which breed was which. You know, two dogs, both alike in dignity and stature.

  217. 320

    Hi all! *waves* Giliell reminded me I’d not checked in in some time, so here I am. To call me threadrupt is to understate the case, but *hugs* and *higs* are freely available. I’m doing alright, feeling a little Austria-1938 these days living 100km from the US border, but otherwise good. Beginning to suspect i will need a hip replacement at some point. Even walking Uptown and back (about 1km each way) is challenging for me now.

    I don’t know if I mentioned, I picked up a second volunteer gig, being a board member for a local LGBTQ community centre trying to get off the ground (ourspectrum.com). Should be fun and challenging. I’m also still volunteering for my local MPP in her constituency office – got to see the lovely Ms. Fife myself this week, as it was her monthly week spent in town, as opposed to being in Parliament.

    What else…got in touch with one of my oldest friends recently, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s someone whom I consciously modelled myself on when I transitioned, her brash I don’t care attitude (she wore a tux to her prom – in 1984!) being a suit of armour for me in a hard time. Transitioning in 1992, without any family or friends, was…rough. Having Hilke’s example gave me strength. She also helped me develop a more casual style in speaking German that’s served me well. 🙂

    So I’m utterly jazzed to be back in touch with her. I keep smiling. She was my first serious girlfriend when I was 15, and her family has always been better to me than my own. Now she’s like a very loved sister to me.

    I also found today, while tidying, a box from some Latvian chocolate, which reminded me of rq’s visit this summer, which was so lovely. If you get to meet her, do. She’s a delight.

    Happy new job, Giliell!

    More another time. Mwah mwah, alla youse.

  218. 321

    *pouncehugs* CaitieCat

    So, my mother has offered to take me clothes shopping next week. And I need it; my wardrobe’s pretty thin right now and i have no winter wear to speak of. The problem, basically, is the part where my mother is along. The last time we saw each other, she didn’t get my name or pronoun right even once in the course of a 10 hour move. Which is bad enough when it’s just family around, but is not fucking on at Lane Bryant. And I am not sure how to diplomatically convey that a gift card would be better because I can’t trust her not to humiliate me in public any more.

  219. 322

    Good morning!

    Wishing him a speedy recovery.
    When will governments and health insurers understand that co-pays for consultations are a bad idea that drives up cost and leads to serious outcomes?

    Yay for puppy and I hope it is the one medication for L that no doctor can prescribe.

    I got some Lindt chocolate. I’ll leave it in the pillow fort.

    So far I only know people who are very happy with their hip replacements. Issue is durability, though.
    I guess Hilke is from northern Germany, right? I’m glad you’re back in touch. Childhood friends are something precious.

    Well, #1 took the rabbit news considerably well. Probably it’S because the rabbit is only “gone” and not officially “dead”. In searching for her we found out that she used to pay several neighbours visits, even though my dad thought he’d fenced everything in. I asked one neighbour three gardens down the road if they’d seen a rabbit. “The little black one?” Uhm, yes. “No, not in a few days. She often comes and plays with our dog.” …

    HOuse news:
    Big steps forward. First of all we’Re now officially the owners because we’re now in the official register. Second, the sanitation and heating guy will start in about a month. Third, the electrician will start next week. Yesterday we went through the house with him and planned everything. It will be so nice to finally live in a place with enough outlets, sensibly planned. No more cables everywhere and carefully balancing the gadgets because the house was built at a time when people’s media consisted of a radio.

    Job: It’s challenging, mostly because the group is so diverse in terms of education. Like in all classes you got the hard working people and the lazy ones, the fast learners and the slow ones and like in all classes those two things don’t correlate. What you got additionally is that some people got a university degree and others only went to school for two or three years. So you got to think quick to diagnose the problems tailor your activities.

  220. 323

    Well, inspiration hit me.

    The White Conservative Woman’s Lament
    (with inspirations from Martin Niemöller)

    When Trump maligned the Mexicans, I didn’t say anything, because I hate Mexicans. (Except for María who cleans my house).

    When Trump went after the Blacks, I cheered him on, because I think they’re all thugs (Even Patricia at the office has thase terrible hair)

    When Trump threw LGBTQ folks under the bus, I felt validated for my views. (I have a gay cousin, I’m not homophobic)

    When Trump maligned the Central Park Five, I supported him because I have an irrational fear of black men (no exception)

    When Trump wanted to abolish the separation of church and state, I nodded along because I’m christian anyway (muslims should not be so obvious about their religion, Merry Christmas).

    When Trump shamed a Latina woman for gaining weight, I didn’t say anything because it was a long time ago (but I looked at my belly)

    When Trump went after white women, I was “Holy Fuck, my husband still supports that guy!”

  221. 324

    Giliell, she’s from Paderborn originally, raised in Canada after immigrating young, as I did. Now how you knew she was northern, that’s a neat trick. Is her name typically found in the north then?

  222. 325

    I heard hip replacement was mentioned.
    My mom loves her artificial hip. She’s had it for… fifteen years or something like that and her ability to move is incomparable to before that. It does work as a weather predictor, but that’s the worst thing about it.

  223. 326

    Great to hear from you! And it’s great that you’re back in touch with your friend!


    “The little black one?” Uhm, yes. “No, not in a few days. She often comes and plays with our dog.” …

    That’s one clever rabbit! How did she manage to do it regularly without any of you noticing?

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